Michael Shenkar, The Epic of Farāmarz in the Panjikent Paintings

<i>Farāmarz </i>and the daughter of the king of Kahilā before Key Khosrow (eastern wall, fragment). Photo: Yuri Karev.
Farāmarz and the daughter of the king of Kahilā before Key Khosrow (eastern wall, fragment). Photo: Yuri Karev.



In this article it is suggested that we identify an illustration of the epic of Farāmaz (the son of the Iranian national hero Rostam) in one cycle of Sogdian paintings from Panjikent (eighth century C.E.). The exploits of Farāmarz are known mainly from two poems composed in New Persian in the eleventh-twelfth centuries C.E. known as the longer and the shorter Farāmrznāmes. If this suggestion is correct, it would mean that these poems as well as other contemporary Persian epics, which are usually neglected by scholars of pre-Islamic Iran, might contain genuine pre-Islamic material.