From Academic Kids

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Statue of Ferdowsi in Tehran
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Ferdowsi Mausoleum in Tus

Ferdowsi Tousi (فردوسی طوسی in Persian) (more commonly transliterated Firdausi) (9351020) is considered to be one of the greatest Persian poets to have ever lived. Among the national heroes and literary greats of all time, Ferdowsi has a very special place. His life-long endeavour, dedication and personal sacrifices to preserve the national identity, language and heritage of his homeland put him in great hardship during his lifetime, but won him fame and honour for one of the great poetic masterpieces of all time.

Ferdowsi was born in the Iranian province of Khorasan, in a village near Tus, in 935. His great epic the Shahnama ("The Epic of Kings"), to which he devoted most of his adult life, was originally composed for eventual 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. During Ferdowsi's lifetime this dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Empire, and there are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new ruler of Khorasan, Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznavid, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. Ferdowsi is said to have died around 1020 in poverty and embittered by royal neglect, though fully confident of his work's ultimate success and fame.

His masterwork, the Shahnama, is the most popular and influential manifestation of true Iranian national epics. The Shahnama, or the "Book of Kings," consists of the translation of an even older Pahlavi (Middle Persian) work. It has been a work of exceptional popularity among the Persians for over a thousand years.

Ferdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi's Shahnama a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi's Shahnama, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi's masterpiece.

See also

External links

  • Firdowsi, Abu al-Qasim (, A biography by Professor Iraj Bashiri with links to analysis of The Shahnameh.da:Firdausi

de:Abū l-Qasem-e Ferdousī nl:Firdousi


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