AḴESTĀN, Jalal-al-dīn Abu’l-Moẓaffar b. Manūčehr b. Farīdūn, also called Ḵāqān-e Kabīr. one of the rulers of the Šervānšāh dynasty and the patron of the poet Ḵāqāni Šervānī. The variant Aḵetsān found in some manuscripts and printed works is erroneous (see Qazvīnī, Yāddāšthā V, p. 216). Nothing is known about the beginning or end of his reign. He must have been in power in 584/1188, when Neẓāmi dedicated his Laylā va Majnūn to him, but he had already passed away in the period between the years 590-97/1193-1200 when Neẓāmi wrote the Šaraf-nāma (ed. W. Dastgerdī, Tehran, 1316 Š./1937, p. 335; Forūzānfar, Soḵan va soḵanvarān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1350 Š,/1971, p. 632).
Aḵestān was panegyrized by Ḵāqāni in twelve qaṣidas and seven tarkīb-bands, for which he provided the poet with substantial rewards; he also sentenced him to spend time in prison (Dīvān-e Ḵāqāni, ed. Ż. Sajjādī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, introd., p. xxxvii). The exact meaning of Aḵestān is not clear. According to Minorsky the king referred to himself as Aqsartān b. Manūcehr in an inscription of 583/1187 (“Khāqāni and Andronicus Comnenus,” in Minorsky, Iranica, London, 1964, p. 130). However, no other use of this name has been found in the Islamic world. Hadi Hasan considers Aḵestān a Georgian name without establishing either its meaning or etymology (Qazvīnī, Yāddāšthā V, p. 217). In Histoire de la Georgie depuis l’antiquité jusqu'au XIXe siècle (St. Petersburg, 1849) and Deux historiens armeniens (St. Petersburg, 1870-71), M. F. Brosset uses the form Aksartān.
P. Horn, Tārīḵ-e moḵtaṣar-e Īrān, tr. Ṣ. Reżāzāda Šafaq, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935, p. 64, n. 2.
Dehḵodā. s.v. Aḵestān. Neẓāmi, Laylā va Majnūn, ed. W. Dastgerdī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, p. 30.
W. Dastgerdī, Ganjīna-ye Ganjavī, Tehran, 1318 Š./1939.
ʿA. A. Šehābī, Neẓāmi, šāʿer-e dāstān-sarā, Tehran, 1334 Š./1955, p. 21.
S. Nafīsī, Ahwāl va āṯār-e Neẓāmi, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 93. 95.
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 29, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, pp. 718-719
Ż. Sajjādī, “AḴESTĀN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, pp. 718-719; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/akestan-servansah-ruler (accessed on 25 April 2014).