DEŽ-E RŪYĪN (or Rūyīn-dež, Brazen fortress), castle belonging to the Turanian king Arjāsb (see ARJĀSP) and conquered by Esfandīār, son of the Kayanid king Goštāsb. It has also been called “brazen city” (al-madīna al-ṣofrīya; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, p. 522). In Goštāsb’s absence Arjāsb attacked Balḵ, killing Lohrāsb, Goštāsb’s father, and taking captive the king’s two daughters, Homāy and Behāfarīd (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, VI, pp. 142 vv. 102 ff., 202 vv. 641 ff.; Ṭabarī, I, p. 678: Ḵomānī and Bāḍāfara), whom he imprisoned in Dež-e Rūyīn. Goštāsb returned to Balḵ, but it was only when Esfandīār was released from Dež-e Gonbadān that Arjāsb was defeated and fled to Tūrān (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, pp. 141-52, 157-63; Ṭabarī, I, pp. 678-79; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 282-98). Then Esfandīār set out, accompanied by the captive Turanian Gorgsār, to whom he had promised command of Dež-e Rūyīn, in order to exact vengeance for Lohrāsb’s blood and to free his two sisters. After completing haft ḵᵛān “the seven labours,” Esfandīār arrived at the fortress, to which he gained entrance by disguising himself as a merchant. He killed Arjāsb, freed his two sisters, and set fire to the fortress (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, pp. 166-90, 192-204, 212; Ṭabarī, I, pp. 679-80; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 300-38), which was described as a single, fortified castle reaching to the heavens, in which there were fountains and all kinds of plants and trees, so that the inhabitants had no need for the outside world (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, pp. 169 vv. 54-59, 184 vv. 305-11; Ṯaʿālebī,Ḡorar, p. 304). This feat of Esfandīār was often alluded to by classical Persian poets (e.g., Ḵāqānī, pp. 243, 257, 412, 719, 787; Qaṭrān, p. 312).
Because the city of Bukhara was also designated as madīnat al-ṣofrīya (Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, p. 522) and šārestān-e rūīn (Naršaḵī, pp. 26, 30, 61), Josef Markwart concluded that dež-e rūīn was an epithet for Paykand, a city 5 farsangs west of Bukhara (1938, pp. 160-61; idem, Provincial Capitals, p. 35). According to one account (Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 81), Dež-e Bahman has also been called the “Brazen castle.”
(For cited works not given in detail, see “Short References.”) Balʿamī, ed. Bahār, pp. 662-66.
Qewām-al-Dīn Fatḥ Bondārī, tr., Šāh-nāma, ed. ʿA. ʿAzzām, 2 vols. in 1, I, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 336-51.
Ebn al-Balḵī, Fārs-nāma, ed. G. Le Strange and R. A. Nicholson, London, 1921., p. 52. Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 14.
Afżal-al-Dīn Ebrāhīm Ḵāqānī Šervānī, Dīvān, ed. Ż. Sajjādī, Tehran, n.d.
J. Markwart, Wehrot und Arang. Untersuchungen zur mythischen und geschichtlichen Landeskunde von Ostiran, Leiden, 1938.
Meskawayh, Tajāreb al-omam, ed. L. Caetani, VII/1, Leiden, 1909, pp. 56-58; tr. A. Emāmī, I, Tehran, 1369 Š./1980, pp. 84-85.
Mojmal, ed. Bahār, p. 52.
Ḥakīm Šaraf-al-Zamān Qaṭrān Tabrīzī, Dīvān, ed. M. Naḵjavānī, Tabrīz, 1333 Š./1954.
Originally Published: December 15, 1995
Last Updated: November 22, 2011
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