KAYĀNIĀN ix. Kauui Vištāspa, Kay Wištāsp, Kay Beštāsb/Goštāsb



ix. Kauui Vištāspa, Kay Wištāsp, Kay Beštāsb/Goštāsb

The name Vištāspa presumably means “he who gives the horses free rein” (cf. Rigveda 6.6.4 víṣitāso áśvāḥ “horses let loose or given free rein”), which agrees with the description of Vištāspa as the prototypical winner of the chariot race in Yašt 5.132 (see below).

Among the Perso-Arabic sources, Ebn al-Balḵi (ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 48) has the oldest form of the name as Veštāsf, while others have Beštāsb and Goštāsb, which reflect three different treatments of initial wi- in the Persian dialects.

The study of Kauui Vištāspa/Kay Wištāsp in Western scholarship has traditionally been subordinated to the image in the late tradition of the king who accepted/ received (Pahl. padīr-) Zarathustra’s daēnā/dēn and the axiom that dēn means “religion” in the modern (Christian) sense (see DĒN; the more adequate translation would be “[oral] tradition”). This has led to the image of a historical Vištaspa being in many ways construed in analogy with those of Constantine, who ‘accepted’ Christianity, and Charlemagne, who defended it against the Saracens. The description of the battle over the dēn as described in the Memorial of Zarēr (see AYĀDGĀR Ī ZARĒRĀN) is, in fact, of the same literary genre as the Song of Roland, and the two texts contain numerous parallels.

This approach to the sources has also led to the projection of the traditional image of a historical Vištāspa and the interpretation of daēnā as “religion” into the Avesta. The historical scenarios constructed mainly by Abraham V. Williams Jackson and Christian Bartholomae around 1900 and further refined by Hermann Lommel, were still adopted by Mary Boyce in her History of Zoroastrianism I (1975) and can be seen in GOŠTĀSP.

There is nothing, however, anywhere in the Gāθās that might be interpreted as a statement about Kauui Vištāspa’s secular position (Yasna 28.7, 46.14, 51.1, 53.2), nor does he stand out in a special way, as suggested by Arthur Christensen (p. 27), other than by being mentioned second (after Zarathustra) of several characters belonging to the “Gathic circle” and only once in each of the five Gāθās (both he and Zarathustra are absent from the third Gāθā; see Table 2). The only time in the Avesta that Vištāspa is referred to as daŋ́hu.paiti is in the introduction to the late Avestan compilation Āfrīn ī payḡambar Zardušt; F. Justi’s comment in Grundriss (II, p. 410) is therefore misleading: “dem Fürsten (daŋ́hu.paiti).”

It is clear from this table that these names follow a strict order, which is therefore likely to be a traditional one, as pointed out by M. Molé (1963, p. 180). It is also clear that Christensen’s claim (1932, p. 27) that Kauui Vištāspa is one of the characters that stand out the most in the Gāθās (and so must be considered an entirely historical person) is also not tenable; he is mentioned only four times, against Frašaoštra five times, and nothing realistic is said about him. In Yasna 28.7, the introduction to the first Gāθā, the poet asks for rewards for Vištāspa and himself; in Yasna 46.14, Vištāspa is portrayed at the ya’ah (presumably the ceremony in which the poet-sacrificers’ works are presented to Ahura Mazdā, a kind of “audition”) and is said to have received “insight” (? cisti) by his command (xšaθra) over or conferred by the gift-exchange (maga; see Molé,  1963, pp. 156-64; Schmidt, 1991; Skjærvø, 2008b, p. 498); in Yasna 51.16, Vištāspa is said to have obtained the command over or conferred by the maga “along the paths of his good thought”; and, in Yasna 53.2, the poet exhorts (in the 3rd person) Vištāspa and Frašaoštra to follow, with thought, words, and deeds, the straight paths (ərəzūš paθō; see above, i) of the gift (da’ah).” In Yasna 46.14, Vištāspa is also, apparently, said to keep the mutual agreements (be an uruuaθa) between him and Zarathustra. (On uruuāta, Old Indic vrata, which refers to mutual agreements and obligations, usually between gods and men, see Schmidt, 1958.) The other members of the “Gathic circle” are even less characterized.

