Posted by: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe | November 14, 2009

Layli and Majnun: A Timeline

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet inspired by Nizami’s Layli and Majnun

XXXX Arab and Habib folklore of Layla and Majnun transmitting through oral tradition of story-telling.

XXXX Latin version of Layla and Majnun

c. 550 BCE The Temple of Artemis was completed in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, Anatolia.

547 BCE The Greek city of Ephesus was conquered by the Persians under Cyrus the Great who incorporated the city along with other the Greek cities of Asia Minor into the Achaemenid Empire.

c. 100 AD Xenophon of Ephesus, Greece (fl. 2nd century–3rd century?) produced one of the earliest novels entitled Ephesian Tale of Anthia and Habrocomes . It is considered by many to be the one of the sources for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It was printed in 1726 and translated into English the following year. Sixteen-year-old Habrocomes and 14-year-old Anthia from Ephesus met at the festival of Artemis. Their parents attempt to send them to Egypt for their own protection but on the way they are captured by pirates and they are separated. In the long, confusing story the couple are both enslaved and suffer greatly at the hands of their captors. Their enforced journeys lead them to Italy, Syria, Rhodes, Phoenicia, Anatolia, and finally home. There are many similarities between this story and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” Note: Xenophon of Ephesus is not the Athenian historian and soldier Xenophon. See  O’Sullivan (1995) The ancient novel.

1037-1194 Seljuks/Saljuqs Dynasty; Seljuks/Saljuqs Dynasty of Rum (Byzantium) 11th –14th C During the 12th C the Seljuks/Saljuqs empire was dividedinto three main groups: a western group comprising Anatolia, a central group covering Syria and Iraq, and an eastern group including Iran and Central Asia.

1037-1171 the Saldjuk period: “The most likely candidate to represent the largely vanished art of Saldjuk book painting is the verse romance Warka wa Gulshah, [] written in Persian by the poet Ayyuki and signed by the painter ‘Abd al-Mu’min al-Khuyi. This suggests a provenance in north-west Persia, but Anatolia is a distinct possibility too. The manuscript (in the Topkapi Sarayi library in Istanbul) has 70 brightly coloured illustrations in strip format against a plain coloured or patterned ground, with figural types of the kind familiar in mina’i pottery, but with an unexpected additional feature: obtrusive animals which have been shown in Daneshvari to have iconographic significance, for example as symbolic and prophetic references to the action. A fragment of al-Sufi’s Fixed stars in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (ms. Or. 133), undated and unprovenanced but probably of the 13th century, might be of Persian origin. But for all the paucity of surviving material, the clear dependence of both fine ceramics and fine metalwork on manuscript painting, and illumination shows clearly enough the high profile which the arts of the book enjoyed in the Saldjuk period. And book painting in Mesopotamia after the fall of the Saldjuk dynasty often has marked Persian features, a factor which suggests the existence of an earlier pan-Saldjuk school of painting in which distinctions between Irak and Persia were perhaps not very significant (Singh 2002:1004)”  Nizami’s famous adaption of the well-known story of Layli and Majnun (1192), was similar to the Arab poet’s ʿAyyūḳī’s – Ayyuki – love story entitled Warḳa u Gulshāh which was written in Farsi.  (Singh 2002:1004) noted that  the “verse romance Warka wa Gulshah, written in Persian by the poet Ayyuki and signed by the painter ‘Abd al-Mu’min al-Khuyi [is] the most likely candidate to represent the largely vanished art of Saldjuk book painting.”

Niẓāmī states in the introduction to his poem that he accepted the assignment with some hesitation. At first, he doubted whether this tale of madness and wanderings through the wilderness would be suitable for a royal court (ed. Moscow 1965, 41 ff.). He adapted the disconnected stories to fit the requirements of a Persian romance. …In some respects, the Bedouin setting of the original has been changed under the influence of urban conditions more familiar to the poet and his audience: the young lovers become acquainted at school; the generous Nawfal is a prince in the Iranian style rather than an Arab official. Niẓāmī added a second pair of lovers, Zayn and Zaynab, in whom the love between the main characters is reflected. It is Zayn who in a dream sees Madjnūn and Laylī united in paradise at the end of the romance (Pellat, Ch et al. 2009. Brill Online.)”

