Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript A2, no. 8-235

Benduy in Ḵosrow Parviz's Clothing Appears Before Bahrām, Son of Siyāvoš

Location: National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg. PNS 381, folio 406r.
30.5 x 18.5 cm
.19.7 x 10.5 cm. (includes interstices between the text columns)
Text area: 19.7 x 10.5 cm.
Text: four column; 10 lines on a 31 line per full page matrix.
Signature: Not signed

Bahrām Čubina's surprise night attack decisively defeated Ḵosrow Parviz, who fled to the protection of the Qaysār of Rum. Bahrām Čubina despatched Bahrām, son of Siyāvoš, to pursue Ḵosrow and capture him. In his flight Ḵosrow paused at a monestery for sustenance, but Bahrām was closing in on him rapidly. Benduy devised a plan - he borrowed Ḵosrow's crown and a set of his clothing, and bid Ḵosrow to flee towards Rum with utmost haste. Benduy donned Ḵosrow's garb and crown, and appeared on the balcony of the monestery to confront Bahrām, son of Siyāvoš, when he arrived. At first Bahrām thought he was Ḵosrow, but then Benduy revealed his true identity, and told Bahrām that his shah had retired for the evening and fully expected to surrender in the morning. Meanwhile, courtesy of Benduy's ruse Ḵosrow sped on towards Rum.

The illustration shows Benduy dressed in Ḵosrow's clothing on the balcony of the monestery. Below him, on the far left is Bahrām and five of his forces. On the far right are three of Ḵosrow's soldiers. The uncertain spatial relationship of the various layers of rock formation is intended to convey the isolated location of the monestery.

Painting references:
Ashrafi, Persian-Tadjik Poetry, page 113, plate 95
Farhad, Mirror_1990, p.127 fn. 10 (iv)
Cambridge Shanameh Project

Text references:
Warner, VIII, pp. 233-37

Provenence: Gift of Abbas Mirza to Alexander I, who placed it in the Hermitage Library collection. In 1832, the manuscript was transferred to the National Library of Russia by order of Alexander II.

after Ashrafi

Robert Eng

Last Updated: June 6, 2016
| Originally published: June 6, 2016