The Medieval Reception of the Shahnama as a Mirror for Princes
Nasrin Askari explores the medieval reception of Firdausi’s Shahnama, or Book of Kings (completed in 1010 CE) as a mirror for princes. Through her examination of a wide range of medieval sources, Askari demonstrates that Firdausi’s oeuvre was primarily understood as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly elites. In order to illustrate the ways in which the Shahnama functions as a mirror for princes, Askari analyses the account about Ardashir, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, as an ideal king in the Shahnama. Within this context, she explains why the idea of the union of kingship and religion, a major topic in almost all medieval Persian mirrors for princes, has often been attributed to Ardashir.