Bundahishn

Bundahishn /bʊndaˈhɪʃn/ Avestan: 𐬠𐬎𐬥 𐬛𐬀𐬵𐬌𐬱𐬥𐬍𐬵 Bun-dahišnīh , meaning "Primal Creation", is the name traditionally given to an encyclopediaic collection of Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology written in Book Pahlavi.[1] The original name of the work is not known.

Although the Bundahishn draws on the Avesta and develops ideas alluded to in those texts, it is not itself scripture. The content reflects Zoroastrian scripture, which, in turn, reflects both ancient Zoroastrian and pre-Zoroastrian beliefs. In some cases, the text alludes to contingencies of post-7th century Islam in Iran, and in yet other cases, such as the idea that the Moon is farther than the stars, it reiterates scripture even though science had, by then, determined otherwise.

Structure

The traditionally given name seems to be an adoption of the sixth word from the first sentence of the younger of the two recensions.[2] The older of the two recensions has a different first line, and the first translation of that version adopted the name Zand-Ākāsīh, meaning "Zand-knowing", from the first two words of its first sentence.

Most of the chapters of the compendium date to the 8th and 9th centuries, roughly contemporary with the oldest portions of the Denkard, which is another significant text of the "Pahlavi" (i.e. Zoroastrian Middle Persian) collection. The later chapters are several centuries younger than the oldest ones. The oldest existing copy dates to the mid-16th century.

The Bundahishn survives in two recensions. A shorter was found in India, and is thus known as the Lesser Bundahishn, or Indian Bundahishn. A copy of this version was brought to Europe by Abraham Anquetil-Duperron in 1762. A longer version was brought to India from Iran by T.D. Anklesaria around 1870, and is thus known as the Greater Bundahishn or Iranian Bundahishn or just Bundahishn. The greater recension (the name of which is abbreviated GBd or just Bd) is about twice as long as the lesser (abbreviated IBd).

The two recensions derive from different manuscript traditions, and in the portions available in both sources, vary (slightly) in content. The greater recension is also the older of the two, and was dated by West to around 1540. The lesser recension dates from about 1734.

Traditionally, chapter-verse pointers are in Arabic numerals for the lesser recension, and Roman numerals for the greater recension. The two series' are not synchronous since the lesser recension was analyzed (by Duperrron in 1771) before the extent of the greater recension was known. The chapter order is also different.

Content

The Bundahishn is the concise view of the Zoroastrianism's creation myth, and of the first battles of the forces of Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu for the hegemony of the world. According to the text, in the first 3,000 years of the cosmic year, Ahura Mazda created the Fravashis and conceived the idea of his would-be creation. He used the insensible and motionless Void as a weapon against Angra Mainyu, and at the end of that period, Angra Mainyu was forced to submission and fell into a stupor for the next 3,000 years. Taking advantage of Angra Mainyu's absence, Ahura Mazda created the Amesha Spentas (Bounteous Immortals), representing the primordial elements of the material world, and permeated his kingdom with Ard (Asha), "Truth" in order to prevent Angra Mainyu from destroying it. The Bundahishn finally recounts the creation of the primordial bovine, Ewagdad (Avestan Gavaevodata), and Gayomard (Avestan Gayomaretan), the primordial human.

Following MacKenzie,[2] the following chapter names in quotation marks reflect the original titles. Those without quotation marks are summaries of chapters that have no title. The chapter/section numbering scheme is based on that of B.T. Anklesaria[3] for the greater recension, and that of West[4] for the lesser recension. The chapter numbers for the greater recension are in the first column and in Roman numerals, and the chapter numbers for the lesser recension are in the second column, and are noted in Arabic numerals and in parenthesis.

