Kāveh the Blacksmith (Persian: کاوه ی آهنگر - Kāveh ye Āhangar)(Kurdish: Kawey Ahenger or Asinger), also known as the Blacksmith of Isfahan, is a mythical figure in the Iranian mythology who leads a popular uprising against a ruthless foreign ruler, Zahāk (Aži Dahāk). His story is narrated in Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran, by the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi.
Kāveh was, according to ancient legends, a blacksmith from Isfahan, Central Iran who launched a national uprising against the evil foreign tyrant Zahāk, after losing two of his children to serpents of Zahāk. Kāveh expelled the foreigners and re-established the rule of Iranians. Many followed Kāveh to the Alborz Mountains in Damāvand, where Fereydun, son of Ābtin and Faranak was living. Then a young man, Fereydun agreed to lead the people against Zahāk. Zahāk had already left his capital, which fell to Fereydun's troops with small resistance. Fereydun released all of Zahāk’s prisoners.
Kāveh is the most famous of Persian mythological characters in resistance against despotic foreign rule in Iran. As a symbol of resistance and unity, he raised his leather apron on a spear, known as the Derafsh Kaviani. This flag is later decorated with precious jewels and becomes the symbol of Persian independence. He was invocated by Persian nationalists starting from the generation of Mirza Fatali Akhundov. His name was used as the title of a nationalist newspaper in 1916, and 1920, adorned the canton of the flag of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (widely known as the Soviet Republic of Gilan).
The dynasty Karen Pahlav (also known as the House of Karen) claimed to be Kāveh's descendants.
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- Sir John Malcolm (1829). The History of Persia: From the Most Early Period to the Present Time. Murray. p. 13. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
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- Afshin Marashi (1 March 2008). Nationalizing Iran: Culture, Power, and the State, 1870-1940. University of Washington Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-295-98820-7. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
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- First Iranian Legendary Heroes and Heroines: A Research Note by Manouchehr Saadat Noury
- 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 Kāveh