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Tarik Benzeyad

Index: Enno Littmann, Los traductores de las 1001 Noches, Historia de la eternidad, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 413. El Aleph, El Aleph, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 627.

character in Arabian Nights

Fishburn and Hughes: An Arab leader who landed in Gibraltar in 711 and overran almost the whole of the Iberian peninsula, conquering it within the span of seven years. A legendary account of this event is told in the Thousand and One Nights (Nights 271-2), called The City of Labtayat' (perhaps Toledo). The story is told of a tower which was always kept shut. When a king died and another succeeded him, he would add a lock, until there were twenty-four. Eventually a king arrived from a different house and insisted on opening the tower. Having pulled off the locks, he entered and found figures of turbaned Arabs on horses and camels bearing lances, and an inscription warning that whoever opened the door would conquer the country. This was when Tarik ibn Ziyad sacked the city and killed its king. Tarik proceeded along the treasure-filled chambers of the tower, and when he came to the fifth chamber he found 'a marvellous mirror, great and round, of mixed metals, which had been made for Solomon, son of David... wherein whosover looked might see the counterfeit presentment of the seven climates of the world'. Borges adapted and translated this story as ‘The Chamber of Statues’, in The Universal History of Infamy, CF 54-56. The Aleph