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Encyclopedia > Arabian Nights
Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar.
Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar.

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights, is a piece of medieval Middle-Eastern literature in the style of a frame tale. The nucleus of these stories is formed by an old Persian book called Hazâr Afsâna (the Thousand Myths) (in Persian هزارافسانه). The later compiler and translator in Arabic is reputedly storyteller Abu abd-Allah Muhammed el-Gahshigar in the 9th century. The frame-story of Shahrazad seems to have been added in the 14th century. The first modern Arabic compilation, made out of Egyptian writings, was published in Cairo in 1835. Image File history File links Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar in The Arabian Nights. ... Arabic (العربية al-arabiyyah, or less formally arabi) is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Persian (فارسی / پارسی), (local name in Iran/Persia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan: ‘Fârsi’), ‘Pârsi’ (older local name, but still used by some speakers), Tajik (a Central Asian dialect) or Dari (another local name in Tajikistan and Afghanistan), is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, western Pakistan, Bahrain, and elsewhere. ... A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc) is a narrative technique whereby a main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story. ... This earthenware dish was made in 9th century Iraq. ... (13th century - 14th century - 15th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 14th century was that century which lasted from 1301 to 1400. ... Arabic (العربية al-arabiyyah, or less formally arabi) is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Although technically in Giza, The Great Pyramids have become a symbol of Cairo internationally Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة; romanized: al-Qāhirah) is the capital city of Egypt (and previously the United Arab Republic) and has a metropolitan area population of approximately 15. ... 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


During the reign of Harun al-Rashid, Baghdad rose to a world metropolitan city. Merchants from Persia, China, India, Africa, and Europe were all found in Baghdad. It’s during this time that many of the stories, which are originally folk stories, are thought to have been collected orally over many years and later then compiled to include them in a single book. Harun al-Rashid (Arabic هارون الرشيد also spelled Harun ar-Rashid, Haroun al-Rashid or Haroon al Rasheed; English: Aaron the Upright; ca. ... Wikinews has news related to this article: Several hundred killed after stampede in Baghdad A street map of Baghdad Average temperature (red) and precipitations (blue) in Baghdad For other meanings see Baghdad (disambiguation) Baghdad (Arabic: ) is the capital of Iraq and the Baghdad Province. ... The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Africa is the worlds second-largest continent and second most populous after Asia. ... World map showing location of Europe When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ...


The story starts with the Persian Shahryar, king of an unnamed island "between India and China" (in modern editions based on Arab transcripts he is king of India and China), is so shocked by his wife's infidelity that he kills her and, believing all women to be likewise unfaithful, gives his vizier an order to get him a new wife every night (in some versions, every third night). After spending one night with his bride, the king has her executed at dawn. This practice continues for some time, until the vizier's clever daughter Shahrazad (the name is perhaps better-known in English as "Scheherazade" or "Shahrastini", which is a Persian name) forms a plan and volunteers to become Shahrayar's next wife. Every night after their marriage, she spends hours telling him stories, each time stopping at dawn with a cliff-hanger, so the king will postpone the execution out of a desire to hear the rest of the tale. In the end, she has given birth to three sons, and the king has been convinced of her faithfulness and revoked his decree. The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights, is a piece of classic Arabic literature in... A Vizier (وزير, sometimes also spelled Vizir, Wasir, Wazir, Wesir - grammatical voyel changes are common in many oriental languages) is an oriental, originally Persian, term for a high-ranking religious and political advisor, often to a king or sultan. ... Scheherazade or Shahrazad (Persian: شهرزاد Shahrzad) is the (fictional) storyteller of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. ... Persian (فارسی / پارسی), (local name in Iran/Persia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan: ‘Fârsi’), ‘Pârsi’ (older local name, but still used by some speakers), Tajik (a Central Asian dialect) or Dari (another local name in Tajikistan and Afghanistan), is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, western Pakistan, Bahrain, and elsewhere. ... Serial is a term, originating in literature, for a format by which a story is told in contiguous installments in sequential issues of a single periodical publication. ...


