KAYĀNIĀN vi. Siiāuuaršan, Siyāwaxš, Siāvaš



vi. Siiāuuaršan, Siyāwaxš, Siāvaš

Siiāuuaršan, “the one with black stallions,” is listed in the Avesta in Yašt 13.132 as a kauui and the third with a name containing aršan “male.” The only detail given in the Avesta is that his son Haosrauuah sought revenge on Aγraēraθa for killing his father (Yašt 5.49-50). In the Āfrīn ī Zardušt (3) Siiāuuaršan is the model of a handsome male. According to the Pahlavi texts, he built the Kang castle (Kang-diz, see below; see also KANGDEZ).

The outline of the story of Siāvaš and Sudāba is already in the Bundahišn (33.10): Siyāwaxš went to Turkestan to fight Afrāsiāb, but, because of Sūdābī’s sinful behavior (āhōg), did not return to Iran. He married one of Afrāsiāb’s daughters (Wispān-frīy, Bundahišn 35.21), with whom he had Kay Husrōy, and was then killed in Turān.

According to the Abar Madan ī Šā-Wahrām ī Warzāwand, it was Rostam who avenged Siyāwaxš (Pahlavi Texts, p. 161).

The story is much elaborated by Ṯaʿālebi (pp. 171-213) and Ferdowsi (ed. Khaleghi, II, pp. 202-376; ed. Mohl, II, pp. 200-451; tr., II, pp. 191-333). It also features Afrāsiāb’s counselor Pirān, who brings Siāvaš to Khotan, where he builds Siāvašgerd. The narrative exhibits numerous features also found in the stories of Aśoka’s son Kuṇāla and the founding of Khotan (see Skjærvø, 1998; on local Central Asian traditions and archeological and literary evidence for his origin as a vegetation deity, see Yarshater, 1983, pp. 448-51; see further SIĀVAŠ).



(Prods Oktor Skjærvø)

Originally Published: January 1, 2000

Last Updated: May 15, 2013