1192 Nizami wrote a his famous adaption of Layli o Majnun لیلی و مجنون in Farsi. “In his adaptation, the young lovers become acquainted at school and desperately fall in love. However, they cannot see each other because of a family feud, and Layli’s family arranges for her to marry another man. It is a tragic story of undying love.” Seyed-Gohrab, Ali Asghar. 2003-06. “Layli and Majnun: Madness and Mystic Longing.” Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literature,  pp 76-77. excerpt: “Although Majnun was to some extent a popular figure before Nizami’s time, his popularity increased dramatically after the appearance of Nizami’s romance. By collecting information from both secular and mystical sources about Majnun, Nizami portrayed such a vivid picture of this legendary lover that all subsequent poets were inspired by him, many of them imitated him and wrote their own versions of the romance. As we shall see in the following chapters, the poet uses various characteristics deriving from ‘Udhrite love poetry and weaves them into his own Persian culture. In other words, Nizami Persianises the poem by adding several techniques borrowed from the Persian epic tradition, such as the portrayal of characters, the relationship between characters, description of time and setting, etc (Seyed-Gohrab 2003-06).”

A story Of Arabic origin[29], the poem was based on the popular Arab legend of ill-starred lovers: the poet Qays falls in love with his cousin Layla, but is prevented from marrying her by Layla’s father. Layla’s father forbids contact with Qays and Qays becomes obsessed and starts singing of his love for Layla in public. The obsession becomes so severe that he sees and evaluates everything in terms of Layla; hence his sobriquet “the possessed” (Majnun)[29]. Realizing that cannot obtain union even when other people intercede for him, he leaves society and roams naked in the desert among the beasts. However the image of Layla was so ingrained in him that he cannot eat or sleep. His only activity becomes composing poetry of longing for Layla[29]. Meanwhile Layla is married against her will, but she guards her virginity by resisting the advances of her husband. Arranging a secret meeting with Majnun, they meet, but have no physical contact. Rather they recite poetry to each other from a distance. Layla’s husband dies eventually which removes the legal obstacles to an illicit union. However Majnun is so focused on the ideal picture of Layla in his mind that he had fled to the desert. Layla dies out of grief and is buried in her bridal dress. Hearing this news, Majun rushes to her grave where he instantly dies. They are buried side by side and their grave becomes a site of pilgrimage. Someone dreams that in Paradise they are united and live as a king and queen[29]. Nezami composed his romance at the request of the Shirvanshah Akhsatan. Initially, he doubted that this simple story about the agony and pain of an Arab boy wandering in rough mountains and burning deserts would be a suitable subject for royal court poetry and his cultured audience[29]. It was his son who persuaded him to undertake the project, saying: “wherever tales of love are read, this will add spice to them”[29]. Nezami used many Arabic anecdotes in the story but also adds a strong Persian flavor to the legend[29]. He adapted the disconnected stories about Majnun to fit the requirement of a Persian romance[30]. “The theme was chosen for the first time as the subject of a Persian narrative poem, but the precedent of the treatment of a similar subject of Arabic origin existed in ʿAyyūḳī’s Warḳa u Gulshāh. Niẓāmī states in the introduction to his poem that he accepted the assignment with some hesitation. At first, he doubted whether this tale of madness and wanderings through the wilderness would be suitable for a royal court (ed. Moscow 1965, 41 ff.). He adapted the disconnected stories to fit the requirements of a Persian romance. …In some respects, the Bedouin setting of the original has been changed under the influence of urban conditions more familiar to the poet and his audience: the young lovers become acquainted at school; the generous Nawfal is a prince in the Iranian style rather than an Arab official. Niẓāmī added a second pair of lovers, Zayn and Zaynab, in whom the love between the main characters is reflected. It is Zayn who in a dream sees Madjnūn and Laylī united in paradise at the end of the romance (Pellat, Ch et al. 2009. Brill Online.)”

1100 Persian mystic, Faridu’ud-Din Attar’s (1145/46-1221) allegory “The Conference of the Birds” which I believe is also called Mantiqu’t-Tayr Language of the Birds. This work may have inspired Herman Hesse’s “Journey to the East.” It describes the seeker’s parallel journey to self-discovery, self-actualization, self-realization through the elusive search for God.

1103 Franks massacred the entire population of Saruj, a town in northern Syria. The folk tradition included a hero called Abu Zayd from Saruj, a town in northern Syria, as told by al-Harith.

1200? Attar is said to have met Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí (1207-1273 A.D.) when the latter was still a child and enkindled in him him with the insatiable longing for the illusive and unknowable divine essence of all things.

