Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Arabian Nights Chronology


[Pola Negri]

Political History


  • c.570-632: Life of Muhammad

  • 622: The Hegira

  • 632-61: The First Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali)

  • 638: Omar conquers Jerusalem

  • 661-750: Ummayad Caliphs (Damascus)

  • 711-13: The Conquest of Spain

  • 718: The Arabs fail to take Constantinople

  • 732: Charles Martel halts Islamic expansion into Western Europe

  • 750-1258: Abbasid Caliphs (Baghdad)

  • 778: The Ummayad Abd-al-Rahman repulses Charlemagne from Spain

  • 909-1171: Fatimid Caliphs (Egypt)

  • 1071: The Turks defeat and capture the Byzantine Emperor at Manzikart

  • 1095-1099: The First Crusade, and foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

  • 1169-1250: Saladin and the Ayubites (Egypt and Syria)

  • 1187: The Horns of Hattin, and recapture of Jerusalem

  • 1189-92: The Third Crusade, and consolidation of the Kingdom of Acre

  • 1202-04: The Fourth Crusade, and Latin conquest of Constantinople

  • 1250-1517: Mamluk Sultans (Egypt)

  • 1258: The Mongols take Baghdad

  • 1291: The Destruction of Acre, and end of Outremer

  • 1326-1914: Ottoman Sultans (Turkey)

  • 1453: The Fall of Constantinople

  • 1492: Ferdinand and Isabella take Granada

  • 1798: Napoleon invades Egypt

  • 1802-05: Wahhabi Revolt in Iraq, Syria and Arabia

  • 1805: Muhammad Ali Pasha takes control of Egypt

  • 1869: The Suez Canal is opened

  • 1882: The British occupy Egypt


Textual History


  • ?: The Hazār Afsāna (“Thousand Nights”) is composed in Persia from Iranian and Sanskrit sources

  • c.800: This Thousand Nights is translated into Arabic

  • c.900: The Alf Layla (“Thousand Nights”) is expanded with Arabic materials

  • c.947: al-Mas’udi mentions the book called the Thousand Tales in his Meadows of Gold:
  • And, indeed, many men well acquainted with their (Arab) histories opine that the stories above mentioned and other trifles were strung together by men who commended themselves to the Kings by relating them, and who found favour with their contemporaries by committing them to memory and by reciting them. Of such fashion is the fashion of the books which have come down to us translated from the Persian (Fárasiyah), the Indian (Hindíyah), and the Graeco-Roman (Rúmíyah): we have noted the judgment which should be passed upon compositions of this nature. Such is the book entituled Hazár Afsánah or The Thousand Tales, which word in Arabic signifies Khuráfah (Facetiae): it is known to the public under the name of The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, (Kitab Alf Laylah wa Laylah). This is an history of a King and his Wazir, the minister's daughter and a slave-girl (járiyah) who are named Shírzád (lion-born) and Dinár-zád (ducat-born). Such also is the Tale of Farzah, (alii Firza), and Simas, containing details concerning the Kings and Wazirs of Hind: the Book of Al-Sindibád and others of a similar stamp.
    - Richard F. Burton, trans. "Terminal Essay", Nights, X: 69-70.

