The Myth of Iskandar

In mythology Iskandar (Alexander in Farsi) personifies commander Alexander the Great. In Iranian mythology, he is described as a daring conqueror who came to the lands of Iran. In those days, Dar (the son of Darius Kodoman) ruled, who was killed and his country of Eranshahr was plundered and divided into 90 small lands. Iskandar burned the shrine of the Iranians “Avesta”, crucified and killed priests and shahs.

After the adoption of Islam in Iran, in legends, Alexander the Great was described as a great and righteous ruler. He was idealized, and in classical literature, he was called a shah of Iranian blood.

Ferdowsi wrote in his “Shahname” that Iskander was a legitimate heir apparent, born of an Iranian mother, and as a legitimate heir he came to the lands of Iran defeating Dar. That’s why the grandees king Dar killed him, as a usurper.

Ferdowsi wrote about Iskandar’s campaigns to unknown countries, describing unimaginable episodes. One of them tells a campaign to India, the country of the Brahmanas and Iskandar’s talk with the Brahmanas about justice and equality.

Nizami Ganjavi, a classic of Persian poetry, wrote “Iskandername”, telling about the life of the ruler. The poem begins with the birth of Iskandar, life, the campaign and murder of Darius, the search for eternal water, etc. The poem ends with the death of Iskandar.

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