1221-04 `Attar was killed and died in the city where he was born when the Mongols attacked Nishabur.

1476 Masuccio Salernitano’s Cinquante Novelle – Il Novellino “includes the story of Mariotto and Giannozza of Sienna, who are secretly married by a Friar, after which Mariotto quarrels with a prominent citizen, kills him and is exiled to Alexandria. Giannozza’s father chooses a husband for her but to avoid marriage, Giannozza gets a sleeping potion from the Friar, sends word to her husband of what’s going to happen, is buried, taken from the tomb by the Friar, and sets sails for Alexandria. By a cruel twist of fate, the messenger carrying her letter is captured by pirates and Mariotto, hearing she has died, returns to Sienna disguised as a pilgrim. Trying to open the tomb, he is seized and beheaded. Giannozza makes her way home to Sienna and dies in a convent. Masuccio Salernitano’s Cinquante Novelle of 1476 tells of the romance between Mariotto and Gianozza. The lovers are secretly married by a friar; Mariotto is banished for killing another citizen; Gianozza’s father chooses a husband for her and she goes to the friar for help. He gives her a sleeping potion, which she drinks; she appears to be dead and is entombed. Although she has sent a note to her husband, he does not receive it. Anguished by reports of his wife’s death, Mariotto rushes home, only to be arrested at her tomb and put to death. Gianozza subsequently dies of grief.” edit

1536 AD (942) Fuzûlî (c. 1483 – 1556) wrote his adaptation of the story, Dâstân-ı Leylî vü Mecnûn داستان ليلى و مجنون; “The Epic of Layla and Majnun” in Azerbaijani Turkish. Mehmed bin Süleyman Fuzûlî (d. 1483 Hilla – ö. 1556 Kerbela ya da Bağdat), Fuzûlî, فضولی, Fużūlī (فضولی) was the pen name of the poet Muhammad bin Suleyman (محمد بن سليما]” “Fożūlī’s fame, however, rests above all on two of his Turkish works, the Dīvān(containing several panegyrics, robāʿīs, and three hundred ḡazals; numerous editions, including A. Gölpınarlı, Istanbul, 1948, 2nd ed., 1961) and especially his Laylā wa Majnūn (ed. N. H. Onan as Leylâ vü Mecnûn, Istanbul, 1935; ed. H. Ayan, Istanbul, 1981; ed. M. Doğan, Istanbul, 1996; tr. S. Huri as Leyla and Mejnûn by Fuzûlî, London, 1970). Laylā wa Majnūn, a work in 3096 bayts, was dedicated to Oways Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Baghdad. The problem of establishing the date of its composition, 942/1536, can be regarded as solved (Sohrweide, p. 227, no. 248); as in many other cases, the date had to be reconstructed from internal evidence (the dedication) while those proposed on the basis of chronograms remain doubtful. The poem represents the culmination of the Turkish maṯnawī tradition in that it raised the personal and human love-tragedy to the plane of mystical longing and ethereal aspiration (Dankoff). Fożūlī’s avowed model for the poem is Neẓāmī’s Laylī o Majnūn; he picks up the thread of Neẓāmī’s narrative at the point where Majnūn makes the pilgrimage to Mecca, and from then on follows Neẓāmī using the same hazaj meter (Bombaci, 1970, pp. 86-87). Unlike Neẓāmī, however, Fożūlī inserts several lyric poems (twenty-twoḡazals, two morabbaʿs, and two monājāts) which, while integrated harmoniously into the narrative, at the same time take on a life of their own (Dankoff). Another, undisclosed, model for the poem is the popular narrative on the same theme by ʿAbd-Allāh Hātefī (q.v.; Bombaci, 1969, pp. 246-52; idem, 1970, pp. 84-114).” http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v10f2/v10f211.html

