Abbasid Caliphate

One Thousand and One Nights
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950 Jan 1

One Thousand and One Nights

Persia

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English-language edition (c. 1706–1721), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central and South Asia, and North Africa. Some tales trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Egyptian, Indian, Persian, and Mesopotamian folklore and literature.


In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Abbasid and Mamluk eras, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān, which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.The thing common to all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale some are framed within other tales, while some are self-contained. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1001 or more. The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is occasionally used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion. Most of the poems are single couplets or quatrains, although some are longer. Some of the stories commonly associated with the Arabian Nights—particularly "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves"—were not part of the collection in its original Arabic versions but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland after he heard them from the Syrian Maronite Christian storyteller Hanna Diab on Diab's visit to Paris.


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Last Updated: : Sun Jan 07 2024