Other literary forms

(World Poets and Poetry)

Although the only surviving work by Firdusi (fur-DEW-see) is the Sah-name, another long poem titled Yusuf u Zulaikha (Joseph and Zulaikha), detailing the story of the biblical character Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, has been attributed to Firdusi. This poem, however, is not Firdusi’s and belongs to a much later period. Other verses scattered in various anthologies of the classical period have been ascribed to the poet, but none of these fragments can be assigned to him with certainty. These fragments have been collected and studied by H. Ethé in his Firdûsî als Lyriker (1872-1873).


(World Poets and Poetry)

The names of Firdusi and his Sah-name (the book of kings) became synonymous with the national epic of Iran. With the birth of the discipline of Orientalism, this book was brought to the West through translations and influenced Western authors such as Matthew Arnold, who based his “Sohrab and Rustum” on it. Thus, Firdusi’s poem was established as an important work in world literature.


(World Poets and Poetry)

Clinton, Jerome W. In the Dragon’s Claws: The Story of Rostam and Esfandivar. Washington, D.C.: Mage, 1999. Clinton’s translation of the tale of the epic hero king Rostam (Rustam) includes genealogical tables of the royal heroes of Sah-name.

Davis, Dick. Epic and Sedition: The Case of Ferdowsi’s Shhnmeh. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1992. Examines Firdusi’s epic work and the politics surrounding it.

_______.“The Problem of Ferdowsi’s Sources.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 116, no. 1 (January-March, 1996). Argues that Firdusi used mainly versified oral sources rather than written sources for his epic, and any written sources used most likely were in verse form that came from an oral tradition. Bibliographic footnotes.

De Blois, François, ed. Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey. 2d ed. Vol. 5. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004. A vast bibliography from the Royal Asiatic Society that has information on Firdusi’s writings.

De Brujin, J. T. P., ed. General Introduction to Persian Literature. London: I. B. Taurus, 2008. Part of the A History of Persian Literature series, this volume places Firdusi in context.

Firdusi. The Epic of the Kings: “Shahnama,” the National Epic of...

(The entire section is 402 words.)