Victoria Arakelova: Shahname in the Kurdish and Armenian Oral Tradition


The ancient epic of Persia, the Shahname of Firdowsi, is well represented in the Kurdish and Armenian oral tradition as seen in the article below by Victoria Arakelova

Below is an excerpt from Arakelova regarding the Shahname: 

Among the monuments of the world literature “Shahnameh” is, perhaps, themost popular one having made a great impact on the whole literary process of peoples living in a vast area embracing the territories between Asia Minor, Caucasus, the Central Asia, India and, even, Far East. The onomastic system of “Shahnameh” almost entirely can be traced in the name-giving traditions of the peoples and ethnic formations of this huge part of the world: Rustam, Suhrab, Bizhan, Manizhe, Rudabe, Tahmine, etc. are the most crrrent names of the representativeso f Iranian and non-Iranian peoples of this area, followers of different confessions (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc.).

The Shahname’s influence has indeed spread far and wide. Note the example of the Shahname below by the Turkmen of Central Asia dated to the 15th century (c. 1494)::


 "Big Head" Fariburz and Kay Khusrau 1494 Fariburz comes before Kay Khusrau enthroned within a draped chamber, three chained prisoners in foreground, hilly landscape under gold sky, an illustrated leaf from a manuscript of Firdausi's Shahnama copied by Salik ibn Sa'id for Sultan Ali Mirza of Gazan (reigned 1478 - 1504) Turkmen Court Style, dated 1494.

Fariburz comes before Kay Khusrau on his throne. From the illustrated leaf from a manuscript of Firdausi’s Shahnama copied by Salik ibn Sa’id for Sultan Ali Mirza of Gazan (r. 1478 – 1504).

 For more articles and postings on the Shahname please consult:

Firdowsi and the Shahname:

Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones: Ctesias’ History of Persia-Tales of the Orient


There is an excellent new text by Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Dr. James Robson entitled:

Ctesias’ History of Persia-Tales of the Orient

This is the first ever English translation of Ctesias’ “history” of Persia from its legendary foundings to the reign of Arraxerxes II. This was compiled in the early 4th century BC by a Greek doctor who had served at the Achaemenid court for some 17 years.

As noted by Dr. Llewellyn-Jones, the Persica, preserved only through fragments, is an excellent introduction to a truly “Persian” history, written from the inside, and preserved the memory of how the ancient Iranians conceived of their history.

For further details please visit the Routledge website at:

For furthu rinformation, you may wish to contact Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones at the :

Department of Classics
David Hume Tower
George Square
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9JX
Tel: 0131 650 3585

Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones at the Louvre Museum in Paris

Recommended Book: Iranian Culture before Islam and its Influence on Islam and Arabian Literature


Readers are encouraged to consult an article in Persian by writer Azargoshnasp entitled

“What has happened to the Persian language –زبان پارسی را چه شده است؟ -” 

Recommended within this context, is a book in Persian by Dr. Mohammad Mohammadi Malayeri –دکتر محمد محمدی ملایری –  entitled:

Iranian Culture before Islam and its Influence on Islam and Western Literature

فرهنگ ایرانی پیش از اسلام و اثار ان در تمدن اسلامی و ادبیات عرب

For more information kindly consult:

The contents of the book are as follows::

Chapter 1: The Cultural works of Iran and their fate during the Arab invasion                                        

Chapter 2 : The influence of Sassanian Government adminstration upon the Caliphates

Chapter 3: Administrators/Scribes of Iran before and after Islam                                                        

Chapter 4: Scientific movements/Rennaisance dueing the Abbasid Era and the translation of Persian works 

Chapter 5: How many Historical books in Pahlavi were translated into Arabic?                                

Chapter 6: Iranian Stories and Myths/fables in Arabic Literature                                                          

Chapter 7: Philosophical and scientific intellectual developments in Iran from the time of Anushirvan to the early Islamic era                                                                                                                                      

Chapter 8: JundiShapur: the medical center of Iran before Islam and in the early Islamic era                   

Chapter 9::  Scientific and Moral – in iran and Islam 

Chapter 10: Books regarding Morals/etiquette written in Arabic                                                           

Chapter 11:Orthographic rules of Persian and technical Arabic prose

Unfortunately Dr Malayeri passed away in 2002. but he was successfull to compiling some valuable books pertaining to iranian history and culture during the Sassanid era and its legacy upon future cultures and generations.  More information is available here on the following links:

The International Peace Bureau and WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy


As reported in the WAALM-School of Cultural Diplomacy (SCD) Journal, President Tomas Magnusson and the International Peace Bureau (IPB) have formally inducted WAALM – School of Cultural Diplomacy as their new and official member of the IPB network.

The affiliation of WAALM-SCD was officially approved at the IPB Council meeting in Washington DC in late November, 2009.

The WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy is also linked to the Academic Council On The United Nations System (ACUNS).

Founded in 1892, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) is the oldest and most comprehensive international peace federation, The IPB, which has UN Consultative Status, has as its primary mission the goal of promoting the idea of a world expunged from war.

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1910. It is noteworthy that 13 of IPB’s leading members have also been bestowed this honored distinction, which sets a unique standard of excellence.

The IPB has connected organizations at the international and regional levels working in the fields of peace and disarmament.: The IPB today had succeeded in bringing together over 300 member organisations (in 70 countires), as well as many distinguished individual members.

The role of the IPB is to consolidate efforts made by different groups across the globe that work for nonviolent conflict resolution and culture of Peace. These groups include specialized peace groups,  professional bodies, youth groups, women’s organisations, and trade unions.

Asvaran: Translation into Persian of Farrokh’s book on Sassanian Cavalry


Kaveh Farrokh’s book on the Sassanian Elite cavalry has been translated into Persian as the “Asvaran”            (اسواران ساسانی ) by Yusef Amiri and is now available in bookstores in Iran and abroad:

The complete and authorized Persian translation of Sassanian Elite Cavalry by Yusef Amiri was published in 2009. This is the only translation that has the permission of the author and the original publisher (Osprey). Please see sample pages (in pdf)

Yusef Amiri has significantly enriched and expanded the original English text by providing footnotes and additional information for Iranian readers using references such as the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Iranica, “Golden Age of Persia” by Richard Nelson Frye, and “Iran under Sassanians” by Arthur Christensen among others.


Book cover of the Asvaran, which is Yusef Amri’s project of having translated Kaveh Farrokh’s original book, Elite Sassanian cavalry in English which was orignally published in 2005 by Osprey Publishing in Oxford, England.  For Persian-readers interested in obtaining a copy of Amiri’s text, kindly consult the link below:

For further information on this book feel free to contact Yusef Amiri directly at:

For a Persian-language review of Kaveh Farrokh’s original text in English kindly consult the Shahrbaraz website.