KAYĀNIĀN xiii. Synchronism of the Kayanids and Near Eastern History



xiii. Synchronism of the Kayanids and Near Eastern History

The desire of the medieval historians to fit all the ancient narratives into one and the same chronological description of world history from the creation led them to coordinate the Biblical, Classical, and Iranian sources (see also JAMŠID). Thus, during the reign of Manučehr, Moses was thought to have appeared (in the 60th year of his reign: Ṭabari, I/1, p. 434; tr., III, p. 23; Balʿami, ed. Bahār, p. 345; ed. Maškur, p. 44; Zotenberg, p. 277: in the 20th year) and to have left Egypt (Dinavari, ed. Guirgass, p. 14; ed. Ṭabbāʿ, p. 17), and the Israelites were thought to have been in Egypt and the desert (Balʿami, ed. Bahār, p. 519; Zotenberg, p. 405). Kay Qobād was thought to have ruled at the same time as Solaymān (Balʿami, ed. Bahār, p. 595; ed. Maškur, p. 47, has at the time of and before Dāwud, and Kay Kāvus at the time of Solaymān; and Zotenberg, p. 462, has “before that of Solaymān,” which may be a misinterpretation of the text of the older manuscripts used by Bahār, which have “as we said before [the section on] Solaymān”). According to Ebn al-Balḵi, Ezekiel (Ḥezqil) appeared during the reign of Kay Qobād and Solaymān after his reign (ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 40; ed. Behruzi, p. 48). Mirḵᵛānd has Dāwud and Solaymān appearing during Kay Kāvus’s reign (I, p. 681; tr. Shea, p. 243).

Biruni (p. 115) suggested that Kay Kobāḏ reigned after Essarhaddon (identical with Zaw b. Tumāsp), that Kay Qāvus was Boḵt-Naṣṣar and ruled three generations after Kay-Kobāḏ, and that Koreš was Kay Ḵosrow, succeeded by Cyrus, identical with Lohrāsb.

Ṭabari (I/2, p. 644; tr., IV, p. 41) reports that, after the rule of Ṣadiqiā, the rule of Jerusalem and Palestine passed on to Oštāsb b. Lohrāsb, who made Boḵt-Naṣṣar their governor. The Israelites remained in Bābel until Kireš b. Jāmāsb b. Asb returned them to Jerusalem because his mother was Aštar, daughter of Jāvil or Ḥāvil. In Bahār’s edition of Balʿami (pp. 671 ff.), most of this is supplied from Ṭabari, and it is not clear how much is in the manuscripts; Zotenberg (p. 491) only states that these events took place at the time of Goštāsb, son of Lohrāsb.

According to Ebn al-Balḵi (ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, pp. 52-54; ed. Behruzi, pp. 62-63), Bahman deposed Boḵt-al-Naṣṣar’s grandson (Belt-al-Naṣṣar son of Nemrud) and appointed Kireš in his stead. He ordered Kireš to treat the Israelites well and send them home and let them choose their own governor, and they chose Dāniāl. Kireš was the son of <ʾḥšwʾrš> son of Kireš son of Jāmāsb son of Lohrāsb, and his mother <ʾšyn>, who was descended from the Israelite prophets, taught him the Torah. Ebn al-Balḵi also refers to Cyrus’s rebuilding (ābādān kard) of the temple (Ezra 1) and to the prophet’s statement that Cyrus was the chosen and the Messiah (Isaiah 45:1), pointing out that “that book” has the spelling <kwrwš>. Mirḵᵛānd (ed., I, p. 30) remarks that Bahman ordered Jerusalem to be repopulated because of his (Jewish) wife.

Ḵᵛārazmi (p. 100) said Kay Kāvus’s title was <nmrd> (na-mord), interpreted as lam yamot “let him not die” (cited by Mirḵᵛānd, I, p. 681; tr., p. 243, as Nemrud, inter- preted as lā yamut “does not die”; Ḵᵛāndamir, I, p. 191, referring to Ḵᵛārazmi, says that his laqab was Nemrud).

See also Kellens’ (2002, pp. 428-31) attempt to connect the structures of Darius’s genealogy with that of the kauuis.



(Prods Oktor Skjærvø)

Last Updated: May 16, 2013