In the Young Avesta. The Young Avesta refers to three narratives involving Vištāspa: Vištāspa and the Xiiaonas, Vištāspa and the daēnā, and Vištāspa as winner of the (ritual) chariot race, all three of which are probably part of the ritual competition scenario. Further, it portrays him as a prototype for ritual behavior.   

(1) Vištāspa and the Xiiaonas. Vištāspa is mentioned in several yašts as the last in the series of kauuis who sacrificed to deities to get their wish granted, that of Vištāspa being to overcome Arəjaṯ.aspa, which he did, by fighting the enemies of aṣ̌a (Yašt 5.108-10). In Yašt 5, he is followed in the list by Zairi.vairi (strs. 112-114; Pahl. Zarēr, his brother) and Arəjaṯ.aspa (strs. 116-118). Several names associated with him in the later tradition are listed in Yašt 13, among them, in str. 101: Zairiuuairi, and, in str. 103: Piší šiiaoθna (Pahl. Pišišōtan and Pišōtan, Wištāsp’s eschatological son), Spəṇtōδāta (Pahl. Spandyād) and Bastauuairi (Pahl. Bastwar), *Kauuarazman (see below), Frašaoštra and Jāmāspa (the Huuōguua brothers in the Gāθās, Pahl. Frašōštar and Jāmāsp), all of whom are featured in the Pahlavi narrative about the war between Wištāsp and Arzāsp (Šāh-nāma: Arjāsp), king of the Xiiaonas.

A reference to Vištāspa’s two daughters, who feature in the Perso-Arabic tradition (see below), may be seen in Yašt 9.31, where Kauui Vištāspa prays to Druuāspā that he may successfully fight and kill various opponents and, apparently, turn Humaiiā and Varəδakanā away (frauruuaēsaiia‑) from the lands of the Xiiaonas. 

(2) Vištāspa and the daēnā. Vištāspa’s standing epithet is bərəzaiδī (< *bərəzi-dī-) “he whose dī- (reaches) high (heaven),” where dī- is the same as Old Indic dhī-, which usually denotes the poetic vision and parallels Avestan daēnā in many contexts. For instance, the Rigvedic poets harness (yug-) their dhīs (e.g., Rigveda 1.18.6-7, 5.81.1) by or to their thoughts (Rigveda 8.13.26), with which compare the daēnā throwing off her harness (fraspāiiaoxδrā < yaog-) after successfully combating the powers of evil in the ritual race (Yasna 12.9; see Skjærvø, 2009b, cols. 707-8).

Vištāspa’s special connection with the daēnā is expressed in Zarathustra’s prayer to Anāhitā to let him guide Vištāspa to help (Ahura Mazdā’s/Zarathustra’s) daēnā along with thought, speech, and actions, which he did with the help of the Kavian xᵛarənah (Yašt 5.104-6). Another myth fragment is preserved in Yašt 13.99 and Yašt 19.83-84, but it is introduced differently in the two passages. In Yašt 19.83-84 (to the Kavian xᵛarənah), it begins with the formula also used in Yašt 5.104-6, followed by three statements: that he allied himself by his praise (? ā-stao-) to this daēnā, that he chased(?) the one with evil maniiu, and that he sent the daēuuas back (to where they came from). Yašt 13.99 contains the epithets “the firm one, who spun/wove the poetic thought (tanu-mąθra), the one with the defiant mace, the Ahurian one,” which are also applied to Sraoša, with whom Vištāspa is associated in the tradition (see Darmesteter, 1893, I, p. 200, n. 24; Molé, 1963, pp. 213-14, 522; the common interpretation of tanumąθra is “having the mąθra in his body”).

