Thaïs (novel)

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Thaïs (novel)
Anatole France - Thaïs.djvu
Author Anatole France
Publication date
Pages 350
Illustration by Martin van Maële for a 1901 edition of the novel

Thaïs is a novel by Anatole France published in 1890. It is based on events in the life of Saint Thaïs of Egypt, a legendary convert to Christianity who is said to have lived in the 4th century.[1] It was the inspiration for the opera of the same name by Jules Massenet.


Paphnuce, an ascetic hermit of the Egyptian desert, journeys to Alexandria to find Thais, the libertine beauty whom he knew as a youth. Masquerading as a dandy, he is able to speak with her about eternity; surprisingly he succeeds in converting her to Christianity. Yet on their return to the desert he becomes fascinated with her former life. She enters a convent to repent of her sins. He cannot forget the pull of her famous beauty, and becomes confused about the values of life. Later, as she is dying and can only see heaven opening before her, he comes to her side and tells her that her faith is an illusion, and that he loves her.[2]


The novel was adapted in 1917 for an American silent films, American Thais.

The Indian writer Munshi Premchand adapted Thaïs as Ahankar in Hindi language.[3]


Thais has been translated into several languages. Below are some of the main translations. ===Arabic=== تاييس===by Mohammad al-Sawi Mohammad (?1924).


In Urdu Language, this has been translated by Inayat Ullah Dehlvi.[4]


Translating "Tais" into Polish made John Sten, and its issue published in Poland in 1906, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1931 and 1957.


In Persian it has been translated by Kazim Emadi.


  • Taide, translation of Amyntor Galli, Milan, Sonzogno 1911
  • Taide, translated by Alexander Chiavolini, Milan, Sonzogno 1921
  • Taide, translated by Titian Ciancaglini, Milan, Italy, Bietti 1929
  • Taide, translated by Francis Church, Milan, Mondadori, 1932
  • Taide, translated by Luigi de Nardis, Torino, UTET 1979
  • Taide, translated by Julian Vigini, Milan 2003


Tais, translation by Luis Ruíz Contreras, Mexico City, 1959 by Aguilar


  1. ^ Acta SS., IV, Oct., 223; Bibl., II, 1161
  2. ^ Anatole France, Thais (Paris 1890, revised edition 1921); translated into English: Modern Library 1926; Univ.of Chicago 1976.
  3. ^ Barbara Stoler Miller (1994). Masterworks of Asian literature in comparative perspective: a guide for teaching. M.E. Sharpe. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-56324-258-8. 
  4. ^ Thais By Anatole France, Urdu Translation

External links[edit]