112. Ferdowsi: How One Poet Saved Persian Civilisation


After the Arab conquest, Persia was turned upside down. Patronage went to Islam as opposed to Zoroastrianism. The official language of state was now Arabic. Even the very nature of the state changed; for 1,000 years Persia had been the centre of imperial power, dominating those around it. Now it was ruled by others. But, what it was to be Persian was not lost. The language, the art, the civilisation survived. And then the turn of the 10th century Ferdowsi revived it with his mighty epic poem, the Shahnameh. Listen as William and Anita are once again joined by Vesta Sarkosh Curtis to discuss Ferdowsi and the Shahnameh.

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Producer: Callum Hill

Exec Producer: Jack Davenport + Neil Fearn

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