Discussed in the meeting on Studies of Shahnameh at House of Literati
Abu Mahboob: Mithraism represents a distinctive manifestation in the Iranian Mythologization and Shahnameh
27 May 2012 15:38
In another meeting of the session series on Shahnameh Studies Ahmad Abu Mahboob pointed out to some features of "Fereydoun Ruling Era" including the mythical founding of Iran territory, the beginning of out-group or mixed marriage and Mehregan feast. He also talked about the impact of Mithraism on the Fereydoun's era and its different manifestations in the different courses of Iranian Mythologization.
IBNA: The fourth session of Shahnameh Studies was held attended by Ahmed Abu Mahbob in the House of Literati on May 22.
At the beginning of the session, after reading several lines of Shahnameh narrating the outset of Fereydoun's ruling, Abu Mahboob said: if you assume Fereydoun as the symbol of Ariyaeian race, his monarchy means then they out spread all over the world. From the modern point of view, this shows global domination, or unity global alliances. Another interpretation is Fereydoun's power absoluteness, establishing a kind of governmental system called now as "Federal"; in other words, the very primitive context of Federalism can be seen in Fereydoun ruling obviously.
Ferdowsi Shahnameh knew the beginning of Fereydoun's ruling of in Mehr [October] that had the Mehregan feast led to be emerged. Abu Mahboob explained: the beginning of Fereydoun reign is in the Persian month, Mehr [October] and its celebrating lasts until the middle of this month. We celebrate "Sadeh" [centenary] Festival as the memorial of Jamshid, with the same token Mehregan is the reminiscent of the Fereydoun reign.
This Shahnameh Scholar pointed to the relationship between Mehr and Mithraism and said: Mehr is in connection with Mithraism and Fereydoun reign can be known- in a sense- as the deployment Mithraism. However, both before and during Jamshid era the symbols and signs of Mithraism have been seen, but symbols are more obvious in the Fereydoun era. It seems as if 'Zahhāk' had been a barrier between the continuations of the two courses, since Fereydoun, the son of Abtin, is indeed Jamshid descent.
Then raising the question that: what was the role of 'Zahhāk' in that situation? Abu Mahboob explained: leaving alone its social and political aspects, from the view point of mythical chronology, 'Zahhāk' can be a symbol of moon and night period outset that in the Iranian myths –such as the moon and the serpent rooted on the shoulders of 'Zahhāk'-are connected with each other.
Emphasizing on the descent of Fereydoun from Jamshid, the researcher said: Shahrnaz and Arnavaz, the two wives of Zahhāk -who were also the ground daughters of Jamshid- couldn't be pregnant by him. In fact it can be said, that they are the rest of light, who have not picked the darkness load up because they are not belonged to the time of Zahhāk, but the same two sisters, became pregnant by Fereydoun who is also a noble continuation of Jamshid as well.
Abu Mahboob considered the outset the mythical founding of Iran territory coincident with Fereydoun monarchy and said: If we consider Cyrus as the historical founder of Iran, Fereydoun is no doubt the Mythical founder of this country as well. In fact, in Persian mythology Iran begins from the time of Fereydoun upward. Some scholars have compared Cyrus with Fereydoun and some others with Keykhosrow as well.
In addition to the ritual and thought of Mithraism, Zurvanism is also considered as an influential attitude amongst Persian Mythologization by this scholar .He explained: Zurvanism is a non- Ariyaeian ritual, common some days in the west parts of Iranian plateau that its symbols can also be seen in the Chaldean and Assyrian myths . Although Zurvanism extends up to the central parts of Persian territory, the Iranian intellectual foundation begins with Mithraism.
Then he considered also the Flag of Kaveh-ye- Ahangar (smithy) as a symbol of Mithraism, and said: regarding Mithraism, the flag of Kaveh-ye- Ahangar is also significant. This flag is made of leather with a jeweled cross depicted on it. The stamp of Kavian Flag is in a sense the symbol of Mithraism. Kaveh is a worker (blacksmith) who is dealing with iron and is indeed a symbol of tenacity and endurance. Iron is on the other hand the symbol of war because sword is made of it. It should be noted in this regard that "Mithra(s)" was also the symbol of winning the war which is reflected in the Kavian Flag. Thus "Mithra(s)" projects repeatedly through Iranian myths.
Stating that the duration of Fereydoun monarchy is about 500 year, Abu Mahboob said: Iranian attitude and worldview were of millennial ones, i.e. the time of Human creation and human life were divided into millennium courses. Later this reflected in the Zoroastrianism and then even in the poems of BaBA Taher .But the ruling course of Fereydoun is 500years. Here the important point is that when Ferdowsi comes to this part, he goes to Faranak, the mother of Fereydoun.
This author added: Faranak knows nothing about Zahhāk failure and Fereydoun kingdom, but after being informed, she gives alms for 14 days; a week in private as well as a week obviously. Taking into account that in the ancient time, there wasn't any concept of week as it is today; and 14 is the age of maturity in "Avesta"; and even in "Gozide Haye Zadesperm", again 14 days is needed for the Moon to be completed. So, these 14 days of charity must be associated with the Moon and a symbol of Fereydoun's integrity and accomplishment. In fact his monarchy represents his completeness and social maturity.
Abu Mahboob then pointed out to the birth of Fereydoon's children and said: Fereydoun has got 2 sons from Sharnaz and one from Arnavaz .They were very similar to him. Fereydoun asks one of the greats called "Jandal" to find suitable wives for his sons. He wants Jandal to find three virtuous, virgin and similar sisters who are from a noble family and all from the same parents. Perhaps this was to avoid disputes and to establish justice among them. Jandal who knew he couldn't be successful in Iran, to do so; he went to Yemen and in order to suite the daughters of "Sarv" the King of Yemen. This marriage can be one of the first out-group or mixed marriages which is the outset of race mixing
At the end of his lecture, Abu Mahboob said: since then, Fereydoun has not chosen any name for his sons and surprisingly the daughters have not been named by Sarve as well. It was after that, that naming ceremony has been considered in the Shahnameh.
Dealing with the naming ceremony was delayed to the next session of these serial meetings on the Studies of Shahnameh.
The fourth session of these serial meetings on the Studies of Shahnameh was held at 15 pm. in the House of Literati
The naming ceremony of a university professor to address the next meeting was adjourned Shahnamehpazhuhy.
Shahnamhpzhvhy fourth session, held yesterday, 15 in the House writers.