In nine parts: » 1. Introduction » 2. Timur's Account » 3. Lineage & Nation » 4. Thraetaona & Thrita. Keresaspa & Urvakhshaya. Varena, Rangha & Patashkhvargar » 5. Trita, Visvarupa & Ahi in the Vedas » 6. Battles with Dragon-Snakes » 7. Garshasp, Saam & Zal in the Shahnameh » 8. End Times. The Renovation of the World » 9. Religion in Sakastan
» The Pahlavan Heroes - Their Story in Brief
» The Shahnameh
Lesser Bundahishn (translated by E. W. West) = LB
Greater Bundahishn (translated by B. T. Anklesaria) = GB
Avesta = Av
Yasht = Yt
Yasna = Y
Vendidad = V
Lineage & and Princedoms of the Sistani Pahlavans
Linage in the Avesta
The lineage of the Sistani Pahlavans in the Avesta is difficult to determine and we quote here some relevant Avestan passages. The Avestan names Thraetaona evolved to Feridoon, and Keresaspa to Garshasp.
Yasna (equivalent to the Hom Yasht) 9.7-10:
Y 9.7: Thereupon Haoma answered: Athwya the holy one who drove death afar was the second (person) who prepared me for the corporeal world. The boon he received was the birth of his son, Thraetaona of the mighty clan.
Y 9.10: Thereupon Haoma answered: Thrita [gloss remark*: the most helpful of the Saamas] the holy one who drove death afar was the third (person) who prepared me for the corporeal world. The boon he received was the birth of two sons, Urvakhshaya and Keresaspa**, the first a judge who established order, and the second, a youth of great ascendancy, curly haired, and a bludgeon bearing. (*We do not know the circumstances or the date at which the gloss was inserted in the codex.) (**Urvakhsh and Karsasp in the later, Middle Persian language of the Greater Bundahishn - see below. Karsasp would further evolve to Garshasp in New Persian, the language of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.)
Most authors conclude that Thraetaona and Trita are the same person Also see our page Thraetaona & Thrita. Depending on whether or not this equation is sustainable, the genealogy of the Sistani Pahlavans will change. Later texts state a more explicit lineage. We note here that the gloss makes Thrita part of the House of Saama (The Farvarvardin Yasht verse we quote below is more explicit) and Thraetaona part of the Athwya clan. If Thraetaona and Trita are the same person and since Athwya is Thraetaona's father, the equation would make Saama precede Athwya.
Keresaspa the Saama (Saamahe Keresaspahe)
We revere the Fravashi (soul-spirit) of the holy Keresaspa, the Saama, (Saamahe Keresaspahe) the club-bearer with plaited hair; to withstand the dreadful arm and the hordes with the wide battle array, with the many spears, with the straight spears, with the spears uplifted, bearing the spears of havoc; to withstand the dreadful brigand who works destruction, the man (giant?)-slayer who has no mercy; to withstand the evil done by the brigand.
At this point all that we can conclude is that
1. Thraetaona/Feridoon is the son of Athwya and therefore part of the Athwya clan, and
2. Thrita is the father of Keresaspa/Garshasp and Urvakhshaya, and
3. Keresaspa/Garshasp belongs to the House of Saama, an eponymous ancestor.
Linage & Princedoms in the Bundahishn
The Bundahishns are Middle Persian texts which presently exists as two editions, the Greater and Lesser Bundahishns (GB & LB respectively). We should note here that there are two different personages who bear a similar name Saama/Saam: Saama, the eponymous founder of the House of Saama, as well as the Saam who we have mentioned in our introductory page. The Bundahishn passages below refer to the second Saam.
LB 31.36. Those begotten by Saam were six children in pairs, male and female. The name of one (pair) was Damnak, of another was Khosraw, and of yet another was Margandak, and the name of each man and woman together was one (we presume this means there are six children being mentioned here and that each name represents brother and sister twins.
LB 31.37. The name of another was Dastan (Zal) and he was considered more eminent than the others. He was given (to govern, presumably by Saam) the southern quarter of the kingdom, Sagansih (Sagastan, the main Saga/Saka homeland). Avarnak was given Avar-shatro (Upper District?) to govern.
LB 31.38. Of Avar-shatro, the district of Avarnak, it is said that they offered blessings to Sraosh and Ardwahisht (archangels) in succession, and as a result they possessed (large numbers) of horses and arms. Further, on account of their firm religion, purity, and manifest joy, they were held in high esteem and gained extensive fame.