The tales vary widely; they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and Muslim religious legends. Some of the famous stories Shahrazad spins in many western translations are Aladdin's Lamp, Sindbad the Sailor, and the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; however Aladdin and Ali Baba were in fact inserted only in the 18th century by Antoine Galland, a French orientalist, who had heard them in oral form from a Maronite story-teller from Aleppo. Numerous stories depict djinns, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography; the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid is a common protagonist. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture. Burlesque was originally a form of art that mocked by imitation, referring to everything from comic sketches to dance routines and usually lampooning the social attitudes of upper classes. ... Aladdin in the Magic Garden, an illustration by Max Liebert from Ludwig Fuldas Aladdin und die Wunderlampe Aladdin (a corruption of the Arabic name Alauddin/Ala-ed-din, Arabic: علاء الدين, Chinese: 阿拉丁) is one of the tales from 1001 Nights and one of the most famous in Western culture. ... Sindbad the Sailor (also spelled Sinbad, from Persian سندباد—As-Sindibad, 三保 SānbÇŽo, from Chinese ) is the name of a legendary sailor who has numerous fantastic adventures during his voyages throughout the seas east of Africa and south of Asia. ... Ali Baba (Arabic: على بابا ) is a fictional character described in the adventure tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves which was added to the traditional collection of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights by its European transcriber, Antoine Galland, an 18th-century French orientalist who had heard it... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Antoine Galland (April 4, 1646 — February 17, 1715) was a French orientalist and archaeologist, and the first European translator of the Arabian Nights. ... Maronites (Marunoye ܐܶܝܢܘܪܡ in Syriac, Mâruniyya مارونية in Arabic) are members of one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic church. ... For the Jim Henson production, see The Storyteller Storytelling is the art of portraying in words, images, and sounds what has happened in real or imagined events. ... Old Town Aleppo viewed from the Citadel Aleppo is also the name of two townships in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. ... The Seal of Solomon is said to have given Sulayman power over the jinn. ... Caliph is the term or title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam. ... Harun al-Rashid (Arabic هارون الرشيد also spelled Harun ar-Rashid, Haroun al-Rashid or Haroon al Rasheed; English: Aaron the Upright; ca. ...

Contents


Editions

The first European version (and first printed edition) was a translation into French (1704 - 1717) by Antoine Galland of an earlier compilation that was written in Arabic. This book, Les Mille et une nuits, contes arabes traduits en français (in 12 volumes) probably included Arabic stories known to the translator but not included in the Arabic compilation. The Arabic compilation Alf Layla (A Thousand Nights), originating about 850 C.E., was in turn probably an abridged translation of an earlier Persian work called Hazar Afsanah (A Thousand Legends) but probably originated in India. The present name Alf Layla wa-Layla (literally a "A Thousand Nights and a Night", i.e. "1001 Nights") seems to have appeared at an unknown time in the Middle Ages, and expresses the idea of a transfinite number since 1000 represented conceptual infinity within Arabic mathematical circles. Legend has it that anyone who reads the whole collection will become mad. This article is about the continent. ... Events Building of the Students Monument in Aiud, Romania. ... // Events January 4 — The Netherlands, Britain & France sign Triple Alliance February 26-March 6 What is now the northeastern United States was paralyzed by a series of blizzards that buried the region. ... Antoine Galland (April 4, 1646 — February 17, 1715) was a French orientalist and archaeologist, and the first European translator of the Arabian Nights. ... Arabic (العربية al-arabiyyah, or less formally arabi) is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Events April 20 - Guntherus becomes Bishop of Cologne. ... 1001 is the natural number preceding 1002 and following 1000. ... Transfinite numbers, also known as infinite numbers, are numbers that are not finite. ... The motif of harmful sensation involves harm befalling a person directly from the mere fact of their experiencing a sensation; it appears in both traditional and authored stories. ...