1535 Luigi da Porto published Istoria Novellamente Ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti. “The story is set in Verona, the lovers, Romeo and Giulietta, are aristocrats. Their families – the Montecchi and the Cappelletti – are sworn enemies. Romeo goes disguised to a Carnival ball at the Cappelletti’s house, hoping to see the object of his unrequited love. There, Giulietta falls in love with him at first sight, he abandons his pursuit of unrequited love and later climbs up to Giulietta’s balcony to woo her. Hoping their union will reconcile the two houses, they go to a Franciscan Friar, Lorenzo, who marries them hoping that peace will follow. He is wrong. At the end of the story, Giulietta awakes before Romeo dies and so they have the chance to speak to each other. Giulietta ‘drew in her breath and held it long, and then, uttering a great cry, fell dead on the corpse of Romeo’ (Symon). ” . “The first and most influential is Luigi da Porto’s 1530 version. In it, he renames the lovers Romeo Montecchi and Giulietta Capelletti; he calls the friar Lorenzo. Da Porto introduces a character called Marcuccio, a friend of Romeo’s (noted only for his icy hands); and identifies the man whom Romeo kills as Theobaldo Capelletti. Da Porto’s story adds the ball, the balcony scene, and the lovers’ double suicide at Giulietta’s tomb—which Giulietta accomplishes by holding her breath!” http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,17,8,1,6 It was commonly though that Felice Romani fashioned Bellini’s libretto “I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (1820)” after Shakespeare’s play, but it was based on Romani’s own musical tragedy entitled Giulietta e Romeo which was produced at Milan (1825). Felice Romano’s widow and biographer Emilia Branca suggested Matteo Bandello’s retelling of the story as the main source . . . p.1  Shakespeare’s own sources, Luigi da Porto’s Istoria Novellamente Ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti (Venice 1535) and its several Italian, French and English reincarnations (Collins, Michael. 1982).

1554 “Matteo Bandello’s 1554 Novelle gave the Nurse the significant part that she plays in Shakespeare’s retelling” http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,17,8,1,6

1559 Pierre Boiastuau adapted Matteo Bandello’s novella of 1554 and translated it from Italian into French. Boiastuau altered the events at this point and his Romeo dies before Juliet wakes up. It was Boiastuau’s account that was translated into English in 1567 by William Painter and that formed the basis for Brooke’s The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), Shakespeare’s primary source for the play (Holland, Peter. 2000. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Oxford University Press. p. xxxii). “Pierre Boiastuau had Romeo go to the Capulets’ ball in hopes of seeing his unrequited love, whom Shakespeare would later call Rosaline. Boiastuau was the first to write of Juliet’s grief when her husband murders her cousin Tybalt, and his version was the first in which the character of the Apothecary appears” http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,17,8,1,6

1600 Habib Allah painted “The Concourse of the Birds” a reproduction of which is now available at the Wikimedia Commons. The original is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is an illustration of the Persian mystic, Faridu’ud-Din Attar’s allegory “The Conference of the Birds” which I believe is also called Mantiqu’t-Tayr Language of the Birds. This work may have inspired Herman Hesse’s “Journey to the East.” It describes the seeker’s parallel journey to self-discovery, self-actualization, self-realization through the elusive search for God.

1562 Arthur Brooke wrote his long poem entitled “The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet” which text is a loose translation of Boiastuau (Symon). “Arthur Brooke’s poem The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet, published in 1564, adheres to the framework constructed in the previous stories, filling it in a bit with more developed characters and relationships. He adds the character of Benvolio, and concentrates on deepening relationships, such as Juliet’s to her father, and the Nurse’s to the lovers. Brooke’s poem slightly expands the role of Mercutio, paving the way for Shakespeare to develop one of his most fascinating characters. About 35 years later, c.1597, William Shakespeare would write the version of Romeo and Juliet that today remains the best known and loved.” http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,17,8,1,6

1566 William Painter translated Boiastuau into English under the title Palace of Pleasure. This was the version that formed the base for Brooke’s poem.

c. 1597 Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. The Shakespearean stage was a “rostrum for recitation.” The 16th century audience already knew Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as the lovers’ story.

1726 Ephesiaca, a 5th-century love story was printed

1727 Ephesiaca, a 5th-century love story was translated into English.

1748 In David Garrick’s performance of Romeo and Juliet changes were introduced to Shakespeare’s original play creating more dramatic tension. The timing of Juliet’s awakening and Romeo’s dying are shifted so the anguish is even more exaggerated.

19th century Ahmed Shawqi wrote a poetic play about the tragedy. Qay’s lines from the play are sometimes confused with his actual poems. The play is considered one of the best in modern Arab poetry.

1860 Bahá’u’lláh wrote Seven Valleys – Haft-Vádí describing the spiritual journey of the soul passing through different stages, from this world to other realms which are closer to God, as first described by the 12th Century Sufi poet Attar in his Conference of the Birds. In the introduction, Bahá’u’lláh says “Some have called these Seven Valleys, and others, Seven Cities.” The stages are accomplished in order, and the goal of the journey is to follow “the Right Path”, “abandon the drop of life and come to the sea of the Life-Bestower”, and “gaze on the Beloved”.

