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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 5

Chapter 3

Tahmuras Ruled for Thirty Years

Tahmuras Ascends the Throne, Invents New Arts, Subdues the Divs and Dies

Hushang possessed a wise and noble son
Hight Tahmuras - the Binder of the Div -
Who took the throne and girt his loins to rule,
Then called the archmages and in gracious words
Said: "Throne and palace, crown and mace and cap
Are mine to-day, and when my rede hath purged
The world a mountain-top shall be my footstool.
I will restrain the Div, will reign supreme,
And use the useful for the common gold."
He sheared the flocks, and men began to spin;
He thus invented clothes and draperies.
He chose the swiftest quadrupeds and made them
To feed on barley, grass, and hay; he noted
The shyest of the beasts of prey, and chose
The jackal and the cheetah, luring them
From hill and plain, and taught them to obey him.
Among the well-armed birds he chose the hawk
And noble falcon, and began to tame them
While men looked on amazed. His orders were
To rear the birds and speak to them with kindness.
He brought the cocks and hens to crow at drumbeat,
And turned all hidden properties to use.
He said: "Address your prayers and praise to Him
Who made the world, and us to rule the beasts
Praise be to Him, for He directed us."
He had a famed and honest minister
By name Shidasp, an upright man who took
No step unless toward justice. Through the day
He fasted, through the night he prayed, and lived
In charity with all. The Shah's good fortune
Was his sole wealth, ill doers he restrained
And taught the Shah all good, acknowledging
No rank but excellence till Tahmuras,
Purged of his faults and glorious with the Grace,
Bound Ahriman with spells and rode him horsewise
At whiles around the world. Thereat the divs
Rebelled and held a conclave, for their throne
Of gold was void. When Tahmuras was ware
He was enraged and spoiled their trafficking,
Girt him with Grace and took his massive mace.
Then all the divs and warlocks sallied forth -
A huge magician host. The Black Div led them
And vapoured, while their shouts affronted heaven.
It darkened, earth turned sable and all eyes
Grew dim. The illustrious worldlord Tahmuras
Advanced girt up for battle and revenge.
There were the roar of flame and reek of divs,
Here were the warriors of the lord of earth,
Who ranked his troops and speedily prevailed,
For of the foe he bound the most by spells
And quelled the others with his massive mace.
The captives bound and stricken begged their lives.
"Destroy us not," they said, "and we will teach thee
A new and fruitful art."
He gave them quarter
To learn their secret. When they were released
They had to serve him, lit his mind with knowledge
And taught him how to write some thirty scripts
Such as the Ruman, Persian, Arabic,
Sughdi, Chini, and Pahlavi, and thus
Delineate sounds. How many better arts
Explored he in a reign of thirty years,
Yet passed away! His time of life was spent
And all his toils became his monument.
O world! caress not those whom thou wilt soon
Cut off, for such caressing is no boon;
Thou raisest one to very heaven on high,
Then biddest him in sorry dust to lie.

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