BAHRĀM SĪĀVOŠĀN (i.e., Bahrām son of Sīāvoš) was a supporter of Bahrām Čōpīn or Čōbīn, the general in the reigns of Hormozd IV (578-90) and his son Ḵosrow II Parvēz (590-628). According to the account in the Šāh-nāma, he took part in Bahrām Čōpīn’s campaign against the Turks (Moscow ed., VIII, p. 369 vv. 912f.) and supported Bahrām Čōpīn’s subsequent revolt against Hormozd (ibid., v. 1528). Later he was commissioned by Bahrām Čōpīn to lead a force in pursuit of Ḵosrow after his flight to Byzantine territory. Reports of what then happened are given by Ṭabarī (I, pp. 998-99), Dīnavarī (pp. 9-95), Ebn al-Aṯīr (repr., I, pp. 473-74), Baḷʿamī (Tārīḵ, pp. 1082-83), Ferdowsī, the compiler of the Mojmal al-tawārīḵ (pp. 77-78) and the Christian historian Eutychius (10th century; Annals I, pp. 213-14). The fullest reports are those in the Šāh-nāma (IX, p. 50 w. 676f.) and Dīnavarī’s. Bahrām Sīāvošān and his troops overtook Ḵosrow, who was spending the night in a monastery, but Ḵosrow’s maternal uncle Bendōy (see besṭām and bendōy) appeared in Ḵosrow’s clothes on the monastery roof and tricked Bahrām into delaying the surrender until the morning and thus letting Ḵosrow escape during the night. When Bahrām Sīāvošān found out, he arrested Bendōy and took him to Bahrām Čōpīn. Despite Bahrām Čōpīn’s order that Bendōy should be kept as a prisoner in Bahrām Sīāvošān’s custody, Bendōy joined in Bahrām Sīāvošān’s night-time carousals and contrived with promises and threats to turn him against Bahrām Čōpīn. Bahrām Sīāvošān thought of a plan to kill Bahrām Čōpīn by going to the polo field with a sword hidden under his coat, but Bahrām Čōpīn got word of the plan from Bahrām Sīāvošān’s wife. (According to Ferdowsī, this woman was in love with Bahrām Čōpīn; according to Dīnavarī, she was the daughter of Bahrām Čōpīn’s sister; according to Eutychius, Bahrām Sīāvošān was the husband of Bahrām Čōpīn’s sister.) After the arrival of the players at the polo field, Bahrām Čōpīn proceeded to tap each one on the back with his stick in a feigned gesture of good will. When Bahrām Sīāvošān’s turn came, Bahrām Čōpīn heard the knock of the polo-stick on the sword fastened under his cloak, and swiftly drew his own sword and killed him.
Given in the text. See also Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser, pp. 281f.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 24, 2011
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Vol. III, Fasc. 5, p. 525