History of Persian Literature III: Persian Narrative Poetry in the Classical Era Published, January 2023

January 18, 2023

The third volume in this ground-breaking series, Persian Narrative Poetry in the Classical Era, 800-1500: Romantic and Didactic Genres, edited by Mohsen Ashtiany, introduces masterpieces of Persian literature from these seven centuries to an international audience. In the process, it underlines the remarkable tenacity of their malleable tradition: the perennial dialogue and the interconnectedness which binds together a vast and varied literature composed of many threads, romantic and didactic, in many lands, from Anatolia and Iran to India and Central Asia. In its companion volume, Persian Lyric in the Classical Era, 800-1500, the readers of the series will have already met in passing all the mythical and historical figures who appear with far more aplomb on the stage here, with their lives narrated in detail by poets of different caliber from different perspectives. The first two chapters of this volume recount the literary history of the entire period, focusing on didactic and romantic narratives. The central chapters take a closer look at the towering figure of the poet Nezâmi Ganjavi. The final chapter takes the reader to a wider landscape tracing the footsteps of Alexander across the globe, offering insights to the cultural preoccupations refracted in so many versions past and present.


Chapter 1: Secular Didactic Mathnavis / J. T. P. de Bruijn
Chapter 2. Romantic Mathnavis (Pre-Safavid Period)/ J. T. P. de Bruijn
Chapter 3. Nezami's Romantic Poems and their Cultural Afterlife: Reception and Responses / Paola Orsatti
Chapter 4. Khosrow and Shirin and the Poems of Love and Adventure /Paola Orsatti
Chapter 5. Leyli and Majnun / Paola Orsatti
Chapter 6. Nezami's Haft Peykar and its Tradition in Persian Literature / Paola Orsatti
Chapter 7. The Alexander Legend in Persian Literature / Mario Casari
Includes bibliographical references (pages 545-629) and index.

Sponsored by The Persian Heritage Foundation & The Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University.