One Thousand and One Nights (Template:Lang-ar Kitāb alf laylah wa-laylah) is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and 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 (1706), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.[1]

The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Turkish, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān (Template:Lang-fa, lit. A Thousand Tales) which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.[2]

What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār (from Template:Lang-fa, meaning "king" or "sovereign") and his wife Scheherazade (from Template:Lang-fa, possibly meaning "of noble lineage"[3]) and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more.

Some of the stories of The Nights, particularly "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", while almost certainly genuine Middle-Eastern folk tales, were not part of The Nights in Arabic versions, but were interpolated into the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators.[4]

It is also notableTemplate:Says who that the innovative and rich poetry and poetic speeches, chants, songs, lamentations, hymns, beseeching, praising, pleading, riddles and annotations provided by Scheherazade or her story characters are unique to the Arabic version of the book. Some are as short as one line, while others go for tens of lines.


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The main frame story concerns a Persian king and his new bride. He is shocked to discover that his brother's wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. The king, Shahryar, begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights.

The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict Jinns, Ghouls, Apes[5], sorcerers, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally; common protagonists include the historical Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, his Grand Vizier, Jafar al-Barmaki, and his alleged court poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. 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.


The different versions have different individually detailed endings (in some Scheherazade asks for a pardon, in some the king sees their children and decides not to execute his wife, in some other things happen that make the king distracted) but they all end with the king giving his wife a pardon and sparing her life.

The narrator's standards for what constitutes a cliffhanger seem broader than in modern literature. While in many cases a story is cut off with the hero in danger of losing his life or another kind of deep trouble, in some parts of the full text Scheherazade stops her narration in the middle of an exposition of abstract philosophical principles or complex points of Islamic philosophy, and in one case during a detailed description of human anatomy according to Galen—and in all these cases turns out to be justified in her belief that the king's curiosity about the sequel would buy her another day of life.

History: versions and translationsEdit

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The history of the Nights is extremely complex and modern scholars have made many attempts to untangle the story of how the collection as it currently exists came about. Robert Irwin summarises their findings: "In the 1880s and 1890s a lot of work was done on the Nights by [the scholar] Zotenberg and others, in the course of which a consensus view of the history of the text emerged. Most scholars agreed that the Nights was a composite work and that the earliest tales in it came from India and Persia. At some time, probably in the early 8th century, these tales were translated into Arabic under the title Alf Layla, or 'The Thousand Nights'. This collection then formed the basis of The Thousand and One Nights. The original core of stories was quite small. Then, in Iraq in the ninth or tenth century, this original core had Arab stories added to it – among them some tales about the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Also, perhaps from the tenth century onwards, previously independent sagas and story cycles were added to the compilation [...] Then, from the thirteenth century onwards, a further layer of stories was added in Syria and Egypt, many of these showing a preoccupation with sex, magic or low life. In the early modern period yet more stories were added to the Egyptian collections so as to swell the bulk of the text sufficiently to bring its length up to the full 1,001 nights of storytelling promised by the book’s title."[6]

Speculation about Indian originsEdit

Some scholars have seen an ultimate Indian origin for the Nights. This is because the collection makes use of devices found in Sanskrit literature: frame stories and animal fables.[7] Indian folklore is represented in the Nights by certain animal stories, which reflect influence from ancient Sanskrit fables. The influence of the Panchatantra and Baital Pachisi is particularly notable.[8] The Jataka Tales are a collection of 547 Buddhist stories, which are for the most part moral stories with an ethical purpose. The Tale of the Bull and the Ass and the linked Tale of the Merchant and his Wife are found in the frame stories of both the Jataka and the Nights.[9]

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Persian prototype: Hazār AfsānEdit

The earliest mentions of the Nights refer to it as an Arabic translation from a Persian book, Hazār Afsān (or Afsaneh or Afsana), meaning "The Thousand Stories". In the 10th century Ibn al-Nadim compiled a catalogue of books (the "Fihrist") in Baghdad. He noted that the Sassanid kings of Iran enjoyed "evening tales and fables". [10] Al-Nadim then writes about the Persian Hazār Afsān, explaining the frame story it employs: a bloodthirsty king kills off a succession of wives after their wedding night; finally one concubine had the intelligence to save herself by telling him a story every evening, leaving each tale unfinished until the next night so that the king would delay her execution.[11] In the same century Al-Masudi also refers to the Hazār Afsān, saying the Arabic translation is called Alf Khurafa ("A Thousand Entertaining Tales") but is generally known as Alf Layla ("A Thousand Nights"). He mentions the characters Shirazd (Scheherazade) and Dinazad.[12] No physical evidence of the Hazār Afsān has survived[13] so its exact relationship with the existing later Arabic versions remains a mystery.[14] However, in the mid-20th century the scholar Nabia Abbott found a document with a few lines of an Arabic work with the title The Book of the Tale of a Thousand Nights, dating from the ninth century. This is the earliest surviving fragment of the Nights.[15]

The Scheherezade frame story of the Nights as it now exists was taken from the Persian prototype. Several other tales have Persian origins, although it is unclear how they entered the collection.[16] They include the cycle of "King Jali'ad and his Wazir Shimas" and "The Ten Wazirs or the History of King Azadbakht and his Son" (derived from the seventh-century Persian Bakhtiyarnama).[17] Template:-

Arabic versionsEdit

The first reference to the Arabic version under its full title The One Thousand and One Nights appears in Cairo in the 12th century.[18] Professor Dwight Reynolds describes the subsequent transformations of the Arabic version: "Some of the earlier Persian tales may have survived within the Arabic tradition altered such that Arabic Muslim names and new locations were substituted for pre-Islamic Persian ones, but it is also clear that whole cycles of Arabic tales were eventually added to the collection and apparently replaced most of the Persian materials. One such cycle of Arabic tales centres around a small group of historical figures from 9th-century Baghdad, including the caliph Harun al-Rashid (died 809), his vizier Jafar al-Barmaki (d.803) and the licentious poet Abu Nuwas (d. c. 813). Another cluster is a body of stories from late medieval Cairo in which are mentioned persons and places that date to as late as the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries."[19]

Two main Arabic manuscript traditions of the Nights are known: the Syrian and the Egyptian. The Syrian tradition includes the oldest manuscripts; these versions are also much shorter and include fewer tales. It is represented in print by the so-called Calcutta I (1814–1818) and most notably by the Leiden edition (1984), which is based above all on the Galland manuscript. It is believed to be the purest expression of the style of the mediaeval Arabian Nights.[20][21]

Texts of the Egyptian tradition emerge later and contain many more tales of much more varied content; a much larger number of originally independent tales have been incorporated into the collection over the centuries, most of them after the Galland manuscript was written,[22] and were being included as late as in the 18th and 19th centuries, perhaps in order to attain the eponymous number of 1001 nights. The final product of this tradition, the so-called Zotenberg Egyptian Recension, does contain 1001 nights and is reflected in print, with slight variations, by the editions known as the Bulaq (1835) and the Macnaghten or Calcutta II (1839–1842).

