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The Shah Namah: The Epic of Kings (with Active TOC) by [TOOSI, HAKIM ABOL-GHASEM FERDOWSI]
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The Shah Namah: The Epic of Kings (with Active TOC) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 170 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

About the Author:

"Hakim Abol-Qasem Ferdowsi Tusi, more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi, (935-1020) was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Persia (Iran).

Ferdowsi was born in the Iranian province of Razavi Khorasan, in a village near Tus, in 935. His father was a wealthy land owner. Ferdowsi was a pious Muslim.His great epic, the Shahnameh ("The Epic of Kings"), to which he devoted more than 35 years, was originally composed for presentation to the Samanid princes of Khorasan, who were the chief instigators of the revival of Iranian cultural traditions after the Arab conquest of the seventh century.

When he was just 23-years old, he found a "Shahnameh" written by Abu-Mansour Almoammari; it was not, however, in poetic form. It consisted of older versions ordered by Abu-Mansour ibn Abdol-razzagh. The discovery would be a fateful moment in the life of the poet. Ferdowsi started his composition of the Shahnameh in the Samanid era in 977. During Ferdowsi's lifetime the Samanid dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Empire.

After 30 years of hard work, he finished the book and two or three years after that, Ferdowsi went to Ghazni, the Ghaznavid capital, to present it to the king. There are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new king, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. According to historians, Mahmud had promised Ferdowsi a dinar for every distich written in the Shahnameh (60,000 dinars), but later retracted and presented him with dirhams (20,000 dirhams), which were at that time much less valuable than dinars (every 100 dirhams worth 1 dinar). Some think it was the jealousy of other poets working at the king's court that led to this treachery; the incident encouraged Ferdowsi's enemies in the court. Ferdowsi rejected the money and, by some accounts, he gave it to a poor man who sold wine. Wandering for a time in Sistan and Mazandaran, he eventually returned to Tus, heartbroken and enraged.

He had left behind a poem for the King, stuck to the wall of the room he had worked in for all those years. It was a long and angry poem, more like a curse, and ended with the words:

"Heaven's vengeance will not forget. Shrink tyrant from my words of fire, and tremble at..." (Quote from wikipedia.org)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 571 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Orange Sky Project; 1 edition (7 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00502B80O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,446 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Shahid on 22 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a treasure trove. And its translation is a great service. Gives people searching for spirituality a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting insight
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8879ecf0) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
HASH(0x887b97c8) out of 5 stars Introduction to ancient persian literature 18 Dec. 2013
By travel light and smiling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i am learning that Ancient Persia had a literature and culture every bit as sophisticated as that of Ancient Greece.
This is a saga of a legend, and it resonates with Beowulf and La Poema del Cid.
HASH(0x8920b0e4) out of 5 stars Can't tell the players without a program ! 21 July 2014
By Downtown9 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best to read this one in the original I suspect. Early sections of the epic read like a bad translation from the Persian Classic. If you want to know about the lineage of carpet-merchant duplicity this would be your book. Not many good guys in this iteration of the evoluitionary tale of the Shah's Kingdom. A glossary would have helped the reader trying to figure out the actual modern day geographic equivalents of the many fertile crescent locations.
HASH(0x89209fcc) out of 5 stars An old Classic not to be missed 7 Jan. 2015
By Marpa47 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This classic of Persian ancient literature is still referenced up to today throughout Asian thinking, so it is a great background to have if one is at all interested in adding to knowledge of the vast world of the East.
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a66ac8) out of 5 stars IRP Book Reviw 25 Feb. 2010
By Sathees Chandran - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"After terrible suffering and great travails, King Jamshid climbed up to Zabulistan."

This fairy tale line comes from an 11th-century cycle of epic poetry that is as vital to Persian civilization as Homer's poetry is to Greece. What startled me when I first read it was the place name, repeated again and again: not some great city in the Iranian heartlands like Babylon, but Zabulistan - the tract of desolate frontier that stretches north and east from Kandahar.

The "Shahnameh" cycle celebrates a dynasty of mythic heroes, whose fiefdom is Zabulistan and whose exploits glorified the kingdom of Iran and protected it from its northern enemies. But the poetry is studded with examples of the champions' testy independence, even when performing great feats in the service of their kings. In one of the most celebrated episodes, Rustam, the chief hero, kills the crown prince in battle rather than be carried to court in fetters.

Through such symbolism, the poems reflect the legendary - and to a large degree real - unconquerability of the region that is now southern and eastern Afghanistan.

Some 500 years before the "Shanameh" was written, the Muslim conquests transformed the eastern Mediterranean region - and much of the world - forever after. The Arab tribesmen who burst forth from their desert on camels, armed with little more than the egalitarian precepts of their new religion, swept away two empires, almost toppled a third, and founded a polity that reached from Spain to the borders of India. But they could not reduce Zabulistan. Chronicles from the period detail fierce fighting on the frontier between the Muslim ghazis and the pagan subjects of Zabulistan. To this day, Afghans - whose name, to some, is now synonymous with inflexible adherence to conservative Islam - are proud of their forefathers' resistance to the companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Eventually (in the mid-900's), a local fellow - a brigand and son of a coppersmith from a village 200 miles west of Kandahar - opened Zabulistan to Islam. At a victory feast one night, the court poet began singing his praises, in Arabic as usual. "Why should I have to listen to this stuff I can't even understand?" the conqueror supposedly interrupted, ordering up verses in his native Persian, which until then had been only a vernacular.

This helped launch another kind of revolution: a cultural revolution, which led to the composition of the "Shahnameh." It was an explosion of creativity in literature, art and architecture, in science, manners, thought and style that conquered the Arab Muslim conquerors of the Iranian plateau and spread eastward over the next half-millennium to the borders of China. This cultural efflorescence defines Afghanistan's character as surely as the country's fierce adoption of the religion of Islam does.

Although Afghanistan almost brought the Muslim conquests to a standstill; although it maintained, in the 19th century, a difficult independence from both Russia and imperial Britain; and although, a century later, it staved off the Soviet Red Army, the country has been conquered. Indeed, devastating, earth-gutting conquest - as much as Afghanistan's legendary independence - defines the country's character, too.

The most traumatic defeat came in the first quarter of the 13th century at the hands of Genghis Khan and his Mongols, who laid waste to great swaths of two continents. Again, Afghanistan almost held them off. A prince named Jalal ad-Din, whose father had five years earlier bequeathed him its lands, did what no other leader in those parts had dared. He attacked the Mongols. And in a mighty battle north of Kabul, he beat them. But then, that legendary Afghan unruliness intruded: the two wings of the prince's multiethnic army fought over the division of spoils and the honor that went with them, and half the troops deserted. Jalal ad-Din retreated to the Indus River, where the Mongols caught up with him and destroyed what was left of his army. Then they overran the future Afghanistan.

Genghis Khan's imitator Tamerlane repeated the process a century and a half later, tearing up the carefully irrigated breadbasket west of Kandahar, which to this day remains mostly desert. Yet once again, Persian culture conquered its conquerors. Tamerlane's son established his capital in Herat (now on Afghanistan's western border), where there soon flourished an unparalleled school of Persian painting, whose artists frequently illustrated the "Shahnameh" cycle.
HASH(0x887b9db0) out of 5 stars The epic of kings 5 Jan. 2015
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Everything about ruling and power is common in all civilizations. Sword and mind don't always win.The supreme is greed and lies
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