The Shahnameh is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. and Shahnameh was in turn and for the most part the translation of a Pahlavi (Middle Persian) work, known as the Xadāynāmag ("Book of Kings"). Among the great works of world literature, perhaps one of the least familiar to English readers is the "Shahnameh: ThePersian Book of Kings," the national epic . The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings Paperback – Deckle Edge, February 27, The great national epic of Persia—the most complete English-language edition and definitive translation by Dick Davis, available in a deluxe edition by Penguin Classics. Shahnameh: The Epic of the.
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Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings [Elizabeth Laird, Shirin Adl] on site. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Shahnameh is a collection of. Among the great works of world literature, perhaps one of the least familiar to English readers is the Shahnameh: ThePersian Book of Kings, the national epic of. Just in time for the Persian New Year, there's a new English translation of the Shahnameh — the epic "Persian Book of Kings" written over the.
Photographed in close-up, the extraordinary detail of the pictures and ceramics in the exhibition becomes apparent. It plunges deep into the complexity of the art of the manuscript, the use of colour, perspective and symbolism. It is a shame that both books provide so few translations of the extracts they refer to, though the exhibition catalogue has a few more to offer. Ferdowsi went to great lengths to avoid any words drawn from Arabic, a stark political statement after the turmoil of the Arab conquest of Persia in the seventh century.
Small wonder then that so many Iranians regard him as the saviour of the Persian language. The exhibition determinedly avoids making any modern political analogies. But at a time when better understanding Iran should be a priority for all, an exhibition that explains a poem known as the Iranians' identity card can only be an excellent thing.
Join them. Subscribe to The Economist today. Media Audio edition Economist Films Podcasts. New to The Economist? Sign up now Activate your digital subscription Manage your subscription Renew your subscription. Topics up icon. Ferdowsi followed this path not only to preserve and purify the Persian language, but also as a stark political statement against the Arab conquest of Persia. This calls into question the idea of Ferdowsi's deliberate eschewing of Arabic words. The Shahnameh has 62 stories, chapters, and some 50, rhyming couplets, making it more than three times the length of Homer 's Iliad , and more than twelve times the length of the German Nibelungenlied.
According to Ferdowsi himself, the final edition of the Shahnameh contained some sixty thousand distichs. But this is a round figure; most of the relatively reliable manuscripts have preserved a little over fifty thousand distichs.
Nezami-e Aruzi reports that the final edition of the Shahnameh sent to the court of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was prepared in seven volumes. The Shirvanshah dynasty adopted many of their names from the Shahnameh. The relationship between Shirwanshah and his son, Manuchihr, is mentioned in chapter eight of Nizami 's Leili o Majnoon.
Nizami advises the king's son to read the Shahnameh and to remember the meaningful sayings of the wise. Indeed, despite all claims to the contrary, there is no question that Persian influence was paramount among the Seljuks of Anatolia.
When we take into consideration domestic life in the Konya courts and the sincerity of the favor and attachment of the rulers to Persian poets and Persian literature, then this fact i. Shah Ismail I d.
Although the epic was left unfinished, it was an example of mathnawis in the heroic style of the Shahnameh written later on for the Safavid kings. The Shahnameh 's influence has extended beyond the Persian sphere. Professor Victoria Arakelova of Yerevan University states:. During the ten centuries passed after Firdausi composed his monumental work, heroic legends and stories of Shahnameh have remained the main source of the storytelling for the peoples of this region: Jamshid Sh.
Giunashvili remarks on the connection of Georgian culture with that of Shahnameh:. Georgian ideology, customs, and worldview often informed these translations because they were oriented toward Georgian poetic culture. Conversely, Georgians consider these translations works of their native literature.
Farmanfarmaian in the Journal of Persianate Studies:. Despite some popular belief, the Turanians of Shahnameh whose sources are based on Avesta and Pahlavi texts have no relationship with the ethno-linguistic group Turk today.
According to Richard Frye , "The extent of influence of the Iranian epic is shown by the Turks who accepted it as their own ancient history as well as that of Iran The Turks were so much influenced by this cycle of stories that in the eleventh century AD we find the Qarakhanid dynasty in Central Asia calling itself the 'family of Afrasiyab' and so it is known in the Islamic history.
Turks, as an ethno-linguistic group, have been influenced by the Shahnameh since advent of Saljuqs. And all the land will talk of me: I shall not die, these seeds I've sown will save My name and reputation from the grave, And men of sense and wisdom will proclaim When I have gone, my praises and my fame.
I have revived the Ajam with my verse. I will not die then alive in the world, For I have spread the seed of the word. Whoever has sense, path and faith, After my death will send me praise.
This prediction of Ferdowsi has come true and many Persian literary figures, historians and biographers have praised him and the Shahnameh. The Shahnameh is considered by many to be the most important piece of work in Persian literature.
Western writers have also praised the Shahnameh and Persian literature in general. Persian literature has been considered by such thinkers as Goethe as one of the four main bodies of world literature.
Goethe wrote:. When we turn our attention to a peaceful, civilized people, the Persians, we must—since it was actually their poetry that inspired this work—go back to the earliest period to be able to understand more recent times.
It will always seem strange to the historians that no matter how many times a country has been conquered, subjugated and even destroyed by enemies, there is always a certain national core preserved in its character, and before you know it, there re-emerges a long-familiar native phenomenon.
In this sense, it would be pleasant to learn about the most ancient Persians and quickly follow them up to the present day at an all the more free and steady pace. Sargozasht-Nameh or biography of important poets and writers has long been a Persian tradition.