All extant substantial versions of both recensions share a small common core of tales, namely:

  • The Merchant and the Demon.
  • The Fisherman and the Jinni.
  • The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies.
  • The Hunchback cycle.
  • The Story of the Three Apples, enframing the Story of Nur al-Din and Shams al-Din
  • The Story of Nur al-Din Ali and Anis al-Jalis
  • The Story of Ali Ibn Baqqar and Shams al-Nahar, and
  • The Story of Qamar al-Zaman.

The texts of the Syrian recension don't contain much beside that core. It is debated which of the Arabic recensions is more "authentic" and closer to the original: the Egyptian ones have been modified more extensively and more recently, and scholars such as Muhsin Mahdi have suspected that this may have been caused in part by European demand for a "complete version"; but it appears that this type of modification has been common throughout the history of the collection, and independent tales have always been added to it.[22][23]

Modern translationsEdit

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The first European version (1704–1717) was translated into French by Antoine Galland from an Arabic text of the Syrian recension and other sources. This 12-volume book, Les Mille et une nuits, contes arabes traduits en français ("Thousand and one nights, Arab stories translated into French"), included stories that were not in the original Arabic manuscript. "Aladdin's Lamp" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" appeared first in Galland's translation and cannot be found in any of the original manuscripts. He wrote that he heard them from a Syrian Christian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar whom he called "Hanna Diab." Galland's version of the Nights was immensely popular throughout Europe, and later versions were issued by Galland's publisher using Galland's name without his consent.

As scholars were looking for the presumed "complete" and "original" form of the Nights, they naturally turned to the more voluminous texts of the Egyptian recension, which soon came to be viewed as the "standard version". The first translations of this kind, such as that of Edward Lane (1840, 1859), were bowdlerized. Unabridged and unexpurgated translations were made, first by John Payne, under the title The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (1882, nine volumes), and then by Sir Richard Francis Burton, entitled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885, ten volumes) – the latter was, according to some assessments, partially based on the former, leading to charges of plagiarism.[24][25] In view of the sexual imagery in the source texts (which Burton even emphasized further, especially by adding extensive footnotes and appendices on Oriental sexual mores[25]) and the strict Victorian laws on obscene material, both of these translations were printed as private editions for subscribers only, rather than published in the usual manner. Burton's original 10 volumes were followed by a further six entitled The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night, which were printed between 1886 and 1888. It has, however, been severely criticized for its "archaic language and extravagant idiom" and "obsessive focus on sexuality" (and has even been condemned as an "eccentric ego-trip" and a "highly personal reworking of the text").[25]

Later versions of the Nights include that of the French doctor J. C. Mardrus, issued from 1898 to 1904. It was translated into English by Powys Mathers, and issued in 1923. Like Payne's and Burton's texts, it is based on the Egyptian recension and retains the erotic material, indeed expanding on it, but it has been criticized for inaccuracy.[24]

A notable recent version, which reverts to the Syrian recension, is a critical edition based on the 14th or 15th century Syrian manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale, originally used by Galland. This version, known as the Leiden text, was compiled in Arabic by Muhsin Mahdi (1984) and rendered into English by Husain Haddawy (1990). Mahdi argued that this version is the earliest extant one (a view that is largely accepted today) and that it reflects most closely a "definitive" coherent text ancestral to all others that he believed to have existed during the Mamluk period (a view that remains contentious).[22][26][27] Still, even scholars who deny this version the exclusive status of "the only real Arabian Nights" recognize it as being the best source on the original style and linguistic form of the mediaeval work[20][21] and praise the Haddawy translation as "very readable" and "strongly recommended for anyone who wishes to taste the authentic flavour of those tales".[27] An additional second volume of Arabian nights translated by Haddawy, composed of popular tales not present in the Leiden edition, was published in 1995.

In 2008 a new English translation was published by Penguin Classics in three volumes. It is translated by Malcolm C. Lyons and Ursula Lyons with introduction and annotations by Robert Irwin. This is the first complete translation of the Macnaghten or Calcutta II edition (Egyptian recension) since Sir Richard Burton. It contains, in addition to the standard text of 1001 Nights, the so-called "orphan stories" of Aladdin and Ali Baba as well as an alternative ending to The seventh journey of Sindbad from Antoine Galland's original French. As the translator himself notes in his preface to the three volumes, "[N]o attempt has been made to superimpose on the translation changes that would be needed to 'rectify' ... accretions, ... repetitions, non sequiturs and confusions that mark the present text," and the work is a "representation of what is primarily oral literature, appealing to the ear rather than the eye." The Lyons translation includes all the poetry, omitted in some translations, but does not attempt to reproduce in English the internal rhyming of some prose sections of the original Arabic.


