c.934 - 1020
Firdausi, or Ferdowsi, was born Abu Ol-Qasem Mansur in Tus, Iran. He is considered to be one of the greatest Persian poets to have ever lived and a national hero.
He wrote the greatest national epic in world literature, the 'Book of Kings' or 'Shah-nameh' (60 000 couplets). It tells the mythical and historical past of Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century.
The poem was presented to the Sultan, who rewarded Firdausi with a pitiful amount of money. Disappointed the poet gave the money to a bath attendant and left for Afghanistan.
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