LB 31.39. To Damnak the governorship of Asuristan (commonly taken to mean Syria but which is unlikely in our estimation) was given. They/he was also tasked with developing sovereignty and the law of sovereignty, as well as seeking solutions to stubborn problems.
LB 31.40. To Sparnak the governorship of Spahan was delegated, and Khosraw was delegated the governorship of Rai. Margandak was delegated governorship of the forested mountain settlements of Padashkhvargar (Alburz Mountains south of the Caspian Sea), where people live like nomads and who have large herds of sheep, are prolific, procreate, and continually triumph over their enemies.
LB 31.41. From Dastan (Zal) proceeded Rudastam (Rustam) and Huzavarak (Hu-Zavarak meaning Good-Zavarak? According to translator of the LB, E.W. West, the name is also written as Auzvarak). Rustam's (Rudastam's) brother is called Zavarah in the Shahnameh.]
GB 35.0.32. Karsasp and Urvakhsh (Keresaspa and Urvakhshaya in the earlier Avestan language) were both brothers.
GB 35.0.33. Athrat was son of Saam, son of Tura, son of Spaenyasp, son of Duroshasp, son of Tuj, son of Faridoon. (In the Shahnameh, Feridoon had three sons, Iraj, Tur and Salm. Tuj and Tur are the same and this entire line of descendants are those from Tuj/Tur, otherwise called Tuji or Turanians.)
GB 35.0.42. Of Saam six pairs of male and female children were born. They were Damu, Khusru, and Marinda by name. Both male and female had one name.
GB 35.0.43. Of the others, one was Dastan (Zal) by name. He was designated as more senior to the others and was assigned to be the prince of the Sakas. (The Greater Bundahishn therefore cements the entire line of Sistani Saka Pahlavans as having descended from Feridoon via Tuj/Tur. In doing so, the GB also indirectly equates the Turanians with Saka.) Saam gave Dastan (Zal) the southern quarter (to govern).
GB 35.0.43 contd. Saam gave the governorship of Awarshatr to Awaro. 44. 'Awarshatr' is called the country of Awaro. 45. These princely men praised Srosh and Ardwahisht in union. Therefore, (the received the boon of) possessing cavalry and the weapons required for strong archery. They also (gained the reputation for) purity, fame, happiness, music, and celebrity.
GB 35.0.46. Saam gave Damu the governorship of Asurastan. 47. Kingship, the organization of the law of Kingship, the navigation of the sea, and the endurance of severe problems were allotted to them (the pair).
GB 35.0.48. He gave to Sparo the governorship of Ispahan.
GB 35.0.49. He gave to Khusru the governorship of Raye.
GB 35.0.50. He assigned to Marinda the governorship of Patashkhvargar, the erasing of forests, and the dwelling in mountains, going on mission, making night attacks, good living, happy living, and continual victory over enemies.GB 35.0.
GB 35.0.51. Of Dastan (Zal) were Rotastahm (Rustam) and Uzvara born.]
Summary of the lineage and vice-regal princedoms in the Bundahishns:
Tuj (Tur) (Asadi has Tur not as the son of Feridoon, but as a different person descended from Jamsheed q.v. François de Blois's article 'Karšāsp-nāma' at Iranica. De Blois feels Anklesaria's Bundahishn edition was "a very late addition, evidently derived from Islamic sources." )
Saam [LB has Zaeshm (Saam's brother?) father of Pashang (his brother was Visak) father of Frasiyav (Afrasiab) who waged war with the descendants of Iraj.]
Karsasp (Av. Keresaspa and later Garshasp) and Urvakhsh (Av. Urvakhshaya)
Saam's children & princedoms:
(In order for Saam to have assigned the governorship of various sub-kingdoms to his children means that these lands would originally have been part of his domain.)
Damnak/Damu governed Asuristan/Asurastan (Assyria)
Khosraw/Khusru governed Rai/Raye
Margandak/Marinda governed Padashkhvargar/Patashkhvargar (forested mountain lands with a nomadic people)
Dastan (Zal) governed Sagansih (Sagastan, Sistan. He was prince of the Sakas)
Avarnak/Awaro governed Avar-shatro/Awarshatr (Upper District?)
