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Rudaba and Zal in the Shahnameh

By |2017-07-25T22:24:21+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Rudaba lets down her hair Rudaba's name means "The River Water Girl". She was a character in the Persian epic Shahmaneh, written by the poet Ferdowsi about 1000 AD, at the height of Central Asian power (But the story must be much older than that). In the story, Rudaba's the daughter of the governor of Kabul, a Babylonian. [...]

Medieval Islamic historians

By |2018-04-09T10:31:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam, Literature|

A page from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, from Herat, Afghanistan, about 1444 AD. Now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Islamic historians began by translating Greek historians like Herodotus and Thucydides into Arabic. But soon historians wrote in Arabic about the history of the Islamic Empire.  One example is the huge history written by al-Tabari about 900 AD. Al-Tabari had done a lot of [...]

Hero and Leander – a Greek story

By |2018-04-23T10:11:12+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Leander swimming to Hero (from Pompeii) In this Greek version of an old story, Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite, whose father sent her to live alone in a tower on the European side of the Hellespont, in the town of Sestos. Leander was a young man who lived on the Asian side of [...]