عنوان مقاله [English]
Ferdowsinameh is as a set of oral narrations from Shahnameh which were compiled many years ago in three volumes by Seyyed Abolqasem Enjavi Shirazi. This work includes some narrations about the heroes of Shahnameh and other Iranian epic texts which were popular among most people.
Although the structure of the stories of Ferdowsinameh are often based on the Iranian epic poetic texts, some of the popular public beliefs and attitudes have also influenced it and sometimes, the structure of a narration has changed into the extent that it is difficult to associate it with its origin. Unfortunately, this invaluable collection has not been thoroughly studied by researchers and there has been no independent research on the structure of its narrations and also its main core, although many of the narrations in this book are of high significance in studies related to Folklore, Mythology, Sociology and other similar fields of study.
One of the mythological motifs of this book which has a high frequency is the significant presence of demons. In this collection, each demon often appears with unique features and each of them has important tasks. The current study aims to study the characteristics and tasks of these demons.
In this article, the main characteristics and traits of demons would be investigated through an analytical method and the following points will be discussed:
1. What are the most important features of demons in the narrations included in Ferdowsinameh?
2. Are the characteristics of demons in the narrations of Ferdowsinameh derived from heroic texts or not?
3. What is the impact of popular culture on the transformation of the structure of Iranian mythological stories?
"Demons" are one of the manifestations of evil in Persian mythology and they can be traced back to the ancient Sanskrit and Avestan texts, followed by contemporary folktales. The word "demon" has been used in Middle Persian (dēw), ancient Persian (daiva) and Avestan (daēva), whose equivalent Sanskrit word is (devá), meaning "God" (Molaei, 2007, p. 253).
"Demons" were in fact a number of pre-Zoroastrian Aryan Gods who were later taken to mean the lord of falsehood and aberration; but the word "demon" still retains its original meaning among other Indo-European nations and the Latin (dues), Greek (zeus) and French (dieu) are all cognate with the Persian and Pahlavi word "demon" and the Avestan word daēva. Furthermore, among Indian religions, the Sanskrit word deva is still commonly used to refer to "Lord and God".
The demons are not only used in Avesta, some of the Achaemenes inscriptions and many Pahlavi writings, but they are also seen in a number of national epics and folktales. However, in Avesta and Middle Persian texts, demons have a non-objective personality, but in national epics, especially in Shahnameh, they are depicted as earthly beings only with different physical characteristics.
According to Shahnameh, the original race of demons traces back to the devil. They are large human-like creatures that have two legs and two hands and are often described as being black. They also have some animal-like characteristics such as full body hair similar to sheep, a head like a lion or an elephant, boar-like teeth and long hair. According to some studies, these features are derived from the body of the devil, magical elements, the human imagination about Supernatural demons and giant men.
Based on the reports of Shahnameh, one finds out that demons have had a governmental system, leader, generalissimo and army troops and they have even been stronger than human beings. Furthermore, the most interesting point in the community of demons is their cultural system. As a result of the military domination of Tahmoores over the demons, their culture passed on to humans. The most prominent cultural feature of demons which reflects their thoughts is their complex writing system. This system is indicative of their high intellectual level.
By studying the Iranian epic literature from a mythological perspective, one realizes that Demons have a salience role and presence in the narrations included in Ferdowsinameh. In these narrations, the demons can be placed in three major groups:
1. The demons who are present in Shahnameh and some heroic texts. There are eight different types of such kind of demons: White demon, Akvan demon, Black demon, Arjang demon, Owlad demon, Qavvas demon, Farhang demon and Barkhias demon.
2. New demons whose names are not mentioned elsewhere. These demons include two categories: a) the demons who have been made a name and there are ten of them: Riman demon, Archang demon, Owrang demon, Hushange Chehel dast demon, Afghoun demon, Qour demon, Marzban demon, Foolad zereh, desert giant, giant wonders. b) Those demons who are named based on their physical characteristics such as Double-header demon, twelve headed demon, one-eye demon and son of white demon.
3. The kings and champions who have a demon-like character based on the Iranian mythology; Zahhak, Afrasiab, Rostam e Kolhdast and zal.
Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that some features and tasks of demons such as "ugly ", "evil and aggressor", "reverser", "transformer", "kidnapping Girls" which can be seen in Iranian mythology also exist in the oral narrations of Shahnameh, but since these stories have passed from one generation to another and they were popular among people, some elements of folktales have also been inserted into them, such as "having a number of heads and hands" ," taking an oath and being loyal to it" and "serving the people".
Over time and with the spread of heroic tales among the masses, the original forms of some myths were forgotten and some stories appeared that were often imitations of ancient stories with the only difference that the hero/villain had a different name and appearance, but his destiny was the same as the destiny of the hero/villain in ancient mythology. Furthermore, some Islamic elements entered the structure of these stories which rooted back to the beliefs of the inhabitants of lands in which the stories originated.