Iranian Myths

Iran Travel Agency


in this article you familiar to Iranian Myths,that are legend of Iran and built history of Iran.

Arash the Archer

Arash was an Iranian national hero who sacrificed his life for the glory of his country. When the bloody and long-lasting war between Iran and Turan came to an end, the rulers of both countries decided to make peace and to fix the boundary between their kingdoms. The defeated Iran was ordered to shoot an arrow towards Turan. Where the arrow landed was to mark the border between the two countries. An Iranian super hero, Arash, agreed to shoot the arrow from the peak of the Damavand (Iran's highest mountain). One morning of Tir (July), Arash climbed Mount Damavand and faced the direction of Turan lands, and with all his strength pulled his bow. The arrow flew the whole morning and fell at noon - 2250 kilometers on the bank of the Oxus River in what is now Central Asia. The river remained the boundary between Iran and Turan for centuries. When Arash let his bow go, he fell to the ground on Mount Damavand and passed away. Arash's body was not found. There are still stories from travelers who were lost on the mountain. They say that they heard Arash’s voice which helped them find their way and saved their lives. My friend Zahra and I picked Arash, the symbol of sacrifice and bravery in the Persian history, as our hero to celebrate the memory of this heroic figure. The basic story of the bowman runs as follows: In a war between the Iranians and Turanians over the "royal glory" (khwarrah), the General Afrasiab has surrounded the forces of the righteous Manuchehr, and the two sides agree to make peace. Both reach an agreement that whatever land falls within the range of a bow-shot shall be returned to the Manuchehr and the Iranians, and the rest should then fall to Afrasiab and the Aniranians. An angel (in al-Biruni it is 'Esfandaramad', i.e. the Amesha Spenta Spenta Armaiti, in Middle Persian called 'Spendarmad') instructs Manuchehr to construct a special bow and arrow, and Arash is asked to be the archer. Arash then fires the specially-prepared arrow at dawn, which then traveled a great distance (see below) before finally landing and so marking the future border between the Iranians and the Aniranians. In Talebi and Bal'ami, Arash is destroyed by the shot and disappears. In al-Tabari, he is exalted by the people, is appointed commander of the archers and lives out his life in great honor. The distance the arrow travels varies: in one it is thousand leagues (farsakhs), in another forty days walk. In several, the arrow traveled from dawn to noon, in others from dawn until sunset. A few sources specify a particular date for the event. The Middle Persian Mah i Frawardin notes the 6th day of the 1st month (i.e. Khordad of Frawardin); later sources associate the event with the name-day festivities of Tiregan (13th of Tir) "presumably" provoked by the homonymity with the Yazata Tir or tir "arrow." (Tafażżolī 1987, p. 266) The location from which Arash fired his arrow varies as well. In the Avesta (which does not mention places in Western Iran), it is Airyo.khshaotha, a not-further identified location in the Middle Clime. Islamic-era sources typically place the location of the shot somewhere just south of the Caspian Sea, variously in Tabaristan (Tabari, Talebi, Maqdesi, ibn al-Athir, Marashi); a mountain-top in Ruyan (al-Biruni, Gardēzī), Amul fortress (Mojmal), Mount Damavand (Balami) or Sari (Gorgani). The place the arrow landed is variously identified as 'Mount Khvanvant' in the Avesta (likewise an unknown location); a river in Balkh (Tabari, al-Atir); east of Balkh (Talebi); Bactria/Tokharistan (Maqdesi, Gardizi); the banks of the Oxus River (Balami) or Merv (Mojmal). According to al-Biruni, it hit a nut tree between "Fargana" and Tabaristan "in the furthest reaches ofKhorasan." The name Arash remains one of the most popular names among Iranians



