Testimonial by Raha Rafii

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK

2 weeks 2021 Learn Persian Through the Shahname

The Persian of the Shahnameh course is a graduate-level quality content-based language course which I highly recommend for anyone who would like to gain confidence in handling Persian verse as well as older forms of literature. 

The pedagogy was excellent, and the classes were organized to reinforce the previous day’s learning while going over the next assignment, a very effective strategy for retaining large amounts of new information in a short, intensive period (and on Zoom, no less!).

The choice of teaching classical Persian from the Shahnameh is an inspired one, as the archaizing language and its verse format make it one of the more difficult texts to work through, but once you understand how to do so other texts seem almost easy by comparison! 

I am amazed by the difference in my abilities in vocabulary and syntax from the beginning of the course, and thanks to Ruben’s suggestions regarding additional resources, feel confident to continue studying on my own. I would also like to commend Ruben’s own expertise not only in the Shahnameh, but its interplay with Middle Persian and other languages that really enriched the experience of understanding this text and its literary contexts.

My entire experience with this course has been positive from the beginning, including all the staff and the incredible efforts they go to to make sure the experience is enjoyable and accessible for everyone while maintaining rigorous standards.

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.

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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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Rachel Goshgarian

Associate Professor, Lafayette College, USA

“I was able to improve my Persian significantly while studying one of the most significant texts of medieval Iran and had fun being a part of the positive online learning community.”

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Hinesh Shah

M.Phil. student, University of Oxford

“The Aspirantum Shahname course was an excellent course with only 1 drawback- I wish it could have been longer!”

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