The main narrative is identical in the two texts: Vištāspa sought and found free space (rauuah [the opposite of ązah “constriction”] and xᵛāθra- “good breathing space, ease of breathing,” two of the goals of the yasna ritual; see Yasna 8.8) for Order (ạša ~ the sun?) in tree and stone (to enable the sun to rise at dawn?); he was the (strong) arm and support of the daēnā of Ahura (Mazdā) and Zarathustra; he extracted (uzuuaža-; cf. Old Persian vaja- “pluck out [an eye]”?) her from (her) bonds (? hinu) when she was weary (? stātā, literally, “stopped, brought to a standstill”; cf. Khotanese stāta- “weary” < stās- “become weary”) and bound (hitā; contrasting with višta “untied”?); set her down sitting in the middle, making straight lines on high(?), and satisfied and befriended her with cattle and grass. The myth contains numerous problems of interpretation, but may be related to the two myths involving the daēnā, that of the ritual-cosmic chariot race (see below) and that of the daēnā (māzdaiiasni) stretched out in heaven like a cosmic kusti (see Yasna 9.26, and cf. Dādestān ī dēnīg 38.15 “The good Mazdayasnian Dēn is a girdle, star-adorned and fashioned in the world of thought”; see Skjærvø, 2008a, p. 129).

The myth we are dealing with here, in both the Gāθās and the Young Avesta, therefore appears to be one in which the poet and his protagonist, Zarathustra, are sacrificing for Vištāspa to follow and aid the daēnā as it guides the sacrifice along the paths (Yasna 51.16, 53.2) through space heavenward and for ability to overcome the adversaries on the way. In the second myth fragment, the daēnā seems to be caught in the bonds of the forces of evil, from which he delivers her and then guides her into her place in high heaven as the cosmic kusti. Both actions serve to clear the path for the rising sun out of the rock in which it is held (Videvdad 21.5). Thus, it appears that, after having kept his side of the bargain, as it were, guiding the daēnā along the  straight paths (Yasna 53.2) up to heaven and having been declared the winner at the “audition” (yaʾah), Vištāspa must have been entitled to his reward, to a counter-gift at the gift exchange ceremony (maga).

(3) Vištāspa as winner of the chariot race. A reference to Vištāspa’s prowess as a charioteer is found at the conclusion of the hymn to Anāhitā (Yašt 5). After the Mazdayasnian Naotariias asked her for fast horses, they were granted their requests, and the Naotariia Vištāspa got the fastest horses in the land (Yt. 5.98). That these were for the ritual race is implied in the conclusion of the hymn, where the sacrificer (zaotar) prays that his coursers may return “having won” (zazuu.ŋha < ), like those of Kauui Vištāspa” (cf. Rigveda 3.33.1 áśve iva víṣite hā́ samāne < hā- “like two horses given free rein, winning the race”). Similarly, in the conclusion of the hymn to Ašị , the sacrificer compares his sacrifice with that of Vištāspa (Yašt 17.61).

(4) Vištāspa and the ritual. Vištāspa’s role as prototype for ritual behavior is emphasized in the Frauuarānē section of the Yasna (Yasna 12). Here, the sacrificer makes the same choice to be for Ahura Mazdā and his creation, but against that of the forces of evil, as was made by Zarathustra, Kauui Vištāspa, Frašaoštra and Jāmāspa, and the three Saošiiaṇts, Zarathustra’s eschatological sons, who, by their sacrifices, will make the world perfect again (Yasna 12.6-7). In Yasna 23.2 and 26.5, the fravashis of Gaiia Marətān, Zarathustra, Vištāspa, and Isaṯ.vāstra (another of Zarathustra’s eschatological sons) are listed as the principal fighters for Order (ạša) and signposts on the path toward the final Renovation. 

In the Pahlavi texts. In the Mēnōy xrad (26.68-76), the benefit from Kay-Wištāsp is said to be his acceptance of the good Mazdayasnian dēn and his uttering of the holy Ahunwar, like Ohrmazd and Zarathustra before him, whereby the forces of evil were overcome and all good things came to the world (similarly in Dēnkard 7.4.80). Kay Wištāsp is also presented as the paradigm of a good ruler, for instance in the Dēnkard: 3.179 on the best of kings, 3.389 on Kay Wištāsp’s seven perfections. This feature is also associated with him in the only Manichean text in which he is mentioned (see Skjærvø, 1996, p. 616).

The Pahlavi Rivāyat (chap. 47) also contains the story of Wištāsp as a cruel and bloodthirsty despot before he accepted the dēn from Zarathustra and that of his conversion. Many details of this narrative have parallels in the Aśoka legends (see Skjærvø, 1998b). The story how Wištāsp had Zarathustra imprisoned is also told in the Dēnkard (7.4.64-71) and Zādspram’s Wizīdagīhā (24.5).

