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Freydun, painted by Haji Aqa Jan - early 19th century

Fereydun (Persian: ‎; Middle Persian: , Fr?d?n; Avestan: , ?ra?taona), also pronounced and spelled Freydun, Faridon and Afridun, is the name of an Iranian mythical king and hero from the kingdom of Varena. He is known as an emblem of victory, justice, and generosity in Persian literature.


All of the forms of the name shown above derive, by regular sound laws, from Proto-Iranian ?raitauna- (Avestan ?ra?taona-) and Proto-Indo-Iranian Traitaunas.

Traitaunas is a derivative (with augmentative suffix -una/-auna) of Tritas, the name of a deity or hero reflected in the Vedic Trita and the Avestan ?rita. Both names are identical to the adjective meaning "the third", a term used of a minor deity associated with two other deities to form a triad. In the Indian Vedas, Trita is associated with gods of thunder and wind. Trita is also called ?ptya, a name that is probably cognate with iya, the name of Thraetaona's father in the Avest?, Zoroastrian texts collated in the third century. Traitaunas may therefore be interpreted as "the great son of Tritas". The name was borrowed from Parthian into Classical Armenian as Hrud?n.

In Zoroastrian literature

In the Avest?, Thraetaona is the son of Aiya, and so is called iy?ni, meaning "from the family of Aiya". Originally, he may have been recorded as the killer of the dragon Zahhak (A?i Dah?k), but in Middle Persian texts, Dah?ka/Dah?g is instead imprisoned on Mount Damavand in Amol.

In the Shahn?me

According to Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, Fereydun was the son of ?btin, one of the descendants of Jam?id. Fereydun, together with K?ve, revolted against the tyrannical king, Zah?k, defeated and arrested him in the Alborz Mountains. Afterwards, Fereydun became the king, married Arnav?z and, according to the myth, ruled the country for about 500 years. At the end of his life, he allocated his kingdom to his three sons Salm, Tur, and Iraj.

Iraj was Fereydun's youngest and favored son, and inherited the best part of the kingdom, namely Iran. Salm inherited Anatolia ("Rûm", more generally meaning the Roman Empire, the Greco-Roman world, or just "the West"), and Tur inherited Central Asia ("Tur?n", all the lands north and east of the Amu Darya, as far as China), respectively. This aroused Iraj's brothers' envy, and encouraged them to murder him. After the murder of Iraj, Fereydun enthroned Iraj's grandson, Manu?ehr. Manu?ehr's attempt to avenge his grandfather's murder initiated the Iranian-Turanian wars.

See also

External links

  • Stuart Cary Welch A king's book of kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp, 1972, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), ISBN 0-87099-028-4, catalog from an exhibition May 4-July 4, 1972 (open access), 201 pp, 49MB, contains material on 'Faridun' PDF pages 104, 112, 116, 120, 124
  • First Iranian Legendary Heroes and Heroines: A Research Note by Manouchehr Saadat Noury
  • Encyclopedia Iranica article
Preceded by
Legendary Kings of the hn?me
1800-2300 (after Keyumars)
Succeeded by

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