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Scholars have assembled a timeline concerning the publication history of The Nights:[28][29][30]

  • One of the oldest Arabic manuscript fragments from Syria (a few handwritten pages) dating to the early 9th century. Discovered by scholar Nabia Abbott in 1948, it bears the title Kitab Hadith Alf Layla ("The Book of the Tale of the Thousand Nights") and the first few lines of the book in which Dinazad asks Shirazad (Scheherazade) to tell him stories.[31]

  • 10th century – Mention of Hazar Afsan in Ibn al-Nadim's "Fihrist" (Catalogue of books) in Baghdad. He attributes a pre-Islamic Sassanian Persian origin to the collection and refers to the frame story of Scheherazade telling stories over a thousand nights to save her life. However, according to al-Nadim, the book contains only 200 stories. Curiously, al-Nadim also writes disparagingly of the collection's literary quality, observing that "it is truly a coarse book, without warmth in the telling".[32]

  • 10th century – Reference to The Thousand Nights, an Arabic translation of the Persian Hazar Afsan ("Thousand Stories"), in Muruj Al-Dhahab (The Meadows of Gold) by Al-Masudi.[33]

هزار ره صفت هفت خوان و رويين دژ
فرو شنيدم و خواندم من از هزار افسان

A thousand times, accounts of Rouyin Dezh and Haft Khān
I heard and read from Hezār Afsān (literally Thousand Fables)Template:Citation needed

  • 12th century; - A document from Cairo refers to a Jewish bookseller lending a copy of The Thousand and One Nights (this is the first appearance of the final form of the title).[34]

  • 1704 – Antoine Galland's French translation is the first European version of The Nights. Later volumes were introduced using Galland's name though the stories were written by unknown persons at the behest of the publisher wanting to capitalize on the popularity of the collection.

  • 1706 – An anonymously translated version in English appears in Europe dubbed the "Grub Street" version. This is entitled The Arabian Nights' Entertainment - the first known use of the common English title of the work.

  • 1775 – Egyptian version of The Nights called "ZER" (Hermann Zotenberg's Egyptian Recension) with 200 tales (no surviving edition exists).

  • 1814 – Calcutta I, the earliest existing Arabic printed version, is published by the British East India Company. A second volume was released in 1818. Both had 100 tales each.

  • 1825–1838 – The Breslau/Habicht edition is published in Arabic in 8 volumes. Christian Maxmilian Habicht (born in Breslau, Germany, 1775) collaborated with the Tunisian Murad Al-Najjar and created this edition containing 1001 stories. Using versions of The Nights, tales from Al-Najjar, and other stories from unknown origins Habicht published his version in Arabic and German.

  • 1842–1843 – Four additional volumes by Habicht.

  • 1835 Bulaq version – These two volumes, printed by the Egyptian government, are the oldest printed (by a publishing house) version of The Nights in Arabic by a non-European. It is primarily a reprinting of the ZER text.

  • 1839–1842 – Calcutta II (4 volumes) is published. It claims to be based on an older Egyptian manuscript (which was never found). This version contains many elements and stories from the Habicht edition.

  • 1838 – Torrens version in English.

  • 1838–1840 – Edward William Lane publishes an English translation. Notable for its exclusion of content Lane found "immoral" and for its anthropological notes on Arab customs by Lane.

  • 1882–1884 – John Payne publishes an English version translated entirely from Calcutta II, adding some tales from Calcutta I and Breslau.

  • 1885–1888 – Sir Richard Francis Burton publishes an English translation from several sources (largely the same as Payne[24]). His version accentuated the sexuality of the stories vis-à-vis Lane's bowdlerized translation.

  • 1889–1904 – J. C. Mardrus publishes a French version using Bulaq and Calcutta II editions.

  • 1984 – Muhsin Mahdi publishes an Arabic edition which he claims is faithful to the oldest Arabic versions surviving (primarily based on the Syrian manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale in combination with other early manuscripts of the Syrian branch).

  • 1990 – Husain Haddawy publishes an English translation of Mahdi.

  • 2008 — New Penguin Classics translation (in three volumes) by Malcolm C. Lyons and Ursula Lyons of the Calcutta II edition

Literary themes and techniquesEdit

The One Thousand and One Nights and various tales within it make use of many innovative literary techniques, which the storytellers of the tales rely on for increased drama, suspense, or other emotions.[36] Some of these date back to earlier Persian, Indian and Arabic literature, while others were original to the One Thousand and One Nights.

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Frame storyEdit

An early example of the frame story, or framing device, is employed in the One Thousand and One Nights, in which the character Scheherazade narrates a set of tales (most often fairy tales) to the Sultan Shahriyar over many nights. Many of Scheherazade's tales are also frame stories, such as the Tale of Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman being a collection of adventures related by Sindbad the Seaman to Sindbad the Landsman. The concept of the frame story dates back to ancient Sanskrit literature, and was introduced into Persian and Arabic literature through the Panchatantra.

Embedded narrativeEdit

An early example of the "story within a story" technique can be found in the One Thousand and One Nights, which can be traced back to earlier Persian and Indian storytelling traditions, most notably the Panchatantra of ancient Sanskrit literature. The Nights, however, improved on the Panchatantra in several ways, particularly in the way a story is introduced. In the Panchatantra, stories are introduced as didactic analogies, with the frame story referring to these stories with variants of the phrase "If you're not careful, that which happened to the louse and the flea will happen to you." In the Nights, this didactic framework is the least common way of introducing the story, but instead a story is most commonly introduced through subtle means, particularly as an answer to questions raised in a previous tale.[37]

An early example of the "story within a story within a story" device is also found in the One Thousand and One Nights, where the general story is narrated by an unknown narrator, and in this narration the stories are told by Scheherazade. In most of Scheherazade's narrations there are also stories narrated, and even in some of these, there are some other stories.[38] This is particularly the case for the "Sinbad the Sailor" story narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. Within the "Sinbad the Sailor" story itself, the protagonist Sinbad the Sailor narrates the stories of his seven voyages to Sinbad the Porter. The device is also used to great effect in stories such as "The Three Apples" and "The Seven Viziers". In yet another tale Scheherazade narrates, "The Fisherman and the Jinni", the "Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban" is narrated within it, and within that there are three more tales narrated.

Dramatic visualizationEdit


Dramatic visualization is "the representing of an object or character with an abundance of descriptive detail, or the mimetic rendering of gestures and dialogue in such a way as to make a given scene 'visual' or imaginatively present to an audience". This technique dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights.[39] An example of this is the tale of "The Three Apples" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Fate and destinyEdit

A common theme in many Arabian Nights tales is fate and destiny. The Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini observed:[40]


Though invisible, fate may be considered a leading character in the One Thousand and One Nights.[41] The plot devices often used to present this theme are coincidence,[42] reverse causation and the self-fulfilling prophecy (see Foreshadowing below).