The Pahlavi Rivāyat (chap. 47) and Dēnkard further tell of the miracles experienced by Wištāsp. During a visit by Wahman, Ašwahišt, and the Fire (Dēnkard 7.4.75-82), Ašwahišt made him drink mang (henbane) from a cup that allowed him to see into the other world and see the mysteries (7.4.85-86). The mang ī wištāspān “Wištāsp’s mang,” was also what Ardā Wirāz drank before his otherworldly journey. In another incident, Srid, son of Wisrab, offered Wištāsp a beautiful chariot in exchange for providing a body for Srid’s soul (ruwān), whereupon Wištāsp’s own soul was sent down to him from Paradise. When Srid’s ugly soul saw this beautiful soul, it told Srid to give Wištāsp the chariot, which then became two, one in this world, which Wištāsp mounted, and one in the other world, in which Srid’s soul drove to Paradise (7.6.2-11).

Vištaspa’s wife, Hutaosā/Hudōs. Hutaosā (Pahlavi Hudōs, sister and wife of Wištāsp in the later tradition; see Ayādgār ī Zarērān 68 in Pahlavi Texts, p. 9 [210]) is listed in Yašt 13.139 among the women presumably connected with Zarathustra. Ṭabari has her name as Ḵaṭus (I/2, p. 678; tr., IV, p. 74; on her name, see Mayrhofer, p. I/52, no. 179; cf. ATOSSA).

In Yašt 9.26-28, Zarathustra prays to Druuāspā that he may induce “good, noble-born (āzātā)” Hutaosā to help his daēnā along in thoughts, words, and deeds, and that she may have faith (zraz-dā-) in the daēnā of the Mazdayasnians and give good fame to his community. In Yašt 15.35- 37, Hutaosā is portrayed as praying to Vaiiu that she may be accepted as a guest-friend (? friiā friθā) in the house of Kauui Vištāspa. Some Western scholars have construed this obscure statement to mean that she interceded with Vištāspa to let himself be converted by Zarathustra (e.g., Boyce, 1975, p. 187), but the text does not permit such a far-reaching interpretation.

The reference to “young women” in Yasna 53.5 is said in the Pahlavi version to be to Hudōs, who set the dēn in motion (dēn-rawāgīh pad Hudōs) according to the Warštmānsr nask (in Dēnkard 9.45.5).

In the Perso-Arabic tradition. Beštāšb/Goštāsb came to the throne while his father was still alive, and Zarathustra (the Azerbaijani, Ḥamza, text, pp. 36-37; tr., p. 26) appeared during his rule. He is also said to have two daughters: Ḵomāni and Bāḏāfara (Ṭabari, I/2, p. 678; tr., IV, p. 74) or Ḵomāy and Beh-Āfariḏ (Ṯaʿālebi).

Ṭabari’s chapter on Beštāsb, where Veštāsf, is devoted to the coming of Zarathustra and the fight with Ḵarzāsf (cf. Ebn al-Balḵi, ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 51; ed. Behruzi, p. 60: Arjāsf), now king of the Turks and brother of Afrāsiāb (Ṭabari, I/2, pp. 676-83; tr., IV, pp. 71-77). There are several new elements. Esfandiār is slandered by a certain Jurazm (the Avestan Kauuārasman of Yašt 13.103? see above), which makes Beštāsp send him on numerous campaigns and finally chain him and have him sent to a women’s prison castle (Ṭabari, I/2, p. 677; tr., IV, p. 73; Ebn al-Balḵi, ed. Le Strange and Nicholson, p. 51: he imprisoned him in the fortress of Eṣṭaḵr). Beštāsb went off (to Kermān and Sistān) to take up a life of devotion (Ebn al-Balḵi, ibid.: to the Kuh-e Nefešt to study the Zand and devote himself to worship), leaving Lohrāsb, now old and an invalid, in Balḵ. Ḵarzāsf profited from the opportunity, attacked Balḵ, burned the archives, and killed Lohrāsb and the priests (echo of the Alexander legend). He also abducted Beštāsb’s two daughters, Ḵomāni and Bāḏāfara. Beštāsb sent Jāmāsp to release Esfandiār, who forgave Beštāsb and went against the Turks, killed Ḵarzāsf, and released his sisters (Ṭabari, I/2, pp. 678-80; tr., IV, pp. 74-76). According to one source, he then sent Esfandiār to capture Rostam, who was disobedient, but Rostam killed him.

