The Thousand Nights and a Night - notes: Flying Carpets

Quoting a note from Sir Richard Burton's translation of the Thousand Nights and a Night:

The great prototype of the Flying Carpet is that of Sulayman bin Daud [i.e. King Solomon], a fable which the Koran (cahp. xxi. 81) borrowed from the Talmud, not from "Indian fictions." It was of green sendal embroidered with gold and silver and studded with precious stones, and its length and breadth were such that all the Wise King's host could stand upon it, the men to the left an the Jinns to the right of the throne; and when all were ordered, the Wind at royal command, raised it and wafted it whither the Prophet would, while an army of birds flying overhead canopied the host from the sun. In the Middle Ages the legend assumed another form. "Duke Richard, surnamed 'Richard sans peur,' walking with his courtiers one evening in the forest of Moulineaux, near one of his castles on the banks of the Seine, hearing ofa prodigious noise coming twards him, sent one of his esquires to know what was the matter, who brought him word that it was a company of people under a leader or King. Richard, with five hundred of his bravest Normans, went out to see a sight which the peasants were so accustomed to that they viewed it two or three times a week without fee. The sight was oft he troop, preceded by two men, who spread a cloth on the ground, made all the Normans run away, and leave the Duke alone. He saw the strangers form themselves into a circle on the cloth, and on asking who they were, was told that they were the spirits of Charles V., King of France, and his servants, condemed to expiate their sins aby fighting all night against the wicked and the damned. Richard desired to be of theif party, and receiving a strict charge not to quit the cloth, was conveyed with them to Mount Sinai, where, leaving them without quitting the cloth, he said his prayers in the Church of St. Catherine's Abbey there, while they were fighting, and returned with them. In proof of the truth of this story, he brought back half the wedding-ring of a knight in that convent, whose wife, after six years, concluded him dead, and was going to take a second husband." (Note in the Lucknow Edition of The Nights.)
- Burton, Richard F. _Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and Night_ Volume XIV, Eaton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, p. 425.

Looking at the verse in question in N. J. Dawood's translation of the Koran we have:

"To Solomon We [God] subjected the raging wind: it sped at his bidding to the land which We had blessed. We had knowledge of all things." - which looks like a bit of a stretch to be a flying carpet ref. to me, so I don't know where he got the rest of that Solomon story.

Other Thousand Nights and a Night notes:
Myths and
Legends, Chris' home page