Iran’s Epic Poem, Now with Illustrations


You’ve heard of the Ramayana and the Epic of Gilgamesh, but have you heard of Shahnameh? It’s Iran’s epic mythical poem, and it’s “twice the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined.”

Artist Hamid Rahmanian wanted to bring the seminal Iranian saga, full of romance, war, and intrigue, to an American audience so he sat down and illustrated it—all 600 pages.

NPR has more on the resulting book, including examples of Rahmanian’s exquisite, Medieval Persian–style drawings.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →