Kalīlah and Dimnah: Fables of Virtue and Vice
Published by: NYU Press
Imprint: New York University Press
Sales Date: 2023-04-04
Published: April 2023
300 Pages, 5.50 x 8.20 x 0.90 in
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Timeless fables of loyalty and betrayal
Like Aesop?s Fables, Kal?lah and Dimnah is a collection designed not only for moral instruction, but also for the entertainment of readers. The stories, which originated in the Sanskrit Panchatantra and Mahabharata, were adapted, augmented, and translated into Arabic by the scholar and state official Ibn al-Muqaffa? in the second/eighth century. The stories are engaging, entertaining, and often funny, from ?The Man Who Found a Treasure But Could Not Keep It,? to ?The Raven Who Tried To Learn To Walk Like a Partridge? and ?How the Wolf, the Raven, and the Jackal Destroyed the Camel.?
Kal?lah and Dimnah is a ?mirror for princes,? a book meant to inculcate virtues and discernment in rulers and warn against flattery and deception. Many of the animals who populate the book represent ministers counseling kings, friends advising friends, or wives admonishing husbands. Throughout, Kal?lah and Dimnah offers insight into the moral lessons Ibn al-Muqaffa? wished to impart to rulers?and readers.
An English-only edition.
"[A] delightful new translation of a major text of classical Arabic literature." Al-Ahram Weekly