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Published on 21 Nov 2013 | over 3 years ago

Sinbad the Sailor (also spelled Sindbad; Arabic: السندباد البحري as-Sindibād al-Baḥri; Persian: سندباد Sandbād) is a fictional sailor and the hero of a story-cycle of Middle Eastern origin, living in Basrah, during the Abbasid Caliphate. During his voyages throughout the seas east of Africa and south of Asia, he has fantastic adventures going to magical places, meeting monsters, and encountering supernatural phenomena.

The Persian name Sindbād ("Lord of the Sindh River") hints at a possible Persian origin. The oldest texts of the cycle are however in Arabic, and no ancient or medieval Persian version has survived. The story as we have it is specifically set during the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate and particularly highlights the reign of Harun al-Rashid. The name Sindbad indicates the name of the Indus River (Sindhu). The Sindhi sailors, who became famous due to their skills in navigation, geography and languages may very well have inspired the stories of Sindbad the Sailor. Sindh is actually mentioned in the story of the Third Voyage: ("And thence we fared on to the land of Sind, where also we bought and sold").
A variation of the name, Smbat, also occurs in Armenia, as well as the version Lempad of his father's name Lambad. Incidents in some stories are also clearly influenced by ancient literary sources (including Homer's Odyssey and Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra), and by Arab, Indian and Persian folklore and literature.
The story of Sinbad le marin was included by Antoine Galland, the translator of the Mille et une nuits, in the 133rd "night" of his collection.The collection is tale 120 in Volume 6 of Sir Richard Burton's 1885 translation of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights; which despite criticisms regarding the translation and the commentary of the Burton edition remains the most extensive collection of Arabian Nights tales in English and is hence often used for reference purposes in the English-speaking world. While Western translators have kept the Sinbad stories within the tales of Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights, they originated quite independently from that story-cycle and modern translations by Arab scholars often do not include the stories of Sinbad or several other of the Arabian Nights that have become familiar to Western audiences.

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