Iranian myths are one of the most important elements of the history and culture of this land. From the distant past until today, traces of Iranian myths can be seen in people’s lifestyles and beliefs. In the following, we will take a quick look at some of these myths and provide a brief description.
The Persian term for myth is Ostooreh, an Arabic word derived from the Greek word “Historia” which means investigation and knowledge of past events.
Iranian myths are often divine or spiritual stories that transcend the real world. Persian mythology includes stories from ancient and primitive periods.
Mythology is man’s reaction to his fears and helplessness. In order to answer questions for which he does not have an answer, a person turns to myths.
Mythological characters are usually divided into two groups, good and evil, and have supernatural powers. Divine mythological figures are often portrayed with an aura of virtue.
Ancient Persian gods are sometimes attributed with good characteristics and ideals, such as Mitra or Mithra or Mehr, who is the goddess of covenant and oath and light. Some divine Iranian myths are linked to natural elements, such as Anahita or Aredvi Sura Anahita, who is the goddess of water. Palid (evil) Iranian myths are called Div or Dev; Like “Indra” who is the god of storms and creator of torrential rains.
Iranian myths tell the stories of the battle between good and evil; The battle between “Ahoreh (deities)” and “Divs (ghouls)”.
The Origins of Iranian Myths
Iranian mythology originates from ancient Indi-Iranian and Aryan ethno cultural markers. In the mythology of both Iranian and Indian cultures, there is a war between good and evil. The sacrifice ceremony for the gods is performed in the same manner and fire is also sacred in both cultures.
Myths have a fundamental role in Iranian culture. Most of our information about Iranian myths comes from two sources: “The Avesta”, the holy book of Zoroastrianism, and “Shahnameh”, an epic poem by Ferdowsi.
Learn More About Iranian Myths
There are several sources for learning about Iranian mythology, the most important of which are the “Avesta” and “Shahnameh”. In addition to these two, several other sources are helpful for understanding Iranian myths, which we will mention below:
- Old Indian sources and books like “The Vedas”
- Manichaeism literature including the writings of Mani and his followers
- Pahlavi inscriptions and tablets (Middle Persian language of the Sasanian Empire)
- Persian and Arabic sources from the first centuries after Islam, the most important of which is “Shahnameh”.
- The ancient illustrations that are found in the ruins of building from the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid periods. This includes images found on seals, coins, containers, and stone inscriptions.
Yazata or Deities in Iranian Mythology
Yazata or Izad is the Avestan word for deities that is used in the modern Persian language.
Ahura Mazda or Oromasdes is an omnipotent and omniscient being and the ultimate divine figure in Ancient Persia. He is described as the absolute good, perfect in wisdom and knowledge. He is the creator of the cosmos, sun, stars, light, humans, animals, and all intellectual and physical concepts. Ahriman is an evil essence and the opposite of Ahura Mazda, who always tries to destroy the truth and the world and harm humans and animals.
Life in this world is a reflection of the cosmic struggle between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman.
Anahita, Deity of Water
Anahita, Anahit, or Venus, or in ancient Pahlavi “Ardvisura Anahita” is the goddess of waters in Iranian mythology. This goddess was worshiped in the Iranian plateau before the arrival of the Aryans and is older than Zoroasterian mythological figures. Anahita and Sepandārmazgān are two important goddesses in Iranian mythology. Anahita has common features with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility in Greek mythology.
Water has been sacred among Iranians since the distant past and was considered the source of life and the birth of nature.
Herodotus has written about the importance of water among Iranians:
“Iranians do not urinate in the river, they do not spit in water. They don’t wash their hands with water and they don’t allow others to pollute it with anything. They have a lot of respect for water.”
Anahita means “pure and uncontaminated” like water. This feature was attributed to Aredvi Sura Anahita, the original name for the goddess of water in the inscription of Artaxerxes II and numerous tablets from the Achaemenid period. In later inscriptions, the “Aredvi Sura” prefix has been omitted and the goddess is referred to as Anahita. She is known by the same name in the Avesta.
