Dramatic Signs in Draxt?? s?r?g " The Babylonian Tree"
This article has long been taken of the description and clarification of dramatic signs as well as the structure of the small book entitled Draxt? ?s?r?g “The Babylonian Tree” (Here after BT); a text having comparatively long history in Iranian studies which have been interpreted in different ways, by previous scholars. BT is a versified contest between a goat and a palm tree, originally composed in Parthian language, written in Book Pahlavi script. This text exposes fundamental resemblance with Mesopotamian tensons which seems to be performed in Mesopotamian New Year spring feast so-called “Akitu”. Although palm tree in Iranian custom as reflected in Middle Persian Texts (e.g. Bondahi?n IX) is explained as one of the most beneficial and exalted trees, it is pictured demoniac as the goat apostrophizes it ubiquitously in BT. The palm tree is called Assyrian/Babylonian (e.i.? s?r?g) through the text, specially in the beginning which the narrator locates the region of the palm tree in Assyria. The considerable point here is that the tree symbol in Middle Eastern literature and esp. in Bible and Iranian Apocalyptic Text so-called Zand? Wahman Yasn is a well-known metaphor denoting Mesopotamian territory (e.i. Assyria and Babylon). On the other hand, apostrophizing the tree, symbol of Assyria, as a demon is not an unheard phenomenon. In several Middle Eastern scripts (Zand? Wahman Yasn, The Book of Naom, The Book of Tubit) Assyria is depicted as the house of demons. Furthermore, based on intangible evidents in BT the goat symbolizes Zoroasterian Religion. Based on Middle Persian religious texts goat is a holy animal. In The Selections of Z?dsparam (Ch. 3:2) the white xarbuz (a kind of goat) as the representative of domestic animals accepts Zoroasterian religion. In BT the goat addresses the palm tree as “the son of a courtesan”. In The Book of Naom and Revelations of St. John “The Whore” is the specific epithet of Assyria and Babylon. These two metaphors _ the tree and the whore_ undoubtedly are founded in the rights of Mesopotamian pagan religions in which worshiping the tree and Hieros Gamos rituals formed the main part In other words, the most distinguishable sign of the coming farming period _ in spring season _ for Mesopotamian agricultural-based civilizations were the pollination of palm trees. For Ancient Mesopotamian, since the time of Sumerian sovereign, the king was the concrete incarnation of “Dumuzi, The Vegetative God, and was addressed after Him “Ama-ushamgal-anna” (i.e. blatant power in palm tree) and so played the role of Ishtar’s husband (the Goddess of breeding and fertility) in Hieros Gamos rights of “Akitu”. In the present study the author has made an attempt to present a satisfactory interpretation of the narrative; illustrate and prove the dramatic function of the text by considering evident samples of bardic discourse persisting in the text as well as undeniable external documents which show its belonging to G?s?n tradition. It seems these interesting evidences clearly induce its belonging to G?s?ns and dramatic function of the text.
Honar-Ha-Ye-Ziba: Honar-Ha-Ye Mosighi Va Namayeshi, No. 39, 2010
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