The Iranian epic, the Shahnameh, contains the history and stories of prehistoric and historic Iran with all their greatness and pettiness, romance and tragedies, heroes and villains, glory and shame.
The Shahnameh, which literally means "The Book of Kings", was composed about a thousand years ago by a poet whose real name was Abu Qasim Hasan, but who is better known by his pen-name Firdausi Toosi. The Shahnameh comprises about 60,000 couplets in pure classical Persian, of which about 4,000 are lost to us now. The Shahnameh ranks among the greatest epics of the world along with the Iliad and Odyssey of the West and the Ramayana and Mahabharata in the East.The Shahnameh of Firdausi Toosi, one of the greatest epics of the world, depicts the mythical and historical past of ancient Iran, from the creation of the world, until the end of the royal legacy of Zoroastrianism, and the conquest of Iran by foreign invaders, in the 7th century.
The master-poet Firdausi (C. 940-1020), through his portrayal of the political and cultural identity of the Persian empire, has very successfully conveyed one of the most valuable messages for mankind - the message for inculcating humanitarian values. His poetic history of Iran (Persia) is replete with specific preachings for avoiding cruelty, enmity, lying, jealousy, avarice and other vices, and emphatic advice for striving hard for love, care, compassion, justice, order, truth, respect, kindness and other virtues imbued by mankind.
The forceful flow of potent language, the amazing unfoldment of the purport of narration, lively characterization, apt and enchanting descriptions of various personalities belonging to different royal dynasties, and events, and above all, the treasure of time-tested wisdom, and eternal values - all these have made Firdausi's Shahnameh a true literary role-model for poets of generations to follow, a great source of pursuing serious studies and research in history, culture, sociology, polity, linguistics, poetics and aesthetics, as well as a living monument of its author Firdausi and his multi-faceted genius.
Firdausi is regarded as the Homer of the East.
Shri Adi F. Merchant has lucidly rewritten, rather retold, this amazing saga of the Shahanshahs - Firdausi's Shahnameh, in such a fascinating manner and style, that readers virtually witness the happenings of the events, and live every emotion of the characters.
This book, apparently, is especially meant for young readers in the age group of 8-12 years, and for teenagers and adults as well, who are not aware or know very little about our Persian (Iranian) ancestry at the time it was written.