As is clear from the Introduction, textual diversity is a feature of the Nights and finding the definitive text appears to be impossible. This chapter does not aim to assert a definitive text. Rather, the objective is to familiarise the reader with the history, origins and identity-indiversity of the Nights in its contemporary form. This chapter will also justify the use of the later Egyptian texts in the literary analysis of this study. The 198411404 edition of the largest Syrian survivor has generated the need to reevaluate our reasons for liking or relying on the more unwieldy and disintegrated Egyptian recensions upon which Lane, Burton, Payne and Mardrus based their translations.