who is ferdowsi

Who is Ferdowsi? (Life, Books, Poems, Quotes)

Persian Literature plays a crucial role in shaping Iranian people’s identity. Interestingly, we have many famous poets and writers from different eras of Iran who brought significance to Persian Literature. Poets such as Hafez, Saadi, Rumi, and others are known worldwide in the history of literature. Moreover, the father of Persian Literature, known as Ferdowsi, is also one of the greatest poets who had a lot of impact on the Literature of Iran and Persian poems.

In this article, we will explore the life of Ferdowsi and learn why Ferdowsi was important in Persian Literature.

Who Is Ferdowsi?

Abulqasim Ferdowsi, who is called Ferdowsi in Iranian Literature, is one of the most famous poets of the Persian language. He lived from 935 CE to 1020 CE, leaving a lasting legacy that is still known worldwide until today. 

His famous work, the Book of Kings, known as Shahname, is the national epic of Iran and is one of the greatest literary works in the world. Shahname is a result of 30 years of dedication written by Ferdowsi during his life. 

That’s why Ferdowsi is still considered one of the most prominent figures of Iranian culture and a symbol of the nation. 

When Was Ferdowsi Born?

Ferdowsi, who is regarded as the defining figure of Iranian culture and identity, was believed to be born in a village called Bazh near the city of Tus in 935 CE. Today, this city is located in the Khorasan region, and his tomb is also situated in this city. 

Why Was Ferdowsi Important?

Ferdowsi was an important poet because he is known mainly for his dedication to the Persian language and his great work, Shahname. 

ferdowsi tusi
Ferdowsi Tusi Persian Poet

This book is a collection of epic poetry in the world of literature, and many writers and poets were influenced by the works of Ferdowsi. Moreover, Ferdowsi helped a lot to preserve the Persian language and identity through his work, Shahname.

At a time when Arabic was becoming dominant in a country like Iran, Ferdowsi elevated the Persian language to another level and played an important role in shaping the Iranian people’s identity. 

Tomb of Ferdowsi

Today, Ferdowsi is known as a legendary poet, and his fame goes beyond Iran’s geographical borders. The tomb of this great poet (Ferdowsi) is situated in the region of Khorasan, in his birthplace, the city of Tus. Ferdowsi spent much of his life composing the Shahname and had a special love for his city, Tus. 

The tomb of Ferdowsi was built in the 11th century and has gone under renovation and expansion several times since that time. The tomb of Ferdowsi features a large domed pavilion made of white marble with intricate calligraphic and decorative elements. You can visit the tomb of Ferdowsi in Tus if you are into Persian literature.

Did Ferdowsi Save Farsi?

Yes. Many people, including the famous figures of the literature world, believe that Ferdowsi was the one who elevated the Persian language and preserved it from getting destroyed. 

His famous work Shahname has influenced the world of Persian language and poetry, and he saved Farsi (Persian Language) in a time when Arabic was the most dominant language of the world. 

In addition, scholars also credit Ferdowsi’s masterpiece “Shahname” as one of the most important instruments that helped to preserve Persian identity and language, becoming a national pride for Iranians. 

What Is the Story of Shahnameh?

The Book of Kings, also known as Shahname in the Persian language, is a 60,000 rhyming couplet that demonstrates the richness and expressive power of Farsi. The story of Shahname is about old myths and legends that showcase the mythical and historical history of ancient Persia.

Shahnameh Ferdowsi
Shahnameh; The Epic of the Persian Kings

This book is considered one of the greatest works in the epic poetry genre in the world of literature. Additionally, it is widely regarded as the national epic of Iran and an important part of Iran’s cultural identity. There are many tales and myths in this book, and each one is unique and impressive.  

Ferdowsi Famous Poems

Ferdowsi has many poems in his book Shahname, and each one of them is unique. Some of Ferdowsi’s Famous Poems include Rustam and Sohrab, which is a tragic tale that tells the story of Rustam, who killed his own son unknowingly.

The story of Zal and Rudaba is also another tale that is mainly romantic, and Ferdowsi does a great job of describing the passion and love of his characters in this story. The Seven Trials of Rustam is also famous among Ferdowsi’s poems. This story is about Rustam, who faces challenges, and it describes seven heroic tales. 

