ĀZĀDSARV. Two bearers of this name are known.
1. A mōbad in the reign of Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān and one of the emissaries whom Ḵosrow sent to all corners of the kingdom in search of a dream interpreter (Šāh-nāma [Moscow] VIII, p. 111 vv. 990f.). Āzādsarv went to Marv, found in a school in the town, the youthful Bozorgmehr who claimed this ability, and brought him to the royal presence.
2. A scholar in the entourage of Aḥmad b. Sahl (d. 307/920), governor of Marv in the second half of the 3rd/9th century. In the surviving national legends, Āzādsarv is named as the source of three stories: the story of Rostam and Šaḡād (Šāh-nāma VI, p. 322 vv. 1f.), the Farāmarz-nāma (mss. B.M. and Bib. Nat.), and the Dāstān-e Šabrang (ms. B.M.). The fact that all these stories belong to the Sīstān legend cycle lends credence to Ferdowsī’s remark that Āzādsarv “knew many of Rostam’s battles by heart” (loc. cit., v. 4). The writings of Āzādsarv probably comprised more than the three stories just mentioned; it seems highly probable that all or most of the Sīstān legends, i.e., stories of Rostam and his family, recounted in the Šāh-nāma and elsewhere stem directly or indirectly from Āzādsarv.
Āzādsarv resided and did his literary work at Marv, although Ferdowsī’s assertion that Āzādsarv “traced his ancestry to Sām son of Narīmān” (loc. cit., v. 4) could be interpreted as implying that he was of Sīstāni origin. He is described in the Farāmarz-nāma as the “cypress (sarv) of Māhān of Marv” and in the Dāstān-e Šabrang as the “foremost lamp of Māhān of Marv.” Māhān, which is also mentioned in the Šāh-nāma (loc. cit., v. 30), is probably identical with Mīr Māhān, a suburban village of Marv (Eṣṭaḵrī, p. 260; Moqaddasī, p. 231; Yāqūt, IV, p. 714).
See also Ebn al-Aṯīr, repr. Gardīzī, ed. ʿA. Ḥ. Ḥabībī. S. Ḥ. Taqīzāda, “Mašāhīr-e šoʿarā-ye Īrān,” Kāva, repr. in Ḥ. Yaḡmāʾī, ed., Ferdowsī wa Šāh-nāma-ye ū, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Ḏ. Ṣafā, Ḥamāsa-sarāʾī dar Īrān, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, p. 178