The Adventures of Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan: An Arab Folk Epic

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Lena Jayyusi
Indiana University Press, 1996 - History - 308 pages
1 Review
One of the most beautiful and fascinating medieval Arab-Islamic folk romances is presented in English for the first time. For contemporary readers, The Adventures of Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan offers unusual perspectives on issues of gender, religion, race, and ethnicity, as woven into the art of an oral narrative. Composed between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries during the Mamluk age, this folk romance is still cherished by storytellers in the Middle East. Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan was a historical figure, a sixth-century Arab king who ruled in Yemen before the rise of Islam. In the tale he is presented as a Muslim warrior; his exploits range across Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, where his Muslim followers do battle with pagan peoples.
Colorful panoramas of heroic feats, magical escapades, bizarre landscapes and beings, brief or long-lasting love affairs, sincere friendships, demonic hatreds, supernatural forces, and dark spells propel this sira - an Arabic romance in the grand tradition of The Thousand and One Nights.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Very interesting epic which is in effect a fictionalization of the penetration of Islam into the Sudan. The hero quests for a magic book that controls the Nile, etc. Read full review

The adventures of Sayf ben Dhi Yazan: an Arab folk epic

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Editor Jayyusi offers a major example of the Arabic folk epics or romances called siras that were composed between the 13th and 16th centuries in the Middle East. Flourishing in the same milieu that ... Read full review



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