Since the time of Ardeshir II or Artaxerxes II, Anahita became so important that a fire temple was built in her name. In later descriptions, she is referred to as the custodian of all the water on earth. Anahita is the protector of properties, homes, the nation, life itself, the cosmos, and the kingdom of Persia. In the sixth verse of “Aban Yasht” or hymn to the waters, Ahura Mazda states that he created Nahit or Venus to develop, maintain and guard the kingdom and nation. This goddess is depicted in the relief of Naqsh-e Rostam, one of the tourist destinations of Fars province.
Since the Achaemenid period, many temples have been built in Iran in the name of Anahita; Like the Anahita Temple in Kermanshah’s Kangavar, and others like the Anahita Temple in Bishapur in West Azerbaijan, Ecbatana Temple, and Takht-e Soleyman.
Ordinary people also set up small shrines with wooden roofs and pillars next to the fields to worship this goddess, and they prayed to Anahita for the abundance of crops and rainfall.
Mitra, Deity of Light and Loyalty
One of the ancient deities of ancient Persia was Mehr or Mitra, who was worshiped before Zoroaster and is highly praised in the Avesta. In Iranian mythology, Mehr or Mitra is the god of loyalty, pact, and war. He is known as the protector of the family, the Capital, and the kingdom, and as the Light bringer.
In the Avesta, Mitra is described as “the god of light”. Mitra is often compared with Apollo, who is also the god of light in Greek mythology.
In Iranian myths, it is said that Mitra has no parents and came into existence out of a mountain, and Alborz is considered his birthplace.
In the writings of the Avesta and the tablets of the Achaemenid kings, Mehr (another name for Mitra) is referred to as “Mithra” and in Sanskrit writings, this deity is known as “Mitre”. However, in the existing Pahlavi language records, the sun god is addressed as “Mitr”. Today, Mitra is known as “Mehr” meaning sun.
In Kermanshah’s Taq-e Bostan, in the small arch, there is a stone relief that belongs to the Achaemenid period. In this inscription, Mitra is depicted next to Ahura Mazda and Artaxerxes II.
Features of Mitra
There is a figure of Mitra in all the Mehr temples: a young and strong man holding a bull’s head with the intent to sacrifice it. A dagger is in the hand of the mighty Mitra, who is about to plunge it into the heart of the bull.
As we have described regarding Mithraism, this religion became popular in Europe at the time of the Parthian Empire. Mehr temples were built there to worship Mitra and the Mithraism found many followers.
The Birth of Mehr
Mitra was born on Yalda night. A night that has had a special place among Iranians for a long time. On this longest night of the year, Iranians stay awake and celebrate, waiting for the victory of light over darkness and the birth of the sun.
After this night, the sun triumphs over darkness and the days get longer.
Return of Mitra
In Iranian mythology, it is said that on the last day of his life, Mitra held a party in a cave, where he and his companions ate a cow’s blood and beef with bread and wine, and then rode the chariot of the sun to the sky. According to Mithraism, Mitra ascended to the sky. Therefore, they are waiting for his return to earth to reform mankind and destroy evils and impurities. According to Mithraist beliefs, Mitra will return one day and light the fire that will consume the whole cosmos; As Shiva, the Pan-Hindu deity is prophesied to do. Mitra cleanses the world of evil and destroys darkness and the Dev
Bahram, The Warrior Deity
Bahram is the name of one of the main deities of Mazdeism believed to be very powerful. This god is called Verethragna in Avesta, “Varahran” in Pahlavi texts, “Varaam” in Armenian, and “Gooram” in Georgia.
According to the Avesta narrative, Izad Bahram first appeared to Zoroaster in the form of wind.
According to Zoroastrian beliefs, Izads are from the Minavi (spiritual) world and they manifest in different forms in the material world. Verethragna appeared in ten different human and animal forms:
- fast wind
- beautiful bull with golden horns;
- beautiful white horse with yellow ears and golden bridle;
- agile and wild camel that bites;
- charging male boar with sharp tusks;
- A fifteen-year-old bright man, with bright and beautiful eyes and with small heels;
- “Vaughan” bird, which strikes from below and dives at its prey from above, and is the fastest among avian;
- A beautiful prairie ram with curved horns;
- A beautiful male desert goat with sharp horns;
- A magnificent man who has a gilded knife with engravings and enchantments.
Verethragna or Bahram
Vartharghana or Bahram is the god of warriors and conquerors and the granter of victory over the Div. Ahura Mazda has advised Zoroaster that whenever he is affected by evil magic, he should take the feather from Verethragna in his bird form.
In Bahram Yasht or Warharan Yasht, warriors ask Izad Bahram to grant them strong arms, healthy bodies, and sharp eyes. Bahram is the most powerful and resourceful Yazata. He is the god of war and victory and the reviver of the world.
His power made him popular among soldiers and they praised him and asked for his help in battles. This custom was adopted by the soldiers of other countries.
Izad Bahram is powerful and grants courage and has attributes similar to Izad Mehr, who is the custodian of home and kingdom.
In Bahram Yasht, it is said that Bahram’s special mantra (prayer or word) is so powerful that Ahura Mazda warns Zoroaster to teach it only to his close allies and Aturbans (guardians of fire), and not to anyone else.
Another feature that makes Izad Bahram similar to Izad Mehr is the association of Bahram with sight and vision. He is one of the clairvoyants and the possessor of “Sookeh”; Sookeh is the brightness and sharpness of the eyes, which has remained in the form of “Soo-ye Cheshm” which means vision
Vayu-Vata or Vayu, The Wind Deity
Izad Vayu, or Vay, is the god of wind and one of the oldest Indo-Iranian gods. In “Avesta” he is referred to as Izad Vay.
Vayu reigns between heaven and earth and between the realms of Mazda and Ahriman and has a dual nature of good and evil. Sometimes it is destructive and sometimes it is constructive and is not an entirely good or evil figure. He is the source of the gentle and calm breeze spreading tenderness and fertility, and he also delivers destructive and terrifying storms. He does not belong to the sky nor the earth and freely rules the dominion between the two.
In the Pahlavi texts, he is described as “Dirandeh Khodai” or “Derang Khodai”, which means god of long-lasting rule.
It is written in Ram Yasht: “O Asha Zoroaster, truly my name is Ander Vayu. Therefore, it is true that I am both the creation of Spenta Mainyu and the creation of Angrhe Mainyo”.
Tishtrya, Deity of Rain
The people living on the Iranian plateau have always struggled with drought. Rain was a blessing sent by the gods that quenched people’s thirst and irrigated the fields. Rain, this heavenly gift, had its own god: Tishtar or Tishtrya.
Tishtar is the Pahlavi name of this Izad and in Zoroastrian sources, he is called Tishtra, Tashtar, or Tir.
Every year after the victory over Apaosha, the demon of drought, Tishtrya would unlock the rain reserves in the vast Cosmic Ocean.
Tishtar is a deity of absolute goodness and grace, and there are no demonic traits in him. He is the one who shares the water between the lands and is also the god of birth and fertility.
Tirgan festival is a ritual to praise the god Tir among Iranians.
The Mythical Battle of Tishtar and Apaosha
In Iranian mythology, it is said that Tishtar goes to the sea in the form of a beautiful white horse with golden saddles and battles with Apush or Apaosha, who manifests as a black horse, for three days and nights. Apush, who is stronger, overcomes Tishtar.
Tishtar complains to Ahura Mazda that my weakness is due to the fact that the people did not pray and sacrifice in my name. So Ahura Mazda makes sacrifices in the name of Tishtar and the strength of ten horses and ten cows, ten mountains, and ten rivers is bestowed upon Tishtar. With increased strength, Tishtar goes to battle again with the drought demon and wins. With the victory of Tishtar, water will flow in the fields and pastures, and vitalizing rain will fall on the seven lands of the earth.