I. (1) The primal creation of Ohrmazd and the onslaught of the Evil Spirit.
I A. n/a "On the material creation of the creatures."
II. (2) "On the fashioning forth of the lights."
III. n/a "On the reason for the creation of the creatures, for doing battle."
IV. (3) "On the running of the Adversary against the creatures."
IV A. (4) The death of the Sole-created Bovine.
V. (5) "On the opposition of the two Spirits."
V A. n/a "On the horoscope of the world, how it happened."
V B. n/a The planets.
VI. n/a "On the doing battle of the creations of the world against the Evil Spirit."
VI A. (6) "The first battle the Spirit of the Sky did with the Evil Spirit."
VI B (7) "The second battle the Water did."
VI C. (8) "The third battle the Earth did."
VI D. (9) "The fourth battle the Plant did."
VI E. (10) "The fifth battle the Sole-created Ox did."
VI F. n/a "The sixth battle Gayōmard did."
VI G. n/a "The seventh battle the Fire did."
VI H. n/a "The 8th battle the fixed stars did."
VI I. n/a "The 9th battle the spiritual gods did with the Evil Spirit."
VI J. n/a "The 10th battle the stars unaffected by the Mixing did."
VII. n/a "On the form of those creations."
VIII. (11) "On the nature of the lands."
IX. (12) "On the nature of the mountains."
X. (13) "On the nature of the seas."
XI. (20) "On the nature of the rivers."
XI A. (20) "On particular rivers."
XI B. (21) The seventeen kinds of "water" (of liquid).
XI C. (21) The dissatisfaction of the Arang, Marv, and Helmand rivers.
XII. (22) "On the nature of the lakes."
XIII. (14) "On the nature of the 5 kinds of animal."
XIV. (15) "On the nature of men."
XIV A. n/a "On the nature of women."
XIV B. (23) On negroes.
XV. (16) "On the nature of births of all kinds."
XV A. (16) Other kinds of reproduction.
XVI. (27) "On the nature of plants."
XVI A. (27) On flowers.
XVII. (24) "On the chieftains of men and animals and every single thing."
XVII A. n/a On the inequality of beings.
XVIII. (17) "On the nature of fire."
XIX. n/a "On the nature of sleep."
XIX A. n/a The independence of earth, water, and plants from effort and rest.
XX. n/a On sounds.
XXI. n/a "On the nature of wind, cloud, and rain."
XXII. n/a "On the nature of the noxious creatures."
XXIII. n/a "On the nature of the species of wolf."
XXIV. (18-19) "On various things, in what manner they were created and the opposition which befell them."
XXIV. A-C. (18) The Gōkarn tree, the Wās ī Paṇčāsadwarān (fish), the Tree of many seeds.
XXIV. D-U. (19) The three-legged ass, the ox Haδayãš, the bird Čamroš, the bird Karšift, the bird Ašōzušt, the utility of other beasts and birds, the white falcon, the Kāskēn bird, the vulture, dogs, the fox, the weasel, the rat, the hedgehog, the beaver, the eagle, the Arab horse, the cock.
XXV. (25) "On the religious year."
XXVI. n/a "On the great activity of the spiritual gods."
XXVII. (28) "On the evil-doing of Ahreman and the demons."
XXVIII. n/a "On the body of men as the measure of the world (microcosm)."
XXIX. (29) "On the chieftainship of the continents."
XXX. n/a "On the Činwad bridge and the souls of the departed."
XXXI. n/a "On particular lands of Ērānšahr, the abode of the Kays."
XXXII. n/a "On the abodes which the Kays made with splendor, which are called wonders and marvels."
XXXIII. n/a "On the afflictions which befell Ērānšahr in each millennium."
XXXIV. (30) "On the resurrection of the dead and the Final Body."
XXXV. (31-32) "On the stock and the offspring of the Kays."
XXXV A. (33) "The family of the Mobads."
XXXVI. (34) "On the years of the heroes in the time of 12,000 years."

Zoroastrian astronomy

Excerpt from Chapter 2:- On the formation of the luminaries.

1. Ohrmazd produced illumination between the sky and the earth, the constellation stars and those also not of the constellations, then the moon, and afterwards the sun, as I shall relate.

2. First he produced the celestial sphere, and the constellation stars are assigned to it by him; especially these twelve whose names are Varak (the Lamb), Tora (the Bull), Do-patkar (the Two-figures or Gemini), Kalachang (the Crab), Sher (the Lion), Khushak (Virgo), Tarazhuk (the Balance), Gazdum (the Scorpion), Nimasp (the Centaur or Sagittarius), Vahik (Capricorn), Dul (the Water-pot), and Mahik (the Fish);

3. which, from their original creation, were divided into the twenty-eight subdivisions of the astronomers, of which the names are Padevar, Pesh-Parviz, Parviz, Paha, Avesar, Beshn, Rakhvad, Taraha, Avra, Nahn, Miyan, Avdem, Mashaha, Spur, Husru, Srob, Nur, Gel, Garafsha Varant, Gau, Goi, Muru, Bunda, Kahtsar, Vaht, Miyan, Kaht.

