The Thousand and One Nights

The Thousand and One Nights, also called The Arabian Nights, is a famous collection of stories. These stories came from India, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey. The authors and dates of these tales are unknown. Most people who study these stories believe they were written by lots of different authors.

The Thousand and One Nights begins with a tale where a woman tells many stories to a King. This first story is the frame story. The frame story helps organize the shorter stories within the collection. The shorter stories within the frame story are adventures, myths, poetry and lots more! One common theme of these stories is how people use good luck to make their lives better. In some stories, characters get a bit of good luck from magical figures. They use this good luck and their intelligence to achieve their goals. They go on adventures and make mistakes. In the end, they learn important life lessons.

People in the Middle East and Asia first passed down these stories by word of mouth. Over hundreds of years, different people added to and changed these stories. Later on, people began writing these stories down. The first written version of these tales was found in Egypt. The tales were first written down during the Islamic Golden Age, which took place from the 8th to 13th century. During this time, culture, science and the arts flourished in the Arabic-speaking world.

The Thousand and One Nights has been translated into many different languages. The themes and characters of these stories inspire writers all over the world.