  • c.987: al-Nadïm’s Fihrist mentions the Thousand Nights, as well as the unfinished Alf Samar (or “Thousand Stories”) collected by Ibn ‘Abdūs:
  • The first section on the history of the confabulatores nocturni (tellers of night tales) and the relaters of fanciful adventures, together with the names of books treating upon such subjects. Mohammed ibn Is'hak saith: The first who indited themes of imagination and made books of them, consigning these works to the libraries, and who ordered some of them as though related by the tongues of brute beasts, were the palaeo-Persians (and the Kings of the First Dynasty). The Ashkanian Kings of the Third Dynasty appended others to them and they were augmented and amplified in the days of the Sassanides (the fourth and last royal house). The Arabs also translated them into Arabic, and the loquent and eloquent polished and embellished them and wrote others resembling them. The first work of such kind was entituled 'The Book of Hazár Afsán,' signifying Alf Khuráfah, the argument whereof was as follows. A King of their Kings was wont, when he wedded a woman and had lain one night with her, to slay her on the next morning. Presently he espoused a damsel of the daughters of the Kings, Shahrázád hight, one endowed with intellect and erudition and, whenas she lay with him, she fell to telling him tales of fancy; moreover she used to connect the story at the end of the night with that which might induce the King to preserve her alive and to ask her of its ending on the next night until a thousand nights had passed over her. Meanwhile he cohabited with her till she was blest by boon of child of him, when she acquainted him with the device she had wrought upon him; wherefore he admired her intelligence and inclined to her and preserved her life. That King had also a Kahramánah (nurse and duenna, not entremetteuse), hight Dínárzád (Dunyázád?), who aided the wife in this (artifice). It is also said that this book was composed for (or, by) Humái daughter of Bahman and in it were included other matters. Mohammed bin Is'hak adds: - And the truth is, Inshallah, that the first who solaced himself with hearing night-tales was Al-Iskandar (he of Macedon) and he had a number of men who used to relate to him imaginary stories and provoke him to laughter: he, however, designed not therein merely to please himself, but that he might thereby become the more cautious and alert. After him the Kings in like fashion made use of the book entitled 'Hazár Afsán.' It containeth a thousand nights, but less than two hundred night-stories, for a single history often occupied several nights. I have seen it complete sundry times; and it is, in truth, a corrupted book of cold tales.
    - Richard F. Burton, trans. "Terminal Essay", Nights, X: 71-73.

  • c.1170: al-Kurtï’s history of Egypt under the Fatimids mentions the popularity of a collection called Alf Layla wa Layla (“The Thousand and One Nights”), which probably included material from the Thousand Stories as well as local Egyptian sources

  • c.1400: Composition of the Syrian Ms. of The Thousand and One Nights employed by Galland

  • c.1500: Compilation of the prototype Mss. of ‘Zotenberg’s Egyptian Recension’ of The 1001 Nights

  • 1764-65: Omar-al-Safatí (scribe) [The Wortley-Montague Ms.], The Thousand Nights and a Night of the Acts and Deeds of the Kings and what befel them from sundry women that were whorish and witty and various Tales therein, 7 vols (Cairo)

  • 1814-18: Ahmed al-Shirwani, ed. [1st 200 nights only], The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments in the Original Arabic, 2 vols (Calcutta: Pereira)

  • 1825-43: Maximilian Habicht and M. H. L. Fleischer, ed., Tausend und Eine Nacht Arabisch. Nach einer Handschrift aus Tunis, 12 vols (Breslau)

  • 1835: Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 2 vols (Bulaq, A.H. 1251)

  • 1839-42: Sir William Hay Macnaghten, ed., The Alif Laila, or Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Commonly Known as ‘The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments;’ Now, for the First Time, Published Complete in the Original Arabic, from an Egyptian Manuscript Brought to India by the Late Major Turner Macan, Editor of the Shah-Nameh, 4 vols (Calcutta: W. Thacker)

  • 1863: Sheikh Mahommed Qotch Al-Adewi, ed., Alf Laylah wa Laylah, 4 vols (Bulaq, A.H. 1279)

  • 1881-83: Khalil Sarkis, ed., Alif-Leila we Leila, 5 vols (Beirut)

  • 1981: Alph Laylé Wa Laylé, 4 vols (Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Thakafiyat, A.H. 1401)

  • 1984: Muhsin Mahdi, ed. [Galland’s manuscript], Alf Layla wa Layla, 2 vols (Leiden: Brill)


Principal Translations


  • 1704-17: Antoine Galland, Les Mille et une Nuit: Contes arabes, 12 vols (Paris: chez la veuve de Claude Barbin)

  • 1706-17: Anonymous [from Galland], Arabian Nights Entertainments: Consisting of One Thousand and One Stories, Told by the Sultaness of the Indies, to divert the Sultan from the Execution of a bloody Vow he had made to marry a Lady every day, and have her cut off next Morning, to avenge himself for the Disloyalty of his first Sultaness, &c. Containing a better Account of the Customs, Manners, and Religion of the Eastern Nations, viz. Tartars, Persians, and Indians, than is to be met with in any Author hitherto published. Translated into French from the Arabian Mss. by M. Galland of the Royal Academy, and now done into English from the last Paris Edition, 12 vols in 6 (London: Andrew Bell)

