Bust of Ferdowsi now graces university in Russia

November 13, 2019

TEHRAN – A bust of Ferdowsi, one of the most celebrated Persian poets, has recently been installed at the North Ossetian State University, which is one of the largest public institutions in the south of Russia, IRNA reported.

Ferdowsi is the pseudonym of Abu al-Qasem Mansur, (935-1020), who composed Shahnameh (“Book of Kings”), the Persian national epic, to which he gave a final and enduring form, although he based his poem mainly on an earlier prose version. Shahnameh is widely called as the national epic of Greater Iran.

Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow, Mehdi Sanaei, a number of Russian officials and a gathering of students attended an unveiling ceremony that was held on Monday at the university located in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania.

Addressing the ceremony, Sanaei highlighted the historical, ethnic and linguistic commonalities between Iran and the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, adding such cultural cooperation is of high significance for Tehran.

It is worth mentioning that Ossetian is an Eastern Iranian language spoken in Ossetia, a region on the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Experts say that is a relative and possibly a descendant of the extinct Scythian, Sarmatian, and Alanic languages.

Earlier in May, busts of four Persian poets, including Hafez and Sa’di, were unveiled on the premises of the Iranian embassy in Moscow in the presence of visiting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The busts were planned to be installed in Vladikavkaz, Makhachkala, Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg.

The Iranian embassy installed the statue of Persian poet and mathematician Khayyam (born 1048) in Astrakhan in southern Russia some two years ago.

Many Iranians regard Ferdowsi as the greatest of their poets. Down through the centuries they have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork, the Shahnameh. Though written some a millennia ago, the poem collection is somehow intelligible to the average modern Iranians, to them it is the history of their country’s glorious past, preserved for all time in sonorous and majestic verse.

 AFM/MG

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