Shahnama- Book Review

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Shahnama- Book review

All time greatest Persian poet Ferdousi, who has created the epic Shahnama, an intelligent and a masterpiece. Whatever and whoever poets we have seen in this world in different countries and different languages, Ferdousi is unique. Persian language and having a place in the global languages Ferdousi fought well. He has dedicated his whole life in polishing and shining the Persian language of his time, when Arabian language practice were blooming up.

Introducing Shahnama?

One thousand years back Shahnama was written, the history of old Iran, its culture, creeds, and myths all are included in this epic. In this book we see 990 Chapters, 62 Stories. This epic is seven times bigger than Iliad of Homer and twelve times bigger than German epic Nibelungenlied. Whatever English versions we see published so far, are the entire edited and summarized version, not a full version. In 1925 Arthur and Edmond Brothers had published the whole Shahnama in nine volumes, which cannot be found now a days to buy. Besides Russians also translated a version of it.

Persian Culture and Shahnama:

Before Islam all the ancient Persia was inhabited by the Jorthustraw / fire worshippers. In the Shahnama we can see various incidents and events of those religion practices. In a nutshell, from the time of Aryan to Seventh Century A.D., i.e., pre-Islamic time Persian society, culture, and rituals were nicely depicted in the Shahnama. Ferdousi shown his affection, and patriotism in his writing of this grand book. It also includes many innovations of mankind in this epic. How mankind developed and evolved after inventing fire, it described in a majestic and spectacular fashion. Moreover, how we became the civilized human being, and cooking techniques, usage of metals are also the other splendid side of this epic. Shahnama bears the witness of a civilization, which is unshattered and unchanged till now.

The story of Shohrab and Rustam is well known to all of us. All the people around the globe acquainted with these two heroes; their bravery, ethics and morality; most of all the tragedy son killed by father in a war between two states.

Historical other heroes are also described in a magnificent style. Among many incidents and events, some were like- Ashkanian States and its many myths; also found the story of Alexander the Great. But among all the touchy part is the defeat of Shashanid kingdom in the hands of Arabs, where the crying for destruction of sovereignty and freedom of the Persian kingdom is colored vividly. The Arabs were termed here as ‘the Dark force’. In this epic Ferdousi’s love and affection very much touches the readers for the Persian kingdom and its culture.   

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