  • 1708: Pétis de la Croix, Histoire de la Sultane de Perse et des Vizirs: Contes turcs (Paris)

  • 1710-12: Pétis de la Croix, Les Mille et un Jour: Contes persanes, 5 vols (Paris)

  • 1714: Dr. King et al. [from Pétis de la Croix], The Persian and Turkish Tales, compleat. 2 vols (London: Richard Ware)

  • 1722: Ambrose Philips [from Pétis de la Croix], The Thousand and One Days: Persian Tales, 3 vols (London)

  • 1788-89: Dom Dennis Chavis & M. Cazotte [Cabinet des Fées, 38-41], Les Veillées du Sultan Schahriar avec la Sultane Scheherazade; histoires incroyables, amusantes et morales ... Faisant suite aux Nille et une Nuits, 4 vols (Geneva: Barde & Manget)

  • 1792: Robert Heron [from Chavis & Cazotte], Arabian Tales, or a Continuation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments: Consisting of Stories Related by the Sultana of the Indies to divert her Husband from the Performance of a rash vow; Exhibiting A most interesting view of the Religion, Laws, Manners, Customs, Arts, and Literature of the nations of the East, And Affording a rich Fund of the most pleasing Amusement, which fictitious writings can supply, 4 vols (Edinburgh: Bell, Bradfute et al.)

  • 1800: Jonathan Scott, Tales, Anecdotes, and Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian (London: Cadell and Davies)

  • 1811: Jonathan Scott [from Galland, with additional material], The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, Carefully Revised and Occasionally Corrected from the Arabic, 6 vols (London: Longman, Hurst etc.)

  • 1812: Henry Weber, Tales of the East: comprising the most popular Romances of Oriental origin, and the best imitations by European authors, with new translations and additional tales never before published, 3 vols (Edinburgh)

  • 1823: Aug. E. Zinserling, Der Tausend und einen Nacht noch nicht übersetzte Märchen, Erzählungen und Anekdoten, zum erstenmale aus dem Arabischen in’s Französische übersetzt von Joseph von Hammer, und aus dem Französischen in’s Deutsch, 3 vols (Stuttgart und Tübingen)

  • 1824-25: Max. Habicht, Fr. H. von der Hagen, and Carl Schall, Tausend und Eine Nacht. Arabische Erzählungen. Zum erstenmal aus einer Tunesischen Handschrift ergänzt and vollständig übersetzt, 15 vols (Breslau: Josef Mar)

  • 1826: George Lamb [from Zinserling], New Arabian Nights Entertainments, selected from the original Oriental MS. by Jos. Von Hammer, and now first translated into English, 3 vols (London: Henry Colburn)

  • 1828: G. S. Trébutien [from Zinserling], Contes inédits des Mille et une Nuits, 3 vols (Paris)

  • 1836: E. W. Lane, An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, 2 vols (London: Charles Knight)

  • 1838: Henry Torrens, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: from the Arabic of the Ægyptian MS. as edited by Wm. Hay McNaghten ... (Calcutta: W. Thacker and Co.)

  • 1838-40: E. W. Lane, The Thousand and One Nights. A New Translation [monthly parts]

  • 1838-41: Gustav Weil, Tausend und Eine Nacht: Arabische Erzählungen. Zum Erstenmale aus dem Urtexte vollständig und treu übersetzt, 4 vols (Stuttgart und Pforzheim)

  • 1839-41: E. W. Lane, The Thousand and One Nights; Commonly Called, in England, The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. A New Translation from the Arabic, with Copious Notes, 3 vols (London: Charles Knight)

  • 1863-74: E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon, 5 parts, ed. Stanley Lane-Poole (London)

  • 1877-92: S. Lane-Poole, Supplement to Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon (London)

  • 1882: W. F. Kirby, The New Arabian Nights. Select Tales not included by Galland or Lane (London)

  • 1882-84: John Payne, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night; Now First Completely Done into English Prose and Verse, from the Original Arabic, 9 vols (London: The Villon Society)

  • 1883: E. W. Lane, Arabian Society in the Middle Ages, ed. S. Lane-Poole (London: Chatto)

  • 1884: John Payne, Tales from the Arabic of the Breslau and Calcutta (1814-’18) Editions of the Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Not Occurring in the Other Printed Texts of the Work; Now First Done into English, 3 vols (London: Villon Society)

