"The Shahnameh, Book of Kings, is an epic composed by the Iranian poet Hakim Abul-Qasim Mansur (later known as Ferdowsi Tusi), and completed around 1010 CE....The epic chronicles the legends and histories of Iranian (Aryan) kings from primordial times to the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century CE, in three successive stages: the mythical, the heroic or legendary, and the historic."....http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/shahnameh/index.htm
"Ferdowsi, the author of Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran, and Rumi, the famous Sufi poet, were also from Khorasan.... Before Islamization of the region, the inhabitants of Khorasan had mostly practiced Zoroastrianism but at different stages there were also various adherents of Manichaeism, Sun worshippers (Mithraism), Nestorianism, Paganism, Shamanism, Buddhism and a small number of Jews too. Khorasan in its proper sense comprised principally the cities of Mashhad, Nishapur, Sabzevar and Kashmar (now in Iran), Balkh and Herat (now in Afghanistan), Merv, Nisa and Abiward (now in Turkmenistan), Samarqand and Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan). ....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Khorasan
"The Shahnameh or Shah-nama (Persian: شاهنامه Šāhnāmeh, "The Book of Kings") is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of the Iranian cultural continent. Consisting of some 60,000 verses, the Shahnameh tells mainly the mythical and to some extent the historical past of (Greater) Iran from the creation of the world until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century. The work is of central importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of ethno-national cultural identity of Iran. It is also important to the contemporary adherents of Zoroastrianism, in that it traces the historical links between the beginnings of the religion with the death of the last Zoroastrian ruler of Persia during the Muslim conquest.
"Ferdowsi was born in Iran in the province of Khorasan in a village near Toos, in 940 CE. He devoted most of his adult life to writing The Shahnameh. It was originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan, who were the chief instigators of the revival of Persian cultural traditions after the Arab conquest of the seventh century...... their roots stemming from the city of BALKH (then, part of Greater Khorasan) the Samanids promoted the arts, giving rise to the advancement of science and literature, and thus attracted scholars such as Rudaki and Avicenna. While under Samanid control, Bukhara was a rival to Baghdad in its glory......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samanids
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"The Shahnameh itself has become one of the main pillars of the modern Persian language. Studying Ferdowsi's masterpiece also became a requirement for achieving mastery of the Persian language by subsequent Persian poets, as evidenced by numerous references to the Shahnameh in their works.This is also due to the fact that Ferdowsi went to great lengths to avoid any words drawn from the Arabic language, words which had increasingly infiltrated the Persian language following the Arab conquest of Persia in the 7th century. Ferdowsi followed this path not only to preserve and purify the Persian language, but also as a stark political statement against the Arab conquest of Persia.
"The Shahnameh has 62 stories, 990 chapters, and some 60,000 rhyming couplets, making it more than three times the length of Homer's Iliad.....
"Ferdowsi's Shahnameh tells us that King Vishtasp was King of Balkh at the time of Zoroaster...."Vishtaspa (Vištāspa) is the Avestan-language name of a figure of Zoroastrian scripture and tradition, portrayed as an early follower of Zoroaster, and his patron, and instrumental in the diffusion of the prophet's message. Although Vishtaspa is not epigraphically attested, he is – like Zoroaster also – generally assumed to have been a historical figure (and would have lived in the 10th (?) century BC or earlier….the Gathas celebrate Vishtaspa as the "patron of Zoroaster and the establisher of the first Zoroastrian community.....Zarathustra and his followers wandered until they found a sympathetic friend in King Vishtaspa, who was not the father of King Darius but an earlier ruler of the same name, who may have lived in eastern Iran or in Bactria, modern Afghanistan. There, Zarathushtra won over the king, and his court, and became the court prophet."....http://www.pyracantha.com/Z/zardusht.html
"Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, complemented by the Farvardin Yasht 13.87, recounts that Aryan prehistory started with Gaya Maretan, founder of the Aryan nation. The Shahnameh states that he was the first Aryan King and that during his reign, people lived in the mountains and wore animal skins and leaves. They gathered fruits and other plant foods. Animals were first domesticated, and the herding of cattle began.".....http://zoroastrianheritage.blogspot.com/2011/07/iranian-aryan-connections-with-western.html
"Hātefī, a famous poet from Jam (Khorasan), to write a Shahnameh-like epic about his victories and his newly established dynasty."....Hātefī....Hatefi, 'Abd-Allah (Persian: هاتفی) was a Persian poet (1454–1521)...Hatefi, 'Abd-Allah (Persian: هاتفی) was a Persian poet (1454–1521) and nephew of Abdul Rahman Jami......He was born around 1454 at Ḵargerd, a village on the outskirts of the Khorasanian town Jām (modern Afghanistan)....Shah Ismail I was also deeply influenced by the Persian literary tradition of Iran, particularly by the Shahnameh, which probably explains the fact that he named all of his sons after Shahnameh characters. Dickson and Welch suggest that Ismail's Shāhnāmaye Shāhī was intended as a present to the young Tahmāsp. After defeating Muhammad Shaybāni's Uzbeks, Ismāil asked Hātefī, a famous poet from Jam (Khorasan), to write a Shahnameh-like epic about his victories and his newly established dynasty. Although the epic was left unfinished, it was an example of mathnawis in the heroic style of the Shahnameh written later on for the Safavid kings......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahnameh
"During the age of Gaya Maretan, religion and religious rites were developed. According to the Avesta and the Shahnameh, Gaya Maretan was a Mazdayasni, a worshipper of Mazda or God. In the oldest Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda, worship in a supreme God, Asura Varuna, preceded deva or polytheistic worship amongst the Aryans.....The Shahnameh tells us that Ahriman, the leader of the deva worshippers was envious of Gaya Maretan and wanted to seize Gaya Maretan's throne, the throne of the Aryans. As a result, the first religious wars between the Mazda and deva worshippers took place during this period......Civilization came to the Aryan world during the age of Haoshyangha (Hushang), Gaya Maretan's grandson." .....http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/prehistory.htm
"Battles between the devas and asuras. The cosmic wars between the deities were symbolic of the earthly wars between the two groups.....three primary pre-Zoroastrian Aryan religions mentioned in our source texts: Mazda worship, Daeva or Deva worship and Asura worship."....http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/religion.htm
Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje:......"In 672 an Arab governor of Sistan, Abbad ibn Ziyad, raided the frontier of Al-Hind and crossed the desert to Gandhara, but quickly retreated again. The marauder Obaidallah crossed the Sita River and made a raid on Kabul in 698 only to meet with defeat and humiliation. Vincent Smith, in Early History of India, states that the Turkishahiya dynasty continued to rule over Kabul and Gandhara up until the advent of the Saffarids in the ninth century. Forced by the inevitable advance of Islam on the west, they then moved their capital from Kapisa to Wahund on the Indus, whence they continued as the Hindushahiya dynasty. This was in 870 A.D. and marks the first time that the Kingdom of Shambhala actually came under Moslem domination. The Hindushahis recaptured Kabul and the rest of their Kingdom after the death of the conqueror Yaqub but never again maintained Kapisa as their capital.".....http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/lord-padmasambhava.htm#eightcentury
John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013