GANJ-E BĀDĀVARD (the treasure brought by the wind), name of one of the eight treasures of the Sasanian Ḵosrow II Parvēz (r. 591-628 C.E.) according to most Persian sources. The Šāh-nāma, however, mentions it also among the riches of a much earlier king, the Kayanid Kay Ḵosrow (ed. Khaleghi, IV, p. 351, v. 2825; Bondārī, I, p. 303). According to the legend, it was the hoard of riches that one of the Byzantine emperors had loaded unto ships to send to Ethiopia (Balʿamī, ed. Bahār, p. 1091; Jūzjānī, Ṭabaqāt I, p. 167), or some unspecified place (Ṭabarī, I, p. 1057; Masʿūdī, Morūj, ed. Pellat, I, sec. 647; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 701-2), when storm drove the ships into the hands of the Persians. The Persians called it Ganj-e bādāvard (or Ganj-bādāvar, Ganj-e bād), because of the manner and means of its delivery. The size of the treasure is reported variously as 1000 ships (Masʿūdī, loc. cot.; Balʿamī, ed. Bahār, loc. cit.), or 100 ships, of which thirty were filled with gold and silver, thirty contained silver coins, twenty carried jewels, and twenty others hauled silver artifacts (Jūzjānī, loc. cit.). According to a legend, the treasure also contained the Holy Cross (Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, p. 702; Ṭūsī, p. 366).
The Šāh-nāma, which mentions Ganj-e bādāvard both as one of the greatest treasures of Kay Ḵosrow and among the riches of Ḵosrow Parvēz, offers no explanation for its name. In one instance, the text may be read to mean that Bādāvar was the name given to a combination of two other treasures in Ḵosrow Parvēz’s possession (Šāh-nāma, Moscow, IX, p. 268, vv. 226-28). In another instance, the epic seems to imply that a certain unnamed treasure was brought to him by the seamen from the sea (Moscow, IX, p. 267, vv. 209-12). Apparently, the occasion of finding this treasure was so momentous that Ḵosrow Parvēz’s famous minstrel, Bārbad (q.v.), composed a song about it (Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, ed. Moʿīn, p. 1838). This song later gave its name to a musical mode (navā) that was common even during the Islamic period (e.g., Manūčehrī, p. 17, v. 230, p. 80, v. 1116, pp. 334-35).
Bondārī, al-Shāh-nāma, ed. ʿA. ʿAzzām, 2 vols. in 1, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Christensen, Iran Sass., pp. 465, 486.
Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 36.
Manūčehrī Dāmˊḡānī, Dīvān-e Manūčehrī Dāmˊḡānī, ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, Tehran, 1370 Š./1991.
M. Moḥammadī Malāyerī. Tārīḵ wa farhang-e Īrān dar dawrān-e enteqāl az ʿaṣr-e sāsānī ba ʿaṣr-e eslāmī, 2 vols., Tehran, 1372-75 Š./1993-96.
Mojmal, ed. Bahār, p. 81. Moḥammad b. Maḥmūd b. Aḥmad Ṭūsī, ʿAjāyeb al-maḵlūqāt wa ḡārāyeb al-mawjūdāt, ed. M. Sotūda, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 280-281