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Sunday, January 17, 2016

THE ULTIMATE SOURCE FOR "TURANDOTTA": NIZEMI

Speranza

In 1710, while writing a biography of Genghis Khan, Francescp Pétis della Croce published a compilation of tales and fables combining various Asian literary themes. 

One of his longest and best stories derived from the history of Mongol princess Khutulun

In della Croce's adaptation, however, she bore not her historic name, "Khutulun", but "Turandotta", meaning, "Turan's daughter", "Turkish Daughter," the daughter of Kaidu

Instead of challenging her suitors in wrestling, Pétis della Croce had Khutulun ("Turandotta") confront them with three riddles, designed by eight wise men. 

In della Croce's more dramatic version, instead of wagering mere horses, the suitor has to forfeit his life if he failed to answer correctly.

Some years later, Carlo Gozzi made Khutulun ("Turandotta") story into a drama of a "tigerish woman" of "unrelenting pride." 

Della Croce took the story of Khutulun or "Turandotta" from a Persian collection of stories called The Book of One Thousand and One Days (1722 French translation Les Mille et un jours by François Pétis della Croce – not to be confused with its sister work The Book of One Thousand and One Nights), where the character of "Turandokht" as a cold princess was found. 

The ultimate source is NIZEMI. Della Croce's story is based on a story by the Persian poet NIZEMI. 

The story of Turandokht is one of the best known from della Croce's translation. 

The plot respects the classical unities of time, space and action.

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