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Saghi Gazerani

This work examines the entire corpus of the Sistani Cycle of Epics, both parts included in Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and those appearing in separate manuscripts. It argues that the so-called “epic literature” of Iran constitutes a kind of historiography, encapsulating reflections of watershed events of Iran’s antiquity.

By examining the symbiotic relationship of the texts’ content and form, the underpinning discourse of the various stories is revealed to have been shaped by polemics of political legitimacy and religious conflict. This discourse, however, is not abstract. The stories narrate, within their generic constraint, some of the affairs of the Sistani kingdom and its relationship to the Parthian throne, mainly from the first century BCE to the end of the second century CE.

Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero

Texts and Traditions of the Farāmarznāme and the Persian Epic Cycle

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Marjolijn van Zutphen

In Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero Marjolijn van Zutphen discusses the manuscripts, storylines and main themes of the shorter and the longer Farāmarznāme (c. 1100), in relation to Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāme and several other later maṡnawis about the warriors from Sistān (the Persian Epic Cycle). Farāmarz, a secondary figure of the Shāhnāme, gained importance in later epic traditions and as the invincible protagonist of both Farāmarznāmes reached a status that equalled, if not surpassed, that of his famous father Rostam.
Van Zutphen further shows how Farāmarz displays parallels to the fictional figures of Garshāsp (his ancestor) and Eskandar and argues that some story elements of Farāmarz’s Indian conquest may be rooted in historical events from both the Parthian and the Ghaznawid period.