xi. The Kayanids and the Kang-dez
According to the Pahlavi texts (Dēnkard 7.1.38; Mēnōy xrad 26.57; Pahlavi Rivāyat 49.1; Dādestān ī dēnīg 89), Kay Siāwaxš built the Kang castle (Kang-diz) by miraculous power (Pahlavi Rivāyat: with his own hands, by means of the [Kavian] xwarrah and the might of Ohrmazd and the Amahrspands), which contained numerous wonders and secrets of the dēn to be used to redress the age and the rule of the Iranians; he also connected power and victory with the dēn.
According to the Bundahišn (32.12) the Kang-diz was originally supported on the heads of dēws (also Pahlavi Rivāyat), but was placed on the ground by Kay Husrōy. It had seven ring walls (parisp, rather than frasp “roof beam”?) made of gold, silver, steel, brass, iron, crystal, and lapis lazuli (Pahlavi Rivāyat 49.6: stone, steel, crystal, silver, gold, chalcedony, ruby). It also had hands and feet, and there was eternal spring. Its dimensions were so enormous that it took a man with horse and chariot fifteen days to drive from one of its fifteen gates to the next (Bundahišn 32.12), set 700 parasangs apart (Pahlavi Rivāyat 49.11). Each gate was the height of fifteen men, and the castle itself was so tall that the arrow of the best archers might not reach the top (Pahlavi Rivāyat 49.8-10).
According to the Pahlavi Rivāyat (chap. 49), it was, apparently, at first in the other world (a mēnōy), but was invited down to the earth by Kay Husrōy, who addressed it as his sister, since it had been made by his father (Siāvaš). It came down in eastern Turān, in the area of Siāvaš-kerd, and Kay Husrōy settled the Iranians in it, who would not leave it until the coming of Pišyōtan (Wištāsp’s eschatological son) at the end of time. It had a silver tower with golden crenellations, accommodating fourteen mountains and seven rivers in spate. After the end of the Kayanids, Pišyōtan will be king and priest in the Kang until the final battles, which he goes out to fight, but then returns and stays until the Renovation. The Pahlavi manuscript TD4a (pp. 605-14), contains several descriptions of the Kang-diz; here, among other things, it is said to be on the “star-level.”
See at end of KAYĀNIĀN XIV. THE KAYANIDS IN WESTERN HISTORIOGRAPHY.
(Prods Oktor Skjærvø)
Originally Published: January 1, 2000
Last Updated: May 16, 2013