4. And all his original creations, residing in the world, are committed to them; so that when the destroyer arrives they overcome the adversary and their own persecution, and the creatures are saved from those adversities.

5. As a specimen of a warlike army, which is destined for battle, they have ordained every single constellation of those 6480 thousand small stars as assistance; and among those constellations four chieftains, appointed on the four sides, are leaders.

6. On the recommendation of those chieftains the many unnumbered stars are specially assigned to the various quarters and various places, as the united strength and appointed power of those constellations.

7. As it is said that Tishtar is the chieftain of the east, Sataves the chieftain of the west, Vanand the chieftain of the south, and Haptoring the chieftain of the north.

See also

  • Book of the Dove, a medieval Russian poem sharing striking similarities with the Bundahishn

References

  1. ^ M. Hale, Pahlavi, in "The Ancient Languages of Asia and the Americas", Published by Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-521-68494-3, p. 123.
  2. ^ a b MacKenzie, David Neil (1990), "Bundahišn", Encyclopedia Iranica, 4, Costa Mesa: Mazda, pp. 547–551.
  3. ^ Anklesaria, Behramgore Tehmuras, trans., ed. (1956), Zand-Ākāsīh, Iranian or Greater Bundahišn. Transliteration and Translation in English, BombayCS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link).
  4. ^ West, Edward William, trans. ed. (1897), Max Müller, ed., The Bundahishn, Sacred Books of the East, 5, Oxford: OUPCS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link).

Further reading

  • Boyce, Mary (1968), Middle Persian Literature, Handbuch der Orientalistik 1., Abt., IV. Band, 2. Abschn. 1, Leiden: Brill, pp. 40–41.

External links

Aban

Apas (, Avestan: āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters", which, in its innumerable aggregate states, is represented by the Apas, the hypostases of the waters.

Āb (plural Ābān) is the Middle Persian-language form.

Afrasiab

Afrasiab (Persian: افراسياب‬‎ afrāsiyāb; Avestan: Fraŋrasyan; Middle-Persian: Frāsiyāv, Frāsiyāk, and Freangrāsyāk) is the name of the mythical king and hero of Turan. He is the main antagonist of the Persian epic Shahnameh, written by Ferdowsi.

Ahriman

Angra Mainyu (; Avestan: 𐬀𐬢𐬭𐬀⸱𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬥𐬌𐬌𐬎‎ Aŋra Mainiiu) is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman 𐭠𐭧𐭫𐭬𐭭𐭩‎ (Anglicised pronunciation: ). Angra Mainyu is Ahura Mazda’s adversary.

Aka Manah

Aka Manah is the Avestan language name for the Zoroastrian daeva "Evil Mind", "Evil Purpose", "Evil Thinking", or "Evil Intention". Aka Manah is the demon of sensual desire that was sent by Ahriman to seduce the prophet Zoroaster. His eternal opponent is Vohu Manah. Aka Manah is the hypostatic abstraction of accusative akem manah (akәm manah), "manah made evil". The objectification of this malign influence is the demon Aka/Akem Manah, who appears in later texts as Middle Persian Akoman and New Persian Akvan.

Ameretat

Ameretat /əˈmərətət/ (Avestan: 𐬀𐬨𐬆𐬭𐬆𐬙𐬁𐬙‎ Amərətāt) is the Avestan language name of the Zoroastrian divinity/divine concept of immortality. Ameretat is the Amesha Spenta of long life on earth and perpetuality in the hereafter.

The word amərətāt is grammatically feminine and the divinity Ameretat is a female entity. Etymologically, Avestan amərətāt derives from an Indo-Iranian root and is linguistically related to Vedic Sanskrit amṛtatva.

In Sassanid Era Zoroastrian tradition, Ameretat appears as Middle Persian 𐭠𐭬𐭥𐭫𐭣𐭠𐭣 Amurdad, continuing in New Persian as مرداد Mordad or Amordad.