The narratives of the Šāh-nāma (where Goštāsb) and Ṯaʿālebi (where Beštāsb) are expanded with the story of Beštāsb’s adventures in Rum and his marriage to the qayṣar’s daughter; Ṯaʿālebi’s is fairly concise, Ferdowsi’s quite detailed.

According to Ṯaʿālebi (pp. 245-56) and the Šāh-nāma, Beštāsb (Goštāsb), unhappy that his father conferred high dignities on Kay Ḵosrow’s children (awlād; Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 6, v. 37: two grandsons), disguised himself and left the court. According to Ṯaʿālebi, Beštāsb went directly to Rum (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 14, vv. 162-63: founded by Salm, which explains the descent of Goštāsb’s benefactor and the qayṣar; see below), while, according to Ferdowsi, Goštāsb first set out for Hend, intending to serve the king there; but Zarir followed him  and, together with the captains of their troops, persuaded him to return (ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 6-12; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 280-89; tr., IV, pp. 318-23).

Still unhappy, Goštāsb decided to go to Rum, where, after various attempt to get a job in the foreign land that might feed him, he finally came across a fellow Iranian, a descendant of Afriḏun (Šāh-nāma, p. 19, vv. 224-25: a village nobleman, descendant of Šāh Āferēdun), who gave him hospitality (ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 12-19; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 289-97; tr., IV, pp. 323-28).

At the time, the daughter of the king of Rum (the qayṣar), Katāyun, was choosing a husband among a number of suitors. She chose Beštāsb/Goštāsb, whom she had already seen in a dream and who, according to Ṯaʿālebi, also presented himself as a suitor, although at the bottom rank, while Ferdowsi tells us that he went with his host to visit the palace to cheer himself up (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 21, vv. 254-57). Upon learning that Beštāsb/Goštāsb, despite being extraordinarily handsome, was an unknown stranger, the qayṣar decided to give his daughter to him with no more than her ordinary clothes (p. 22, v. 275: he refused to give Goštāsb anything, telling him to go with her as he was). By selling a valuable ruby (p. 23, vv. 288-91) that she possessed, they were able to improve their situation, and, gradually, Katāyun came to realize that Beštāsb/Goštāsb was of royal descent (ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 19-24; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 297-303; tr., IV, pp. 328-32).

After various feats of prowess (Šāh-nāma: among them, killing a wolf and a dragon to help the suitors, Mirin and Ahran, of Katāyun’s two sisters), he was recognized by the qayṣar, too, as being of royal descent, and they became friends. Beštāsb/Goštāsb told him what had happened to make him leave his father, and the qayṣar offered to help him get back at his father. He wrote a letter to Lohrāsb, pointing out, according to Ṯaʿālebi (p. 250), that they were both descendants of Afriḏun, and so he should not have to pay tribute to him; unless the amount paid was returned in double, he would come with his troops and punish him severely and take his land. Lohrāsb, Zarir, and his courtiers plied the envoy with gifts and learned that the qayṣar had become more powerful through his son-in-law (who looked just like Zarir) and followed his advice. They concluded it must be Beštāsb/Goštāsb himself, and, upon the advice of his counselors, Lohrāsb sent Zarir to him to declare him his successor and ask him to come back. Upon his return, Lohrāsb crowned him king (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 24-71; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 304-57; tr., IV, pp. 328-65).

Lohrāsb himself left for Nowbahār in Balḵ to devote himself to religious matters. Katāyun was made chief wife and had the sons Esfandiāḏ and Faršāvard (Ṯaʿālebi, p. 256; Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 76-79; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 358-61; tr., V, pp. 32-33.)

There follow the stories of Zarathustra and the war with Arjāsf, king of the Turks (Ṯaʿālebi, pp. 256-76), and the slander (by a certain Kordam, Šāh-nāma: Gorazm) and imprisonment of Esfandiāḏ, Arjāsf’s attack on Balḵ, Lohrāsb’s courageous final sortie (which made the Turks mistake him for Esfandiāḏ), his death by being cut in pieces by enemy swords, and the sack of Balḵ, destruction of the temple, killing of the priests, and abduction of Ḵomāy (Šāh-nāma: Homāy) and Beh-Āfriḏ (Ṯaʿālebi, pp. 277-85; Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 79-183; Mohl, IV, pp. 376-455; tr., V, pp. 33-92.).

