The Dark Earth Chronicles

What follows is an attempt to draw aside the veil of deceit and confusion that has been created regarding so-called ‘history’ up to the first millennium, the 10th century cataclysm and its immediate aftermath. In Part One we focused mostly on the physical and archaeological evidence for the cataclysmic event that took place around 934 AD. In this part we will look at the political, religious and social aspects of the period leading up to the 10th century and how the awareness of the cataclysm and the archaeology from the pre-cataclysmic period, affects our understanding of this alleged history. (Title image Eveengland, CC BY-SA 4.0)


 Introduction ‑ Unearthing the Lies  You will remember nothing…

● The Shahnameh  The Kayanians  Halitosis? Try Sekandar!  “The Beloved Cross"  Sekandar and the son of Abraham  Sekandar on the Costa del Sol  Pagan Christianity?  The Fall of Alexander ○ The Great Barrier  The Ashkani ○ The Flashbakani  Those Dam Romans  Enter The Sasanids  The Kurdled lineage ○ What can’t speak can’t lie… maybe  Shapur Zu’l Aktaf makes an ass of himself A Christian Rebellion ○ Manichaeanism

● Shahnameh vs. Mainstream ○ Enter the Jews ○ Mainstream Dramatics ○ Not forgetting persecution… ○ Meanwhile, back in the Shahnameh… ○ Mazdak and his communist revolution ○ Enter the Christians ○ The Book of Kalileh and Demneh ○ It all starts to go horribly wrong… ○ An Imposter takes up the story… ? ○ The Shirin Shirui Shenanigans ○ The Decline of the Iranian Empire ○ The Final Curtain

●  Chewing it over… ○ The Meteoric Rise of Islam ○ The Cult of Zaddik / Siddiq ○ An Introduction to the Shahnameh ○ Beyond the Pale ○ The Alans in the Shahnameh ○ Missing, Presumed Dead ○ It’s all Rum ○ Over‑stepping the boundaries ○ Accommodating the New Testament ○ Achaemenidianism ○ Trying to be Cyrus

● The Name Game ○ The Aryan Palaver ○ The Pahlavi Palaver ○ The Pahlavi Doctrine Palaver ○ The Pahlavi Dynasty Palaver ○ The Persia/Iran Palaver ○ The Arctic Home

● Wrapping up ○ Fundamental Misconceptions ○ Down the Shahnameh Rabbit Hole ○ And finally…

Obviously, so much time has elapsed since the events in question and so much misinformation has been passed on from generation to generation, that the truth may never be known. My brother and I are well aware of the danger of making up a story that's equally as biased and incorrect as the official narrative. However, rather than simply declaring all history as “fake!”, our unorthodox speculations and theories may illuminate some previously unexplored territory, strike a few of the correct chords or even inspire someone else to do some research of their own that will lead to the truth. Besides which, it’s fun.

First of all I would like to apologise for the delay in publishing this second part. Apart from personal health issues, I found myself repeating the opinions of others with regard to one particular and important ancient source. What’s more, these opinions were at best contradictory and and at worst false. I therefore decided to actually read the source in question in order to try and present a more balanced opinion. This involved reading some 1000 pages and took much longer than anticipated.

Before going forward we need to dig deeper into the past in order to uncover some of the roots that brought forth the ideological landscape of the late first millennium. The further back we go, the less reliable the official narrative becomes, but it may be possible to identify duplicated, mirrored or even false events that have been seeded way back beyond the first millennium.

It may be my imagination, but it always seems to me that ancient history only really happened in the Near and Middle East. Either that or my brainwashing has programmed me to think that way. I mean, no evidence or legends are ever presented telling us that a vast ancient civilisation ruled for thousands of years, leaving a legacy that affected the entire world from its base in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. It’s to the cusp of the East where it meets the West we must look for these aforementioned roots.

Recent Discovery

Nine archaeologists recently discovered in a hole.
dated around 1st or 2nd century AD.

Unearthing the Lies

Let’s begin by taking a look at what the archaeology tells us about the chronology and history of Near and Middle East rather than using biblically derived dates and stories which, in spite of all the technological advances of the modern era, are still being used as the benchmark for chronology. In order to accommodate the biblical chronology of Abraham, late 19th century and early 20th century ‘scholars’ were forced to invent the great civilisations of the past, such as the Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians, in order to fill up the vast empty gaps they had created. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans knew anything about these imaginary empires. This also explains the 1500 year difference between the beginning of the Bronze Age in China and it’s apparently earlier commencement in the Near East.

“The textbook schemes ‘separate by enormous time spans what is found in parallel stratigraphical locations, exhibiting very similar material cultures.' Unfortunately for archaeologists, the writers of the textbooks are often the 'Guardians of the Dogma' who control the funding for archaeological research. As a result, an archaeologist brave enough to confront conventional thinking may quickly find himself both professionally discredited and out of a job.” Source

Essentially, as Gunnar Heinsohn has demonstrated, the classical authors recognised the Assyrians, the Medes, the Persians and finally the Greeks. They had no idea about Akkadians, Mitanni, Neo-Assyrians, Babylonians or Hittites as these have only recently been been ‘discovered’ by modern archaeology, which in turn has found nothing concerning the Medes, Persians and Lydians. From the order of the archaeological strata, Heinsohn has concluded that: the Assyrians were actually the Akkadians; the Medes were the Middle Assyrians and the Mitanni; and the Neo-Assyrians, the Persians and the Hittites were the Lydians… which is a real bloody mess to be honest and not at all easy to get your head around, especially for someone like me to whom all these names just go in one ear and straight out the other.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Heinsohn claims that 'Sumerian is the language of the well known Kassite/Chaldeans, whose literacy deserves its fame'. We’ve heard of Chaldeans, but Kassites are far from well known to us and they’re not mentioned in any of the empires above, so who knows where they are supposed to fit in. It makes you wonder if the archaeological strata come pre-labelled with all these names. And, why should the new names take precedent over the old names?


The Kassites, strange looking ancient people

Anyway, the thing is that, outside of ‘recentist’ or revisionist circles, all of these names have been strung together chronologically, rather than being reclassified and put into a coherent chronological order. So, we have evidence of more duplication, or in fact triplication, and mirroring throughout the BC period just as there is in the first millennium AD. The difference is though, that the BC falsification has been done recently and it continues.

Now, I could show more evidence whereby the names of the kings within each of the individual triplicated ancient empires correspond to a name in the original ancient empire, but I won’t because the majority of these names won’t mean anything to anyone – they’re just names. So-called ‘recentist’ scholars spend vast amounts of time and energy disputing about who was who and when and what he or she did or didn’t do. Many of them introduce comets, catastrophes and religious themes, mostly Jewish ones, of course, into the fray because even the revisionists are infected with the need to prove biblical history.

At its basic level the scenario presented by archaeology shows that there are insufficient strata, or layers, to accommodate all of the great ancient empires proposed by the mainstream narrative within the associated time frame. This means that many of these great ancient empires are either copies of others or complete fabrications. Deciding which are the real deal and which are not is dependant upon a great many things, not least of which is bias. Ancient texts and manuscripts are not infallible, neither are classical authors, all of whom will have been writing from within a particular frame of reference that cannot help but have prejudiced their work.

Another point, which we feel is very important, is that even these new archaeologically verified ancient empires have been catalogued with no reference to the chronological effect of the 10th century cataclysm. They went looking for evidence of these empires within a specific time period – one that was already off by 700 years or so. Therefore, if, as has been suggested, the new evidence shows an irregularity of 1,500 – 1,700 extra years, this must be added to the 700 erroneous years of the first millennium. This gives a total error of 2,200 – 2,400 years, which is a greater timespan than from 1 AD to the present day.

Before moving on, we will, however, mention a couple of ‘recentist’ proposals put forward by Emmet Sweeney in his book ‘The Ramessides, Medes and Persians’, whereby the successor of Darius III, of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty, is Alexander the Great, and not Cyrus the Great. The other being that the Seleucid “Greek” empire of antiquity is identical to the Seljuk “Turkish” empire of the Middle Ages, and both are identical to the ancient “Persian” Achaemenid empire. All will be revealed later as our dastardly, evil, wicked agenda evolves… “Wah-ha-ha-ha!

“The worst enemy of Israel's history, indeed, is biblical chronology. Whoever puts his faith in it, cannot help but be tempted to extinguish Ancient Israel from the map. This is not only true for anti-Semites and anti-Zionists and neutral researchers, but even for the best and the brightest of Israeli scholars. I do not, of course, subscribe to each and every detail contained in historical biblical narratives, but claim that the material remains in the strata-groups of Israel, which today are up for grabs, are not over stretched, if one detects in them some hard evidence for written traditions. ...I would, rather, abandon biblical and mainstream chronologies alike. Then, everything is open for a new debate.” Source

Like Heinsohn, I would also like to abandon biblical and mainstream chronologies and take a different approach to unearthing the likely events that took place in this particular region and period of time, whose legacy has had such a fundamental effect on so many people for thousands of years, especially as it now all seems to be archaeologically “up for grabs.”

You will remember nothing...

As we have already observed, the ‘history’ of the Near / Middle East region is a complete and utter “mucking fuddle.” The post-cataclysmic Iranians, for example, apparently had no idea of their own ‘history’ – although what this really means is that their history didn’t agree with the new official version. The official line on this is that they were “unlucky” because the ancient Persians wrote on leather, which decays easily and no one bothered to look after it. Their neighbours, particularly the ancient Greeks, weren’t as “unlucky” because even though they wrote on papyrus, which would perish just as easily as leather, it was preserved for 2000 years thanks to having been buried in the sand. The official line on this one is even better:

“Egyptians recycled the backs of papyri on which Greek plays, poetry and history had been written for their shopping lists, love-letters, school exercises and other everyday needs. Then threw them away.” Source

Thanks to foreign European visitors in the 17th century, the Iranians realised that everyone else knew more about their ‘history’ than they did and the Egyptian landfill garbage sites began to be excavated, although how the two are related is a unclear.

I think the keyword here is “garbage”. If the Greek papyri were buried in the sand then it was done, possibly deliberately or by the sand that arrived courtesy of the 10th century cataclysm. In the 17th century the European visitors turned up and gave the Iranians the new official version of their ‘history’.


(Mshayati, CC BY-SA 4.0 )

For example, there’s an ancient site in Iran called Persepolis – “City of the Persians” which, from a distance, looks a lot like Stonehenge only much neater. The Iranians knew it as Takht-I Jamshid – "The Throne of Jamshid" and / or Chilminar – "the thousand columns." They apparently had no idea who built it, why or when, but they had “legends” about it from the Shahnameh or ‘Book of Kings’, but they did know exactly who Jamshid was. The clever-dick European visitors knew everything about it though because the Ancient Greeks had it all thoroughly documented it their ‘history’.

The Greeks claimed that the Persian Achaemenid rulers, Cyrus and Darius, were the builders and they called it ‘Parsa’ (Greek ‘Persis’, hence "Persia.") Following its destruction by the Greeks themselves, it became known by the Greek name of Persepolis ("City of the Persians.") A name that became lost in Iran until its true identity was re-established, which is hardly surprising as the whole story sounds totally false. Why would the Greeks rename the place “City of the Persians” after they destroyed it when there was obviously no city and no Persians? It’s equally likely that Takht-I Jamshid was destroyed in the 10th century cataclysm.

The Shahnameh

(Mir Sayyid Ali, Public domain)

The Shahnameh

The Shahnameh, or Book of Kings, was written by the poet Firdowsi who began writing just 13 years after the 10th century cataclysm in 947 AD which, on the face of it seems rather suspect. Other sources claim it was written between the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. Firdowsi came from a family referred to as ‘dehqan’, which was a class of land owning magnates dating from the later Persian / Iranian empire. It’s possible that the Book of Kings was a desperate attempt to get the historical information of Persia / Iran recorded before it was lost forever. It took him about 30 years to complete his task, although different sources state that the book was finished in 1010 AD under the Islamic rule of Persia / Iran. It’s the largest work of prose in the world, comprising some 50,000 couplets.

The first officially recognisable historical characters in the Shahnameh are the Iranian kings Darius II and Darius III followed by Alexander the Great, supposedly from the 4th century BC. The other sources for this original Iranian history include:

  • The Khwaday-Namag, the "Book of Lords". It told the story of the Iranians from their beginnings. It doesn't survive, except in stories taken from it by later Islamic historians and Persian poets.
  • The Annals of al-Tabari who died in 932. This is very much an Islamic text and an enormous one being 40 volumes. It is based upon biblical chronology and presents the Old Testament as historical fact. It bears no resemblance to the material found in the Shahnameh and if it wasn’t deliberately planted into the past as Islamic propaganda then it certainly performs the same function.
  • Bundahishn, an extensive collection of Zoroastrian writings on the creation of the universe, the gods, and mankind. Written in Persian in around 900 - 1000, although the oldest manuscripts are from 16th century… which is again quite suspect really.

There are many examples given in the Shahnameh that betray the idea that the Iranians were ‘unlucky’ because their ancestors only wrote on leather;

“Sekandar summoned a scribe, who brought a Chinese pen and silk.” (Shahnameh)

Together, these sources provide the history of 60 kings who ruled Iran from the beginning of the world up until the 6th century AD (mainstream chronology) and focuses on their fight against the evil Ahriman and his demons. It’s their ‘farr’ (nobility, worthiness, honour) in combination with the aid of Ahura Mazda and other divine beings that guides and inspires them.

There is no chronology, however there are three eras:

The World Kings.
The Heroes: the Kayanian kings.
The Historical Era, beginning with Darius II.

There are four dynasties:

The Pishdadians – divine and semi-divine kings of the world.

The Kayanians – kings of Iran, who were eventually defeated by Sekandar, (Alexander.) Some claim that they were the Achaemenids.

The Ashkanians – ‘Kings of the Peoples’ left in power by Sekandar, but the mainstream equates them to The Achaemenids and/or the Parthians ...or at least tries to.

The Sasanians – descendants of the Kayanians finally defeated by the 10th century cataclysm… sorry, I mean Islam.

OK, hands up all those who have just gone wide-eyed at the “Ashkanian” word. Your eyes do not deceive you. We will discuss this in more detail later.

The early Pishdadians of the World Kings era had influence over men, animals and also the Fae. We hear of the young Prince Hushang that to avenge the death of the World King Kayumar’s beloved son Siamak, who had been killed by demons…

“...gathered together fairies, leopards and lions, savage wolves and fearless tigers, birds and domestic animals, and this army was led by the intrepid young prince.” (Shahnameh)

Prince Hushang

Prince Hushang and his army. 
(Sultan Muhammad, Public domain)

Prince Hushang, went on to conquer Ahriman (the destructive / evil demiurge) and the demons, to establish justice throughout the world, to discover how to extract iron from rocks, to draw water from rivers for irrigation, to domesticate animals, to build houses, and he also discovered fire accidentally. This discovery prompted him to inaugurate the festival of Sadeh, which is still celebrated today in Iran at midwinter, January 30th, and not only by Zoroastrians – the original event was way too early for Zarathustra.

Prince Hushang discovers Fire

Hushang Discovers Fire while Planning to Kill a Dragon with a Stone
(Ferdowsi, Public domain)

Instances such as the above are common throughout the tales and at times, even the subdued demons contribute to the development of civilisation – they are credited with teaching writing. One king in particular, Jamshid (he of the temple,) who ruled highly successfully for 600 years, eventually became so arrogant that he lost his ‘farr’, his nobility, worthiness and honour, along with the favour of Ohrmazd (later known as Ahura Mazda.) He thus came under the influence of Ahriman and proclaimed himself a god. Jamshid is then attacked by Zahhak, an evil demon who rules for 1000 years and enacts a plan to destroy the human race. Let’s face it, we all know the type only too well.

Zahhak Enthroned

Zahhak Enthroned
(Attributed to Naqdi, Public domain)

Zahhak was defeated by Kaveh, the heroic blacksmith, which is a very ‘Celtic’ motto / device. From that point on his leather apron became the symbol of the rebels and "Kaveh's Apron" has become a symbol for the rulers of Iran and the country’s sacred flag ever since.

Kaveh's Apron

Kaveh’s Apron

The following Heroic age is dominated by the ramifications caused by division of the world into three parts with each being ruled over by one of the sons of King Feraydun. They comprised:

  • Iran / Eran (Iran, Iraq, Arabia, Egypt, India and Africa)
  • Turan (Central Asia and points east - including China)
  • Rum (Anatolia, Greece, Asia Minor, the northern Mediterranean countries and Europe.)

This division creates a scenario that will be the source of conflict that echoes throughout the remaining tales of the Shahnameh. They feature magical powers wielded by mighty warriors and all the associated tragedies and heroic deeds, including the Seven Labours of Rustam.

The Kayanians

The Kayanian episode begins with Kai Kavad as ruler of Iran. (Kai or Kay means “king”.) Wars with Turan invoke more daring-do with treachery, jealousy and the inevitable demons. Some way down the line the evil leader of the Turans, Afrasiyab, is defeated and killed. Following the strange disappearance of a certain Kai Khusrau just after he names his successor, peace reigns for a while. By the reign of Kai Goshtasp (Vishtaspa,) Zarathustra / Zoroaster appears on the scene preaching his “new religion.” Goshtasp had been heavily influenced by a long period spent in Rum where he had become the favourite of the Emperor and also his son-in-law by virtue of marrying his daughter. He brought the new religion of Zoroaster back with him from Rum and then enforced it in Iran "by the sword." The Turanians were not best pleased believing this to be a betrayal of the old ways and so attacked Iran again.. twice. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful… twice, having been defeated by another hero, Esfandiyar, and his supernatural feats. Turan then came under Persian / Iranian sovereignty.

A little while later it gets very interesting in the form of an overlap with the official narrative. By now, Bahman is the son of Esfandiyar, the latest hero. Along with his partner, Rovin, the boy wonder and his faithful butler, Ahlfred, they fight crime in Goham City. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. Bahman was also known as Ardeshir…  not Bruce Wayne, because this was the earlier version of
Shahnananananameh-nananananananameh Bahman! ♬

“Ardeshir / Bahman had a son called Sasan. He also had a beautiful daughter named Homay, with whom he fell in love, and he slept with her, ‘according to the custom called Pahlavi.’” (Shahnameh)

The Pahlavi doctrine of ‘Xwedodah’ a spiritually-influenced style of consanguine marriage – incest, “became a more solidified doctrine in the Pahlavi/Middle Persian literature of post-Sassanian Zoroastrianism” according to Wikipedofilia along with the genderless attributes of Ahuramazda… who used to be called ‘Ohrmazd’. This is something to bear in mind for when we discuss Zoroastrianism later.

When Sasan discovered this relationship he abandoned his family, his home and his position and left to live a more simple life. He had a son, also named Sasan, who became a shepherd to the The King of Nayshapour’s sheep. From this shepherd the last of the great pre-Islamic dynasties of Iran, the Sasanians, would arise.

Meanwhile, Ardeshir / Bahman fell ill (or he may have been murdered as suggested later) and died leaving his daughter, Homay, pregnant. She took the throne and gave birth to her child in secret – either out of shame or because she wanted to remain as ruler. “Everywhere, she pursued justice and righteousness and ruled well. The world became safe under her care, and the people of every country praised her.” The child was secretly fostered by a nobly born wet nurse and anyone who became suspicious was told that the child had died in childbirth.

After some eight months the child began to resemble the late king... perhaps he had a blue cape and a hat with pointy ears. Homay found a trustworthy carpenter to make a small, bejewelled, luxurious and waterproof chest. The infant prince was shackled to the inside of the chest by a jewelled clasp. At nightfall the chest and its occupant were cast afloat upon the Euphrates. Two soldiers were detailed to observe the little craft’s progress down the river.

When dawn arose the chest came to rest at the side of the river. It was found by a fuller (launderer of clothes,) who rescued the infant and his transportation, which he then took home to his wife. The two soldiers returned to Homay and made their report, being sworn to secrecy after. Having recently lost an infant son the fuller’s wife was able to care for the new found prince with no problems. As he had been plucked from flowing water [ab], they called him Darab. The fuller and his wife decided to leave their home behind and begin life anew in a place where they were unknown. They travelled for 200 miles and settled in a new town.

Obviously, Darab’s ‘farr’ or nobility emerged sooner rather than later and he discovered who and what he was. He became a knight in service of the local lord and was inevitably enveigled into fighting for his country against the Greeks of Rum. Various supernatural occurrences brought him to the attention of Homay’s general. Darab defeated the Greeks, practically single-handedly, being described as ‘Lionheart’ and went on to subdue their entire country. He was reunited with his mother, Homay, who crowned him king and all was forgiven. In a speech following his coronation, Darab states:

“No one in the world has ever heard a more remarkable tale than mine...”

Obviously, whoever wrote the ones about Moses and Sargon the Great had heard it.

After crushing an invasion by the Arabs, Darab had to deal with the Greeks once again. The Roman Greek King Filqus, had a pact with the King of Susa who claimed that Darab was attacking with an enormous army, therefore King Filqus assembled his forces in Amourieh and sent them to the aid of Susa. As Darab approached all the Greek nobles abandoned the border areas.

Darab uproots a tree

Darab uproots a tree to use as a weapon
(Miskin, Public domain)

This is a bit of a conundrum. Susa is claimed to be the modern day Shush at Khuzestan in Iran, which, interestingly, was also claimed to be the capital of the celebrity Persian Achaemenid Empire, according to the official narrative. If this was so, then why would the Roman Greek King have an alliance with the Persian King of Susa… who should have been Darab anyway? Even more interestingly, the Achaemenid dynasty does not feature at all in the national history of Iran. The mainstream also claims that Darab is the Achaemenid King Darius II, the son of Cyrus the Great. If these associations are correct, then Darab as king of Iran was allegedly attacking himself, which shows that something somewhere sometime became very confused.

It’s not clear where in Greece Amourieh was located, but Filqus refers to it as his capital. Many have tried to identify it with a place name in Syria, but thanks to my good friend Silveryou, it looks as if it may refer to Amorium in Phrygia, Asia Minor. Its original Greek name was Amorion (Greek: Ἀμόριον). It became the largest city in Asia Minor and the native city of the Amorian dynasty who were rulers of The Byzantine Empire from 820 to 867 (mainstream chronology) according to Wikiperdida

Halitosis? Try Sekandar!

Anyway, back in the Shahnameh, Darab gave the Roman Greeks a thorough thrashing. His advisors informed him that Filqus had a daughter who’s beauty was legendary, so Darab made a treaty with Filqus that required her hand in marriage as well as the tribute that Rum owed to Iran.

Unfortunately, despite the unequalled beauty of princess Nahid, things did not go smoothly and Darab sent his bride back to Filqus as a reject due to her severe halitosis… I’m not making this up, it’s in the Shahnameh ...honest. It appears that despite successful treatment with a herb called sekandar, it was a total passion-killer for Darab. I find it difficult to believe that this halitosis incident is something anyone would include in a deliberate deception that’s intended to be a serious account of authentic history.

Nahid returned home pregnant by Darab, but no one knew this at the time. When the child was born she named him Sekandar and her father claimed the child to be his own by one of his wives as he was too ashamed to admit that Darab had rejected his daughter. Σεκαντάρ, or Sekandar, is still a recognised name in Greek although the name Alexander has become the universal standard version. I have managed to find a Greek recipe for preserving tomatoes in jars that also mentions adding σεκαντάρ, or secandar, as a herb, but none of the online translators and dictionaries recognise the word. The mainstream prefer to tell us that Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexander) means “man who repels,” however the names Sekandar, Sikandar or Iskandar were used in Persian / Iranian, Indian, Arabic, Kurdish, Malasian, Indonesian, Amharic, Madurese, Bashkir, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Pashto, Ottoman Turkish, Turkish, Albanian, Azerbaijani, Karakalpak, Tatar, Turkmen, Uyghur, Zazaki, and Uzbek. In other words, in the places that were nearer to his actual physical presence they called him Sekandar, Iskandar or very close derivatives. Only in the places where people read about him later did they call him Alexander. I suppose it’s lucky he wasn’t called ‘Listerine’. 

“The Beloved Cross”

Meanwhile, back in Iran, Darab remarried and fathered a child who was named Dara. He was born one year after his half-brother Sekandar / Alexander. Twelve years later Darab passed away leaving the young Dara as king (this would allegedly be the mainstream Darius III.) At around the same time Sekandar inherited the Roman Greek (Macedonian based) throne from Filqus. It wasn’t long before the two half-brothers clashed. Dara demanded the tribute from Rum, but Sekandar refused it and instead set off to conquer all the evil in the world, starting with Egypt.

