FARŠĒDVARD, a Kayanian prince in the Iranian legendary history, son of Goštāsp and brother of Esfandīār (qq.v.). He is mentioned in the Šāh-nāma mainly in the context of the religious wars between Arjāsp (q.v.) and Goštāsp. After Goštāsp’s first victory over Arjāsp, Faršēdvard is made ruler of Khorasan. When Arjāsp attacks again, the Iranians have to defend themselves, this time without Esfandīār, and are thoroughly defeated. Faršēdvard is mortally wounded in the battle and dies in the arms of Esfandīār, who joins the battle late in the day on hearing about his brother’s downfall (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 196-213; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 291-92).
In a verse in the Daqīqī section of the Šāh-nāma (ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 78, v. 33) the manuscripts mention Pašōtan (q.v.) as Esfandīār’s only full brother (both sharing Katāyūn as their mother). However, all other references including Ṯaʿālebī (Ḡorar, p. 256) name Faršēdvard as Esfandīār’s full brother. Moreover, the heroic epithet “swordsman” (šamšīrzan) used in this verse, does not fit the saintly Pašōtan. This suggests that instead of Pašōtan, another variant of Faršēdvard, namely Faršāvard, should be inserted here, for it is used with the same epithet šamšīrzan later in the Daqīqī section (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 144, v. 743; for full discussion, see J. Ḵāleqī-Moṭlaq, “Pašōtan yā Faršēdvard,” MDAF 14/3, 1357 Š./1979, pp. 543-58).
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Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
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