Tir, The Month of Izad Tishtar
July, which is the fourth month of the Persian calendar, is named after this benevolent deity. Tishtar has three material manifestations. During the first ten days of Tir month, he appears as a fifteen-year-old young man. In the second ten days, he appears in the form of a bull, and in the third ten days, in the shape of a horse.
The thirteenth day of every month is called Tir in honor of this god. Whenever the drought made life difficult for ancient Iranians, they would perform a special prayer ritual for Tir on the thirteenth day of the month. They used to go to the plains and pray for the victory of Tishtar over the demon Apush and recite Tir Yasht from the Avesta.
Azar, Deity of Fire
Fire is sacred in the beliefs of ancient Iranians and the Zoroastrian religion. Azar or Atar is the god of fire. He is a male Izad and the son of Ahura Mazda.
In the Avesta, this god is mentioned as Atar or Atrash. In Pahlavi texts, he is called Atoor, Atar, and Atash, and in Persian, Azar, Ader, Avar, and Atash. The root of all these words is the Sanskrit word Agni, which means fire.
The person who was in charge of guarding the fire was called “Aturbans”.
Immediate divine intervention, instant assistance, an easy life, wisdom, purity, eloquent language, wisdom, awareness of the mind, lasting integrity, courage, and masculinity, as well as an abundance of offspring and the safety of the kingdom, are the virtues that Azar grants to his worshipers.
The god of fire comes to the aid of the god Tishtar in his victory over the Div of drought, Apush. Also, he has helped Jamshid in defeating the Div Azhi Dahāka.
Azargan festival is a ritual in worship of the god of fire. The sunflower is one of the symbols of this ancient Iranian mythological figure.
Fire, a Sacred Element in Zoroastrian Religion
Fire is sacred among Zoroastrians. They pray to Ahura Mazda next to the radiant flames of the fire.
In Iranian myths, fire is an element that cannot be corrupted and it is the purifier of the other three main elements of the world, water, earth, and air.
In Zoroastrian belief, fire is a symbol of light and purity and is made from wisdom and thought. Every human being should keep the fire of his essence burning with vigilance and righteousness and bring it close and unified with the light of Ahura Mazda.
Izad Azar and Waking Up Early
In Iranian mythology, it is said that when two-thirds of the night is passed, the god of fire gets worried about the extinguishment of fire on earth. So, He asks Izad Soroush or Sraosha to awaken the roosters so they start crowing. Roosters sing “O humans, wake up and pray, curse to the demons, otherwise, the long reach of the demon Joshab will prevail over you.”
Hom or Haoma is one of the Iranian myths and the son of Ahura Mazda. The word “Hom” has two meanings in the Avesta: the name of a sacred plant and also the god who guards over this plant.
Izad Hom visits people and gives them Hom nectar, which grants them happiness and prosperity and blesses them with noble sons.
Also, Izad Hom is invigorating and blesses pregnant women with celebrated sons and is the source of purity and prudence. It heals and wards off death and is linked to good deeds, words, and thoughts.
The Hom plant is the natural manifestation of the god Hom and is sacrificed by being squeezed. They squeeze Hom, in a sense sacrificing a weaker divinity in the name of a stronger form of the deity. A psychedelic drink is prepared using Hom juice, which was consumed during prayer rituals, and it was believed that it causes physical and mental resilience.
Divs and Forces of Evil in Iranian Mythology
In the ancient texts, the creation and characteristics of Ahriman forces and Divs have not been discussed as much as the creation of gods and divine entities. A clear picture of their characteristics is not provided in existing texts, and sometimes it is only limited to a name.