Simurgh , is an Iranian benevolent, mythical flying creature. It is sometimes equated with other mythological birds such as a "Griffin", Persian Homā The figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature and is also evident in the iconography of Georgia, medieval Armenia,[ the Byzantine empire, and other regions that were within the realm of Persian cultural influence. The simurgh is depicted in Iranian art as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion - sometimes, however, also with a human face. The simurgh is inherently benevolent and unambiguously female. Being part mammal, she suckles her young.[ The simurgh has teeth.[ It has an enmity towards snakes, and its natural habitat is a place with plenty of water. Its feathers are said to be the colour of copper, and though it was originally described as being a dog-bird, later it was shown with either the head of a man or a dog. The simurgh was considered to purify the land and waters and hence bestow fertility. The creature represented the union between the Earth and the sky, serving as mediator and messenger between the two. The simurgh roosted in Gaokerena, the Hōm Tree of Life, which stands in the middle of the world sea (Vourukasha). The plant is potent medicine and is called all-healing, and the seeds of all plants are deposited on it. When the simurgh took flight, the leaves of the tree of life shook, making all the seeds of every plant fall out. These seeds floated around the world on the winds o Vayu-Vata and the rains of Tishtrya, in cosmology taking root to become every type of plant that ever lived and curing all the illnesses of mankind. The relationship between the simurgh and Hōm is extremely close. Like the simurgh, Hōm is represented as a bird, a messenger, and the essence of purity that can heal any illness or wound. Hōm - appointed as the first priest - is the essence of divinity, a property it shares with the simurgh. The Hōm is in addition the vehicle of farr(ah) (MP: khwarrah, Avestan: khvarenah, kavaēm kharēno) ("divine glory" or "fortune"). Farrah in turn represents the divine mandate that was the foundation of a king's authority. The Simurgh made its most famous appearance in the Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings), where its involvement with the Prince Zal is described. According to theShahnameh, Zal, the son of Saam, was born albino. When Saam saw his albino son, he assumed that the child was the spawn of devils, and abandoned the infant on the mountain Alborz. The child's cries were heard by the tender-hearted Simurgh, who lived atop this peak, and she retrieved the child and raised him as her own. Zal was taught much wisdom from the loving Simurgh, who has all knowledge, but the time came when he grew into a man and yearned to rejoin the world of men. Though the Simurgh was terribly saddened, she gave him three golden feathers which he was to burn if he ever needed her assistance. Upon returning to his kingdom, Zal fell in love and married the beautiful Rudaba. When it came time for their son to be born, the labor was prolonged and terrible; Zal was certain that his wife would die in labour. Rudabah was near death when Zal decided to summon the Simurgh. The Simurgh appeared and instructed him upon how to perform a cesarean section thus saving Rudabah and the child, who became one of the greatest Persian heroes, Rostam. Simurgh also shows up in the story of the Seven Trials of Esfandiar and the story of Rostam and Esfandiar. In classical and modern Persian literature the Simorḡ is frequently mentioned, particularly as a metaphor for God in Sufi mysticism. In the 12th century Conference of the Birds, Iranian Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar wrote of a band of pilgrim birds in search of the Simurgh. In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendarySimorgh, a mythical Persian bird roughly equivalent to the western phoenix. The hoopoe leads the birds, each of whom represent a human fault which prevents man from attaining enlightenment. When the group of thirty birds finally reach the dwelling place of theSimorgh, all they find is a lake in which they see their own reflection. Through cultural assimilation the Simurgh was introduced to the Arabic-speaking world, where the concept was conflated with other Arabic mythical birds such as the Ghoghnus, a bird having some mythical relation with the date palm,] and further developed as the Rukh.   bird

Derafsh Kaviani

The Derafshe Kaviani was the legendary royal standard (vexilloid) of the Sasanian kings. The banner was also sometimes called the "Standard of Jamshid the "Standard of Fereydunand the "Royal Standard". The name Derafshe Kaviani means "the standard of the kay(s)" (i.e., kavis "kings") or "of Kāva." The latter meaning is an identification with an Iranian legend in which the Derafš-e Kāvīān was the standard of a mythological blacksmith-turned-hero named Kaveh (Modern Persian: Kāveh), who led a popular uprising against the foreign demon-like ruler Dahāg(Modern Persian: Zahhāk). Recalling the legend, the 10th-century epic Shahnameh recasts Zahhak as an evil and tyrannical ruler, against whom Kāveh called the people to arms, using his leather blacksmith apron as a standard, with a spear as its hoist. In the story, after the war that called for the kingship of Fereydun (Middle Persian: Frēdōn) had been won, the people decorated the apron with jewels and the flag became the symbol of Iranian independence and resistance against foreign tyranny. By the late Sasanian era (224-651), a real Drafš e Kāvīān had emerged as the standard of the Sasanian dynasties. It was representative of the Sassanid state—Ērānšāhr (or "Iranian Empire"). Eran Shahr means Aryan Empire in Middle Persian—and may so be considered to have been the first "national flag" of Iran. The banner consisted of a star (theakhtar) on a purple field, was encrusted with jewels and had trailing red, gold and purple streamers on its edges. The termachtar was significant since the star also represented "fortune", and the capture and destruction of the banner on a field of battle implied the loss of the battle (and hence the loss of fortune). Following the defeat of the Sassanids at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, the Sassanid standard was recovered by one Zerar bin Kattab, who received 30,000 dinars for it. After the jewels were removed, Caliph Umar is said to have burned the standard. As the symbol of the Sassanid state, the Drafsh e Kavian was irrevocably tied to the concept of Eranshahr and hence with the concept of Iranian nationhood. Thus, in 867, when Ya'qub-i Laith of the Saffarid dynasty claimed the inheritance of the kings of Persia and sought "to revive their glory," a poem written on his behalf sent to the Abbasid caliph said: "With me is the Drafsh e Kavian, through which I hope to rule the nations." Although no evidence that Ya'qub-i Laith ever recreated such a flag, star imagery in banners remained popular until the ascendance of the Lion and Sun symbol (after 1846).


