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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Thousand and One Nights, Vol. I., by Anonymous This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy . An alternative open source is available; see MediaWiki2LaTeX. For Help with downloading a Wikipedia page as a PDF, see Help:Download as PDF.
The stories were circulated in manuscript for centuries until they were written down in a definite form during the late 13th century, somewhere in Syria or Egypt.
All later manuscript versions originate in this now-lost document and they fall into two main bunches one developed in Syria and the other in Egypt. The Syrian collection remained close to the original.
The Egyptian collection, on the other hand, absorbed many further stories in an apparent quest to actually arrive at the nights of the title. Because of the various inputs to the final collection, it is important to recognize that there is no ONE version of this tales with universal acceptance.
Plots from these stories also became stock elements in English Pantomime. So that by the middle of the century most English children would have been fairly familiar with these particular tales.
While the edition of was reprinted in seven volumes in , data for further reprints are not available. The only Greek translation prepared directly from an Arabic text is the product of Greek diaspora in Egypt.
This translation still deserves a prominent place in Greek literature both for its precision and sumptuousness. Metafrasis Kosta Trikog- lidhi apo to gnision Aravikon keimenon. Translated from the original Arabic text by Kostas Trikoglidis. I Vassiliou, vols. Epilogi apo tis Hilies kai mia Nyhtes.
Metafrasis apo to aravikon keimenon K. Trikoglidhi Halima. A Selection from the Thousand and One Nights. Translated from the Arabic text by Kostas Trikoglidis. Eleftheroudakis, reprint in 7 vols. Iridanos Edi- tions, — Trikoglidis was educated in Alexandria where he spent twenty years of his life.
According to his detailed afterword he began his translation in with the assistance of an Egyptian scholar who was also his mentor. At first, he com- pleted about five-eighths of the text according to the Bulaq edition.
He then continued on his own, consulting an unspecified contemporary Cairo edition. By he had completed the whole translation in the formal, archaic form of the Greek language katharevousa. Following this, he revised the text adapting it to contemporary spoken Greek.
One Thousand And One Nights Books
The cultural kinship between Greece and the Orient probably supported the development of a style faithful to the original, as it allowed the exact rendering of integral expressions as well as of everyday habits and features preface by Voutieridis in Trikoglidis — Trikoglidis translated the whole of the Nights into Greek. Unfortunately, his translation has never been published in its entirety.
The published part in- cludes about half of the stories considered as canonical — i. Trikoglidis also abandoned the division into nights. Some of the stories in his translation had never before been translated into Greek.
Actually, the published part might contain more original plots than the sheer numbers indicate, since Trikoglidis must have selected at least one from each group of the stories that occur in more or less identical form within the collection. From this group of six stories only two have been published in Greek. The seventh volume contains three stories that were not part of the original corpus of the Nights: Syntipas i i panourgies kai i mihanorrafies ton gynaikon.
Translated by Kostas Trikoglidis from the Arabic edition. Ganiaris  reprint Athens: Iridanos Editions, Even though that collection and its embedded stories are included in the prin- cipal Oriental editions of the Nights, their history in the Greek language has been independent, as a Greek version of Syntipas already existed in the elev- enth century.
With the addition of these stories, the total number of stories from the Arabian Nights translated into Greek comes up to Only Sindbad remained Sevah, as his name was so well established in the Greek language that it was difficult to introduce a different one Trikoglidis — Hilies kai mia nyhtes. Metafrasi — Epilogi Stavrou A. Vlachou epimeleia Aggelou S. Vlachou Thousand and One Nights.
Translated and Selected by Stavros A. Vlahos [edited by A. Hermeias, We can thus safely assume that any influence of written versions of the Nights in Greek oral tradition is due to the European translations, in particular those by Galland and Burton.
The only Greek translation prepared directly from an Arabic text comes too late to interfere decisively with oral tradition. Kaplanoglou However, the most important observation concerning the Greek trans- lations is related to the fact that at least half of the main corpus of the Nights has never been published in Greek translation.
This gap could probably be filled with the publication of the unpublished part of the Trikog- lidis translation. Written Literature and Orality The exchange between Greek oral tradition and Oriental tradition neither be- gins nor ends with the Greek translations of the Nights.
Well before the Euro- pean translations from Arabic, oral channels of transmission existed.
These channels must be considered in a mutual perspective. On the one hand, traces of classical and Hellenistic Greek literature and culture have been detected in the corpus of the Nights see Chauvin ; Macdonald ; Horovitz ; Grunebaum On the other, Greek folklorists usually consider the long Ottoman occupation an influential phase in the exchange between Greece — and the Balkans in general — and the Orient.
