Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings

Art and production by Hamid Rahmanian  | Text by Ahmad Sadri

One of the most beautiful books I've ever been given. -- Neil Gaiman

An Iranian epic for the masses
— CNN international

A gorgeous new translation of the Persian epic. — NPR, All Thing Considered

A Persian Masterpiece, Still Relevant Today. — The Wall Street Journal

Simply breathtaking. — Huffington Post

Brings new, vivid life to the epic tales of the ancient Persian kings. — The Atlantic

Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings is the illustrated edition of the classic work written over one thousand years ago by Abolqasem Ferdowsi, one of Persia’s greatest poets. This new prose translation of the national epic is illuminated with over 500 pages of illustrations and will be published in April 2013.

The lush and intricate illustrations in this edition have been created by award-winning graphic artist and filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian, incorporating images from the pictorial tradition of the Persianate world from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The new translation and adaptation by Ahmad Sadri, retells the mythological and epic stories of the original poem in prose format. This Shahnameh is an extraordinary literary and artistic accomplishment.

Published by Liveright , distributed by W. W. Norton & Company
Hardcover with slipcase, 592 pages, 500+ four-color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-63149-446-8


Our Team


Hamid Rahmanian is an award-winning filmmaker and graphic artist whose work has been exhibited in international competitions and publications. His narrative and documentary films have premiered at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and IDFA film festivals. He has won numerous international awards and his works have been televised on international networks, including PBS, Sundance Channel, IFC, Channel 4, BBC, DR2, and Al Jazeera. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. For more information


Ahmad Sadri is professor of Sociology and Anthropology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. He is the author of Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals published by Oxford University Press and selected as the 1993 academic book of the year by Choice, the publication of American Library Association. He has written two books in Persian, Reviving the Concept of Civilizations and An Apocalypse Soon, and his published translations include Saddam City (from Arabic) and Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam (from Persian). He lives in Gurnee, Illinois.


Melissa Hibbard is an independent writer and producer. Her latest film, THE GLASS HOUSE (2008), produced in association with the Sundance Channel received several awards including the prestigious Human Rights Award (OSCE). Her films have been well received by critics and audiences and have been part of Sundance, Tribeca, Venice, IDFA and Toronto film festivals and been broadcast on international networks around the world.  She lives in Brooklyn New York.  For more information visit


Sheila Canby is the Curator in Charge of the Islamic Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Previously she was Curator of Islamic Collections at the British Museum. Her publications include Persian Painting and The Golden Age of Persian Art. She lives in New York City.


Jim Mairs has been an editor at Norton for over forty years. The critically acclaimed RED BOOK of Carl Jung is one of his recent accomplishments. Ten years ago he started his own company, The Quantuck Lane Press, where he specializes in beautifully produced books on art and other imaginative subjects.

The Production of this book was made possible
with the generous support of the following individuals:

Hamid Shafipour & Fereshteh Amin
Mark Amin
Ali and Mojgan Amin
Michael and Shirin Amin
Farshid and Guila Zanjani
Farhad Mohit
Farhad Shamtoub
Saeed and Samira Amidi
Farid and Afsaneh

And with the support of the following organizations:

Aeen e Iran, Los Angeles
The Bijan and Soraya Amin Foundation
American Institute of Iranian Studies
B.T. Manufacturing, Inc.
Primex International
World Unity Organization
Zero 1 Derfurl Trust

Additional help was provided by:

Nosrat Raji Amin, Kourosh Aframian, Marjaneh Halati, Farrokh Abolfathi, Mahmoud G. Farahani, Khashayar Hadipour & Negar Tabandeh, Ali Reza Vatankhah & Farzaneh Amin, Ladan Behnia, Leon & Firoozeh J. Neman, Kayhan S. Shakib, Nahid Salim, David Mesri, Ruben Abrams, Albert Hakimi, Celeste Vardaman, Stephanie Mc Andrew, Kourosh Aframian, Cyrus Milani, Mahmoud R. Fakhimi & Parvin J. Nazeri, Josiane Cohanim, Mr. David O. Moore and Amy W. Moore, Mojgan Tamaddon, Sarvenaz Angha, Hashem Hashemian, Dr. Guita Balakhane, and Zahid Atashzay.