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Scene from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi

Scene from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi

In another miniature from the same edition of the Shahnameh, Ardavan, a tyrannical ruler of Iran, had a beautiful slave named Golnar, who was also his advisor and treasurer. As shown in the miniature, one day she saw and fell in love with Ardeshir from a palace window (Ardeshir being the future founder of the Sassanid dynasty and a real historical figure who ruled Iran from sometime in the 220s to 240 CE). They would later fall in love with each other, and after Golnar hears that Ardavan’s astrologers cast a fortune that his heart would be broken and he would be overthrown by a member of his court of noble birth who would run away, Golnar steals some wealth from the king’s treasury and escapes with Ardeshir, breaking Ardavan’s heart at the loss of her.

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