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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee





The epic

The Poet Ferdowsi


Writing & Books

Oral Tradition

Ferdowsi's Sources

Khvatay-Namak / Khodai-Nama

Achaemenian Era Book of King - Basilikai Difeterai


Other Legends

Ferdowsi's Original Work Lost

Differences in Shahnameh Copies

Reconstruction of an Authoritative Shahnameh

English Translations

Spelling of the Names

Resources-Persian Text


Ferdowsi's Manuscript

Earliest Surviving Manuscript Copies Known

Recent Manuscript Discovery in Beirut

Illuminated Manuscripts

Great Mongol/Demotte Manuscript

Bayasanghori Manuscript

Tahmaspi/Houghton Manuscript

Elation, Regret & Hope

Shahnameh's Characters

The Heroes - Story in Brief

English Translation

W = Warner & Warner
A = James Atkinson
Z = Helen Zimmerman

1. Prologue W

2. Creation W

3. Gaiumart W

3. Kaiumers A

4. Hushang W

5. Tahmuras W

6. Jamshid W

7. Zahak W

3-7. Shahs of Old Z

8. Faridun W

9. Minuchihr, Sam, Zal, Rustam W

10. Naudar W

11. Zav W

12. Kai Kaus 1 W

13. 7 Courses of Rustam W

14. Kai Kaus 2 W

15. Kai Kaus 3 W

16. Warriors W

17. Suhrab W

18. Siyawush W

19. Kai Khusrau 1 W

20. Kai Khusrau 2 W

21. Farud W

22. Kai Khusrau 3 W

23. Rustam W

24. Rustam's Exploits W

25. Bizhan W

26. Gudarz W

27. Great War W

28. Passing of Kai Khusrau W

29. Luhrasp & Gushtasp W

30. Gushtasp & Zardhusht W

31. Asfandiyar's Seven Stages W

32. Asfandiyar W

33. Asfandiyar's Fight with Rustam W

34. Rustam & Shaghad W

35. Bahman W

36. Humai & Darab W

36a. Humai & Darab A

37. Darab & Dara A

38. Sikandar A

Satire on Sultan Mahmud A

The Heroes - Story in Brief


The Characters

Locale - Sistan

Pahlavans & Their Role


Zal Woos Princess Rudabeh

The Birth of Rustam

Rustam's Horse Rakhsh

Rustam Meets Princess Tahmina

The Tragedy of Sohrab

Page 4

Chapter 2

The Accession of Hushang and His Civilising Arts

Hushang, a just and prudent sovereign,
Assumed his grandsire's crown. For forty years
Heaven turned above him. He was just and wise.
He said: "I lord it o'er the seven climes,
Victorious everywhere. My word is law,
I practise bounteousness and equity;
So hath God willed."
He civilised the world,
And filled the surface of the earth with justice.
He was the first to deal with minerals
And win the iron from the rock by craft.
He gained more knowledge and, inventing smithing,
Made axes, saws, and mattocks. Next he turned
To irrigation by canals and ducts;
Grace made the labour short. As knowledge grew
Men sowed and reaped and planted. Each produced
The loaf whereof he ate, and kept his station.
Till then men lived on fruit in poor estate
And clad themselves in leaves. Religious rites
Existed, Gaiumart had worshipped God.
Hushang first showed the fire within the stone,
And thence through all the world its radiance shone.

How the feast of Sada was Founded

One day he reached a mountain with his men
And saw afar a long swift dusky form
With eyes like pools of blood and jaws whose smoke
Bedimmed the world. Hushang the wary seized
A stone, advanced and hurled it royally.
The world-consuming worm escaped, the stone
Struck on a larger, and they both were shivered.
Sparks issued and the centres flashed. The fire
Came from its stony hiding-place again
When iron knocked. The worldlord offered praise
For such a radiant gift. He made of fire
A cynosure. "This lustre is divine,"
He said, "and thou if wise must worship it."
That night he made a mighty blaze, he stood
Around it with his men and held the feast
Called Sada; that bright festival remaineth
As his memorial, and may earth see
More royal benefactors like to him.
By Grace and kingly power domesticating
Ox, ass, and sheep he turned them to good use.
"Pair them," he said, "use them for toil, enjoy
Their produce, and provide therewith your taxes."
He slew the furry rovers for their skins,
Such as the squirrel, ermine, fox, and sable,
So sleek of hair; the rovers clothed the talkers.
He gave, spent freely, and enjoyed the fruit,
Then passing took naught with him but repute.
In life no little share of toil had he
In musings past all count and grammarye,
And when a better life was his elsewhere
He left the throne of greatness to his heir.
The time that fortune gave him did not last
For long, Hushang, the wise and prudent, passed.
To thee too this world will not give its love,
Nor will it from its face the veil remove.

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