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The meaning of Aslan

The meaning of Aslan

Postby ArdenZ » 03 Mar 2007, 16:38

I heard somewhere that Aslan means "lion" in Turkish. I decided to use that [fact?] for a speech I will be giving on Tuesday about the characters and races of Narnia. I looked in my trusty (and very neat and insightful) "Companion to Narnia", which is sort of like a Narnian encyclopedia, but I cannot find it anywhere in the book. Can anyone else tell me if this is true, and, if so, give me a credible source to which I can cite it?

Thanks!
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Postby john » 03 Mar 2007, 16:45

Do you consider Wikipedia credible?

"Aslan is a Turkish word meaning Lion. [C. S. Lewis] came up with the name when [he] was on a trip to the Ottoman empire (modern-day Turkey), where he was impressed with the Sultan's elite guards also called Aslan because of their bravery and loyalty."
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Postby ArdenZ » 03 Mar 2007, 16:48

I've heard that Wikipedia is credible 90 percent of the time, but my instructor won't allow us to cite it.
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Postby Sven » 03 Mar 2007, 18:14

From that entry, I don't consider it reliable :lol:

Lewis never went to the Ottoman Empire (which ceased to exist when he was 24).

'Aslan' is a slightly archaic version of the modern Turkish word for lion, which transliterates into English as arslan. When I say slightly archaic, I'm told it sounds, in Turkish, somewhat the way the King James Bible sounds in English. Lewis found the word in a footnote in Edward Lane's translation of, and commentary on, The Thousand and One Nights: Commonly Called, in England, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. This book is available currently in an two volume abridged edition. The edition Lewis read it in was volume 16 of the series Harvard Classics (1909).
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Postby john » 03 Mar 2007, 18:18

Sven wrote:From that entry, I don't consider it reliable :lol:




:shocked: :shocked:
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Postby Sven » 03 Mar 2007, 20:04

Took me a while to find a citation. Obviously, I had read it somewhere, but I couldn't remember where, and you said it wasn't in Ford's Companion to Narnia.

Well, it's in Ford's Companion to Narnia, :grin: , the entry for 'Aslan's Name', note 2. The additional info I provided I don't have a citation for. The edition being the Harvard Classic I got from one of Lewis' letters (I think, I bought a copy right after reading that detail), and it being an archaic word came from a Turkish member of the Wardrobe back in the days of threaded forums.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Postby ArdenZ » 03 Mar 2007, 21:05

Oh! I can't believe I didn't see it! :blush:

Thanks, Sven!
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Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » 14 Mar 2007, 13:08

"Aslan is a Turkish word meaning Lion. [C. S. Lewis] came up with the name when [he] was on a trip to the Ottoman empire (modern-day Turkey), where he was impressed with the Sultan's elite guards also called Aslan because of their bravery and loyalty."

Gosh! Who comes up with this clap-trap? :lol:
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Postby The Bigsleep J » 14 Mar 2007, 13:12

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:Gosh! Who comes up with this clap-trap? :lol:


I suspect someone sufficiently bored with whatever they were doing. :wink: :toothy-grin:
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Postby Bill » 14 Mar 2007, 19:29

Edit it then!

:wink:

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Postby carol » 15 Mar 2007, 08:07

I suggest we ask Paul Ford to visit the site and edit the info.

HE has a good standing in the world of published stuff.

EDIT: I just wrote him a cheeky PM and asked him whether he might amend it. :wink:
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Postby kyla nicol » 22 Mar 2007, 16:51

john wrote:Do you consider Wikipedia credible?

"Aslan is a Turkish word meaning Lion. [C. S. Lewis] came up with the name when [he] was on a trip to the Ottoman empire (modern-day Turkey), where he was impressed with the Sultan's elite guards also called Aslan because of their bravery and loyalty."
:toothy-grin:
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Re: The meaning of Aslan

Postby Guest » 09 Aug 2007, 22:32

ArdenZ wrote:I heard somewhere that Aslan means "lion" in Turkish. Can anyone else tell me if this is true, and, if so, give me a credible source to which I can cite it?


yes, Aslan does mean ''lion'' in Turkish ( I have family in Turkey). Like john said, you can use Wikipedia as a source.

:smile:
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Re: The meaning of Aslan

Postby carol » 10 Aug 2007, 11:13

Anonymous wrote: yes, Aslan does mean ''lion'' in Turkish ( I have family in Turkey). Like john said, you can use Wikipedia as a source.
:smile:


Thank you for confirming that; we did know that Aslan means lion, so that part wasn't the problem.
The part that IS the problem is the bit that says Lewis visited the Ottoman Empire!

He never visited Turkey! The nearest he got was Greece when he and his wife went on holiday there in 1960. This was, of course, long after he had written and published all the Narnia books.:)
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