BARZĪN (from Pahlavi Burzēn), the name of several figures in the Šāh-nāma.

Barzīn, a wealthy dehqān who lived at the time of Bahrām Gōr; he had three daughters (Māhāfarīd, Farānak, and Šanbalīd) skilled respectively in singing poetry, playing the harp, and dancing for Bahrām Gōr when he was their father’s guest. Ultimately, all three were married to the king (Šāh-nāma [Moscow] VII, pp. 340-46).

Barzīn Garšāsp, Iranian hero descended from Jamšēd (Šāh-nāma IV, p. 302 v. 22b); he lived from the reign of Nowḏar until the reign of Kay Ḵosrow. He took part in the Māzandarān and Hāmāvarān campaigns.

Jahn Barzīn, according to Iranian legend a man from Damāvand and the first artisan, who was ordered by Ferēdūn to construct the Ṭāqdīs throne (Šāh-nāma IX, p. 220), for which he was awarded the governorship of Āmol and Sārī.

Ḵarrād Barzīn (both names related to two fire temples of the same name, Justi, Namenbuch, p.178), a commander and adviser to Hormoz IV (r. 578-90) and adviser and chancery secretary to his son Ḵosrow II Parvēz (r. 590-628). Ḵarrād, who sprang from people perhaps living on the Caspian coast (Šāh-nāma VIII, p. 362 vv. 790-93), led Hormoz’s army at the beginning of his reign in the war against the Ḵazarān and aided Bahrām Čōbīn in his war with the Turks (ibid., p. 334 vv. 330-35). However, with the rise of Bahrām, Ḵarrād seems to have lost his position and thus deeply resented his rival; he is said to have played a major role in turning Hormoz against Bahrām (ibid., pp. 349-51, 361-90,402-07). He was later closely allied to Ḵosrow II Parvēz in his struggle with Bahrām and accompanied Ḵosrow when he fled to Rūm (Antiochia). From there he led a delegation sent by Ḵosrow to request aid from the Byzantine emperor Maurice (r. 582-602; ibid., IX, pp. 19ff.). After the defeat of Bahrām and his flight to Central Asia, Ḵarrād was sent by Ḵosrow to the ḵāqān of the Turks, where he successfully carried out a plot to kill Bahrām (ibid., pp. 155-69). Ḵarrād remained Ḵosrow’s close adviser until the end of his reign. After Ḵosrow was deposed by his son, Šērōya (Qobād II, 628), Ḵarrād, an old man, was forced to visit the former king in prison and deliver his son’s message (ibid., pp. 255-59, 275). Ḵarrād is considered one of the great statesmen of the time of Hormoz and Ḵosrow II, for he was very effective in stabilizing the political situation to the advantage of both monarchs.

Rām Barzīn, a Zoroastrian priest of the time of Qobād (r. 488-531; Šāh-nāma VIII, p. 50 v. 363b).

Rām Barzīn, general of Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān (r. 531-78) and guardian of the city of Madāʾen, who in 550 or 551 put down the revolt of Anōšazād, Ḵosrow’s son (Šāh-nāma VIII, p. 104-09). Rām Barzīn is apparently the same person as Fabrizos, whom the Byzantine historian Procopius (Bella 4.10 in Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser, p. 473) mentions in his account of the Anōšazād incident. He is also apparently the same person who in the time of Ḵosrow I, after the year 541, was the Persian ruler of Lāzīstān (= Lazike, classical Colchis; Procopius, 2.29.30).

Šādān Barzīn, one of the Zoroastrian dehqānsof Ṭūs and an author of the 4th/10th-century Šāh-nāma that was translated from Pahlavi into Persian by order of Abū Manṣūr ʿAbd-al-Razzāq, commander (sepahsālār) of Ṭūs, in Moḥarram, 346/April, 957 (Moqaddama-ye qadīm-e Šāh-nāma-ye abū-manṣūrī,ed. M. Qazvīnī, in Bīst maqāla II, Tehran, 1313 Š./1934, p. 35). Šādān Barzīn also translated the report of Borzūya’s bringing the Kalīla wa Demna from India (Šāh-nāma VIII, p. 247; Th. Nöldeke, Das iranische Nationalepos,Berlin and Leipzig, 1920, pp. 16f.).

Sīmā Barzīn, Zoroastrian priest who lived during the reign of Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān (r. 531-78) and was killed by order or Hormoz IV (r. 578-90). According to the Šāh-nāma (VIII, pp. 323-26), this man was the only member of the elite of Ḵosrow’s time to favor Hormoz as Ḵosrow’s successor. Ṯaʿālebī (Ḡorar, pp.638f.) at­tributes this act of support to Bahrām Āḏarmāhān; however, according to the Šāh-nāma,Āḏarmāhān (Āḏarmahān) was one of the opponents of Hormoz’s succession.

(Dj. Khaleghi-Motlagh)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: December 15, 1988

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 8, p. 841