x. The End of the Kayanids
In the Pahlavi texts. The Bundahišn (33.13-14) only records that, when Wahman, son of Spandyād, came to the throne (see BAHMAN (2) SON OF ESFANDIĀR), Iran was a wasteland, and the Iranians were quarreling with one another. Wahman having no sons, his daughter became queen after him. Their genealogy in chapter 35 is confused, but Wahman, son of Spandyād, is said to be the same as Ardašīr, father of Sāsān, ancestor of Ardašīr I; and, in chapter 36, Dārāy, son of Čihrāzād (Homāy), is said to be Wahman. According to the Dēnkard (7.7.4), Wahman was said in the Avesta to be truthful and the one to make the most assemblies among the Mazdayasnians (hanǰaman-kerdārtom, possibly for an unattested Avestan *viiāxanō.təma, meaning uncertain).
In the Zand ī Wahman Yasn, Zarathustra tells Ohrmazd about a dream, in which he saw a tree with seven branches; the first two, of gold and silver, represented Wištāsp and Ardaxšahr, the Kay, called Wahman son of Spandyād (3.23-24). According to the same text (chap. 7), in the millennium of Ōšīdar, a kay will be born of the seed (tōxmag) of kays, who will in turn sire the “miracle-working” (warzāwand) Wahrām, who will assemble armies to fight evil. (See further, below, xii.)
In the Perso-Arabic sources. Bahman. Goštasb (Beštāšb) was succeeded by his grandson Kay Ardašir, also called Bahman, son of Esfandiār (killed by Rostam). He was nicknamed al-ṭawil al-bāʿ (for Pers. derāz-dast; Ḥamza, p. 37; tr., p. 26; Ṭabari, I/2, p. 686; tr., IV, p. 81; Ḵᵛārazmi, p. 100; but ṭawil al-yad according to Mirḵᵛānd, I, p. 730; tr. Shea, p. 339; Ebn al-Balḵi, ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 52; ed. Behruzi, p. 62: also called Ardašir Bahman-e derāz-dast; Moǰmal al-tawāriḵ, p. 30: also called Kay Ardašir-e derāz-angol; see also BAHMAN (2) SON OF ESFANDIĀR, DERĀZ-DAST). Mirḵᵛānd relates a tradition according to which the name Ardašir was from ārd “flour” and šir “milk” (I, p. 730; tr. Shea, p. 338). Bahman warred against Sistān and killed Rostam as well as his father, brother, and son as revenge for his own father; but he died after a reign of only twelve years (Ṭabari, I/2, p. 687; tr., IV, pp. 81-82; Ebn al-Balḵi, ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 52; Masʿudi, sec. 541). He spent large amounts on the army. He was the father of Dārā with his daughter Ḵomāni, as well as of Sāsān, ancestor of Ardašir I. Ḵomāni was also nicknamed Šahrāzād (Ṭabari, I/2, p. 689; tr., IV, p. 83; Ebn al-Balḵi, ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 15; i.e., Čehrāzād; cf. Ḥamza, p. 38; tr., p. 27: <jhrʾzʾd> or Šamirān).
Another story had it that Bahman was identical with Kureš (Cyrus), the Persian, residing at Balḵ at the time, and that it was he who returned the Jews to Jerusalem (Masʿudi, sec. 551). Dinavari also mentions that Bahman had “entered” the din of the Children of Israel, but he left it and returned to the majusiya (ed. Guirgass, p. 29; ed. Ṭabbāʿ, pp. 29-30).
Homāy. According to Ṭabari, Bahman’s mother was, allegedly, Asturyā, that is, Esther; he had three daughters: Ḵomāni, *Farang (text <fr•k> unpointed, mss. <frnk, qrbk>, and other, Ṭabari, I/2, p. 688, n. h.; tr. IV, p. 82), and Bahman-doḵt (see also HOMĀY ČEHRZĀD).
According to Ḥamza (pp. 37-38; tr., p. 26), “Homā” was just a title (laqab). She lived in Balḵ, sent an army against Rum, and brought back numerous artisans, among them the architects who built three palaces at Eṣṭaḵr (Hazārsotūn), which turned in three directions: toward Eṣṭaḵr, Dārābjerd, and the road to Khorasan.