Arjasp

Arjāsp (Persian: اَرجاسْپ‎) is a Turanian king in Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran. Iranica mentions him as a chief of an ancient Iranian tribe named Xyōns. He is son of Shavāsp, the brother of Afrasiab. However, the unknown author of Moǰmal al-tavārikh mentions him as a grandson of Afrasiab, and Bal'ami mentions him as Afrasiab's brother.In Shahnameh, after Zoroaster presents his new religion to Kay Goshtasp, the latter accepts the religion as the official religion of Iran, but Arjāsp, the king of Turan, does not accept it and retain his ancient religion and then invade Iran. Goshtasp is unable to repel his attacks, but Goshtasp's son, Esfandiar, defeats him. Beside Shahnameh, Arjāsp is mentioned in other sources. In the Middle Persian text Yadegar-e Zariran, Arjāsp is captured, mutilated, and then released. In Bundahishn, it is said that Arjāsp was defeated in the mountain Mad-Frayād between Padešxwārgar and Kumish.Several years later, Goshtasp imprisoned Esfandiar, accusing him to rebel and usurp the throne. He then left Balkh for Sistan. When Arjāsp learns about Goshtasp's absence and Esfandiar's imprisonment, he invades Iran. Arjāsp kills Lohrasp, Goshtasp's father, and takes his two daughters as captive and imprisons them in Dez-e Rooyin. Unable to defeat Arjāsp, Jamasp, Goshtasp's vizier, releases Esfandiar and the latter repels Arjāsp army from Iran, kills him and releases his sisters, Homai and Beh-Afarid.Tabari, Bal'ami, and Ebn al-Balkhi mention his name as Kharzāsp, and Ebn Khordādbeh refers to him as Hazārasf. According to Iranica, the two latter forms are misreadings of the Pahlavi word.

Chinvat Bridge

The Chinvat Bridge [ʧinva:t] (Avestan Cinvatô Peretûm, "bridge of judgement" or "beam-shaped bridge") or the Bridge of the Requiter in Zoroastrianism is the sifting bridge which separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. All souls must cross the bridge upon death. The bridge is guarded by two four-eyed dogs. A related myth is that of Yama, the Hindu ruler of Hell who watches the gates of Hell with his two four-eyed dogs.

The Bridge's appearance varies depending on the observer's asha, or righteousness. As related in the text known as the Bundahishn, if a person has been wicked, the bridge will appear narrow and the demon Vizaresh will emerge and drag their soul into the druj-demana (the House of Lies), a place of eternal punishment and suffering similar to the concept of Hell. If a person's good thoughts, words and deeds in life are many, the bridge will be wide enough to cross, and the Daena, a spirit representing revelation, will appear and lead the soul into the House of Song. Those souls that successfully cross the bridge are united with Ahura Mazda.

Often, the Chinvat Bridge is identified with the rainbow, or with the Milky Way galaxy, such as in Professor C.P. Tiele's "History of Religion ". However, other scholars such as C.F. Keary and Ferdinand Justi disagree with this interpretation, citing descriptions of the Chinvat Bridge as straight upward, rather than curvilinear.Three divinities are thought to be guardians of the Chinvat Bridge: Sraosha (Conscience), Mithra (Covenant) and Rashnu (Justice).Alternate names for this bridge include Chinwad, Cinvat, Chinvar or Chinavat.The concept of the Chinvat bridge is similar to that of the As-Sirāt in Islam.

Daeva

Daeva (Avestan: 𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬎𐬎𐬀 daēuua) is an Avestan language term for a particular sort of supernatural entity with disagreeable characteristics. In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrian canon, the daevas are "gods that are (to be) rejected". This meaning is – subject to interpretation – perhaps also evident in the Old Persian "daiva inscription" of the 5th century BCE. In the Younger Avesta, the daevas are divinities that promote chaos and disorder. In later tradition and folklore, the dēws (Zoroastrian Middle Persian; New Persian divs) are personifications of every imaginable evil.

Daeva, the Iranian language term, should not be confused with the devas of Indian religions. While the word for the Vedic spirits and the word for the Zoroastrian entities are etymologically related, their function and thematic development is altogether different. The once-widespread notion that the radically different functions of Iranian daeva and Indic deva (and ahura versus asura) represented a prehistoric inversion of roles is no longer followed in 21st century academic discourse (see In comparison with Vedic usage for details).Equivalents for Avestan daeva in Iranian languages include Pashto, Balochi, Kurdish dêw, Persian dīv/deev, all of which apply to demons, monsters, and other villainous creatures. The Iranian word was borrowed into Old Armenian as dew, Georgian as devi, and Urdu as deo, with the same negative associations in those languages. In English, the word appears as daeva, div, deev, and in the 18th century fantasy novels of William Thomas Beckford as dive.

It has been speculated that the concept of the daevas as a malevolent force may have been inspired from the Scythian gods.

