History, myths and legends

Hakim Abu al-Qasim Firdawsi Tusi (Firdawsi) (935–1025 CE)
Shāhnāmah شاهنامه (The book of kings)
Persia: Qazvin or Shiraz, late sixteenth century?

The Shāhnāmah is an epic poem, mixing up myth, legend and the real history of the Iranian kings from ancient times to the Arab conquest in the seventh century. It was written in Persian at a time when Arabic had become the established literary language of the Iranian lands, and is credited with the revival of the Persian language. Its fifty thousand couplets make it the world’s longest poem written by a single author. This copy is the earliest and most lavishly decorated of the eight Shāhnāmah manuscripts held in the Library, and was donated by the East India Company in 1806.

MS Add. 269, ff. 275r–276v

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