  • 1885: Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, 10 vols (Benares [=Stoke-Newington]: The Kamashastra Society)

  • 1886: Lady Burton and J. H. McCarthy, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: Prepared for Household Reading, 6 vols (London: Waterlow)

  • 1886-88: Richard F. Burton, Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night with Notes Anthropological and Explanatory, 6 vols (Benares [=Stoke-Newington]: The Kamashastra Society)

  • 1889: John Payne, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp; Zein ul Asnam and the King of the Jinn; two stories done into English from the recently discovered Arabic text (London: Villon Society)

  • 1892: J. H. McCarthy, The Thousand and One Days: Persian Tales, 2 vols (London: Chatto & Windus)

  • 1895-97: Max Henning, Tausend und eine Nacht. Aus dem Arabischen übertragen, 24 vols (Leipzig: Reclam)

  • 1898: Andrew Lang, The Arabian Nights Entertainments (London: Longmans)

  • 1899-1904: J. C. Mardrus, Le Livre des Mille et une Nuits, 16 vols (Paris)

  • 1900-05: Victor Chauvin, "Les Mille et une nuits," Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes ou relatifs aux Arabes publiés dans l’Europe chrétienne de 1810 à 1885, 12 vols (Liège: H. Vaillant-Carmanne, Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1892-1922) vols 4-7, 9.

  • 1906-14: Cary von Karwath, 1001 Nacht: Vollständige Ausgabe in 18 Taschenbüchern mit einem Zusatzband: Nach dem arabischen Urtext angeordnet und übertragen, 19 vols (München: Goldmann Verlag)

  • 1907: Laurence Housman, Stories from the Arabian Nights (London: Hodder & Stoughton)

  • 1907-08: Felix Paul Greve, Die Erzählungen aus den Tausend und ein Nächten. Vollständige deutsche Ausgabe auf Grund der Burton’schen englischen Ausgabe, 12 vols (Leipzig: Insel)

  • 1911: M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Les Cent et Une Nuits (Paris)

  • 1911: Laurence Housman, Ali Baba and other stories from the Arabian Nights (London: Hodder & Stoughton)

  • 1913: Laurence Housman, Princess Badoura: A Tale from the Arabian Nights (London: Hodder & Stoughton)

  • 1914: Laurence Housman, Sindbad the Sailor, & other stories from the Arabian Nights (London: Hodder & Stoughton)

  • 1921-28: Enno Littmann, Die Erzählungen aus den Tausendundein Nächten: Vollständige deutsche Ausgabe in sechs Bänden zum ersten Mal nach dem arabischen Urtext der Calcuttaer Ausgabe aus dem Jahre 1839, 6 vols (Leipzig)

  • 1923: Vicente Blasco Ibañez [from Mardrus], Las Mil y Una Noches (Spain)

  • 1923: E. Powys Mathers, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: Rendered from the Literal and Complete Version of Dr. J. C. Mardrus; and Collated with Other Sources, 8 vols (London: The Casanova Society)

  • 1927-30: E. Powys Mathers, The Anthology of Eastern Love, 12 vols in 4 (London: John Rodker)

  • 1929-36: M. A. Salier, Tisyacha Odna Nochi (U. S. S. R), 8 vols

  • 1948: Francesco Gabrieli, Le mille e una notte: Prima versione integrale dall’arabo, trans. Francesco Gabrieli, Antonio Cesaro, Constantino Pansera, Umberto Rizzitano and Virginia Vacca, 4 vols (Torino: Einaudi)

  • 1949: E. Powys Mathers, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: Rendered into English from the Literal and Complete French Translation of Dr. J. C. Mardrus, 4 vols (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul)

  • 1953: A. J. Arberry, Scheherazade: Tales from the Thousand and One Nights (London: Allen and Unwin)

  • 1954: N. J. Dawood, The Thousand and One Nights: The Hunchback, Sindbad, and Other Tales, Penguin 1001 (Harmondsworth: Penguin)

  • 1957: N. J. Dawood, Aladdin and Other Tales from The Thousand and One Nights (Harmondsworth: Penguin)

  • 1965-67: René R. Khawam, Les Mille et une nuits, 4 vols (Paris)

