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THE SHAHNAMA OF FIRDAUSI.

Doue into English by

ARTHUR GEORGE WARNER, M.A.

AND

EDMOXD WARXER, B.A.

Tlie vear a.d. 1010 saw the completion of the Shdhndma, the great

1'er.siair ei)ic.

Its author, the poet Firdausi, spent

of authors.

over thirty

when the task

weU worthy

His

ou'4 vears in its coiiipositiou, only to experience,

been" actiieved, a heart-breaking disappointment

clusiou in any record of tiie calamities

sur-v-ived the

Ifoori;

had

ot m-

worii has

test of time, and by general consent is accounted to be

one of the few great epics of the world. Geographically,

other resiiects, it may

be said to stand half-way

Europe

and those of India.

and in some

between the epics ol

In its own land it has no peer, wnile in

Other epics ct\utre

which all else is sub.ser-

construction and subject-matter it is uni(|ue.

round some heroic cliaracter or incident to

vient.

Man to tiie death of the last Sdsiinian

century

among

of our era.

all nations possess such a record,

traditions and set lorth in the words of

In the .^liAhndma there is no lack either of heroes or of in-

and its theme

from the days of the Pirst

Shdh in the middle of the seventh

cidents, but its real hero is the ancient Persian people,

their whole surviving legendary history

It is the glory of the Persian race that they alone

based as it is on their own

their greatest poet. In another

sense, too, the Shdhndma is unique.

epics

tell

us little

tliat in reading

apply the

or nothing of

Tlie authors of the other great

The

their own personalities or of their

in

sources of information. Their works are fairy palaces suspended

mid air ; we see the result, but know not how it was achieved.

author of the Shillindma

takes us into his confidence from the first, so

it we are let into the secret of epic-making, and can

lover of historic romance or roniantic

achievements and the

of ricli and abundant

knowledge lliiis gained to solve the problem of the con-

To the student ot comparative

struction of its great congeners.

mytliiilogv

historv,

gests

material.

and folk-lore, to the

and to all that are fond of tales of high

of inToes. the Sbdiniama is a stoiclioiisc

To set forth a com]ilete presentment of it with the needful

translation, made that of Vullers and

notes and elucidations is tlie object of the present from two of tlie best printed texts of the original

Laudauer, an<l that of Turner Macau.

THE

SHAHNAMA OF FIRDAUSl

DONE INTO ENGLISH BY

ARTHUR GEORGE WARNER, MA.

AND

EDMOND WARNER, B A.

The homes that are the diceUincjs of to-day

Will sinic 'neath shower and sunshine to decay.

Hut storm and rain shall never mar what I

Have built^the pulace of my poetry."

,

FiRDAUSI.

VOL. IX

LONDON:

KEG AN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., L^

BROADWAY HOUSE I CARTER LANE, E.G.

1925

The rights of translation and of re /reduction are reserved.

PIMNTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY THE DEVONSHIRE PRESS, TORQUAY

THE SHAHNAMA

\

CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS

Page ix, lines 1-3, for " v,

xi, xii," read " vii,

xiii,

Page 130, Col. I, line 14 from bottom, for " xii "

Page 131,

Col.

I,

line 21, for " xii " read " xv."

xv." nacf " xv."

Pages

"

123-133, in the case of Roman numerals, fvr

ix,"

for " viii " read " x " etc.

' vii " reod

Page 195, Col. 2, line 11, delete first comma.

Page 196,

Page 216,

J57,

Col.

Col.

V,

I, line 11 from bottom, delete "Ahran."

2,

281

after line

10 from

seq.

Note on,

v,

bottom, insert " Reign of,

281."

Page 225, Col. I, line S from bottom, delete " Bandwi."

Page 240, Col. 2, line 13 from bottom, before " 102 " insert " i."

Page 245, Col. 2, line 12, for " 162 " read " 162."

Page 251, Col. Col.

Page 257,

comma.

I, line

11

2,

line

from bottom, after "of" insert comma.

11,

before and after "vitrified"

inseit

Page 268, Col. 2, line 15 from^ bottom, after" oi" insert comma.

