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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Persian poetry – links to the West

Use this inquiry unit to explore the connections between Persian and Western stories.

Refer to the Persian poetry – links to the West curriculum outcomes to see how this unit aligns with VELS standards for levels 5 and 6.


  • Determine students' prior knowledge of Persian stories and characters, and any modern links. Examples could include:
    1001 nights (known in English as The Arabian nights)
    – Alexander the Great (who appears in Persian stories as Iskandar)
    – the Prince of Persia games, movie and graphic novels
  • Look at classic Arabian nights stories, the conquests of Alexander the Great, and the phenomenon of Prince of Persia games (see Useful websites for sites on Prince of Persia). More examples of parallels between Persian and Western stories are in the Making connections activity.


  • Establish an inquiry question investigating the connections between a Persian story and a Western story (in any story format).
  • See the Making connections activity for ideas and discussion questions.


  • Connect knowledge gained through the the Making connections activity by analysing and comparing Persian stories and Western links using evaluation tools such as Venn diagrams, PMI, and De Bono’s thinking hats.
  • Represent class findings on a timeline using an online timeline generator such as Timetoast.


  • Write a report on the links between Persian and Western stories.
  • Debate the merits of the ways Persian stories and their Western counterparts are represented in various forms. For example, compare the way the Shahnama is represented in poetry and illuminated manuscripts with the way it's represented in modern comics (such as the Rostam: tales from the Shahnameh comic series). This exercise could be developed into a persuasive or discussion writing task.


  • Students use a reflective journal throughout the inquiry that reflects on progress made and challenges encountered.
  • Develop a rubric that allows students, teachers or peers to evaluate progress, and supports students in reflecting on their learning and identifying future goals.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000