Arabian Nights

Home » Arabian Nights

Boccaccio – Decameron – Medieval literature

By |2018-04-24T09:23:18+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Florence, Italy Most of the people who knew how to write in the early Middle Ages were monks. So most of them wrote about serious things like God and Heaven and Hell. Even writers who weren't monks, like Dante, usually wrote about Christian ideas. But Boccaccio was different. Boccaccio wrote about real people and their real lives. Some [...]

Sinbad the Sailor – Arabian Nights

By |2017-07-26T09:40:30+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

An island turned out to be a whale Sinbad was (as Sheherazade told the story) a trader from Baghdad. He sailed his trading ships all around the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, carrying cotton cloth and gold and cinnamon and sugar and rugs and steel from one place to another. But he [...]

Noureddin and the Persian Woman

By |2017-07-25T22:00:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

A pile of gold coins Here's another of the stories Sheherazade told the king: Once the sultan had two viziers, a good one (Khacan) and a bad one (Saouy). Naturally Saouy hated Khacan. One day the two viziers were talking with the sultan in the garden, and they began talking about slave girls. Saouy said that [...]

Arabic language and literature

By |2018-04-08T01:10:49+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Sabataean writing Arabic is in the Semitic language group. Semitic languages seems to have gotten started before the beginning of writing, somewhere near modern Syria. They spread from there through Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan down to the Arabian peninsula. Because the Arabian peninsula was more isolated, people there kept speaking an older version of the language. [...]

Arabian Nights – Medieval Islamic Literature

By |2018-04-21T13:20:00+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Princess (ca. 1540 AD) People in India and Persia have been telling these stories for a long time - nobody knows how long. Around 850 AD, a Persian writer in the Abbasid Empire collected a bunch of stories into a book called "Alf Layla wa Layla", or the Thousand and One Nights - which we also call the Arabian Nights. [...]

Aladdin and the Lamp – Arabian Nights

By |2017-07-25T17:12:40+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

An Islamic oil lamp from the University of Michigan This is one of the stories Scheherazade told the king: Even though he was only a boy, Aladdin got his food by begging on the streets. His father had died, and his mother was very poor. One day a man came to him and [...]