Today in Iranian history: the Shahnameh is completed (1010)

Obviously there are a lot of important works of literature that have been created over the years and across the many cultures of the world, so if I were to describe Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh as simply a great work of literature I would be doing it something of an injustice. It is a great work of literature, but its importance to history runs deeper than that. It has been argued, pretty reasonably, that this epic is responsible for saving Iranian civilization and the Persian language from extinction–or, at least, from being completely marginalized. Which is not to say that Ferdowsi did that all by himself, but he and his poem were instrumental in the effort.

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4 thoughts on “Today in Iranian history: the Shahnameh is completed (1010)

  1. Awesome! I’m taking a class in Islamic Studies at McGill University and we’ve been reading Shahnameh over the last several weeks. Was it really today, the 8th of March that Ferdowsi finished it? What an anniversary.

    1. Well, like I said, there’s some wiggle room when you’re talking about something that happened 1006 years ago, but March 8 is the generally accepted date.

  2. Welcome back! We missed you.

    Weird fact, a couple of my neighbors are Zoroastrians which I think is really cool. They run the “Indian Buffet” here in town.

    Your depiction of the “Shahnameh” brings to mind Loenrot’s “Kalevala” from Finland and its influence on 20th century ethnolinguistic nationalism. Small world, nothing really changes, this has all happened before, etc etc. Cool!

  3. For those of you who are interested there is a Shahnameh comic series with some of the best known stories called “Rostam: Tales from the Shahnameh”

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