KAŠVĀD, the name of the ancestor of the Gōdarziān clan (q.v.) of heroes in the Šāh-nāma.  Based on Ṭabari’s rendition of his name as Jašvād (Ṭabari, I, pp. 608, 617-18), Theodor Nöldeke suggested that the correct form of this name must be Gašvād, with an initial “g” rather than “k” (Nöldeke, tr., p. 17, n.1). Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh, however, rejects this view and argues that, since the name is spelled with initial “k” by Ṯaʿālebi, “Kašvād” must have been the form used in the prose Šāh-nāma (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, notes, I/1, p. 387; Ṯaʿālebi, pp. 128, 129, 131).  The folktales records the name as “Kašfād” (Enjavi, III, p. 320).

Kašvād was the father of the hero Gōdarz, who is repeatedly referred to in the Šāh-nāma as Gōdarz-e Kašvād (e.g., ed. Khaleghi, II, p. 55, v. 141; III, p. 11, v. 144; IV, p. 370, v. 3083), Gōdarz-e Kašvādagān (e.g., II, p. 54, v. 737; III, p. 7, v. 58; V, p. 63, v. 812), and more specifically as son of Kašvād (pur-e Kašvād; III, p. 191, v. 1419; p. 221, v. 1915). Therefore, the Gōdarziān heroes were considered to be his descendants (az toḵm-e Kašvād; ed. Khaleghi, III, p. 120, v. 243).  His most common epithets in the Šāh-nāma are “vanquisher of armies” (laškaršekan; I, p. 318, v. 484), “of golden helmet” (zarrin-kolāh; I, p. 352, v. 99), the latter of which is confirmed in historical texts (e.g., Mojmal al-tawāriḵ, p. 90; Faṣiḥ Ḵvāfi, I, p. 27).  Kašvād is most active during the reigns of Nōḏar and Kay Qobād, when he appears as one of the main Iranian warriors along with Qāran, Ḵorrād, and others (e.g., I, p. 305, v. 304; p. 318, v. 484).  He is not mentioned at all during the rule of Kay Kāvus, and by the time of Kay Ḵosrow, he seems to have been long dead (III, p. 85, v. 955). (For these rulers, see KAYĀNIĀN.) According to the story, he had a palace in the city of Eṣṭaḵr, well known for its grandeur, and it is where Kay Ḵorsrow was enthroned by the heroes upon his arrival in Iran (II, p. 456, vv. 505-8).  The major feat credited to him in the Šāh-nāma is his recovery of the Iranian captives whom Aḡriraṯ (see AḠRĒRAT), the well-wishing Turanian prince, had already set free (I, p. 320, vv. 511-18).  A certain Kašvād (or Gašvād) is also mentioned in the Garšāsp-nāma as a warrior in Garšāsp’s army (Asadi, p. 79, v. 9), but it is not clear if he is the same person as the warrior mentioned in the Šāh-nāma.  In the storytelling  (naqqāli) tradition,  he is one of the heroes who travels to India in Zāl’s entourage in order to kill the marine creature called Babr-e Bayān (Afšāri and Madāyeni, p. 154).

There is some uncertainty about Kašvād’s paternity.  A verse in the supplementary part of Turner Macan’s edition of the Šāh-nāma clearly states that Kašvād was the son of the famous blacksmith, Kāva (Addenda, p. 19; q.v.).  However, Moḥammad Qazvini rejects this genealogy and says that it must be a very late folk invention (Qazvini, 1984b, VI, pp. 231-33).  Kašvād’s lineage is traced from Jamšid through the Kayanid kings Ferēdun, Iraj, and Manučehr in the “Moqaddema-ye qadim-e Šāh-nāma”—the preface of an old, lost prose Šāh-nāma, called Šāh-nāma-ye abu-manṣuri (“Moqaddema,” pp. 56-57).  However, another Šāh-nāma episode implies that heroes of Kašvād’s line were aware of their own rather humble ancestry.  When Kay Ḵosrow fights Afrāsiāb’s son, Šida, the latter, fearful of going against the young king, tries to avoid the fight.  Assuming that the king will disdain to fight him dismounted, he offers to fight Kay Ḵosrow on foot.  But Gōdarz’s son, Rohhām, trying to prevent the king from doing so, asks him not to dishonor himself by fighting on foot, adding: “if one must be on foot, then let me, a descendant of Kašvād, go to him for a fight rather than the noble king.”  But the king responds: “Know that the valiant Šida, who is from the lineage of [king] Pašang, will not fight with you” (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, IV, p. 212, vv. 647-52).  If the genealogy given in the Old Preface, which connects Kašvād to Ferēdun, were accurate, then there would be no reason for Šida to refuse battle with Rohhām. 



Mehrān Afšāri and Mahdi Madāyeni, eds., Haft laškar: ṭumār-e jāmeʿ-e naqqālān az Kayumarṯ tā Bahman,  Tehran, 1998. 

ʿAli b. Aḥmad Asadi Ṭusi, Garšāsb-nāma, ed. Ḥabib Yaḡmāʾi, Tehran, 1975.  

Abu’l-Qāsem Enjavi Širāzi, Ferdowsi-nāma: mardom wa Ferdowsi, 2nd ed., 3 vols., Tehran, 1984. 

Faṣiḥ-al-Din Aḥmad Ḵvāfi, Mojmal-e faṣiḥi, ed. Moḥsen Nāji Naṣrābādi, 3 vols., Tehran, 2007. 

Ferdowsi Ṭusi, Šāh-nāma, ed. Turner Macan, as The Shah Nameh: An Heroic Poem, with An Appendix, 4 vols., Calcutta, 1928. 

Mojmal al-tawāriḵ wa’l-qeṣaṣ, ed. Moḥammad-Taqi Malek-al-Šoʿarāʾ Bahār, Tehran, 1939. 

Theodor Nöldeke, “Das iranische Nationalepos,” in William Geiger and Ernst Kuhn, eds., Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, 2 vol., Strassburg, 1895-1904, II, pp. 130-211; tr. Leonid Th. Bogdanov, as The Iranian National Epic or the Shahnamah, Bombay, 1930; repr., Philadelphia, 1979. 

“Moqaddema-ye qadim-e Šāh-nāma,” ed. Moḥammad Qazvini, in idem, Bist maqāla II, pp. 1-64. 

Moḥammad Qazvini, Bist Maqāla-ye Qazvini, ed. ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni, Tehran, 1984a. 

Idem, Yāddāšthā-ye Qazvini,  ed. Iraj Afšār, 3rd ed., 10 vols, Tehran, 1984b. 

Ḏabiḥ-Allāh Ṣafā, “Gōdarziān,” Soḵan 1, 1943, pp. 137-43, 201-8. 

Idem, Ḥamāsa-sarāyi dar Irān,Tehran, 1984. 

ʿAbd-al-Malek b. Moḥammad Ṯaʿālebi, Ḡorar aḵbār moluk al-fors wa siarehem, ed. and tr. Hermann Zotenberg, as Histoire des Rois des Perses Paris, 1900.

(Mahmoud Omidsalar)

Originally Published: May 31, 2013

Last Updated: April 2, 2013

This article is available in print.
Vol. XVI, Fasc. 2, pp. 118-119