In studying the history of this criticism one cannot confine oneself to the literary works or treatises on poetics and stylistics. Obviously of great importance is the reception, in its broadest sense, of hija'; and that means culling one's material from works of history, biography, religion and philosophy (in particular religious or philosophical ethics), law and its application, lexicography-in short, most of' Arabic literature', except the sciences. 'Reception' is a convenient word standing here for every kind of reac- tion or opinion, whether overt or implicit, on hija'-poetry, on individual poems as well as the genres embodying hija'; opinions uttered or implied by those not directly involved themselves, be they secular or religious authorities or literary critics. It includes the mere quotation of poems in anthologies, or their expurgation (rejection is a form of 'bad' reception). By extension, the term stands for opinions on the concept of hija' expressed by some literary theoreticians and others who are guided by their own aesthetic or moral ideals, while ignoring certain aspects of existing hija'-poetry; for ignoring, too, is a reception of sorts. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the more distant and abstracted reception described before.