Sekandar / Alexander

Sekandar the half-brother of Dara
(Ferdowsi, CC0)

“At dawn an uproar could be heard outside the young king’s court: he set out followed by his banner, on which images of the bird of royal fortune, the homa, and the beloved cross were embroidered in red on a turquoise ground.” (Shahnameh) 

The Homa, or Huma bird is categorised as a mythical creature similar to the Phoenix and Griffin. It’s a symbol of good fortune common to many cultures and is still used by Turkish Airlines as their logo, even with the correct colours.

The “beloved cross,” on the other hand is a bit of a shocker given that the mainstream Alexander is placed in the 4th century Before Christ. What’s interesting is that the symbol of the cross is mentioned in conjunction with a pagan one and no description is given of any kind of Christian clergy, or priests, in Sekandar’s retinue. Therefore, it’s reasonable for the reader to assume that this symbol bears no possible relation to Christianity and, indeed, the symbol of the cross was widely used as a religious symbol and ornament by the Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, Persians, Europeans and in some parts of Africa, centuries before it was eventually adopted by Christianity. Nevertheless, the first direct mention of Christ or Christianity throughout the entire Shahnameh will come from Sekander as we will see,,.

Orpheus Crucified

Orpheus Crucified

After defeating The Egyptians, Sekandar went after Persia. Following a long and dramatic campaign, Sekandar finally defeated Dara who was eventually murdered (or at least mortally wounded) by his own treasurer – a Zoroastrian priest called Mahyar – and his chief counsellor who then took his dying body to Sekandar in the hope of reward and favours. By some means, which is not made clear, Sekandar knew that Dara was his half-brother and they reconcile as Dara lays dying in his arms. The implication is that they recognised the ‘farr’ in each other. Dara’s dying wish is that Sekandar should promise to marry his (Dara’s) daughter and produce a son by her to maintain the royal Kayanian (not the Achaemenid or Ashkanian) lineage of Iran…

“and that the name of Esfandyar will be renewed in him, that he will preserve the fires of Zoroastrianism and live by the Zend-Avesta, keeping the Feasts of Sadeh and No-Ruz and preserving our fire temples. Such a son will honour Hormozd [Ohrmazd / Ahura Mazda] and the sun and moon, and wash his soul and face in the waters of wisdom; he will renew the ways of Lohrasp and Goshtasp, treating men according to their station whether it be high or low; he will make our faith flourish and his days will be fortunate.” (Shahnameh)

Sekandar and the dying Dara

Sekandar and the dying Dara
(Ferdowsi, Public domain)

Sekandar conceded to Dara’s dying wishes and then proclaimed himself ‘the ‘New Dara’. He used one of Dara’s wishes to take total control of the Iranian Empire by marrying Dara’s daughter, however, as for any of the other promises he made, we can forget them. He had no intention of keeping those promises as he was not a follower of the Zend-Avestar (Zoroastrian scriptures) and he considered himself to be of ‘God’ not just of Rum or Iran. Just who that ‘God’ was remains to be seen.

Having secured Persia / Iran, Sekandar set out to conquer India which was ruled by King Kayd. In the message he sent by his envoy to the king, he described himself as “the shadow of the world’s victorious Lord” and claimed that King Kayd’s “throne derives from my power.” He demanded to be obeyed upon threat of annihilation. In reply the Indian king offered his daughter’s hand in marriage, with the explanation that she was the most beautiful woman in the universe. He offered a goblet that could never be emptied of whatever it was filled, very much like the Celtic cauldrons with exactly the same attributes. He also offered a physician and a philosopher who both possessed miraculous powers. The philosopher had advised King Kayd of Sekandar’s coming even before he had set out, saying, “Now is the age of Sekandar, who is the crown of all nobles.”

Upon seeing the princess, Sekandar…

“… summoned all the wise men and priests of his entourage, and in their presence he asked for her hand in marriage, according to Christian custom.”

There we have it, the first mention of the word ‘Christian’ in the Shahnameh and one that confirms Sekandar was following what has been translated as “Christian custom.” This time we get a description of the wise men and priests in his entourage who obviously formed a necessary part of this proposal ritual. The thing is though, apart from the mainstream assertion that Alexander the Great died 323 years before Jesus was supposed to have been born, there is no specific Christian custom of marriage proposal and never has been, so this is quite a curious choice for the translator to have made. In the case of the work we are citing, this is Dick Davis in his 2016 edition of ‘Shahnameh - The Persian Book of Kings’.

At this point I would like to explain that neither Felix nor I are any kind of what you might call academics. We are just a couple of normal, average blokes… well, fairly normal and a bit average. We don’t have access to the original early Persian sources of the Shahnameh and wouldn’t understand them even if we did. Neither do we have the time to even begin to make the attempt, we both have our own lives to lead. So if anyone out there does and can clarify the “Christian custom” phrase (and any others that might arise,) then please let us know so that we will be able to correct any misguided conclusions.

Judaism, which of course operates under the same auspices as Christianity, i.e. Jehovah / Yahweh / Yehouda / YHWH etc., does have a custom, or tradition, for the proposal of marriage, it’s called the Ketubah:

“The content of the ketubah is in essence a two-way contract that formalizes the various requirements by Halakha (Jewish law) of a Jewish husband vis-à-vis his wife. The Jewish husband takes upon himself in the ketubah the obligation that he will provide to his wife three major things: clothing, food and conjugal relations, and also that he will pay her a pre-specified amount of cash in the case of a divorce.” Source

The contract was drawn up by the bridegroom, presumably under some sort of guidance by wise men, priests and financial advisors, then it was formally presented to the bride’s father. If he was satisfied then he would present it to the bride along with a glass of wine. If she drank it all, it was considered an acceptance.

Given that Alexander the Great is supposed to have lived 323 years before Christ, as previously noted, and that there never has been a Christian custom for marriage proposal, it’s only logical to assume that what Ferdowsi is describing in the Shahnameh is Sekandar performing a religious ritual according to Jewish law. For some reason the translator, Dick Davis, has chosen to interpret this in a Christian frame of reference rather than a Jewish one. Perhaps it was the “beloved cross” that had something to do with it, or maybe this was an early form of Judaism or something else entirely… such as later editing of the original text.

During his campaign against Dara, Sekandar told the retreating Persian soldiers:

“You are subjects who have been misled, but you have no need to fear me, and my army has no desire to meddle with you. Go home safely to your houses and live God-fearing lives.”

Later, in a letter to the defeated Persian nobles he states:

“Kings’ souls should be imbued with wisdom, since it is God who gives victory in the world, and any king who does not fear him is evil. It is certain that both good and evil will pass, and that there is no escaping the clutches of fate.”

Fear of God was never a Zoroastrian principle, but always fundamental to Judaism and Christianity. “The clutches of fate”, or fatalism, were also never part of Zoroastrianism, but appeared much later as the heretical doctrine of Zurvanism and, of course, as “God’s will” in Judeo-Christianity.

Obviously, the dialogue in the Shahnameh is not verbatim or even factual, but Ferdowsi must have been aware of its implications and value as an integral part of the overall history. The exact same consideration applies to ‘biblical history’ and the dialogue reported as being spoken by Jesus or any other character, but the difference is that there hasn’t been centuries of indoctrination whereby the Bible is considered ‘The Word of God’ and therefore the gospel truth… literally. Also, let’s not forget, the Shahnameh, Book of Kings, was supposedly written under the watchful eye of Muslim rule, or at least its final composition and publication.

We can only assume that Sekandar’s upbringing in Rum included indoctrination into a fledgling religion or sect, or maybe his home town of Amorium in Phrygia, Asia Minor, was a Jewish city? Throughout the Shahnameh, the language Ferdowsi attributes to Sekandar is very carefully considered and he speaks of God, the Creator, the Lord of the world and he tells others, who are clearly of the Zoroastrian faith, that he will ‘enlighten their dark souls’, but there is never any enforced conversion to Christianity, no mention of baptisms or circumcisions and no building of synagogues or churches. The overriding principle is the acceptance and recognition of Sekandar’s god as the ‘El of the Elohim’ – the god above all other gods. Ferdowsi has Sekandar presenting himself as “the shadow of the world’s victorious Lord,” claiming that the Indian King Kayd’s and also every other “throne derives from my power.” His demands for compliance and obedience are always made upon the threat of violence and annihilation.

If Sekandar’s god was indeed the Judeo-Christian one, then he was performing the role of the Jewish ‘messiah’, the chosen and anointed one of God – the ‘christos’. This is analogous with Cyrus the Great – the ‘missing from the Shahnameh’ biblical Persian Achaemenid messiah , not forgetting Oliver Cromwell and, of course, Jesus.

At one point Ferdowsi gives the following line to Dara:

“They are Zahhak, and we are now Jamshid.”

He was comparing the invading Sekandar to Zahhak and the threatened Persians to Jamshid. The comparison evokes the 1000 year rule of the demon Zahhak over the Persian / Iranian people. The figure of Jamshid also evokes a certain quality of guilt on the part of Dara, which he acknowledged. This comparison is worth bearing in mind for later.

Sekandar and the son of Abraham

Sekandar arrives at Mecca where he encounters a descendant of Esmail (Ishmael), the son of Abraham, named Nasr who revealed to him the “secrets of his lineage”. Nasr himself was the son of Qotayb. Apparently, after Esmail’s death “the world conqueror Qahtab appeared from the deserts with a host of savage swordsmen, and by main force took the land of Yemen.” Whether this lineage was genuine or not, there’s no way of knowing, but obviously they believed it to be true. Although there is no kind of explanation regarding the ‘son of Abraham’ lineage and no mention of Hebrews or Israelites, it must be assumed that Ferdowsi’s Islamic audience would have been sufficiently indoctrinated by that time so that no introduction was required. As we will see later, it’s from this same lineage – mythical or otherwise – that Islam appeared in Arabia.

Mecca in the 16th century

Mecca in the 16th century
(Public domain)

The situation given above has some kind of overlap with the mainstream narrative…

“Arab tradition maintains that a semi-legendary ancestral figure named Qahtan and his 24 sons are the progenitors of Yemen who controlled the Arabian Peninsula known as Qahtani… The genealogists disagree about the pedigree of Qahțān [himself]. Some trace him back to Ismā'īl... saying that his [name] was Qahţăn.” Source

“This same historic figure [Qahtan] is known as Joktan in the Bible, one of the forefathers of Abraham, and the father of 13 children as mentioned in the Table of Nations (see Genesis 10:25-30, 1 Chr 1:19-27).” Source

“The major Arab tribes are the Qahtan Arabs who came from the Yemen. They are not Ishmaelites. They are the sons of Ya’rub bin Yashjub bin Qahtan. They regard themselves as pure Arabs, while the sons of Ishmael are called Arabized Arabs. These Arabized Arabs are the progeny of Ishmael and are regarded as being adopted into the progeny of the pure Arabs and these Ishmaelites from Northwest Arabia are called Adnanian Arabs.” Source

The Shahnameh version would seem to contradict the claim that Qahtab / Qahtan was a descendant of Esmail if he had to take the territory by force. Furthermore, Qahtan, in his biblical guise as Joktan, should have been an extremely old and probably dead ancestor of Esmail’s rather than a contemporary. However, Abraham’s second son by his second wife… or concubine, was was named Jokshan, which could be easily confused with Joktan. He would have been the younger half-brother of Esmail / Ishmael as he was Abraham’s first son, so maybe he was Qahtan... What a mess. Let’s not forget, these people are the original Semites. Let’s also not forget that this whole Mecca episode may well have been a much later addition to the Shahnameh.

Later, back in the Shahnameh, when Qahtab died “Jaza’ took his place,” which indicates that he was one of Qahtab’s sons. So, if Qahtab was Joksham then…

“The six sons [of Joksham] were probably born in the first half of the 1800s BCE. The identities of their descendants down to the present day have largely remained a mystery; however, there are some clues in the historical records. Surah 11:95 in the Qur’an says that one of the sons, Midian, was ‘removed from sight’.” Source

This may have happened when Sekandar “sought out everyone he could find from the family of Jaza’ and had them killed: the children’s souls were parted from their bodies, and not one of his race was left alive.” Following this genocide, Sekandar undertook a pilgrimage to the shrine at Mecca, scattering gold coins amongst the people of Esmail wherever he went. This is the pre-Islamic Mecca, which was an important sacred ‘pagan’ site long before Islam came along. Perhaps this incident was an early ‘Crusade’ to wipe out all the pagans in Arabia. This incident demonstrates clearly that, in the Shahnameh at least, there was a connection between Sekandar / Alexander the Great and the Semitic tribe of Ishmael.

Sekandar on the Costa del Sol

In a tale that reads more like an encounter with a Fairie Queen in the Otherworld, Sekandar’s arrogance, pride and greed get him into deep trouble to the point where he fears for his life. In the Shahnameh, this realm is called Andalucia, although it’s not the Spanish one, but refers to Ethiopia / Egypt, which is where Sekandar and his army went after having murdered the entire lineage of Jaza. To confuse things even more, the king of Egypt was called ‘Qaytun’.

I really don’t understand why the name Andalucia was chosen for the translation of Ethiopia. It’s association with southern Spain is firmly entrenched by now, to the point where no one knows what the name means or how it was derived any more, but the theories are many and diverse. It derives from the Arabic ‘al-Andalus’ and the same name can be found in other places, such as the Anatolian peninsula of Asia Minor, also known as Phyrgia – Sekandar’s home territory according to the Shahnameh. Spain was conquered from the Vandals by the Moors apparently, and this has given rise to the ‘vandal-ucia’ theory. However, what seems more likely is that it simply means ‘peninsula’ in the sense of surrounded by sea on three sides, like the Iberian peninsula and the Anatolian one, but unless Africa as a whole is considered a peninsula, it seems unlikely that Ethiopia qualifies, unless the topography was different pre-cataclysm. There are also suggestions that it is connected with the celestial observations of rising and setting stars, so I also wonder if it comes from ‘Anda’ and ‘luz’, which in Spanish means ‘walk(ing) light’ in the sense of moving light or the path of light. Anyway, enough digressing…

Well, actually just a bit more… Qaydafeh, the ‘Fairie Queen’, gets an entry of the Wikiperdida page ‘List of Shahnameh characters’ 

When I say an entry, I mean just a link to another page entitled ‘Kandake’ (Candace) upon which the name ‘Qaydafeh’ is never mentioned. Instead, we are presented with a discussion of the Meroitic Queens of the Kingdom of Kush, or Kushite Empire, which was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, centred along the Nile Valley in what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt.

“Evidence outside of Nubia that shows additional links to Kushite's queenship concept are found in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a long dynastic history claimed to be over three millennia from before 1000 BC to 1973... The Ethiopian monarchy's official chronicle of dynastic succession descends from Menelik I includes six regnant queens referred to as Kandake… Twenty-one queens are recorded as sole regent in the kingdom of Ethiopia until the 9th century CE... Makeda, Queen of Sheba, in the Kebra Nagast, is also recognized as Candace or ‘Queen Mother’.” Source

Relief depicting Kandake Amanitore

Relief depicting Kandake Amanitore
(Sven-Steffen Arndt, CC BY-SA 2.0)

So then it seems that the concept of sole regent queens in the Ethiopia region is validated by mainstream archaeology. OK, now I really have finished with the digressing, on with the show...

The beautiful queen, Qaydafeh, was clearly even legendary in her own time and not stupid. This didn’t stop Sekandar inviting her, by letter, to submit totally to his will or face annihilation. Her reply was curt and to the point and she addressed him as the the “prince of braggarts.” It took Sekandar’s forces a month to reach Qaydafeh’s kingdom from Egypt, which sounds about right for Egypt to Ethiopia on foot. The local fortress was captured and Sekandar developed a plan to deceive Queen Qaydafeh, which involved disguising himself as his own envoy and the kidnapping of one of her sons. Fortunately, the queen had previously commissioned a secret portrait of Sekandar whilst he was in Egypt, so she was able to recognise the deception, but she played along for a while. Sekandar, as his own envoy, delivered her kidnapped son and another arrogant threatening message demanding subservience and capitulation. Luckily for Sekandar, alone with no army and desperately lying through his teeth, Qaydafeh spared his life, but offered him some badly needed advice, the content of which might easily be imagined, following which:

“Freed from the threat of being killed, Sekandar rejoiced to hear her words. He swore by the just God, by the Christian faith, and by the dust of battle that he would act only kindly and righteously toward her land, her son, and her noble allies, and that he would never plot their destruction.”

And then a bit later:

“May the planet Jupiter accompany your deliberations. I swear by the Messiah’s faith, by his just commands, by God who is a witness to my tongue, by our rites and by our great cross, by the head and soul of your majesty, by our vestments, our clergy, and the Holy Ghost, that the soil of Andalusia will never see me again; that I shall send no army here, that I shall not seek to deceive you, that I shall do no harm to your loved son, neither through my commands or by my own hand.”

Pagan Christianity?

The verbal references attributed to Sekandar by the translator of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh above are all wrapped up and presented as being “the Christian faith.” However, if we unwrap them we see that the invocation of Jupiter is clearly not part of the Christian faith – Jupiter was a pre-Christian god of the mainstream’s Roman Empire period and the equivalent of the Greek god Zeus. So the translator identifies Sekandar / Alexander as a Greek who invokes the main pagan Roman god, and let’s not forget the earlier reference to the Homa / Huma bird, he venerates the symbol of a “great cross” and swears by the commands of an unidentified “messiah’s faith” plus the “Holy Ghost.” In Judaism the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, has the exact same connotation as “Farr,” in the Zend-Avesta, i.e. the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the Universe or over his creatures. Does this imply a ‘messiah’s faith’ within this ‘Christian faith’, otherwise wouldn’t they be one and the same faith? Is this evidence of the early development and existence of some kind of hybrid religion, blending pagan Greek and pagan Roman and Judaism, with Zoroastrianism and one that had an unidentified ‘messiah’ who, at that stage, had not been rejected by mainstream Judaism?

The ancient symbol of the cross

The symbol of the cross was adored by pagans 1,500 years before Christianity.
‘Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians’ by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson (1797 – 1875)
Click to Enlarge

We are very much at the mercy of the translator, Dick Davis and, without the relevant language skills and access to the original texts, it’s difficult to take issue with individual interpretations. You can be sure that we will return to examine this theme later in the article, but meanwhile we will continue our Shahnameh adventure to see if we can gather more clues along the way...

The Fall of Alexander

The remainder of his reign is described as being similar to a Greek Odyssey including dragon-slaying, encounters with a tribe of Amazon women (who were almost exactly as described in Greek texts,) a quest for the waters of everlasting life and an encounter with the Angel of Death. With each encounter comes the same attempt to make Sekandar change his arrogant, egotistical and greedy ways, but each time, despite his remorse, he continues to act like a tyrannical god… in fact just like the God of the Old Testament.

Eventually, when confronted with two oracular talking trees, he is warned of his impending death. He is given the time, the place and the circumstances. He resolves to gather all of the petty Persian rulers together and then murder them all in order to protect Rum, from any future Persian aggression. However, the king of Babylon manages to change his mind and instead he splits the entire empire of Iran into small kingdoms, each with its own petty ruler. Sekandar issues a charter to this effect stipulating that none was to encroach on another’s power and he called these nobles “kings of the peoples” but they were known as The Ashkanians.

The death of Alexander the Great

The death of Alexander the Great
(Freer Gallery of Art, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upon Sekandar’s death…

“An earsplitting wail went up from his troops as they heaped dust on their heads and wept bitter tears. They set fire to the royal pavilion, and the very earth seemed to cry out in sorrow. They cut the tails of a thousand horses and set their saddles on them back to front, as a sign of mourning.” (Shahnameh)

Which has to be one of the most bizarre and peculiar things I have ever read. If this bloke, Fidowsi, was taking the p*ss with his Book of Kings then he was a whole millennium ahead of the Goons and Monty Python. Anyway, Sekandar was buried in Alexandria, Egypt, as he had requested and as had been commanded by a mysterious voice emanating from an ancient sacred wooded grove by a lake, known as Jorm… how very ‘Celtic’. It’s possible that the original text of the Shanahmeh didn’t use the name ‘Alexandria’ (Alexandreia in Greek,) but the original Persian name, which has been translated in order to identify the location’s modern name. Firdowsi has this to say about Sekandar:

“Sekandar departed, and what remains of him now is the words we say about him. He killed thirty-six kings, but look how much of the world remained in his grasp when he died. He founded ten prosperous cities, and those cities are now reed beds. He sought things that no man has ever sought, and what remains of him within the circle of the horizon is words, nothing more. Words are the better portion, since they do not decay as an old building decays in the snow and rain. I have finished with Sekandar now, and with the barrier that he built; may our days be fortunate and prosperous.” (Shahnameh)

Sekandar's Funeral

Sekandar’s funeral and the heaping of dust on the head
(Ferdowsi, CC0)

I wonder if the ten cities that are “now reed beds” refers to the 10th century cataclysm and if snow and rain were once considered normal in the Middle East? Another very interesting feature of the visual descriptions given in the Shahnameh is the copious use of the cypress tree as a simile for physical beauty, especially in women. Well, the cypress is a coniferous tree and there is a specific Saharan Cypress which is one of the world’s oldest trees and the few remaining specimens are all over of 2000 years old, dating from a time when the climate was much milder. If you take a look at the one in the picture below, it’s obvious that no beautiful woman would much care for the comparison…

Saharan Cypress

2000 year old Saharan Cypress

However, the Italian Cypress is a different matter altogether…

Italian Cypress

Italian Cypress’

The thing is though, they don’t grow in dry desert environments, so is this more evidence that the creation of deserts was part of the 10th century Dark Earth Cataclysm? 

The Great Barrier

“I have finished with Sekandar now, and with the barrier that he built...” I have spent a long time pondering what Ferdowsi really mean by “the barrier that he built?” What Sekandar did was to impose himself between all monarchs and “god.” It didn’t seem to matter to him which name a monarch gave to “god,” although there’s always the assumption that it’s Ahura-Mazda in the stories related. What was of prime importance to him was that he was recognised as the “the shadow of the world’s victorious Lord,” which implies that whoever this Lord was, he had achieved a victory that gave him sovereignty over the world. Is it safe to assume that Sekandar was claiming to be the shadow of Ahura-Mazda or had he been dethroned by the “victorious Lord?” Rather disturbingly, a shadow is an area of darkness where the light can’t reach. Within the Judeo-Christian context that Ferdowsi uses to present Sekandar’s “faith,” the victorious Lord would have to be Yahweh.

This belief system was clearly a product and feature of Rum. In other words, Greek / Byzantine / Roman even European. Exactly where Rum ended and Persia / Iran began in relation to Israel / Palestine / Jordan we will discuss later. For the moment it looks as if Sekandar’s home in Phrygia, Asia Minor was as close as this “faith” ever got to Persia until he conquered it. There are only four occurrences of the name ‘Jesus’ in the entire Shahnameh and yet the New Testament features the Roman occupation of ‘The Holy Land’ as a backdrop for the entire Jesus story. When did that happen? It should have been before Sekandar conquered Persia otherwise he couldn’t have been a Christian. It’s a chicken-and-egg conundrum, well, at least in the Shahnameh it’s a conundrum, the official narrative has it all sorted out, of course.

Sekandar killed thirty-six kings and founded ten prosperous cities, so we know that thirty-six kings resisted the imposition of a human being between themselves and their “god.” What we don’t know is where those kings were located and if they were replaced by “Christian” rulers. What’s more, we don’t know if ‘Christian Communities’ were established or whether the local populations were forced to convert en masse, but somehow that seems unlikely as further adventures from the Shahnameh will reveal.

This imposition of a human representative of “god” between man and the divine is obviously exactly what Ferdowsi was referring to as the barrier that Sekandar created. The Zend-Avesta religious belief and its pre-Zoroastrian predecessor, both feature at their core the concept of a divine inter-connection between Hormaz and the ‘world ruler’ or king. This filters down to regional monarchs (and also ‘heroes’) and was referred to as “Farr.” To impose a human between god and monarch was to create a barrier that prevented the divine inter-connection and thus the transmission of Farr, separating man from divinity.

We should all be completely familiar with this concept by now as it is fundamental to not only Judaeo-Christianity and Islam, but to every aspect of our lives, not just organised religion. At every turn we are faced with a barrier imposed by someone that separates and isolates us from everything, not just the divine, but nature, justice, knowledge, truth, well-being, freewill, etc., etc. Well now you know where it all started.

