Western civilization has its epic poem in The Odyssey by Homer, the difficult journey home of Odysseus, one of the greatest protagonists in literature. Iran, too has an epic literary poem called The Shahnamah, or Book of Kings, that was written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi around 1000 AD and describes the struggle between good and evil and God and the devil.
The Shahnemah is the national epic that formulates Iran's cultural identity and comprising of some 60,000 verses describes the creation of the world until the Islamic conquest in the 7th century. The poem weaves through the empires of Iran's great kings, describing art, history and culture. The poem is fraught with phrases of wisdom and ends with the following:
I shall not die, these seeds I've sown will save
My name and reputation from the grave
And men of sense and wisdom will proclaim
When I have gone, my praises and my fame
Ferdowsi was very careful not to draw any words from the Arabic language. He was particularly resentful of the Arab conquests and how they desecrated the conquered lands with a strict Muslim religion that had reservations against the art and culture of Iran. Because of the Arab conquests, Ferdowsi was able to preserve a rich and undiluted Iranian language, and today, he is regarded as the savior of the Persian vernacular.
The Arabs eventually converted the Zoroastrian minded Persians to Islam, and they attempted to eliminate the cultural identity of Iran. But in doing so, the Arabs actually helped Ferdowsi preserve Persia's rich language along with his verses on the historic reign of its kings and its adherence to art, culture and wisdom.