Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Shahnama

The Shahnama or the Books of Kings, begun about 975 A.D. It is dedicated in its final form to Mahmud of Ghazna in about 1010 A.D. It is the longest poem ever written by one person. It contains over 50,000 verses and was probably written by Firdausi (Abdul Qasim Mansur (c. 940–c. 1020) of Tus (Northern Iran). Firdausi, a Persian poet, has been called the Homer of Persia. Based on a poem by the Persian poet Daqiqi (d. about 980) which included thousands of line from the story of Zoroaster, it is regarded as the national epic of Iran and is generally acclaimed as the most magnificent of all Persian epic poems, becoming a model for later Iranian epics. This monumental work is credited with rescuing the Persian language from near-extinction. It is considered one of the most frequently illustrated Iranian books.

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