The work is made up of a collection of stories thought to be from traditional Persian, Arabic, and Indian stories. Some elements appear in the Odyssey. However, Aladdin's Lamp and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves appeared first in Antoine Galland's translation and cannot be found in the original writings. He heard them from a Syrian Christian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar, Youhenna Diab, whom he called 'Hanna'. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ... The Odyssey (Greek Ὀδυσσεία) is the second of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the first of which is the Iliad. ... Old Town Aleppo viewed from the Citadel Aleppo is also the name of two townships in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. ...


Perhaps the best-known translation to English speakers is that by Sir Richard Francis Burton, published as The Arabian Nights. Unlike previous editions, his 16-volume translation was not bowdlerized. Though published in the Victorian era, it contained all the erotic nuances of the source material. More recent and more legible versions are that of the French doctor J. C. Mardrus, translated into English by Powys Mathers, and, notably, a critical edition based on the 14th century Syrian manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale, compiled in Arabic by Muhsin Mahdi and rendered into English by Husain Haddawy, the most accurate and elegant of all to this date. Richard Burton, portrait by Frederic Leighton, National Portrait Gallery, London Sir Richard Francis Burton (March 19, 1821 – October 19, 1890), British consul, explorer, translator, and Orientalist, was born at Barham House in Hertfordshire, the son of an officer in the army. ... Thomas Bowdler (July 11, 1754 – February 24, 1825), an English physician, is best known as the source of the eponym bowdlerise (or bowdlerize[1]), the process of censorship by arbitrary deletion of objectionable material from a work of literature to purify it. ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her Accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian Era of Great Britain is considered the height of the British industrial revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... Joseph Charles Mardrus (1868 - 1949) was a French physician, and a noted translator. ... Edward Powys Mathers (1892-1939) was a translator and poet, and editor with J. C. Mardrus of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (his English translation of the Mardrus adaptation appeared in 1923). ...


John Payne, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp and Other Stories, (London 1901) gives details of Galland's encounter with 'Hanna' in 1709 and of the discovery in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin and two more of the 'interpolated' tales. He instances Galland's own experience to demonstrate the lack of regard for such entertainments in the mainstream of Islamic scholarship, with the result that The new buildings of the library. ...

'complete copies of the genuine work were rarely to be met with, collections... and the fragmentary copies which existed were mostly in the hands of professional story-tellers, who were extremely unwilling to part with them, looking upon them as their stock in trade, and were in the habit of incorporating with the genuine text all kinds of stories and anecdotes from other sources, to fill the place of the missing portions of the original work. This process of addition and incorporation, which has been in progress ever since the first collection of the Nights into one distinct work and is doubtless still going on in Oriental countries, (especially such as are least in contact with European influence,) may account for the heterogeneous character of the various modern MSS. of the Nights and for the immense difference which exists between the several texts, as well in actual contents as in the details and diction of such stories as are common to all.'

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights has an estranged cousin: The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, by Jan Potocki. A Polish noble of the late 18th century, he traveled the Orient looking for an original edition of The Book... but never found it. Upon returning to Europe, he wrote his masterpiece, a multi-leveled frame tale. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (original French title Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, also known in English as Saragossa Manuscript), by the Polish author Jan Potocki (1761-1815), is a frame tale novel from the period of the Napoleonic Wars. ... Noble Family Potocki Coat of Arms PiÅ‚awa Parents StanisÅ‚aw Potocki Anna Teresa OssoliÅ„ska Consorts Julia Lubomirska Konstancja Potocka Children with Julia Lubomirska Alfred Wojciech Potocki Artur Potocki with Konstancja Potocka Bernard Potocki Irena Potocka Teresa Potocka Date of Birth March 3, 1761 Place of Birth Leżajsk... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