1867 Thomas Chenery translated The Assemblies of Al-Hariri. by Al-Hariri of Basra.

1908-01-25 The renowned Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov made Fuzûlî’s adaptation of Layli and Majnun into an opera. It was staged in Baku on January 25, 1908.

1927 German author Hermann Hesse published his short novel entitled “Die Morgenlandfahrt”, in English Journey to the East. Hesse’s Journey to the East may have been inspired by Faridu’ud-Din Attar’s “The Conference of the Birds” (1100s) In the Herman Hesse short novel a League from the West undertook a pilgrimage to the East in search of The Truth. Their imaginary and real journeys traverse space and time. In the end the narrator discovers that he and the other searchers have been put through a series of challenges to test their faith.

1966 The publication of Dr. Rudolf Gelpke’s English translation and editing  The Story of Layla and Majnun by Nizami, into an English version in collaboration with E. Mattin and G. Hill Omega Publications. Many later poets have imitated Nizami’s work, even if they could not equal and certainly not surpass it; Persians, Turks, Indians, to name only the most important ones. The Persian scholar Hekmat has listed not less than forty Persians and thirteen Turkish versions of Layli and Majnun.[13]

A comprehensive analysis in English containing partial translations of Nezami’s romance Layla and Majnun examining key themes such as chastity, constancy and suffering through an analysis of the main characters was recently accomplished by Ali Asghar Seyed-Gohrab[32].

2000. Romeo and Juliet before Shakespeare: four early stories of star-crossed love. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance studies, 2000) contains four early versions of the Romeo and Juliet story: Mariotto and Ganozza by Masuccio Salernitano, A tale about two noble lovers by Luigi da Porto, The unfortunate death of two most wrethched lovers by Matteo Bandello and Of two lovers by Pierre Boaistuau.

2003 Ali Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, “Layli and Majnun: Madness and Mystic Longing” Brill Studies in Middle Eastern literature, Jun 2003, pg 76-77. excerpt: Although Majnun was to some extent a popular figure before Nizami’s time, his popularity increased dramatically after the appearance of Nizami’s romance. By collecting information from both secular and mystical sources about Majnun, Nizami portrayed such a vivid picture of this legendary lover that all subsequent poets were inspired by him, many of them imitated him and wrote their own versions of the romance. As we shall see in the following chapters, the poet uses various characteristics deriving from ‘Udhrite love poetry and weaves them into his own Persian culture. In other words, Nizami Persianises the poem by adding several techniques borrowed from the Persian epic tradition, such as the portrayal of characters, the relationship between characters, description of time and setting, etc”

Who’s Who

Abū Hamīd bin Abū Bakr Ibrāhīm (Persian: ابو حمید ابن ابوبکر ابراهیم) (born 1145-46 in Nishapur Iran – died c. 1221), much better known by his pen-names Farīd ud-Dīn (فریدالدین) and ‘Attār (عطار – the pharmacist), was a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nīshāpūr who left an everlasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism.

Mehmed bin Süleyman Fuzûlî (d. 1483 Hilla – ö. 1556 Kerbela ya da Bağdat), Fuzûlî, فضولی, Fużūlī (فضولی) was the pen name of the poet Muhammad bin Suleyman (محمد بن سليمان) (c. 1483 – 1556). He is one of the greatest contributors to the Dîvân tradition of Turkish literature,[1] Fuzûlî wrote his collected poems (dîvân) in three different languages: Azerbaijani Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. Although his Turkish works are written in Azerbaijani, he knew both the Ottoman and the Chagatai Turkish literary traditions as well. He was also very able in mathematics and astronomy.[2]” He wrote Dâstân-ı Leylî vü Mecnûn (داستان ليلى و مجنون; “The Epic of Layla and Majnun”) in Azerbaijani Turkish in wiki

Nezāmi-ye Ganjavi (Persian: نظامی گنجوی; Kurdish: Nîzamî Gencewî, نیزامی گه‌نجه‌وی; Azerbaijani: Nizami Gəncəvi, نظامی گنجوی ;‎ 1141 to 1209), or Nezāmi (Persian:نظامی), whose formal name was Niżām ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakī ibn-Mu‘ayyad, is considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature[1], who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic[2][3]. His heritage is widely appreciated and shared by Afghanistan[4]Azerbaijan[5]Iran[4], andTajikistan[4]. wiki

