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No. 57     Rostam lifts an adversary on his spear

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Qazvini, ‘Aja’eb al-Makhluqat, anonymous Persian translation
Turkman Commercial style: Shiraz, c.1475
Scribe: Mohammad b. Mohammad known as baqqal (grocer)
Artist: al-mowla (mullah) ‘Abd al-Karim

Opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper

London, Royal Asiatic Society, Persian MS 178, fol. 283r

 

Compiled in the later thirteenth century, the ‘Aja’eb al-Makhluqat, or ‘Wonders of Creation’, resembles an encyclopaedia of cosmology and the natural world. Heroes of the Shahnameh are included in some copies, such as this late fifteenth-century example, where Rostam is mentioned eighth in a list beginning with Faridun. There is no mention in the text of any particular feat, but Rostam’s habitual ability to unseat an opponent with his spear is emphasized and illustrated here.

 

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