The first printing of any part of the Arabian Nights in Arabic

[Alf layla wa-layla - Qissat as-Sindbad al-bahri]. Langlès, L[ouis] (ed.). [Qissat al-Sindibad al-Bahri fi sab` safaratihi fi al-barr wa-al-bahr al-Hindi-Kayd al-nisa]. Les voyages de Sind-Bâd Le Marin, et la ruse des femmes. Contes arabes. Traduction litterale, accompagnée du texte et de notes.

Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1814.

12mo. XXX, 161, 113 pp. Modern brown calf preserving original marbled covers.


First edition of "Sind-Bâd" and the first independent printing of any part of the Arabian Nights in Arabic. Although traditionally included in the corpus of the Thousand and One Nights (Alf layla wa-layla) as told by Scheherazade, it is thought that the series of stories that make up the voyages of Sindbad have older and separate origins, incorporating elements of Homer, Panchatantra, other Persian, Arab and Indian literary material as well as historical material relating to trade and navigation. Set traditionally during the reign of Haroun al-Rashid, Sindbad undertakes seven voyages from Basra, each leading one to the other, encounters fabulous creatures, faces exhaustive ordeals and amasses fabulous wealth. The publisher of the present edition, Louis-Mathieu Langlès (1763-1824), an important figure in the study of Middle-Eastern and Oriental languages and literature, was a correspondent of William Jones in Calcutta, co-founder of the École des Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris, and the keeper of the Indian manuscript department in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. "Un ouvrage classique, et d'une certaine importance sous le point de vue scientifique, historique ou littéraire" (preface).

Some browning and waterstaining throughout; occasional paper defects to edges (no loss to text); an Arabic stamp to p. 90 of the French text.


Chauvin VII, p. 2. Brunet III, 820. OCLC 4433261.

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