Syair Siti Zubaidah
text notes
list of words
list of rhyme words



Syair Siti Zubaidah


Abdul Rahman al-Ahmadi, Syair Siti Zubaidah Perang China, Perspektif Sejarah, Kuala Lumpur: Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, 1994.


principal:  Ml 727, Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia, Jakarta;

secondary:  MS 25, Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.


text:  ? ±1800;    manuscripts:  unknown.


text & manuscripts:  unknown.


69575 words, comprising 16434 verses.


to the pages of the published edition (63-590), and then to stanzas on each page (sometimes differing slightly different from printed edition).

Editorial notes and bibliography
  Abdul Rahman al-Ahmadi presents a synthetic edition.  He states that he bases his transcription on Ml 727 and MSS 25 (which are both incomplete texts), referring also to other manuscript texts and eight printed texts, seven in jawi.
  Liaw Yock Fang comments:  "Syair ini tipis sekali unsur sejarahnya, bahkan bisa dianggap sebagai syair romantis.  ... Naskah syair ini tidak banyak.  Naskah yang paling tua tersimpan di perpustakaan SOAS (MS 37083) dan bertarikh 1256 H (= 1840)." 
  Its modern Malay editors have attempted to relate the plot to historical events in China or, more fancifully, in Cambodia.  However, Liaw Yock Fang is surely right to be sceptical about such claims.
  Although poorly represented in manuscript form, this syair was one of the most popular Malay titles published by lithographic presses in Singapore, Bombay and Cairo, from about 1874 to 1950s.  It resembles Syair Abdul Muluk, also a very popular title in the lithographed lists.  Koster (98-99) proposes that this genre of poem is an Islamised Panji romance.
  This long syair is notable for a number of rhyme words that are not found in dictionaries.  These are included in the list of rhyme words.
•  Liaw Yock Fang, Sejarah Kesusasteraan Melayu Klassik, jilid 2, Jakarta: Erlangga, 1993, pp.234-236.
•  G.L. Koster, “Making it new in 1884: Lie Kim Hock's Syair Siti Akbari”, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 154.1 (1998): 95-115.
•  Mulaika Hijjas, Victorious Wives. The Disguised Heroine in 19th-Century Malay Syair, Singapore: NUS Press / Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, MBRAS Monograph 44, 2011. — This excellent study includes extract and English translation pp.228-245.
Added:  July 2006
The text was scanned in Canberra by the MCP using Recognita™ OCR, and adapted to the needs of the project.  Some word divisions have been changed, e.g. most separate instances of ku have been treated as ku- or -ku; similarly most separate instances of mu as -mu.