Page 276, Col. I, line 3 from bottom, read " Olympias." Page 279, Col. 2, line 5 from bottom, for " 363 " read " 263."

Page 289, Col.

Page 302,

Col.

I, line 25, for " 140 " read " 140."

_>, line 10 from bottom, /o^

85 " read "23."

Page 310, Col. I, line 3, for " ig6 " read " 171."

Page 311,

190.

Col. 2, line

15 from bottom, after "by" insert " viii,

Page 327, Col. 2, line 31 end, add " ix, 23."

Page 328, Col. Page 334, Col.

Page 337, Col. 2, line 2 from bottom, add " viii, 108."

I, line 26, for " 205 " read " 105."

I, line 7, for "Northman" read "Northmen."

Page 362, Col.

Page 363, Col. Page 366, Col. Page 372, Col.

Page 385, Col. I,

I, line 7 from bottom, insert comma at end.

I, line 25 end, insert comma.

I, line 23, before " 137" insert " vii." 1, line 14, delete " vi."

line 23, delete " 176."

Page 386, Col. 2, line 10 from bottom, after " Khnrasdn," insert

"

176."

Page 39X, Col. 2, line 7 from bottom, delete " Yazdagird."

PREFATORY NOTE

The General Index at the end of this vohime should

be consulted in preference

to the Indexes to the

separate volumes of this work. E.W.

CONTENTS

Prefatory Note

Abbreviations

Note on Pronunciation

PAQB

v

xi

xii

THE SASANIAN dynasty (concluded)

KuBAD (Commonly Called Shirwi)

SKCT.

1. How Shirwi ascended the Throne, announced his Will, and sent Chiefs to his Father with Counsel and Excuses

2. How Khusrau Parwiz answered Shirwi

.

.

3.

How Shirwi grieved for Khusrau Parwiz and how

the Chiefs were displeased thereat .

.

4. How Barbad lamented Khusrau Parwiz, cut off his

own Fingers, and burned his Instruments of Music

How the Chiefs demanded from Shirwi the Death

5.

of Khusrau Parwiz and how he was slain by

6.

Mihr Hurmuzd

How Shirwi asked Shirin in Marriage, how Shirin

killed herself, and how Shirwi was slain .

Ardsiii'r, Son of Shirwi

8

15

27

29

32

36

1. How Ardshir, Son of Shirwi, ascended the Throne

and harangued the Chiefs

.

.

-44

2. How Guraz was displeased at Ardshir being Shah and how he caused Ardshir to be slain by

Piruz Son of Khusrau

^

Guraz (also called Farayin)—

.

45

I. How Guraz (also called Farayin) received News of

the Slaying of Ardshir, hastened to Iran, took Possession of the Throne, and was killed by

PiJrAndukht—

Shahranguraz

.

.

.

.

1. How Purandukht ascended the Throne and slew

Piriiz, Son of Khusrau, and how her own Life ended

ix

.51

56

AzARMDUKHT-

SECT.

CONTENTS

PAGE

I. How Azarmdukht ascended the Throne and how

she died

FarrukhzAd

59

I. How Farrukhziid ascended the Throne and how he

Yazdagird

was slain by a Slave

61

1. How Yazdagird ascended the Throne and addressed

* the Chiefs

2. How Sa'ad, Son of Wakkas, invaded Iran, how

Yazdagird sent Rustam to oppose him, and how Rustam wrote a Letter to his Brother

3. How Rustam wrote to Sa'ad, Son of Wakkas,

and how he rephed

70

72

78

4. How Rustam fought with Sa'ad, Son of Wakkas,

and was slain

83

5. How Yazdagird consulted with the Iranians and

Index

went to Khurasan

6. How Yazdagird wro^e to Mahwi of Siir 7. How Yazdagird wrote to the Marchlords of Tiis

How Yazdagird went to Tiis and how Mahwi of

8.

.

Siir met him

9.

10.

