This coffee table book follows the first volume which was on the Pishdadian Dynasty. Unlike the first book, this volume is more comprehensive and therefore, divided into two parts. More than half of Firdausi's Shahnameh, also known as the Book of Kings, covers the stories and events of the Kayanian Dynasty, and that certainly reflects on the importance given to this mythical period by the legendary poet in his mammoth work. Also, it was during the Kayanian Dynasty that the world's first monotheistic religion, Zoroastrianism was introduced by the Prophet Zarathushtra.
The Shahnameh was completed by Abolquasem Firdausi Tusi in March 1010 CE, thus marking over a millennium that this epic has been thoroughly enjoyed by millions around the globe. Abbreviated stories of the Shahnameh are offered in this two-part volume, through an illustrative flow for each episode with relevant text. The illustrations of the Shahnameh have originated between the 14th and 18th century CE, from the miniatures paintings that were commissioned by the later rulers and royalties of the land, according to the styles of their times, with their own manuscripts.
This volume brings up a couple of intriguing facts from Firdausi’s Shahnameh. Somehow the entire history of the Achaemenian Dynasty has been mysteriously omitted by the legendary poet – scholars are still perplexed as to why Firdausi left out one of the greatest dynasties that has probably ever existed. As a result of this omission, Firdausi ends up introducing Eskandar (Alexander) as the son of a Kayanian King, and portrays him as the last King of Persia under the Kayanian Dynasty! Firdausi may perhaps have had his own reasons for these adjustments. Be that as it may, it does not in any way compromise the overall magnificence of his treasured work. As we know, the historical data documents Alexander as a ruler, and a conqueror of Persia during the Achaemenian Dynasty, some 870 years later than depicted in the Shahnameh.