Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry


The Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry provides an innovative digital platform for research on the semantics of the Arabic language and the history of Arabic poetic tradition from late antiquity onwards. The development of the database was initiated in the research project “Language–Philology–Culture. Arab Cultural Semantics in Transition” (ERC Starting Grant 312458 AR–SEM, 2013–2019).

The database includes:

Text corpus

Fully searchable texts of Arabic poetry in TEI/XML are provided with analytical data on authors, chronological periodisation, literary classification, geographical specification and semantic categorisation.


The historical dictionary implements comprehensive analytical tools and provides detailed information on the historical development of the vocabulary used in Arabic poetry and its various genres. Since there is neither a historical dictionary of Arabic nor a complete dictionary of classical Arabic in any European language, the database creates a unique and indispensable research tool on the semantics of Arabic.

Research data

Additional information tags and notes, a semantic register crosslinked with the Intercontinental Dictionary Series and detailed bibliographical information on sources used in the project provide research data making the database useful not just as an innovative literary and lexical source, but also as a reference work for wider research on Arabic literature, history and culture.

Using the database, a researcher can retrieve any word/lemma from various texts and analyse its specific semantic connotations from a historical, geographic and literary perspectives. Moreover, poetic language, motifs, themes, symbols, images, metaphors, meters and rhymes can be identified and contextualised using detailed search filters. Thus, the database allows for systematic research on the development of genres, forms, conventions, structural elements and intertextual connections in Arabic poetry.

Please see this help document for advice on how to use the site.


Dr Kirill Dmitriev

Principal Investigator
School of Modern Languages / University of St Andrews

Dr Kathrin Müller

Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich

Prof Ali Hussein

The University of Haifa

David Kiltz
Dr Laura Sterian
Dr Estrella Samba Campos
Dr Imar Khan
Dr Rawand Osman
Dr Kevin Blankinship

Brigham Young University

Dr Nathaniel Miller

Cambridge University

Rosemarie Maxton

University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews Research Computing Team

The development of the Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry has been carried out by the University of St Andrews Research Computing Team and executed by Mr Swithun Crowe and Ms Mary Woodcock Kroble. Additional support has been provided by Thorsten Probst ( as an external web designer and developer.

[LAST UPDATED: March 2021]

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