BĪŽAN-NAMA, an epic poem of ca. 1,900 lines relating the adventures of the legendary hero Bīžan son of Gīv. Two closely related manuscripts are known: Brit. Mus. Suppl. no. 199, 18th century, and Ethé, Bodleian Cat. no. 1979, undated. The manuscripts are anonymous, but on the basis of a statement in the last line of the poem Ṣafā has concluded (p. 317) that the author of Bīžan-nāma is ʿAmīd Abu’l-ʿAlāʾ ʿAṭāʾ b. Yaʿqūb Kāteb Rāzī, thought to be the author of Borzū-nāma. Ṣafā noted (pp. 316-17) that a large number of the verses of Bīžan-nāma were taken from the story of Bīžan and Manīža in Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma. Matīnī, after closely comparing the two manuscripts with Ferdowsī’s text, believes that Bīžan-nāma is nothing more than a plagiarism of Ferdowsī’s story with some verses added by the author and some of Ferdowsī’s omitted.
J. Matīnī, “Dar Bāra-ye Bīžan-nāma,” Āyanda 7, 1360 Š./1981, pp. 32-37.
Ḏ. Ṣafā, Ḥamāsa-sarāʾī dar Īrān, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.
(William Hanaway, Jr.)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, p. 310