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Title: Freydun  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jamasp, Banu Goshasp, Hooman, Nariman (father of Sām), List of places in Shahnameh
Collection: Longevity Traditions, Persian Literature, Persian Mythology, Shahnameh Characters
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Freydun, painted by Haji Aqa Jan – early 19th century

Freydun (Persian: فریدون - Freydun‎‎; Middle Persian: Frēdōn; Avestan: Θraētaona), also pronounced and spelled Fereydun, Faridun and Afridun, is the name of an Iranian mythical king and hero from the kingdom of Varena. He is known as an emblem of victory, justice, and generosity in the Persian literature.


  • Etymology 1
  • Thraetaona in Zoroastrian literature 2
  • In the Shahnāme 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5


All of the forms of the name shown above derive, by regular sound laws, from Proto-Iranian Thraetaona (Θraētaona) and Proto-Indo-Iranian Traitaunas.

Traitaunas is a derivative (with augmentative suffix -una/-auna) of Tritas, the name of a deity or hero reflected in the Vedic Trita and the Avestan Thrita (Θrita). Both names are identical to the adjective meaning "the third", a term used of a minor deity associated with two other deities to form a triad. In the Indian Vedas, Trita is associated with gods of thunder and wind.

Trita is also called Aptya (Āptya), a name that is probably cognate with Athwiya (Āθβiya), the name of Thraetaona's father in the Avestā. Traitaunas may therefore be interpreted as "the great son of the deity Tritas". The name was borrowed from Parthian into Armenian as Hrudēn.

Thraetaona in Zoroastrian literature

In the Avestā, Thraetaona is the son of Athwiya, and so is called Athwiyani (Āθβiyāni), meaning "from the family of Athwiya". Originally, he may have been recorded as the killer of the dragon Zahāk (Aži Dahāk), but in Middle Persian texts, Dahāka/Dahāg is instead imprisoned on Mount Damāvand.

In the Shahnāme

According to Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, Freydun was the son of Ābtin, one of the descendants of Jamšid. Freydun, together with Kāve, revolted against the tyrannical king, Zahāk, defeated and arrested him in the Alborz Mountains. Afterwards, Freydun became the king and, according to the myth, ruled the country for about 500 years. At the end of his life, he allocated his kingdom to his three sons; Salm, Tur, and Iraj. Iraj was Freydun's youngest and favored son, and inherited the best part of the kingdom, namely Iran. Salm inherited Asia Minor ("Rum", more generally meaning the Roman Empire, the Greco-Roman world, or just "the West"), and Tur inherited Central Asia ("Turān", all the lands north and east of the Oxus, as far as China), respectively. This aroused Iraj's brothers' envy, and encouraged them to murder him. After the murder of Iraj, Freydun enthroned Iraj's grandson, Manučehr. Manučehr's attempt to avenge his grandfather's murder initiated the Iranian-Turanian wars.

Preceded by
Legendary Kings of the Šāhnāme
1800-2300 (after Keyumars)
Succeeded by

See also

External links

  • A king's book of kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Freydun
  • First Iranian Legendary Heroes and Heroines: A Research Note by Manouchehr Saadat Noury
  • Encyclopedia Iranica article
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