How Mahwi of Siir incited Bi'zhan to war with

Yazdagird and how Yazdagird fled and hid

himself in a Mill

How Mahwi of Siir sent the Miller to kill Yazdagird,

and how the Archmages counselled Mahwi to forbear

11.

12.

How Mahwi of Sur was informed of the Obsequies of Yazdagird and ascended the Throne

13. How Bizhan, hearing of the Slaying of Yazdagird, and of Mahwi of Siir's Accession to the Throne, led forth the Host to fight with him

14. How Mahwi of Siir was taken and slain by Order of Bizhan

15. Account of the Completion of the Shahnama

How Yazdagird was slain by Khusrau, the Miller

.

General List of Abbreviations

General Table of Contents .

Corrections and Additions

General Index

85

89

90

95

96

lOI

107

1 12

"5

118

121

123

135

139

177

191

ABBREVIATIONS

C. Macan's edition of the Shahnama

BCM.

L. Lumsden's

do.

P.—Mohl's

do.

T. Tihran

do.

v.—Vullers'

do.

The Chahar Maqala (" Four Discourses ") of Nidhami-i-

'Ariidi-i-Samarqandi. Translated into EngUsh by

Edward G. Browne, M.A., M.B.

CTC.

LEC.

NIN.

NT.

RM.

RSM.

ZT.

Theophanis Chronographia. Ex Recensione loannii

Classeni.

The Lands of the Eastern Califate. By G. Le Strange.

Das Iranische Nationalepos von Theodor Noldeke. Geschichte der Perser und Araber sur Zeit der Sasaniden von. Th. Noldeke.

The Rauzat-us-safa ;

or, Garden of

By

Translated

by E. Rehatsek.

The Seventh Great Oriental Monarchy.

Rawlinson, M.A.

By George

Chronique de Abou-Djafar-Mo'hammed-Ben-Djarir-Ben-

Yezid-Tabari, traduite

burg.

xiu

Par M. Hermann Zoten-

NOTE ON PRONUNCIATION

a as in " water."

i as in " pique." as in " rude."

a as in " servant."

i as in " sin."

M as in " foot."

ai as in " time."

au as in ou in " cloud."

g is always hard as in " give."

kh as ch in the German " buch,"

zh ^ ^ in " azure,"

u

XV

IV

THE SASlNIAN DYNASTY

(Concluded)

XLIV

KUBAD (COMMONLY CALLED SHIRWI)

HE REIGNED SEVEN MONTHS

' ARGUMENT

Kiibtid on his accession sends two cliiefs to accuse of niis-

governniont the fallen and imprisoned Shah, Khusrau Parvviz,

who justifies himself at great length.

His fall is made the

subject of a lament by Barbad, the minstrel, who afterwards

mutilates himself. The chiefs, noticing symptoms of remorse

in Kubad, insist upon the death of Khusrau Parwiz who is

kilh'd

with all his other sons.

Kubad falls in love with,

and wishes to marry, Shiri'n, who poisons herself rather than

consent, and Kubad himself is poisoned soon afterwards.

NOTE

The days of the reign of Kubad (Kobad II., Feb. -Sept.',

A.D. 628) were few and evil. Tradition already had prepared

the ground for this in the unfavourable account given of

his early years. ^ The murder of his father was followed by that of all his brothers, and by the tragic death of Shirin,

while in addition to all these horrors a frightful pestilence broke out in his reign and the great mortality that ensued

still further weakened the resources of an already almost cxliausted country and hel])ed to pave the way for the suc-

cessful Arab invasion

represented in the poem as a loutish, uneducated youth,-

but even if his abilities had been great it is difficult to see

how he could Ijave extricated himself from the coil in which

of a few years

later on.

Kubad is

' See Vol. viii., p. 390

3

Id,

4 THE SHAHNAMA OF FIRDAUSt

he found himself involved without mishap to himself or

others.

