Ferdowsi, the poet of the epic
Hakim Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi is the most famous epic poet of Iran. He was born in 935 Ad, near the city of Tus in Khorasan, during the reign of the Samanid Empire, who were the first to revive the Persian culture and language after the Arab conquest.
To honor the Samanid kings, he started to write an epic book based on a prose about myths and history of Iran, but it didn’t take long before the Ghaznavids defeated the Persian empire and conquered the country.
Ferdowsi dedicated 30 years of his life, to create his masterpiece, ‘Shahnameh’ (the book of the kings) which had a great impression on Persian culture and language. At that time, Arabic was the preferred language, yet Ferdowsi wrote 60000 couplets in Persian verse and he rarely used Arabic words. ‘Shahnameh’ is the story of Persians mixed with folklore legends and myths from several thousand years before his time. ‘Shahnameh’ has stories about Zoroastrianism, the kings, ordinary people, heroes and the demons of the past. Even after 1000 years, ‘Shahnameh’ is still widely read and admired by all Iranians and Persians around the world. In 2006, a translation of ‘Shahnameh’ was voted the fifth best-selling book ever by the Washington Post.
In 1020, the great Persian epic poet died and was buried in the yard of his house in Tus. During the Pahlavi dynasty, the National Heritage Organization of Iran erected a mausoleum in order to ensure that Ferdowsi remained in the minds and hearts of all Iranians who love their culture and literature.