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Early examples of the foreshadowing technique of repetitive designation, now known as "Chekhov's gun", occur in the One Thousand and One Nights, which contains "repeated references to some character or object which appears insignificant when first mentioned but which reappears later to intrude suddenly in the narrative".[43] A notable example is in the tale of "The Three Apples" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Another early foreshadowing technique is formal patterning, "the organization of the events, actions and gestures which constitute a narrative and give shape to a story; when done well, formal patterning allows the audience the pleasure of discerning and anticipating the structure of the plot as it unfolds". This technique also dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights.[39]

Another form of foreshadowing is the self-fulfilling prophecy, which dates back to the story of Krishna in ancient Sanskrit literature. A variation of this device is the self-fulfilling dream, which dates back to medieval Arabic literature. Several tales in the One Thousand and One Nights use this device to foreshadow what is going to happen, as a special form of literary prolepsis. A notable example is "The Ruined Man who Became Rich Again through a Dream", in which a man is told in his dream to leave his native city of Baghdad and travel to Cairo, where he will discover the whereabouts of some hidden treasure. The man travels there and experiences misfortune, ending up in jail, where he tells his dream to a police officer. The officer mocks the idea of foreboding dreams and tells the protagonist that he himself had a dream about a house with a courtyard and fountain in Baghdad where treasure is buried under the fountain. The man recognizes the place as his own house and, after he is released from jail, he returns home and digs up the treasure. In other words, the foreboding dream not only predicted the future, but the dream was the cause of its prediction coming true. A variant of this story later appears in English folklore as the "Pedlar of Swaffham" and Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist"; Jorge Luis Borges' collection of short stories A Universal History of Infamy featured his translation of this particular story into Spanish, as "The Story Of The Two Dreamers."[44]

Another variation of the self-fulfilling prophecy can be seen in "The Tale of Attaf", where Harun al-Rashid consults his library (the House of Wisdom), reads a random book, "falls to laughing and weeping and dismisses the faithful vizier" Ja'far ibn Yahya from sight. Ja'afar, "disturbed and upset flees Baghdad and plunges into a series of adventures in Damascus, involving Attaf and the woman whom Attaf eventually marries." After returning to Baghdad, Ja'afar reads the same book that caused Harun to laugh and weep, and discovers that it describes his own adventures with Attaf. In other words, it was Harun's reading of the book that provoked the adventures described in the book to take place. This is an early example of reverse causation.[45] Near the end of the tale, Attaf is given a death sentence for a crime he didn't commit but Harun, knowing the truth from what he has read in the book, prevents this and has Attaf released from prison. In the 12th century, this tale was translated into Latin by Petrus Alphonsi and included in his Disciplina Clericalis,[46] alongside the "Sinbad the Sailor" story cycle.[47] In the 14th century, a version of "The Tale of Attaf" also appears in the Gesta Romanorum and Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron.[46]


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Leitwortstil is 'the purposeful repetition of words' in a given literary piece that "usually expresses a motif or theme important to the given story". This device occurs in the One Thousand and One Nights, which binds several tales in a story cycle. The storytellers of the tales relied on this technique "to shape the constituent members of their story cycles into a coherent whole."[36]

Thematic patterning is "the distribution of recurrent thematic concepts and moralistic motifs among the various incidents and frames of a story. In a skillfully crafted tale, thematic patterning may be arranged so as to emphasize the unifying argument or salient idea which disparate events and disparate frames have in common". This technique also dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights (and earlier).[39]

Several different variants of the "Cinderella" story, which has its origins in the Egyptian story of Rhodopis, appear in the One Thousand and One Nights, including "The Second Shaykh's Story", "The Eldest Lady's Tale" and "Abdallah ibn Fadil and His Brothers", all dealing with the theme of a younger sibling harassed by two jealous elders. In some of these, the siblings are female, while in others they are male. One of the tales, "Judar and His Brethren", departs from the happy endings of previous variants and reworks the plot to give it a tragic ending instead, with the younger brother being poisoned by his elder brothers.[48]

Satire and parodyEdit

The Nights contain many examples of sexual humour. Some of this borders on satire, as in the tale called "Ali with the Large Member" which pokes fun at obsession with human penis size.[49]

Repetition is also used to humorous effect in the One Thousand and One Nights. Sheherezade sometimes follows up a relatively serious tale with a cruder or more broadly humorous version of the same tale. For example, "Wardan the Butcher's Adventure With the Lady and the Bear" is paralleled by "The King's Daughter and the Ape", "Harun al-Rashid and the Two Slave-Girls" by "Harun al-Rashid and the Three Slave-Girls", and "The Angel of Death With the Proud King and the Devout Man" by "The Angel of Death and the Rich King". The idea has been put forward that these pairs of tales are deliberately intended as examples of self parody,[50] although this assumes a greater degree of editorial control by a single writer than the history of the collection as a whole would seem to indicate.

Unreliable narratorEdit

The literary device of the unreliable narrator was used in several fictional medieval Arabic tales of the One Thousand and One Nights. In one tale, "The Seven Viziers" (also known as "Craft and Malice of Women or The Tale of the King, His Son, His Concubine and the Seven Wazirs"), a courtesan accuses a king's son of having assaulted her, when in reality she had failed to seduce him (inspired by the Qur'anic/Biblical story of Yusuf/Joseph). Seven viziers attempt to save his life by narrating seven stories to prove the unreliability of women, and the courtesan responds back by narrating a story to prove the unreliability of viziers.[51] The unreliable narrator device is also used to generate suspense in "The Three Apples" and humor in "The Hunchback's Tale" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Crime fiction elementsEdit


