Illustrations of the Shahnama, the Persian epic poem
January 5, 2009 2:26 AM   Subscribe

The Princeton Shahnama Project is an "archive of book paintings--commonly known as Persian Miniatures--that were created to illustrate scenes from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (the Book of Kings). The Shahnama is a poem of some 50,000 couplets that was composed by Abu'l Qasim Firdausi over a period of several decades in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The core of this archive is a fund of 277 illustrations from five illustrated manuscripts of the Shahnama that are housed in Princeton University's Firestone Library." The site also has the complete Shahnama in the Warner & Warner translation but here's another translation by Helen Zimmern

Many illustrated versions of the Shahnama exist. You can see a few images of The Great Mongol Shahnama with some information on two webpages on the Metropolitan Museum website and at The Legacy of Genghis Khan website, part of a 16th Century copy can be browsed on the Asia Society website and it's also been turned into a comic book. MeFite and all around gentleman & scholar tellurian posted about Cambridge University's massive Shahnama Project last Nov. 3rd which has even more images.
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Some image links on the Princeton site don't work properly but there's always an alternate link that does.
posted by Kattullus at 2:27 AM on January 5, 2009

Bowzer was my favorite member of Shahnama.
posted by eatyourlunch at 3:54 AM on January 5, 2009

In addition to the most recent post by tellurian already mentioned above, there's a 2005 post by matteo. (and there may be more if you search for other spellings)

We likes our Shahnameh in these parts.
posted by intermod at 5:19 AM on January 5, 2009

Wow, this is great, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 4:02 PM on January 5, 2009

As usual, early 20th C Western translations have such a strange "orientalist" flavor, that they are almost a genre in their own right!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:10 AM on January 8, 2009

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