BEHZĀD, the name of the black horse belonging successively to Sīāvoš, Kay Ḵosrow, and Goštāsb. Like Raḵš, Rostam’s horse, Behzād understood human language and feelings. As he was dying, Sīāvoš whispered in Behzād’s ear that he should let no one mount him other than Sīāvoš’s son Kay Ḵosrow (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, III, p. 143 vv. 2203-10). After Sīāvoš’s death, therefore, Behzād stayed away from humans and joined a herd of wild horses. Kay Ḵosrow went looking for him and as soon as Behzād spotted the prince he recognized him at once (Šāh-nāma III, pp. 209-11).
The Šāh-nāma does not state explicitly that Goštāsb’s horse Behzād (Šāh-nāma VI, p. 113) was the same Behzād that had belonged to Sīāvoš and Kay Ḵosrow, but one can assume that, when Kay Ḵosrow passed on his crown, throne, and harem to Lohrāsb (Šāh-nāma V, pp. 406-10), he also gave him the horse, which Lohrāsb in turn passed on to his son Goštāsb. According to the Zarātošt-nāma (ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, vv. 942-1094), one of the wonders performed by Zarathustra was the healing of Goštāsb’s horse, referred to only as “the black horse.”
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, pp. 113-114