The earliest known murder mystery[52][53] and suspense thriller with multiple plot twists[54] and detective fiction elements[55] was "The Three Apples", also known as Hikayat al-sabiyya 'l-muqtula ("The Tale of the Murdered Young Woman"),[56] one of the tales narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. In this tale, a fisherman discovers a heavy locked chest along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who then has the chest broken open only to find inside it the dead body of a young woman who was cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Ja'far ibn Yahya, to solve the crime and find the murderer within three days or else he will have him executed instead. This whodunit mystery may thus be considered an archetype for detective fiction. Ja'far, however, fails to find the culprit before the deadline.[57][58] Just when Harun is about to have Ja'far executed for his failure, a plot twist occurs when two men appear, one a handsome young man and the other an old man, both claiming to be the murderer. Both men argue and call each other liars as each attempts to claim responsibility for the murder.[59] This continues until the young man proves that he is the murderer by accurately describing the chest in which the young woman was found.[60]

The young man reveals that he was her husband and the old man her father, who was attempting to save his son-in-law by taking the blame. Harun then demands to know his motives for murdering his wife, and the young man then narrates his reasons as a flashback of events preceding Harun's discovery of the locked chest. He eulogizes her as a faultless wife and mother of his three children, and describes how she one day requested a rare apple when she was ill. He then describes his two-week long journey to Basra, where he finds three such apples at the Caliph's orchard. On his return to Baghdad, he finds out that she would no longer eat the apples because of her lingering illness. When he returns to work at his shop, he discovered a slave passing by with the same apple.[61] He asked him about it and the slave replied that he received it from his girlfriend, who had three such apples that her husband found for her after a half-month journey.[62] The young man then suspected his wife of unfaithfulness, rushed home, and demanded to know how many apples remained there. After finding one of the apples missing, he drew a knife and killed her. He then describes how he attempted to get rid of the evidence by cutting her body to pieces, wrapping it in multiple layers of shawls and carpets, hiding her body in a locked chest, and abandoning it in the Tigris river. Yet another twist occurs after he returns home and his son confesses to him that he had stolen one of the apples, and a slave had taken it and run off with it. The boy also confesses that he told the slave about his father's quest for the three apples. Out of guilt, the young man concludes his story by requesting Harun to execute him for his unjust murder. Harun, however, refuses to punish the young man out of sympathy, but instead sets Ja'far a new assignment: to find the tricky slave who caused the tragedy within three days, or be executed for his failure.[63][64]

Ja'far yet again fails to find the culprit before the deadline has passed. On the day of the deadline, he is summoned to be executed for his failure. As he bids farewell to all his family members, he hugs his beloved youngest daughter last. It is then, by complete accident, that he discovers a round object in her pocket which she reveals to be an apple with the name of the Caliph written on it. In the story's twist ending, the girl reveals that she brought it from their slave, Rayhan. Ja'far thus realizes that his own slave was the culprit all along. He then finds Rayhan and solves the case as a result.[58][65] Ja'far, however, pleads to Harun to forgive his slave and, in exchange, narrates to him the "Tale of Núr al-Dín Alí and His Son Badr al-Dín Hasan".[66]

"The Three Apples" served as an inspiration for Hugo von Hofmannsthal's The Golden Apple (Der Goldene Apfel) (1897).[53] It has also been noted that the flashback narrated by the young man in "The Three Apples" resembles the later story of Shakespeare's Othello (1603), which was itself based on "Un Capitano Moro", a tale from Giovanni Battista Giraldi's Gli Hecatommithi (1565).[67]

Another Nights tale with crime fiction elements was "The Hunchback's Tale" story cycle which, unlike "The Three Apples", was more of a suspenseful comedy and courtroom drama rather than a murder mystery or detective fiction. The story is set in a fictional China and begins with a hunchback, the emperor's favourite comedian, being invited to dinner by a tailor couple. The hunchback accidentally chokes on his food from laughing too hard and the couple, fearful that the emperor will be furious, take his body to a Jewish doctor's clinic and leave him there. This leads to the next tale in the cycle, the "Tale of the Jewish Doctor", where the doctor accidentally trips over the hunchback's body, falls down the stairs with him, and finds him dead, leading him to believe that the fall had killed him. The doctor then dumps his body down a chimney, and this leads to yet another tale in the cycle, which continues with twelve tales in total, leading to all the people involved in this incident finding themselves in a courtroom, all making different claims over how the hunchback had died.[68] Crime fiction elements are also present near the end of "The Tale of Attaf" (see Foreshadowing above).

Horror fiction elementsEdit

File:Descending into cave.jpg

Haunting is used as a plot device in gothic fiction and horror fiction, as well as modern paranormal fiction. Legends about haunted houses have long appeared in literature. In particular, the Arabian Nights tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad" revolves around a house haunted by jinns.[69] The Nights is almost certainly the earliest surviving literature that mentions ghouls, and many of the stories in that collection involve or reference ghouls. A prime example is the story The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib (from Nights vol. 6), in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous Ghouls and then enslaves them and converts them to Islam.[70]

Horror fiction elements are also found in "The City of Brass" tale, which revolves around a ghost town.[71]

The horrific nature of Scheherazade's situation is magnified in Stephen King's Misery, in which the protagonist is forced to write a novel to keep his captor from torturing and killing him. The influence of the Nights on modern horror fiction is certainly discernible in the work of H. P. Lovecraft. As a child, he was fascinated by the adventures recounted in the book, and he attributes some of his creations to his love of the 1001 Nights.[72]

Science fiction elementsEdit

Several stories within the One Thousand and One Nights feature early science fiction elements. One example is "The Adventures of Bulukiya", where the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, journey to Paradise and to Hell, and travel across the cosmos to different worlds much larger than his own world, anticipating elements of galactic science fiction;[73] along the way, he encounters societies of djinns,[74] mermaids, talking serpents, talking trees, and other forms of life.[73] In "Abu al-Husn and His Slave-Girl Tawaddud", the heroine Tawaddud gives an impromptu lecture on the mansions of the Moon, and the benevolent and sinister aspects of the planets.[75]

