<p style='text-align: justify;'>The <i>Shāhnāmah</i> (Book of Kings) an epic poem by Abū'l-Qāsim Firdawsī (fl. ca. 940–1020) who lived during the Samanid and Ghaznavid dynasties. After the death of the poet Abū Manṣūr Daqīqī (d. 975), who had only completed a thousand lines, Firdawsī subsequently expanded and completed the poem shortly before the year 1000 CE. He drew upon a number of pre-Islamic, Pahlavi Middle Persian sources, principally the <i>Xwadāynāmag</i> (Book of Lords), now lost, that recounted the ancient rulers of Persian until the Sassanian period, as well as Iranian mythology and folklore. One of nine copies held in the John Rylands Library, this volume contains the Baysunghur introduction and one hundred illustrations completed by two groups of earlier 16th century and later early 17th century Safavid painters, many subsequently repaired and overpainted when restored and rebound, likely in 18th-century India.</p>
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