ALDANMIŠ KÄVAKEB, Azeri Turkish title of a narrative by Āḵūndzāda (q.v.; 1812-78). The original text, written in 1857 and published in Tiflis in 1859, was translated into Persian by Mīrzā Moḥammad Qarāǰadāḡī, who also translated Āḵūndzāda’s plays, and published in Tehran in 1291/1874 under the title Ḥekāyat-e Yūsof Šāh yā setāragān-e farīb-ḵᵛorda. It is based on an episode in the life of Shah ʿAbbās I that took place in Qazvīn in 1002/1594 (Eskandar Beg, tr. Savory, pp. 648-49); a heretic (noqṭawī) was made king for three days and then executed in order to ward off a danger to the shah predicted by the court astrologers. Āḵūndzāda gave the story an original touch: The ephemeral shah initiates a number of reforms to improve the lot of the common people. At first he is popular with them, but they soon turn against him when they mistake his interest in their welfare for weakness. The interest of the story lies mainly in the literary quality of its Persian translation, which had a share in the birth of modern Persian prose. The reaction of the masses towards the unconventional ruler adds a touch of irony, unusual for Āḵūndzāda’s generally utilitarian realism.


F. Ādamīyat, Andīšahā-ye Mīrzā Fatḥ-ʿAlī Āḵūndzāda, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 49-53.

A. M. Shoitov, “Rol’ M. F. Akhundova v razvitii persidskoĭ progressivnoĭ literatury,” Kratkie soobshcheniya Instituta Vostokovedeniya 9, 1953, pp. 58-65.

P. I. Petrov, “K voprosu ob istochnike povesti "Obmanutye zvezdy",” Voprosy istorii religii i ateizma 7, 1960, pp. 337-45.

(S. Soucek)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: July 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 825

Cite this entry:

S. Soucek, “ALDANMIŠ KÄVAKEB,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, p. 825; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 23 August 2012).