In another 1001 Nights tale, "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman", the protagonist Abdullah the Fisherman gains the ability to breathe underwater and discovers an underwater submarine society that is portrayed as an inverted reflection of society on land, in that the underwater society follows a form of primitive communism where concepts like money and clothing do not exist. Other Arabian Nights tales also depict Amazon societies dominated by women, lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them.[76] "The City of Brass" features a group of travellers on an archaeological expedition[77] across the Sahara to find an ancient lost city and attempt to recover a brass vessel that Solomon once used to trap a jinn,[78] and, along the way, encounter a mummified queen, petrified inhabitants,[79] life-like humanoid robots and automata, seductive marionettes dancing without strings,[80] and a brass horseman robot who directs the party towards the ancient city,[81] which has now become a ghost town.[71] "The Ebony Horse" features a flying mechanical horse controlled using keys that could fly into outer space and towards the Sun.[82] Some modern interpretations see this horse as a robot.[81] The titular ebony horse can fly the distance of one year in a single day, and is used as a vehicle by the Template:Disambiguation needed, Qamar al-Aqmar, in his adventures across Persia, Arabia and Byzantium. This story appears to have influenced later European tales such as Adenes Le Roi's Cleomades and "The Squire's Prologue and Tale" told in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.[83] "The City of Brass" and "The Ebony Horse" can be considered early examples of proto-science fiction.[84] The "Third Qalandar's Tale" also features a robot in the form of an uncanny boatman.[81]


The Arabic poetry in One Thousand and One NightsEdit

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File:Istanbul Suleymaniye Mosque.png

There is an abundance of poetry in One Thousand and One Nights. Characters occasionally provide poetry in certain settings, covering many uses. However, pleading, beseeching and praising toward the powerful is the most significant.

The uses would include but are not limited to:

  • Giving advice, warning, and solutions.
  • Praising God, royalties and those in power.
  • Pleading for mercy and forgiveness.
  • Lamenting wrong decisions or bad luck.
  • Providing riddles, laying questions, challenges.
  • Criticizing elements of life, wondering.
  • Expressing feelings to others or one’s self: happiness, sadness, anxiety, surprise, anger.

In a typical example, expressing feelings of happiness to one’s self from Night 203, Prince Qamar Al-Zaman,[85] standing outside the castle, wants to inform Queen Bodour of his arrival. He wraps his ring in a paper and hands it to the servant who delivers it to the Queen. When she opens it and sees the ring, joy conquers her, and out of happiness she chants this poem (Arabic):[86] Template:Quote

Transliteration: Template:Quote

Translation: Template:Quote

The Nights in world cultureEdit

Main article: List of works influenced by the 1001 Nights

The influence of the versions of The Nights on world literature is immense. Writers as diverse as Henry Fielding to Naguib Mahfouz have alluded to the collection by name in their own works. Other writers who have been influenced by the Nights include John Barth, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Goethe, Walter Scott, Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Nodier, Flaubert, Marcel Schwob, Stendhal, Dumas, Gérard de Nerval, Gobineau, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Hofmannsthal, Conan Doyle, W. B. Yeats, H. G. Wells, Cavafy, Calvino, Georges Perec, H. P. Lovecraft, Marcel Proust, A. S. Byatt and Angela Carter.[87]

Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin, Sinbad and Ali Baba. Part of its popularity may have sprung from the increasing historical and geographical knowledge, so that places of which little was known and so marvels were plausible had to be set further "long ago" or farther "far away"; this is a process that continues, and finally culminate in the fantasy world having little connection, if any, to actual times and places. Several elements from Arabian mythology and Persian mythology are now common in modern fantasy, such as genies, bahamuts, magic carpets, magic lamps, etc. When L. Frank Baum proposed writing a modern fairy tale that banished stereotypical elements, he included the genie as well as the dwarf and the fairy as stereotypes to go.[88]

In Arabic cultureEdit

File:Azeri carpet (Sirvan group).jpg

There is little evidence that the Nights was particularly treasured in the Arab world. It is rarely mentioned in lists of popular literature and few pre-18th century manuscripts of the collection exist.[89] Fiction had a low cultural status among Medieval Arabs compared with poetry, and the tales were dismissed as khurafa (improbable fantasies fit only for entertaining women and children). According to Robert Irwin, "Even today, with the exception of certain writers and academics, the Nights is regarded with disdain in the Arabic world. Its stories are regularly denounced as vulgar, improbable, childish and, above all, badly written."[90] The Nights have proved an inspiration to some modern Egyptian writers, such as Tawfiq al-Hakim (author of the Symbolist play Shahrazad, 1934), Taha Hussein (Scheherazade's Dreams, 1943) [91] and Naguib Mahfouz (Arabian Nights and Days, 1981).

Possible early influence on European literatureEdit

Although the first known translation into a European language only appeared in 1704, it is possible that the Nights began exerting its influence on Western culture much earlier. Christian writers in Medieval Spain translated many works from Arabic, mainly philosophy and mathematics, but also Arab fiction, as is evidenced by Juan Manuel's story collection El Conde Lucanor and Ramón Llull's The Book of Beasts.[92] Knowledge of the work, direct or indirect, apparently spread beyond Spain. Themes and motifs with parallels in the Nights are found in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (in The Squire's Tale the hero travels on a flying brass horse) and Boccaccio's Decameron. Echoes in Giovanni Sercambi's Novelle and Ariosto's Orlando furioso suggest that the story of Shahriyar and Shahzaman was also known.[93] Evidence also appears to show that the stories had spread to the Balkans and a translation of the Nights into Romanian existed by the 17th century, itself based on a Greek version of the collection.[94]

Western literature from the 18th century onwardsEdit

File:1001 nights Russian poster - flickr - 1.JPG

The modern fame of the Nights derives from the first known European translation by Antoine Galland, which appeared in 1704. According to Robert Irwin,Galland "played so large a part in discovering the tales, in popularizing them in Europe and in shaping what would come to be regarded as the canonical collection that, at some risk of hyperbole and paradox, he has been called the real author of the Nights."[95] The immediate success of Galland's version with the French public may have been because it coincided with the vogue for contes de fées ("fairy stories"). This fashion began with the publication of Madame d'Aulnoy's Histoire d'Hypolite in 1690. D'Aulnoy's book has a remarkably similar structure to the Nights, with the tales told by a female narrator. The success of the Nights spread across Europe and by the end of the century there were translations of Galland into English, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Flemish and Yiddish.[96] Galland's version provoked a spate of pseudo-Oriental imitations. At the same time, some French writers began to parody the style and concoct far-fetched stories in superficially Oriental settings. These tongue-in-cheek pastiches include Anthony Hamilton's Les quatre Facardins (1730), Crébillon's Le sopha (1742) and Diderot's Les bijoux indiscrets (1748). They often contained veiled allusions to contemporary French society. The most famous example is Voltaire's Zadig (1748), an attack on religious bigotry set against a vague pre-Islamic Middle Eastern background.[97] The English versions of the "Oriental Tale" generally contained a heavy moralising element,[98] with the notable exception of William Beckford's fantasy Vathek (1786), which had a decisive influence on the development of the Gothic novel. The Polish nobleman Jan Potocki's novel Saragossa Manuscript (begun 1797) owes a deep debt to the Nights with its Oriental flavour and labyrinthine series of embedded tales.[99]

