Love and War: Adventures from the Firuz Shah Nama of Sheikh Bighrami

Love and War: Adventures from the Firuz Shah Nama of Sheikh Bighrami

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The story tells of Fīrūzšāh’s love for the Yemeni princess ʿAyn–al–Ḥayāt and of the many trials that each undergoes before their final union. Parallel to the tale of Fīrūzšāh is that of Moẓaffaršāh, a Persian hero from the Sīstān dynasty, and his beloved Tūrān-doḵt. The plot is typical of popular romances, in which the heroes and heroines suffer frequent peripeteias; undertake long sea and land journeys; survive encounters with sorcerers, dīvs, jinns, and peris; and have their physical and moral courage severely tested.

Important to the progress of the plot are the ʿayyārs, friendly and hostile, who perform amazing feats of technical skill in kidnapping or rescuing important characters, infiltrating enemy fortresses, acting as spies, and the like. The heroes and heroines begin their adventures in their youth, and when they are finally united they have matured to responsible adults and are ready to assume their destined roles as rulers.

Enemies represent all the opposite qualities: tyranny, deceit, cowardice, mendaciousness, cruelty, and greed. While the story is narrated in prose, it contains many sections of verse in motaqāreb meter that are not merely embellishments but actually advance the plot.

Persian Heritage Series. Princeton University Press.

 Love and War: Advantures from the Firuz Shah Nama of Sheikh Bighami, tr. W. Hanaway, Jr., Delmar, NY: Scholars’ Facsimile and Reprints, 1974.

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