Illustrations from the First Small Shahnama, Baghdad, c.1300 showing Ilkhanid Mongols

Zahhak bound on Mount Damavand

The King of Yemen receives Faridun's sons

Manuchihr kills Tur in battle

Zal displays his skills before Manuchihr

Sam visits Zal and Rustam

The second battle between Nauzar and Afrasiyab

Rustam catches Rakhsh

Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt

Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab

Sudaba accuses Siyavush

Guruy executes Siyavush

Faramarz captures Surkha, son of Afrasiyab

Giv finds Kay Khusrau in Turan

Kay Khusrau reviews his troops

Bizhan pursues Tazhav, who carries Ispanay on his horse

Rivniz dies, but Bahram saves his crown

Ruhham overcomes Bazur the Turanian wizard

Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse

Rustam captures and kills Kamus

Rustam overturns Chingish by seizing his horse's tail

Rustam fights Sava

Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant

Rustam overthrows Puladvand

Gustaham kills Lahhak

The execution of Afrasiyab

Iskandar kills the Abyssinian monster
Although the arts of the book in Iran enjoyed great prestige prior to the Mongol invasion of the mid-thirteenth century, the earliest extant illustrated manuscripts date from the reign of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1336). Among this group are several copies of the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. Composed in the year 1010 by the poet Firdawsi, the Shahnama recounts the stories of legendary and historical kings and heroes. Its colourful combination of fact and fantasy has meant that it is the most frequently illustrated text in Iran. The earliest known copies are referred to as the first and second "small" Shahnama, respectively.

The folios of the First Small Shahnama are dispersed in a number of collections. The reconstructed order of the folios is from the Shahnama Project

Other Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds

Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers