Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the epic poem the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the 'Book of Kings', which has been at the heart of Persian culture for the past thousand years. The poem recounts a legendary history of Iran from the dawn of time to the fall of the Persian Empire in the 7th century and serves, in a sense, as a creation myth for the Persian nation.
The Shahnameh took Ferdowsi thirty years to write and, consisting of over 50,000 verses, is said to be the longest poem ever written by a single author. Laced with tragedy, Ferdowsi's epic chronicles battles, romances, family rifts and Man's interior struggle with himself. Although the stories may not always be true they have a profound resonance with Iranians even today, and the poem has been referred to as both the 'encyclopaedia of Iranian culture' and the identity card of the Persian people.
Narguess Farzad - Senior Fellow in Persian at SOAS, University of London
Charles Melville - Professor of Persian History at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge
Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis - Curator of Middle Eastern Coins at the British Museum
Producer: Natalia Fernandez.
Cite This Work
Poole, T. (2020, May 18). Shahnameh of Ferdowsi - In Our Time (BBC). Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/video/2031/
Poole, Terron. "Shahnameh of Ferdowsi - In Our Time (BBC)." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 18, 2020. https://www.ancient.eu/video/2031/.
Poole, Terron. "Shahnameh of Ferdowsi - In Our Time (BBC)." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 18 May 2020. Web. 03 Jun 2020.