year 11, Issue 27 (9-2021)                   mmi 2021, 11(27): 33-46 | Back to browse issues page


XML Persian Abstract Print


1- Shahid Beheshti University, Center for Iranian Architectural Studies and Documentation , m-qayyoomi@sbu.ac.ir
2- University of Art
Abstract:   (2798 Views)
In the world that is depicted by Ferdowsi in Shahnama, architecture (building a placefor human’s living) has a paramount position. In this world, architecture is of two kinds: thearchitecture that has its roots in art, and the architecture that stems from magic. The meaning of art(hunar) in Shahnama is different from its meaning today. Art in Shahnama has a divine origin andis connected with goodness and virtue. Contrasted to art, is magic which is related to indecent andevil. Architecture based on art has heavenly attributes: it is enchanting and eternal; Architecture ofmagic has infernal attributes and thus, is not proper for the living of humans and the good people.Engaging in “the architecture of art” is the best path for the charismatic kings to follow; it isthrough such art that they display their divine grace and decency, and manage to promote abadani(prosperity) and goodness in the world. Some of these kings, following the message of the divinemessenger, build eternal cities which is home to those eternal human beings who are supposed tobe the future saviors of the world. In Shahnama’s narration of Iranian history, architecture and arthave a declining trend in the course of time. At the beginning of time, in the era of the first fourking-prophets, art is related with God’s revelations, and art practitioners learn about art throughthe agency of the divine messengers, which later on they spread and teach to others. But with thefalling of Jamshid and rise of Zahhak “all virtue despises, and magic esteems” and that is whenwe witness the gradual diminishing of the presence, number, and impact of charismatic humanbeings enjoyed by the divine grace. Although the charismatic human beings are still among peopleand engage in eternal art, their association with the divine in learning and teaching art is not aspowerful and abundant as it used to be. Even when the kings set off to build cities and sacredconstructions, it’s no more based on divine messages, but only based on the skill and knowledgeof the world’s best artists and scholars.Architecture in Shahnama covers that which is in theheavens and those residing in it to the architecture on the earth or even below, and those whojoined it. Architecture in Shahnama is both apparent and hidden, visible and invisible, good andbad, heavenly and devilish. The eternal architecture gets built by artists and charismatics, and themagical architecture gets built by the vicious and devils.
Article number: 3
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