Thursday, February 8, 2018

Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020)

Ferdowsi is the pseudonym of the Persian poet Hakim Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi. He was born and grew up in a family of Persian landowners in Paj of Tus—somewhere near today's Mashad, the capital city of the Iranian province of Khurasan. He is the author of the Shah-nameh, the national epic of Iran.

To the ancient Greeks, Tus was known as Susia. Having a son died at age 37, Ferdowsi's wife was most likely literate and came from the same dehqan class. Dehqan is a meber of the indigenous land aristocracy.

Ferdowsi became a landowner and received a comfortable income from his estates. But his income was not sufficient to provide for his daughter’s future, so Ferdowsi decided to write an epic for the sultan. He hoped to be paid handsomely for this task, which occupied him for more than thirty years.

The Shah-nameh was written for the court of the Samanid princes of Khorasan. The poem was based mainly on a prose work called the Khavatay-namak. The Shah-nameh chronicles the legendary history of the pre-Islamic kings of Iran from Keyumars, the first Shah of the world in 2600 BC to Yazdegerd III.
Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020)

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