عنوان مقاله [English]
Bodies are socially constructed in material and cultural worlds. In ancient Persian mythology, heroes had material bodies, which shows that even in the pre-historical era the body was closely related to social class. The present study utilizes the content analysis method, documentation, and library resources to analyze the mythical bodies of Sam, his son Zal, and his grandson Rostam in Shahnameh. The following results were obtained: Warriors do not have ritual bodies but continue to live in the bodies of their children. Moreover, the body in the household of Sam has natural and supernatural manifestations in addressing the demands of the society. The display of the social body in this household begins with the participation of Sam in power relations at the end of the Fereydoon Era. Last, but not least, the triad of Sam, Zal and Rostam is greatly influential in the social and cultural relationships of Iranians. Based on the function of their bodies, they could be classified as redemption warriors in Persian mythology.
According to the findings from the sociology of the body, the body of arteshtars in Iranian mythology is a class-based body, meaning that the mythological arteshtars can be recognized through their nutrition, characteristics, inclinations, physical superiority and habits. The Book of Kings includes an example of the mythological body discourse, which displays the cultural body of Iranians and the Iranian corporeality in contrast with that of the other. The Household of Sam is a corporeal household and represents different aspects of the class-based body. The body of the hero has a social function and system. Their social body has some major functions: reproduction of the military power while maintaining the status of the pahlevan, maintaining the power equilibrium and resisting kings’ despotism (in the story of Kavus), controlling social emotions, desires and tumults, and defending the country against invaders.
2. Theoretical Framework
The sociology of the body deals with the concept of corporeality as a social, symbolic phenomenon. Bourdieu finds a direct relationship between the social body and class and considers the body an intermediary between the society and social identity, with the physical capabilities of human beings playing a vital role in their status in society. These ideas are drawn upon in the present article to examine corporeality in the Household of Sam in The Book of Kings.
The present article relies on the content analysis. It uses library resources to answer the main questions raised in this study and examines the relationship between corporeality in mythologies and social action.
In Ferdowsi’s discourse, the body is in a social discourse and is related to the nodal point of power. The political body of the heroes in The Book of Kings displays a national identity by creating a discursive construct and providing a meaning for its identity through images, the cognitive system, society, social signs and rituals and the protagonists’ opposition to the antagonists.
A study of the corporeality of the Household of Sam shows that the body in this household is closely related to the concept of the class-based body. The reproduction of military power, protecting the status of pahlevan, keeping aloof from political power, resisting despotism, controlling social tensions and defending the country are among the main social and physical functions of this household. Their body represents the social nature of Iranian arteshtars and contributes to the reproduction and development of culture and the king’s power. The heroes interact with the king’s power and serve it and change the mythological king-mobed pattern to a king-hero one.