He owed his release from prison and perhaps his

life to the very conspirators

of him for their own

that subsequently demanded

To

security the death of his father.

have refused would have been fatal to himself, while in all his father and his brothers, with the exception

probability

of one

who would have been made Shah, would have perished

all the same. It is inconceivable that the conspirators would

have run the risk to themselves of restoring Khusrau Parwiz,

with his black record of ingratitude as instanced by his treat-

ment of Bandwi and Gustaham,i to \^\^ former position as

ruler. With the exception of his infatuation for Shirin, which

hardly can be regarded as historical, Kubad throughout his

short reign was the victim of circumstances.

§§ 1 and 2.

Kharrad, son of Barzin, was one of the niost

trusted ministers of Khusrau Parwiz and planned the assassina-

tion of Bahram Chubina.^ According to Tabari he fell at

the battle of Dhu Kar.^

As the epoch of the Sasanian Dynasty draws to an end

through scenes of deepening tragedy the legitimist leanings

of the tradition seem to become more and more pronounced

and we have an instance here. It is hardly to be supposed,

historically speaking,

were drawn up

that formal charges of misgovernmcnt

against, and as formally answered by, Khusrau

Parwiz, but rather that someone, desirous of vindicating that Shah's memory and conversant with the circumstances

of the time, soon after his death drew up the charges and the

of them are given in both the

replies thereto. Versions

Arabic and Persian Tabari and elsewhere.

Four of the

charges are found in both the Tabaris as well as in the Shah-

nama.* They are :

1. The

murder by Khusrau Parwiz of his father Hurmuzd.

2. The .illegitimate accumulation of treasure as a result

of the financial oppression of the people.

3. The harsh treatment of the royal princes.

4. The refusal to restore the True Cross.

To these the Arabic Tabari adds :

1. The general ill-treatment of all prisoners.

2. Enforced recruiting for the royal Haram

women already married.

even of

? See Vol. viii., p. 354 seq.

' Id. p. 331 seq.

' Id. p. iQQ-

NT,

363 seq,

ZT, ii., 334 se^.

KUBAD [COMMONLY CALLED SHlRWl)

5

3. The keeping of the troops for a long period absent

from home.

The Persian Taburi adds :

1. The imprisonment of the troops defeated by the Arabs

at Dhu Kar and by Heraclius.

2. The exactions of arrears of tribute for the previous

twenty or thirty years.

3. The attempt to slay the youthful Yazdagird (after-

wards the last Sasanian Shah).

4. The deposition of Nu'man, prince of Hira.^ 5. The mutilation and subsequent execution of Mardan-

shah.-

In the Arabic Tabari eight charges

are

made against

Khusrau Parwiz two of which those relating to the royal

Haram and the refusal to restore the

left unanswered.

"

True Cross " are

In the Persian Tabari eleven charges are formulated to

each of which in the same order an answer is made.

Some

of the charges, however, must be regarded as later additions while that relating to Nu'man is not likely to have suggested

In

itself to a Persian and must come from an Arab source.

the Shahnama there are eight charges, all of which are more

or less answered, but not in the same order as they are pre-

ferred, but in the following: 1, 6, 7, 8, 2, 5, 3, 4.

Khusrau Parwiz replies to the most serious accusations those of offences against persons first. The Shahnama

agrees most closely wath the Arabic Tabari, supplies the missing

answer mth regard to the " True Cross," but does not deal with the (jravamen of the royal Haram question, as that par-

ticular charge is not one of those mentioned in the j^oem.

Galinush subsequently served in the war against the Arabs, fought at the Battle of the Bridge, and was perhaps slain at

Kadisiya.^

Thus

§ 5.

Indignant legitimate tradition is naturally very

wroth with Mihr Hurnmzd, the murderer of Khusrau Parwiz,

whom it describes as the lowest of the low and vilest of the

vile. According to Tabari, however. Mihr Hurmuzd was the son of Mardanshah, the governor of Nimriiz and one of the most obedient and faithful of Khusrau Parwiz' officials. In

the Persian Tabari's version of the Romance of Bahram

' See Vol. viii., p.

190.

' See p. 6.

6

THE SHAHNAMA OF FIRDAUSi

Chubina that hero's brother, Yalaii-sina in the Sliahnama, is

called Mardanshab.

