husrav ī kavādān ud rēdak-ē
The treatise Xusrō son of Kavād and a Page
The treatise husrav ī kavādān ud rēdak-ē (HKR) relates the story of a princely orphan from the district of Ēranvinārdkavād. The main part of it consists of questions and answers between king Husrō I (531-579 A.D.) and the Page.
From the original text only an incomplete Pārsīg version is extant. There exists an Arabic version based on our treatise which however places the story in the time of Husrō II (590-628 A.D.). There exists also a Persian version based on the Arabic version.
The frame story (only in the existing Pārsīg version):
The name of the page is Vāspuhr (in the Arabic version he is called Xvašārzōg; but in the Pārsīg version, 19, 125, xvašārzōg is used as an attributive appellation meaning ‘with fine desires, ambitious’). The page relates to the king that he was from a renowned princely family, but his father died when he was yet a child. His mother put him to the training school (frahangestān). He became well trained in all kinds of knowledge. He learned Avesta by heart, and studied the Zand –this shows that the page completed his education before the “pact of Husrō”. He became well versed in fine literature, calligraphy, scribeship, philosophy, rhetoric, astronomy and astrology, musical education; he was a champion in riding, archery, javelin throwing, wrestling; and he was superior in playing various games such as chess and backgammon and eight-feet to his comrades. However, after the death of his mother he became indigent and miserable. He wished the king to take his situation into consideration, and test his learning.
The main part consists of questions and answers. The page answers to the questions of the kings as to the best in various topics:
The finest food (Pārsīg 1, Arabic 1);
The finest and the most savoury of the dishes prepared from quadrupeds (P 1, Ar 2);
The most savoury of the finest foods (Ar 3);
The finest and the most savoury of the dishes prepared from fowls (P 2, Ar 4);
The finest cold-meat-foods (P 3, Ar 5);
The most tender of the meats laid in gelée (P 4, Ar 6);
The best and finest sweetmeats (P 5, Ar 7);
The finest (fruit) jams and preserves (P 6)
The finest shell-fruits (P 7, Ar 9);
The best and finest wines (P 8, Ar 8);
The best entertainers (P 9);
The seven things which accompany the wine(-drinking) (P 10);
The most sweet-scented flowers (P 11, Ar 10-11);
The scent of the flowers (P 11, Ar 12);
The perfume of the Paradise (Ar 13);
The best music and the finest musical instruments (Ar 14, 15);
The most agreeable water (drink) (Ar 16);
The most elegant and the finest clothes (Ar 17);
The softest cushion/ bed (Ar 18);
The best woman (P 12, Ar 19);
The best riding animals (P 13);
Conclusion: The king approved the page and ordered to award him.
The tale of the boy who was sent to capture two lions and his adventure with a beautiful woman and his not fulfilling the desire of sleeping with the woman is certainly annexed by the scribe who has given the abridged version of the original Pārsīg treatise.
mihr rōz ī ādar māh ī 1379 yazdegirdīg (April 1, 2010)
Supplément persan 2044 (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), 30-39