Adaptations

Film and television

There have been many adaptations of the Nights, for both television and the big screen, with varying degrees of faithfulness to the original stories. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x665, 48 KB)Mili Avital as Scheherazade and Dougray Scott as Shahryar, in the ABC/BBC Miniseries Arabian Nights. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x665, 48 KB)Mili Avital as Scheherazade and Dougray Scott as Shahryar, in the ABC/BBC Miniseries Arabian Nights. ... Mili Avital (Hebrew:מילי אביטל) (born 30 March 1972) is an Israeli actress. ... For the story teller in the Arabian Nights or the 1001 Nights see Shahrazad. ... Dougray Scott (born November 25, 1965 in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland as Stephen Scott) is a Scottish actor on television and film. ... The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights, is a piece of classic Arabic literature in... . The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is a television and radio network in the United States. ... Corporate logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. ... Arabian Nights Poster Arabian Nights is a three hour miniseries that was made by Hallmark Entertainment, originally shown over two nights on April 30, and May 1, 2000 on ABC in the United States and BBC in the United Kingdom. ...


The atmosphere of the Nights influenced such films as Fritz Lang's 1921 Der müde Tod, the 1924 Hollywood film The Thief of Baghdad starring Douglas Fairbanks, and its 1940 British remake. Fritz Lang Friedrich Anton Christian Lang (December 5, 1890 - August 2, 1976) was an Austrian film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known emigrés from Germanys school of expressionism to work in Hollywood. ... Der müde Tod is a 1921 silent film directed in Germany by Fritz Lang. ... See also: 1923 in film 1924 1925 in film 1920s in film years in film film // Events Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) considers making a silent film of The Wizard of Oz. ... ... Douglas Fairbanks is a name shared by two actors, father and son: Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. ... See also: 1939 in film 1940 1941 in film 1940s in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events February 7 - Walt Disneys animated film Pinocchio is released. ...


One of Hollywood's first feature films to be based on the Nights was in 1942, with the movie named Arabian Nights. It starred Maria Montez as Scheherazade, Sabu as Ali Ben Ali and Jon Hall as Harun al-Rashid. The storyline bears virtually no resemblance to the traditional version of the Nights. In the film Scheherazade is a dancer, who attempts to overthrow Caliph Harun al-Rashid and marry his brother. Unfortunately Scheherazade’s initial coup attempt fails and she is sold into slavery, many adventures then ensue. Maria Montez and Jon Hall also starred in the 1944 film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. See also: 1941 in film 1942 1943 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Carole Lombard is killed in a plane crash when returning from a War Bond tour. ... Maria Montez was the stage name for Maria Africa Gracia Vidal (June 6, 1912, Barahona, Dominican Republic - September 7, 1951, Paris, France). ... The actor Sabu (January 27, 1924-December 2, 1963) was born in Mysore, India. ... Jon maddog Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International [1], a non-profit association of computer vendors who wish to support and promote the Linux operating system. ... See also: 1943 in film 1944 1945 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events July 20 - Since You Went Away is released. ... The adventure tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves was added to the traditional collection of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights by its European transcriber, Antoine Galland, an 18th-century French orientalist who had heard it in oral form from a Maronite story-teller from Aleppo. ...


Arguably the most successful movie based on the Nights was Aladdin, the 1992 animated movie by the Walt Disney Company, which starred Scott Weinger and Robin Williams. The film led to several sequels and a television series of the same name. Aladdin is a animated television series based on the movie of the same name, made by the Walt Disney Company. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1992. ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... Alternate meanings: Disney (disambiguation) The Walt Disney Company (also known as Disney Enterprises, Inc. ... Scott Eric Weinger (wine-gerr) was born in New York, New York, on October 5, 1975, to Babs Weinger, a teacher, and Elliott Weinger, an orthopedic surgeon. ... Robin Williams performing in Iraq. ... Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Abu. ...


