Rakhsh attacking the lion while Rostam sleeps


The First Trial

On his quest to rescue King Kavus from demons, the hero Rostam had to succeed in many trials of his courage and strength.

Here, Rostam is asleep near a thicket of reeds inhabited by an aggressive lion. The lion thought it should attack Rostam's horse Rakhsh, before attacking his master. But Rakhsh had incredible strength and easily fought off and killed the lion. Then Rostam awoke and berated Rakhsh for foolishly getting into fights with savage lions!

This miniature illumination is from a Persian manuscript of the Shahname which dates from the 15th century. It has seventy two miniature illustrations showing characters and scenes from the epic. The artwork in this version of the Shahname is particularly fine.

Taken from: Shahname
Author / Creator: unknown
Publisher: none
Date: 1450
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Islamic Add. 18188 f.90b