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Persian literature is the reflection of a glorious culture and civilization adorned with gems of wisdom, art and imagination of Persians over many centuries. It is one of the world's oldest literatures. spanning about two-and-a-half millennia, Persian literature has its roots in surviving works of Old and Middle Persian dating back as far as 522 BCE, the date of the earliest surviving Achaemenid inscription, the Bisotun Inscription. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language. Persian literature has significantly influenced the literatures of Ottoman Turkey, Muslim India and Turkic Central Asia and has been a source of inspiration for Goethe, Emerson, Matthew Arnold and Jorge Luis Borges among so many others.
This anthology contains about one hundred stories and anecdotes in English recreated out of the greatest works of Persian literature such as Masnavi (rhyming couplets) by Rumi (also Mawlana), Gulistan (the rose garden), by Sa'di, and Shahnameh (the book of kings) by Ferdowsi. The present stories are miniatures of the original ones in many aspects, serving the same purpose of delighting and instructing the readers. They are really reader-friendly both in terms of the time needed to be read and the level of language mastery required. This hopefully makes this collection readable for even those many people nowadays who can devote only little time to reading literature or have little mastery over English as an international language.