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IRANIAN MYTHOLOGY

FARÂMARZ


 

By: Djalal Khaleqi-Motlaq

 

Faramarz, son of Iran's greatest national hero Rostam (q.v.), and himself a renowned hero of the Iranian national epic. His adventures were very popular, especially during the 4th/10th and 5th/11th centuries (Bal´amî, ed. Bahâr, I, p. 133; II, p. 687; Farrokhî, vv. 1027, 7654). 

According to the Târîkh-e Sîstân (p. 7), the exploits of Farâmarz comprised a twelve-volume account. What is known of his story today is derived from Ferdowsî`s (q.v.), from the Farâmarz-nâma (q.v.), and a few other sources. In the Š Farâmarz's most important exploit is his participation in Rostam's campaign against Tûrân to avenge the death of Sîâvakhš. Farâmarz leads the army; kills Varâzâd, the king of Sepîjâb; and later captures Sorkha, son of Afrâsîâb (q.v.; Š, ed. Khaleghi, II, pp. 385, 389-90; Tha´âlebî, Gh, p. 217). He also kills Mehrnûš, son of Esfandîâr (q.v.), and avenges the death of his father Rostam by killing the king of Kabul and by destroying Kabul (Š [Moscow] VI, pp. 283, 338-39). According to Šand Mojmal al-tawârîkh, Kay Khosrow sends Farâmarz to conquer India (Šed. Khaleghi, III, pp. 22-23; Mojmal, ed. Bahâr, p. 49). These sources say nothing more about the Indian campaign, but it is the subject of the Farâmarz-nâma, which has come down to us in two versions. The adventures of Farâmarz are also mentioned in the epic Bânû Gošasp-nâma, although there he plays a secondary role to Gošasp Bânû (q.v.; see Cat. Bibliotheàque Nationale, p. 18, n. 1194). According to this story Rostam places the infant Farâmarz in the care of his daughterGošasp Bânû. The rest of the epic recounts the adventures of Gošasp Bânû and Farâmarz, including their battle—while in disguise—with Rostam and Zavâra, which takes as a model the battle of Rostam and Sohrâb but has a happy ending. Another source, the epic Bahman-nâma (q.v.), gives in its second part an account of Farâmarz's wars against Bahman (q.v.; Îrânšâh, pp. 191-340). In addition, the Nozhat-nâma contains two narratives about the adventures of Farâmarz in India (Šahmardân, pp. 329-33). Stories about him are to be found also in Armenian and Mandaean sources. In Armenian stories Fahrâmaz (an Armenian variant of his name) is the son of Golparî, whom Rostam marries after rescuing her from the castle of the Red Demon (dîv-e sorkh). Among the main adventures of Farâmarz in Armenian sources is his battle alongside Zâl and Borzû against the shah of Darband, and the capture of a fire-colored stallion, which was destroying the king's horses by driving the herds into the sea (Chalatianz, pp. 295-300). According to a Mandaean account the mother of Fîlamers (Farâmarz) is the daughter of the Chinese emperor (Petermann, pp. 108-9). In some Persian stories Rostam's wife is Gêv's sister, Šahrbânû Eram (Š, ed. Khaleghi, II, p. 347). Mojmal al-tawârîkh states that the mother of Farâmarz and of his two sisters Gošasp Bânû and Zar Bânû, is Kay Qobâd's aunt (Mojmal, ed. Bahâr, p. 25).

According to Tabarî and some other sources Farâmarz is killed by Bahman, son of Esfandîâr (Tabarî, I, p. 687; cf. Bal´amî, ed. Bahâr, II, p. 687; Š [Moscow], VI, pp. 347-49; Tha´âlebî, Gh, p. 388; Îrânšâh, pp. 335-40.) However, this is not the only version of the story. According to Bal´amî, Bahman is the one who is killed in the battle with Farâmarz, while in Târîkh-e Sîstân the two make peace (Bal´amî, ed. Bahâr, II, pp. 686-87; Târîkh-e Sîstân, p. 34). In Mojmal al-tawârîkh Farâmarz perishes in Kashmir, falling to his death from a horse; his body is taken to Sîstân and buried in Rostam's ossuary (ed. Bahâr, pp. 25, 463). There are also Persian folk tales about Farâmarz (Enjavî). 

 

Bibliography

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

B. Chalatianz, "Die iranische Heldensage bei den Armenien," Zeitschrift des Vereins für Volkskunde 14, 1904, pp. 295-300. 

A. Enjavî, Ferdowsî-nâma, 3 vols., Tehran, 1363 Š./1984. Abu'l-Hasan Farrokhî Sîstânî, Dîvân, ed. M. Dabîrsîâqî, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1349 Š./1970. 

Îrânšâh b. Abi'l-Khayr, Bahman-nâma, ed. R. ´Afîfî, Tehrân, 1370 Š./1991. 

H. Petermann, Reisen im Orient, 2nd ed., 2 vols., Leipzig, 1965. Šahmardân b. Abi'l-Khayr, Nozhat-nâma-ye ´alâ`î, ed. F. Jahânpûr, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983.

 

 

 

Source/Extracted From: Encyclopaedia Iranica

 

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