(Persia Digest) - Ordibehesh 25 on the Iranian calendar (15 May) has been named after the great Iranian epic poet, Hakim Abulqasem Ferdowsi. He was born in Paj village, near the city of Tus, northeast of Mashhad.

Ferdowsi is believed to have been born in 329 AH and died in 416 AH [941-1025 CE]. The tomb of the great Iranian epic poet who is also known as Hakim (Philosopher) of Tus and Hakim of Speech is in the city of Tus.

The work of the great Persian poet, Shahnameh (Book of Kings), which according to Ferdowsi was composed over 30 years, is the identity of the Iranian people because the book by combing the pre and post-Islamic cultures of Iran managed to keep alive the language, culture and history of the country.

In authoring the Shahnameh which contains 50,000 verses, Ferdowsi has been influenced by some ancient Iranian traditions like Mazdaism and Mithraism.

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Marking Ferdowsi

Marking Ferdowsi and inserting his name into the Iranian calendar first took place in 1350 HS (1971 CE); since then, commemoration ceremonies have been held in various Iranian cities, universities and at his tomb.

Similar ceremonies including the Third Conference Marking the Persian Language and Hakim Abulqasem Ferdowsi in Tehran, the Fourth Gathering Commemorating Ferdowsi in Kashan, a ceremony marking Ferdowsi in Gorgan, and a Shahnameh reading in Khorasan Razavi Province will be held this year.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in his Instagram page posted a text along with a picture showing the unveiling of the statues of Ferdowsi, Hafez, Sa'di and Roudaki at the compound of the Iranian embassy in Moscow, Russia, to mark the occasion.

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Ferdowsi in the eyes of others

The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi has been translated into most living languages of the world. The masterpiece is considered the Epic of the East. As westerners attach a high importance to the works of ancient Greek poet Homer, the people of the East praise the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. Therefore, from this point of view, Ferdowsi's work is equally important as Homer's work.

In authoring his books ‘Les Miserables' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' French author Victor Hugo has been influenced by the Iranian poet (Ferdowsi) in displaying the poorer class of the society.

The 18th century American poet James Russel Lowell believed that the Shahnameh stood higher than all romantic works of Europe and that from an artistic point of view it topped other works.

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