Testimonial by Christopher "Carson" Conlon
MPhil, Islamic Studies and History, University of Oxford, UK
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.
Interested? Check Upcoming Persian Language Courses!
Our Persian language courses are open to anyone with upper elementary or intermediate knowledge of the Persian language. The lectures are organized with the academic interests of our participants in mind. Students as well as researchers working in Iranian Studies and relevant fields will benefit the most from our courses.Check Upcoming Courses
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.”Read Testimonial
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.”Read Testimonial
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.”Read Testimonial