Kaveh the Blacksmith also known as the Blacksmith of Isfahan, is a mythical figure in the Iranian mythology who leads a popular uprising against a ruthless foreign ruler, Zahāk (Aži Dahāk). His story is narrated in Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran, by the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi. Kāveh was, according to ancient legends, a blacksmith who launched a national uprising against the evil foreign tyrant Zahāk, after losing two of his children to serpents of Zahāk. Kāveh expelled the foreigners and re-established the rule of Iranians,Many followed Kāveh to the Alborz Mountains in Damāvand, where Fereydun, son of Ābtin and Faranak was living. Then a young man, Fereydun agreed to lead the people against Zahāk. Zahāk had already left his capital, which fell to Fereydun's troops with small resistance. Fereydun released all of Zahāk’s prisoners Kāveh is the most famous of Persian mythological characters in resistance against despotic foreign rule in Iran. As a symbol of resistance and unity, he raised his leather apron on a spear, known as the Derafsh Kaviani. This flag is later decorated with precious jewels and becomes the symbol of Persian independence. He was invocated by Persian nationalists starting from the generation of Mirza Fatali Akhundov. His name was used as the title of a nationalist newspaper in 1916, and 1920, adorned the canton of the flag of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (widely known as the Soviet Republic of Gilan). Mehregan is the celebration for Fereydun's victory over Zahāk; it is also the time when autumn rains begin to fall. The dynasty Karen Pahlav (also known as the House of Karen) claimed to be Kāveh's descendants.


