Sandbad Nameh in Verse

Sandbad Nameh, which is believed to have been written by the author of Kalilah va Demnah, and with which it shares a similar literary history, represents, according to the author, one of the oldest texts of its kind in the Eastern world and has been rendered in Persian and Arabic verse a number of times. The only complete version of this work, however, is the one written in prose by Zahiri Samarqandi. The book recounts the tale of a king, his young son and the slave girl who harbors a secret love for the young prince. Her unrequited love turns into a passion for vengeance. The prince, who has been instructed by his tutor not to break his silence for a number of days, is falsely accused and, unable to defend himself, nearly loses his life.

The two versified versions of this text are believed to have been composed by Rudaki Samarqandi and Arzaqi Tusi. Another version, titled Ketab-e Hakim-e Sandbad, which dates back to the 8th/13th century, was composed by Azod al-din Yazdi, a contemporary of Hafez. The only remaining copy of this version was discovered by Dr. Mahdjoub who then set out to edit and annotate it.

This version of Sandbad Nameh, however, is not complete since large sections of it have been lost or destroyed. It was Dr. Mahdjoub's wish that I take the missing parts from the Samarqandi version and versify it in the style of the original versified version. The task involved versifying all of six stories and parts of ten stories recounted in the book, which resulted in six hundred verses covering nearly one eighth of the original version.

Only one of the stories told in the prose version has not been included in the versified version.

Mohammad Jalali Chimeh
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