Sparnak/Sparo governed Spahan/Ispahan (Isfahan)
Dastan (Zal)'s children were:
Rudastam /Rotastahm (Rustam)
Huzavarak/Uzvara/Auzvarak (Zavarah in the Shahnameh)
Lineage & Princedoms in the Shahnameh
Jamsheed, Garshasp, Nariman, Saam, Zal (married Princess Rudabeh, the King of Kabul's daughter), Rustam (married Princess Tahmina), Sohrab and Barzu.
Saam received from his overlord, King of Iran-Shahr, Manuchehr, a throne of turquoise, a crown of gold, a ruby signet-ring and a golden girdle. Manuchehr further gave Saam with a charter investing him him lands under his domain. These included: Kabul-Gandhara, Dunbur (derived from Sanskrit Udyanapura to Adynpur to Dunpur - a major city of Lamghanat, on the right bank of the River Kabul), May-e Hind (from Vay-hind, capital of Gandhara and the region between the Kabul and Indus rivers above their confluence), lands from the Darya-e Hind (Indus River) to Darya-e Chin (this could mean the Sea of China i.e. India to Indo-China or perhaps Chen-ab River, an Indus tributary which irrigates Multan i.e. Hapta Hindu, the upper Indus basin), lands from Zabulistan to the other side of Bust/Bost (Lashkar-gah, Southern Afghanistan). In this manner Saam becomes a mini- shah-en-shah or an vice-regal governor between the king-of-kings and local kings.
Some lines from the Shahnameh read as follows:
One day Zal set forth on a royal progress,
With chiefs attached to him as advisers and in matters of faith,
To view Kabul, Dunbur, Margh*, Mai and Hind.
He reached Kabul with gladness in his heart.
There ruled a certain monarch named Mihrab.
A wealthy and successful potentate,
Descended from Zahhak, he ruled Kabul,
But having not the power to fight with Saam
Paid yearly tribute.
(Here, we see the hierarchy of lordship. Minuchehr was the Iranian (Aryan king-of-kings). Saam was Minuchehr's vassal king but also a vice-regal governor who had other kingdoms such as Kabul paying tribute - another name for an imposed tax - to him. While it was historic loyalty of the Pahlavans to the Iranian/Aryan throne that kept Saam in the federation, strength was needed to keep other kingdoms such as Kabul in the fold, especially since Mihrab had descended from a foreign king Zahhak, who had once seized Aryana by force. It is quite likely that Mihrab had lords (such as village lords and estate lords) and nobles under him who in turn provided him tribute or taxes. The King of Kabul's daughter, Rudabeh, would become Zal's wife further cementing the alliance - though all alliances within the federation were always tenuous and needed constant policing. Mihrab incidentally, was the old Aryan name for the Indus River.)
Linage in the Garshasp Nameh of Asadi Tusi
Saam, Etret, Garshasp (Karshasp). Preceding Saam, Asadi as well as the Tarikh-e Sistan, list approximately the same genealogy as the Greater Bundahishn except that they make Tur a son of Jamsheed instead of Feridoon. Tur was born of Jamsheed and the Princess of Kurang/Gurang. The king of Kurang accepts Tur as his own heir. Tur is succeeded by his son Shedasp father of Ṭovorg/Ṭuvorg father of Sham father of Etreṭ father of Garshasp. Garshasp is born 700 years after Tur. Garshasp has a brother named Kurang who has a son called Nariman who Garshasp adopts. The Tarikh-e Sistan however has Kurang as Garshasp's son and Nariman as Garshasp's grandson.
Composite Lineage of the Sistani Saka Pahlavans
Feridoon (Thraetaona) or Jamsheed
Tuj (Tur)/ another Tur descended from Jamsheed
Sham/Saama founder of the House of Saama
Dastan (Zal married Princess Rudabeh, the King of Kabul's daughter)
Rudastam /Rotastahm (Rustam married Princess Tahmina)
As we had noted earlier, the Sistani Pahlavans descended from Garshasp a member of the House of Saam and a descendant of Tuj/Tur - therefore a Tuji or Turanian. Given that the Sistani Pahlavans were also Saka, the linkage here is between the Saka and Turanians.
Pahlavans & Sakastan pages:
» 1. Introduction
» 2. Timur's Account
» 3. Lineage & Nation
» 4. Thraetaona & Thrita. Keresaspa & Urvakhshaya. Varena, Rangha & Patashkhvargar
» 5. Trita, Visvarupa & Ahi in the Vedas
» 6. Battles with Dragon-Snakes
» 7. Garshasp, Saam & Zal in the Shahnameh
» 8. End Times. The Renovation of the World
» 9. Religion in Sakastan