The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an anonymous Azerbaijani romantic dastan (epic). Also popular in Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, and Middle Asia. Composed not earlier than the 16–17th centuries. The verses, which are incorporated into the prose, are ascribed to the main hero, the folk singer (ashug).

The basic plot of the Ashik-Garib is a love conflict with numerous adventures. The social milieu is the merchant class. The Azerbaijani version was first recorded by M. Iu. Lermontov (1837, published 1846). The Turkish version assumed the form of cycles after the heroic type of dastan (Son of Âşik-Garip and Grandson of Âşik-Garip). The Turkmen version (Shasenem and Garib) is more archaic and abounds in ethnic details and historical names. The events unfold in the milieu of a feudal court. Many episodes and motifs of this version date from the very ancient Ghuz epos Kitabi Dede Korkud. The operas Ashik-Garib by U. Gadzhi-bekov and Shahsenem by R. M. Glière are based on the dastan.


Azärbayjan khalg dastanlanï, part 2. Baku, 1961.
Shasenem-Gafïb. Ashkhabad, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Shasenem i Garib. Moscow, 1946.


“Ashik-Kerib.” An anthology. Leningrad, 1941.
Azärbayjan ädäbiyyatï tarikhi, part 2. Baku, 1941.
Korogly, Kh. G. “K kharakteristike turkmenskikh romanicheskikh destanov.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1964, no. 6.
Iakubova, S. Z. Azerbaidzhanskoe narodnoe skazanie “Ashyk-Garib.” Baku, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.