Literary Masterpiece

The epic belongs to the masterpieces of world literature. It is double the size of the epics of Homer and about six times as long as the Nibelungenlied (engl.: Song of the Nibelungs). Persian poetry is as "multifaceted as crystal" and "interwoven like a carpet". The Schahname has long served as an example for generations of poets to come, not only Persian. Also Heinrich Heine studied this epic and recognized it with a poem:

"... Great carpet, where the poet
Wonderfully interweaved
His country fable chronic,
Faristan's ancient Kings,
His people's favourite heroes,
Knights deeds, adventures
Magic creatures and demons,
Boldly framed by fairy flowers ..."
(freely adapted from Romanzero, Hamburg 1851)

Through its language and its subject matter the Schahname has decisively contributed to the cultural community of the people of the middle east, of Iran, Afghanistan and Tadzhikistan. Just as well it has had an enormous influence on the fine arts. Numerous chieftains and kings who saw themselves in succession of their legendary ancestors gave order to create manuscripts of the works. Until today it has not lost any of its radiance and brilliance.