Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tahmuras / Tahmurath Etymology & Genealogy

Tahmurath / Tahmuras
Image credit: Wikipedia
Artist: Lee Lawrie (1877–1963).
Photographer: Carol Highsmith, 2007
Sculpted bronze figure on Door
East entrance, Library of Congress
John Adams Building, Washington, D.C.
Tahmuras / Tahmurath is the fourth character in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh and the third king (Kiumars' son Siyamak perished at the hands of Ahriman's son). According to Windischmann, Tahmuras is one of the most enigmatic or puzzling characters in the epic.

Hushang had a son Vivandjhan /Wiwandjhan (from the Old Iranian/Avestan Vivahvant/Vivanghant and Middle Persian/Pahlavi Vivanghan). Tahmuras was the grandson or great grandson of Hushang. Tahmurath's brothers are his successors: Yim=Djam (Jamsheed), Spitur (Spityura) and Nars. The Shahnameh alone makes the order of reigns the same as the order of generations. Vivahvant (cf. Sanskrit Vivasvant) is stated as the father of Yima Khshaeta (Jamshed) in Yasht 13.130.

[Additional reference: Zamyad Yasht 19.28-29]

Tahmuras was said to have had a son(s) though we are unclear what happened to them. Ibn al-Fakih mentions a son called Faris (eponym of the Persians); the work Nuzhat al-Kulub has Lashkar, and according to Herbelot's (Islamic?) sources, the son's name was Kahraman. Some Iranians claim that the Iranian city of Shiraz was built by Tahmuras and is named after his son. We therefore have four names for the son or sons of Tahmuras.

In the Avesta, Tahmuras/Tahmurath has the epithet azinavant (zaenahvant) which according to Bartholomae has the sense 'watchful' or 'wide awake'. In the Shahnameh, he is called Div-Band, the one who binds the divs or demons (of Ahriman, see below).

Tahmuras = A strong body

Avestan: Taxma Urupa / Takhma Urupa
Takhma = brave, strong, courageous, strength, force (cf. Rustam from Rus-tahm)
Urupa/urupi = Darmesteter (Avesta ii, p.583) sturdy shape. Sanskrit rupa? Body, form
[cf. Takhmaspada: One who has an army of heroes]

Old Persian: Tahmurat, Tahmurath
Middle Persian (Bundhahishn): Takhmorup / Takhmorab
New Persian transliteration in Arabic characters: Ṭahmūraṯ, Tahmurath (intermediate stage of evolution from Persian to Arabic p>f>th>s)
Later forms: Takhmuraf, Takhmuras, Teimuraz, Tahumers, Tahmuras, Taimuraz.

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