Friday, December 21, 2012

Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 5. Burhan-i Kati

In six parts: » 1. Shahnameh » 2. The Dabistan » 3. Thomas Hyde » 4. Qazvini » 6. Various
Burhan-i Kati (a Persian lexicon) as in J. A. Vullers’ Fragmente uber die Religion des Zoroaster
(Bonn, 1881) pages 113-115.The same text can be found in Farhang-i Jahangiri in Thomas Hyde’s Historia Religionis veterum Persarum (Oxford,1760), pp. 327-328.
Both are cited by A.V.W. Jackson in The Cypress of Kashmar and Zoroaster published in Zoroastrian Studies, the Iranian Religion and Various Monographs (1928).

'Kashmar (sic) is the name of a village of the district of Turshiz in the province of Khurasan. They (i.e. the Magians) say Zardusht planted, with auspicious horoscope, two cypress-trees, one in this same village (i.e. Kashmar), the other in Faramad, which is one of the villages of T u s in the province of Khurasan. [18] The claim of the Magians is that Zardusht brought the two cypress-shoots from paradise and planted them in these two villages.

When Mutawakkil the Abbasid was building the Jafarid palace [19] at Samarrah he sent orders to Tahir ibn 'Abdullah, the governor of Khurasan, in writing, that he should cut down that tree, put the trunk upon a cart, load the branches upon camels, and send it to Baghdad. An assemblage of the Magians offered Tahir 50,000 dinars, but he would not accept, and he ordered the tree to be hewn down. At the time when the tree fell, the earth underwent such a quaking that great damage was done- to the aqueducts and the buildings in that vicinity.

They say the age of the tree was 1450 years (Caliph Mutawakkil caused the cypress to be felled as A.H. 247= A.D. 861), and that the circuit of its trunk was 28 whip-lash lengths, and under its shadow more than 2000 cattle and sheep took rest. Moreover, birds of various kinds, beyond limit and count, had built their nests in it, so that at the time of the tree's fall the face of the sun was veiled by the multitude of the birds, and the sky became dark. Its branches were loaded upon 1300 camels, and the cost of (transporting) the trunk to Baghdad was 500,000 dihrams. When the cypress arrived one station before the Jafarid palace, Mutawakkil the Abbasid was hacked to pieces that same night by his servants.

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 4. Qazvini
» Cypress of Kashmar Source Texts 6. Various

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