Anonymous - The Arabian Nights

King Shahryar and his wife Scheherazade  

  

One Thousand and One Nights (or The Arabian Nights) is a collection of stories collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars in various countries. These collections of tales trace their roots back to ancient Arabia and Yemen, ancient India, ancient Asia Minor, ancient Persia, ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamian Mythology, ancient Syria, and medieval Arabic folk stories from the Caliphate era. Though the oldest Arabic manuscript dates from the fourteenth century, scholarship generally dates the collection's genesis to somewhere between AD 800-900.

What is common throughout all the editions of The Arabian Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryar and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1001 or more "nights."

The collection, or at least certain stories drawn from it (or purporting to be drawn from it) became widely known in the West during the nineteenth century, after it was translated - first into French and then English and other European languages. At this time it acquired the English name The Arabian Nights' Entertainment or simply Arabian Nights.

The best known stories from The Arabian Nights include "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor." Ironically these particular stories, while they are most probably genuine Middle Eastern folk tales, were not part of the "Nights" in its Arabic versions, but were interpolated into the collection by its early European translators.

From LibriVox:

 

1.  The Arabian Nights  - Volume 01

by Anonymous - translated by Dr. Jonathan Scott

Volume 1 includes all the Seven (7) Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.

2The Arabian Nights - Volume 02

    Translated by Richard Burton (1821 - 1890)

3.  The Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 03

    Translated by Richard Burto

4.  The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 04

This collection comes from the third of sixteen volumes translated by Richard Francis Burton.

5.  The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night -  Volume 5    (357th Night thru 537th Night)  This is a collection of stories collected over thousands of years by various authors, translators and scholars. They are an amalgam of mythology and folk tales from the Indian sub-continent, Persia, and Arabia. No original manuscript has ever been found, but several versions date the collection’s genesis to somewhere between AD 800-900. The stories are wound together under the device of a long series of cliff-hangers told by Shahrazad to her husband Shahryar, to prevent him from executing her. Many tales that have become independently famous come from the Book, among them Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and the voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. This collection comes from the first of sixteen volumes translated by Richard Francis Burton.

6.  The Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 06This collection comes from the sixth of sixteen volumes translated by Richard Francis Burton. 


8.  Aladdin and the Magic Lamp  (1st story from Short Story Collection 034)

9.  The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang (1844 - 1912). Lang's vast output included five books of poetry (eg "Helen of Troy") and two novels ("The Mark of Cain" and "The Disentanglers"), as well as several children's books (eg "My Own Fairy Book"), but he is remembered as a scholar (eg translations of Homer), historian (eg "History of Scotland"), anthropologist (eg "Myth, Ritual and Religion"), biographer (eg of Lockhart), editor (eg of Scott), essayist and belletrist (eg "Adventures Among Books").  He is also known for the Arabian Nights Entertainments.

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