The Canterbury Tales is the culmination of a frame tradition that originated and developed in Arabia, not in the West. The Arabic practice of enclosing tales within a frame may be explained by principles of organization peculiar to medieval Arabic literature, art, music, and mathematics: a preference for concreteness, a stress on autonomous elements, and a reliance on external organizing devices. Most Arabic literature emphasizes the individual unit; frames remain open-ended and inconclusive and rarely determine the subject or form of any included part. Although many Western characteristics are present in medieval European frame narratives like the Disciplina Clericalis, the Decameron, and the Confessio Amantis, those works, nonetheless, reveal themselves as continuations of the Arabic tradition. Even the Canterbury Tales, with all its subtle artistry, retains qualities typical of its Arabic ancestors, notably the controlling travelpilgrimage motif, the pointedly random order of tales, and the prominent authorial personality.