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Alexander in the Persian poems!

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Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alexander in the Persian poems!
    Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 15:35

Except Shahnameh of Ferdosi (Iran's national epic) and Eskandar-nameh (Book of Alexander) of Nizami which have described the life Alexander detail by detail, name of Alexander (Sekandar) exists in the books of other Persian poets too, especially in the moral poems of Sadi, the spiritual poems of Rumi and the gnostic poems of Hafiz.

Sadi:

Sekandar ke bar alami hokm dasht
Alexander who reigned in the world

Dar an dam ke bogzasht o alam gozasht
When he died and left the world

Moyasar nabudash kaz u alami
It was impossible that someone takes the world from him

Setanand o mohlat dahandash dami
but gives him some more seconds to live

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Molana Rumi:

Chon Sekandar molk daram Shams Tabrizi ze lotf
Like Alexander, I have a realm that is Shams of Tabriz

Suyeh Lashkahayeh mani lajaram sarlashkaram
So in the spiritual army, I'm the major-general

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Hafiz:

Ayeneh Sekandar jam mey ast o bengar
The mirror of Alexander is a glass of wine, Look at it

Ta bar to arze darad ahvaleh molkeh Dara
It will show you the situation of Darius' kingdom

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  Quote YusakuJon3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2004 at 08:17
   I've often wondered if some inscriptions of Achaemenid Persia survived to the present day referred to Alexander or the ancient Greeks by name, and if there is undiscovered remnants of more extensive writings lying undiscovered somewhere in modern Iran.  For a society that was as literate as Persia's very little has reached us in the west to allow us to better understand history from the point of view of the people at this time.  What are the approximate dates of the poems in your post?
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2004 at 11:52

It is obvious that when Alexander conquered Iran, the Achaemenid Persia fell under his control, so there couldn't be any Persian sources in that period, after Alexander we have Seleucids and Parthians that most of their sources are in Greek language.

The earliest mention of Alexander in the Persian sources dates back to early Sassanid period and I think it is in the pages 16 & 17 of "Arda Viraf Nameh" (Book of Arda Viraf), written in the third century, which says:

"They say that, once upon a time, the pious Zarathustra made the religion, which he had received, current in the world; and till the completion of three hundred years, the religion was in purity, and men were without doubts. But afterward, the accursed Evil Spirit, the Wicked One, in order to make men doubtful of this religion, instigated the accursed Alexander, the westerner who was dwelling in Egypt, so that he came to the country of Iran with severe cruelty and war and devastation; he also slew the ruler of Iran, and destroyed the metropolis and empire, and made them desolate.
And this religion, namely, all the Avesta and Zand, written upon prepared cow-skins, and with gold ink, was deposited in the archives, in Stakhar Papakan, and the hostility of the evil-destined, wicked Ashemok, the evil-doer, brought onward Alexander, the westerner, who was dwelling in Egypt, and he burned them up. And he killed several high priests and judges and priests and the masters of the Magians and upholders of the religion, and the competent and wise of the country of Iran. And he cast hatred and strife, one with the other, amongst the nobles and householders of the country of Iran; and self-destroyed, he fled to hell."

and about dates of the poems:

Ferdosi: 935 AD - 1020 AD
Nizami: 1141 AD - 1209 AD
Sadi: 1213 AD - 1291 AD
Rumi: 1207 AD - 1273 AD
Hafiz: 1325 AD - 1389 AD

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 01:51
But what about the records that the "Magoi" were keeping? Surelly they continued to exist after Alexander... (Chaldeans were they called?)
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  Quote Dari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2004 at 10:10
The Magi? I think they were executed with the rest of their sect and followers and their records destroyed. If not lost in the turmoil of time and drunkardness.


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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2004 at 10:17
I don't think so. Even in Christian tradition we have the story of the 3 "Magi" that came from the east to greet baby Jesus.
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  Quote BattleGlory Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2004 at 20:08
The Magi in the New Testament are from the Latin word Magus which means Magician.  They're not related to the ancient Persian/Medean tribe of the Magi.
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2004 at 02:35

No:

SYLLABICATION: magus
PRONUNCIATION:   mgs
NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. magi mj)
1. A member of the Zoroastrian priestly caste of the Medes and Persians. 2. Magus In the New Testament, one of the wise men from the East, traditionally held to be three, who traveled to Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus. 3. A sorcerer; a magician.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English magi, magi, from Latin mag, pl. of magus, sorcerer, magus, from Greek magos, from Old Persian magu. See magh- in Appendix I.

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  Quote YusakuJon3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2004 at 20:27
Not to mention that it was the Sassanids who revived the old religion, and they certainly weren't fond of the Parthians and the House of Seleucus (whom they saw as being heirs to the Hellenistic conqueror).  Thus, I wouldn't be surprised at the survival of a few magi who escaped the pursuit of Alexander's lieutenants.  Iran is a rather large country, and the Persian Empire extended well beyond the present borders.  One could still wonder how they kept the original teachings of Zarathustra intact, if not by writing.
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  Quote Demetrios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 11:52

There is a babylonian chronicle speaking about alexander.

The magi have not been executed since we found them during the sassanian era when the great Shapur I restored the mazdeism. This king asked the magi to collect their different texts and compiled them in the Avesta. So their writings were not destroyed but its doubtful that they bothered to write historical texts.

By the way, could someone tell me where to find a complete translation of the Shah Nahmeh?

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  Quote Aryan Khadem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 01:42
Magi is a preistly sect and there is no way Alexander conquerored all of Iran or killed all of them. Alexander only conquored northern Iran through marriage and not by military force.
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  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 02:51
Alexander controlled all of Iran, not just the north.
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 07:46

He meant he conquered the South and subjued the north by other means, it is known that the northern kingdoms collaborated with Alexander, namely that of Media. 

Zaroastrianism had always been an oral religion stored in the minds of the priests it was only written down during the Hakhamanesh era, it continued probably in the same way until the Sassanids rose.



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