Just as evil is always confronted by good, Ahriman is the opposite of Ahura Mazda and Izadan (gods). Every Izad has an Ahriman counterpart with whom they are constantly at war. There is also a Div for every bad personality trait.
Like Izadan, Divs also have different ranks. Six Div are the highest in rank among the Divs, and they are called Sar-Divs (top demons) or Kamale-gan. After them, there are the Div who are either at war with Izads or are the manifestation of a bad trait in humans and the world. In the following, we mention some demons:
- Joshasb: The demon of sloth and laziness
- Aeshma: The demon of anger
- Az: The demon of greed
- Sepazg: The demon of tale-bearing and backbiting
- Varan: The demon of lust
- Bot: The demon of false gods and idols
- Perimati: The demon of arrogance
- Reshk: The demon of jealousy
Ancient Iranian Myths About Creation
Ancient Iranians believed that everything was created with a particular order. Ahura Mazda created the marvels of the universe in one year and six stages: sky, water, earth, plant, beast, and man.
Some also consider fire as the seventh marvel.
- Sky: Ahura Mazda created the vast bright sky. Ancient Iranians considered the sky to be made of stone and later of metal. The sky was a shield against the attacks of Ahriman.
- Water: Water was originally created in the form of a drop as large as all water.
- Land: The land was created as a flat sphere in the beginning without any relief. The first mountain that emerged from the earth was Alborz.
- Plant: The first plant was a single twig that included all the plants that grew at the foot of Alborz Mountain.
- Beast: The cow was the first beast that was created. It was white and bright like the moon, and Ahura Mazda created it in harmony with water and plants.
- Man: The first man was called Keyumars or Gayomart. A rhubarb plant grew from the seed of Keyumars after 40 years, which had two stems. The stems were so intertwined that it was impossible to tell which was male and which was female. They were the first human mates on Earth.
Iranian Mythical Figures and Creatures
Whenever Iranian mythological characters and creatures such as Simurgh, Ghoghnos (Phoenix), Rostam, and Sohrab are mentioned, we all remember Ferdowsi and his unique epic “Shahnameh”.
In his epic poem Shahnameh, Ferdowsi has described Iranian mythology with such eloquent language that it will always be immortalized in the hearts and souls of Iranians, and this chapter of ancient Iranian culture will be spared from the malice of oblivion.
In the following, we introduce some of these creatures and characters.
The Simurgh or Simorgh is the name of a mythical bird in Iranian myths. He has similarities with the falcon, the Griffon, the Huma bird, and some other mythological birds.
Simurgh can be considered one of the most important creatures in Persian literature. Ferdowsi has focused a lot on this bird in the Shahnameh. He has a nest in Qaf mountain and is knowledgeable and wise. He nurtured Zāl and assisted Rostam in defeating Esfandiyar. Simurgh also plays a significant role in “The Conference of the Birds”, a famous collection of poems by Attar of Nishapur.
The Simurgh sits on the Gaokerena tree that contains the seed of all plants on earth. Simurgh spreads the seeds of all plants across the world by flapping its wings.
Fish holds a special significance in Iranian myths. Since fish live in water, according to ancient belief they are the servants of the custodian deities of water. In Iranian mythology, Jamshid was the first person to breed fish.
Kar fish is the guardian of the sacred Hom tree, Gaokerena. When Ahriman sends a lizard to chew the roots of the Tree of Life and destroy it. But two Kar Mahi guard the tree’s roots in the depths of the primordial waters and protect it from the bites of Ahriman beasts such as toads.
In Iranian mythology, the owl is mentioned by the names Ašō Zušta and Morgh-e Bahman. Owl is also called Boom, Boof, and Kuch in the Persian language.
The owl has a dual existence in Iranian mythology. According to Iranian myths, the owl was created to face Ahriman forces. He is knowledgeable and knows divine enchantments. Divs are frightened by his divine enchantments and escape. In the ninth section of the Pahlavi book “Bundahishn”, this bird is called “Mazda Afarid” and its name appears next to the rooster and Karsheft, other Zoroastrian holy birds.
