By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ferdowsi completed his renown masterpiece, Shahnameh (The epic of kings) on March, 16, 1010 AD. According to his own words in his book of 50,000 verses, his work was completed on Esfand, 25, 400 LH. Ferdowsi is a highly revered Iranian poet who practically revived the Persian language in a time when nations were systematically assimilated by Pan-Arab nationalism that began since the time of Caliph Omar and re-emerged several times in different forms to-this-day. Even today, Iranians are officially promoted to choose Arabic names for their children.
Ferdowsi was a Shiite Muslim, stating that clearly in Shahnameh, his masterpiece which he completed in 35 years. When he presented his work to Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi, the king honored him with less valuable Dirhams instead of promised 60,000 Dinars. Still, 20,000 Dirhams was a considerable amount but Ferdowsi gave the money away, distributing it among the poor. By this act, he gave a historical lesson to Iranians about the value of honor.
Ferdowsi died in 1020 at the age of 85 and because of his faith zealots did not admit him to the cemetry. Thus he was buried at the yard of his own garden in Toos, where a mausoleum was built and destroyed several times.
The Iranian history in Shahnameh narrates the story of Kiani kings, knights, legends, religion, victories and tragedies in beautiful verses of poetry. As one of the first world classics, Shahnameh has been inspiring people all around the world to this day.