Basic Information

Alternative name: Asdiv
Type/Species: Western Dragon
Origin: Persian Mythology, Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings

About Asdeev

Asdeev was the monstrous white dragon of ancient Persia. [3] In some accounts, Asdeev was a Dev that could transform into a white dragon. [1] In either case, he was the adversary of Rostam, the mythic hero. [4]

Asdeev was so powerful that nothing could tame him and no prey, not even an elephant, had ever escaped his wrath. [2] Asdeev attacked the hero Rostam and his steed Rakhsh on their journey to fight the White Demon. So great was the dragon's strength that the battle between Rostam and Asdeev remains known to this day as one of Rostam's Great Trials. [2]

The Battle between Asdeev and Rostam

After acquiring an injury, Rostam instructed his steed Rakhsh not to fight anything alone. [2]

A few nights later, as the hero settled down to sleep, Asdeev exploited the hero's instruction by sneaking up in total darkness. Asdeev was curious about who would dare sleep in his portion of the mountains, given that no elephant, lion, or demon would dare brave such danger. [2]

Rakshs spotted the dragon, and, following his rider's orders, woke Rostam. But the night clogged the hero's eyes, so he could not see any danger at all. [2] Even with weak light, Asdeev's stealth enabled him to elude the hero effortlessly. Rostam warned his steed not to wake him again unless danger was near, then he went back to sleep. [2]

Asdeev relished the discord he created. [2] So, again, the dragon approached and again Rakshs woke Rostam, who was furious as his steed for waking him for no reason. With an angry threat, Rostam went back to sleep. [2]

Finally, when Asdeev approached for the third time, the dragon roared with licks of flame from his mouth. [2] Rakhsh, now fearful of both Rostam and the dragon, did his best to chase Asdeev off so he wouldn't need to wake the hero. But then Rostam awoke and saw Asdeev. He drew his sword to engage the beast in conflict. [2]

Rostam demanded the dragon tell him his name, but Asdeev refused. Instead, he taunted Rostam over and over again. [3] Rakhsh joined the fray, sinking his teeth into the dragon's shoulder blade. Rostam slashes with his sword, and eventually smote off Asdeev's head. [3]

Asdeev's body streamed blood, which was full of noxious poison. So horrific was this poison that even the earth around his body became petrified. [3]

The hero and his steed rode on. [3]


The Third Trial of Rostam's strength and the Story of Asdeev have been combined, despite the fact that some manuscripts illustrate this dragon as purple or red. Since the dragon refused to tell Rostam his name, it is possible that Asdeev the White Dragon was the Third Trial of Rostam and Rakshs.

Physical Description

Asdeev was a western-style dragon with a slender body with solid, white scales. [4]

Quick Facts

  • Asdeev was an immensely powerful dragon. [2]
  • Asdeev caused discord between Rostam and his steed Rakshs.
  • The dragon had immense stealth. [2]
  • The fight between Asdeev and Rostam was known as the Third Trial of Rostam and Rakshs. [3]

Related Articles


  1. Bane 36
  2. Firdowsi [Shahnameh Trans. Davis] 154
  3. Firdowsi [Shahnameh Trans. Davis] 155
  4. Rose [Dragons] 27

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.