Shahnameh (The Epic of Kings) composed in the 10th century by Ferdowsi is the Crown Jewel of the Persian literature and is cherished by all Iranians (including non-Persian ethnic groups) as well as Persian speaking societies of Afghanistan, Tajikestan and Central Asia. It is especially well-renowned because it is written in pure Persian unmixed with any foreign loan words, has been pivotal for reviving the Persian language after the Islamic conquest of Persia, and subsequent influence of Arabic language. This voluminous work, regarded by Persian speakers as a literary masterpiece, also reflects Persia's history, cultural values, ancient religion (Zoroastrianism), and profound sense of ethno-national history of Iran. Ferdowsi completed the Shâhnameh when Persia's political independence had been compromised. This book is also important to the remaining 200,000 Zoroastrians, because the Shâhnameh traces the history of Zoroastrian religion from its beginnings up to the defeat of the last Zoroastrian king by Arab conquerors. Illustrated copies of the work are among the most sumptuous examples of Persian miniature painting. This edition, translated into English by Reuben Levy, includes 32 miniatures.