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Siyavush jumping across the fire, Firdawsi. Shah-nama. MS C-822 IOS AS USSR, f. 100b. Late 15th century. Samarkand
SIYAVUSH  JUMPING ACROSS THE FIRE, Firdawsi. Shah-nama


Dramatic story about Siyavush is a retelling of a Greek legend about Hippolytus and Fedra. Siyavush lost his mother in early childhood. One of the wifes from the fathers harem tried many times to seduce the young man. But Siyavush ignored her. So she accused him of sexual harassment. To justify himself Siyavush should pass an old fire ceremony: riding the horse the young man should jump across the fire and stay alive.
Many illustrators of Shakn-nama turned to this story. One of the famous version of it is on this miniature. Siyavush in white dress riding a black horse is jumping across the fire. The artist applies colour contrast: bright dresses of spectators, the black horse, golden fire and light blue hill and Siyavush as an embodiment of virginity and purity.