in Borges story, mysterious divine man.
Fishburn and Hughes: "Ibn Harun, the eighth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, who reigned from 833 to 842. The son of a Turkoman slave, he had a vast number of Turkish slaves himself, whom he used as soldiers and officers. Eventually they overthrew their Abbasid masters.
CF 87:In a footnote to the Thousand and One Nights (1885, vol. 9, 232) Sir Richard Burton writes that Al-Mu'tasim was 'the son of Al-Rashid by Ma'arid, a slave concubine of foreign origin. He was brave and of high spirit, but destitute of education; and his personal strength was such that he could break a man's elbow between his fingers. He imitated the apparatus of Persian kings; and he was called the "Octonary" because he was the eighth Abbasid; the eighth in descent from Abbas; the eighth son of Al-Rashid; he began his reign in A.H. 218; lived 48 years; was born under Scorpio (the eighth Zodiacal sign); was victorious in eight expeditions; slew eight important foes and left eight male and female children.'"(5)