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  • 1 ELTE Eötvös József Collegium H-1118 Budapest Ménesi út 11-13 Hungary
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The relationship of the three earliest sources (Herodotus, Plato, Xanthus) relating how Gyges came to power is controversial. Their most striking common feature is the motif of Gyges seizing power through getting hold of the queen. The close connection of the queen and power proves to be an Eastern motif, a special Persian interpretation of the translatio imperii , according to which the royal woman bears the glory representing the sovereign power (χvarәnah-) and providing the ruler with legitimacy. Deriving from the Persian ideology of sovereignty, this motif tends to appear in Herodotus, in Xenophon and in the tradition about Alexander the Great. Therefore, the earliest sources relating this story must originate from the Old Persian short stories. The authenticity of the tale about Aladdin in the One Thousand and One Nights has been questioned several times since it does not have a tradition of codices. However, its parallels with the Gyges stories, particularly the presence of the special Persian interpretation of the translatio imperii suggest a common Persian source, thus, the tale is likely to be authentic.