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ÊWÊNBED

"The magus & judge of the empire"


 

By: Philippe Gignoux

 

(master of manners; `: KKZ 8, KNRm 25; cf. Gignoux, 1972, p. 15; also read âyênbed), Pahlavi title attested from the 3rd century C.E. It was conferred by Bahrâm II (274-93, q.v.) upon the magus Kirdêr (Kartir) (Gignoux, 1991, pp. 49, 69 n. 132) in connection with the charge of the fire temple of Anâhîd-Ardašîr and the lady Anâhîd at Estakhr. As the title is rarely mentioned, the function it represented is difficult to define. It occurs on two bullae in the collection of the Bibliotheàque Nationale, Paris (Gignoux, 1978, pp. 84 no. 4.2, 85 no. 4.5), where, according to Rika Gyselen (pp. 34-35), the legend, unaccompanied by representations, suggests an administrative seal from the city of Susa (Êrân-Xwarrah-Šâbuhr, q.v.), rather than the personal seal of an official.

The title is also known from Syriac sources, in the form `/`. In the account of Mar Pethion the ainbed is associated with horsemen, which seems to bespeak a military or police function (cf. Hoffmann, pp. 64, 68). In the account of the martyrdom of Mar Abâ (Bedjan, p. 228) an êwênbed called Kardag is also designated "magus and judge of the empire" (š). These three functions are apparently those that Kirdêr exercised as hamšahr mowbed ud dâdwar and êwênbed. The function of êwênbed has also been connected with the êwên-nâmag (book of manners), which is well attested in the late Pahlavi and Arabic-Persian literature (cf. Dênkard, ed. Madan, p. 144). Although Gyselen found it impossible to decide between a financial function suggested by the term âyên, referring to gifts presented on Nowrûz (Christensen, Iran sass., p. 125) and that of archivist, the Syriac sources indicate a religious function, probably involving the safeguarding of traditions.

 

Bibliography

(for works not cited in detail see "Short References")

P. Bedjan, ed., Histoire de Mar-Jabalaha, de trois autres patriarches, d'un prêtre et de deux laïques nestoriens, Paris, 1895. 

P. Gignoux, Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies et parthes, London, 1972. 

Idem, Catalogue des sceaux, came‚es et bulles sassanides, Paris, 1978. 

Idem, "Pour une esquisse des fonctions religieuses sous les Sasanides," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 7, 1986, pp. 93-108. 

Idem, Les quatre inscriptions du mage Kirdîr, Studia Iranica, cahier 9, Paris, 1991. 

R. Gyselen, La ge‚ographie administrative de l'empire sassanide, Paris, 1989. 

G. Hoffmann, Auszüge aus Syrischen Akten Persicher Märtyrer, Leipzig, 1880.

 

 

 

 

 

Source/Extracted From: Encyclopaedia Iranica

 

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