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(both: fərdou`sē), c.940–1020, principal Persian poet, author of the Shah Namah [the book of kings], the great Persian epic. His original name was Abul Kasim Mansur; he is thought to have been born of a yeoman family of Khorasan. He received a thorough education in Muslim learning and in the Persian language and antiquities. The course of his life is not certain because of the immense accretion of legend about it. He lived at the court of Mahmud of GhaznaMahmud of Ghazna
, 971?–1030, Afghan emperor and conqueror. He defeated (c.999) his elder brother to gain control of Khorasan (in Iran) and of Afghanistan. In his raids against the states of N India, Mahmud, a staunch Muslim, destroyed Hindu temples, forced conversions to
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, with a group of antiquarians. In order to glorify Persia's past, Firdausi undertook his epic history, which opens with the creation of the universe and, combining history and myth, tells the story of ancient Persia, beginning with its first king and ending with its 7th-century conquest by Muslim Arabs. He dedicated the work to the king, who paid him less than Firdausi expected. In retaliation, the poet wrote a savage satire on the king (usually used as a preface to editions of the Shah Namah) and fled. He wandered from court to court and arrived in his old age at his home. His poem, in nearly 60,000 verses, is the first great work of modern Persian literature. In it Firdausi set the mark for Persian poetry with his even rhyme, stately cadences, and continuous flow. The poem has taken a singular place in Iran, and long sections of it are commonly recited by ordinary citizens and illiterate tribespeople alike. The version of the Shah Namah illustrated for the Shah Tahmasp in the early 16th cent., now known as the Houghton Shah-Nameh (facsimile ed. 1972), is one of the masterpieces of world art.


See Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings (tr. 2006).

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, Firdusi
pen name of Abul Qasim Mansur ?935--1020 ad, Persian epic poet; author of Shah Nama (The Book of Kings), a chronicle of the legends and history of Persia
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The seminar classes on historical studies of Iran and Kyrgyzstan, as well as literature reading of works of prominent poets of Iran and Kyrgyzstan are conducted in the Firdausi Center of Persian literature.
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Anticipating the millennium of Firdausi's Persian epic Shahnama in 2010, scholars of Persian literature and art history convened in January 2009 in Leiden, and this volume contains papers from that gathering and a number of additional papers exploring the reception of the Shahnama.
A library at LCWU, was set up with the support of Iran, has a unique collection of research work over Iqbal and Firdausi.
He also notes Browning's reading of Goethe's Westdstlicher Divan (1819) and the verse translation The Epic of Kings, Stories Retold from Firdausi (1883) by Helen Zimmern, whom Browning knew (p.
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Yunus Uksfurdi (Oxford Jones), produced not only a Shakaristan (a chest of sugar), as the grammar was titled in Persian, but a gulistan (bower of roses), replete with the beauties of "the Persian Anacreon" Hafiz, a ruba'i (quatrain) and a half by Omar Khayyam, and the love-songs of Firdausi: "If I could sleep one night on thy bosom, I should seem to touch the sky with my exalted head." A book proffering Oriental breasts and chests of rupees was likely to succeed.
Evening and long nights of winter are dedicated to Shahname (Book of the Kings) by Firdausi. Shahname is the greatest Persian work of poetry and is compared to Homer's Odyssey.
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