Photographer's Note

Statue of Ferdowsi, by master Abolhasan sedighi, Mausoleum of Ferdosi in Toos.

Ferdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. He was the author of the Shāhnāmeh, the national epic of Persian-speaking world as well as the entire Iranian realm.

The Shāhnāmeh, or the "Book of Kings," consists of the translation of an even older Pahlavi (Middle Persian) work. It has remained exceptionally popular among Persians for over a thousand years. It tells the history of old Persia before the Arab conquest of the region. This tale, all written in poetic form and in Darī Persian, starts 7,000 years ago, narrating the story of Persian kings , Persian knights , Persian system of laws, Persian Religion , Persian victories and Persian tragedies. Illustrations, especially those of Master Mahmoud Farshchian, are historical and use the different themes for the stories.

Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact. In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nezami, Khayyam, Asadi Tusi, and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language. Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: The Persians regard Ferdowsi as the greatest of their poets. For nearly a thousand years they have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork, the Shah-nameh, in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. Though written about 1,000 years ago, this work is as intelligible to the average, modern Iranian as the King James version of the Bible is to a modern English-speaker. The language, based as the poem is on a Pahlavi original, is pure Persian with only the slightest admixture of Arabic.

تنديس فردوسی، اثر استاد ابوالحسن صدیقی، توس

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Additional Photos by Akbar Shafiee (Leo71538) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 49 N: 167] (555)
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