Arash the Archer, Arash the Bowman
Arash Kamangir is a heroic archer of
Iranian oral tradition and folklore.
It's very possible that the English word arch has been driven from Arash the Archer.
Arash the archer: Several sources have considered Arash to be the origin of the name Arshk (Arsaces), founder of the
As is typical for names from oral tradition, there are numerous variations of Arash. In
Avesta the name appears as Erekhsha, which means, one who has the swiftest arrow among the Iranians.
The basic story of Arash Kamangir goes as follows: In a war between the Iranians and the Aniranians, General
Afrasiab surrounded the forces of the righteous
Manouchehr, and the two sides agreed to make peace. They reached an agreement that whatever land falls within the range of a bow-shot shall be returned to the Iranians. An angel descended upon Manoucheh and instructed him to construct a special bow and arrow, and Arash is asked to be the archer. Arash then fires the specially-prepared arrow at dawn, which then traveled a great distance before finally landing and so marking the future border between the Iranians and the Aniranians. Arash who put all his force in that single shot, fell on the very spot and becomes a martyr. The heroic epic of Arash as a great symbol of Iranian patriotism has already inspired many artist in creation of paintings, statues, books, games and movies.
The location from which Arash fired his arrow is Airyo khshaotha according to Avesta Later sources typically place the location of the shot somewhere just south of the
Caspian Sea, variously in
Tabarestan, a mountain-top in Ruyan,
Amol fortress, and
Mount Damavand. The place the arrow landed is variously identified as Mount Khvanvant in Avesta,
Marv. According to
Biruni, it hit a nut tree between Fargana and Tabaristan, in the furthest reaches of the
The name Arash remains of the most popular boy names among Iranians.