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Shahnameh

Scene from the Shahnameh. Afrasiyab (standing figure) executes Nauzar (lying down), while two groups look on.

Persian Poets’ Fabled Family of Heroes

Star-crossed lovers, fathers killing sons and a warrior bride shackling her newlywed husband to the bed, all play a role in the legendary folklore of Persia’s most famous fabled family; that of...
Image from the Shahnameh of the Simurgh (benevolent Persian mythological creature) carrying Zal (held in her claws) to her nest.

Simurgh, the Mysterious Giant Healing Bird in Iranian Mythology

The image of the serpent is widely acknowledged in western culture to symbolize medicine. One of the most recognizable symbols for medicine today is the rod of Aesculapius with its entwined single...
Shahnameh (Book of Kings) Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020).

The Early Rulers of Persia, Part II: The Kayanian Dynasty

( Read Part I ) According to Persian epic tradition, the Kayanians were the second dynasty to rule the land which is known today as Iran. The Kayanians succeeded the Pishdadians, whose dynasty ended...
Gate of all nations.

The Early Rulers of Persia, Part I: The Pishdadian Dynasty

( Read Part II ) It is arguable that the most famous empire based in Persia was that of the Achaemenids. This was one of the greatest empires in the ancient world, and is best known in the Western...
Rostam the hero fighting the Dragon in the Seven Quests of Rostam. Iranian miniature illustration from Shahnameh

The Longest Poem Ever Written: Shahnameh – The Epic Book of Kings

In 977 AD, a Persian poet named Ferdowsi began on a grandiose poetic journey that would take him 33 years to complete. He used ancient Persian tales which had been told from generation to generation...