The Story of the 'Aramaean sage' Ahikar

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The story and the maxims of Ahikar is an ancient piece of Middle Eastern folklore. It was translated into numerous languages, including Syriac. An Aramaic version from around 500 BC exists, and it may have originated in an Assyrian version.


  • "The story of Ahikar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Greek and Slavonic versions" ed. and tr. into English by F.C. Conybeare, J. Rendel Harris, and Agnes Smith Lewis, London : C.J. Clay and Sons (1898). pp.lxxxviii, 162 p., 1 ., [72] p. The introduction, by J. Rendel Harris, deals with the relation of the story of Ahikar, found in the "Arabian nights" and elsewhere, to the apocryphal Book of Tobit; it also discusses the resemblance of Ahikar to Lokman and to Aesop, "two characters ... already shown to be identical." Contents: Introduction.--Slavonic translation.--Armenian translation.--Syrian translation.--Aethiopic translation.--Arabic translation.--Greek text.--Armenian text.--Syriac text.--Arabic text. Second enlarged and corrected ed. Cambridge University Press (1913)
  • "Histoire et sagesse d'Ahikar l'Assyrien (fils d'Anael, Neveu de Tobie) / traduction des versions syriaques avec les principales différences des versions arabes, arménienne, grecque, neo-syriaque, slave et roumaine", ed. François Nau (d. 1931). Series: Documents pour l'étude de la Bible ; Apocryphes de l'Ancien Testament. Paris:Letouzey et Ané Éditeurs (1909) 308p.
  • James M. Lindenberger, The Aramaic proverbs of Ahiqar. Series: The Johns Hopkins Near Eastern studies. Baltimore:Johns Hopkins University Press (ca. 1983) 361 pp.
  • François Nau, Documents relatifs a Ahikar, Revue de l'Orient chretien, v. 21 (1918/1919). Text in French and Syriac