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Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam [Paperback]


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Book Description

Sept. 5 2000 Publications on the Near East, University of Washington (Book 3)
The tyrannical monster Zahhak upon whose shoulder grew serpents that feasted daily on the brains of Iran's youth; the giant hero Rostam who vanquished entire armies with his immense strength and military prowess; the inept Shah Kay Kavus whose greed and vanity brought incessant warfare and misery to the land he ruled; the bold princess Rudabe who defied two armies to pledge her love to the Iranian hero Zal - these are but a few of the charters who inhabit the world of the great Persian classic known as the Shahname, or Book of Kings. Completed in the eleventh century A.D. by the poet Abol-Qasem Ferdowsi, the Shahname describes in more than 80,000 lines of verse the pre-Islamic history of Persia from mythological times down to the invasion of the armies of Islam in the mid-seventh century A.D. From this long saga, Jerome Clinton has translated into English blank verse the most famous episode, the story of Rostam and Sohrab. It is a stark and classic tragedy set against the exotic backdrop of a mythological Persia where feasting, hunting, and warring are accomplished on the most magnificent scale. Matching the English translation line by line on the facing pages is the Persian text of the poem, based on the earliest complete manuscript of the Shahname, which is preserved in the British Museum. This lyrical translation of the tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam captures the narrative power and driving rhythm of the Shahname as no other English translation has. His rendering into modern blank verse is both faithful to the original and pleasing to the ear of the contemporary reader. Series: Publications on the Near East 3

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class translation March 22 2008
By Gogol - Published on Amazon.com
This book is surely a must for any student of classical Persian literature. The original Persian along side the English translation of the tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam from the Persian epic the Shahname. For anyone who is not acquainted with the Shahname it is a Persian epic tracing history of the Persian kings to the fall of the Persian empire and the Arab invasion. The Shahname (or book of kings) is just that; it is an epic tale similar to the Greek epics of the rise and fall of kings, mythical tales, epic battles and tragedy. Amongst other predominantly Muslim people we have the stories of Antar for the Arabs or Dede Korkut for the Turks. It is quite possible that all of these works influenced Shorta Rustaveli in his writing of the 'Knight in the panther skin' the Georgian epic.

The author provides an introduction to the Shahname, its origins and development. He further explains the importance of the Shahname to the Persian people and Persian culture and continues with the history of the Shahname post Firdosi (The author) The author continues giving an introduction to the text that he is translating and the editions of the Shahname he has used.

The text is flowing and retains much of its poetical style thus, keeping it in its correct historical context. For students of Persian that there is a corresponding Persian text on the opposite page is also of benefit. There are notes at the end of the book explaining parts of the text that the reader may find difficult to understand.

Not the complete Shahname but an excellent introduction and one I would recommend.

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