The Ashkani

The mainstream narrative recognises the ‘Ashkani’ as being “a Baloch tribe from Balochistan known as Baloch. They are also found in Balochistan, Pakistan.” Source 

What a load of Balochs. The entry goes on to associate or identify the Ashkani with the Parthian / Arsacid dynasties. Ferdowsi did his own research regarding the Ashkanians and this is what he discovered:

“...all these ruled for such a short time and had so little influence that the chronicler did not record their lives in detail; I have heard nothing but their names, and seen nothing about them in royal records. All this was as the dying Sekandar had planned: Greece [Rum] would remain safe and prosperous while the Eastern princes were preoccupied with local affairs, and so paid no attention to her.”

What’s claimed to be 200 years following Sekandar’s death passed without much worth writing about, according to Ferdowsi’s sources. Sekandar’s legacy of the ‘kings of the peoples’ comprised petty rulers of mainly Ashkanian lineage and a few from the Kayanid lineage – this doesn’t mean they were any less ‘Iranian’ or ‘Persian’ than any others as they were all descendants of the ancient Kay Qobād – the exact same situation as with the Abrahamic dynasty, except that one gets believed as the ‘gospel truth’ while others are mythical or legendary.

The kings of the peoples maintained the agreement they had made in Sekandar’s charter and never bothered Greece or anyone else in Rum. One such Ashkanian king was Ardavan the Great who held the area from Shiraz to Esfahan, known as ‘the seat of nobility’, and by his authority Estakhr (Pars) was ruled by Babak, “a man whose snares terrified dragons.” This area was ‘Iran Central’, the origin of the Kayanid dynasty and the same one claimed by the mainstream superstar Achaemenid Empire.

In fact the mainstream deals with this period in an entirely different way. It claims that there were numerous and, of course as always, bloody wars of succession resulting in the dynastic kingdoms of the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, and Antigonid dynasties who would rule large areas of the known world until the mainstream ‘Roman conquests’.

The Flashbakani flashback

You will recall the somewhat controversial episode involving the caped-crusader, Bahman and his unfortunate daughter. Well, the son and brother of the family, Sasan, left home in disgust as you may remember. When he learned that his father was dead, whether caused by illness or murder is unclear, and that the state of affairs in Persia was not looking too rosy, he emigrated to India where he established a family of no particular note. Four generations of Sasans later saw the latest namesake as chief shepherd to the ruler of Estakhr (now Istakhr, Fars, Iran, just 5 kms north of Persepolis) whose name was Babak. Eventually, Sasan’s royal lineage was revealed to Babek in dreams and he raised him up and married him to his daughter.

Estakhr Darafsh

Estakhr Darafsh
(درفش کاویانی, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Something here doesn’t make sense. Earlier we heard that following Sekandar’s death, nothing much happened for 200 years, then this episode with the descendant of Sasan occurs. We have just been informed that four generations have passed since the original Sasan left home. OK, so if we allow 25 years per generation that makes 100 years. During that period we have to allow for: the life of Darab, who died when his son Dara was 12 so let’s give him 40 years; the period of Sekandar, who came to the throne at about 11 years of age and died before his mother, so let’s give him another 40 years; then finally 200 years of nothing happening. That totals 280 years to be squeezed into 100. Realistically, it looks as if an extra zero has been added to what was originally 20 years of nothing much happening.

Furthermore, if we are going to try and relate any of this to reality, and if Sekandar actually was an early Christian then he must have been around in the mid to late 700s AD. If you add 200 years of nothing happening then the next significant event would be the cataclysm, which seems quite ridiculous.

As we have shown, he Ashkanians didn’t just turn up when Sekandar died, they had obviously played some role in the Persian / Iranian Empire and had been serving the Kayanid dynasty for some time. In fact Ashkash was a famous Persian warrior from long before the time of Sekandar, who was granted the kingship of Makram, which is now Balochistan, Pakistan – right where the mainstream places some of their Balochs / Ashkani. Sekandar himself mentions them as being “those Persians who fought against our armies.”

The mainstream narrative associates the Ashkanians with the Parthians or Arsacids. Exactly where the Parthians originated seems to be quite a mystery in the mainstream narrative. Northeastern Iran is the favourite location, but their language is officially labelled as Northwestern Iranian. In relation to the Shahnameh, it’s clear that they were natives of Persia / Iran, but their final downfall was due to disloyalty and greed for personal power.

Enter The Sasanids

Anyway, enough digression, nine months after Sasan’s marriage to Babek’s daughter, a son was born who was the spitting image of old Bahman, who was also called Ardeshir, and the new-born infant was named after the old king… with the name Ardeshir Babakan rather than ‘Bahman Returns’. Ardeshir’s fame soon reached the ears of Ardavan the Great who called for his presence at the royal palace where he would be treated as one of his own sons. This, predictably, led to intense rivalry between Ardeshir and the king’s own royal princes which resulted in Ardeshir being assigned to Ardavan’s stables as master. 

Ardeshir and Gulnar

Ardeshir and Golnar
Baysonghuri shahname, Public domain

Ardeshir was then bewitched by Golnar, Ardavan’s beautiful slave girl, who ruled the palace as her monarch’s counsellor, first advisor, treasurer and lover. At the same time Babek passed away and his position as ruler of Pars went to Ardavan’s eldest son, whose name was ...Bahman – you guessed it! Ardeshir and Golnar ran away together and made for Babek’s kingdom of Pars. He was soon recognised as the king of Pars (Persia) by right of his Kayanid ancestry...

“’..there is no one here who has not heard what the malevolent Sekandar, out of the baseness of his heart, did on this earth. One by one he killed my ancestors and unjustly grasped the world in his fist.’ Babak’s men from Estakhr came, overjoyed at the news of their new king, and all of Dara’s descendants came to him from the various provinces where they ruled.” (Shahnameh)

Clearly, Dara’s currently ruling descendants would have been Kayanid, not Ashkanian. Anyway, Ardeshir defeated the so-called ‘Ashkanian dynasty’. Ardavan was executed, two of his sons were imprisoned, but the two eldest escaped to India. Ardeshir then married Ardavan’s daughter to consolidate his rule.

Ardashir Captures Ardavan

Ardashir Captures Ardavan
(Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Public domain)

“Then he made his way from Rey to Pars, having rested from battle and the world’s strife. He built a town there filled with palaces and gardens, streams, open spaces, and mountain slopes: a wise old local dignitary still refers to that place as Khurreh-ye Ardeshir—“The Glory of Ardeshir.” From an inexhaustible spring of water within the town, he led off streams and irrigation channels. Near the spring he built a fire-temple, and there he celebrated the Zoroastrian festivals of Mehregan and Sadeh. Around the temple there were gardens, open spaces, and palaces; he made it into a splendid place. When later this wise and powerful king had died, the lord of the marches there called the place the city of Gur. Ardeshir built villages around it and settled the area. Although there was a deep lake nearby, it was separated from the town by a mountain. Ardeshir had laborers hack a hundred channels through the rock with picks, so that the water from the lake irrigated Gur, which became filled with buildings and livestock.” (Shahnameh)

This town still exists as Firuzabad in Fars, Iran. (Map)

Just before we pass on from this conquest of the Ashkanians, it’s worth noting that Rey was the location of Ardavan’s palace. This city still exists very near to Tehran and, according to Wikiperdida, it was also known as Rhages and formerly as Arsacia. This is interesting as the Parthian Empire was also known as the Arsacid Empire after its founder Arsaces I, who is never mentioned in the Shahnameh. Tehran could just about be classified as northwestern Iran, but not northeastern. The ‘Ar’ of Ardavan corresponds to the ‘Ar’ of Arsaces and also to that of Ardashir. There’s also a curious similarity between Tehran and Turan which may explain some of the confusion over the origin of the Parthians… or not.

Palace of Ardashir

Palace of Ardashir, “The Glory of Ardeshir,”Firuzabad
(Carole Raddato from Frankfurt, Germany CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Kurdled lineage

According to the Shahnameh, Ardeshir went on to defeat the Kurds, although there is another version of events known as the The Kār-Nāmag ī Ardašīr ī Pāpakān ("Book of the Deeds of Ardeshir, Son of Papak") which, according to some, suggests that Ardashir‘s lineage was in fact Kurdish rather than Persian and that he was descended from a hereditary line of Zoroastrian priests dedicated to the goddess Anahita. (The Shahnameh never mentions the goddess Anahita.) The Kār-Nāmag text is claimed to be more modern than the Shahnameh and “the sole independent manuscript of this text to have been identified so far is codex MK, which was copied in 1322 in Gujarat by Mihrābān ī Kay-Husraw, a gifted copyist belonging to a well known family of scribes.”

The same article notes the similarity between the tales of Ardashir and those of Cyrus the Great, founder of the infamous Achaemenid Empire. The tales of Ardashir are, of course, considered to be mythical. It speaks volumes that the tales of Cyrus are considered to be the original source rather than those of Ardashir.

Ardashir, on his Deathbed

Ardashir, on his Deathbed, Cedes the Throne to Shapur
(Ferdowsi, Public domain)

Ardashir ruled until he was 71 years old and Firdowsi presents him as an exceptional ruler. The throne passed to his son Shapir. However, news of Ardashir’s death evoked consternation throughout the Persian / Iranian Empire. Qaydafeh, or Anatolia, which was by that time a Roman province, ceased to send tributes, provoking Shapur to send an army against them. They got as far as Altouyaneh (Armenia) when they met the Roman forces and gave them a thorough beating. It’s curious that the name of the enigmatic Queen of Ethiopia who spared Sekandar’s life was Qaydafeh. Is this more confusion over names?

According to the mainstream narrative, the Roman-Persian wars began in around 100 BC and involved the Parthians against the Roman Republic. Officially the Parthians then allegedly spent the next 100 years alternating as allies and enemies of the Romans. They supported Brutus and Cassius (murderers of Julius Caesar) in the Liberator’s Civil War. Armenia does also feature in the official narrative in conjunction with the Parthian support of Octavian, who would later become Caesar Augustus the first Roman Emperor. There then followed a lengthy tug-of-war over the sovereignty of Armenia which lasted until 216 AD.

The official narrative also recognises Ardashir as founder of the Sassanid Empire and also Shapur, his successor. Ardashir is dated 226–241 AD, but we know that archaeologically this is impossible as the Roman Empire did not begin until the 8th Century AD. In total, the Roman-Persian wars officially lasted 7 centuries, or 700 years, with neither side gaining a lasting advantage. What a coincidence. 700 years is exactly the period of false, duplicated and mirrored ‘history’ that’s been added to the first millennium.

In the Shahnameh, Shapur builds a city called Shapurgerd, which is modern day Gundeshapur
The Wikiperdida page states, “The origin of the Sasanian Kings were originated form [sic] the Kurdish family bloodline.” which is extraordinarily bad English and not supported by the inline ‘Sasanian’ link provided by Wikipedia itself. This claim obviously comes straight from… or is it form, the The Kār-Nāmag ī Ardašīr ī Pāpakān ("Book of the Deeds of Ardeshir, Son of Papak") discussed a few paragraphs back and crops up in various places where it’s presented as being factual. The Shahnameh version, on the other hand, is always treated as being mythical.

Those Dam Romans

During Shapur’s conflict with the Romans he captured Baranush whom he kept with him as a valued advisor. Shapur charged Baranush with the task of building a massive bridge near Shushtar…

“If you’re an engineer, build a bridge here, so strong that when we pass away it will remain, as a sign to the wise. Make it a thousand cubits long. When you have done this, ask me for whatever treasure you desire. Use the knowledge of Roman savants to build monuments in this country; when you have made the bridge, which will lead to my palace, you can live as my guest, in happiness and safety, secure from evil and the wiles of Ahriman.” (Shahnameh)

“The Shushtar hydraulic system, in its ensemble and most particularly the Shâdorvân Grand Weir (bridge-dam), has been considered a Wonder of the World not only by the Persians but also by the Arab-Muslims at the peak of their civilisation.” Source

Shushtar Hydraulic System

Shushtar Hydraulic System
(Iman Yari, CC BY-SA 4.0)

What can’t speak can’t lie… maybe

What’s never mentioned in the Shahnameh are the numerous inscriptions attributed to Shapur and other Persian kings. There is one that it’s claimed Shapur made after his victory over the Romans:

“The inscription is written in Middle Persian, Parthian, and Greek, containing 35, 30, and 70 lines, respectively. The Middle Persian variant is partially damaged, while the Greek and Parthian versions although they are not exactly the same as the Middle Persian text.” Source

Ardashir’s Victory

 Ardashir’s Victory
(Milad Vandaee, میلاد وندائی, CC BY-SA 3.0)

To begin with, the Parthian language is ‘Arsacid Pahlavi’ whilst Middle Persian and Pahlavi are one and the same according to the mainstream. So what managed to be written in 35 lines of Middle Persian or Pahlavi is partially damaged, but what took 70 lines in Greek and only 30 in Arsacid Pahlavi in is still legible, although different to the Middle Persian.

Middle Persian or Pahlavi was current during the Sassanian empire. Arsacid Pahlavi must relate to the older Ashkanian period claimed by the mainstream to be Parthian / Arsacid. However, the only damaged inscription is the supposedly newer Middle Persian Pahlavi one. It’s therefore reasonable to assume that the damage was either deliberate or due to the Middle Persian Pahlavi one being older than the others… which contradicts the mainstream’s language group bollocks.

Another rock relief, which claims to contain the oldest inscription from the Sassanian period, is known as the inscription of Ardashir-e Babakan and Hormozd or Coronation of Ardashir-e Babakan. Once again the inscriptions appear in the same three languages. The one above Ardashir’s horse reads “This is the figure of Mazdaworshiper, the lord Ardashir, Shahanshah of Iran, whose lineage is from Gods, the son of the lord Papak, the king". However, if Ardashir had been the son of Papak he would have been called Ardashir-e Papakan, not Ardashir-e Babakan.

Investiture of Ardashir

Investiture of Ardashir
(Photo Ginolerhino 2002, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ahuramazda's horse bears another inscription, the Greek version reads, "This is the figure of the God Zeus", but the Middle Persian version reads "This is the figure of the God Ahuramazda". However, above Ahura Mazda's figure, three further inscriptions in the aforementioned languages have the same content, "This is Ahura Mazda's figure." Obviously, whoever was adding text to this relief forgot to mention “This is Zeus’ / Ahuramazda’s horse… not the actual God”

Inscription by Ardeshir’s horse

Inscription near Ardeshir’s horse
Public domain

We will be discussing the most famous inscription of all, allegedly from the Achaemenid Darius the Great, in a later section.

This is all highly suspicious, in our opinion. The Greek versions could easily have been added by the European visitors of the 17th century when they arrived in Iran with their new version of Persian history. In fact all of the inscriptions could have been created at any time. There’s also more evidence of the curious mixing of gods that we saw in relation to Sekandar / Alexander, but this time Zeus is confused with Ahuramazda.

Shapur Zu’l Aktaf makes an ass of himself

Following Shapur’s death, the Shahnameh mentions six subsequent kings with relatively uneventful reigns. Then, after Hormozd the son of Nersi (the last of these six,) had reigned for nine years, the throne passed to Shapur Zu’l Aktaf. He decided to go and visit the Emperor of Rome to see if he was worthy of the title and to assess the capability of his army. He disguised himself as a merchant and took a caravan of camels loaded with merchandise. Unfortunately, whilst being received by the emperor he was recognised. In a curious mockery of the Jesus and donkey episodes, the emperor had Shapur Zu’l Aktaf sewn into an ass’s or donkey’s skin and then thrown in a cell. Meanwhile the Roman Emperor marched on Iran / Persia which was leaderless. Persia fell to Rum and many people were killed, taken captive or simply fled. Many Persians were converted to Christianity and “the land surrendered itself to their bishops.”

Shapur Zu’l Aktaf escaped from Rome and made his way back to Persia thanks to the assistance of the Persian (but Christianised) maidservant of the Emperor’s wife, who escaped with him. This is one of the four occurrences of the word ‘Jesus’ in the Shahnameh:

“The maidservant swore by the seventy twists in a priest’s belt, by the soul of Jesus and his sufferings on the cross, and by the lord of Iran that she would neither tell anyone his secret, nor seek to worsen his situation in any way.” (Shahnameh)

Following his return to Iran Shapur eventually gathered an army and reclaimed the throne from the Romans. 1,110 Roman nobles were captured along with the Emperor himself.  By the way, an awful lot of swearing by priest's belts goes on in the Shahnameh by both Zoroastrians and Christians. However, the "70 knots " is curious as 70 is a number that seems to have significance only within Judaism.

Shapur captures the Emperor Valerian

Shapur captures the Emperor Valerian
(, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Shapur Zu’l Aktaf said to the captive Emperor, “You are entirely evil, a Christian, and an enemy of God. You say that he who has no partner, whose realm has no beginning or end, has a son. You don’t know how to speak except in lies, and lies are an evil fire that gives no light. If you are an emperor, where are your shame and good sense, where is your conscience to guide you?” (Shahnameh)

This is the first mention in the Shahnameh of the ‘Son of God’ rather than simply a messiah. It demonstrates how the concept of God having a son was totally alien to Zoroastrianism. It’s also interesting that throughout the Shahnameh whenever God is mentioned it is always as Ahuramazda and never the Judeo-Christian Yahweh.

The Roman Emperor Valerian and his entire army, were captured by Shapur I in the official narrative. It’s claimed that The Band-e Kaisar, "Caesar's dam", Pol-e Kaisar, "Caesar's bridge", Bridge of Valerian or Shadirwan, “was an ancient arch bridge in Shushtar, Iran, and the first in the country to combine it with a dam. Built by the Sassanids, using Roman prisoners of war as workforce, in the 3rd century AD on Sassanid order,” Source

This is exactly the same hydraulic system as the Shâdorvân Grand Weir in Shustar that was ordered by the Shahnameh’s Shapur I after his capture of the Roman Baranush six Persian rulers previously. The Shahnameh does not associate Valerian, or the Roman captives, with the construction at Shustar. Wikiperdida states:

“According to Persian tradition, the Band-e Kaisar is named after the Roman emperor Valerian (253–260 AD), who was captured with his entire army by the Sassanid ruler Shapur I after having been defeated in the Battle of Edessa (260).”  Source

Well, we have just seen that this is absolutely not what Persian tradition ‘accords’. The sources for this “Persian tradition” are given as the Muslim historians Tabari and Masudi from the 9th and 10th centuries.” There are no dates given for extant original copies of these alleged Muslim works, only for much later translations and editions.

Shapur Zu’l Aktaf set out to attack Rome via its territories. The captive emperor’s younger brother was sent to oppose the invading Persians, his name is given as Yanus. Valerian had a brother named Egnatius Victor Marinianus… Egnatius / Yanus?

After the inevitable battle…

“No army or cross remained on that plain, and no bishops or crosses remained in the castles… The Roman soldiers gathered round and spoke against their emperor, saying, ‘May we never have another ruler like him, may the name of emperor disappear from Rome! Away with altars and crosses and vestments; now our priests’ belts and crosses have been burned, Rome is like pagan Qanuj for us, and the fame of the Messiah’s faith grows weaker.’” (Shahnameh)

Now something extremely interesting takes place. Rome gets a new emperor named Baranush (yes, another one, but not the one who built the bridge… or didn’t and not the one who was asked to do the fandango in the Bohemian Rhapsody.) Rome is in chaos and fearing for its very survival as the Persians approach, along with others who have rebelled. Baranush decides to appeal to Shapur Zu’l Aktaf by letter…

“If we may trace this warfare to the time
Iraj died, Manuchehr avenged that crime—
Both Tur and Salm are dust now. And if you’re
Remembering Dara’s and Sekandar’s war,
Dara was murdered by his ministers
And plucked from power by his opposing stars.
And if you hate our emperor, he remains
A captive in your dungeons, bound in chains.
But Rome, which has no equal anywhere,
Should not be prey to ruin and despair.
If you attack us we cannot withstand
The force of your assault against our land,
Our wives and children are already yours,
Made captive, or left wounded by your wars.
It’s time to close your eyes to what is past,
To lay aside your warlike plans at last.
Day follows day, and every day in turn
Sees yet another of our cities burn!
Let joy into your heart—it cannot be
That God looks kindly on such tyranny.”

Shapur Zu’l Aktaf replied:

“Who was it who sewed his guest in an ass’s skin and rekindled ancient enmities? But if you are wise come before me, bringing philosophers from your country. Since I have decided on peace, I shall not prepare for war. I shall let you go free from this narrow pass in which you find yourself.” (Shahnameh)

This is important and deserves closer inspection. The Roman Emperor, Baranush, states that the enmity between Rome and Persia originates from the time when the world was divided into three parts with each being ruled over by one of the sons of King Feraydun. They comprised:
Iran (Iran, Iraq, Arabia, Syria, Egypt) given to Iraj.
Turan (Central Asia and points east - including China) given to Tur.
Rum (Anatolia, Asia Minor, Greece and the northern Mediterranean countries) given to Salm.

Baranush’s statement refers to the murder of Iraj by his brothers Tur and Salm as being the root cause of the “ancient enmities.” In other words, Turan and Rum struck the first blow against Persia / Iran.

The murder of Iraj by his brothers Tur and Salm

The murder of Iraj by his brothers Tur and Salm
(Chester Beatty Library, Public domain)

Then Baranush cites the war between Sekandar and Dara as being part of the same dispute which Shapur Zu’l Aktaf confirms as being “ancient enmities.” Sekandar, being Greek, would represent Rum with Dara as Persia / Iran, but here there is no distinction between the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire, it’s all Rum – they’re all Rumi.

A Christian Rebellion

Meanwhile, back in the Shanhameh, the Rumi / Romans and the Persians agreed a peace treaty. This included control of a city called Nasibin in Mesopotamia which was on the border between Rum and Persia and had been a Roman stronghold up until then with a strong Christian presence. The ceding of Nasibin to the Persians also features in the mainstream narrative. Today it’s called Nusaybin and right on the border between Syria and Turkey. When its inhabitants discovered that the city had been granted to the Persians, the Christian community rose up in arms against the pagan Persians. Shapur Zu’l Akta was not happy…

Shapur Besieges the Roman Fortress of Nasibin

Shapur’s siege of Nasibin
Ferdowsi, Public domain

“Shapur burst out in rage against the Christian faith and sent a huge army against the town. He said, ‘It’s ridiculous to respect a religion whose prophet was killed by the Jews.’”

This is the first mention of the Jews in the entire Shahnameh, which is a bit of a shocker really considering that in the official narrative the Persian Achaemenid Empire supposedly had such a fundamental effect upon Judaism. The statement above, whilst clearly not factual, at least demonstrates the general feeling towards the Jews by the Persians according to Iran’s National History. We also don’t know what the original Persian word really meant or if ‘Jews’ was another assumption by the translator.

Anyway, Shapur Zu’l Akta brought the rebellious Christians to order. Whilst all of this was going on, the captured Roman Emperor remained in prison where he eventually died. Shapur built three cities; Khorramabad (The City of Joy) and Kenam-e Asiran (The Captives’ Dwelling) both in Khuzestan, and also Piruz-e Shapur (Shapur’s Victory) in Syria. The two cities in Khuzestan were built specifically for the benefit of the captured Roman soldiers, but this is not mentioned in the official narrative.

Mani and his Manichaeanism

There is a curious interlude involving the prophet Mani – he of Manichaeanism fame – except in the Shahnameh version he was also a painter “and the first of those who introduce new religions into the world.” He arrived from China and sought an audience with Shapur Zu’l Akta whom he sought to convert to his new religion. He was referred to the chief Zoroastrian priest who ran rings around him. Shapur then declared:

“’The world is no place for this image maker; he has disturbed the peace long enough. Let him be flayed and his skin stuffed with straw so that no one will be tempted to follow his example.’ They hung his body from the city gates, and then later from the wall in front of the hospital. The world praised Shapur, and men flung dirt on Mani’s corpse.”

It makes you realise just how fortunate Zoroaster was to have had the full support of the Rumi puppet king Goshtap when his new religion was enforced.

The execution of Mani

 The Execution of Mani
Tehran Museum of contemporary art
Public domain

The mainstream version of Mani’s life and death is very different and from mostly modern sources. He gets mingled with Christianity, has his own disciples and followers, then he gets imprisoned and crucified… or not, at least not by Shapur, but by his successor. There again there’s a medieval Islamic version that includes some of the Shahnameh features, but extends it with his departure from a cave on a trip to heaven (just like Muhammed.) His eventual demise is the same as in the Shahnameh although again, by a later king.