The Persian scholar Hekmat has listed not less than forty Persians and thirteen Turkish versions of Layli and Majnun.[13]

Ali Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, “Layli and Majnun: Madness and Mystic Longing” Brill Studies in Middle Eastern literature, Jun 2003, pg 76-77. excerpt: Although Majnun was to some extent a popular figure before Nizami’s time, his popularity increased dramatically after the appearance of Nizami’s romance. By collecting information from both secular and mystical sources about Majnun, Nizami portrayed such a vivid picture of this legendary lover that all subsequent poets were inspired by him, many of them imitated him and wrote their own versions of the romance. As we shall see in the following chapters, the poet uses various characteristics deriving from ‘Udhrite love poetry and weaves them into his own Persian culture. In other words, Nizami Persianises the poem by adding several techniques borrowed from the Persian epic tradition, such as the portrayal of characters, the relationship between characters, description of time and setting, etc.

Mabillard, Amanda B.A. (Honors), from 1999-2003 (last updated 08/28/2005 compiled information for a site http://www.shakespeare-online.com/ intended to provide comprehensive and accurate information about the Bard. She also wrote the Guide to Shakespeare for About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company, where she published her original articles on Shakespeare’s life and works. Her site was listed as a Wiki source, however the link to her article, “An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sources for Romeo and Juliet” is a deadlink.

Roz Symon is RSC’s Play Guide Writer and Editor. Royal Shakespeare Company is a new Romeo and Juliet Play Guide, a unique resource offering readers detailed insights to the process of theatre. Through extracts from rehearsal diaries and a series of interviews with directors, designers and actors, you can learn more about Peter Gill’s production of Romeo and Juliet [RSC 2004-5] and more about the play in general. The Guide also offers practical, entertaining ways for students, teachers and life-long learners to explore a 400-year old performance text. The Guide includes photographs of past productions, film versions of the play, the Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal process, Shakespeare’s life and times, stage fighting or design issues. His site was listed as a Wiki source.

Notes

Aleppo (Halab in Arabic): Syria’s second city located on the river Qoueiq in north-west Syria

Webliography and Bibliography

Romeo and Juliet before Shakespeare: four early stories of star-crossed love. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance studies, 2000) contains four early versions of the Romeo and Juliet story: Mariotto and Ganozzaby Masuccio Salernitano, A tale about two noble lovers by Luigi da Porto, The unfortunate death of two most wretched lovers by Matteo Bandello and Of two lovers by Pierre Boaistuau.

ArRalm. “The Original Legend in Arabic Literature” ArtArena. Accessed January 26, 2008.

Branca, Emilia. 1882. Felice Romani ed i più riputati maestri di musica del suo tempo: cenni …

Chenery, Thomas, Trans. 1867. The Assemblies of Al-Hariri. Williams and Norgate: London and Edinburgh.

Coker, J. T. 2000. “Follow Your Heart: The Story of Layla and Majnun.” Sunrise. June/July. Theosophical University Press.

Collins, Michael. 1982. “The Literary Background of Bellini’s I Capuleti ed i Montecchi.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 35:3:532-538. University of California Press on behalf of the American Musicological Society. http://www.jstor.org/stable/830986
Collins argued that Bellini’s inspiration for his I Capuleti ed i Montecchi was not Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as was commonly thought, but

Collins, Michael. 1982. “The Literary Background of Bellini’s I Capuleti ed i Montecchi.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 35:3:532-538 University of California Press on behalf of the American Musicological Society. http://www.jstor.org/stable/830986

Fuzulî. Leylâ ve Mecnun. Ed. Muhammet Nur Doğan. ISBN 975-08-0198-9.

Ḥarīrī. The assemblies of al-Harīri: translated from the Arabic, with an …, Volume 9

Holland, Peter. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare,

Levenson, Jill L. 1984. “Romeo and Juliet before Shakespeare.” Studies in Philology. 81: 3:325-347. University of North Carolina Press. Summer.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/4174179

Mabillard, Amanda. 2007. “An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sources for Romeo and Juliet”. Shakespeare Online. Unable to access January 26, 2008.

