Graduate Papers

Epic of Kārnamag and the Late Sasanian Period

Sara Mashayekh

Kārnāmag ī Ardaxšīr ī Pābagān, “The Book of the Deeds of Ardaxšīr son of Pābag,” is a Middle Persian epic text on the lineage, life and kingship of the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, Ardaxšīr I. Composed sometime between the mid sixth to early seventh century, this epic text attempts to tell a story almost 300 to 400 years after its original time period. Consequently, it is essentially a mixture of history and fiction, full of mythical and legendary tales with no discernable historical accuracy. While the basic structure and the main focus of the epic is on the person and naturally the time period of Ardaxšīr I, all of its aspects are very much influenced by the ideals and customs of the time of its composition. Epic of Kārnamag and the Late Sasanian Period