The Nights was a favourite book of many British authors of the Romantic and Victorian eras. According to A. S. Byatt, "In British Romantic poetry the Arabian Nights stood for the wonderful against the mundane, the imaginative against the prosaically and reductively rational." [100] In their autobiographical writings, both Coleridge and de Quincey refer to nightmares the book had caused them when young. Wordsworth and Tennyson also wrote about their childhood reading of the tales in their poetry. [101] Charles Dickens was another enthusiast and the atmosphere of the Nights pervades the opening of his last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870).[102]

Several writers have attempted to add a thousand and second tale,[103] including Théophile Gautier (La mille deuxième nuit, 1842)[104] and Joseph Roth (Die Geschichte von der 1002. Nacht, 1939).[105] Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade" (1845). It depicts the eighth and final voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, along with the various mysteries Sinbad and his crew encounter; the anomalies are then described as footnotes to the story. While the king is uncertain—except in the case of the elephants carrying the world on the back of the turtle—that these mysteries are real, they are actual modern events that occurred in various places during, or before, Poe's lifetime. The story ends with the king in such disgust at the tale Scheherazade has just woven, that he has her executed the very next day.

Modern authors influenced by the Nights include James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Jorge Luis Borges and John Barth.


Stories from the Nights have been popular subjects for films, beginning with Georges Méliès's Le Palais des Mille et une nuits in 1905. The critic Robert Irwin singles out the two versions of The Thief of Baghdad (1924 version directed by Raoul Walsh; 1940 version produced by Alexander Korda) and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Il fiore delle Mille ed una notte (1974) as ranking "high among the masterpieces of world cinema."[106]

There is also a Japanese animated version of One Thousand and One Nights. Directed by Osamu Tezuka and Eichii Yamamoto, the imagery and psychedelic sounds reflect the period in which the full feature animation was produced. The piece is also considered for an adult audience given the erotic scenes between some of the characters.[107]


The Nights has inspired many pieces of music :


Many artists have illustrated the Arabian nights, including : Pierre-Clément Marillier for Le Cabinet des Fées (1785-1789)Gustave Doré, Léon Carré (Granville, 1878 - Alger, 1942), Roger Blachon, Françoise Boudignon, André Dahan, Amato Soro, Albert Robida, Alcide Théophile Robaudi and Marcelino Truong; Vittorio Zecchin (Murano, 1878 – Murano, 1947) and Emanuele Luzzati; The German Morgan; Mohammed Râcim (Algiers, 1896 - Algiers 1975), Sani ol-Molk (1849-1856) and Emre Orhun.

Famous illustrators for British editions include: Arthur Boyd Houghton, John Tenniel, John Everett Millais and George John Pinwell for Dalziel's Illustrated Arabian Nights Entertainments, published in 1865; Walter Crane for Aladdin's Picture Book (1876); Albert Letchford for the 1897 edition of Burton’s translation ; Edmund Dulac for Stories from the Arabian Nights (1907), Princess Badoura (1913) and Sindbad the Sailor & Other Tales from the Arabian Nights (1914). Others artists include John D. Batten, (Fairy Tales From The Arabian Nights, 1893), Kay Nielsen, Eric Fraser, Errol le Cain, Maxfield Parrish and W. Heath Robinson.[109]

See alsoEdit

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  1. See illustration of title page of Grub St Edition in Yamanaka and Nishio (p. 225)
  2. Template:Citation
  3. There is scholarly confusion over the exact form and original meaning of Scheherazade's name, see the note in Scheherazade's own Wiki article on this point
  4. 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 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin and two more of the 'interpolated' tales. Text of "Alaeddin and the enchanted lamp"
  6. Irwin p.48
  7. Reynolds p.271
  8. Burton, Richard F. (2002). Vikram and the Vampire Or Tales of Hindu Devilry pg xi. Adamant Media Corporation
  9. Template:Citation
  10. Pinault p.1
  11. Pinault p.4
  12. Irwin p.49
  13. Reynolds p.271
  14. Irwin p.51: "It seems probable from all the above [...] that the Persian Hazār Afsaneh was translated into Arabic in the eighth or early ninth century and was given the title Alf Khurafa before being subsequently retitled Alf Layla. However, it remains far from clear what the connection is between this fragment of the early text and the Nights stories as they have survived in later and fuller manuscripts, nor how the Syrian manuscripts related to later Egyptian versions."
  15. Irwin p.51
  16. Eva Sallis Scheherazade Through the Looking-Glass: The Metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights (Routledge, 1999), p.2 and note 6
  17. Irwin p.76
  18. Irwin p.50
  19. Reynolds p.270
  20. 20.0 20.1 Beaumont, Daniel. Literary Style and Narrative Technique in the Arabian Nights. P.1. In The Arabian nights encyclopedia, Volume 1
  21. 21.0 21.1 Irwin, Robert. 2004. The Arabian nights: a companion. P.55
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Sallis, Eva. 1999. Sheherazade through the looking glass: the metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights. P.18-43
  23. Pinault, David. Story-telling techniques in the Arabian nights. P.1-12. Also in Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, v.1
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Sallis, Eva. 1999. Sheherazade through the looking glass: the metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights. P.4 and passim
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Marzolph, Ulrich and Richard van Leeuwen. 2004. The Arabian nights encyclopedia, Volume 1. P.506-508
  26. Madeleine Dobie, 2009. Translation in the contact zone: Antoine Galland's Mille et une nuits: contes arabes. P.37. In Makdisi, Saree and Felicity Nussbaum: "The Arabian Nights in Historical Context: Between East and West"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Irwin, Robert. 2004. The Arabian nights: a companion. P.1-9
  28. Dwight Reynolds. "The Thousand and One Nights: A History of the Text and its Reception." The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: Arabic Literature in the Post-Classical Period. Cambridge UP, 2006.
  29. Template:Citation
  30. "The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteenth Century", by Martha Pike Conant, Ph.D. Columbia University Press (1908)
  31. Reynolds p.270
  32. Irwin pp.49-50
  33. Irwin p.49
  34. Irwin p.50
  35. Ulrich Marzolph, The Arabian nights in transnational perspective, 2007, ISBN 9780814332870, p. 230.
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  84. Academic Literature, Islam and Science Fiction
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  88. James Thurber, "The Wizard of Chitenango", p 64 Fantasists on Fantasy edited by Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski, ISBN 0-380-86553-X.
  89. Reynolds p.272
  90. Irwin pp.81-82
  91. Encyclopaedia Iranica
  92. Irwin pp.92-94
  93. Irwin pp.96-99
  94. Irwin pp.61-62
  95. Irwin p.14
  96. Reynolds pp.279-81
  97. Irwin pp.238-241
  98. Irwin p.242
  99. Irwin pp.245-260
  100. A. S. Byatt On Histories and Stories (Harvard University Press, 2001) p.167
  101. Wordsworth in Book Five of The Prelude; Tennyson in his poem "Recollections of the Arabian Nights". (Irwin, pp.266-69)
  102. Irwin p.270
  103. Byatt p.168
  104. Encyclopaedia Iranica
  105. Byatt p.168
  106. Irwin pp.291-292
  108. See Encyclopaedia Iranica (NB: Some of the dates provided there are wrong)


