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Sunset of Empire: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Volume 3 [Hardcover]

Abolqasem Ferdowsi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 28 2005 093421168X 978-0934211680
Among the masterpieces of world literature, perhaps the least familiar to English readers is the Persian Book of Kings (Shahnameh, in Persian). This prodigious national epic, composed by the poet Ferdowsi between 980 and 1010, tells the story of ancient Persia, beginning in the mythic time of Creation and continuing forward to the Arab-Islamic invasion.

With our third and final volume of stories from the Shahnameh we move from mythology and legend to romanticized history. Here the mighty events that shook ancient Persia from the time of Alexander of Macedon’s conquest to the Arab invasion of the seventh century C.E. are reflected in the stirring and poignant narratives of Ferdowsi, the master poet who took on himself the task of preserving his country’s great pre-Islamic heritage. We see vast empires rise and fall, the rule of noble kings and cruel tyrants, the fortunes of a people buffeted by contending tides of history. Larger than life individuals are vividly depicted—the impulsive, pleasure-loving king Bahram Gur, the wise vizier Bozarjmehr, the brave rebel Bahram Chubineh, his loyal defiant sister Gordyeh, and many others—but we also see many vignettes of everyday life in the villages and towns of ancient Persia, and in this part of the Shahnameh Ferdowsi indulges his talent for sly humor much more than in the earlier tales. The poem rises to its magnificent climax in its last pages, when the tragic end of an era is recorded and Ferdowsi and his characters look with foreboding towards an unstable and fearful future.

Breathtaking miniatures from the finest Persian Shahnameh manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many of them published here for the first time, heighten the emotional impact of the text.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Conclusion to the Shahnameh Trilogy March 25 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book is incredible: the stories are wonderful, the poetry is truely superb and beautifully represents the original, and the illustrations are out of this world. For the first time in the past 30 years I saw Persian miniatures I had never seen before. This is a wonderful translation of the last third of the Shahnameh--the least known stories and some of the most touching, specially the beautiful verses of Barbad for Khosrow Parviz and Rostam-e Hormozd's final letter to his brother before the Arab invasion. Buy this trilogy, it's well worth the price and will soon be worth twice as much.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Conclusion to the Shahnameh Trilogy March 25 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is incredible: the stories are wonderful, the poetry is truely superb and beautifully represents the original, and the illustrations are out of this world. For the first time in the past 30 years I saw Persian miniatures I had never seen before. This is a wonderful translation of the last third of the Shahnameh--the least known stories and some of the most touching, specially the beautiful verses of Barbad for Khosrow Parviz and Rostam-e Hormozd's final letter to his brother before the Arab invasion. Buy this trilogy, it's well worth the price and will soon be worth twice as much.
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