Hakim Abolqasem Ferdowsi Tousi, great Iranian poet, was born in city of Tous, a city in Khorasan. His most famous work, Shahnameh, is a national epic and it is one of the most wonderful treasures in Iran. Some believe that Iranian people owe their nationality and identity to unparalleled and unforgettable work of this great man. It is a popular belief that Ferdowsi is not only a poet, but also a national hero.
Hakim Abolqasem Ferdowsi is an Iranian poet (329-411 AH). Ferdowsi’s childhood and youth passed during the Samanid Dynasty. Samani kings were fans of Persian literature. In 329 AH, Ferdowsi was born in Tabaran in Tous. From the very beginning, although he was a fan of science too, but he became very interested in reading stories. His interest in the ancient stories motivated him to write a book called Shahnameh. Rudaki and Daghighi’s literature had a great influence on Ferdowsi’s literature. In the year 370 or 371, Ferdowsi began to write the Shahnameh in poet. At the beginning, he had a significant wealth. In addition, some of the elders of Khorasan who were interested in ancient Iranian history were helping him. However, when years passed and Ferdowsi had written most of the Shahnameh, he was suffering from poverty. Like Babak, he tried to return the Zoroastrianism and the Persian language to Iran.
Ferdowsi is a person whom his poets not only influenced Iran’s culture and literature, but also the entire world. Ferdowsi died in the city of Tous in 416 AH and was buried there in his own possession. Every year, May 15, there is a celebration for this great man who wrote the history and language of Iran.
More Information about Shahnameh
- Based on Shahnameh of Abu Mansouri, they say that Ferdowsi has begun writing the Shahnameh when he was 30 years old. However, the capability of Ferdowsi in Farsi and poetry proves that he may also written poets when he was young, and may also composed parts of the Shahnameh during his youth times, based on the ancient stories that have been narrated by people.
- Ferdowsi was writing the Shahnameh for around 30 years. Some people believe that the original Shahnameh has 60,000 couplets, but an old Shahnameh that is in Britain has slightly over 49,000 couplets. However, with all this, the size of the current Shahnameh is slightly more than double of Iliad and Odyssey of Homer.
- There are 58 kings in Shahnameh.
- Shahnameh has three parts;
- The mythic part of it describes from Kyumarth Era until the appearance of Fereydun.
- The Pahlavani part begins with epic era of Fereydoon’s Kingdome, and ends with the death of Rostam.
- The historical part begins with the appearance of Bahman and ends with the Arab’s invasion and defeat of Iran.
- The great scientist and literary scholar of Iran’s literature, Ian Ripka, wrote about Shahnameh:” The certain fact is that in the all over the world, no other nation has such a high-level epic that can include all its historical traditions, from The dark eras of mythology till the middle of the seventh century. “
Artistic Features of Shahnameh
Shahnameh is not just a monument, but also a delicate painting of all human qualities. Ferdowsi, in the best possible way, has made the arrogant and agonistic features in the form of his story’s characters.
For example, the most famous character of Shahnameh is a great fighter with the best human virtues and he is the superhero of Ferdowsi’s story, but he is also not free from human errors and arrogant behaviors.
Shahnameh is a live, eternal treasure, because the features of historical or fictional characters of Shahnameh are easily visible in our real world.
Ferdowsi seems to have seen thousands of years ahead and behind and created the Shahnameh accordingly. Shahnameh is a battle of good and bad, the battle of black and white, the battle of men and the demon. Ferdowsi’s thinking and the idea of Shahnameh are always a good protector against injustice and oppression.
Most stories of the Shahnameh bring the world’s unreliability to the reader and he tries to awaken the reader motivates him to learn from time, but at the same time, when it comes to romance, Ferdowsi simply and magnificently narrates the subject.
Illustration is very important factor in Ferdowsi’s poetry. He portrays very realistic, that you think that you are also a character of Shahnameh who is watching it live. The poet, illustrates the events and adventures in front of the reader’s eyes, even he describes the natural events like sunrise, sunset, night, day, etc.
Ferdowsi is a great man in Iran’s history, and Persians will be indebted to him forever.