While, during this process, Turkish culture may to some extent have transmitted its own imagery through the Arabian tales, the effect of direct Arabic influence on Greek tradition is considerably lighter.
Meraklis In this respect, prominent Greek folklore scholar Georgios A. Already eighteenth century travelers in Greece observed that kind of narrative kinship which they largely attributed to an Oriental and Arabic heritage de Guys Nikolaos G. Politis — , the founder of Folklore Studies in Greece, also referred to those analogies in one of his early studies in discussing a motif from the Odyssey Politis Politis avoided committing himself to any particular origin instead preferring to explain the phenomenon by a model of three traditions communicating with each other: In general, the distinct cultural background of each era affected the thematic loans as well as the style of narration ruling the various translations.
As a case in point, explicit references to sexual intercourse are extremely rare in Greek oral tradition where meaningful standard expressions are preferred in- stead.
Papachristophorou In contrast, oral folktales such as the majority of the reg- istered Greek ones, opt for an everyday type of speech avoiding complicated expressions. In a similar vein, Greek folktales would extend their length by ad- ding episodes, whereas tales in the Nights turn to describing details or deviate into poetry see MacDonald The distinction between Greek folktales and stories from the Arabian Nights relates to both narrative style and cultural specifics.
At the same time it is in accordance with the mnemonic procedure of remembering and retelling folktales as well as the maintenance of an interior rhythm during the time of narration. Another possible reason for the stylistic differences between the Nights and Greek folktales is the socio-historical context of the two corpora.
The registers of the Greek folktales here referred to originate from traditional agricultural communities of the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. This means that the narration was clearly posited in the framework of an acceptable social behavior according to the rules of those communities.
Their rules would in- clude a sense of economy, and the resulting modesty would permit a certain degree of diversion only for jocular narratives, even though there again de- tailed descriptions would not be tolerated. In other words, laughing about a jocular narrative is more due to the signified than to the signifier. These stylistic arguments affect all of the tale-types dis- cussed below.
One Thousand and One Nights
Therefore, the amount of registered Greek variants in the following table above all indicates the dissemination of a given tale-type in the Greek ter- ritory before The Arabian Nights in Greece No.
AT No. None 60 vol. None 75 69 vol. On the other hand, only a few of the tales belong to those popular in Greek tradition with more than 20 registered variants while not regularly corresponding to a translated story from the Nights. The quantitative evalu- ation suggests that the Greek translations of the Nights are not a main point of entrance into Greek oral tradition for those tales. The Forty Thieves, AT Independently of a high or low dissemination of the Greek variants, some of the plots and themes have evolved in unexpected ways in Greek tradition.
Search for the Golden Bird. In the Greek variants, several elements are not represented, such as the lower maternal origin of the third son or his mar- riage with two or three princesses during his adventures. A major difference in the Greek vari- ants of AT The Animal Languages is the fact that the laborer has received the gift to understand the language of the animals from a grateful snake.
This motif is also known from Greek mythology in the story of Melampous. Instead of AT A: The Greek variants of AT The Entrapped Suitors, corresponding to three stories from the Nights Chauvin: In the Greek texts, faithfulness and faithlessness are described in the same contexts and become extremely confusing in very similar plots.
Here, we recognize a process common in oral tradition, especially jokes and gossip, to consistently confuse truth and falsehood in order to veil deviant social beha- vior Papachristophorou The motifs related to the clever peasant girl Mot. J Here the debate of the couple consists of a codified dialogue, quite dif- ferent in each variant, or in the intelligent way the girl divides a roast chicken for the members of her family according to their status such as in AT The Wise Carving of the Fowl.
Apart from the clever argument, however, the two plots differ so much that they can hardly be considered as two variants of the same tale-type. Dissimulated inversions of certain themes are indicated by Greek variants of AT In addition to sex and crime, magic as a third ingredient of a good story enters the stage.
Magic is at work when the witch threatens to inundate Wardan, and magic might also be behind the ruler's secret knowledge.
“The Arabian Nights”
The tale's latter half makes it clear that the bestial encounter Wardan had witnessed had not been real. The ruler, who obviously has access to secret knowledge, knows that Wardan's experience had only been a phantasm, an illusion that had taken place for the sole purpose of attracting the protagonist's attention and enticing him to kill the treasure's guardians. Only in this manner was he able to fulfill the written destiny that he, and nobody else but he, was to become the treasure's owner.
None of the living beings the hero encountered was real, as neither their dead bodies remain nor even a trace of the blood he spilled when killing them. And yet again, he himself experienced the sensual and physical dimensions of his encounter as perfectly real: the couple's groaning when engaged in brute sex, the bear's shrieking as he cut off his head, and the fright he himself went through when the witch threatened to drown him.