Karshaptar or Karsheft
Krushpeter is a fast-flying bird and one of the famous Iranian mythical birds, which spreads the teaching of the Prophet Zoroaster around the world. He is a bird that knows human languages and is considered similar to Simurgh.
Chamroosh is the name of a bird in Iranian mythology that lives on Alborz Peak. It has a part wolf and part dog body, and its head and wings are like an eagle. It is very big and it flies in the sky and hunts the enemies of Persia and helps to scatter the seeds of the Gaokerena tree.
Evil Creatures in Iranian Myths
Just as Ahura Mazda and the gods were at war with Ahriman and Divs, evil creatures went to war with heroes and good-hearted people. A creature like Azhi Dahāka, which is called Zahhak in the Shahnameh. Zahhak was a man who had two snakes growing on his shoulders and heeded the Ahriman’s command and started shedding the blood of innocent people. Here are some other examples of evil creatures:
In Iranian myths, Div-e Sepid or the White Demon was the chieftain of Divs and lived in Mazandaran. The white demon imprisoned Kay Kāvus, the king of Greater Iran, and his army in a cave. After a hard fight, Rostam managed to kill the white demon and release the king.
Akvan The Div
Akvan was a Div who appeared in the form of a zebra and attacked the herd of Kay Khosrow’s horses and killed them. Kay Khosrow called Rostam for help. After a tough battle, Rostam defeated Akvan the Div.
The dragon is a legendary creature that is mentioned in mythical narratives from different nations. It is usually a giant reptile that sometimes has the ability to fly or breathe fire. In Iranian mythology, the creature is the ultimate evil and Ahriman-Zad (evil-born).
In Shahnameh, Rostam fights and defeats the dragon in his third Khan(quest). There is this interpretation of Rostam’s fight with the dragon, that the dragon was Rostam’s own ego that he faced from the start. Rostam, who did not recognize the dragon properly, was unable to defeat it. But after getting to know himself, he was able to triumph over it.
The First Humans and Warriors in Iranian Myths
Keyumars, which means Mira or mortal, is the first man in Persian myth, who is described as a tall and attractive man, as bright as the sun.
He was believed to be born from the earth and the first human created by Ahura Mazda. He was alone in the mountains for thirty years, and after his death, the sun’s rays purified his seed, and from that pure seed, a plant grew that formed the first human couple from its two intertwined stems.
The story of man’s creation in Iranian mythology has many fascinating details to read.
In Iranian mythology, Hushang is one of the first kings mentioned in the Avesta that states sacrifice ceremonies were held in his name. In the Shahnameh, he is the son of Siamak and the grandson of Keyumars, and the founder of the Pishdadian dynasty. Ferdowsi has described him like this:
The name of this esteemed man was Hushang / Who was a man of Hoosh (intelligence) and Farhang (culture)
He was the founder of the Sadeh festival and the discoverer of fire and iron. Hushang helped lay the foundations of civilization for the people of his time, such as blacksmithing and making tools and weapons. He founded a legendary dynasty called “Pishdadian” in Iran.
In Iranian myths, Jamshid is the greatest Pahlevan (warrior) who is introduced as the king of the whole world. Everything is good during his reign.
Fereydun is another king whose name is tied to Zahhak. According to Iranian mythology, the goddess Anahita rushed to the aid of Fereydun in his battle with Zahhak. Fereydun does not kill Zahhak but imprisons him in Mount Damavand.
Rostam is one of the greatest warriors in Iranian mythology, and most of the stories in the Shahnameh are about his valor and courage.
He is a symbol of physical and spiritual strength and sacrifice for his country, Iran. He was so strong that he could knock down an elephant with his mace. In addition to being powerful, Rostam is also a symbol of ethics, bravery, knowledge, and wisdom.