  • Robert Irwin The Arabian Nights: A Companion (Tauris Parke, 2005)
  • David Pinault Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights (Brill Publishers, 1992)
  • Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf,The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia (2004)
  • Ulrich Marzolph (ed.) The Arabian Nights Reader (Wayne State University Press, 2006)
  • Dwight Reynolds, "A Thousand and One Nights: a history of the text and its reception" in The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature Vol 6. (CUP 2006)
  • Eva Sallis Scheherazade Through the Looking-Glass: The Metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights (Routledge, 1999),
  • Yamanaka, Yuriko and Nishio, Tetsuo (ed.) The Arabian Nights and Orientalism – Perspectives from East and West (I.B.Tauris, 2006) ISBN 1-85043-768-8
  • Ch. Pellat, "Alf Layla Wa Layla" in Encyclopaedia Iranica. Online Access June 2011 at [1]

Further readingEdit

  • In Arabian Nights: A search of Morocco through its stories and storytellers by Tahir Shah, Doubleday, 2008.
  • The Islamic Context of The Thousand and One Nights by Muhsin J. al-Musawi, Columbia University Press, 2009.
  • Nurse, Paul McMichael. Eastern Dreams: How the Arabian Nights Came to the World Viking Canada: 2010. General popular history of the 1001 Nights from its earliest days to the present.

External linksEdit

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Online translationsEdit


Template:Link FA

ar:ألف ليلة وليلة an:As mil y una nueitz az:Min bir gecə bn:আরব্য রজনী zh-min-nan:1001 Mî be:Тысяча і адна ноч be-x-old:Тысяча і адна ноч bg:Хиляда и една нощ bs:Hiljadu i jedna noć br:Ar mil nozvezh hag unan ca:Les mil i una nits cs:Tisíc a jedna noc cy:Mil ac un o nosweithiau da:Tusind og en Nat de:Tausendundeine Nacht et:Tuhat ja üks ööd el:Χίλιες και μια νύχτες es:Las mil y una noches eo:Mil kaj unu noktoj eu:Mila gau eta bat gehiago fa:هزار و یک شب hif:The Book of One Thousand and One Nights fr:Les Mille et Une Nuits fy:Tûzen-en-ien-nacht ga:Míle Oíche agus Oíche gl:As mil e unha noites ko:천일야화 hy:Հազար ու մի գիշեր hi:आलिफ़ लैला hr:Tisuću i jedna noć id:Seribu Satu Malam ia:Le mil e un noctes is:Þúsund og ein nótt it:Le mille e una notte he:סיפורי אלף לילה ולילה ka:ათას ერთი ღამე kk:Мың бір түн sw:Alfu Lela U Lela ku:Hezar û yek şev lbe:Азаллий ца хьхьу la:Mille et una noctes lv:Tūkstoš un vienas nakts pasakas lt:Tūkstantis ir viena naktis hu:Az Ezeregyéjszaka meséi mk:Илјада и една ноќ ml:ആയിരത്തൊന്നു രാവുകൾ mt:Elf Lejl u Lejl arz:الف ليله و ليله ms:Hikayat Seribu Satu Malam my:တစ်ထောင့်တစ်ညပုံပြင် nl:Duizend-en-één-nacht ja:千夜一夜物語 no:Tusen og én natt nn:Tusen og ei natt oc:Las mila e una nuèits pnb:الف لیلہ pl:Baśnie z tysiąca i jednej nocy pt:As Mil e uma Noites kaa:Mın' bir tu'n ro:O mie și una de nopți rue:Тісяча і єдна ніч ru:Тысяча и одна ночь scn:Li Milli e una Notti simple:The Book of One Thousand and One Nights sk:Tisíc a jedna noc sl:Tisoč in ena noč sr:Хиљаду и једна ноћ sh:1001 noć su:Sarébu Hiji Peuting fi:Tuhat ja yksi yötä sv:Tusen och en natt tl:Ang Isanglibo't Isang mga Gabi ta:ஆயிரத்தொரு இரவுகள் tt:Meñ dä ber kiçä te:అలీఫ్ లైలా th:อาหรับราตรี tr:Binbir Gece Masalları tk:Müň bir gije uk:Казки тисяча і однієї ночі ur:الف لیلہ vi:Nghìn lẻ một đêm fiu-vro:Tuhanda ja üte üü jutuq war:Usa ka Yukot kag Usa nga mga Gab-i zh-yue:天方夜談 bat-smg:Tūkstontis ė veina naktis zh:一千零一夜