The Three Princes of Serendip

The Three Princes of Serendip

The Three Princes of Serendip is an old Persian fairy tale about three men who were on a mission but they always found something that was irrelevant but needed in reality. They discovered things by good fortune and sagacity. Serendip is the Persian name for Sri Lanka. The word serendipity was coined by Horace Walpole, based on this story. [cite book | last = Yallop | first = C | authorlink = Macquarie Dictionary | coauthors = | title = Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition | publisher = The Macquarie Library pty Ltd | date = 2005 | location = Sydney, NSW, Australia | pages = 1290 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 876429 14 3 ]

ummary

In the camel story, the Three Princes use trace clues to precisely identify a camel they have never seen: they conclude that the camel is lame; blind in one eye; missing a tooth; carrying a pregnant maiden; and bearing honey on one side and butter on the other. (See Abductive reasoning.) Because of their cleverness and sagacity, they are accused of stealing the camel and are about to be put to death by Bahram Gur. Suddenly, and without anyone seeking him out, a traveler steps forward to say that he has just seen the missing camel wandering in the desert. Bahram spares the lives of the Three Princes, lavishes them with rich rewards and appoints them as his advisors. These rewards are the unsought (serendipitous) results of their sagacious insights.

There are other examples of the Princes receiving unsought rewards (marriage to a beautiful princess, kingdoms, wealth, etc.) from their accidental discoveries. The fact that they can make clever or accidental discoveries and breakthroughs is a result of their intelligence, wisdom and reasoning. The unsought rewards come later. Thus, stumbling upon a captive slave girl in a forest is for them a serendipitous occurrence.

History

The fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip" is based upon the life of Persian King Bahram V, who ruled the Sassanid Empire (420–440). Stories of his rule are told in epic poetry of the region (Firdausi's "Shahnameh" of 1010, Nizami's "Haft Paykar" of 1197, Khusrau's Hasht Bihisht of 1302), parts of which are based upon historical facts with embellishments derived from folklore going back hundreds of years to oral traditions in India and "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights". With the exception of the well-known camel story, English translations are very hard to come by.

Talmudic version

The fable of a camel blind in one eye is included in the Talmud, attributed to Rabbi Yochanan:

:Rava relates the following in the name of Rabbi Yochanan:—“Two Jewish slaves were one day walking along, when their master, who was following, overheard the one saying to the other, ‘There is a camel ahead of us, as I judge—for I have not seen—that is blind of one eye and laden with two skin-bottles, one of which contains wine and the other oil, while two drivers attend it, one of them an Israelite, and the other a Gentile.’ ‘You perverse men,’ said their master, ‘how can you fabricate such a story as that?’ The slave answered, and gave this as his reason, ‘The grass is cropped only on one side of the track, the wine, that must have dripped, has soaked into the earth on the right, and the oil has trickled down, and may be seen on the left; while one of the drivers turned aside from the track to ease himself, but the other has not even left the road for the purpose.’ Upon this the master stepped on before them in order to verify the correctness of their inferences, and found the conclusion true in every particular. He then turned back, and…after complimenting the two slaves for their shrewdness, he at once gave them their liberty.”:"Sanhedrin, fol. 104, col. 2." [ [http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/hl/hl05.htm Hebraic Literature: Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim, and Kabbala] , chapter II]

References

External links

* [http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/serendip/about.html The meanings of "Serendip"]
* [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0689201672/ Link to Amazon listing of "The Three Princes of Serendip", by Elizabeth Jamison Hodges (out of print)]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Les Trois Princes de Serendip — Voyages et aventures des trois princes de Serendip Les Trois Princes de Serendip est un conte persan publié en 1557 par l imprimeur vénitien Michele Tramezzino. Les Trois Princes de Serendip (Serendip est le nom de Ceylan ou Sri Lanka en vieux… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Voyages et aventures des trois princes de Serendip — Voyages et aventures des trois princes de Serendip, communément appelé Les Trois Princes de Serendip, est un conte persan publié en 1557 par l imprimeur vénitien Michele Tramezzino. Sommaire 1 Origines du conte 1.1 La sérendipité 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Voyages et aventures des trois princes de serendip — Les Trois Princes de Serendip est un conte persan publié en 1557 par l imprimeur vénitien Michele Tramezzino. Les Trois Princes de Serendip (Serendip est le nom de Ceylan ou Sri Lanka en vieux persan) est présenté sur sa page de titre comme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Serendip — may refer to: * Serendip Old Persian name for Sri Lanka * SERENDIP SETI Program * Serendip Sanctuary protected area for wildlife in Victoria, Australia * Serendipity an unintentional discovery made by accident and sagacity * The Three Princes of… …   Wikipedia

  • Chevalier de Mailly — The courtesy title chevalier de Mailly is accorded in France to a younger brother of the marquis or the comte de Mailly in each generation. Though several have carried the designation,[1] the celebrated Louis, chevalier de Mailly ([2] ?1724)… …   Wikipedia

  • Hasht-Bihisht — The Hasht Bihisht (lit. Eight Paradises) commonly refers to a Azali apologetic text which is particularly critical of the Bahá í Faith a religion that believed the Bábí messianic figure of He whom God shall make manifest has already appeared in… …   Wikipedia

  • Serendipity — is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely. The word has been voted as one of the ten English words that were hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British… …   Wikipedia

  • Bibliographie sur la sérendipité — Article principal : sérendipité. Ouvrages et articles traitant de la sérendipité. Sommaire 1 Bibliographie générale 2 Bibliographie Chimie 3 Bibliographie économie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bibliographie Sur La Sérendipité — Article principal : sérendipité. Ouvrages et articles traitant de la sérendipité. Sommaire 1 Bibliographie générale 2 Bibliographie Chimie 3 Bibliographie économie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bibliographie sur la serendipite — Bibliographie sur la sérendipité Article principal : sérendipité. Ouvrages et articles traitant de la sérendipité. Sommaire 1 Bibliographie générale 2 Bibliographie Chimie 3 Bibliographie économie …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”