O’Sullivan, J. N. 1995. Xenophon of Ephesus: His Compositional Technique and the Birth of the Novel. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Pellat, Ch; van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Excerpts: “The theme was chosen for the first time as the subject of a Persian narrative poem, but the precedent of the treatment of a similar subject of Arabic origin existed in ʿAyyūḳī’s Warḳa u Gulshāh. Niẓāmī states in the introduction to his poem that he accepted the assignment with some hesitation. At first, he doubted whether this tale of madness and wanderings through the wilderness would be suitable for a royal court (ed. Moscow 1965, 41 ff.). He adapted the disconnected stories to fit the requirements of a Persian romance. …In some respects, the Bedouin setting of the original has been changed under the influence of urban conditions more familiar to the poet and his audience: the young lovers become acquainted at school; the generous Nawfal is a prince in the Iranian style rather than an Arab official. Niẓāmī added a second pair of lovers, Zayn and Zaynab, in whom the love between the main characters is reflected. It is Zayn who in a dream sees Madjnūn and Laylī united in paradise at the end of the romance (Pellat, Ch et al. 2009. Brill Online.)”

Perlm. “Layli and Madjnun in Persian Literature” >> ArtArena. Accessed January 26, 2008.

Rabbani, Faraz. 2006. “Loss of Meaning.” Islamica Magazine. No. 15.

Seyed-Gohrab, Ali Asghar. 2003-06. “Layli and Majnun: Madness and Mystic Longing.” Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literature,  pp 76-77. excerpt: “Although Majnun was to some extent a popular figure before Nizami’s time, his popularity increased dramatically after the appearance of Nizami’s romance. By collecting information from both secular and mystical sources about Majnun, Nizami portrayed such a vivid picture of this legendary lover that all subsequent poets were inspired by him, many of them imitated him and wrote their own versions of the romance. As we shall see in the following chapters, the poet uses various characteristics deriving from ‘Udhrite love poetry and weaves them into his own Persian culture. In other words, Nizami Persianises the poem by adding several techniques borrowed from the Persian epic tradition, such as the portrayal of characters, the relationship between characters, description of time and setting, etc.”

Schmeling, Gareth. 1996. “O’Sullivan, J. N. 1995. Xenophon of Ephesus: His Compositional Technique and the Birth of the Novel. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter (review).” American Journal of Philology. 117: 4:660-663. Whole Number: 468. Winter.

Singh,  Nagendra Kr. 2002. Ed International encyclopaedia of Islamic dynasties. J. L. Kumar: New Delhi. “The most likely candidate to represent the largely vanished art of Saldjuk book painting is the verse romance Warka wa Gulshah, written in Persian by the poet Ayyuki and signed by the painter ‘Abd al-Mu’min al-Khuyi. This suggests a provenance in north-west Persia, but Anatolia is a distinct possibility too. The manuscript (in the Topkapi Sarayi library in Istanbul) has 70 brightly coloured illustrations in strip format against a plain coloured or patterned ground, with figural types of the kind familiar in mina’i pottery, but with an unexpected additional feature: obtrusive animals which have been shown in Daneshvari to have iconographic significance, for example as symbolic and prophetic references to the action. A fragment of al-Sufi’s Fixed stars in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (ms. Or. 133), undated and unprovenanced but probably of the 13th century, might be of Persian origin.But for all the paucity of surviving material, the clear dependence of both fine ceramics and fine metalwork on manuscript painting, and illumination shows clearly enough the high profile which the arts of the book enjoyed in the Saldjuk period. And book painting in Mesopotamia after the fall of the Saldjuk dynasty often has marked Persian features, a factor which suggests the existence of an earlier pan-Saldjuk school of painting in which distinctions between Irak and Persia were perhaps not very significant (Singh 2002:1004)”

Smith, Paul. “Nizami: Layla and Majnun.” [3]

Symon, Roz. “Romeo and Juliet sources.” Royal Shakespeare Company Play Guide. >> Royal Shakespeare Company. http://www.rsc.org.uk/romeo/about/sources.html >> Royal Shakespeare Company site. Accessed January 26, 2008.

Wikipedia Layla and Majnun http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layla_and_Majnun#_note-3 Last accessed January 26, 2008.

Mabillard, Amanda. 2007. “An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sources for Romeo and Juliet”. Shakespeare Online. (09/12/07) , [1] . On Shakespeare’s sources for Romeo and Juliet see further [2] , the Royal Shakespeare Company site, [3].

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