Friday, December 21, 2012

Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 4. Qazvini

In six parts: » 1. Shahnameh » 2. The Dabistan » 3. Thomas Hyde » 5. Burhan-i Kati » 6. Various
Zakariyah Qazvini (13th century CE) as published in F. Wustenfeld’s Caswini’s Kosmographie (Cosmography)
(Goettingen, 1848).
As quoted by A.V.W. Jackson in The Cypress of Kashmar and ZoroasterAs in Zoroastrian Studies, The Iranian Religion and Various Monographs.

Kashmar, a village, is one of the scattered settlements in the district of Nishabur (Nishiipfir). In it there was a cypress tree, one of the noble straight cypresses, which was planted by Kushtasb the King. It’s like in beauty, height, and size was not to be seen; and it was one of the wonders of Khurasan. Al-Mutawakkil was told about it and was anxious to see it. As it was not possible for him to make the journey to Khurasan, he wrote to Tahir ibn 'Abdullah, giving him orders to cut it down, load the pieces of its trunk and branches upon camels, and bring it to him personally, because he wanted to see it. His counsellors advised against this and sought to frighten him by an augury, but their advice concerning the cypress was of no avail.

When the people of the district (around Kashmar) were told of this they gathered together, implored, and offered money for its preservation, but without effect. The cypress was cut down. The grief of the people (assembling) around it was great; lamentations arose and tears were (shed) upon it. Wrapping it in wool, they sent it on camels to Baghdad. And ‘Ali ibn Jahm (Ali ibn Jahm as-Sami was a poet at the court of Mutawakkil) composed the verses:-

"They said al-Mutawakkil sent it (i.e. the cypress) on its way; the cypress moves onward, but fate (too) is advancing. It (the cypress?) was covered, because our Imam (Mutawakkil) was to be covered (killed) by a sword of his own children."

(This verse foreboding the Caliph’s violent end, is important as containing the earliest allusion to the cypress.)

But before the arrival of the cypress, al-Mutawakkil had been killed at the hands of his slaves; the ill omen became a reality.

In six parts:
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 1. Shahnameh
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 2. The Dabistan
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 3. Thomas Hyde
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 5. Burhan-i Kati
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 6. Various

No comments:

Post a Comment