Art And Culture

‘Women in Shahnameh’ Now in Persian

Jalal Khaleghi-MotlaghJalal Khaleghi-Motlagh

The Persian translation of the book ‘Women in the Shahnameh’ by Professor Jalal Khaleghi-Motlagh, an expert in Ferdowsi’s epic book Shahnameh (Book of Kings), has been published in Iran.

The book was in fact Khaleghi-Motlagh’s PhD dissertation which was first published in German in the University of Koln in 1971. Later its English translation was published in the US. It was translated into English by Brigitte Neuenschwander, a UCLA graduate in German literature, and edited by Nahid Pirnazar, a UCLA graduate and current lecturer of Iranian studies at UCLA, Mehr News Agency reported.

Shahnameh was composed by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between the years 980 and 1010. In his book, Khaleghi-Motlagh, 79, seeks to clarify the role of the female gender in Iranian mythology to determine to what extent it is represented in the Shahnameh.

It also summarizes the stories of the most important women of Shahnameh, comparing them to others from ancient to medieval sources insofar as they were known and accessible to the author.

Part of the book examines the position of women in Shahnameh, taking into consideration other ancient and medieval sources. The author outlines the role, importance, and fate of each female character in the various periods of their lives, e.g. as a girl, wife, and mother, both within the family framework and society as a whole.

Born in Tehran, Khaleghi-Motlagh studied at the University of Koln, Germany, earning a doctoral degree in Near Eastern studies, ethnology and ancient history in 1971.

He has been an emeritus professor of Persian language and literature at different varsities including the University of Hamburg. A leading authority on Shahnameh, his research articles on the epic book have appeared in scholarly publications.

Khaleghi-Motlagh is also a contributor to Encyclopedia Iranica and the Encyclopedia of Persian Language and Literature.

The Persian version of ‘Women in the Shahnameh’ in 200 pages has been translated by Ahmad Binazir and published by Morvarid Publications.


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