This partially fictional narrative is recorded in Persian and Arabic sources of the early Islamic period, and some of its elements inspired some modern stories. Its general theme has common features with some Greek and Roman legends.
According to early Islamic traditions, al-Nadirah (Arabic: النضيرة al-Naḍīrah; Persian: نضیره Nazirah) was the daughter of al-Dayzan or Satirun (Sanatruq II), the king of Araba. She betrayed the fortified capital, Hatra, to the Persian king Shapur I after seeing and falling in love with him while he was besieging the city. She did this by intoxicating her father and the guards of the city gates, or by revealing to the enemy the talisman on which the city's ownership depended. Shapur I captured and destroyed Hatra and killed its king. He departed with al-Nadirah and married her. One night al-Nadirah could not sleep, complaining that her bed is too rough for her. It then turned out that a myrtle leaf was stuck in her skin and was irritating her. Astonished by her softness, Shapur I asked her how did her father bring her up, and she described how well he treated her. Shapur I realizes al-Nadirah's ingratitude towards her father and has her executed in a brutal manner.
The story is mentioned in Arabic and Persian literature and the poetry of the early Islamic period, including al-Tabari's Tarikh al-Tabari, Mirkhond's Rawzat as-Safa', Ibn Khallikan's Wafayāt al-Aʿyān, and Ferdowsi's Shahnama, where she is recorded as Mālikah (مالكه), daughter of king Tã'ir (طایر), while the Persian king is Shapur II, instead of Shapur I.
According to Theodor Nöldeke, al-Tabari's story is derived from the Greek tale of Scylla and her father Nisos. Some consider it as a Middle Eastern version of the Tarpeia theme. The theme of Al-Nadirah's legend was used in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea" and Ahmed Shawqi's Waraqat al-As (The Myrtle Leaf).
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