Besides playing on sex, crime, and magic, the tale's multifarious levels of attractiveness also include mystery as a challenge to the limits of human intelligence and perception. Above and beyond its juicy ingredients, however, the tale's central message focuses on the working of destiny: each human being has a predestined fate that he or she has to fulfill, whether consciously or unconsciously, whether intentionally or not.
So the tale of "Wardan the Butcher, the Woman, and the Bear" con- tains several of the ingredients that make a fascinating story. But does this story of sex, crime, and magic belong to that fabulous and world-renowned collection called The Tales of the Thousand and One Nights- the collection that in English is known as The Arabian Nights or, as I will simply call it in the following, the Nights? The tentative answer to this question is both yes and no. No, because the above tale has been translated from a work dealing with the history of the Fatimid rulers in Egypt whose author, a certain Ibn al-Dawadari, lived at the beginning of the fourteenth century CE.
Before telling the tale, Ibn al-Dawadari mentions that he found it in a book for Sex, crime, magic, and mystery treasure hunters.
That book in turn relates the narrated events to the reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim, a ruler who was in power at the beginning of the eleventh century CE. The tale's documented history thus goes back at least some seven centuries, and its protagonist - the butcher W ardan - is even said to have lived about a thousand years ago. The tale's supernat- ural context makes us understand that the tale is history only in a wider sense. It embellishes a certain ruler's image while simultaneously supplying a wondrous and fascinating explanation for a certain location that is still known to the tale's present audience.
The tale does not even pretend to be historically faithful; it is rather a ben trovato, or history as it "might have been. Meanwhile, the tale does not belong to the usual suspects of tales from the Nights that would be published in the popular editions.
Given its provocative content, it is particularly unlikely that the tale would ever be included in any of the innumerable selections addressing children and young adults. With their highly repetitive selections of tales from Galland's Nights, these editions certainly shaped the popular perception of the Nights as a collection of fairy tales more than the "complete" or even the "scholarly" ones.
Considering the above outlines of the tale's origins, various questions come to mind: How did the fantastic tale of "Wardan the Butcher, the Woman, and the Bear" end up in the Nights? Since when was it included in the Nights, and from which source did the compilers of the Nights copy it?
Why did they judge it suitable for inclusion in the Nights? More generally we might even wonder: Why was it necessary to "compile" the Nights? Was there no complete and finished version of the collection available? Or otherwise: Why would it have been necessary to fill up an unfinished or incomplete version with tales from different sources so as to make it complete?
In the following, these questions will guide the reader through the complex history of the Nights. By referring to this specific tale every now and then, the present chapter will discuss the origins of the Nights and the genesis of the collection as it is widely known today- a collection of tales of mystery and magic or, if you like, of fairy tales.
At this point we need to remind ourselves that fairy tales are a European, a Western, and at best an Indo-European genre. Even though fairies make an appearance in various tales of the Nights, the fairy as a wish-fulfilling character is not a standard persona in the Nights. If we speak of fairy tales in the Nights, the term rather denotes a tale in which the supernatural, often a human being endowed with supernatural powers or a supernatural creature, intervenes in human matters. This intervention can work to a character's advantage, as in the tale of Wardan, but often it leads to damaging consequences.
A first attempt to fathom the role of fairy tales in the Nights must discuss our knowledge about the collection's genesis and early history. The actual origin of the Nights is not at all clear. Even though the Nights are mentioned in Arabic literature as early as the tenth century, available testimony does not supply more than a vague outline of the characteristic frame tale.
In its full version, this frame tale tells us about two brothers, allegedly kings of the Sassanian dynasty, the last Iranian dynasty that ruled Iran before the Islamic conquest. When the younger brother prepares to visit his elder brother, he bids farewell to his beloved wife.
However, since he has forgotten something important at home, he returns unexpectedly only to find his wife engaged in extramarital sexual activity. Having killed his wife and her lover, he falls into a deep melancholy when he reaches his brother.
Since he does not divulge his secret, his brother remains in the dark about what happened to him. One day, however, when the elder brother is out hunting, the younger brother watches his brother's wife and a number of her entourage engage in a sexual orgy.
Realizing that he is not alone in his affliction and that his brother's misfortune is even greater than his own, the younger brother regains his good spirits again. When he informs his brother about the events, the latter kills his wife and her entourage, and both brothers set out on wanderings in search of a faithful wife. One day, the two fall prey to a woman who is kept by her demon husband inside a chest, so that she will not betray him. Even so, when the demon is sleeping with his head on her lap, the woman blackmails both men into having sex with her, as she has previously had with a large number of other men.
