Relief of a mounted Khosrau Parvez at Taq-i-Bustan

Shabdiz (Persian: شبديز, lit. "night-colored", "black") was the legendary black stallion of Khosrau Parvez, one of the most famed Sassanid Persian kings (reigned 590 to 628CE). Shabdiz, meaning "midnight", was reputedly the "world's fastest horse"[1] according to ancient Persian literature. In Nizami's romantic epic Khosrau and Shirin, it is Khosrau's 'beloved' Shabdiz that whisks his future bride, Shirin, to meet him after Shirin has fallen in love with Khosrau's portrait.[2] It was Barbad, who through a song - potentially risking his life - informed the king of Shabdiz's death.[3]


  1. Islam and the Heroic Image by John Renard, page 208
  2. Islam and the Heroic Image by John Renard, page 67
  3. Browne, Edward Granville. A Literary History of Persia from the Earliest Times Until Firdawsí. Elibron, 1999. ISBN 1-4021-6045-3. p. 3.
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