This mini coffee table book, Tales of the Persian Past: Illustrated Legendary Stories -Pishdadian Dynasty, is the result of my deep fascination for one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature - the Shahnameh (The Persian Book of Kings) by Firdausi Tusi.
This book deals with the period which is considered pre-historic. Information on the Pishdadian Dynasty is virtually non existent, with the exception of the Shahnameh, and the ancient Avesta and Pahlavi literature. The portrayal of rulers and the occurring events under this dynasty is therefore considered mythical. Yet, it is interesting to note that the names of a few of the Kings and heroes of this period are referenced in the Zoroastrian holy scriptures, the most important being the Gathas - the divine hymns composed by the Prophet Zarathushtra, Himself.
This book addresses the episodes of the Shahnameh during the reigns of the Pishdadian Kings. The stories are abbreviated and their central themes are portrayed through an illustrative flow, with short relevant text. The famous illustrations in this book have originated between the 14th and 18th century CE, from the miniature paintings that were commissioned by the later rulers and royalties of the land, according to the style of their times, with their own manuscripts of the Shahnameh.
I trust that this book finds a place with those who appreciate the great legendary Persian Past, along with the beautiful illustrations of centuries gone by. Above all, one can always raise one's own philosophical and spiritual faculties, and identify key lessons from the past that may very well connect to the present and the future.