Finally realizing that women's wiles are endless, the brothers return home. Meanwhile, they draw different consequences from their experience. While the younger brother makes a vow of celibacy, the older brother takes to marrying a new wife every day, only to have her killed in the morning. When the kingdom is almost depleted of marriageable women, the vizier's daughter Shahrazad Scheherazade promises to reform the king. She marries him, but before the king falls asleep at night, she has her sister or her maid Dinazad invite her to tell a tale.
At the break of day, the tale is not yet finished, so the king permits Shahrazad to live on until she can finish the tale. This continues for a total of one thousand and Sex, crime, magic, and mystery one nights. When Shahrazad finally presents a number of children to the king, he admits that he has been reformed and promises to end his ruthless practice.
Referring to this frame tale, modern analytical research has variously argued for the collection's Indian or Iranian origin. A commentary to the holy scriptures of the Jains mentions a tale in which a royal concubine tells a story or a riddle to the ruler for several nights, usually delaying the story's ending to the following night.
Shahrazad's action in the Nights thus echoes a stratagem already known from ancient Indian literature. Analogies in ancient Indian literature have also been documented for the story of the demon who keeps his human wife imprisoned in a chest and for the story of the man who understands the language of animals, a tale the vizier narrates to prevent his daughter from marrying the cruel king.
One of the major obstacles in determining the relation of these texts to their later versions in the Nights is, however, the difficulty in dating early Indian literature. Be that as it may, ancient Indian literature abounds in tales of extramarital sexual activities. And since the narrative compilations of pre-Islamic Iran draw to a certain extent on Indian precursors, this argument might to a certain extent also be valid for the early version of the Nights.
The collection's Iranian origin is corroborated by two short passages in tenth-century Arabic sources. More or less agreeing with each other, Ara- bic historian al-Mas'iidi died 9 56 and Baghdad bookseller Ibn al-Nadim died mention a Persian book named Hezar afsitn- a title that can be translated in English as "A Thousand Wonderful Stories," or in Arabic as Alf khuritfa.
The collection's frame tale as sketched by Ibn al-Nadim is identical to that of the Nights as we know the work today. An additional argument for the collection's Iranian origin has been seen in the fact that the frame tale suggests an Iranian context. King Shahriyar whose name means "hero" is said to belong to the Sassanian dynasty.
Shahriyar's brother Shahzaman whose name means "king of the period" is introduced as the ruler of the city of Samarkand in Middle Asia. Furthermore, the name of the collection's narrator, Shahrazad, is also Ira- nian, meaning "of noble appearance or ancestry.
“The Arabian Nights”
Arabic translation of the Iranian original is known to exist. Ibn al-Nadim even men- tions having seen various manuscripts of the work. It is quite unfortunate for us that he did not bother to supply any details, since he regarded the col- lection's tales as dull and boring. The collection's Persian origin is also men- tioned by a certain 'Abdallah b. Additional scribbling on the sheet of paper dating to the year serves as a convincing argument to date the fragment of the Nights to before that date.
This evidence indicates that the originally Persian work had already been translated into Arabic before the eighth century CE. Moreover, the "striking examples of the excellencies and shortcomings, the cunning and stupidity, the generosity and avarice, and the courage and cowardice" of human beings the narrator is asked to tell in the fragment indicate a content that does not converge with the later Nights in which, after all, tales of magic play an important role.
Therefore, we presume that different versions of the Nights might already have existed at an early stage. We do not know when or for what reason the thousand-and-first night was added to the thousand nights of storytelling the collection is said to last.
At any rate, the change in title follows a schema that is already attested in Arabic literature of the tenth century.
This content only begins to reveal itself with the oldest preserved text in a fragmentary manuscript dating from the fifteenth century. The manuscript consists of three volumes and contains the text up to the beginning of night , breaking off in the middle of the love story of Qamar al-Zaman and Budur. The stories or cycles of stories of this old manuscript are today regarded as the core corpus of the Nights. Most of these stories share two features.
First, their content links them to the frame tale, since the characters in the tales have to tell stories in order to save their own lives or rescue another character, just as Shahrazad does in the frame tale.Actually, the published part might contain more original plots than the sheer numbers indicate, since Trikoglidis must have selected at least one from each group of the stories that occur in more or less identical form within the collection.
The European Folktale: Here is a very good collection of ancient tales called Arabian Nights Stories. Moreover, they are close to the figure of Fortune that, while being unique for each human being, can be changed. Iridanos, — Some of the reprints bear dif- ferent titles, and some fragmentary editions of isolated stories appeared as chapbooks. Trikoglidis, Kostas Translator:
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