Beštāsf/Goštāsb counterattacks, but is defeated and retreats to a mountain top, where he and his army are besieged; he sends Jāmāsf/Jāmāsp to get Esfandiāḏ/ Esfandiār, who beats back the Turks, then performs his seven feats, discovers his sisters in Arjāsf’s palace, kills Arjāsf, and returns, presumably with his sisters (Ṯaʿālebi, pp. 285-339). Esfandiāḏ, unhappy that his father does not broach the issue of the succession, confronts him with his promise, but Beštāsf tells him he needs to do one more thing: deal with Rostam’s pride and arrogance. He sends his son Bahman, Rostam returns with him, and there follow the events leading up to the battle between Rostam and Esfandiāḏ, ending with the latter’s death and Beštāsf’s regret. Beštāsf dies after reigning for 120 years, after leaving the throne and crown to Bahman (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, pp. 183-473; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 455-731; tr., V, pp. 96-280).

Predecessors of the Goštāsb narratives. In the Šāhnāma, Goštasb, on his journey, comes to a sea which he crosses with the help of Hišuy, an episode not found elsewhere (ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 14; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 290- 91; tr., IV, pp. 324-25). Sea- and river-crossings were not uncommon in epic literature, however, and may have been ascribed to Goštāsb as a topos (cf. Skjærvø, 1999, pp. 25-27). It is found in the Avesta in the hymn to Arduuī Sūrā Anāhitā (Yašt 5.76-78), who helps Vistauru cross the river Vītaŋᵛhaitī. According to Yašt 13.102, Vistauru (transmitted as Bistauru) is the son of a Naotarid, like Vištāspa, but probably not his son, as Justi has it (Grundriss II, p. 410; the list in Yašt 13.102 is not necessarily of Vištāspa’s sons). Arrivals at the seashore feature prominently in the Kār-nāmag ī Ardašīr ī Pābagān, but there appears to be no crossing (see also Krasnowolska, pp. 185-86).

In his book about “the narrative of the twins,” Dumézil (1994) presented cases for Lohrāsb and Goštāsb being a later representation of the divine twins represented in the Mahābhārata as the youngest of the five Pāṇḍava brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva. Similar scenarios, according to Dumézil, include Goštāsb’s traveling camouflaged when going to Rum and working as a servant, which evokes the brothers’ similar camouflage in the last episode of the exile of the Pāṇḍava brothers (no. 83). The brothers Goštāsb and Zarir would be another development of the same original pair of twins (no. 83). Finally, Dumézil highlights the marriages of the qayṣar’s three daughters as representing the Indic type of svayaṃvara, in which the suitors assemble and the bride-to-be makes her choice among them (no. 93; see also Jamison, 1999).

A story told by Chares of Mytilene about the two brothers Hystaspes and Zariadres, said to be the sons of Aphrodite and Adonis, exhibits several similarities with the later Persian stories about Zarir and Goštāsb and may be from a narrative tradition to which the versions seen in Ṯaʿālebi and Ferdowsi may owe some details. The brothers were first identified with Zarir and Goštāsb by Friedrich  Spiegel (1871, p. 665, n. 1), who pointed out (1891, pp. 197-98) that Avestan Auruuaṯ-aspa (Zairiuuairi and Vištāspa’s father) was an epithet most commonly applied to the sun and that the brothers might therefore originally have been solar figures (see also Christensen, 1936, pp. 136-37, and Boyce’s [1955] comprehensive discussion; similarly Darmesteter, 1893, III, pp. lxxx-lxxxiii). As pointed out by Mary Boyce, although she does not pursue this point (p. 463, n. 6), Ferdowsi remarks that Katāyun’s name is said to have been Nāhid (from Avestan Anāhitā, q.v.), but that Goštāsb called her Katāyun (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 78, vv. 30-31; ed. Mohl, IV, pp. 360-61; tr., V, p. 32). 



(Prods Oktor Skjærvø)

Originally Published: January 1, 2000

Last Updated: May 16, 2013