Like a number of the great Persian romantic narratives, the love story of the Sāsānian king Khusraw II (r. AD) and Shīrīn, the Christian princess from . Read and learn for free about the following article: Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing. Khosrow discovers Shirin bathing in a pool, Safavid Dynasty, 16th Century. Well look, he didn’t say “Suppose she’s kiddin’”. And he didn’t say.

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Khosrow discovers Shirin bathing in a pool, Safavid Dynasty, 16th Century.

When the front crawl shlrin reintroduced in the West after the swimming stroke was largely forgotten during the middle agesmany swimmers only had textual dhirin in various newspapers at their disposal, often resulting in deformed variations of the actual stroke.

Though the historical detritus of the first two are scattered across the Kurdish region of Iran in the form of castles, cities and caves, it is unclear whether Farhad was also a historical figure.

The unroyal amongst us are more likely to slip into anonymity or fiction, after all. You know the drill. Unburdened by the canonical weight of the Shahnahmeh and Nizami, non-Persian cultures have an easier time shiirn the Khosrow part of the story, each culture twisting the story to better conform to their needs. The Ane usually endeavour to make Farhad more likeable, while the Assyrians tend to paint Shirin as sympathetically as possible, each trying to place their own in the best possible light.

Which, if any, of these variations correspond to a historical truth is no longer known, but the castles of Shirin and Khosrow remain.

Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing

That the story of Khosrow and Shirin was ultimately selected was a fortuitous fluke: Copyright considerations preclude me from including an image of the plate in this text, but jhosrow this linkand you can see it. A decorative plate by Shams Al-Din Al-Hasani, which is part of the Smithsonian collection in Washington DC, was long believed to illustrate the famous scene where Khosrow finds Shirin bathing, one of the most replicated motifs in Persian art.


This was, it turned out, the representation of some kuosrow folkloric tale, the origins of which are now lost to us. Everything else is mutable: According to the Kurdish literary critic Fakhir Z. Heroic, deceitful, brave, cunning. For Shirin that word is beautiful. And when Khosrow and her finally wed — after enough sidetracks to make George R. Such behaviour would be more understandableof course, if she did not love the men in her life the way that the male writers of this love story insist that she did.

Her reticence to commit to either king or architect two professions that are prevalent in contemporary rom-coms though rarely concurrently would make more sense if she did not like either of them, if hers were in fact a tale of captivity. In many of the Kurdish retellings of this story, the Khosrow figure is syirin by an evil emperor this change in dynamics is not surprising, considering the Kurds have been under the yoke of brutal leaders for centuries.

Said emperor promises to give Shirin to the young Farhad if he is able to dig through a mountain. A material reward, just as Nizami was given a slave girl for his poem. In these eternally shape-shifting love stories, then, Shirin has become a Manic Pixie Dream Princess against her will.

The wild beasts came to comfort him; the lion was his pillow and the wolf sat at his feet. When the time has come to dispose of Farhad, Khosrow sends a messenger to tell him that Shirin has died from a fever and so Farhad kills himself. Sometimes shirinn chops his head off with an axe! He is discovered by the guards and narrowly manages to run away, bringing with him a bouquet of yellow flowers to said beloved who refuses them, saying that she wanted red flowers not yellow.


Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing (article) | Khan Academy

The flowers were red, at last. When Khosrow and Farhad finally meet they do the 12th century epic poem equivalent of a rap battle: One final thing about Khosrow: He thirsted for water but would not disturb Shirin, for he knew how tired she was.

The relief he carved of Shirin, to inspire him during the mountain-digging, was also there, eroded by time. Except none of this is true: Whatever I am remembering has to be something else.

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I message an Iranian friend, asking them what I could have seen. As I narrate the story, omitting some of the more nonsensical elements and adding new details, the tale of Shirin and Farhad and Khosrow mutates anew. As it always did and as it will keep on doing. He tweets at a9ri.

When men, then, expect a woman as a prize for doing a good deed, we should perhaps look beyond Super Mario Bros and its Princess Peach-shaped reward and into actual human history.

The Alchemy of Happiness, Library of Alexandria, Chelkowski, Mirror of the Invisible World: Contacts Submissions Buzzwords Twitter Facebook. Shirin and Farhad and, yes, also Khosrow. Khosrow Beholding Shirin Bathing, India, c.