Author: Van Dyke, Henry (1852-1933)
This beloved short novella expands the biblical story of the three Magi with a fictional
account of a fourth Magus named Artaban. While his three companions travel west,
following the Star of Bethlehem, Artaban stops to aid a dying man and consequently
does not make it in time to laud the newborn Christ. For years, he wanders as a pilgrim,
seeking Christ and holding on to the precious gift he had intended to give him. Van
Dyke’s gentle and often lyrical Christmas tale has since inspired several plays, films,
music, and adaptations for children’s books.