Ferdowsi Poems

Ferdowsi’s Poems are masterpieces in the epic genre, showcasing the richness and power of the Persian language in storytelling and poem writing. Ferdowsi’s poems include romance, heroic battles, challenges, and lessons that can be used in life; that is why his poems and works are widely popular among literature fans and those who are into reading epic tales and stories of ancient times.

The Lament of Gudarz, The Coronation of Kai Khosrow, and The Seven Trials of Rustam are some of the works of Ferdowsi that we recommend you read several times and enjoy their beauty and richness.

Ferdowsi Quotes

Ferdowsi’s Quotes that are extracted from his greatest works are one of the things that make you wonder about his genius. Ferdowsi’s Quotes can be used as modern-day life lessons, and that is the interesting part of his poems. 

Let’s read some of the famous Ferdowsi Quotes that we all can enjoy:

“Our lives pass from us like the wind, and why

Should wise men grieve to know that they must die?

The Judas blossom fades, the lovely face

Of light is dimmed, and darkness takes its place.”

Shahnameh Farsi
Shahnameh Ferdowsi Book

“A brave heart is a powerful weapon.”

“Wars are not fought with weapons but with knowledge and understanding.” 

Ferdowsi Facts

  • Ferdowsi’s full name was Abul-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi, which the last part means that he was born in the city of Tus.
  • Ferdowsi spent over 30 years working on the Shahnameh.
  • The epic poems of Shahname are over 60,000 rhyming couplets, which means that it is the longest poem ever written by a single author.
  • Ferdowsi dedicated the Shahnameh to the Samanid prince, Mansur I, in the hopes of receiving royal patronage.
  • The Shahnameh has had an immense and lasting impact on Persian literature, culture, and national identity.
  • Ferdowsi is known as the “national poet of Iran.”

Ferdowsi in the Literature World

The epic masterpiece of Shahname holds a significant place in the world of literature and is regarded as one of the first works that developed the epic genre of the Persian language.

Ferdowsi’s narrative techniques, character development, and poetic style have made Shahname a very unique work, and his influence on literature can be seen in the works of various poets and writers.

In addition, Shahname is also famous in other cultures. For example, in the Indian subcontinent, this book was widely read and studied, especially in the Mughal courts. 

Many famous Indian poets, such as Amir Khosrow were also influenced by Ferdowsi’s poetic style. Moreover, we can see his impact in Central Asia. In regions such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Ferdowsi’s work is studied and explored to preserve the Persian language’s identity.

Western societies have also adapted the Book of Kings or Shahname. Many Western poets were inspired by Ferdowsi’s work, and today, it has become a subject of extensive study and translation among many countries. 

Ferdowsi Tomb
Ferdowsi Tomb

There are also Operas, ballets, films, and theatres based on the stories of Shahname, which showcase the significance and importance of Ferdowsi’s Poems among other cultures and countries. 

How Did Ferdowsi Die?

Indeed, Ferdowsi’s death is a mystery. But many stories and accepted sayings mention his financial difficulties during his last years of life. Of course, despite the lack of support from Iranian kings, Ferdowsi continued to work and expanded Shahname.

Many traditional accounts say that he died around 1020 CE at the age of 80 in his hometown of Tus. Today, many tourists and visitors from all around the world visit his tomb. Moreover, from time to time, conferences and gatherings are held by his tomb for those who are interested in Ferdowsi’s Poems. 

Final Words

Ferdowsi’s dedication and devotion to Iranian poems and Persian literature is unparalleled. He is known as one of the most prominent figures of Iran and a symbol of the country. Also, Ferdowsi is widely popular all around the world among other cultures.

Ferdowsi’s famous poems have shaped the Iranian national spirit, meaning that his sayings and poems’ influences can also be seen in the works of other Iranian poets and writers. 

The Book of Kings, known as Shahname, which is written by the Ferdowsi, is a reflection of Iran’s history and bravery throughout the centuries, demonstrating the Iranian legends and folklore in a poetic form.

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