Selected representative readings from the iconic masterpieces of classical heroic and romantic epic poetry, including the Persian national epic, Shahnameh, or Book of Kings; the magisterial ode of Khaqani on the ruins of a Sasanian palace; and tales from the Khamseh, or Quintet, of Nezami about the star-crossed lovers Laili and Majnun and the world-conqueror Iskandar, or Alexander the Great. Emphasis is on close reading and analysis of the linguistic and literary content and style of these works, and discussion of their historical and cultural backgrounds. All readings are in the original Persian. During the course, students will acquire essential skills in the technical requirements of classical Persian poetry, such as prosody, rhyme, and poetic devices.
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Literature)
Maria E. Subtelny