Testimonial by Christopher "Carson" Conlon

MPhil, Islamic Studies and History, University of Oxford, UK

2 weeks 2023 Learn Persian Through the Shahname

Reading Firdawsī’s Shāhnāma (Book of Kings) is one of the greatest joys of studying the Persian language. The challenging verse is often terse and made difficult not only by the antiquated vocabulary and high style (sabk-i bālā) but the poem’s incredible versatile and complex tripartite structure consisting of epic, myth, and finally history.

The ASPIRANTUM course was very well organized. Our instructor, Mr. Ruben Nikoghosyan of Yerevan State University’s world renown Department of Iranian Studies, was happy to share his vast knowledge of classical Persian. Mr. Nikoghosyan has been actively studying the poem for years and served as an excellent dragoman and guide to the epic. It was through his meticulous and selective curation of gobbets, students familiarized themselves with the text. These excerpts were accompanied with daily vocabulary lists, and homework articles relating to Shāhnāma studies. Difficult passages were often revisited and important verses (bayts) scrutinized. The poem was approached from various angels and students were encouraged to translate.

Classroom discussions were also encouraged, and it was a great pleasure to meet fellow students and researchers with similar interests. The Shāhnāma course was a great way to learn Persian by sparing with a classical Persian text. Students left with a better understanding of Firdawsī’s magnum opus (shāhkār) and will never envision the Shāhnāma the same way again.

Vardan Voskanian teaches Persian to summer school 2019 participants

Vardan Voskanian teaches Persian to summer school 2019 participants


Christopher "Carson" Conlon found a new Persian word in the dictionary

Learning Persian Online - Intermediate Group

Learning Persian Online - Intermediate Group

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Other Testimonials.

Asael Benyami

MA student, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

“As a long time and advanced learner of Persian, I was highly impressed by the quality of the instruction and gained myself much from it.”

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Piotr Szustakiewicz

MA student, University of Warsaw, Poland

“The course ”Learn Persian Through the Shahname” in which I took part in September 2020 was a wonderful experience.”

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Husain Kazmi MD

Independent Scholar, USA

“I shall look forward, time and circumstances permitting, to participating in some of the other Persian courses that Aspiratum plans in the future.”

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