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Illustrations from the Second Small Shahnama, Baghdad, c.1300 showing Ilkhanid Mongols


Faranak, Faridun and the cowherd
Chapter 5 - Zahhak

Rustam catches (the horse) Rakhsh
Chapter 10 - Garshasp

Gudarz kills Piran
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs (champions)

Arjasp's Horsemen Killing Luhrasp
Chapter 15 - Gushtasp

Isfandiyar fights the Turanians
Chapter 15 - Gushtasp

Bahram Gur at the Home of Baraham the Jew
Chapter 35 - Bahram Gur (1)

Bahram Gur in a Peasant's House
Chapter 35 - Bahram Gur (1)
Although the arts of the book in Iran enjoyed great prestige prior to the Mongol invasion of the mid-thirteenth century, the earliest extant illustrated manuscripts date from the reign of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1336). Among this group are several copies of the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. Composed in the year 1010 by the poet Firdawsi, the Shahnama recounts the stories of legendary and historical kings and heroes. Its colourful combination of fact and fantasy has meant that it is the most frequently illustrated text in Iran. The earliest known copies are referred to as the first and second "small" Shahnama, respectively.

The folios of the Second Small Shahnama are dispersed in a number of collections.



Other Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds

Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers








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