Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh ends with the fall of the Persian empire to invading Islamic armies.  Prior to this point in history as well as in his epic poem the ancient people of Iran had pledged allegiance to the religion of Zoroaster the prophet.  As Zoroastrianism was such a large part of ancient Persian Culture for so long it would make sense that it would be the dominant religion in the Shahnameh.  This statement can be disputed by taking into account that Ferdowsi wrote the poem roughly three centuries after the fall of Persia.  Ferdowsi was a Shi’ia Muslim as were most his countrymen before and long after the writing of this great historical poem.  Trends in Middle Eastern literature at the time were mostly in contrast to the religious content Ferdowsi chose to include.  This makes for an interesting piece of work that can be interpreted many ways.  These blog posts will attempt to show an understanding of the historical context, religious influence and personal choices that led to the current and enduring state of religion in the Shahnameh. 

 

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