Shahnameh - Birth of Rustam, a caesarean recorded in the Shahnameh

Picture: Picture Frames of Shahnameh
Size: 425x356 cm
Origin and time: Tabriz, Kahnamoei Workshop, 1220
Carpet Museum of Iran, Tehran
No. of Raj: 40

Text: Shahnameh Exhibition: "Heroic Times. A Thousand Years of the Persian Book of Kings" 
Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin

… As Rudaba’s pregnancy neared its end, the child in her womb was heavy like a rock. The violent contractions the young woman suffered were so forceful that she convulsed in pain and cried out. Both mother and child were in mortal danger. 

In his desperation, Sal remembered the feather of the magic bird Simurgh. He held it over the flames and immediately heard Simurgh’s wings beating. The magic bird gave him useful advice and he followed it. A mage poured magic wine down the throat of the pregnant woman so as to numb her pain. Then, he cut her womb open with a sharp knife and the child came into the world without being harmed. Everyone was amazed at the glorious sight of the child and at the strength of his body which resembled that of a newly-born elephant.

Because of the magic wine, the mother lay unconscious for another twenty-four hours in her confinement. During this time, her wound was sewn up and a bandage with healing ointment was put over it. One day old, he appeared like a child of a year’s growth and soon ten wet nurses were required to feed the insatiable child. He was like a baby lion ...