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Shahryār (also Shahriār, Shahriyār or Schahryār, Persian: شهريار, meaning The Great King) is the fictional Sassanid King of kings in One Thousand and One Nights, who is told stories by his wife, Shahrazad.

He ruled over a Persian Empire extended to India, over all the adjacent islands and a great way beyond the Ganges as far as China, while Shahryār’s younger brother, Shāhzamān (شاهزمان) ruled over Samarkand. There is an anomaly in the story, for the King Shahryār is a Sassanid, and thus a Zoroastrian and not a Muslim as most of the stories' characters are.

In the frame-story, Shahryār is betrayed by his wife, which makes him go mad and believe that all women will, in the end, betray him. So every night for three years, the mad king takes a wife and has her executed the next morning, until he marries Scheherazade , his vizier’s beautiful and clever daughter. For 1001 nights in a row, Scheherazade tells Shahryār a story, each time stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, thus forcing him to keep her alive for another day so that she can complete the tale the next night.

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