Rostam or Rustam is the epic hero of the Persian epic Shahnameh in Persian mythology, and son of Zal and Rudaba. In the story, Rostam and his predecessors were natives of the Zabulistan region ofSistan (present-day Iran and Afghanistan). Rostam's mother Rudaba was a princess of Kabul. In some ways, the position of Rostam in the historical tradition is parallel to that ofSurena, the hero of the Battle of Carrhae. Rostam was always represented as the mightiest of Iranian paladins (holy warriors), and the atmosphere of the episodes in which he features is strongly reminiscent of the Parthian period. He was immortalized by the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi in the Shahnameh, or Epic of Kings, which contains pre-Islamic Iranian folklore and history. He wore a special suit named Babr-e Bayan in battles. In Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, Rostam is a native of the Zabulistan a historical region roughly corresponding to today's Zabul Province in southern Afghanistan. His mother Rudaba was a princess of Kabul. Rostam is the champion of champions and is involved in numerous stories, constituting some of the most popular (and arguably some of most masterfully created) parts of the Shahnameh. In Shahnameh, Rostam - like his grandfather Sam - works as both a faithful military general as well as king-maker for the Kayanian dynasty of Persia. As a young child, he slays the maddened white elephant of the king Manuchehr with just one blow of the mace owned by his grandfather Sam, son of Nariman. He then tames his legendary stallion, Rakhsh. The etymology of the name Rostam is from Raodh+Takhma, where Raodh means growth, reaped, developed and Takhma means brave. In the Avesta, the form is *Raosta-takhma and in Pahlavi *Rodastahm. Mehrdad Bahar regards the etymology of the name to be "Ruta-staxma", i.e. the river that descends, and argues that Rostam could have been an ancient god of the river Helmand. The fact that Rostam's mother is called Rudabeh (i.e. The river of water) and his father is Zal who has white hair, Bahar continues the argument to say that Zal is a metaphor for mountains from which the river forms, whose head is always white with snow. Rostam's mother was Rudaba, the princess of Kabul, who was known for her peerless beauty, and Rostam's father was Zal. Zal was one of Persia's most powerful warriors and a great general who conquered many rebellious tribes and ruled over Zabulistan. Zal was known for his wisdom and was unparalleled in riding and fighting on horseback. He once demonstrated his skills to Emperor Menuchihr, to seek his approval to marry his lover Rudaba. In Persian mythology, Rudaba's labor of Rostam was prolonged due to the extraordinary size of her baby. Zal, her lover and husband, was certain that his wife would die in labor. Rudaba was near death when Zal decided to summon theSimurgh. The Simurgh appeared and instructed him upon how to perform a "Rostamzad" (Persian equivalent forCaesarean section), thus saving Rudaba and the child. After Zal's father, Sam came to know of his grandchild's birth, he rushed to see Rostam and was overjoyed. Rostam was brought up and trained by Zal in warfare. When Rostam single handedly slew a mad elephant, his father sent him on his first military assignment. Rostam's task was to conquer the fortress on the summit of Mt Sipand where his great grandfather, Nariman, once besieged it and was slain in the battle. Rostam breached the fortress, defeated the enemy, ransacked its treasury and reported his success to his father, Zal and grandfather, Sam. He passes through a hero's journey to save his sovereign, Kay Kavus who is captured by the demons (Divs) of Mazandaran. This journey is called "Rostam's Seven Quests" (Persian: Haft Khan-e Rostam). There are some similarities between the legends of Rostam and those pertaining to the great Irish hero Cúchulainn. They both defeat a ferocious beast as a very young man, slay their sons in combat (Rostam and Sohrab, a motif also found in the Lay of Hildebrand), are virtually invincible in combat, and are murdered by treachery while killing their murderer on their last breath. Two Persian heroes, Rostam and Esfandyar, share Labours stories with Hercules. With Tahmineh, princess of Samangan, Rostam had a son called Sohrab, who was killed accidentally by his father in the time of Kay Kavus. Rostam later had a daughter called Banu Goshasp, who had a full brother called Faramarz, and both became renowned heroes in Turan and India. Goshasp, through her marriage with Giv had a son, Bijan. Rostam had also a half brother called Shaghad, who was always jealous of him and provoked his death. Just as famous as Rostam was his horse Rakhsh, which had an incredibly long life like Rostam, due to divine protection, and died at the same time as Rostam.

Pourya-ye Vali

Pahlavan Mahmoud Khwarazmi more commonly known as Pourya-ye Vali (died 1322 CE) was an Iranian Sufi and champion. He is famous for his chivalrous behavior and his strength and is still a paradigm for Zurkhaneh athletes. His tomb is discussed in two towns, one in Khiva, Uzbekistan and the other in Khoy, Iran. He also wrote a book titled Kanz ol-Haghayegh (literally The Treasure of Truths) in Persian. A couplet from him which is being sung in Zurkhaneh is: Learn modesty, if you desire knowledge, A highland would never be irrigated by a river Pourya Vali was the most famous wrestler of his time. The morning before wrestling with a young athlete from another province, he goes to a mosque and sees the mother of the young athlete praying and saying ―God, my son is going to wrestle with Pourya Vali. Please watch over him and help him win the match so he can use the prize money to buy a house‖. Pourya Vali thinks to himself that the young wrestler needs the money more than he does, and also winning the match will break the heart of the old mother. He has two choices, he can either win the match and keep his status as the best wrestler in the world or he could lose the match and make the old mother happy. Even though he was known not to ever lose a match, he loses that one on purpose. Surface change . Ali is the greatest ping pong player of his city. The morning before a match with a young athlete from another city, he goes for a walk outside the stadium and sees the mother of the young athlete praying and saying ―God, my son is going to play a match with Ali the famous ping pong player. Please watch over him and help him win the match so he can use the prize money to get married‖. Ali has two choices, he can either win the match and keep his status as the best ping pong player or he could lose the match and make the old mother happy. Ali was the most famous wrestler of his city. The morning before wrestling with a young athlete from another province, he goes to a mosque and sees the mother of the young athlete praying and saying ―God, my son is going to wrestle with Ali. Please watch over him and help him win the match so he can use the prize to buy me new expensive clothes‖. Ali has two choices, he can either win the match and keep his status as the best wrestler in the world or he could lose the match and make the old mother happy.


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