Kaveh the Blacksmith

For the city in Iran, see Rafi, Iran.

Kāveh the blacksmith (Persian: کاوه آهنگرKāveh Āhangar known as The Blacksmith of Isfahan or Kaveh of Isfahan,[1][2][3] is a mythical figure in Iranian mythology who leads a popular uprising against a ruthless foreign ruler, Zahhāk. His story is narrated in the epic of Shāhnāma, the national epic of Iran by the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi Tousi. Based on Avestan tradition, Zahhāk, or more correctly Azhi Dahāka, is from Babylonia and more or less a demon, not human. Ferdowsi masterfully recasts this mythical character as an evil and tyrannical king.

Kaveh was, according to ancient legends, a blacksmith from Isfahan, Central Iran,[4][5][2][6][7] who launched a national uprising against the evil foreign tyrant Zahak, expelled the foreigners and restored the pure race of the Iranian Fereydun and achieved independence for Iran.[6] Many followed Kaveh to the Alborz Mountains in Damavand, where Fereydoun was living. He was now a young man and agreed to lead the people against Zahhak. Zahhak had already left his capital, which fell to Fereydoun with small resistance. Fereydoun freed all of Zahhak’s prisoners. Kaveh is the most famous of Persian mythological characters in resistance against despotic foreign rule in Iran. After losing two of his sons to Zahhāk's serpents, he rebels against the foreign ruler of Persia and leads the people to overthrow the tyrant king. As a symbol of resistance and unity, he raises his leather apron on a spear, known as the Derafsh Kaviani. This flag is later decorated with precious jewels and becomes the symbol of Persian independence, resistance and resilience, as well as the revolutionary symbol of the masses in their fight against foreign invaders.

In 1920, the name of Kaveh was written in the canton of the flag of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (widely known as the Soviet Republic of Gilan).[8]

Jashn-e mehregan is the celebration for the Fereydun's victory over Zahhāk; it is also the time when autumn rains begin to fall.

The dynasty Karen-Pahlav (also known as the House of Karen) claimed to be Kaveh's descendants.


External links

  • First Iranian Legendary Heroes and Heroines: A Research Note by Manouchehr Saadat Noury
  • Kaveh Ahangar (KavehMohebbi)
  • A king's book of kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Kaveh
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