Shahnameh, The Epic of the Persian Kings | Beautiful Books

The Shahnameh – which literally means ‘the book of Kings’ – is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi
around 1000 AD, and it’s considered to be the world’s longest epic poem written by
single poet – it contains 5000 couplets. Vintage Illustrated copies of
this work are usually gorgeously illustrated with Persian miniature
paintings, however this new edition is absolutely stunning! It’s filled to
bursting the bright pictures that were created by artist Hamid Rhamanian, who used images from various pictures of old manuscripts to create vibrant new imagery. Honestly, when you see the book in person these images are
simply breathtakingly beautiful, and there are 500 glorious pages of them. The text
of the poem has been vividly translated into English by Ahmed Sadri, the James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. It is structured according to the
mythical and historical reign of 50 Persian Kings, covering the period from
the creation of the world, until the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century. The epic can be roughly divided into three parts: the first part tells of the mythical
creation of Persia and its earliest mythical past; the second part tells of the
legendary kings and heroes Rostam and Sohrab; the third part blends historical
fact with legend, telling the semi-mythical adventures of actual
historical kings. The stories throng with heroes and villains, demons and
dragons, and deeds of derring-do. And the book tells the ageless story of the
struggle between good and evil. This edition is beautifully bound in
cloth, the pages are sewn in, and it’s protected by a very sturdy slipcase. Links to more information on places where you can buy are in the description
box. If you are interested in more, the same group also made a quite stunning
pop-up book of one of the stories which I’ll be reviewing shortly. Thanks for watching, see you next time!

5 thoughts on “Shahnameh, The Epic of the Persian Kings | Beautiful Books

  1. “I told you not to click on that video from looking at the thumbnail only!” – My Wallet

    Thanks for another great book and video!

  2. Links to the books:
    ► Book Depository:
    ► Amazon (US):
    ► The super fancy signed limited edition ($750) from the makers direct:
    ► A signed version is also available from the makers direct ($100, US only):

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