The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Lokman

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LOKMAN, an Arabian fabulist, represented in the Quran as a contemporary of David, and by other traditions as a descendant of the Arab tribe of Ad; and again as an Ethiopian slave, deformed and witty, like Æsop, with whom he has been identified. The earliest traditions of the Arabs, and all subsequent accounts of him, however conflicting in other respects, agree in ascribing to him extraordinary wisdom and longevity. A small collection of Arabic fables which bears his name is supposed to be of Greek origin, and to have become known to the Arabs through a Syriac version. They were first published at Leyden in 1615, with a Latin translation of the Arabic by Erpenius. They have since been translated into French, Dutch, and German, and despite their mediocrity in respect to wit and syntax, they continue to be used as an elementary text book of the Arabic language. The more recent editions are by Caussin de Perceval (Paris, 1818), Freytag (Bonn, 1823), Schier (Dresden, 1831), Cherbonneau (Paris, 1846; new ed., 1863), Léon and Henri Hélot, in French and Arabic, with illustrations of the provincialisms (Paris, 1847), and Dernburg (Berlin, 1850).

'Luqman' is also mentioned in the muslim holy book, the Quran, to be a man to whom God gave wisdom and insight (Surah Luqman).