BASTŪR (Mid. Pers. Bastwar, Av. Bastauuairi), a hero of the Iranian national epic, son of Zarēr, King Goštāsp’s brother. In the Avesta Bastauuairi is mentioned once (Yt. 13.103) when his fravaši is praised together with that of the other members of Goštāsp’s house, who were the first followers of Zoroaster. In the great religious battle between Goštāsp and the Turanian king Arjāsp, Zarēr was commander-in-chief of the Iranian army (Ayādgār ī Zarērān in Pahlavi Texts, pp. 2-14, pars. 14, 17, 48, 55, 64, etc.; Šāh-nāma, Moscow, VI, p. 96 v. 444), while the command of the rear guard was entrusted to Bastūr (ibid., v. 451); but, according to Ṯaʿālebī (Ḡorar, p. 270), he was in charge of the left wing. After Zarēr perished at the hand of Bīdarafš (Pahl. Widrafš), Arjāsp’s brother, Bastūr volunteered to avenge his father. Goštāsp first refused Bastūr’s demand because of his infancy (Ayādgār ī Zarērān, pars. 79-81, cf. Šāh-nāma, p. 111 v. 667, Ḡorar, p. 274), but later, at the recommendation of Jāmāsp, the king’s minister, gave his consent (Ayādgār ī Zarērān, par. 90; Šāh-nāma, vv. 697ff.; Ḡorar, p. 274). According to the Ayādgār ī Zarērān (par. 105) and Ṯaʿālebī (Ḡorar, p. 275) Bastūr fought with Bīdarafš and killed him during a terrible battle, whereas in the Šāh-nāma Bīdarafš was killed by Esfandīār, Goštāsp’s eldest son (Šāh-nāma, p. 115, v. 726), though Bastūr fought with Bīdarafš (Šāh-nāma, p. 114, v. 717). Bastūr took part also in Goštāsp’s second battle with Arjāsp (Šāh-nāma, pp. 143 v. 123, 159 v. 395). Etymologically the name probably means “with fastened breast guard” (M. Mayrhofer, Iranisches Personennamenbuch I/1, Vienna, 1977, p. 31). The Persian form Bastūr is often corrupted into Nastūr in Arabic and Persian manuscripts (Ṭabarī, I, 2, p. 677; Šāh-nāma).
See also A. Christensen, Les Kayanides, Copenhagen, 1931, p. 24.
Justi, Namenbuch, p. 65.
Markwart, Provincial Capitals, Rome, 1931, pp. 49-50.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 858-859