BĪDERAFŠ (Pahl. Wīdrafš from OIr. *wi-drafša- “with unfurled banner”), Turanian hero of the army of Arjāsp. Bīderafš and Nāmḵᵛāst, another Turanian hero, were sent by Arjāsp, as envoys to the court of Goštāsp (Pahl. Wištāsp) with a message to persuade the latter to recant the new faith preached by Zoroaster (Ayādgār ī Zarērān 4-12; Šāh-nāma, Moscow, VI, p. 73 vv. 125ff.). Goštāsp refused this request, and Arjāsp repudiated the customary tributes, and consequently war broke out between the Iranians and the Turanians, in which Zarēr, Goštāsp’s brother and the commander of the Iranian army, was killed by Bīderafš (Ayādgār ī Zarērān 73-76; Šāh-nāma, p. 105 vv. 577ff.; Ṭabarī, I, p. 677; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, p. 273; Baḷʿamī, ed. Bahār, Tārīḵ, p. 661). According to Ayādgār ī Zarērān (par. 105) and Ṯaʿālebī (pp. 274-75), Zarēr’s blood was revenged by his son, Bastūr (q.v.), whereas in the Šāh-nāma, although Bastūr goes to take vengeance (p. 113 vv. 697ff.), it is Esfandīār, Goštāsp’s son, who kills Bīderafš (p. 115 vv. 725ff.; see also Ebn al-Balḵī, p. 51; Ṭabarī, loc. cit.; Baḷʿamī, loc. cit.). Bīderafš has the stock, epithet of jādūg “sorcerer” in the Ayādgār ī Zarērān (jādū in the Šāh-nāma, Ebn al-Balḵī, Baḷʿamī, and ṣāḥer in Ṭabarī), whose spear (Pahl. *fraš, cf. žōpīn “javelin” in the Šāh-nāma, p. 105 vv. 583, 588) had been bewitched by the demons.
The text of Ayādgār ī Zarērān (q.v.) in Pahl. Texts, pp. 1-17; ed. with tr. and commentary and the parallel passages of the Šāh-nāma by D. Monchi-Zadeh, Die Geschichte Zarēr’s, Uppsala, 1981.
See also Justi, Namenbuch, p. 368.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 246-247