Some of the biographies of Ferdowsi are now considered apocryphal, nevertheless this shows the important impact he had in the Persian world. Among the famous biographies are: Famous poets of Persia and the Persian tradition have praised and eulogized Ferdowsi.
Many of them were heavily influenced by his writing and used his genre and stories to develop their own Persian epics, stories and poems: Many other poets, e. Hafez , Rumi and other mystical poets, have used imageries of Shahnameh heroes in their poetry. The Shahnameh 's impact on Persian historiography was immediate and some historians decorated their books with the verses of Shahnameh.
Below is sample of ten important historians who have praised the Shahnameh and Ferdowsi: Illustrated copies of the work are among the most sumptuous examples of Persian miniature painting. Several copies remain intact, although two of the most famous, the Houghton Shahnameh and the Great Mongol Shahnameh , were broken up for sheets to be sold separately in the 20th century.
The Mongol rulers in Iran revived and spurred the patronage of the Shanameh in its manuscript form.
The Timurids continued the tradition of manuscript production. For them, it was considered de rigueur for the members of the family to have personal copies of the epic poem. The Safavid era saw a resurgence of Shahnameh productions. In honour of the Shahnameh 's millennial anniversary, in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge hosted a major exhibition, called "Epic of the Persian Kings: Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC also hosted an exhibition of folios from the 14th through the 16th centuries, called "Shahnama: In Hamid Rahmanian illustrated a new English translation of Shanameh translated by Ahmad Sadri using images from various pictures of old manuscripts of the book to create new imagery.
Scholarly editions have been prepared of the Shahnameh. An early edition was prepared in in India by T.
It was based on a comparison of 17 manuscript copies. Between and , an edition appeared in Paris by French scholar J. Mohl, which was based on a comparison of 30 manuscripts. Both editions lacked critical apparatuses and were based on secondary manuscripts dated after the 15th century; much later than the original work. Between and , the German scholar J. Vullers prepared a synthesized text of the Macan and Mohl editions, but only three of its expected nine volumes were published.
The Vullers edition was later completed in Tehran by the Iranian scholars S. Nafisi, Iqbal, and M. Minowi for the millennial jubilee of Ferdowsi, held between and The first modern critical edition of the Shahnameh was prepared by a Russian team led by E. Bertels, using the oldest known manuscripts at the time, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, with heavy reliance on the manuscript from the British Museum and the Leningrad manuscript, the latter of which has now been considered a secondary manuscript.
In addition, two other manuscripts used in this edition have been so demoted. For many years, the Moscow edition was the standard text.
In , an early manuscript was rediscovered in Florence. The Florence manuscript is one of the earliest known copies of the Shahnameh , predating the Moghul invasion and the following destruction of important libraries and manuscript collections. Using it as the chief text, Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh began the preparation of a new critical edition in The number of manuscripts that were consulted during the preparation of Khaleghi-Motlagh edition goes beyond anything attempted by the Moscow team.
The critical apparatus is extensive and a large number of variants for many parts of the poem were recorded. The last volume was published in , bringing the eight-volume enterprise to a completion. According to Dick Davis , professor of Persian at Ohio State University, it is "by far the best edition of the Shahnameh available, and it is surely likely to remain such for a very long time". The only known Arabic translation of the Shahnameh was done in c.
The translation is Nathr unrhyming and was largely forgotten until it was republished in full in in Egypt, by historian Abdelwahhab Azzam. This modern edition was based on incomplete and largely imprecise fragmented copies found in Cambridge , Paris, Astana, Cairo and Berlin. The latter had the most complete, least inaccurate and well-preserved Arabic version of the original translation by al-Bondari.
There have been a number of English translations, almost all abridged. Between and , the brothers Arthur and Edmond Warner published a translation of the complete work in nine volumes, now out of print. There are also modern incomplete translations of the Shahnameh: Reuben Levy 's prose version later revised by Amin Banani , and another by Dick Davis in a mixture of poetry and prose which appeared in The Parsis , Zoroastrians, whose ancestors had migrated to India in the 8th or 10th century so they could continue practice of their religion in peace, have also kept the Shahnameh traditions alive.
Bahman Sohrabji Surti, assisted by Marzban Giara, published between and the first detailed and complete translation of the Shahnameh from the original Persian verse into English prose, in seven volumes. There are various translations in French and German. An Italian translation has been published in 8 volumes by Italo Pizzi with the title: Il libro dei re. Poema epico recato dal persiano in versi italiani da Italo Pizzi, 8 voll. Dastur Faramroz Kutar and his brother Ervad Mahiyar Kutar translated the Shahnameh into Gujarati verse and prose and published 10 volumes between and From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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His book about the Shahnameh, Epic and Sedition was published by Mage in paperback in His books of translations are: Borrowed Ware: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz First name. Last name. Check your inbox or spam folder now to confirm your subscription. Powered by WordPress , Supreme , and Publisher. Pin It. Out of Stock A few remain on site Slipcased three-volume set.
Reviews Times Literary Supplement It is almost impossible to exaggerate the influence of [the Shahnameh] on the national culture of Iran…it marks the definitive emergence of New Persian as a language of literature and culture… in much the same way as the Authorized Version of the Bible anchored English.
But when the time came. Three drafts of wine gave him his strength and glory Who would have thought the king would hear the story? Poems By Fatemeh Shams. Remember me on this computer Forgot your password? Forgot password Email: Send To Friend. Your name: Your email: Hello, I just stumbled upon this listing and thought you might like it.
Just check it out. The Persian Book of Kings x. Full name: Contact number: Please let me know how can I get in touch with you. Waiting for your prompt reply?