Rakhsh is Rostam’s robust and attentive horse. Rostam chose him because he was the only horse that could bear the weight of Rostam’s hand on his back and did not bend his back during this test. He is not only a road horse for Rostam, but also his assistant and aid. For example, it is Rakhsh who wakes up Rostam and informs him of the danger of the dragon in the third Khan, by knocking his hoof on the ground. Rakhsh goes through hardships and battles with Rostam step by step and finally dies with him.
He is Rostam’s son who grows up away from his father and turns into a brave and strong young man, without knowing his father or Rostam being aware of his existence. Father and son unwillingly go to war in the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab.
The battle between Rostam and Sohrab is one of the saddest epic stories in Iran. The death of the son at the hands of the father and the healing potion that arrives after the death of Sohrab.
Siyâvash or Siavash
In Iranian myths, Siavash is a handsome prince who learns all the practices and skills of prince hood from Rostam. He is the son of Kaykavus, the king of Iran. Since Siavash refuses to give in to the temptations of his father’s wife, Sudabah, his father asks him to prove his innocence by walking through fire. Siavash passes through the fire safely; But in the end, he becomes a victim of conspiracies by Garsivaz and is innocently killed.
“Mourning Siavash” or “Siavashoon” is a type of fertility ritual that was held in grief of Siavash’s death. traces of this ritual still exist in Iran.
Iranian Myths, a Reflection of Persian Culture and Beliefs
Myths are the root of our culture and beliefs that have been passed down through generations and cyphered into fiction and sometimes mixed with imagination.
Real events in people’s lives are the main source of legends and myths. As Ferdowsi also says:
“Do not assume this is a lie and legend/ Do not consider it an enchanting story
If some aspects appear illogical and contradict common sense/ it has a hidden meaning”
Iranian myths have been so powerful and intelligent that they have traveled to faraway lands and embraced by the hearts and cultures of other nations. Even today, their effects can be found in other countries and cultures.
Iranian myths are one of several important roots of Persian culture and identity. Throughout history, whenever foreign invaders and malicious forces scorched the proverbial tree, the Iranian nation has risen from the ashes stronger, reinforced by these roots. Iranian mythology is an ancient and mysterious root of the tree of the Iranian nation, which represents the rich civilization and valuable history of our land.
New generations may not be interested in history and find historians boring, But the language of stories and legends will always captivate them. They receive moral and emotional lessons from myths and legends, they learn patriotism from Rostam, and wisdom from Zal.
In simple words, the secret to the survival of the Persian language and culture and social concepts, and rich traditions can be found in the direct or indirect preservation of these Iranian legends and myths.
Frequently Asked Questions About Iranian Myths
If you cannot find the answer to your questions in the following, share your questions with us through the comments section of this post. We will answer them as soon as possible.
What are the most important first- sources for understanding Iranian myths?
Shahnameh and The Zoroastrian Holy Book, Avesta.
Is Izad Mitra female or male?
Mitra is a male god and the son of Ahura Mazda.
What are some famous Iranian mythological figures in the Shahnameh?
Good characters: Jamshid, Fereydun, Rostam, Siavash, Kaveh, Arash Kamangir.
Evil characters: Zahhak, Div-e Sepid, and Garsivaz.
What are the most famous Iranian myths?
The epic of Rostam, the uprising of Kaveh the Blacksmith, Bijan and Manijeh’s love story, and the sacrifice of Arash the Archer in setting the borders of Iran and Turan are some of the famous mythological stories of Iran.
Which books contain the names and stories of ancient Iranian myths?
The two books “Avesta” and “Shahnameh” are the main sources for learning the names of ancient Iranian myths and their stories.
Name some of the most well-known Iranian symbols and myths.
Anahita, Bahram and Mitra are among the mythological gods of Iran. Simurgh and Rakhsh are famous mythical animals, Div-e Sepid, Akvan the Div, Devil and Garsivaz are evil forces in myths. Jamshid, Rostam, Kaveh, and Arash are among the legendary heroes in Iranian legend.