According to Masʿudi (sec. 543), “Balḵ” lost its status of capital when Ḥomāya, daughter of Bahman, became queen and moved to ʿErāq to the area of Madāʾen. Also according to him, one story had it that Lohrāsf (Lohrāsb) married a Jewish girl, Dināzād, another that Ḥomāya’s mother was Jewish (secs. 545-46). Also known by her mother’s name of Šahrāzād, she waged several wars against the Greeks and others (cf. Ṭabari, I/2, p. 690; tr., IV, p. 84). She was succeeded by her brother Dārā (Masʿudi, sec. 553).
According to Ebn al-Balḵi (ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, pp. 52-54; ed. Behruzi, pp. 62-63) and the Mojmal al-tawāriḵ (p. 30), Bahman’s mother (Moǰmal: <ʾsnwr>) was one of the children of the prophet Ṭālut (Saul) and was married to Rāḥeb, a daughter of Rehoboam (<rʾḵbʿm>) son of Solaymān (cf. Dinavari, ed. Guirgass, p. 29; ed. Ṭabbāʿ, p. 29). He had five children, two sons (Sāsān and Dārā) and three daughters (Ḵomāni var. Homāy, Farang, and Bahman-doḵt). As Sāsān, despite being wise, learned, and couragious (ʿāqel o ʿālem o mardāna), showed no interest in kingship and Dārā was a mere baby, the elder daughter, Ḵomāni, became queen. According to Ṯaʿālebi (p. 389), Sāsān lacked the “radiance of divine majesty” and aptitude for government and left in despondency. Dinavari (ed. Guirgass, pp. 29-30; ed. Ṭabbāʿ, p. 30) says he was the ancestor of the Sasanians and mentions that he was called Sāsān “the Kordi” and Sāsān “the shepherd” (al-rāʿi), echoing the story of Ardašir told in the Kār-nāmag (1.7), where he is said to have stayed with “Kurdish shepherds” (kurdīgān šabānān).
Ṭabari reports various stories (I/2, pp. 689-90; tr., IV, pp. 83-84): Bahman, when dying, at Ḵomāni’s request, made the unborn son crown prince, bypassing the older son Sāsān, who left and went to Eṣṭaḵr, where he led an ascetic life and became a shepherd; when Bahman died before Dārā was born, the queen did not reveal the birth of the child, but put him in a chest and sent him down the Kor river, alternatively, the river of Balḵ (Mirḵᵛānd, I, pp. 722-23; tr. Shea, p. 342: because of aversion to the child), where a miller who had lost his child found and raised him. Once he was grown up, all this became known, he was tested and acknowledged by his mother, and was crowned. Ṭabari (I/2, pp. 688-90; tr., IV, pp. 83-84) and Dinavari (ed. Guirgass, pp. 29-30; ed. Ṭabbāʿ, p. 30) also report on her ambitious building projects, notably Roman-type buildings at Eṣṭaḵr, built by Roman prisoners captured on campaigns. There was prosperity during her reign.
According to the Mojmal al-tawāriḵ (pp. 30-31) and similarly in other sources, there were various traditions about Homāy-e Čehrzād: she was the daughter of Ḥāreṯ, king of Egypt, and Bahman had willed the rule to her and her children; she was the wife of Bahman and, according to the Persians, his daughter as well; she was called Šamirān daughter of Bahman, but nicknamed Homāy; Dārāb was her son with Bahman; Homāy placed him in a box after birth and threw him into a river, where a fuller found him and called him Dār-āb.).
Ṯaʿālebi (pp. 389-97) and the Šāh-nāma have many of the same themes and details of the reigns of Bahman and Homāy, including the beginnings of Dārāb (ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 473-95, 496-512; ed. Mohl, V, pp. 4-19, 20-47; tr., V, pp. 283-91, 292-312; see Herzfeld, 1936, pp. 79-82, with references, on the connection between the Homā and Semiramis [Šamirān!] narratives).
See at end of KAYĀNIĀN XIV. THE KAYANIDS IN WESTERN HISTORIOGRAPHY.
(Prods Oktor Skjærvø)
Originally Published: January 1, 2000
Last Updated: May 16, 2013