BAHRĀM SON OF GŌDARZ, a hero in the reigns of Kay Kāōs and Kay Ḵosrow, renowned for his valiant service in all the wars (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, II-IV). During Sīāvoš’s war with Afrāsīāb (q.v.), Bahrām and Zanga-ye Šavarān become Sīāvoš’s counselors after Rostam is sent back from the battlefield. After Sīāvoš’s flight to Tūrān, Bahrām is put in command of the Iranian army until the arrival of Ṭōs. The most memorable episode involving Bahrām is in the story of Ferōd. Halfway along the route of the march against Tūrān, Ṭōs orders Bahrām to go and capture a mounted warrior, whose presence on a hill overlooking the Iranian army has made Ṭōs anxious. On coming face to face with the young warrior, Bahrām recognizes him to be Ferōd, a son of Sīāvoš and a half-brother of Kay Ḵosrow. Ferōd has resolved to go over to the Iranians so that he may join with them in avenging his father’s blood. Bahrām goes back to Ṭōs, but Ṭōs rejects Bahrām’s excuse for not having carried out his order and sends others to do the task. Ferōd is eventually slain by Bīžan and Rahhām. Bahrām considers the killing of Ferōd to be a wrong for which the Iranians deserve punishment by God. The subsequent loss of many Iranian troops, who are caught in the snow, and further defeats at the hands of the Turanians seem to him to be divine retribution for the shedding of Ferōd’s blood. Seeing himself as somehow to blame for Ferōd’s death, he no longer cares for his own life. Later on in the same campaign, he loses his whip in a battle. He takes the dropping of the whip which had his name on the handle to be a bad omen, and fears that the enemy may find it and make false boasts. Against the advice of his father and brother, Bahrām rides to the battlefield at night in search of the whip. After binding the wounds of an Iranian soldier who has been presumed dead, he finds the whip and dismounts to pick it up; but just at that moment his horse hears some mares neighing and bolts. Bahrām runs to catch it, but finds himself surrounded by foes. He refuses to surrender, but is overwhelmed by the Turanians and killed by Tažāv.
According to the Mojmal (p. 91), Bahrām was the master of ceremonies (amīr-e majles) in Kay Ḵosrow’s reign.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 24, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 5, pp. 522-523