Giv (Shahnameh)

Giv (Persian: گیو‎) is one of the main Iranian heroes in the Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran. He is one of the most famous heroes of Shahnameh. Beside Shahnameh, Giv is also mentioned in Middle Persian texts such as Bundahishn. In Bundahishn, Giv is an immortal and one of the companions of Saoshyant. Giv is son of Goudarz, brother of Roham and father of Bizhan. He married with Banu Goshasp, the daughter of Rostam. Giv appears almost in every story of the heroic age and he is sometimes the spahbed of Iranian Army.

Jahi

Jahi is the Avestan language name of Zoroastrianism's demoness of "lasciviousness." As a hypostatic entity, Jahi is variously interpreted as "hussy," "rake," "libertine," "courtesan" and "one who leads a licentious life." Her standard epithet is "the Whore."

In Zoroastrian tradition, Jahi appears as Middle Persian Jeh (Jēh, J̌ēh), characterized as the consort of Ahriman and the cause of the menstrual cycle.

Karshvar

See also Jambudvipa.

In the Avesta, reference is made to seven karshvar (karšvrə < Modern Persian keshvar), climes or zones, organizing the world map into a seven-storied ziggurat representing the cosmic mountain. The world is referred to as the haft keshvar. The word has also been translated as "region", "state" or "continent".

The Avesta describes the karshvar as superimposed concentric circles one above the other, with increasing size. These are separated by waters, mountains or forests.

Arezahi,

Savahi,

Fradadhafshu,

Vidadhafshu,

Vourubaresti,

Vourugaresti,

Hvaniratha.The story of the creation of these seven regions is told in Bundahishn when "rain first fell upon the earth". Man lives in the karshvar Hvaniratha. Hvaniratha is believed to be "central one" and whose size was as large as all others together.The karshvar Hvaniratha is where "peak of Hara" (Alburz) had "grown from the roots of Elburz mountains".Sufi traditions postulate an eighth clime, the "heavenly Earth" or "cosmic North".

In Theosophy, according to H. P. Blavatsky (The Devil's Own, 1891), Ahura is interpreted as a generic name for the sevenfold Deity, the Ruler of the Seven Worlds, and Hvaniratha is the middle plane (the fourth of seven), corresponding to Earth.

Kay Bahman

Kai Bahman or -Wahman (and other variants) is a mythological figure of Greater Iranian legend and lore. The stock epithet Kai identifies Bahman as one of the Kayanian kings of Iranian oral tradition.

The 3rd-6th century Sassanians claimed to descend from Bahman and the Kayanids. This myth was combined with another legend in which the Sassanians were imagined to have descended from the Achaemenids, and in the post-Sassanid period Bahman came to equated with both Artaxerxes I and Cyrus the Great.

Mah

Mångha (måŋha) is the Avestan for "Moon, month", equivalent to Persian Māh (Old Persian māha).

It is the name of the lunar deity in Zoroastrianism. The Iranian word is feminine, and consequently the personification of the Moon is a goddess, as in Greco-Roman tradition but in marked contrast both to Vedic religion and to her Mesopotamian predecessor Sin. Although Mah is not a prominent deity in the Avestan scripture, her crescent was an important symbol of royalty throughout the Parthian and Sassanid periods.

The Iranian word is cognate with the English moon, from PIE *mēns; its equivalent is recorded as the Sanskrit for "month" (māsa), but not as a name of the Indo-Aryan lunar deity.

Papak

Papak or Papag (Middle Persian: 𐭯𐭠𐭯𐭪𐭩‎, Modern Persian: بابک‬ Babak), was a Persian prince and is considered the ancestor of the Sasanians.

Peshotanu

Peshotanu (Avestan Pəšōtanu, Middle Persian Peshyotan, Peshotan) is an eschatological figure of the medieval texts of Zoroastrian tradition, in particular in the apocalyptic Zand-i Wahman yasn.