Shahnameh vs. Mainstream

The mainstream and the Shahnameh coincide regarding the reign of Yazdegerd the Unjust. It claims that he followed the short reigns of Ardeshir Niku Kar, Shapur III and Bahram Shapur who were all descendants of the Shapur Zu’l Akta mentioned above. Yazdegard was a despicable tyrant in the Shahnameh. His son, Bahram, who’s mother is not specified or mentioned (at least not in my translation) was sent to be brought up by Prince No’man and his father Monzer, the King of Yemen. There was great concern amongst the Persian nobles, priests and astrologers that Bahram would turn out like his father – apparently it could go either way.

Not long after his return from the Yemen, when he was ‘of age’, his father had him confined within a palace for a year. He escaped and returned to the Arabian province. Yazdegard died a little while later, but Bahram didn’t automatically ascend to the throne because the nobles etc. weren’t willing to take the risk that he would be another tyrant like his father, therefore they bestowed the throne upon Khosrow, a an old, chivalrous man from a wealthy and noble family, who lived in the borderlands. The news of the instability in Iran spread throughout the world and many sought to take advantage of the situation and prepared to attack. The King of the Yemen raised an army, led by Bahram, and restored order to the land up as far as Ctesiphon. The Persian chieftains asked the King of Yemen to take the throne and protect them, but he refused insisting that they had a rightful heir in Bahram. Finally Bahram became king following a trial whereby he had to take the crown from between two wild lions.

Bahram gaining the crown from between two lions

Bahram gaining the crown from between two lions
(, Public domain)

Enter the Jews

The official narrative calls him Bahram V, son of Yazdegard I. It claims that his mother was Shushandukht, a daughter of Huna bar Nathan, a Babylonian rabbi and exilarch (leader of the Jewish community in Iran), of the fifth and sixth generations of amoraim – preachers of the Oral Torah. He was also apparently a close associate of the extremely nice (in their version) Yazdegard I “who ruled over Babylonia at the time, and was known for his kindness towards the Jewish community there.” Source (Note: no source references are given for this or any dates whatsoever.)

Shushandukht also “created the Jewish neighborhood in the city of Isfahan.[1] She also established Jewish colonies in the cities of Shush (Susa) and Shooshtar. The existence of a Jewish queen enhanced the life of Persian Jews and during this period Jewish exilarchs had regular attendance to the Shah's court.[2]”  Source

[1] The source for this is ‘A catalogue of the provincial capitals of Ērānshahr’ by Professor Josef Markwart, published posthumously in 1931. He was a Catholic German historian and orientalist who’s pupil was the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Messina, historian of religions and orientalist. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to this work. Perhaps these were both fundamentalist mainstreamers?

[2] This cites a book from 2006 entitled, ‘The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran’, by Aptin Khanbaghi. It’s described as:

“This book offers a comprehensive discussion of the cultural, economic, and political achievements of religious groups that resisted assimilation to Islam in the Middle East. Focusing on Iran--which offers unique opportunities for the study of Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians--who all lived as minorities under Muslim rule there, the book covers the 6th through the 18th century.” Source

There we go with the assumption that Iran was under “Muslim rule” by 650 AD, although the above states the 6th century. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to this “comprehensive discussion” either.

The ‘Sahrestaniha-i Eran-sahr’ (The Provincial Capitals of Iran,) claims to be the only major surviving Middle Persian text on the geography of ancient Iran. It lists cities, their builders and their importance along with what you might call “gossip.” It was allegedly completed in the late 8th or early 9th century under Muslim rule (again allegedly) and mentions Muslim rulers of various locations. There’s also other similar assumptions made based upon the usual mainstream Bayesian chronology concerning earlier Iranian kings. Anyway, a comment from a recent edition of the book with translations goes as follows:

“Sisinduxt: The name of the queen would have been Susan in Hebrew, meaning "lily," Arabic and Persian Susan (Modi 1898; 142). She was the wife of Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE) and her father was the Jewish leader in 407 CE. Because of the king's religious tolerance, the Exilarch must have been close to him and in contact which makes the story more likely. It has been suggested that any of the following Exilarchs could have been the father of Sisinduxt; Mar Kahana, Mar Yemar, or Mar Zutra I, while Huna B. Nathan was suggested by Modi to have been the father of Sisinduxt (Modi 1898; 141). Gray, however, had ruled out all of them as a likely candidate (Gray 1916; 465).” ‘Sahrestaniha i Eransahr’ by Touraj Daryaee, 2002.

The reference to ‘Gray 1916’ comes from the Jewish Encyclopedia and is another, almost desperate attempt to insinuate Jews into the history of Iran, although on this occasion back in 1916 they gave up trying to identify the exilarch, but all is not lost because they kept going until the constant repetition of attempts to ‘Name that Jew’ were sufficient to distract from the fact that he never existed in the first place and Bahram’s Jewish identity has been seeded into mainstream history...

Richard Frye  believes that Yazdegerd I's marriage to a daughter of the patriarch of the Jews is "probably folk tales", while Touraj Daryaee supports this story, stating that the Jews would see Bahram as a Jewish king due to his Jewish origin.” Source

This is the same Touraj Daryaee who, in 2002, translated the ‘Sahrestaniha i Eransahr’ that was quoted a couple of paragraphs back. The Wikipedia reference above is from a book he published in 2009.

This methodology is so typical, not just of the insinuation of Jews and Christians into Iranian history, but also history in general. For example, see Felix’s article ‘The Betrayal of Albion’

Mainstream murder, intrigue and corruption

There is more or less agreement on the young Bahram being brought up in an Arabian province…

“Bahram, during his youth, was sent to the Lakhmid court in al-Hira, where he was raised under the tutelage of the Lakhmid king al-Nu'man I ibn Imru' al-Qays (r. 390–418). According to the modern historian O. Klíma, Bahram was probably sent there due to a disagreement with his father, while Giusto Traina suggests he was possibly sent there to avoid court intrigues.” Source

The mainstream version has Yazdegerd I murdered in 420 AD by the corrupt aristocrats and priests. A Shapur IV, who was apparently the eldest son of Yazdegerd and governor of Armenia, briefly took the throne, but wouldn’t you know it, he was also quickly murdered by those same corrupt aristocrats and priests. Then those same murderers elected Khosrow to the throne, but this Khosrow was ‘a ’son of Bahram V’, however, there had been no mention of Bahram marrying or siring sons before.

Yazdegird I Kicked to Death by the Water Horse

Yazdegird I Kicked to Death by the Water Horse
From a 14th C version of a ‘Shahnama’
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

The trial with the crown between two lions is the same, but then the official narrative has to inject even more intrigue by claiming that Bahram distrusted the nobles and was therefore the first Persian king to be crowned by a Zoroastrian priest… which doesn’t make any sense unless the mainstream Bahram was too stupid to realise that the priests were also conspiring with the nobles and running around murdering monarchs.

Officially Bahram then (again) married an Indian Princess and gained territories In India as the result. He resettled some of the natives from Sind, Pakistan, in southern Iraq for no given purpose. No doubt this was included in the narrative to justify something that happened later.

Not forgetting persecution…

Then a massive divergence occurs. In the mainstream story Bahram begins persecuting Christians at the urging of the Zoroastrian priests and the minister of a noble Parthian family, named Suren or Surenas. Given that the Parthians and the Sassanids were mortal enemies, this may come as a surprise, however, the claim is that the this ‘noble’ Parthian family switched sides after the Parthian defeat. Anyway, the persecuted Christians all fled to Constantinople where they were welcomed by its bishop. There’s no indication as to where exactly all these Christians fled from, whether it was Iran in general, one specific area or various places.

Of course, this resulted in a war and then a peace treaty that returned everything back to exactly the way it was before it began. Another mainstream twist concerns alleged “nomadic invaders in the east known in scholarship as ‘Iranian Huns’ (i.e. the Hephthalites, Kidarites, Chionites and Alchon Huns).” In the Shahnameh, anyone from the region concerned – Turan – was either a Turkish Turk or Chinese. So these ‘Huns’ took advantage of the war with Rum to invade Iran. Allegedly Bahram was forced to ‘pay tribute’ to the Huns and leave them the captured cities of Marv and Ray. But of course, he gave the Huns a good thrashing as soon as he had finished with the Romans.

Meanwhile, back in the Shahnameh…

This war with Rum and the invasion of the Huns are only “known in scholarship” as they did not happen in the Shahnameh. Instead, there was an invasion by China, who mistakenly believed that Bahram was a wastrel who cared nothing for war. The Byzantine emperor joined the party as well and also prepared an army for invasion sending an ambassador to Persia. Bahram secretly assembled a fighting force and left the Sassanid capital, allowing everyone to think he had run away. He left his younger brother, Nersi, in charge of the crown and throne.

Some of the fearful nobles and priests attempted to bargain with the Chinese emperor for peace. Upon receiving this news the emperor advanced with his armies to Marv. Marv as in the official story, what a coincidence. Once there, he and his men set about having as good a time as possible. Meanwhile, Bahram crept up upon Marv and totally smashed the Chinese forces. He then went on to drive the Turks back beyond the border with Turan. He erected a column there and forbade both Turks and Chinese from ever passing it again, to which they agreed. Baharm made Shemr, an Iranian noble, king of Turan. In the official version this is his brother Narseh, which sounds suspiciously like the name Nersi who was the brother he left in charge of Iran in the Shahanameh version and who Bahram made king of Khorasan, the eastern province of Iran, upon his return. He also forgave all the nobles and priests who petitioned for peace with the Chinese emperor.

Meanwhile, the Byzantine ambassador had been waiting for Bahram’s return. He was a student of Plato and challenged Bahram with seven philosphical questions. Peace was assured after Bahram had give satisfactory answers and no Christians were harmed during the making of this treaty.

Bahram then went on to sort out India, which had become unruly under the misgovernance of its king, Shangal. This involved Bahram travelling in disguise as his own ambassador and all manner of mystical and magical experiences including dragon-slaying (very much like Sekandar / Alexander.) He ended up marrying the Indian King’s daughter and the situation in India was resolved.

So, in the Shahnameh, there were no persecuted Christians or Jews, no war with Roman emperors, no ‘Huns’, no corrupt, conspiratorial, murdering nobles and priests, no Suran family of Parthian nobles who are claimed to have ruled Iran like puppetmasters, no marriages to the daughters of Jewish Exiliarchs and no resettlement of natives from Pakistan to southern Iraq. Also the names are all either different or confused and the events chronologically disordered. This is the typical pattern throughout comparisons between the Shahnameh and the official stories.

Mazdak and his communist revolution

Some time later another prophet appeared, although he wasn’t so much preaching a new religion, but revolution. Mazdak was King Qobad’s chief minister and treasurer during a period of drought and famine. He managed to convince the king that equality was the will of God and therefore distributed all of the stored food and everyone’s wealth to the poor.

“He said that those who had nothing were equal with the powerful, and that one man should not own more than another, since the rich were the weft and the poor the warp. Men should be equal in the world, and why should one man seek to have more than another? Women, houses, and possessions were to be distributed, so that the poor would have as much as the rich. ‘By the power of the pure faith I proclaim equality,’ Mazdak said, ‘and what is noble will be distinguished from what is base; any man who follows any faith but this will be cursed by God.’”

King Qobad’s (mainstrean Kavad I) son, Kesra (mainstrean Khosrow I), was opposed to this new ideology and Mazdak petitioned the king to have him declared a heretic. Kesra pleaded for time to make his case and used it to summon all the Zoroastrian wise men he could find to the palace. The experience of the intervening period and ensuing debate exposed Mazdak’s doctrine to be a dangerous fraud, He and his followers were executed and the ways of the Zend-Avesta (Zoroastrianism) were restored.

The Execution of Mazdak

The Execution of Mazdak
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

Enter the Christians

When Kesra became King of Kings he built a defensive wall between Iran and Turan, which must have been enormous. Cross-border conflicts with Rum resulted in a treaty, which included the provision that Kesra should marry the Roman emperor’s daughter. She was a Christian. Their union produced a son, Nushzad (mainstream Anoshazad.)

“He grew to be like an elegant cypress, an accomplished young man, and an ornament to the kingdom. When he learned about hell and the way to heaven, Esdras, Jesus, and the path of Zoroaster, he rejected the Zend-Avesta and washed his face with the waters of Christianity. He chose his mother’s beliefs over his father’s faith, and the world was astonished at this. The king grieved that this rose had produced only thorns; the doors to the young man’s palace were closed, and it became his prison. He was confined to Jondeshapur, far from both the Persian capital and the west, and his companions were criminals in chains.” (Shahnameh)

Wikiperdida claims that Gundeshapur, or Jundishapur “...was the the intellectual centre of the Sassanid Empire and the home of the Academy of Gundishapur, founded by Sassanid king Shapur I.” which obviously wouldn’t have been far from the capital or the west.

It also claims  that Nushzad’s Christianity was “unlikely” because neither Procopius nor Ibn al-Athir  call him a Christian even though his mother’s Christianity is undisputed. Instead, they claim he was imprisoned for leching after his father’s wives or for being a crypto-Manichaean. The rest of the mainstream story is just too ludicrous for words.

Anyway, the Christian son, Nushzad, received the fake news that his father, Kesra, had died and so led a revolt that freed him and all the criminals, from prison…

“All the Christians there, priests and bishops alike, joined him, and soon he had a force of thirty thousand men, armed and ready for war. The Roman emperor wrote him a letter, as murky as his behaviour, recognizing him as the lord of Jondeshapur and as the emperor’s ally and co-religionist. Nushzad’s fortunes had been at a low ebb, but now they revived and he filled the town with evil men.” (Shahnameh)

News of this reached Ctesiphon in modern day Iraq, 530 kms from Jondeshapur which, again according to Wikiperdida, “served as a royal capital of the empires in the Parthian and Sasanian eras for over eight hundred years. Ctesiphon was capital of the Sasanian Empire from 226–637 until the Muslim conquest of Persia in 651 AD.” Bollocks methinks. The commander of the palace at Ctesiphon didn’t hesitate to inform Kesra.

Kesra replied to his commander at Ctesiphon advising him:

“As for the rebels who make up Nushzad’s army, think of them as so much wind; they’re malcontents, like gossiping women. The Christians among them will give up if you shout at them loudly enough, that’s their way, and in the end they’ll renounce that cross of theirs. The rest are slaves and malignant fools with not a noble thought in their heads, blown hither and thither by every wind.” (Shahnameh)

Piruz advises Nushzad not to rebel

Piruz warns Nushzad against rebellion
(Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Public domain)

A confrontation was inevitable and the armies met outside of Jondeshapur, where “Nushzad, with a Roman helmet on his head, was in the centre of his forces, surrounded by so many Roman priests that their horses’ hooves hid the ground.” A brave warrior, whose name was Piruz-Shir, came forward and cried out…

“Nushzad, who turned your head away from justice? You have deserted the faith of Kayumars, Hushang, and Tahmures, and Christ the Deceiver himself was killed when he abandoned God’s faith! Don’t follow the faith of someone who didn’t know what he was doing. If God’s farr was with him, how were the Jews able to overcome him? Have you heard what your noble father did to the Romans and their emperor? And now you’re fighting against him and lifting your head up to the skies! For all your handsome face and farr and strength, for all your massive shoulders and great mace, I see no wisdom in you: your soul is dark and bewildered.” (Shahnameh)

Nushzad replied, “Feeble old man, your head’s filled with wind, you can expect no surrender from my army of heroes, nor from me, a king’s son. I reject Kesra’s faith and cleave to my mother’s way. Her faith is that of Christ, and I shall not swerve aside from his glorious path. If Christ who brought our faith was killed, this does not mean that God’s glory had abandoned him; his pure soul went to God because he saw no nobility in this dark world. If I am to be killed, I am not afraid, since death is a poison against which there is no antidote.” (Shahnameh)

And that’s exactly what happened to him. This concept of divine ‘farr’ is the main theme of the Shahnameh and we will examine it in more detail later.

The Book of Kalileh and Demneh

In another overlap with mainstream history, the tale of the famous Book of Kalileh and Demneh 
is given in the Shahnameh. The same Kesra Nushin-Ravan, who dealt with Mazdak, obtained it from India. The official version states:

“A lot of researchers have agreed that the book goes back to Indian roots, and was based on the Sanskrit text Pañcatantra. It was translated into Arabic in the Abbasid age specifically in the second hijri century (the eighth century CE) by Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa using his own writing style. Before being translated into Arabic, it was translated into the Pahlavi language (old Persian) [WS: incorrect – it’s Middle Persian] at the beginning of the sixth century CE by orders from the king of sasanian empire, Khosrow I.” Source

Here we have an excellent example of mainstream history validating the Shahnameh… or do I mean the Shahnameh validating mainstream history? The name Khosrow bears a slight resemblance to Kesra and the dates are all wrong, as usual. In fact, the complete and utter mess over names has made illustrating this article a bit of a nightmare when searching for images. I've seen Khosrow spelt in so many different ways you wouldn't believe it - 'Chesrau' was probably one of the more obscure ones. The Islamic sources are the most bizarre in terms of names.

It all starts to go horribly wrong…

Hormozd (Hormozd IV) was the oldest of Kesra’s six sons and thus nominated to succeed him. However, his mother was Turkish (i.e. from Turan) and he turned out to be what cockneys call “a wrong’un.” He methodically ‘removed’ his father’s closest advisors, one of whom said to him:

“You are born of a Turkish woman, and you can never be sated with bloodshed. Your ancestry is from the emperors of China, not from Kay Qobad, even though Kesra bestowed the crown on you!” Hormozd knew that if this man stayed alive he would need no prompting to shed his king’s blood; hearing these unwelcome words, he had Bahram [an advisor] taken back to the prison. On the next night, when the moon rose above the mountains, the executioner killed him in the prison.” (Shahnameh)

Throughout the ten years of Hormozd’s rule he had managed to make himself so unpopular that...

“Turks from the east (Afghanistan), Rumi (Byzantine Romans) from the west. From every country armies led by famous noblemen were approaching. An army came from Khazar, and the land on their route was blackened by the mass of men. They were led by the experienced warrior Bedal, who marched with his own wealth and men and overran the countryside from Armenia to Ardebil. And an innumerable army came up from Arabia, led by young, proud riders like Abbas and Hamzeh. As they came they plundered the land that had provided Hormozd with regular tax revenues. They reached the Euphrates and left not a blade of grass still growing in the province.” (Shahnameh)

Hormozd gave back the territories that his father, Kesra, had taken from the Rumi and told them that he no longer required a tribute from Rum. The Roman emperor returned to Byzantium. The Persian army defeated the Khazars in Armenia, but it required the attentions of a new hero named Bahram Chubineh (yes, another Bahram) to deal with the Turks led by the Chinese emperor. After the Chinese / Turkish forces were destroyed, the Chinese emperor’s son sought revenge. He was also defeated, but Bahram Chubineh showed him clemency, although this turned out to be a bad idea. The new Chinese emperor united with Hormozd against Bahram Chubineh. 

The Battle between Bahram Chubina and Sava Shah

The Battle between Bahram Chubina and Sava Shah
(Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Public domain)

It’s clear from a speech made by the ‘hero’ Bahram Chubineh that this was taking place 500 years after the establishment of the Sassanian dynasty, which seems ridiculous and is probably the result of more mainstream editing. Bahram’s success affected his personality for the worse. Following what is presented as a journey to a mystical castle in the Otherworld and later referred to as a demonic intervention, Bahram became the Sassanian dynasty’s worst enemy.

"Bahram Chubina Meets a Lady who Foretells his Fate

Bahram Chubina Meets a Lady who Foretells his Fate
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

Civil war broke out between Bahram Chubineh’s followers and Hormozd, who’s army was led by his son Khosrow Parviz. Hormozd, who had been blinded in an attack by an angry mob, advised his son to seek help from Rum. Following Khosrow’s departure, Hormozd was strangled by two of Khosrow’s advisors and Bahram Chubineh declared himself king.

Khosrow Parviz before his Father Hormozd

Khosrow Parviz before his Father Hormozd.
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

Khosrow reached the territory of Rum and entered into lengthy negotiations with the emperor who eventually agreed to help him against Bahram Chubineh. This agreement included marriage to his daughter Miriam, who was a Christian. Khosrow returned with his army and after many skirmished with Bahram’s forces he one day found himself trapped in a defile, alone and face-to-face against Bahram and two of his companions. This was the result of misplaced bravado on Khosrow’s part.

Khosrow was saved by the “angel” Sorush who told him:

“I am Sorush. I came
In answer to your faith, and soon you’ll be
The world’s king, glorious in your sovereignty:
You’ll reign for thirty-eight long years if you
Act righteously in everything you do.”

The Angel Sorush Rescues Khosrow Parviz

The "Angel" Sorush Rescues Khosrow Parviz
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

Sorush was not a Christian angel, in spite of the translators attempt to pass him off as one, but one of the seven divine entities, or Amesha Spenta, emanating from Ahura Mazda.

So Khosrow lived to fight another day, which of course is exactly what he did, except it was the same day. Following a break in the fighting Khosrow and his commander Bandury, announced to Bahram’s followers that he would offer amnesty and forgiveness to all those who returned to the fold. Bahram was left with just a few close friends and advisors and they all took off towards China.

Khosrow and Bahram in battle

Khosrow and Bahram in battle
(Topkapı Palace Museum, Public domain)

(Here, Ferdowsi, by now more than sixty-five years old, unexpectedly breaks off his narrative for a moment to insert a lament for the death of his own son…)

Khosrow sent his Roman army back to Rum. Bahram reached China where he ingratiated himself with the emperor to the point where his reaction to Khosrow’s request for Bahram’s extradition was to invade Iran with Bahram at the head of his army. Bahram had by now become totally corrupt.

Bahram’s new army reached the Persian border at Marv and the emperor gave orders that no one should cross into Persia. Meanwhile, the Persian ambassador to China had been secretly grooming an old Turk and pandering to the empress. He managed to obtain a pass for the old Turk that would allow him access to Bahram. And so, Bahram was stabbed to death and the old Turk paid with his own life.

Bahram’s sister, Gordyeh, gave him a “I told you it would all end in tears” speech as he lay dying to which he repliad, “Your advice had no effect on me; a demon misled me. There never was a king greater than Jamshid—the world lived in awe and hope of him—and yet he was misled by demons and made the earth a dark and fearsome place for himself. There was King Kavus, who ruled the world and was blessed by fortune, and he too was destroyed by a wretched demon; he ascended into the sky to see the turning spheres, the moon, and the sun, and you know the evil that came to him because of this. A demon misled me too, and I strayed from righteousness. I regret the evil I have done, but I trust that God will pardon me…. Thus has it always been for the Persians; there has always been some evil demon guiding them.” (Shahnameh)

Upon the news of Bahram’s death the Chinese emperor wrote and asked for his sister’s hand in marriage in order to honour her brother’s memory… not to Bahram, of course, but directly to Gordyeh. She quickly gathered together 1,160 of the most loyal soldiers along with close friends and supporters and skedaddled back to Iran as fast as possible. The remains of Bahram’s revolting army appealed to the Turks for amnesty. The Chinese emperor was not impressed and so sent his brother to ‘negotiate’ along the lines of ‘capitulate or die’. Which, unfortunately, he did in single combat with Gordyeh who then journeyed on to Iran with her army.

An Imposter takes up the story… ?

Then the king, Khosrow Parviz, sent a message to the governor of Khorasan, named Gostahm, summoning his immediate presence. Suddenly and notably the narrative of the Shahnameh changes its opinion of Khosrow Parviz and portrays him in a completely different light…

“But knowing that Khosrow Parviz was young and bloodthirsty, when Gostahm received this order he gathered his forces together and went to cities ruled by men of authority, visiting Sari, Amol and Gorgan. In a drunken rage the king killed Gostahm’s brother, Banduy, and when Gostahm heard about this, he bit his hand, dismounted from his horse, tore at his clothes, and heaped dust on his head. He knew that the king wished to destroy him, in revenge for his part in the death of the king’s father, Hormozd.”

Murder of King Hormozd by Banduy and Gostahm

Banduy and Gostahm murder King Hormozd
(University of Manchester Library, CC BY 3.0)

Gostahm gathered an army in the forest of Narvan and became like an evil Robin Hood, recruiting the unemployed and attacking the king’s men at every opportunity until he joined forces with Gordyeh and the remnants of her brother Bahram’s revolting army. They married and she became Lady Marian to his ‘Robin i’ the Hood’ and continued to harry the king’s forces from their ‘Sherwood Forest’ at Narvan near Amol.

Khosrow Parviz, the King of Kings (Sheriff of Nottingham), devised a plan to rid himself of the outlaws. He wrote and offered Gordyeh “the golden chamber in my women’s apartments,” wealth, lands for her warriors and full pardons for all, plus much more besides. The letter was secreted inside another more innocent missal and taken to Gordyeh by the wife of his trusted advisor – Gordyeh’s brother Gerdui. His wife was an old friend of Gordyeh’s. This is where the all semblance to the Robin of Sherwood story ends. Gordyeh and her five trusted warriors murdered her new husband Gostahm in his sleep. She revealed her dirty deed and the nature of Khosrow Parviz’s terms to her Persian forces and they gave her their full support. Gostahm’s bandits were ...confused. Gordyeh wrote back to the king informing him of the situation and awaited his commands.

Gordyeh Murders Gostahm

Gordyeh Murders Gostahm
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public Domain)

The king summoned Gordyeh back to his court and fulfilled all of his promises. Khosrow then...

“...sent for her brother, his vizier, Gerdui, and asked for and obtained her hand in marriage, according to the rites of their religion.” (Shahnameh)

Which seems like a very strange thing to say. This sounds either as if “their religion” was something different to the default Zoroastrianism of the Shahnameh – a distinction that Ferdowsi always makes in the case of ‘Christians’ – or different to that of the author writing that paragraph, in other words it was NOT written by Ferdowsi himself. Given that there is no suggestion anywhere that either Khosrow Parviz or Gordyeh were anything other than followers of the Zend-Avesta, then it seems that the ‘odd-man out’ was the author - whoever that was.

This may also explain the king’s sudden change of character which now sees him ruining the city of Rey – once Bahram’s base of operations – purely out of spite. He didn’t use force, but instead installed a total vagabond as its governor…

“He should have red hair, a crooked nose, and an ugly face; he must be an infamous man, with a sallow complexion, someone who’s malevolent, short in stature, his heart filled with anguish, base in his nature, vengeful and with a lying tongue; his eyes should be green and squinting, he should have big teeth, and he should lope along the road like a wolf.” (Shahnameh)

Such a man was found and installed in Rey. He immediately had the gutters removed from all the buildings and all the cats killed, possession of either was punishable by death and incineration of the building in question. Soon mice overran the city. He ransacked houses and stole any money he found.

Rey is in the Iranian province of Tehran. Gutters in Tehran!!? Does this sound like the Iran we know…

“This went on until spring and the month of Farvardin, when the land is adorned with flowers, the world becomes moist with dew, and the mountains and valleys are filled with tulips. The nobility went to their gardens to enjoy themselves, and the foothills of the mountains were dotted with deer and sheep. When Khosrow opened the gates to his gardens, he saw the fountains were filled with doves…” (Shanameh)

You can almost hear the Yodelling. Is this evidence of the generally milder climate that existed worldwide before the 10th century cataclysm or ignorance on the part of whoever was re-writing this section of the narrative? This all sounds like something from one of Grimm’s fairy-tales and again casts suspicion on the authenticity of this episode of the Shahnameh. [Just a point of interest, currently (April 2023) it is illegal to kill rodents in Spain. Also the government began paying for the castration and neutering of cats in Spain some months ago, so it won't be long before cats become an endangered species and Spain is overrun with rats and mice. The identical kind of maniacs described by Ferdowsi in Rey now control Spain, so it's no fairy-tale, but it certainly is Grim.]

Anyway, the story concludes with the city of Rey being saved through Gordyeh’s intervention on its behalf with the king. Let’s not forget that much later, post-cataclysm, the rulers of Rey would claim descent from Bahram Chubineh and this is where the Shahnameh was composed… and likely edited.

The Shirin Shirui Shenanigans

“Three hundred horses with golden bridles were led out; there were one thousand six hundred loyal footmen carrying javelins, and one thousand four hundred more who carried staves and swords and wore brocade beneath their armor. Following them came five hundred falconers, with sparrow hawks, merlins, and falcons, and then three hundred horsemen leading cheetahs. There were also leopards and lions, whose mouths had been muzzled with gold chains, and a hundred dogs with golden leashes, for running down deer. After them came two thousand musicians, all mounted on camels and wearing golden crowns…” (Shahnameh)

The Royal Hunt

The Royal Hunt
(Ali Asghar (attribution), Public domain)

...and if you thought that was over the top then…

“There were thrones, tents, and pavilions, loaded on camels, as well as stalls for the animals. There were two hundred slaves with censers that burned aloes wood and ambergris, together with two hundred young servants carrying narcissi and crocuses, and they carried these so that the wind bore their scent to Parviz. In front of them went men who scattered water in which musk had been mixed, so that the wind would not suddenly stir up the dust and disturb the king.” (Shahnameh)

So, Shirin heard that the king’s party was approaching… no doubt from 50 miles away. She got herself all ‘dolled-up’ for the occasion, including her “royal crown of imperial splendour.” This suggests that she was the ruler of an empire or at least a realm of some considerable size, although we are never told anything about it. She perched herself on the roof of her royal palace and waited for the king to arrive.

Khosrow arrives at Shirin’s palace

Khosrow arrives at Shirin’s palace
Dallas Museum of Art, Public domain

The result of the reunion was that Khosrow sent her off to join his harem back in Baghdad accompanied by “forty reliable Byzantine servants,” presumably his servants rather than hers. Meanwhile, he carried on with his hunting… you have to get your priorities right when you’re the king of kings I suppose.

Upon his return he married Shirin “according to the ancient rites that were customary in those days,” therefore, it’s safe to assume that neither were anything other than followers of the Zend-Avesta this time round. For some reason, this union went down like a ton of bricks with the nobles and the priests and it was the chief priest who drew the short straw and had to tell the king:

“ the lineage of our nobility has been polluted; our greatness has been sullied by this alliance. If the father is pure and the mother is worthless, you should realize that purity cannot issue from them. No man seeks righteousness from a perverse source, which can only harm righteousness. Our hearts are saddened that this vicious demon has become the great king’s consort.” (Shahnameh)

The king’s response doesn’t really shed any more light on the subject. Following a dramatic graphic allegory whereby he tried to make the priests and nobles drink tainted blood from a bowl, which he then cleaned and refilled with wine, he claimed that Shirin, just like the bowl, was now purified by his “scent” or maybe essence. He further explained that her reputation was due to him and that it was also because of him that she never sought another suitor amongst the nobility. The priests and nobility were suitably humbled by this. However, the suggestion that there was actually something about Shirin that required purification remains and it doesn’t take long to resurface.

The Nobles and Mubids Advise Khosrow Parviz about Shirin

The Nobles and Mubids Advise Khosrow Parviz about Shirin
(Ferdowsi, CC0, Public domain)

If you remember, Khosrow was spending all his time with Mariam following the birth of his new son, Shirui. Well, Shirin was tormented by jealousy so she poisoned Mariam and her crime was never discovered. It was one year after Mariam’s death that Shirin was given the golden apartments and went straight to the top of the harem league.

The ill-fated Shirui grew to become headstrong, troublesome and uncontrollable leading Khosrow to confine him and his retinue to his palace. This comprised some three thousand people in total who were provided with all they could need, including food, drink and gold, not forgetting a full-time guard of 40 men.

Not long after this Khosrow, once again, falls from favour in the narrative and becomes a despot. He rekindled strife between Iran and Turan, whilst taking pleasure in his own injustice. The corruption in his soul attracted both Farrokhzad, his chamberlain and also Goraz, the leader of his forces guarding the Byzantine frontier, into his immediate circle. They were treacherous, ambitious men who soon became allies against the king and spread dissent throughout the Persian forces. Goraz wrote to the emperor of Byzantium encouraging him to invade Persia, promising his assistance and so the Romans marched on the frontier.

When Khosrow Parviz discovered what had happened, he devised a successful plot whereby the Roman emperor was fooled into thinking that Goraz had tricked him into an ambush. The Romans went home. Goraz and Farrokhzad realised that ‘the game was up’ and set about encouraging the army to revolt against Khosrow Parviz. Khosrow’s eldest son, Shirui, was freed from prison to be a figurehead for the rebel forces. The king was arrested and imprisoned in Baghdad with a guard of 1000 cavalry.

This all sounds very familiar being almost a mirror of the earlier situation when we suspected that an interloper had rewritten part of the Shahnameh. Khosrow Parviz had ruled for thirty-eight years. Shirui, (also known as Qobad for some reason,) reigned for just seven months and as Ferdowsi says, “you can call him a king if you wish, or something worthless.” Khosrow Parviz was murdered through the guile of Shirui’s puppetmasters. His fifteen other sons were also murdered on the same day.

“This then was the end of Khosrow, who had been the lord of such armies and ruled with such splendour. He had no rival as the King of Kings, and no one had ever heard of such a monarch from former times.” (Shahnameh)

The Assassination of  Khosrow Parviz

The Assassination of Khosrow Parviz
Public domain

Here again we have another dramatic change of attitude towards Khosrow Parviz that’s completely unwarranted by any assessment of his life. To claim that the splendour of his rule had no rival amongst any of the previous Persian monarchs is clearly ridiculous. It’s difficult to believe that Ferdowsi could have written this.

Once more, the mysterious Shirin takes centre stage and, once again, her demonic reputation is brought to our attention in a message to her from Shirui…

“You are an abomination, a magician who knows all spells; there is no one in Iran more culpable than you. It was your sorcery, which could bring the moon down from the heavens, that bewitched the king. Tremble now and come before me. You’ll strut so confidently about the palace no longer.” (Shahnameh)

Shirin gave him a ‘shame on you’ reply and refused to meet him. After more wrangling, she finally agreed to a meeting in the company of fifty “wise and respectable men.” Once at the venue Shirui sent another message to Shirin…

“It is now two months since Khosrow died; be my wife now, as is worthy of you, and in this way you will not be shamed before your inferiors. I shall treat you as my father did, and even more respectfully and kindly than he did.” (Shahnameh)

Which is, quite frankly, bizarre. However, what’s even more bizarre is that she agreed on condition that he treated her justly. Shirui consented and then claimed that his earlier outburst was not to be taken seriously. Then, suddenly the 50 old wise men became nobles and Shirin addressed them:

“What evil have you seen from me, what darkness of soul, or deceit, or foolishness? For many years I was the queen of Persia, and in this time I always supported her brave warriors. I sought only righteousness, and all trickery and deceit were far from my mind. Through my intercession many men gained land and a fair portion of the world’s goods. Let those who have lived protected by my shadow and that of my crown and glory say what they saw and heard, and their words will confirm all I did.” (Shahnameh)

Of course, no one spoke against her. Then something even more confusing occurs...

“When I married Khosrow and felt my life to be renewed in the world, he had come from Rome disheartened and despoiled of his wealth, with hardly a home to call his own in this country. But then his reign became so splendid that no one in the world had ever seen or heard of its like. And I bore him four sons—Nastud, Shahryar, Forud and Mardanshah—who rejoiced his heart. Jamshid and Feraydun did not have such sons, and may my tongue turn mute if I am lying.” (Shahnameh)

When Shirin married Khosrow some paragraphs back, it was just after his incredibly ostentatious hunting ...trip isn’t an adequate word – ‘expedition’ comes closer. He had been the King of Kings for some time and had successfully put down the revolt of Bahram Chubineh. The nobles reacted very badly against his marriage to Shirin. The person he did marry after he had come from Rome disheartened etc., was Mariam, the Christian daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. This took place before he had defeated Bahram and before he reunited with Shirin and married her. Someone has confused Mariam and Shirin, and I can’t believe it was Ferdowsi.

The names of Khosrow’s 15 murdered sons are never disclosed in the Shahnameh. Shahryar is a name and a title meaning ‘Grand Duke’. There is a King Shahryar who is a main character in the ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ or ‘Arabian Nights’ compilation of ‘folk tales’ compiled in the Islamic ‘Golden Age’. Forud is a repetition of the name of Seyavash’s son from the much earlier Kayanian dynasty, as related in the Shahnameh. Mardanshah has been reported by the mainstream narrative to be the preferred heir of Khosrow Parviz and, therefore, one of his murdered sons. The source for this is given as the ‘Khwaday-Namag’ or Book of Lords, which is claimed to have been the primary source for the Shahnameh. However, only the introduction of this book survives today. The original underwent various translations and revisions, all under the influence of Muslim rule. Therefore, citations to the non-existent ‘Khwaday-Namag’ are actually derived from much later Arabic sources which were in turn repeated by the Greeks, etc., etc. Even so, the information derived from these sources is, for some reason, considered much more reliable than that of the Shahnameh as it fits in with the mainstream narrative – of course!

OK, so we rejoin Shirin, or is it Mariam (no, it can’t be, Shirin murdered her!) proclaiming her innocence and much more besides. Just when you thought this tale couldn’t get any more weird…

“One of my secret attributes was my hair, which no man in the world has ever seen. And here I display to you all my magic, which is not from sorcery or tricks or malevolence; no one has seen my hair before, and none of the nobles have even heard tell of it.” (Shahnameh)

Khosrow discovers Shirin bathing

Khosrow discovers Shirin bathing
Brooklyn Museum, CC BY 3.0

PLEASE NOTE: The image above is from one of the many, much later, Khosrow & Shirin erotic fantasies, NOT from the Shahnameh.

Upon the sight of this everyone became enchanted, in all senses of the word. Shurui, the king, declared his undying love and devotion to her which she accepted on condition that he signed a contract declaring that he would never lay any claim to any of her wealth – all of which was to be itemised. Of course, the king couldn’t refuse and when this was done Shirin returned to her home and “used her wealth to free her slaves and rejoice their hearts.” What remained she gave away to the poor…

“She gave a portion to the fire-temples, for the celebration of the new year and summer festivals. There was a convent, which was in ruins and had become the lair of lions, and this she rebuilt, dedicating it to the memory of Khosrow, for the good of his soul.” (Shahnameh)

A convent! A convent is a specifically Christian edifice / concept. This is the one and only single appearance of this word throughout the entire 1000 plus pages of the Shahnameh. Before we consider the implications of this, let’s dispense with the Shirin story.

She sat in the garden of her restored convent (that was quick work) and called all her servants to her… even though she had freed them all before the convent was restored. She begged them to speak honestly regarding her conduct asking them to be honest about her “sins,” another Christian concept.

“Queen among queens, you are eloquent, wise, and enlightened in your soul; we swear by God that no one has ever seen a woman like you before, or heard such a voice from behind the veil. From the time of Hushang until now, no one like you has ever sat on the throne.” All her servants and slaves said together, “You are praised in China and the west and in Taraz; who would dare to speak ill of you, and how could you ever commit an evil act?” (Shahnameh)

(Hushang was the second ever King of the Word according to Iranian tradition.)

Shirin then answered this by calling the King, Shirui, an evil criminal for having murdered his own father and she cursed him with unhappiness and ill-fortune. She recounted how she had told the king that she wished to devote the remainder of her life to God (obviously as a nun in the Christian convent,) but she feared his desire for her (Shirui’s, not God’s) and that he would publicly slander her after her death. I think it’s worth reminding ourselves at this point that Shirin murdered Mariam, the king’s own mother, shortly after he was born through pure jealousy. Anyway, Shirin then poisoned herself whilst paying her last respects to Khosrow’s entombed body. The king put her in another tomb today, gone tomorrow.

The Death of Shirin

The Death of Shirin
San Diego Museum of Art,
Public domain

Now, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this Shirin shenanigans. According to the mainstream narrative:

“Shirin was a Christian wife of the Sasanian King of Kings Khosrow II (r.590–628). In the revolution after the death of Khosrow's father Hormizd IV, the General Bahram Chobin took power over the Persian empire. Shirin fled with Khosrow to Syria, where they lived under the protection of Byzantine emperor Maurice. In 591, Khosrow returned to Persia to take control of the empire and Shirin was made queen. She used her new influence to support the Christian minority in Iran, but the political situation demanded that she do so discreetly. Initially she belonged to the Church of the East, the so-called Nestorians, but later she joined the miaphysite church of Antioch, now known as the Syriac Orthodox Church. After conquering Jerusalem in 614, amidst the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, the Persians captured the True Cross of Jesus and brought it to their capital Ctesiphon, where Shirin took the cross in her palace.” Source

Apologies, but bloody hell! What a heap of ****! What makes more sense – the Byzantine Emperor makes a deal with Khosrow involving marriage to his Christian daughter Mariam, or that this Shirin had already magically become Khosrow’s Christian wife and Emperor Maurice just helped them out of the kindness of his heart? Even if there were promises of territory being ceded to the Romans following a victory by Khosrow, there was no guarantee that he would actually win back the throne or have any influence within the Persian / Iranian Empire whatsoever. Marriage to his daughter would ensure that whatever success Khosrow might achieve, she would share in it as queen. Furthermore, from the above it sounds like Khosrow simply walked back into Persia and sat on the throne rather than having to fight Bahram Chobin for it. Furthermore, there is no indication in the Shahnameh that the Byzantine Empire extended into Syria at this point and the supposed conquest of Jerusalem is also entirely missing just as is Jerusalem itself.

The entry for Maria (daughter of Maurice) states:

“Maria or Maryam was, according to the 12th-century chronicle of Michael the Syrian, a daughter of the Byzantine emperor Maurice, and wife of the Sassanid Persian shah Khosrau II.” Source 

Both the entries for Shirin and Maria (Mariam) repeat the following:

“The Shahnameh by Ferdowsi reports Khosrau and Shirin to have married prior to his exile.” (ibid)

This is a downright lie, it says no such thing as we have demonstrated.

“Long after her death Shirin became an important heroine of Persian literature, as a model of a faithful lover and wife [WS: not to mention murderer.] She appears in the Shahnameh and the romance ‘Khosrow and Shirin’ by Nizami Ganjavi (1141−1209), and is referred to in very many other works. Her elaborated story in literature bears little or no resemblance to the fairly few known historical facts of her life, although her Christianity and difficulties after the assassination of her husband remain part of the story, as well as Khosrow's exile before he regained his throne. After their first accidental meeting, when Khosrow was initially unaware of her identity, their courtship takes a number of twists and turns, with the pair often apart, that occupy most of the story. After Khosrow's son kills him, the son demands that Shirin marry him, which she avoids by committing suicide.” Source

Initially unaware of WHAT identity? There are any number of later permutations regarding Shirin as Mariam, or they being separate characters, that Shirin didn’t murder Mariam but lived to be Shirin’s rival etc., etc. So it appears that from this one totally misguided and completely inaccurate interference with the original Shahnameh Shirin story a plethora of scenarios have been spawned and, of course, the elaborate Christian one has become the mainstream narrative’s favourite.

In our view, it seems likely that an early Christian scribe wasn’t paying enough attention when he was reading, I mean editing, no, I mean butchering the Shahnameh. Admittedly, the episode with Shirin and Khosrow is confusing, being presented as a ‘flashback’, but for whatever reason, he confused Shirin with Mariam or muddled some of the events pertaining to both characters. His priority was purely to ‘Whitewash the Christian’ whom he saw being attacked and accused of all manner of ungodly sins as Shirin. It’s difficult to know if Shirin’s hairdo of‘divine radiance’ was part of the original story or an embellishment, but the introduction of a convent into the narrative, her desire to become a nun, freeing her slaves (who are still serving her later,) donating all her wealth to the poor and seeking forgiveness or assurance that she is not a sinner, are all clearly contrivances. Her statement that she “sought only righteousness” is a very interesting choice of words. The fact that earlier in the Shahnameh Shirin murdered the actual Byzantine Emperor’s Christian daughter, Mariam, exposes the fraud for what it is – poorly researched propaganda. We have already seen some of the same with regard to the sudden changes of attitude towards Khosrow who was suddenly a tyrant and then, upon his death, became the greatest thing since sliced bread. The elaborate scenario that has developed around this initial mongrelisation is truly mind-boggling, or perhaps the elaborate scenario was already there and this was just reinforcement. It’s worth bearing this in mind as we progress towards the fall of the Persian / Iranian Empire.

In our view the Shirin example, once cleared of its Christianisation, fits well within the structure of the Shahnameh. Very often there are encounters with mysterious females who seem to have the power of enchantment and inhabit unspecified otherwordly realms. They can exert both good and bad influence upon the ‘human’ characters and can move freely between the Otherworld and this realm. This isn’t unique to the Iranian / Persian tradition of course.

We are closing fast upon the decline of the Persians which seems to be an inevitability, much like the right and wrong times to plant certain seeds that will either flourish and grow or wither and die.

Shirui was poisoned shortly after Shirin died. “He was born shamefully and died shamefully, leaving the throne to his son.” This is another inconsistency unless it refers to his mother being a Christian. His son, Ardeshir, ruled for six months and was then murdered. Goraz then seized the throne, but he was murdered after two months. Two royal princesses, Puran- Dokht and Azarm-Dokht, reigned briefly, the first for six months, the second for four months. Farrokhzad took over, but was poisoned after a month. Finally, out of all the chaos, a grandson of Khosrow Parviz, Yazdegerd III, then became the last Sasanian king of Iran he ruled for sixteen years.

The Decline of the Iranian Empire

The mainstream version from Khosrow’s reign up until his grandson’s rule contains most of the same events as in the Shahnameh, but the names are different and the kings are all numbered. As usual the characters are changed, their motives are redefined, their ethnicity is explicitly different, wars are added, territory changes hands, but mostly it’s always the Christians who get centre stage. It’s always the same pattern. There’s just too much to be analysed here, but if anyone wants to try it for themselves, then please feel free:- Khosrow III

We reach the Grand Finale, which is presented as the Arabian / Muslim defeat of Iran. So, during the 16 short years of Yazdegard’s reign Arabia has become totally Islamic… who knew. It’s curious that the previous Yazdegerd, ‘The Unjust’, had a son called Bahram (didn’t you just know it) who was sent to be brought up by Prince No’man and his father Monzer, the King of Yemen in southern Arabia. He was probably the latest Yazdegerd’s great-great-grandfather, so during that time span Arabia had become totally Muslim and nobody in the Shahnameh even noticed.

Sasanian Empire's core territory in the year 602 A.D

The Sasanian Empire's core territory in the year 602 A.D according to the mainstream. Note how the Yemen is completely isolated, probably to accommodate the Shahnameh account of Yazdegerd II’s son, Bahram, being brought up there.
Original: Keeby101 (talk contribs) Derivative work: باسم, CC BY-SA 3.0

Once again, the mainstream version of events is very different from that of the Shahnameh, again the names have been changed, (but not to protect the innocent,) and there are so many additions that all go towards supporting the dual religious causes of Christianity and Islam. The additional events are of such monumental significance to the history of Iran and from a period that is much closer to the author’s own existence, it’s unimaginable just how he could have been unaware of them… if they actually happened. Once again, regurgitating and analysing the mainstream version detail by detail, would take up an inordinate amount of time and space. I feel that this analysis of the Shahnameh has already taken up a great deal of both and given a substantial amount of evidence to reveal a pattern that goes a long way towards demonstrating that the mainstream narrative is a highly questionable contrivance. They say that “the devil is in the detail” and there’s plenty of it out there to examine, so the following links may be helpful to anyone willing to invest the time and effort:

The Final Curtain

The ending of the Shahnameh is quite a curiosity and well worth taking a look at. The Arabian army confronted the Iranians who were led by a certain Rostam. Ferdowsi presents him as not only a fine warrior, but also an accomplished astrologer who worked with the Zoroastrian priests in order to divine the future. In a letter to his father, Rostam states the nature of the situation and also makes many predictions about the future. Both Felix and I believe that Ferdowsi deliberately used this format in order to transmit information that may otherwise have been unacceptable to his ‘peers’. By the time he was writing this final section he was supposedly living under Islamic rule and his work was being supervised. Bearing this in mind, we can deduce a great deal more than the first casual glance might convey knowing that Ferdowsi was, more than likely, presenting his own backdated hindsight as a prophecy.

The Coronation of the last Sassanid King, Yazdegerd III

The Coronation of the last Sassanid King, Yazdegerd III
(Unknown [Life time: 14th-century)] Public domain)

In his letter Rostam states the following:

“This battle will turn out unfavourably; these times are unfavourable to kings, their current cannot flow in such channels.”

At which point the narrative converts to prose...

“The sun looks down from its exalted sphere
And sees the day of our defeat draw near:
Both Mars and Venus now oppose our cause
And no man can evade the heaven’s laws.
Saturn and Mercury divide the sky—
Mercury rules the house of Gemini:
Ahead of us lie war and endless strife,
Such that my failing heart despairs of life.
I see what has to be, and choose the way
Of silence since there is no more to say:
But for the Persians I will weep, and for
The House of Sasan ruined by this war:
Alas for their great crown and throne, for all
The royal splendor destined now to fall,
To be fragmented by the Arabs’ might;
The stars decree for us defeat and flight.
Four hundred years will pass in which our name
Will be forgotten and devoid of fame.”

The phrase “I see what has to be, and choose the way of silence since there is no more to say” is remarkably significant because, as we will see, he absolutely doesn’t. He continues...

“They’ve sent a messenger who says to me
They’ll leave our sovereign all his territory
From Qadesiya to the river; but,
For trade’s sake, they require a highway cut
Through our domains, no more than this.
They’ll pay Us taxes, offer hostages, obey Our king as theirs.”

This seems far from the Islamic Crusade and total annihilation of the Sassanian dynasty that we have not only been conditioned to expect, but that Rostam is also predicting in the previous verse:

“But these are words, not acts,
And have no correspondence with the facts:
There will be war, and in this conflict I
Know many lion-warriors will die.”

Here Rostam’s “facts” are the astrological alignments and the corresponding “acts” are those he knows the Persians will take against the “upstarts” who have dared to cross their borders, but these will be futile under the prevailing astrological climate. He predicts his own death in the coming battle and asks his father to try and keep the King of Kings alive...

“Since of this noble line the king alone
Still lives; the House of Sasan and its throne
Depend on him, and after him the race
Of Sasan will be gone, and leave no trace.
Alas now for their crown, their court, and for
Their throne that will be shattered in this war.

What follows is probably the closest we will ever get to an eye-witness account of the post-cataclysmic situation – not just specifically in Iran, but also throughout the world in general:

“But when the pulpit’s equal to the throne
And Abu Bakr’s and Omar’s names are known,
Our long travails will be as naught, and all
The glory we have known will fade and fall.
The stars are with the Arabs, and you’ll see
No crown or throne, no royal sovereignty:
Long days will pass, until a worthless fool
Will lead his followers and presume to rule:
They’ll dress in black, their headdress will be made
Of twisted lengths of silk or black brocade.
There’ll be no golden boots or banners then,
Our crowns and thrones will not be seen again.
Some will rejoice, while others live in fear,
Justice and charity will disappear,
At night, the time to hide away and sleep,
Men’s eyes will glitter to make others weep;
Strangers will rule us then, and with their might
They’ll plunder us and turn our days to night.
They will not care for just or righteous men,
Deceit and fraudulence will flourish then.
Warriors will go on foot, while puffed-up pride
And empty boasts will arm themselves and ride;
The peasantry will suffer from neglect,
Lineage and skill will garner no respect,
Men will be mutual thieves and have no shame,
Curses and blessings will be thought the same.
What’s hidden will be worse than what is known,
And stony-hearted kings will seize the throne.
No man will trust his son, and equally
No son will trust his father’s honesty—
A misbegotten slave will rule the earth,
Greatness and lineage will have no worth,
No one will keep his word, and men will find
The tongue as filled with evil as the mind.
Then Persians, Turks, and Arabs, side by side
Will live together, mingled far and wide—
The three will blur, as if they were the same;
Their languages will be a trivial game.
Men will conceal their wealth, but when they’ve died,
Their foes will pilfer everything they hide.
Men will pretend they’re holy, or they’re wise,
To make a livelihood by telling lies.
Sorrow and anguish, bitterness and pain
Will be as happiness was in the reign
Of Bahram Gur—mankind’s accustomed fate:
There’ll be no feasts, no festivals of state,
No pleasures, no musicians, none of these:
But there’ll be lies, and traps, and treacheries.
Sour milk will be our food, coarse cloth our dress,
And greed for money will breed bitterness
Between the generations: men will cheat
Each other while they calmly counterfeit
Religious faith. The winter and the spring
Will pass mankind unmarked, no one will bring
The wine to celebrate such moments then;
Instead they’ll spill the blood of fellow men.”

Rostam was to be killed on the day of battle, at the hands of Sa’d, the son of Vaqas  , “a man who has no country, no lineage, no knowledge, and no wealth.”

Prior to the battle Rostam wrote to Sa’d asking who his king was, what kind of man he was and what his customs and intentions were. “You’re a naked commander leading a naked army; on whose behalf are you fighting?” The reply that came back was in the same arrogant tone and menacing style of those made by Sekandar. Although none of them are verbatim, but obviously literary interpretations, the author’s intention was clearly to create a link between them in the mind of the reader.

Various battles followed until the Persian forces found themselves on the retreat and seeking allies. As you might expect, this is when treachery is at its most dangerous level and sure enough the last Sassanian king, Yazdegerd, was murdered by the son of the treacherous governor of Khorāsān who then proclaimed himself king, claiming that he had been given the crown and seal ring by the dying king. That ended the lineage of the Iranian Kings.

“After this came the era of Omar, and when he brought the new faith, the pulpit replaced the throne.”

No further details are given regarding the Iranian conquest by Islam. Ferdowsi ends the Shahnameh speaking in the first-person...

“After sixty-five years had passed over my head, I toiled ever more diligently and with greater difficulty at my task. I searched out the history of the kings, but my star was a laggard one. Nobles and great men wrote down what I had written without paying me: I watched them from a distance, as if I were a hired servant of theirs. I had nothing from them but their congratulations; my gall bladder was ready to burst with their congratulations!

“...when I reached the age of seventy-one, the heavens humbled themselves before my verses. Now I have brought the story of Yazdegerd to an end, in the month of Sepandormoz, on the day of Ard, and four hundred years have passed since the Hejira of the Prophet.”

Chewing it over...

The Meteoric Rise of Islam

622 ‘Hejira of the Prophet’, Muhammed and his followers are forced to seek refuge in Medina from persecution by other Arab tribes.

632 Muhammed dies and Abu Bakr becomes the first Rashidun Caliph of the Muslim community.

632 – 634 Abu Bakr subdues all of Arabia in the Ridda Wars and converts everyone to Islam. Then he begins the invasions of both the Persian and Byzantine empires whilst also compiling the Quran at the same time.

634 Abu Bakr dies, Omar or Umar becomes the second Rashidun Caliph of the Muslim community.

638 - 639 military conquests were partially terminated during the years of great famine in Arabia and plague in the Levant.

642–644 Final conquest of the Sassanid Empire and two-thirds of Byzantine Empire.

644 Omar assassinated.

632 to 644 is just 12 years...
If you discount the 2 years of military inactivity then that gives 10 YEARS during which “the pulpit replaced the throne” throughout a major part of the known world.

Rioters at Mecca wanting to stone Muhammad

Rioters at Mecca
Source Public domain

Let’s remind ourselves of Gunnar Heinsohn’s 10th century’s phantom echoes that we discussed In Part One. One was sent back to 230 AD and became ‘The Crisis of the Third Century’, and the other was sent back to 530 AD and became ‘The Crisis of the Sixth Century’

The establishment of Islam was initiated upon the death of Muhammed, just as that of Christianity was initiated by the death of Jesus, therefore we are looking at the mainstream date of 632 AD. The difficulty comes in relating that date to the actual 10th century cataclysm, It’s either approximately 100 years after The Crisis of the Third Century or 300 years before The Crisis of the Sixth Century. Therefore, Muhammed’s death in relation to the actual cataclysm was either 1035 or it really was 632 as the mainstream states… which is hard to believe.

The period without any Islamic military activity shown in the timeline above between 638 and 639 are carefully described as a great famine in Arabia and plague in the Levant. The Justinian Plague  was a prominent feature of the Fifth Century Crisis and it had a major effect in both the Sassanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire… you could even say that the plague ‘conquered two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire and all of the Sassanid one in just two years’. Apparently and mysteriously, it didn’t affect Arabia, but it’s claimed that instead there was a famine at exactly the same time.

There are no references to any plagues in the Shahnameh and famine occurs only once during the original war between Iran and Turan and was broken by the establishment of peace. Does this indicate that the plague, which supposedly demobilised the Islamic offensive for two years, was indeed one and the same as the Justinian Plague in the false 530 AD phantom echo of the actual 10th century cataclysm?

Was the 10th century cataclysm really responsible for the meteoric rise of Islam, just as it was for the explosive growth of Christianity in Europe? If this is so, and it seems much more likely than the mainstream claim of ten years illustrated earlier, then we can reassign the chronology of Islam as follows:

918 ‘Hejira of the Prophet’, Muhammed and his followers are forced to seek refuge in Medina from persecution by other Arab tribes.

928 Muhammed dies and Abu Bakr becomes the first Rashidun Caliph of the Muslim community.

928 – 930 Abu Bakr compiles the Quran… perhaps.

930 Abu Bakr dies, Omar or Umar becomes the second Rashidun Caliph of the Muslim community.

934 cataclysm – Geological and climatic changes bring about famine, disease and destruction.All previously existing empires including, Persian / Iranian, Roman / Byzantine and Turkish / Chinese dissolve.

The Cult of Zaddik / Siddiq

Abu Bakr (also mentioned in Rostam’s /Ferdowsi’s prediction) was a very wealthy Arab merchant, in fact just the sort who would benefit from a road being driven through what is now Iraq, which was initially the stated goal of the Arab incursion into Persia. He was also the senior companion, father-in-law and financial backer of Muhammed, who gave him the title "al-Siddiq" ('the Truthful / Righteous'.) Earlier in the ‘Shirin Shirui Shenanigans’ we saw how the misinformed Christian imposter had asserted that Shirin “sought only Righteousness.” It’s worth comparing this Righteousness obsession to information given in Felix’s ‘The Nature of the Beast’ article:

“The Hebrew ‘zedek’ is a variation of zadok, also spelled tsedeq, tzaddik and zaddik. The name Zadok is related to the Hebrew ‘zado,’ which gives, "the just one," or "the righteous." Examples are Daniel the Just in the Old Testament and James the Just, brother of Jesus, in the New Testament.”

This gave rise to the Zaddik (Siddiq?) Cult who’s ideology is preserved in the scrolls found at Qumran near the Dead Sea in 1947…

“Some of the material is written in code, and key documents such as the Community Rule use code names for various people such as the Teacher of Righteousness, the Messiah, the Wicked Priest, the Sons of Zadok, the Kittim and the Man of Lies. Different people enact these roles over seven or eight generations. The Zaddikim saw themselves acting out a pre-written script, a historical plot that reflected, so they believed, the providence of God the Father.” ‘Not in His Image,’ John Lamb Lash.

The notion of a pre-written script is well worth bearing in mind.

Master of the Drogo Sacramentary

'Master of the Drogo Sacramentary'
MelchiZEDEK is at the top and centre of the T, blessed by the Hand of God
Meister des Drogo-Sakramentars, Public domain

Abu Bakr, al-Siddiq, came from a clan known as the Banū Taym , which was part of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. This tribe comprised all of Muhammed’s paternal ancestors and traces its lineage back to Esmail (Ishmael), the son of Abraham. One of these ancestors was named Al-Nadr ibn Kinanah and he preceded Muhammed by 13 generations. Now I ask you to cast your mind back to the event in the Shahnameh when Sekandar (Alexander the Great) arrived at Mecca and encountered a descendant of Esmail (Ishmael), the son of Abraham, named Nasr. On Nasr’s behalf, Sekandar exterminated the rival tribe of “Jaza’” which had overrun and taken control of the Yemen / Mecca.

Is this a coincidence or does it at least hint at a profound connection between Sekandar’s organisation, or ‘Kabal’, and that which was behind Muhammed? Even more mind-boggling is the similarity of the names Siddiq and Zaddik with that of Zahhak, who was the demon that ruled Persia for 1000 years.

Anyway, Abu Bakr, al-Siddiq, is claimed to have taken part in almost all of Muhammed’s battles and even deputised for him in his absence leading prayers and expeditions. After Muhammad's death, Abu Bakr took over as leader of the Muslim community and became the first Rashidun Caliph. His election was opposed by a large number of rebellious tribal leaders, who had all abandoned Islam and which resulted in the Ridda Wars. Al-Siddiq allegedly gained control of the entire Arabian peninsula and then embarked upon his invasion of Persia and the Levant.

“Abu Bakr is also credited for the compilation of the Quran, of which he had a personal caliphal codex.. He died of illness after a reign of 2 years, 2 months and 14 days, the only Rashidun caliph to die of natural causes...

“...Though the period of his caliphate was short, it included successful invasions of the two most powerful empires of the time, a remarkable achievement in its own right. He set in motion a historical trajectory that in a few decades would lead to one of the largest empires in history. His victory over the local rebel Arab forces is a significant part of Islamic history. Abu Bakr is widely honored among Muslims.” Source

Abu Bakr dying

Abu Bakr dying
Public domain

26 months and 14 days… about 114 weeks during which time he conquered all the tribes in Arabia and converted the entire country to Islam, which nobody in Persia noticed. Then he snuck up on Persia, invaded Iraq and then the Levant whilst writing the Quran… impressive eh? Unbelievable, you might say. How could any country be converted to a new religion before it’s doctrine had been set down in written form I wonder?

The Omar or Umar character, (also mentioned in Rostam’s / Ferdowsi’s 'prediction',) is the second Rashidun Caliph who took over from Abu Bakr…

“Under Umar, the caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate, ruling the Sasanian Empire and more than two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire. His attacks against the Sasanian Empire resulted in the conquest of Persia in less than two years (642–644 [mainstream dates]). According to Jewish tradition, Umar set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship.” Source

The Conspiracy to kill Umar

The Conspiracy to kill Umar
Public domain

In less than 24 months, or 103 weeks, this time and, of course, we mustn’t forget about the Jews and their tradition, or ‘kabbahla’. It’s interesting to note that Islam has its own version of ‘God’s Chosen People’, in the form of ‘The ten to whom Paradise was promised’. This list exists in several different versions and even includes names of those who were born long after Muhammed’s death prevented him from promising them anything. 

The coincidence that Islam and Christianity both existed as apparently persecuted (or maybe simply unwelcome) Jewish sects prior to the cataclysm and then afterwards ruled the world between them is quite remarkable.

An Introduction to the Shahnameh

I can hear you saying “Eh? Haven’t we finished the Shahnameh?” Well yes, but the translator’s introduction is quite revealing. I must be honest and admit that I didn’t research the entire Shahnameh because of its enormity and I couldn’t persuade Felix to help me out. I don’t blame him as it’s somewhat out of our comfort zone, so to speak. My main focus was on the so-called Historical Era, but I dipped into the previous eras whenever it became necessary to the comprehension of whatever was being presented.

“Persia remained more or less constant as the center of a continuous and specific tradition of civilization. The Arab conquest of the seventh century C.E. came therefore as an overwhelming shock, especially since it must have seemed for a while as though Persian civilization would disappear as an entity distinguishable from the culture of other countries subsumed into the Caliphate. An Iranian scholar has dubbed the numbed aftermath of the conquest in Iran as “the two centuries of silence.” (Dick Davis’ Introduction to the Shahnameh)

200 years of silence following the Muslim conquest of Iran from a Dark Earth Chronicles frame of reference translates as 200 years of post-cataclysmic recovery. Dick Davis goes on to describe the chaotic state of what he believes to have been the early Islamic state, which sounds eerily like Ferdowsi’s ‘prediction’ presented in Rostram’s letter to his father, full of revolts, splinter groups and power struggles.

Ferdowsi’s sources are discussed and claimed to have mostly disappeared. Somewhat surprisingly the sources for the Sekandar—Alexander the Great—material are described as “mainly and perhaps exclusively written sources, some of which still exist,” which comes as something of a shock given that Sekandar is portrayed as a Christian crusader.

Unlike Ferdowsi, other writers, including the historians Tabari and Mas’udi, all contaminated Persian cosmology, chronology and creationism with elements from the Quran. Uniquely, Ferdowsi totally ignored the Islamic equivalents. There are a great many other things that Ferdowsi either ignored or simply didn’t include because they never existed. One of the larger elephants in the room is the Achaemenids. Dick Davis, the translator, deals with this in the following manner:

“A Western reader who is unfamiliar with the poem, but who has been told that it deals with Iran’s history before the coming of Islam, would naturally expect to find the early legendary material followed by stories relating to the Achaemenid monarchs—Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes and their successors. But the Achaemenids are virtually absent from the poem until just before the advent of Alexander the Great, that is until their decline.” (Dick Davis’ Introduction to the Shahnameh)

This is a bit of a stretch in my opinion, as we only have Darab and his son Dara in the Shahnameh with no mention of the words ‘Achaemenid’ or ‘Achaemenian’ as being associated with them or their ancestors, or in fact, ever appearing in the book at all. Also, to claim that Darab and Dara suddenly become the failing Achaemenids dynasty when up until then they are clearly descendants of the Kayanid Kings is simply desperation.

“It has been surmised that during the dynastic upheavals between the conquest by Alexander and the emergence of the Sasanians in the third century C.E. (and particularly under the Parthians who derived from areas celebrated in these legends) this material gradually replaced the historical record of the Achaemenids who thus to all intents and purposes disappeared from the national record.” (Dick Davis’ Introduction to the Shahnameh)

What Parthians of the 3rd century C.E? That’s another name that never appears in the Shahnameh. Besides, the Achaemenids should have already been firmly fixed in Iranian history as allegedly “it was the largest empire the world had ever seen at its time, spanning a total of 5.5 million square kilometres (2.1 million square miles) from the Balkans and Egypt in the west to Central Asia and the Indus Valley in the east.” (Wikiperdida) It’s also supposed to have appeared in 550 BC, almost 1000 years before Sekandar / Alexander, so to claim that these illusive Parthians (whom Dick Davis is obviously identifying as the Ashkanians) replaced the historical record of the allegedly much earlier Achaemenids doesn’t make any sense. We will return to examine the authenticity of the superstar Achaemenids later.

Achaemenid soldiers against Scythians

‘Achaemenid soldiers against Scythians’
Neither of whom appear in the Shahnameh, but in the mage above they both look very similar.
The symbol  of Zoroastrianism floats above both parties.
Louis-Joseph Delaporte (22 October 1874 - February 1944), Public domain

Dick Davis notes the similarities between stories from the earliest period covered in the Shahnameh to those of the Indian Vedas and Greek mythology. He also addresses the Shirin issue, although he focuses on the implication that Shirin was a foreign consort as being the hidden ‘scandal’ rather than that she murdered the existing consort, Mariam, and was then portrayed as being a devout Christian. However, he does notice the obvious change of writing style and presentation...

“This unexplained scandal is also an example of how not only the content of the tales changes in the poem’s second half, but also Ferdowsi’s method of telling them. In general, when reading the poem’s earlier narratives, we have a clear idea of the ethical issues involved, and of where our sympathies are supposed to lie.” (Dick Davis’ Introduction to the Shahnameh)

The following point is highly relevant:

“The geographical term Rum, and its adjective Rumi, are particularly hard to translate consistently in the stories in the Shahnameh. The words refer to the civilizations that lie to the west of Iran, in Asia Minor and in Europe. Thus Sekandar the Macedonian is a Rumi, as are the Roman emperors who fought the early Sasanians, as also are the Byzantine emperors who fought the later Sasanians. For the sake of relative historical veracity I have translated the words in different ways in stories that occur in different epochs. Thus in the time of Sekandar I have translated Rum and Rumi as Greece and Greek, in the reign of Shapur I have used the terms Rome and Roman, and for the reigns of the later kings I have used Byzantium and Byzantine. This has the advantage of reflecting the actual enemies of Iran at the relevant periods, but it does also disguise the way in which for Ferdowsi these Western civilizations were one and continuous.” (Dick Davis’ Introduction to the Shahnameh)

Bayesian Chronology in action. Dick Davis has manipulated the text of the Shahnameh to reflect mainstream history and chronology. One other point I was hoping he would clarify in his introduction was the issue of the prose sections. Unfortunately he doesn’t mention it, so we will never know what changes to the original text were necessary in order to make the prose sections rhyme in English, because there’s no way that the original Persian words produced the exact same rhymes in English without some manipulation.

Beyond the Pale 

Technically the Rumi, Turanians and Iranians were originally all of one huge empire. However, we see frequent references to the paleness and whiteness of the Rumi throughout the Shahnameh...

“When the sun rose in the sign of Leo and the world turned as white as a
Roman’s face...”

“When the sun placed its throne in the heavens, and the world turned as pale as a Greek’s face…”

Obviously the translator, Dick Davis, has replaced the original words "Rumi" with Romans and Greeks, as he admits in the previous section. Those examples are just a small selection from many throughout the poem. Nowadays we are told by those ‘in the know’ that for the ancient Greeks and Romans a pale complexion was deemed the most desirable. Pale skin was valued as a marker of beauty, but also an indication of character. Aristotle’s Physiognomy claims that “a vivid complexion shows heat and warm blood, but a pink-and-white complexion proves a good disposition.” We are also told that it’s a marker of class and social status on the basis that a plae complexion is a sign of being indoors and therefore not outside working or, in the case of women, indulging in hank-panky’. This paleness is also reflected in Greco-Roman (Rumi) art, particularly of the religious variety.

Justinian and his court

 Justinian and his court, 6th c AD
Carlo Pelagalli, CC BY-SA 3.0

Mosaic of Theodora with her court of ladies

 Mosaic of Theodora with her court of ladies, 6th c AD
Carlo Pelagalli, CC BY-SA 3.0

This kind of modern theorising makes me laugh and I think it says more about us in this day and age than it does about the ancient Greeks or Romans. Of course, if the climate was milder before the 10th century cataclysm, then that’s another and probably much more significant reason why the Rumi people were paler than the Iranians. Or, maybe there's another explanation that's been lost in the depths of time?

The Alans in the Shahnameh

The Alans make an appearance very early on in the Shahnameh, long before what’s considered to be the Historical Era. During the final reckoning between Manuchehr and the brothers Tur and Salm – murderers of Iraj:

“There was a castle to the rear of his forces, whose walls reached up into the blue heavens, and he [Salm] decided to retreat there, to see how events would unfold. Qaren [one of Manuchehr’s commanders] thought that if Salm were to avoid battle and reach this castle, it would be a refuge for him, as it was filled with all manner of wealth, and its granite walls rose out of the sea and reached up to the clouds, so that it could not be over flown even by the legendary homa.”

This castle of the Alans, was allied with the forces of Tur and located within Turan. Quaren’s forces attacked the castle and it was totally destroyed by fire:

“ the sun went down the sky, the castle was indistinguishable from the surrounding plain. Twelve thousand of the enemy were killed, and pitch black smoke billowed up from the fire. The whole surface of the sea turned as black as tar, and the plain was a river of blood.”

Later, the much troubled Sasanian king, Khosrow Parviz, was made king of the Alans “When you say I’m king of the Alans, you only mention a third of my lineage; in what way am I unworthy to rule, how is this crown unsuitable for my head? Nushin-Ravan was my grandfather, Hormozd my father; who can you name who is more entitled to the crown than I am?”

The reason I mention the Alans is because it’s one of the few instances where the Shahnameh overlaps with mainstream history, although there they are presented as ancestors of the Khazars (who also get a brief Shahnameh mention) and they even turn up in France as apparently evidenced by multiple French place names. We will return to the Alans and Khazars later...

Missing, Presumed Dead

Rather than posing the question “What is missing from the Shahnameh?” I prefer to point out what the mainstream has added to the events and characters within it.

The following words and concepts do not appear in the main text of the Shahnameh (some only in the Introduction and Glossary):

Israel; Israelites; Hebrew; Bible; biblical; Yahweh; Yehuda; Yeshua; Jehovah; Nazareth; Bethlehem; Judea; Damascus; Palestine; Cyrus the Great; Achaemenid; crucifixion; Solomon; Scythian, Arsacid; Parthian.

Please also note that these words do not appear in the main body of the ‘Sahrestaniha i Eransahr’ (The Provincial Capitals of Iran,) which, as already noted, claims to be the only major surviving Middle Persian text on the geography of ancient Iran. It lists cities, their builders and their importance along with what you might call “gossip.” Of course, a few of them appear in the modern commentary of the text, as you might expect, but not the original text itself.


The place name ‘Jerusalem’ makes one solitary appearance in the translation of the Shahnameh, but not in the Sahrestaniha i Eransahr. Jerusalem features as the site of the demon Zahhak’s palace…

Zahhak enthroned

Zahhak enthroned
Old Persian MS, Public domain

'He [Prince Feraydun] made for the River Arvand (if you do not know Pahlavi, this river is called “Dejleh” in Arabic, or the Tigris) and pitched camp on its banks, close to the city of Baghdad, and sent word to the ferryman there that he needed boats to transport his army across the river… The prince and his army reached the further bank and went on toward Jerusalem, which was called in Pahlavi “Gang Dezh Hukht” and was where Zahhak had built his palace. When they were a mile from the city, the king saw a palace with walls that shone like the planet Jupiter in the heavens and were so high that they seemed to reach for the stars. He knew that this great palace, which seemed a place of joy and peace, was the home of the monster Zahhak, and he said to his companions, “I fear that anyone who can raise such a building on the dark earth is somehow secretly favoured by fate.”'

Another source, ‘Cyrus's conquest of Babylon - How history became myth’ by Daan Nijssen,  claims that Ferdowsi identifies Zahhak’s capital city of Gang Dezh Hukht, as ‘Bayt al-Muqaddas’ or ‘Jerusalem’. This source then points out that that Jerusalem is not situated just west of the river Tigris. The identification with Jerusalem therefore appears to be a later modification. Furthermore, Gang Dezh Hukht and Bayt al-Muqaddas simply mean ‘holy place’ in Pahlavi and Arabic, which could easily refer to the city of Babylon itself. However, if you look at a map, Bablyon (Hillah), isn’t west of Baghdad, it’s south and it’s on the banks of the river Euphrates, not the Tigris. So, what exactly was this later insertion of ‘Jerusalem’ into the Shahnameh supposed to achieve, apart from total and utter confusion? Could it have been an ill-informed attempt to place the existence of Jerusalem into Iran’s traditional history? The association of Zahhak’s palace with Jerusalem isn’t without significance, but I’m sure it’s not the significance that was intended.

The fate of the palace at Jerusalem, or maybe Babylon, or Zahhak’s ‘Holy Place’, is not made clear in the Shahnameh as the word ‘Jerusalem’ is never mentioned again. However, there is a Castle in Iran known as Zahhak Castle or Citadel

Zahhak’s Castle

Zahhak’s Castle

It’s located in Hashtrud, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, which is a very very long way from Jerusalem and also from the site described in the Shahnameh.

“Hashtrud is home to the Zahhak Castle, named after Zahhak in ancient Persian mythology. The castle was inhabited by various Persian dynasties until the Timurid era… Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a census report recalls that Hashtrud was home to roughly 10 Jewish families.” Source 

...and that’s its complete history according to Wikipedia who thought it was as important to tell us that various Persian dynasties inhabited the castle as it was to let us know that about 10 Jewish families once lived in the town… ?!* By the way, Hashtrud was also known as ‘Sar Eskandar’, as in Sekandar, Alexander the Great…

It’s all Rum

We have been misled into believing that the 3 areas of Rum, Turan and Persia were separate fragmented entities fighting each other and establishing their ancient empires – for example; Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Neo-Assyrian, Medes, Persian, Akkadians, Mitanni, Hittites, Greek and finally the Roman Empire. However, according to the Shahnameh, there was only ever one ancient empire with 3 kingdoms: Iran, Turan and Rum, who were all ruled by descendants of the same original World Kings. Of the 3 kingdoms, Iran was the home of the ‘King of Kings’ and both Rum and Turan were required to pay tribute to Iran.

Over-stepping the boundaries

When King Feraydun divided the world into three kingdoms, we have to assume he did it in a reasonably straightforward and fair manner, that he distributed it amongst his three sons more or less equally and “Each of the three princely brothers sat in state in his own kingdom.” The specific borders between Iran, Rum and Turan are quite vague in the Shahnameh and, of course, subject to change through wars and treaties. From what I can tell, the key point seems to be around the bottom right corner of the Caspian Sea, just north-east of Tehran. If you draw a line from there westwards across the bottom of Asia Minor – what is now roughly the Turkish-Syrian border – that was the delineation between Iran and Rum. For example the Shahnameh mentions a city called Nasibin in Mesopotamia as being on the border between Rum and Persia. Today it’s called Nusaybin and sits right on the border between Syria and Turkey. There’s also the city of Dara, whose name is an obvious connection to the Iranian king and half-brother of Sekandar / Alexander, which is also on the same Turkish / Syrian border of today.

Drawing a line from the same right-hand corner of the Caspian Sea south-east until it meets up with the Amu Daraya (River Oxen) gives some idea of the border between Iran and Turan according to the Shahnameh. Once it reaches the Pakistan area it’s never really very clear what happens. The people of Turan were known as Turks or Turkish in spite of objections to this by modern scholars and the official narrative. The map below is a very broad interpretation of the 3 kingdom’s boundaries. In the poem, 90% of the action is focused around Iran with the furthest extremes being China, Ethiopia and India. Rome is the furthest western location to feature in the Shahnameh. The northern extreme is even more vague and one gets the impression that locations north of the Caucasus Mountains didn’t exist.

Approximation of King Feraydun’s division of the world based upon post-cataclysm geography.

Approximation of King Feraydun’s division of the world
(based upon post-cataclysm geography.)

Accommodating the New Testament

In the Shahnameh there was never originally any suggestion of an extra and quite frankly untidy annex of Rum that went from roughly Wassukanni in Mesopotamia south-west through Syria conveniently incorporating Lebanon, Israel, parts of Jordan and even Egypt.

It couldn’t have been until the advent of Sekandar / Alexander the Great that these areas mentioned above (which are never named in the Shahnameh) came under the control of Rum. By this time Sekandar / Alexander and indeed all of Rum was ALREADY CHRISTIAN and yet all of the New Testament gospels place the Jesus story against a backdrop of Roman occupation in these precise areas. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Of course, the answer to that is to claim that the Shahnameh is total fantasy / mythology / fiction.


Way back at the beginning of this article we mentioned a couple of ‘recentist’ proposals put forward by Emmet Sweeney in his book ‘The Ramessides, Medes and Persians’, one of which was that the Seleucid “Greek” empire of antiquity is identical to the Seljuk “Turkish” empire of the Middle Ages, and that both are identical to the ancient “Persian” Achaemenid empire. Could this explain why the Achaemenid empire is totally absent from the Shahnameh, because it was another example of the duplication and even triplication of events that were then sent back in time?

“The Hebrew Bible contains very few passages that address Achaemenid rule over Judah and the Judeans (539-332 BCE [mainstream]). Very few events are illuminated or given any kind of value judgement.… The existing extrabiblical sources contain little or no reference to the Judeans or Judah. There are only a few archaeological and epigraphic finds. Thus, Herbert Donner justifiably refers to the Persian era as the ‘dark ages.’ But Rabbinical Jewish tradition recognizes no such gap, and, placing the return from Babylonian Exile in the latter 4 th /early 3 rd century, makes Ezra and Nehemiah, who organized the rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, immediately precede the Maccabees.” (ibid Emmet Sweeney)

Then there’s the alleged confusion of the Parthians with the Achaemenids...

“In most of the historical texts of the first centuries of the Islamic era, which are based on pre-Islamic narrations and their translations, there are lists of names and annals of Parthian kings that are drastically different from each other.” Seyed Ali Mahmoudi Lahijani PhD, Department of Persian Language and literature, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran 

The problem seems to be that archaeologists and historians are all so fixated upon finding evidence of the great Achaemenid Empire that when they don’t find any they claim that the Medes and the Persians didn’t exist! In their tunnel vision they can’t see that they’ve got it all backwards and it’s the Achaemenids who never existed!

We mentioned the various rock inscriptions throughout Iran earlier. Well the most celebrated is the ‘Behistun Inscription’ is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. It’s attributed to Darius the Great, the third king of the Achaemenid Empire. In the Shahnameh, we don’t find either a Darius or an Achaemenid anything. Darab we have and his son Dara, but no Darius.

The official history of this Behistun Inscription is quite interesting:

After the fall of the Persian Empire Old Persian cuneiform writing and the Behistun Inscription was forgotten. “Fanciful explanations” became the norm, in other words explanations that don’t agree with the one we have now. For centuries it was attributed to the reign of the Sassanian Khosrau II who lived over 1000 years after the alleged time of Darius the Great.

The Greeks apparently mentioned it and even noted a a well and a garden beneath the inscription. They believed the inscription to have been dedicated "by Queen Semiramis of Babylon to Zeus". Even the Romans, in the form of Tacitus, mentions it and include descriptions of some of the long-lost monuments at the base of the cliff, which include an altar to the Greek hero "Herakles". Excavations have confirmed Tacitus's description and include statue, possibly Heracules. The Greek historian Diodorus also wrote of "Bagistanon" and attributes the inscription to Semiramis.

Then we are told that a legend was formed around Mount Behistun (Bisotun), “as written about by the Persian poet and writer Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh (Book of Kings) c. 1000 AD.” This legend is stated as being about a man named Farhad, who was a lover of King Khosrow's wife, Shirin. So, now there’s even more controversy over Shirin as if there wasn’t enough already!

“The legend states that, exiled for his transgression, Farhad was given the task of cutting away the mountain to find water; if he succeeded, he would be given permission to marry Shirin. After many years and the removal of half the mountain, he did find water, but was informed by Khosrow that Shirin had died. He went mad, threw his axe down the hill, kissed the ground and died.” Source

This story does not appear anywhere in the Sahanameh, not in my version anyway. The name ‘Farhad’ appears as a warrior in the chapter ‘The Seven Trials of Rostam’ and some subsequent chapters, but this is all from a much earlier period than Shirin and Khosrow.

“It is told in the book of Khosrow and Shirin that his axe was made out of a pomegranate tree, and, where he threw the axe, a pomegranate tree grew with fruit that would cure the ill. Shirin was not dead, according to the story, and mourned upon hearing the news.” Source

The book of ‘Khosrow and Shirin’ is not Ferdowsi’s work, but that of Nizami Ganjavi (1141–1209), who was also partly responsible for the complete and utter confusion we investigated earlier regarding Shirin and Shirui.

Behistun Relief and Inscriptions

Behistun Relief and Inscriptions from ‘The student's manual of ancient geography,
based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography’ (1861)
Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions

Then we jump to the 16th century when the English diplomat, Robert Sherley, saw the inscription and and carvings and brought them to the attention of Western European scholars. These clever-dicks came to the conclusion that it was Christian in origin. French General Gardanne thought it showed "Christ and his twelve apostles", and Sir Robert Ker Porter thought it represented the Lost Tribes of Israel and Shalmaneser of Assyria.

Wouldn’t you just know it, but the good old Judeo-British East India Company got involved in the form of Sir Henry Rawlinson, who in 1835 ‘obtained’ the the Old Persian inscription. A few years later he also ‘obtained’ the Elamite inscription.

In the modern accepted translation, Darius gives the names of his ancestors, none of whom appear in the Shahnameh. He also gives ‘eye-witness accounts’ of about six rebellions he successfully put down during a one-year period following the deaths of Cyrus the Great, and his son Cambyses II… none of which are in the Shahnameh – not the rebellions, the battles or Cyrus and Cambyses. However, this monument has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site… of course.

There are 18 additional historical monuments across the 116 hectare site of Mount Behistun. Ferdowsi was born, lived his life and wrote his National history in Khorasan, Iran. Mount Behistun does feature in the Shahnameh stories, so he was well aware of it. The distance from Khorasan to Mount Behistun is 116.77 miles or 187.92 km. How could he not have known about these inscriptions and monuments!? The claim that “Old Persian cuneiform writing and the Behistun Inscription were forgotten” cannot apply to a 10th century historian who spent some 30 years of his life engaged in the research of his country’s past, even though Wikipedia ungraciously claims there is no evidence that he knew “Arabic or Pahlavi.” That’s yet another blatant lie that can be easily refuted simply by reading the Shahnameh. Furthermore, Ferdowsi did not invent any “fanciful explanations” for the inscriptions or the carvings in spite of Wikipedia’s attempt to cite him as the source of the totally fake legend concerning Farhad, the lover of King Khosrow's wife, Shirin. The plain fact is that Ferdowsi didn’t write a single word about the Achaemenids, Cyrus, Darius or any of the inscriptions.

Should anyone care to get themselves in an even greater confusion regarding these inscriptions and all of the different languages that they appear in, then I can highly recommend the following webpage: “Old Persian and Middle Iranian epigraphy

You will be amazed in just how many different versions and languages these inscriptions appear and in how many different locations, e.g. two fragments of Babylonian text identical to inscriptions found at Suza were unearthed in Babylon. They turn up in Old Persian, Babylonian, Elamite, Aramaic, Pahlavi type scripts, Greek, Aramao-Iranian, Middle Persian, Parthian, Chorasmian, Sogdian, Bactrian and even Chinese! Not forgetting Double-Dutch.

Key to the positions of the inscriptions

‘Key to the positions of the Persian Text and of the Susian and
Babylonian Versions of the great Trilingual Inscriptions of Darius at Behistun’
‘The Sculptures and Inscription of Behistun’ (1907)
by “order of the Trustees of the British Museum” (!?*).

(Click the image to open in it a new tab)

Apologies for the image quality. Starting at top left and progressing anti-clockwise we have Babylonian, Susian, Persian and finally Supplementary Texts ...Susian – there’s a new one. “Definitions of Susian. noun. an extinct ancient language of unknown affinities; spoken by the Elamites.” (Source) and “an inhabitant of the ancient kingdom of Elam. Also called: Elamitic, Susian. the extinct language of this people, of no known relationship, recorded in cuneiform inscriptions dating from the 25th to the 4th centuries bc. Of or relating to Elam, its people, or their language.” (Source) plus “ Susians, inhabitants of Susa, an ancient city in the lower Zagros Mountains, Iran. Susian language, another name for the Elamite language.” (Source.)  Then we are told that “Susa served as the capital of Elam and the Achaemenid Empire” (Source)  ‘et voila!’ there we have it. Were the Achaemenids actually the Elamites? Whoever they were…

Back in the “Old Persian and Middle Iranian epigraphy” webpage you will discover how Parthian was known as Chaldeo-Pehlvi in the 18th century, but changed back to Parthian in the mid 20th century.

The mind will boggle at the realisation that the oldest Achaemenid inscription found in Persia, with its Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian versions, shows that only the Elamite and Babylonian versions were contemporary, but the Old Persian version was added later. Your head may possibly explode when you hear that remains of as many as five hieroglyphic texts have been found alongside the trilingual inscriptions at some sites – perhaps that was the ‘Supplementary Text’ described on the image above?

What does all this mean? Answers on a postcard please. Seriously though, this is all a crazy mess. Maybe Ferdowsi didn’t include the information from the myriad inscriptions in the Shahnameh because they simply weren’t there when he wrote his National History. Maybe there weren’t yet any language versions of the inscriptons that he could understand as they were added later? Perhaps he recognised that the inscriptions and carved scenes did not relate to the national history of Iran, but to the mythology of some other sub-kingdom that was part of the Iranian Empire. We have seen how becoming part of the Persian Empire and even Sekandar’s (Alexander’s) Empire didn’t necessarily require a change of monarchy or culture, simply capitulation and tributes.

It seems highly likely that the relief carvings accompanying the inscriptions were put there initially. The inscriptions all came later. We will never know if they were made by the same people who did the carvings. We will also never know when the inscriptions were added and by whom. The only supporting evidence for the Achaemenid theory is a few biblical references, which is like claiming that Toyland exists because it was mentioned in the Noddy books. In spite of all the scholarly research and desperation to find some evidence to support the Bayesian Achaemenid Empire, all we have are “fanciful explanations” and I include the Darius / Cyrus / Achaemenid one in that as well.

Trying to be Cyrus

I do try very hard to be serious, but I don't often meet with consistent success. Anyway, the Achaemenid Empire and its celebrity rulers, Cyrus and Darius, get a great deal of attention historically. They are seen as champions or, in the case of Cyrus, as a messiah of the Jews. They were allegedly responsible for the end of the Babylonian exile who fashioned a new beginning for the Jewish nation and revitalised Judaism. This illusive empire’s supposed base equates roughly with the modern Iranian province of Fars, although in ancient times it extended further west across the top of the Persian Gulf into modern day Iraq. Its name has been given as Pars, Parsa, Parsis and of course, Persia. Wikiperdida claims it is the original homeland of the Persian people whom it then describes as an “Iranian ethnic group”.

“It is a fact noted frequently by commentators that the Jews, most assiduous of record-keepers, left not a single document or even note from the time of Ezra (supposedly 5fth century BC) until the time of the Maccabees, in the mid-second century BC. Thus, in a period where we should have expected a rich tradition to have survived, there are 250 years of Hebrew history totally unaccounted for. The only Jewish writer to cover the third and fourth centuries is Josephus, but his sources are entirely Hellenistic; and he tells us virtually nothing about the Jews themselves in this epoch. (He does however mention that Alexander came to Jerusalem and honoured the Jewish God — rather in the way Cyrus honoured the same God)… There is in fact one striking parallel between the “Cyrus” of the Bible and Alexander as described by Josephus. Just as Cyrus, at the start of the Book of Ezra, links his mastery of the whole world to his honouring of the Jewish God, so Alexander honours the holy name of Yahweh and explains to his followers how the Jewish High Priest had appeared to him in a dream promising him the conquest of the entire Persian Empire (Jewish Antiquities, Bk. XI, viii, 4-5).” ‘The Ramessides, Medes and Persians’ by Emmet Sweeney.

In the Shahnameh we have also seen the story of Sasan, the founder of the Iranian Sasanid dynasty, working as a shepherd for king Babak of Persis. Cyrus the Great was also apparently raised by shepherds. So, was Cyrus the Great a fictitious character created using elements of the Sasan and Sekandar (Alexander the Great) stories? Of course, the mainstream Alexander the Great story is itself very different from the Shahnameh’s Sekandar, especially as he never explicitly honoured the holy name of Yahweh. However, in the Jewish tradition, the methods employed by Cyrus with regards to conquest and submission through his alleged religious tolerance, (provided Yahweh’s supremacy was either acknowledged or assumed as the identity of the local deity,) reflects exactly that of Sekandar, although his God is never named.

As we have illustrated, the Jews are barely mentioned in the Shahnameh and when they are it’s with little or no respect, even scorn and this contrasts sharply with the Hebrew tradition of Cyrus.

The Name Game

I suddenly realised a short while after publishing this article, that very few people would understand the significance of this title as it refers to a 'pop' song from the mid 1960's. To me it demonstrates exactly how etymology is used by historians. For all those who are not as ancient as I am, a video of the song, with lyrics, can be viewed here.

I should also explain the meaning of the word “Palaver in British English: tedious or time-consuming business, esp when of a formal nature; loud and confused talk and activity; hubbub; talk intended to flatter or persuade.” Source 

The Aryan Palaver

Way back in the dim and distant past we are told that the ‘Aryans’ arrived in the Iranian – Indian region of Asia. From where exactly is never specified in the mainstream narrative, but there’s no shortage of theories. We are told that the term ‘Aryan’ derives from the Old Persian word ‘ariya’ which we are further told is the name the ancient Persians used when referring to themselves. Also ‘airya’ had the same meaning in Avestan, the scriptural language of Zoroastrianism which is very similar to Sanskrit. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find that the Indian Vedic term ‘ā́rya’ was used for the same purpose. Āryāvarta ('abode of the Aryas'), was the name that denoted the area of the Vedic culture, which included areas outside of India, like parts of Persia / Iran. Airyanǝm Vaēǰō ('expanse of the Aryas' or 'stretch of the Aryas') referred to the mythical homeland of the Airya as given in the Avesta scriptures of the Iranians. It’s claimed that the same etymological source gives rise to place names such as Iran and Alania (Aryāna – an Iranian group whose descendants are the Ossetians of the Northern Caucasus).

The Avestan language, also known as Zend, encompasses two Old Iranian languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The dating of Sanskrit is much more controversial thanks to the ‘Aryan Invasion’ scenario that Felix discusses in his article ‘The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India’.

Old Persian was spoken during the rule of the probably fictitious Achaemenid dynasty from 550 BC until 224 AD, but of course, these dates are mainstream and also obviously suspect. While these Old Persians were apparently calling themselves ‘ariya’ or ‘airya’ they were also referring to their country as ‘Parsa’. This is also the root of the words Parthia and Parthian (Old Persian ‘Parthava’) describing another possibly ficticious ancient kingdom in north-east Iran.

If we follow the Old Persian example of Parthian – Parthava, then the Old Persians should have been calling themselves the Parsava, not Ariya or Airya. Parsava is claimed by Wikiperdida to mean ‘border or borderland’ and refers to Parsua (earlier Parsuash, Parsumash,) an ancient tribal kingdom from 860-600 BC in western Iran. Are you following all of this? I think the idea is that you’re not supposed to.

From 224 AD onward (mainstream chronology) the Sassanian dynasty spoke Middle Persian, or Pahlavi, from whence we get ‘Ērān’ meaning apparently "(land) of the Aryans," being the genitive plural of ēr- "an Aryan." Genitive denotes possession, therefore something belonging to “some Aryans.” However, the ‘land of’ bit is just an assumption. It could easily be ‘water of’ or ‘horses of’, nevertheless, it’s claimed that this Middle Persian word ‘Ērān’ became ‘Iran’ which in turn is supposed to derive from ‘Aryānām’ as recorded in the Avesta scriptures. Aryānām Vaēǰō is the name of the first land from whence the Ariya / Airya originated.

A great deal of ‘scholarly’ effort has been expended in recent times in an attempt to detract from the northern Polar Aryan origin theory with claims that place-names in the Avesta are located in either western or eastern Iran. In this regard, the meaning of the word Vaēǰō is much disputed with translations such as “expanse,” “territory / region,” “brandish / throw,” “to move with a quick darting motion, speed, heave,” (?!*). In truth, these theories have no more validity than any other. We can’t help thinking that ‘Vaēǰō’ simply means “old” as in the Spanish ‘viejo’, which gives “Old Aryānām” – i.e. the original, first land of the Airya – which is exactly how the term is used in the Vendidad (part of the Avesta scriptures.) 

Feraydun in the guise of a dragon testing his sons.

 Feraydun as a dragon testing his sons.
Attributed to Āqā Mīrak, Public domain

If there weren’t enough already, even more complications are provided by Iranian Mythology. However, this so-called ‘mythology’ comes from the exact same sources as all the other Zoroastrian material: the Avesta, Pahlavi books, Sassanian-based Arabic and Persian sources, and particularly the Shahnameh when the shape-shifting King of The World, named Feraydun, assumed the shape of a dragon to test the individual mettle of his three sons. After the ordeal he revealed himself and said, ‘“I have chosen fit [throne] names for you,” to the youngest, who exhibited the right character of prudent bravery and was thus “alone worthy of praise,” he gave the name “Iraj”’ i.e., from ēr “noble.”

Following this assignment of “throne” names, King Feraydun divided the world between his three sons. Guess what part Iraj was given. We have already seen that Middle Persian Pahlavi ‘Ērān’ derives from the Avestan ‘Aryānām’ and means “land of the aryans,” or “of the Ēr,” and is given by the mainstream as the origin of the name “Iran.” Iraj in the same Middle Persian Pahlavi language is ‘Ērič’ meaning “worthy of praise”, “noble”. However, Wikiperdida claims that Iraj derives from the Avestan ‘Airiia’, via the Pahlavi ‘Ērič’ and literally means "Aryan." So then surely, by the exact same logic Aryan means “Noble”.

It’s obvious that ‘Iraj’ is a title, not a personal name. King Feraydun chose “fit [throne] names” for his sons:

The eldest, who wisely sought “safety” (salāmat), he called Salm.

The second, who showed unrestrained daring, he named Tur (tur, “reckless, brave.”)

These are titles not names and they have no racial or tribal connotations. It’s no coincidence that Iranian ‘legends’ share much with that of the Indian Vedas and also the Norse. In fact ‘Ērič’ or Eric as a boys' name is of Old Norse origin, and the meaning of Eric is "complete ruler," in other words it’s a title and was used by nine Danish kings. Similarly “Frederik” is from ‘fred’ or ‘frid’ meaning "peace", and ‘rîc’ meaning "power, ruler."

Commonly, the name Bharatvarsh is used for India in general and scriptural writings. The territory of India (Bharatvarsh) or the Vedic civilisation (Aryavart) during the Mahabharat war (3139 BC) extended as far as Iran. So, the ancient Iranian people also used to call themselves Aryans and therefore it clearly had nothing to do with a common race or language.

“The word 'Arya' in Sanskrit means noble and never denotes a race. In fact, the authoritative Sanskrit lexicon (c. 450 AD), the famous Amarakosa, gives the following definition:​

‘mahakula kulinarya sabhya sajjana sadhavah’
An Arya is one who hails from a noble family, of gentle behaviour and demeanour, good-natured and of righteous conduct.

“And the great epic Ramayana has a singularly eloquent expression describing Rama as:

‘arya sarva samascaiva sadaiva priyadarsanah’
Arya, who worked for the equality of all and was dear to everyone.

“The Rigveda also uses the word Arya something like thirty six times, but never to mean a race. The nearest to a definition that one can find in the Rigveda is probably:

praja arya jyotiragrah ... (Children of Arya are led by light)
Rig Veda, VII. 33.17’

“The word 'light' should be taken in the spiritual sense to mean enlightenment. The word Arya, according to those who originated the term, is to be used to describe those people who observed a code of conduct; people were Aryans or non-Aryans depending on whether or not they followed this code. This is made entirely clear in the Manudharma Shastra or the Manusmriti (X.43-45):

‘But in consequence of the omission of sacred rites, and of their not heeding the sages, the following people of the noble class (Arya Kshatriyas) have gradually sunk to the state of servants - the Paundrakas, Chodas, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Shakhas, Paradhas, Pahlavas, Chinas, Kiratas and Daradas.’

“Two points about this list are worth noting: first, their fall from the Aryan fold had nothing to do with race, birth or nationality; it was due entirely to their failure to follow certain sacred rites. Second, the list includes people from all parts of India as well as a few neighbouring countries like China and Persia (Pahlavas). Kambojas are from West Punjab, Yavanas from Afghanistan and beyond (not necessarily the Greeks) while Dravidas refers probably to people from the south-west of India and the South.

“Thus, the modern notion of an Aryan-Dravidian racial divide is contradicted by ancient records. We have it on the authority of Manu that the Dravidians were also part of the Aryan fold. Interestingly, so were the Chinese. Race never had anything to do with it until the Europeans adopted the ancient word to give expression to their nationalistic and other aspirations.” Source

The fish avatara of Vishnu

The fish avatara of Vishnu saves Manu during the great deluge.
Public Domain

The Pahlavi Palaver

One name in particular stands out like a sore thumb in the list given previously of those who had fallen”from the Aryan fold” – the Pahlavas. This just has to be the same word as Pahlavi. In the Shahnameh we are given the impression that ‘Pahlavi’ relates to a language and to a custom or doctrine. The mainstream narrative has this to say about the language:

“[Pahlavi] is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasanian collapse, Middle Persian continued to function as a prestige language…” Source

But it doesn’t end there, the mainstream also defines Pahlavi literature and Pahlavi Script…

“Pahlavi literature traditionally defines the writings of the Zoroastrians in the Middle Persian language and Book Pahlavi script which were compiled in the 9th and the 10th centuries CE. These books safeguard, in the vast majority of cases, older material, going back to the Sasanian period and, in same cases, even earlier. The surviving Pahlavi literature preserves part of the literary heritage of the late Sasanian period, with a great prevalence of religious books. Quite clearly, this is due to the fact that the compilers and copyists of these books all belonged to the clergy.” Source

The Sassanian dynasty ended in 651 AD, but now we are told that their religious literature was “compiled in the 9th and the 10th centuries CE” and not only that, but it obviously also survived the 934 cataclysm.

Pahlavi Script:

“Pahlavi may thus be defined as a system of writing applied to (but not unique for) a specific language group, but with critical features alien to that language group. It has the characteristics of a distinct language, but is not one. It is an exclusively written system, but much Pahlavi literature remains essentially an oral literature committed to writing and so retains many of the characteristics of oral composition.” Source

So it’s a system of writing that’s alien to all language groups. It’s like a distinct language, but it’s not. It’s essentially oral, but exclusively written... If anyone out there understands the previous paragraph would they please use this website’s Contact form to explain it to us, thanking you in anticipation. It’s the most exhaustive way of saying nothing at all I’ve ever come across.

There’s apparently Book Pahlavi, which is like a joined-up writing version of… of non-Book Pahlavi I suppose, and there’s Pahlavi Psalter which is…

“...the name given to a 12-page non-contiguous section of a Middle Persian translation of a Syriac version of the Book of Psalms.” Source

So, they invented the name Pahlavi Psalter for 12 pages of a fragmentary document dug up in China during 1905. This they then claimed was the oldest surviving example of Pahlavi literature. They couldn’t call it normal Pahlavi because it was different, although still based on Aramaic…

“The surviving fragments probably date to the 6th or 7th century CE. The translation itself dates to not before the mid-6th century since it reflects liturgical additions to the Syriac original by Mar Aba I, who was Patriarch of the Church of the East c. 540 – 552.” (ibid

Fragment of a Letter in Pahlavi Script

Fragment of a Letter in Pahlavi Script (MET, 90.5.962)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0

Pretty convincing stuff eh? But, wait a minute, the Pahlavi language was supposed to have been used by the Sassanian dynasty (mainstream 224 to 651 AD) so surely there must be older Pahlavi literature than these fragments? Oh no, wait a minute, all the Pahlavi literature dates to the 9th and 10th centuries and these 12 pages of fragments are Christian Psalms so therefore, to keep everything in its proper order, Pahlavi Psalter had to be invented. More recently they have found another example of Pahlavi Psalter in an inscription on an undated bronze processional cross in Afghanistan, however…

“Due to the dearth of comparable material, some words and phrases in both sources remain undeciphered.” (ibid)

…so even though the 12 pages were from the Book of Psalms, they couldn’t decipher some of words and phrases and yet they could date it because “it reflects liturgical additions to the Syriac original by Mar Aba I.”

This all constitutes a ‘palaver’... 

The Pahlavi Doctrine Palaver

The Pahlavi Doctrine is a different matter.You may remember the incident in the Shahnameh when one of the Ardeshir / Bahman kings slept with his daughter Homay, “according to the custom called Pahlavi.” We also pointed out that, according to Wikipedofilia, this ‘Pahlavi doctrine of ‘Xwedodah
is spiritually motivated incest which “became a more solidified doctrine in the Pahlavi/Middle Persian literature of post-Sassanian Zoroastrianism” along with the genderless attributes of Ahuramazda… who used to be called ‘Ohrmazd’.

Xwedodah. Note ‘Wiwangan’ who is described as “Brother and sister"

Xwedodah. Note ‘Wiwangan’ who is described as
“Brother and sister.”
Dageoa, CC BY-SA 4.0

This whole Pahlavi thing is sounding more and more like a Zoroastrian corruption that took hold in Iran between the fall of the Sasanids and the rise of Islam. In other words, just before the 10th century cataclysm. It’s obviously something that requires a lot more research, but that will have to wait for the next installment… which will either be Part 2.5, Part two-and-three-quarters or Part Xwedodah-dodah-day!

So who were the Pahlavas mentioned in the Indian Manusmriti as being a Persian tribe who fell from grace? Mainstream sources point to the etymology of the word Pahlavi as deriving somehow from ‘Parthava’ meaning ‘Parthians’ in Old Persian. Locating their home ground is rather confusing as you can see from this map courtesy of Wikiperdida:

You will also notice ‘Paetyans’ on the map and on their Parthia page Wikipedia tells us that “The original location of Parthia roughly corresponds to a region in northeastern Iran, but part is in southern Turkmenistan.” which in Shahnameh terms means that it was in Turan, not Iran or Rum.

All of the information regarding the Parthians is sourced from the good old Achaemenid era, with whom they also get confused. Dick Davis, the translator of the English version of the Shahnameh, associates them to the Ashkanians who were the ‘kings of the peoples’ left in power by Sekandar / Alexander after his demise.

S.P. Gupta also mentions the "male heads of foreigners from Patna city and Sarnath", which according to him attest to the presence of a foreign elite in the Gangetic plains during the Mauryan or late Mauryan period. This elite was West Asian, specifically related to the Pahlavas and Sakas based in Iran and Afghanistan, and their presence was a consequence of their eastern forays into India.” Source

The Pahlavas were obviously a foreign elite based in Iran and Afghanistan – perhaps even Parthia (hence Patna City, perhaps city of the Patnas / Parthians) – who were banished from the Aryan fold for their misdemeanours in India. It’s not unreasonable to make the connection between Pahlavas and Pahlavi, although on the face of it one is a tribe of people and the other is a language… or not a language but a literature… well not a literature but a kind of Aramaic script… although not a written script but more like a Zoroastrian doctrine… ?!*

Whatever, something certainly stinks about all of this.

The Pahlavi Dynasty Palaver

It wasn’t until 1935 that the government of Reza Shah Pahlavi, considered to be the founder of modern Iran, requested governments with which it had diplomatic relations to call his country Iran, after the indigenous name, rather than the Greek-derived ‘Persia’. Obviously, the Persia and Persian labels had been in use for over a thousand years before that time. It seems quite odd that the Iranian / Persian Empire, being so powerful for such a long period and leaving such an enormous legacy, never managed to get people to call it by it’s correct name.

“The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi, a non-aristocratic Mazanderani soldier in modern times, who took on the name of the Pahlavi language spoken in the pre-Islamic Sasanian Empire in order to strengthen his nationalist credentials.” Source

Not only that but as far as the Iranian Jews were concerned, he also became the second most respected Iranian leader since Cyrus the Great by praying in the synagogue when visiting the Jewish community of Isfahan. His reforms opened up new occupational opportunities for Jews and he also allowed them to leave the ghetto. However, there are claims that Reza Khan was responsible for the anti-Jewish incidents in Tehran during September of 1922. (Source)

The Persia/Iran Palaver

From the various palavers above it would seem that confusion has been a deliberate policy. The mainstream etymology for the word Persia cites it as deriving from the Old Persian word ‘Parsa’ (cognate with the Modern Persian ‘Fars’ – the name of a province in south-west Iran even today and of the Iranian language - Farsi.) If we consider this alongside the ancient Parsua kingdom of western Iran (mentioned earlier) and its meaning of ‘border or borderland’ then it all becomes clearer.

Persia or ‘Perse’, "land of the Persians," from Latin "Persia," from Greek Persis, refers to the north-westernmost area of Iran that bordered the empire of Rum, not the Kingdom of Iran as a whole. This may also explain the 17th century AD appearance of the term ‘Aryan’ in “classical history,” which was claimed to come from the Latin ‘Arianus’, ‘Ariana’, and from Greek ‘Aria’, ‘Areia’, which are names applied in “classical times” to the eastern part of ancient Iran and to its inhabitants. This makes sense and is verified by the inclusion of some eastern parts of Iran in Āryāvarta ('abode of the Aryas') – the area of the Indian Vedic culture.

The term ‘Aryan’ has been associated with race theories for a long time now, many of which have ended badly and some even continue to cause controversy in the present day. As discussed earlier, the term Aryan was always a title that indicated a “noble” or “worthy” person (or people.) If there was an original Aryan or Noble and Worthy race, then it was either divine and / or semi-divine, in other words Fae.

The arrival of the Aryans into Iran, as proposed by the mainstream narrative, is another highly controversial topic. The languages spoken throughout Iran during this early period must have been many and varied. The “Sanskrit speaking Aryans,” famously promoted by Max Muller and his Indo-European language theory, must have had a hard time making themselves understood by their new neighbours. It’s interesting to note that within both the Vedic and Avesta legacies of India and Iran, the scriptures were initially maintained orally through a lineage of priests very similar to the Druidic Bards. Similarly, the Sanskrit and Avestan languages were never spoken in a general sense by either of the native populations, which suggests that they were possibly sacred languages similar to Latin and Hebrew - both being initially reserved for religious rituals. There is also very recent ‘evidence’ which purports to show that Sanskrit was originally spoken and written in northern Syria. However, what isn’t mentioned is that when this ‘evidence’ was originally created the location in question had nothing to do with Syria.

The Arctic Home

One of the finest studies of Aryan origins was provided by Lokamanya Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak in 1903 in his work entitled ‘The Arctic Home in the Vedas’, written whilst he was a prisoner of the Judeo-British East India Company authorities in India. Despite the title, it also corroborates evidence from the Iranian Avesta scriptures with that of the Indian Vedas and shows a common source for both which originated in the lands around the North Pole.

Obviously Tilak was working within the restrictions of the official narrative of his time to a certain extent, particularly with regard to chronology and geology. Nevertheless, he has produced some extremely insightful material:

“The Vedic and the Avestic evidence clearly establish the existence of a primeval Polar home, the climate of which was mild and temperate.” (Tilak)

“It was the advent of the Ice Age that destroyed the mild climate of the original home and converted it into an ice-bound land unfit for the habitation of man. This is well expressed in the Avesta which describes the Airyana Vaêjo as a happy land subsequently converted by the invasion of Angra Mainyu into a land of severe winter and snow.” (Tilak)

This sounds like a description of the changes brought about by the 10th century cataclysm, but it refers to a much earlier period. Perhaps it indicates that such cataclysms are somehow cyclic in nature and the 10th century event was simply the most recent example of a transition from one cycle to the next.

Whilst there is undoubtedly a common origin for the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta, it’s the Iranian branch that has been the most modified and adapted by the post 10th century organised religions. The Vedic material was not corrupted until relatively recently, but controversy and mystery regarding the Iranian Avesta scriptures began in the first millennium with most of them being lost at around the time of the cataclysm. However, there is still quite a sizeable collection of manuscripts that are now collectively referred to as the Avesta.

World according to the Avesta

World according to the Avesta (left) adapted from M. Boyce, ¡Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism', 1984, with Croatian description (Orijentolog, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Please note the similarity to Gerardus Mercator’s Polar Insert Map of 1569 (shown right.)

The Avesta is a collection of the religious texts of the Zoroastrian belief system – like a Zoroastrian Bible. However, what’s very important to realize is that the prophet Zarathustra was a reformist – in other words he changed a previously existing belief system. In fact Ferdowsi, in the Shahnameh, states explicitly that Zoroaster “brought a new religion.” Exactly what form that original religion took we’re going to leave for Part Three, but suffice it to say for now that it was remarkably similar to so-called ‘Celtic’ and ‘Norse’ paganism. In fact, the original religion of the ‘Aryans’ in Iran has been revived under the name of Assianism or Watsdin (“True Faith”.) "Assianism" derives from the religion of the "As" or "Oss"— the ancient name of the Alans (Alania, Aryāna,) whose descendants are now the Ossetians of the Northern Caucasus. The Alans are one of the few tribes that actually get mentioned in the Shahnameh. By the way, modern Assianists prefer to call their belief system a way of life or culture rather than a “religion” in exactly the same way that the pre-Hindu Indians called theirs Sanātana Dharma, meaning "the natural and eternal way to live." This revival began in the 1980s and by now has a substantial following in North Ossetia–Alania, Russia, with adherents in South Ossetia and the Ukraine. As you might imagine, no one takes it seriously, unfortunately.


Afsati - Watsdin deity of wild animals, patron of hunters
Identical to the ‘Celtic’ god Herne the Hunter and the Rumi Cernunnos
Александр Попрыгин CC BY-SA 3.0

Wrapping up

This investigation into the Shahnameh has taken a lot of time and I can imagine there are many readers who have, quite understandably, skipped forward to this section. I have tried to focus on the relevant details only and to make them as entertaining as possible without being disrespectful, but there are others that there simply wasn’t time to include. However, in terms of identifying later modifications to the original and comparing the events to those in the mainstream, I feel that the effort has been worthwhile.

I don't claim that the Shahnameh is a true account of the national history of Iran, but it's an excellent barometer, It shows the general atmosphere of the past and also how it has been manipulated. More importantly it shows why it has been manipulated and for what purpose - the insinuation of Judeo-Christian-Islamic fantasy into world history. It shows how one set of mythological tales have been given credence over another set of equally mythological tales and then attributed to the unassailable "word of God."

Hopefully I have demonstrated the clear pattern of obfuscation, ‘palaver-isation’ and the often desperate insinuation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam into the mainstream versions of the Shahnameh tales. The copious invention of empires, dynasties and wars throughout and even beyond the Middle Eastern ‘Hotspot’ we set out to investigate, is all very obvious. It seems that every week there’s yet another theory to add to the massive haystack that's been created from the never-ending names and labels of ancient empires, obscure languages and different tribes, all of which serves only to bury the needle of truth even deeper. Contradictions are all we have regarding history before the 10th century.

Fundamental Misconceptions

Right at the outset we highlighted the total lack of archaeological evidence for biblical history and yet also the fanatical obsession of investigators from all disciplines to find some kind of proof and this even applies to many of those working in the so-called recentist arena. We also noted that Bayesian Chronology is firmly rooted in biblical chronology despite its modern high-tech methods. The result of all this is that the chronology and history of the first millennium BC is what can only be described as complete and utter chaos.

There is no doubt that we have all been thoroughly conditioned into accepting various concepts as fundamental truths. Irrespective of religious ideology, the antiquity of the Israelites / Hebrews, their gods and religions, is one such concept. For this reason, their constant appearance throughout mainstream history and that of their descendants the Jews and Christians, doesn’t disturb or surprise us at all.

However, as we have seen, a study of Iranian National History – that is the history of the Persian / Iranian Empire as it was known to the Iranians before it was rewritten and replaced in the 1700s – shows that there never was an Israel, Jerusalem, Judea, Nazareth, Palestine, an Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus the Great, captivity in Egypt or Babylonian exile. The archaeology of the region also shows exactly the same... or rather shows no evidence that these places or that empire ever existed. This also applies to many of the other myriad ancient empires, dynasties, tribes and languages that have all been jumbled up and scattered throughout the BC timeline.

And yet, so entrenched is our conditioning that we cling on to that fundamental concept no matter what. But, what if it really is wrong? What would happen if we allowed ourselves a trip down the Shahnameh rabbit hole just to see where it might lead?

Down the Shahnameh Rabbit Hole

It’s obvious that the 2000 year period leading up to the actual 10th century cataclysm was either a complete historical vacuum or told a story that we cannot be allowed to know. The story we have been given was created in order to justify something that took place or rather was taking place, after the cataclysm. Our Anno Domini dating system only serves to support this deception...

“The basic error of scientific daters of the past is that they do not compare the tree rings and ice layers, which they count in forests or in Greenland, with settlement layers that can be verified by archaeologists. Instead, they compare their data with the AD dates that mainstream historians write in their books. The BP [Before Present] measuring system used by scientific daters originated in the 20 th century. The origin of AD dating, on the other hand, is not verifiable before the 11 th century AD (with the exception of some manuscripts that have never been analyzed scientifically). Thus, there is no place in the 1st millennium AD where historians or chronologists would have kept a complete record of the years AD 1-1000. Yet, Europe alone has 30,000 to 40,000 archaeological sites for the first millennium AD. In none of them have modern excavators found superimposed settlement layers for 1,000 years, or for even half that number. Without meticulous excavations, no one can know whether the events that are placed one after the other in our textbooks did not take place simultaneously, or even in reverse order.” ‘Anno Domini And The Distortion Of Scientific Dating’ by Gunnar Heinsohn, 2021.

“Or did not take place at all,” we would add to that.

If we free ourselves from the restraints imposed by the fundamental concepts mentioned earlier, such as the antiquity of Judaism and the Middle Eastern location of the ‘Holy Land’, then we will gain much more from our dive into the Shahnameh rabbit hole.

The world we encounter at the bottom of the Shahnameh rabbit hole is very different to the one we know. In its beginning there were divine and semi-divine beings living side-by-side with humans and animals. There were gods and goddesses, good and evil, the Fae and the demons. In fact, it was all much like the beginnings of the vast majority of all ancient cultures everywhere, which is now labelled ‘mythology’ and thoroughly disbelieved.

Following the 1000 year rule of the demon Zahhak, the world of the Shahnameh was divided into three separate kingdoms: Iran, Turan and Rum or Rum. Each was ruled over by one of three royal princes. Conflict and rivalry between the princes ensued, resulting in fratricide, wars and enmity that would last for generations. Iran (Persia) mostly retained the upper hand and received tributes from the two other kingdoms, the withholding of which was usually cause for war.

The prophet Zarathustra appeared somewhat mysteriously in Iran / Persia and brought a “new religion” to the world of the Shahnameh. The details of this new religion are not made especially clear in the Shahnameh and we will be looking elsewhere for them at a later date. However, the popular view is that it introduced monotheism. It was promoted by King Goshtasp who had lived for some time in Rum where this new religion was already in full-swing and who also happened to be the favourite of the King of Rum, not to mention his son-in-law through marriage to his daughter. The new religion was “propagated by the sword” and resisted fiercely by the Turanian kingdom, which sounds very much like a taste of things to come.

It’s also from Rum that we see the first evidence of a new emergent belief system comprised of Roman / Greek paganism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism in the form of Sekandar or Alexander the Great. Ferdowsi described him as “the shadow of the world’s victorious Lord,” which suggests there was a battle of some sort at a divine level. Like Goshtasp, Sekandar was on a crusade to propagate his new religious vision ‘by the sword’, not just in Iran, but everywhere. The significant difference between this new development and Zoroastrianism, apart from the symbolism of the ‘beloved cross’ and the messiah concept, was that it inserted a human representative between god and man, or as Ferdowsi called it – a barrier.

It must be stated here that the association of Sekandar with the mainsream Alexander The Great is a modern phenomena that has happened fairly recently. Ferdowsi never mades any kind of connection or distinction between them, in his world there was only ever Sekandar. The Alexander the Great character could have been based upon Sekandar or maybe another Alexander entirely or perhaps a combination of Sekandar / Iskandar and a generous sprinkling of Alexanders from different periods.

Following the Sekandar /Alexander period we then get glimpses of this new religion’s further development with the introduction of Jesus Christ, once again mostly instigated by a citizen of Rum or by obvious and blatantly incompetent later insertion into the original text.

This brings additional complications. As we show in 'The Dark Earth Chronicles' through Gunnar Heinson's research, the Roman Empire lasted 230 years ending with the cataclysm of 934. The New Testament gospels are all written against a backdrop of the Roman occupation of the 'Holy Land' – specifically the Holy Land in the Middle East. This presents 2 problems:

1. In the world of the Shahnameh there was no Holy Land in the Middle East.

2. In the world of the Shahnameh the Romans, or Rumi / forces of Rum, didn’t get to occupy the relevant area of the Middle East until Sekandar’s crusade, but he was already crusading for the new religion that was based upon events in the Holy Land of the Middle East, which presents a chicken-and-egg situation.

In other words, Zoroastrianism developed into Judaism which then itself spawned Christianity as a Jewish cult. They all originated in Rum – therefore outside of the traditionally accepted area of the ‘Holy Land’, which was never a part of Rum before the emergence of these cults. Therefore, the New Testament gospels had to be written after 700AD in a different location that actually was part of Rum and thus ‘occupied by the Romans’.

Islam, in the world of the Shahnameh, appears to have been seeded by Sekandar / Alexander during his crusade when he encountered the claimed descendants of Ishmael in Mecca and committed genocide on their behalf, thus giving them dominance throughout the area. The exact same area from which later descendants of the exact same tribe would establish Islam.

This Shahnameh rabbit hole leads to an even greater network of rabbit holes. However, these will all be explored in forthcoming articles as this one is much too long already.

And Finally…

It’s clear to us that the greatest aid to the establishment of Christianity and Islam was the 10th century cataclysm. In fact, we would go so far as to say that without it neither Christianity nor Islam would exist today. It was the cataclysm that brought down the existing social, economic, religious and even physical structures, not priests or mullahs. But wasn’t it amazingly convenient.

Christianity and Islam required the 10th century cataclysm in order to defeat the Byzantine, Roman and Sassanid empires and then, as Gunnar Heinsohn has shown, thousands of baptisteries were built right across Europe almost immediately after. Presumably there were Islamic equivalents being established at the same time. Also, if the Middle East Holy Land never existed (as per archaeology and the Shahnameh etc.,) what then were the Crusades all about? Was it all a smokescreen to actually create and establish the Holy Land? Up until then, it only existed in the Judeo-Christian scriptures that may have been written in Roman occupied Gaul using the geography and topography of the region as its setting? Was this the real cause of the conflict with the Muslims - it wasn’t about ideology, but territory? Is that what the warrior-monks, known as the Knights Templar were actually doing in the Middle-East? They mimic exactly the mounted warrior-priests who accompanied Sekandar and who aided Nushzad's rebellion against King Kesra Nushin-Ravān. Was this the real secret of the Templars and the later Freemasons - that the Temple of Solomon was their own creation? Is it a coincidence that the Apollo- Athena ley line runs from southern Ireland passing through most of what was the Roman Empire, before ending up in Jerusalem?

The fabric of lies and deceit that has been woven to conceal all of this is phenomenal. But now it’s slowly unravelling, revealing more and more questions that need answers.

Stay tuned for the next episode, same time, same channel.

Now available here

Will Scarlet & Felix Noille


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