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Commemoration of the Iranian Hero Babak at His Castle


01 July 2005




The East Azarbaijan province' Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department plans to commemorate the Iranian hero Babak at the Babak Castle on July 9, the Persian service of the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) agency reported on Thursday.


The castle is located in East Azarbaijan Province, five kilometers southwest of Kalibar.


Babak was the leader of the Khorram-dinân, an esoteric Islamic-Zoroastrian nationalist-religious sect that arose in protest for invasion of Iran by Arabs, following the execution of Abu Muslim, who had rebelled against the Abbasid caliphate . Denying that Abu Muslim was dead, the sect predicted that he would return to spread Iranian justice throughout the world. Babak led a new revolt against the Arab-Abbasids that was martyred in 837.


A number of Iranian archaeologists will participate in the ceremony to familiarize people with the history of the region, the castle, and its structure. They will also explain the three phases of renovation carried out on the castle over the past few years.


A band is also scheduled to perform Persian classical music at the event.


Babak was born into a Persian family, in the Balalabad (modern Qaradagh) region of Atropatekan (today East Azarbaijan) province near the city of Artavilla (modern Ardabil). After his father died, in his early teens he was given responsibility for his two brothers and mother during a traditional Zoroastrian ceremony at a fire temple. By the age of 18 Babak had established himself in the city of Tabriz and was engaged in the arms trade and industry.


Later on, this engagement gave him the opportunity to travel to the northern Iranian provinces in Caucasus and other part of the Greater Iran, Middle-East and  Eastern Europe. During this time, Atropatekan province was constantly invaded by the Arab forces of Abbasid caliphs.


The constant pressure on the Iranian people motivated Babak to join the Khorram-dinan movement at Babak Castle in the mountains of Qaradagh.


One of the most dramatic periods of Iranian history occurred under Babak’s leadership from 816 to 837 CE. Eventually Babak, his wife, and his warriors were forced to leave their command post at the castle under very difficult circumstances after 23 years of struggle. He was betrayed by Afshin, another Iranian commander who previously fought against the Arabs, and was handed over to the enemy.


During Babak’s martyrdom, the caliph's henchmen first cut off his legs and hands in order to convey the most devastating message to Iranians. Legend has it that Babak bravely rinsed his face with the blood pouring out of his wounds, thus depriving the caliph and the rest of the Arab invaders the opportunity to see that his face had turned pale due to heavy bleeding.  



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