In these texts, Peshotanu is an assistant of the Saoshyant, the "future benefactor" who brings about the final renovation of the world. In these texts, Peshotanu is also one of the Zoroastrian "immortals" (anoshag-ruwan, "of immortal soul"), and the name 'peshotanu' is an allusion to this idea; the Avestan language word literally means "of surrendered (pesh-) body (-tan)," and is also used as a common adjective as a euphemism for "deceased" (also in a derogatary sense of "of forfeited body" in the context of capital offenses). The development of the legend of Peshotanu has been traced from that of a dead prince whose departed spirit is honored (Yasht 13.103) to that of the eschatological hero who is "he is immortal, undecaying, hungerless, and thirstless, living and predominant in both existences, those of the embodied beings and of the spirits." (Denkard 4.81)

In the genealogy of the mythical Kayanians, Peshotanu is the youngest son of Vishtaspa (Wistasp, Goshtasp, the patron of Zoroaster), and brother of Spentodata (Spandadat, Esfandiyar). In various texts, Peshotanu is portrayed as one of seven "immortal rulers", residing in "Khandez"/Kangdiz/Kang-dez — a mythical "Fort of Kang" that was initially in the other world (at "star level") but invited down to earth where it landed in eastern Turan (Pahlavi Rivāyat 49). At the fort, Peshotanu and Hvarchithra (Khwarshedchehr), respectively the younger sons of Vishtaspa and Zoroaster, together with their righteous (ahlav) army, await the final battle against Ahriman and his creatures. This description appears in Bundahishn XXXIII, Denkard VII and IX, and in Zand-i Wahman yasn VII. In Denkard IX, this information is attributed to the lost Sudgar Nask.

The principal source of information on the figure is the apocalyptic Zand-i Wahman yasn (also incorrectly known as the Zand-i Vohuman Yasn or Bahman Yasht, which – despite these names – has neither to do with Vohu Manah nor is it an Avestan language Yasht). The Zand-i Wahman yasn is a pseudo-prophetic account of what was to happen to the Zoroastrians and their religion in the future. In the second half of that text, Peshotan is described as a "protector of the religion", who brings about a revival of the faith at the end of the "eleventh millennium." Until that revival – which supposedly will come when the daevas will have exceeded their term of rule by 1,000 years – Peshotanu remains at "Khandez" with 150 of his disciples. Thereafter, so the tale, Peshotanu will come down to battle the armies of the demons and restore Iran and its religion. In the fight, Mihr (Avestan: Mithra) will intervene on Peshotanu's behalf, and together they will drive the demon Kheshm (Avestan: Aeshma) and his forces back into the underworld.

Royal stars

In astrology, the Royal Stars of Persia are Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut. They were regarded as the guardians of the sky in approximately 3000 BCE during the time of the Ancient Persians in the area of modern-day Iran. The Persians believed that the sky was divided into four districts with each district being guarded by one of the four Royal Stars. The stars were believed to hold both good and evil power and the Persians looked upon them for guidance in scientific calculations of the sky, such as the calendar and lunar/solar cycles, and for predictions about the future.

Although there is mention of the Royal Stars influencing the ancient Egyptians in roughly 5,000 BCE, they were noted when the ancient Persian prophet Zarathustra mentioned them in the Bundahishn, the collection of Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology, in approximately 1,500 BCE.

Sasan

Sāssān (Middle Iranian > Persian ساسان, also known as Sasan), considered the eponymous ancestor of the Sasanian (or Sassanid) Dynasty (ruled 224-651) in Persia, was "a great warrior and hunter" and a Zoroastrian high priest in Pars. He lived some time near the fall of the Arsacid (Parthian) Empire in the early 3rd century CE.

Tahmuras

Tahmuras or Tahmures (Persian: تهمورث ,طهمورث‎, IPA: [tʰæmures]; from Avestan Taxma Urupi) was the third Shah of the world according to Ferdowsi's epic poem, the Shahnameh. He is considered the builder of Merv.

Šahrestānīhā ī Ērānšahr

Šahrestānīhā ī Ērānšahr (literally "The Provincial Capitals of Iran") is a surviving Middle Persian text on geography, which was completed in the late eighth or early ninth centuries AD. The text gives a numbered list of the cities of Eranshahr and their history and importance for Persian history. The text itself has indication that it was also redacted at the time of Khosrow II (r. 590–628) in 7th century as it mentions several places in Africa and Persian Gulf conquered by the Sasanians.The book serves as a source for works on Middle Iranian languages, a source on Sasanian administrative geography and history, as well as a source of historical records concerning names of the Sasanian kings as the builder of the various cities. The text provide information on the Persian epic, the Xwadāy-nāmag (lit. “Book of Kings”).The book may be the same as "Ayādgār ī Šahrīhā" (lit. “Memoir of Cities") named in the Bundahishn and said to have been written following an order of Kavadh I.

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