A Journey into the World of Shahname: Read the Haft-Khān of Rostam in Persian.

January 17 – February 22, 2024

About the course

Languages: English, Persian

Duration of the Course: (January 17 – February 22, 2024) 6 weeks

Frequency: 2 classes per week

Duration of the Class: 2.5 hours

Class starts at: 9pm Yerevan time (6pm Paris; 5pm London; New York 12pm; LA 9am)

Participation Fee: 240 USD

Application deadline: January 12

Level of Persian: Intermediate, Advanced

Location: Online (Zoom Classroom)

Number of Participants: 4-12

Text Edition: Abu’l Qasem Ferdowi. The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). Edited by Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh. Volume 2. Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, California, New York. 1990.

Activities: Reading the text of Shahname; academic analysis of the text; Discussions in Persian; manuscript readings; Shahname in arts; homework; homework checking; discussion of questions; homework articles.

Registration requirements: In order to register for the course, please send an email to nikoghosyanruben@gmail.com, confirming your participation. After confirmation, you will be kindly asked to process the payment, after which you will get a confirmation together with the details about the first class.


Who We Are

Description of the Course:

Few literary works have impacted the identity and fate of a nation as profoundly as the Shahnameh, or the “Book of Kings.” This epic masterpiece, crafted by Ferdowsi—one of Iran’s four greatest poets—remains a source of pride for Iranians and a captivating tale for enthusiasts worldwide.


Completed around 1010 AD, the Shahnameh narrates the legendary history of four Iranian dynasties, from the mythical king Gayomart to the last Sasanian ruler, Yazdgerd III, spanning approximately 60,000 verses.


During this 6-week course, we will meet 2 per week and delve into the story of the Haft-Khan of Rostam, and follow through the adventures and exploits of this immortal hero of the Iranian epic. Parallel with this, we will be analyzing and translating excerpts and appreciating the exquisite descriptions of nature, human beauty, and heroic exploits of this masterfully crafted story.


The structure of the classes:

At the beginning of each class, we will have a brief discussion of the passages that were given as homework, and discuss questions related to the text. After that we will proceed to reading the passages of the day, analyze the characteristic grammatical and lexical features of the text, and improve our pronunciation. At the end of each class, we will have voluntary activities, such as reading manuscripts, having discussions in Persian, discussing a specific topic about Classical Persian literature (ancient orthography, classical pronunciation, translations, etc.).


Course Goals

  • Acquire a rich vocabulary with insights into the etymology and meaning of hundreds of Classical Persian words.
  • Develop a foundational understanding of Classical Persian grammar and phonology.
  • Explore and read the oldest surviving manuscript of the Shahname and other historical manuscripts.
  • Gain insight into the miniature tradition associated with the Shahname.
  • Explore pre-Islamic Iranian literary traditions and their lasting impact on Islamic traditions.
  • Familiarize themselves with the scholarly research on the Shahname, including critical editions.
  • Get the necessary tools to independently read the Shahname.

By taking this course, the participants will get a deep familiarity with the cultural milieu of the Shahname and its immortal creator, Ferdowsi. The course will help students to gain a deeper appreciation of this masterpiece and Classical Persian literature in general.

Join us in our in our exciting trip to the depths of the Book of Kings


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan
Number: +37498513969 (WhatsApp)

Email: nikoghosyanruben@gmail.com