Public Domain Super Heroes


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1717 Tales 30

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Arabic Folklore

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Shahryār is the fictional Persian Sassanid King of kings who is told stories by his wife, Scheherazade.

He ruled over a Persian Empire extended to India, over all the adjacent islands and a great way beyond the Ganges as far as China, while Shahryār’s younger brother, Shāhzamā, ruled over Samarkand.

In the frame-story, Shahryār is betrayed by his first wife, which makes him believe that all women will, in the end, betray him. So every night for three years, he takes a wife and has her executed the next morning, until he marries Scheherazade, his vizier’s beautiful and clever daughter. For 1001 nights in a row, Scheherazade tells Shahryār a story, each time stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, thus forcing him to keep her alive for another day so that she can complete the tale the next night.

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