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Shahnameh Ferdowsi

Shahnameh Ferdowsi2

Shahnameh Ferdowsi: A single poet write the world’s longest epic poem

A single poet write the world’s longest epic poem

The Shahnameh, Book of Kings, the Iranian poet Hakim Abul-Qasim Mansur who composed an epic and completed around 1010 CE. Ferdowsi means ‘from paradise’, and derived from the name Ferdous. Tusi means ‘from Tus’. In the poet’s case, the name Ferdowsi Tusi became a name and a title as the Tusi Poet from Paradise. The epic chronicles the legends and histories of Iranian (Aryan) kings from primordial times to the Arab conquest of Iran.Three successive stages are the mythical, the heroic or legendary, and the historic.

Shahnameh Introduction

Ferdowsi began the composition of the Shahnameh’s approximately 100,000 lines as 50,000* couplets /distichs (bayts). Each consisting of two hemistichs (misra), 62 stories and 990 chapters. The Samanids had Tajik-Aryan affiliation and were sympathetic to preserving Aryan heritage. It took Ferdowsi thirty-three years to complete his epic. When the rule of eastern Iran passed to the Turkoman Ghaznavids. The Shahnameh Ferdowsi written in classical Persian when the language was emerging from its Middle Persian Pahlavi roots, and at a time when Arabic was the favored language of literature. Ferdowsi seen as a national Iranian hero, re-ignited pride in Iranian culture and literature. Also established the Persian language as a language of beauty and sophistication.

Ferdowsi wrote: “This work revive the Persian language.”

The earliest and perhaps most reliable account of Ferdowsi’s life comes from Nezami-ye Aruzi, visited Tus in 1116 or 1117 to collect information about Ferdowsi’s life. According to Nezami-ye Aruzi, Ferdowsi Tusi  born into a family of landowners near the village of Tus in the Khorasan province. Ferdowsi and his family called Dehqan. Dehqan is now thought to mean landed, village settlers, urban and even farmer. However, Dehgan is also a name for the Parsiban, a group of Khorasani with Tajik roots.
Ferdowsi married at the age of 28.Eight years after his marriage started writing Shahnameh, a project on which he spent some thirty-three years of his life.

Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings

Ferdowsi’s text centered on the reigns of fifty monarchs (including three women). So, It can divide into a legendary and a quasi-historical section. It begins with the reign of Kayumars at the dawn of time and concludes with the last Sasanian king, Yazdigird (reigned 632–651). These fifty “chronicles” provide a framework for the dramatic deeds and heroic actions of a range of other personages. Generally, the poem draws on a wealth of sources, including local and dynastic histories, the Avesta.

Iran and myths and legends preserved in oral tradition.

“Our lives pass from us like the wind,
and why Should wise men grieve to know that they must die?
The Judas blossom fades,
the lovely face of light is dimmed,
and darkness takes its place.”
-Shahnameh Ferdowsi



About Ferdowsi Description

Over the centuries, foreign conquerors and local rulers alike drawn to the Shahnaman for its emphasis on justice, legitimacy, and especially the concept of divine glory. So not surprisingly, commissioning lavishly illustrated copies of the Shahnama became almost a royal duty. Above all, Representing the kings and heroes of the epic according to the style of their own times. Members of the ruling elite were able to cast themselves as the legitimate heirs of Iran’s monarchical tradition. According to Ferdowsi dates back to the beginning of time.

Language of Shahnameh Ferdowsi

Ferdowsi wrote Shahnameh in Persian at a time when modern Persian was emerging from middle Persian Pahlavi admixed with a number of Arabic words. In his writing, Ferdowsi used authentic Persian while minimizing the use of Arabic words.  So established classical Persian as the language of great beauty and sophistication.A language that would supplant Arabic as the language of court literature in all Islamic regimes in the Indo-Iranian region.
“I turn to right and left, in all the earth.
I see no signs of justice, sense or worth:
A man does evil deeds, and all his days.
Are filled with luck and universal praise;
Another’s good in all he does – he dies.
A wretched, broken man whom all despise.”
– Shahnameh Ferdowsi
In short, if the Shahnameh transliterations this author possesses are correct. Moreover, Ferdowsi even used the term Parsi and not Farsi to name the Persian language which Farsi being the Arabic version of Parsi.

English Translations of Shahnameh Ferdowsi

It is the illustrated edition of the classic work “Shahnameh Ferdowsi”. This new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations which is published in April 2013. Award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian who created the lush and intricate illustrations in this edition. Also incorporating images from the pictorial tradition of the Persianate world from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The new translation and adaptation by Ahmad Sadri. He retells the mythological and epic stories of the original poem in prose format. This Shahnameh is an extraordinary literary and artistic accomplishment.