  • 1973: N. J. Dawood, Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, 2nd ed. (Harmondsworth: Penguin)

  • 1982: Felix Tauer, Neue Erzählungen aus den Tausendundein Nächten: Die in anderen Versionen von »1001 Nacht« nicht enthaltenen Geschichten der Wortley-Montague-Handschrift der Oxforder Bodleian Library; Aus dem arabischen Urtext vollständig übertragen und erläutert von Felix Tauer. 2 vols (Frankfurt: Insel Verlag)

  • 1985: René R. Khawam, Les Aventures de Sindbad le Marin (Paris: Phébus)

  • 1986: René R. Khawam, Les Mille et une nuits, 4 vols (Paris: Phébus)

  • 1986: René R. Khawam, Les Aventures de Sindbad le Terrien (Paris: Phébus)

  • 1987: Paul Ernst, ed., Erzählungen aus tausendundein Tag; Vermehrt um andere Morgenländische Geschichten, trans. Felix Paul Greve and Paul Hansmann, 2 vols (Frankfurt: Insel Verlag)

  • 1990: Husain Haddawy, The Arabian Nights: Based on the Text of the Fourteenth-Century Syrian Manuscript edited by Muhsin Mahdi (New York: Norton)

  • 1991-2001: Jamel Eddine Bencheikh, André Miquel and Touhami Bencheikh, Les Mille et Une Nuits: Contes choisis, 4 vols (Paris: Gallimard)

  • 1995: Husain Haddawy, The Arabian Nights II: Sindbad and Other Popular Stories.(New York: Norton)

  • 2004: Ulrich Marzolph & Richard van Leeuwen, The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, 2 vols (Santa Barbara, CA / Denver CO / Oxford, UK: ABC Clio)

  • 2005: Jamel Eddine Bencheikh & André Miquel, Les Mille et Une Nuits, 3 vols (Paris: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade)

  • 2008: Malcolm & Ursula Lyons, The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights. 3 vols (Harmondsworth: Penguin)


Theatrical & Cinematic History


  • 1911: Edward Knoblock, Kismet: An “Arabian Night” in Three Acts (First produced at the Garrick Theatre, London, April 19th)

  • 1922: James Elroy Flecker, Hassan: The Story of Hassan of Bagdad and How he Came to Make the Golden Voyage to Samarkand, A Play in Five Acts (London: Heinemann)

  • 1924: “The Thief of Bagdad,” dir. Raoul Walsh - with Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnston, Anna May Wong, and Snitz Edwards - (U.S.A.)

  • 1940: “The Thief of Baghdad,” dir. Michael Powell - with Conrad Veidt, Sabu, Rex Ingram - (U.K.)

  • 1947: ‘Sinbad the Sailor’, dir. Richard Wallace - with Douglas Fairbanks, Jnr., Maureen O’Hara, and Anthony Quinn - (U.S.A.)

  • 1954: ‘Ali Baba et les quarante voleurs’, dir. Jacques Becker - with Fernandel, Dieter Borsche, Henri Vilkarl, Samia Gamal - (France)

  • 1973: “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad,” dir. Gordon Hassler - with John Philip Law, Caroline Munro, and Tom Baker - (U.K.)

  • 1974: “Il Fiore delle mille e una notte,” dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy)

  • 1977: “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, “ dir. Sam Wanamaker - with Patrick Wayne, Jame Seymour and Patrick Troughton - (U.K.)

  • 1979: “Arabian Adventure,” dir. Kevin Connor - with Christopher Lee, Milo O’Shea and Oliver Tobias - (U.K.)

  • 1981: Michael Hayes, “Tales from the 1001 Nights” (BBC)

  • 1989: Tariq Ali & Howard Brenton, ‘Iranian Nights’ (UK Broadcast May 20th on ITV)

  • 1989: “Sinbad of the Seven Seas,” dir. Enzo G. Castellari - with Lou Ferrigno, John Steiner - (Italy)

  • 1992: “Aladdin,” dir. Ron Clements & John Musker - with the voices of Robin Williams, Jonathan Freeman, Brad King - (USA)

  • 2000: “Arabian Nights,” dir. Steve Barron, writ. Peter Barnes – with Mili Avital, Alan Bates, Dougray Scott – (USA)


No comments: