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Paper Information

Journal:   LITERARY STUDIES   SPRING 2012 , Volume 45 , Number 1 (176); Page(s) 36 To 64.
 
Paper: 

THE ANALYSIS OF KAYUMARTH MYTH IN FERDOWSI’S SHAH-NAME AND PERSIAN MYTHOLOGY BASED ON MYTHOLOGICAL CRITICISM

 
 
Author(s):  GHAEMI FARZAD*
 
* FERDOWSI UNIVERSITY OF MASHHAD
 
Abstract: 

Kayumarth is one of the fundamental figures in the mythological history of Iran. Although he does not figure in Zoroaster’s Gathas and the Hindu Rig Veda, he plays an important role as the prototype of the human beings in the Sassanid Zoroastrian culture. In the Khoday-names, the Shah-name and the historical texts of the Islamic era, Kayumarth is referred to as the first king. Drawing on the mythological approach, this paper tries to analyze and compare the structural pattern of Kayumarth mythical functions in mythology with the corresponding narratives in different cultures in order to shed further light on the archetypal dimension of these accounts. To that end, the mythological functions of Kayumarth have been classified under three categories: Kayumarth as the archetype of the first human; the primordial couple and Kayumarth as the first cultural hero. Examining the patterns of philosophical and pre-historical origins of the narratives and their relationships with the Zurvanic prototype have revealed that in the Zurvanic-Zoroastrian branch of the Sassanid period and the sects such as “Zurvanyeh” and “Kayumarthyeh” which had a profound impact on deterministic and astronomical beliefs of this era, Kayumarth narrative is simply the repetition of the ancient pattern of the collapse of the first giant god in Zurvanic culture, a personality who can be deemed as the "microcosm" resulting from the repetition of the “Macrocosmic” prototype (i.e. Zurvan).

 
Keyword(s): KAYUMARTH, ZURVAN, FERDOWSI’S SHAH-NAME, PERSIAN MYTHOLOGY, THE ARCHETYPE, THE FIRST HUMAN
 
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