Sinbad the Sailor tells the story of how he earned his fortune.
Producer: New World Productions
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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 who hails from Basrah, living 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.
ORIGIN OF SINBAD
The Persian name Sindbad ("Lord of the Sindh River") hints at a 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 collection is tale 120 in Volume 6 of Sir Richard Burton's 1885 translation of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) (despite criticisms regarding the translation and the commentary of the Burton edition, it remains the most extensive collection of Arabian Nights tales in English and is hence often used for reference purposes). While Burton and other Western translators have grouped the Sinbad stories within the tales of Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights, they apparently 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.
Sinbad the Porter and Sinbad the Sailor
Like the 1001 Nights the Sinbad story-cycle has a frame story, which goes as follows: in the days of Haroun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad, a poor porter (one who carries goods for others in the market and throughout the city) pauses to rest on a bench outside the gate of a rich merchant's house, where he complains to Allah about the injustice of a world which allows the rich to live in ease while he must toil and yet remain poor. The owner of the house hears, and sends for the porter, and it is found they are both named Sinbad. The rich Sinbad tells the poor Sinbad that he became wealthy, "by Fortune and Fate", in the course of seven wondrous voyages, which he then proceeds to relate.
The First Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
After dissipating the wealth left to him by his father, Sinbad goes to sea to repair his fortune. He sets ashore on what appears to be an island, but this island proves to be a gigantic sleeping whale on which trees have taken root ever since the world was young. Awakened by a fire kindled by the sailors, the whale dives into the depths, the ship departs without Sinbad, and Sinbad is saved by the chance of a passing wooden trough sent by the grace of Allah. He is washed ashore on a densely wooded island. While exploring the deserted island he comes across one of the king's grooms. When Sinbad helps save the King's mare from being drowned by a sea horse—not a seahorse as we know it, but a supernatural horse that lives underwater—the groom brings Sinbad to the king. The king befriends Sinbad and so he rises in the king's favour becoming a trusted courtier. One day, the very ship on which Sinbad set sail docks at the island, and he reclaims his goods (still in the ship's hold). Sinbad gives the king his goods and in return the king gives him rich presents. Sinbad sells these presents for a great profit. Sinbad returns to Baghdad where he resumes a life of ease and pleasure. With the ending of the tale, Sinbad the sailor makes Sinbad the porter a gift of a hundred gold pieces, and bids him return the next day to hear more about his adventures.
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