Yalan-sina is always represented as

being one of Bahram (.'hubina's most loyal adherents just as

the other brother, Gurdwi, was a firm supjjorter of Khusrau

Parwiz, while their- sister Gurdya held an intermediate position,

faithful to Bahram Chubina, but opposing his kingl}'- ambition in every way in her power. Later on when married to Gus-

taham, the maternal uncle of Khusrau Parwiz, she agreed, on condition that she should become the Shah's wife and that

a full amnesty should be given to all her adherents, to murder

he

-

husband and did so. There would be nothing strange therefore in Mardanshah, if identical with Yalan-sina, becoming

reconciled to, and receiving high oflfice from, Khusrau Parwiz.

He would serve one master as faithfully as he served the other.

In the circumstances the strange thing would have been lor the treacherous Shah not to have taken the first convenient

occasion against him. According to the story the Shah,

two years before his deposition, consulted the astrologers

who informed him that his death would come from Nimrvlz.

He therefore began to siispect and summoned Mardanshah,

but finding no pretext for putting him to death, as he was

perfectly loyal and withal an aged man, determined merely

to cut off his right hand and make him a large i)resent of money

as compensation. The sentence was carried out. Mardan- shah regarded such a mutilation as worse than death and,

when shortly afterwards the Shah was good enough to send

and express his regret for what had occurred, asked the

Shah to grant hini a boon. The Shah swore to do so, on which

Mardanshah requested that his head should be struck off

in order to wipe out the disgrace put upon him.

bound by his oath, felt himself obliged to consent and the execution took place accordingly. The Shah wished to make

Mardanshah's son governor of Nimruz, but he refused and

withdrew from the army.^ He joined the conspiracy against

Khusrau Parwiz^ and by avenging his father on the Shah

justified the prediction of the astrologers.

The account given by Theophanes of the last days of the

Shah is different. As a general rule it is not prudent to put iaith in stories of what occurred in Oriental palaces or prisons,

but owing to the special circumstances of the case his in- formation may be good in this instance, as it appears to be

The Shah,

»NT, p. 379.

ZT, ii., 330.

"See Vol. viii., p.

196.

KUDAD [COMMONLY CALLED SHIRWI)

7

l);iso<! on letters written by ireniclius.

Klnisrau Parwi'z by the (H)n.s])irators,

built as a stronj^hold for his treasures.

After the capture of

he was bound and

confined in the " House of Darkness," which he had himself

sparingly " Let him eat the

gold that he has vainly amassed, and for whose sake he has starved many, and made the world itself a desert." Shirwi

also sent satraps to revile and spit upon him, had his son

Mardasas, whom he had wished to crown, slain before his eyes,

and all his other sons as well, sent his enemies to beat and spit upon hira, and, after five days of such treatment, had him put to death with arrows. Shirwi then wrote to Heraclius to announce the death of the detested Khusrau Parwiz,

fed on bread and water for, said Slu'rwi :

Here he was

arranged terms of peace, released all the captives, and restored

"

True Cross." ^ With regard to these latter statements

of Theophanes it should be observed that peace was not

concluded,

of Shirwi.^

the

and the " True Cross" restored, till after the death

According to Tabari Kubad had Mihr Hurmuzd put to

death.3

§ 6.

The association of Khusrau Parwiz and Shirin began,

it would seem,'* before his accession to the throne, and he

reigned for thirty-eight vears.

If Shirwi really wished to

marry Shirin it must have been for political motives and

because she had been so much in his father's confidence and

might furnish useful information.

For a son to raarrv his

father's wives was, according to Persian ideas, quite the correct

procedure in the circumstances.

Kubad is said to have been bitterly reproached by his

two sisters, Purandukht and Azarmdukht, for his share in

the deaths of his father and brothers, and to have suffered

much from sickness and remorse.

but from what cause is uncertain.^

virulent at the time.

He died at Dastagird, The plague was very

Poison was often made to account

for what was really due to disease.

' CTC, i., 502.

'See vol. viii.,

' NT, p. 392 and note.

* Id. p. 382.</