(Persia Digest) – Hakim Abol-Ghasem Ferdowsi, the great Persian poet, was born on 21 January 940.

Ferdowsi was interested in history and story-telling from an early age. As he grew older, he began writing his famous epic poem titled “The Shahnameh – Book of Kings” which is the world’s longest epic poet and has made him “Iran’s single epic poem writer”.

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In part of the Shahnameh, he writes about the hardships he suffered by dedicating his life to creating this masterpiece and mentions that he has kept the Persian language alive in his poetry. Iran had been invaded by the Arabs at the time and turned into an Islamic country where the official use of the Arabic language was compulsory. But Ferdowsi recited his entire epic Book of Kings without using Arabic words. Thus, he has come to be known as the keeper of the Persian language.

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Hakim Abol-Ghasem Ferdowsi loved Iran and is the most influential figure in Persian literature. He spent his life writing the Shahnameh and passed away in 1025. He is buried in his Tus in northeastern Iran.

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