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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1760 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2009, 11:25:23 pm »

p. 140

and when they had made it he named it Gawpeigor (Cow-face), in honour of his nurse. Taking leave of his mother, he marches against the tyrant; an angel comes from heaven to aid the rightful cause; Zohak is deserted by his troops; he falls into the hands of Feridoon, who, by the direction of the angel, imprisons him in a cavern of the mountain Demavend. Feridoon, on ascending the throne of his forefathers, governed with such mildness, firmness, and justice, that his name is to the present day in Persia significative of the ideal of a perfect monarch *.

Mazenderan is not less celebrated in Persian romance than the region at the foot of Demavend. It was the scene of the dangers of the light-minded Kej Kaoos (supposed to be the Cyaxares of the Greeks), and of the marvellous adventures called the Seven Fables or Stages of the Hero Roostem, the Hercules of Persia, who came to his aid. When Kej Kaoos mounted the throne of Irân, he exulted in his wealth and in his power. A deev (Demon), desirous of luring him to his destruction, assumed the guise of a wandering minstrel, and, coming to his court, sought to be permitted to sing before the padisha (Emperor). His request was acceded to,--his theme was the praises of Mazenderan, and he sang to this effect:--

"Mazenderan deserves that the shah should think on it; the rose blooms evermore in its gardens, its hills are arrayed with tulips and jessamines, mild is the air, the earth is bright of hue, neither cold nor heat oppresses the lovely land, spring abides there


p. 141

evermore, the nightingale sings without ceasing in the gardens, and the deer bound joyously through the woods. The earth is never weary of pouring forth fruits, the air is evermore filled with fragrance, like unto rose-water are the streams, the tulip glows unceasingly on the meads, pure are the rivers, and their banks are smiling: ever mayest thou behold the falcon at the chase. All its districts are adorned with abundance of food, beyond measure are the treasures which are there piled up, the flowers bend in worship before the throne, and around it stand the men of renown richly girded with gold. Who dwelleth not there knoweth no pleasure, as joy and luxuriant pastime are to him unknown."

Kej Kaoos was beguiled by the tempter, and, eager to get possession of so rich a land, he led a large army into it. The Shah of Mazenderan was aided by a potent demon or enchanter named the Deev Seffeed (White Deev), who, by his magic arts, cast a profound darkness over the Irânian monarch and his host, in which they would have all been destroyed but for the timely arrival of Roostem, who, after surmounting all the impediments that magic could throw in his way, slew the Deev Seffeed, and delivered his sovereign.

Kej Kaoos, we are afterwards told by the poet, formed the insane project of ascending to heaven, which he attempted in the following manner. A stage was constructed on which a throne was set for the monarch; four javelins were placed at the corners, with pieces of goat's flesh on them, and four hungry eagles were tied at the bottom, who, by their of arts to reach the meat, raised the stage aloft into the air; but when the strength of the birds was exhausted the whole fell with the royal aëronaut in the desert, where he was found by Roostem and the other chiefs.

p. 142

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