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treatise. We next meet with his pupil Zohri, and some others who died early in the second century, engaged in the same work. Zohri attempted the task of writing a history of Mahomet's campaigns, which formed a separate subject of study, and which, as we have seen, Sprenger holds to be the only reliable portion of the biographies. From the public character of the Prophet's warlike undertakings, it is natural to expect that they could be ascertained with more exactness and detail than matters affecting his ordinary life. Yet even in the campaigns, there is abundance of romance: and many episodes regarding the battle of Bedr, for instance, or the exploits of Aly at Kheibar, bear to the full the marvel-loving stamp of the rhapsodist. 

The first regular biography of Mahomet of which we have any notice is that by Ibn Ocba (d. 141), but it is not extant. The earliest which remains to us is by Ibn Ishâc (d. 151), and this we have only in the corrected and amplified version of Ibn Hishâm (d. 213). In a former article an account has been given of these early Biographers;1 it is, therefore, unnecessary here to do more than extract the opinions of Sprenger on the value to be attached to the works of Wâckidi and his secretary, Ibn S'ad: 

Wâckidi, who was born at Medina, died in Baghdad, A.H. 207 (A.D. 803), aged 78. He spent in the purchase of books 2000 dinars, and he had two slaves constantly employed in copying manuscripts. He left behind him 600 chests full of books, each requiring two men to lift it. With such rapidity had traditional literature increased . . . . He possessed dozens of versions of one and the same tradition, and these he arranged in chapters under appropriate headings. To turn this mass of tradition to advantage, Wâckidi set about the sifting of the mass. The plan of his work consists of biographical notices arranged in chronological order, and embraced all traditionists of note up to his own time. The latest he mentions is Muâvia, whom he met on a pilgrimage. It is related of each traditionist with what persons he had come in contact, and from whom he received and propagated traditions, and the measure of reliance to be placed on him. 

Wâckidi chiefly occupied himself with the biography of Mahomet, and he applied a new style of criticism to the work. He wrote various monographs on special subjects connected with the Prophet's life:—one on his Divine mission, a second on his wives (extracted by the Secretary), a third on the chronology, and a fourth on the campaigns, which last is still extant. 

1 No. XXXVII. (First Series) of this Review. 


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