1 The title of the epic Shahname (Book of Kings) is also recorded as Shah Nama and Shahnama. We shall use Shahname throughout this study except, of course, in quotations and titles.1

2 The Persian word for paradise is ferdows. The English word paradise is derived from the same Persian word. Firdowsi (also recorded as Firdawsi, Firdusi and Firdousi) is the pseudonym of the poet. His actual name is not known.2

3 In modern Persian, the term dihqan means a farmer or a serf. In Firdowsi's time, however, the dihqan were a class of landed gentry with considerable influence in their region. For the significance of the dihqan class in early Islamic times, see Bulliet, 1972, p. 22.3

4 Moscow Edition, vol. I, p. 23.4

5 Mu'bad is a Zoroastrian priest above the rank of a herbad.5

6 See, for instance, Darius' accounts, where he claims that by the grace of Ahura Mazda he had been able to fight nineteen battles in the course of the same year, capturing nine kings. For details, see Kent, 1953, pp. 131 ff.6

7 See also Pyankov's contribution in "Part Two" of the present volume. [Part Two of Firdowsi's Shahname: 1000 Years After is not provided on w.w.w., ed.]7

8 For a discussion of the role of the Parthian and Sassanian rulers and of the mu'bads in reviving the religion of Zoroaster after Alexander the Great's destruction and after the demise of the prophet Mani, see Darmesteter, vol. I, pp. xxxiii-xxxiv. For the codification of the religious literature under the Sassanians, especially under Shapur II, see Darmesteter, 1972, vol. I, pp. xxx-lvi. See also Yarshater, 1983, pp. 368-369, for the meaning of history for the scribes working for the Sassanian monarchs.8

9 Warner, vol. I, p. 108.9

10 Warner [amended ] , vol. I, p. 108.10

11 Warner, vol. I, p. 108. The archaic spelling of the quotations from the Warner translation are retained. [Sic] is added only if the difference is glaring.11

12 Daqiqi was a Zoroastrian with intense patriotic feelings. He started his career as a poet at the court of the Chaghaniyan, singing the praises of Abu Muzaffar Chaghani. At the time of Nuh and later Nuh Ibn-i Mansur, he gained prominence at the court of the Samanids.12

13 Warner, vol. I, p. 110. Also cf., Safa, vol. I, 1985, p. 465.13

14 See Safa, vol. I, 1985, p. 473.14

15 Firdowsi's "Bizhan and Manizheh," perhaps his first epic composition, follows Daqiqi's style very closely.15

16 For Firdowsi's attempt to write epic pieces before Daqiqi's death, see Safa, p. 465.16

17 Cf., Safa, vol. I, 1985, pp. 472-485.17

18 For details, see Safa, vol. I, 1985, pp. 469 ff.18

19 See Safa, vol. I, 1985, pp. 479-484.19

20 It is reported that Firdowsi's body was not allowed to be buried in the public cemetery on account of allegations that he was a rafezi. See also, Safa, p. 485.20

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