The Voyages of Sinbad have been adapted for television and film several times, the most recent of which was in the 2003 animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, which starred Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Perhaps the most famous Sinbad film was the 1958 movie The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, produced by the stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen. This is a list of film-related events in 2003. ... Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is an animated movie produced by DreamWorks SKG and released in 2003. ... Brad Pitt (born William Bradley Pitt on December 18, 1963), is an American film actor. ... Catherine Zeta-Jones at the premiere for her film Intolerable Cruelty Catherine Zeta-Jones (born September 25, 1969) is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actress. ... See also: 1957 in film 1958 1959 in film 1950s in film years in film film Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ... The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad is a 1958 fantasy movie starring Kerwin Matthews as the durable legendary sailor Sinbad. ... Stop motion is an animation technique which makes static objects appear to be moving. ... Ray Harryhausen in 2002 Ray Harryhausen (born June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California) is an American producer and, most notably, a special effects creator. ...


There are of course, many non-English versions of the Nights. These include numerous Bollywood movies, the famous 1974 Italian movie Il fiore delle mille e una notte and the 1990 French movie Les 1001 nuits, that starred Catherine Zeta-Jones as Scheherazade. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Typical Bollywood movie poster Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based film industry in India. ... See also: 1973 in film 1974 1975 in film 1970s in film years in film film // Events February 7 - Blazing Saddles is released in USA May 1 - George Lucas creates the first draft of what would eventually become Star Wars. ... Il fiore delle mille e una notte (The flower of the one thousand and one nights) is a 1974 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and is based on the novel The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1990. ...


One of the most memorable television adaptations was the Emmy award winning miniseries Arabian Nights, directed by Steve Barron and starring Mili Avital as Scheherazade and Dougray Scott as Shahryar. It was originally shown over two nights on April 30, and May 1, 2000 on ABC in the United States and BBC in the United Kingdom. Out of all the television and film versions of the Nights, this miniseries is perhaps one of the most faithful to the original stories. An Emmy Award. ... A miniseries, in a serial storytelling medium, is a production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. ... Arabian Nights Poster Arabian Nights is a three hour miniseries that was made by Hallmark Entertainment, originally shown over two nights on April 30, and May 1, 2000 on ABC in the United States and BBC in the United Kingdom. ... Steve Barron Steve Barron (born May 4, 1956) is a director and producer, best known for directing the films Coneheads and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. ... Mili Avital (Hebrew:מילי אביטל) (born 30 March 1972) is an Israeli actress. ... Dougray Scott (born November 25, 1965 in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland as Stephen Scott) is a Scottish actor on television and film. ... April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining, as the last day in April. ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... This is a list of television-related events in 2000. ... . The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is a television and radio network in the United States. ... Corporate logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. ...


Upcoming movies

A film entitled 1001 Nights, written by Jeff Vlaming and due out 2006, is to be set in the present day and star Juliette Binoche and Laurence Fishburne. It portrays Scheherazade’s equivalent as the unfaithful wife of a mobster, who is kidnapped by her husband's henchmen and forced to tell stories in order to win her freedom. See also: 2005 in film, other events of 2006, 2007 in film and the list of years in film Films currently scheduled to be released in 2006 include: // # 1001 Nights (2006 film) 10th & Wolf (2006 film) 2176 (2006 film) 300 (2006 film) 88 Minutes (2006 film) A Airborn (2006 film... Juliette Binoche Juliette Binoche (born March 9, 1964 in Paris, France) is an actress. ... Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix Revolutions Laurence Fishburne (born July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia, USA) is a notable United States movie actor. ...


Another film based on the Nights, is due out in 2007 and is simply named Arabian Nights. Written by Enio Rigolin, it will depict a more traditional version of the Nights set in ancient Persia. See also: 2006 in film, other events of 2007, 2008 in film and the list of years in film Films scheduled (as of November 7, 2004) to be released in 2007 include: 28 Weeks Later. ... The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ...


External links

References

  • Notes on the influences and context of the Thousand and One Nights
  • 1001 Resources and Links for A Thousand and One Nights University of Houston
  • The Book of the Thousand and One Nights by John Crocker

Film and television links

  • Arabian Nights (1942) IMDb
  • Arabian Nights (Miniseries) Official website
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas Official website

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