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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also called The Book of Sindbad), a monument of Persian-Tajik literature consisting of 34 parables framed within a connecting narrative. The basis of the Sendbad-nameh was a group of Indian frame stories that were translated into Pahlavi, a Middle Iranian language, in the fifth and sixth centuries. In the eighth century this version was translated into Arabic. Best known is the prose translation made by the Persian Asbag al-Sijistani, based on the complete Pahlavi version and known as the Great Sendbad; it was put into verse by the poet Aban Lahiki (died c. 815) at about the same time.

A condensed translation into Arabic, known as the Shorter Sendbad, is ascribed to the Persian Musa Kisrawi (died c. 850); translations into a number of European languages were later made from this text. A modern Arabic version, known as The Seven Viziers, was the basis for the Turkish version. The Seven Sages, which was included almost intact in the collection of tales One Thousand and One Nights.

In 950 and 951, at the command of the Samanid Nuh I ibn Nasr. a translation of the Sendbad-nameh was made from Pahlavi to Dari (Farsi) by Ahmad abu-al-Fawaris Fanaruzi. In the 12th century Fanaruzi’s unsuccessful translation was stylistically reworked by Muhammad ben Ali ben Muhammad ibn al-Hasan as-Zahiri al-Katib al-Samarqandi.

The basic plot of the Sendbad-nameh deals with the concubine of a king who speaks slanderously to him about his son. The king is ready to execute his heir, but seven viziers, headed by a wise tutor, recount instructive parables to convince the king of the injustice of his intention and of his son’s innocence.


Sendbad-nameh. Istanbul, 1948. [Translation into Farsi and commentary by Ahmed Atesh.]
In Russian translation:
Muhammad Zahiri as-Samarqandi. Sindbad-name. Translated by M.-N. Osmanov and edited by A. A. Starikov. [Foreword by A. A. Starikov, afterword by E. E. Bertel’s, and notes by N. B. Kondyreva.] Moscow, 1960.


Ol’denburg, S. F. “O persidskoi prozaicheskoi versii ‘Knigi Sindbada.’” In the collection al-Muzaffariya. St. Petersburg, 1897.


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