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Wed Jul 4, 2012 4:45PM
An illustration depicting the battle of Rostam and Esfandyar from ‘Shahnameh’

An illustration depicting the battle of Rostam and Esfandyar from ‘Shahnameh’

Canada has held an exhibition of illustrations inspired by stories of Shahnameh, the Persian epic masterpiece of 14th-century poet Ferdowsi. The event will display works by Iranian artists and illustrations from the Shah Tahmasb version at the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada (ROM) until September 3, 2012. Visitors can see various Shahnameh illustrations from collections of McGill University, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the ROM. Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) is a classic among epic Persian poetry and recounts Iran's mythical and historical past. It was written in Persian at a time when Arabic was the main scientific and literary language of Iran. The romance of Zal and Rudaba, the Seven Stages (or Labors) of Rostam, Rostam and Sohrab, Siavash and Soudabeh, Rostam and Akvan-e Div, the romance of Bizhan and Manizheh and Rostam and Esfandyar are among the most popular Shahnameh stories. The book is composed of about 55,000 couplets and recounts Persian history and mythology from the earliest times to the fall of the Persian Empire in the 7th century CE. Shahnameh has been one of the greatest inspirations of Iranian people in life and arts and among the first Persian manuscripts to be illustrated. TE/TE