Avesta

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The Avesta /əˈvɛstə/ is the primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the otherwise unrecorded Avestan language.[1]

The Avesta texts fall into several different categories, arranged either by dialect, or by usage. The principal text in the liturgical group is the Yasna, which takes its name from the Yasna ceremony, Zoroastrianism's primary act of worship, and at which the Yasna text is recited. The most important portion of the Yasna texts are the five Gathas, consisting of seventeen hymns attributed to Zoroaster himself. These hymns, together with five other short Old Avestan texts that are also part of the Yasna, are in the Old (or 'Gathic') Avestan language. The remainder of the Yasna's texts are in Younger Avestan, which is not only from a later stage of the language, but also from a different geographic region.

Extensions to the Yasna ceremony include the texts of the Vendidad and the Visperad.[2] The Visperad extensions consist mainly of additional invocations of the divinities (yazatas),[3] while the Vendidad is a mixed collection of prose texts mostly dealing with purity laws.[3] Even today, the Vendidad is the only liturgical text that is not recited entirely from memory.[3] Some of the materials of the extended Yasna are from the Yashts,[3] which are hymns to the individual yazatas. Unlike the Yasna, Visperad and Vendidad, the Yashts and the other lesser texts of the Avesta are no longer used liturgically in high rituals. Aside from the Yashts, these other lesser texts include the Nyayesh texts, the Gah texts, the Siroza, and various other fragments. Together, these lesser texts are conventionally called Khordeh Avesta or "Little Avesta" texts. When the first Khordeh Avesta editions were printed in the 19th century, these texts (together with some non-Avestan language prayers) became a book of common prayer for lay people.[2]

The term Avesta is from the 9th/10th-century works of Zoroastrian tradition in which the word appears as Zoroastrian Middle Persian abestāg,[4][5] Book Pahlavi ʾp(y)stʾkʼ. In that context, abestāg texts are portrayed as received knowledge, and are distinguished from the exegetical commentaries (the zand) thereof. The literal meaning of the word abestāg is uncertain; it is generally acknowledged to be a learned borrowing from Avestan, but none of the suggested etymologies have been universally accepted. The widely repeated derivation from *upa-stavaka is from Christian Bartholomae (Altiranisches Wörterbuch, 1904), who interpreted abestāg as a contraction of a hypothetical reconstructed Old Iranian word for "praise-song" (Bartholomae: Lobgesang); that word is not actually attested in any text.

Historiography[edit]

The surviving texts of the Avesta, as they exist today, derive from a single master copy produced by collation and recension in the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE). That master copy, now lost, is known as the 'Sassanian archetype'. The oldest surviving manuscript (K1)[n 1] of an Avestan language text is dated 1323 CE.[1] Summaries of the various Avesta texts found in the 9th/10th century texts of Zoroastrian tradition suggest that a significant portion of the literature in the Avestan language has been lost.[2] Only about one-quarter of the Avestan sentences or verses referred to by the 9th/10th century commentators can be found in the surviving texts. This suggests that three-quarters of Avestan material, including an indeterminable number of juridical, historical and legendary texts, have been lost since then. On the other hand, it appears that the most valuable portions of the canon, including all of the oldest texts, have survived. The likely reason for this is that the surviving materials represent those portions of the Avesta that were in regular liturgical use, and therefore known by heart by the priests and not dependent for their preservation on the survival of particular manuscripts.

A pre-Sasanian history of the Avesta, if it had one, is in the realm of legend and myth. The oldest surviving versions of these tales are found in the ninth to 11th century texts of Zoroastrian tradition (i.e. in the so-called "Pahlavi books"). The legends run as follows: The twenty-one nasks ("books") of the Avesta were created by Ahura Mazda and brought by Zoroaster to his patron Vishtaspa (Denkard 4A, 3A).[6] Supposedly, Vishtaspa (Dk 3A) or another Kayanian, Daray (Dk 4B), then had two copies made, one of which was stored in the treasury, and the other in the royal archives (Dk 4B, 5).[7] Following Alexander's conquest, the Avesta was then supposedly destroyed or dispersed by the Greeks after they translated the scientific passages that they could make use of (AVN 7–9, Dk 3B, 8).[8] Several centuries later, one of the Parthian emperors named Valaksh (one of the Vologases) supposedly then had the fragments collected, not only of those that had previously been written down, but also of those that had only been orally transmitted (Dk 4C).[8]

The Denkard also transmits another legend related to the transmission of the Avesta. In that story, credit for collation and recension is given to the early Sasanian-era priest Tansar (high priest under Ardashir I, r. 224–242, and Shapur I, r 240/242–272), who had the scattered works collected, and of which he approved only a part as authoritative (Dk 3C, 4D, 4E).[9] Tansar's work was then supposedly completed by Adurbad Mahraspandan (high priest of Shapur II, r. 309–379) who made a general revision of the canon and continued to ensure its orthodoxy (Dk 4F, AVN 1.12–1.16).[10] A final revision was supposedly undertaken in the 6th century under Khosrow I (Dk 4G).[11]

In the early 20th century, the legend of the Parthian-era collation engendered a search for a 'Parthian archetype' of the Avesta. In the theory of Friedrich Carl Andreas (1902), the archaic nature of the Avestan texts was assumed to be due to preservation via written transmission, and unusual or unexpected spellings in the surviving texts were assumed to be reflections of errors introduced by Sasanian-era transcription from the Aramaic alphabet-derived Pahlavi scripts.[n 2] The search for the 'Arsacid archetype' was increasingly criticized in the 1940s and was eventually abandoned in the 1950s after Karl Hoffmann demonstrated that the inconsistencies noted by Andreas were actually due to unconscious alterations introduced by oral transmission.[12] Hoffmann identifies[13] these changes to be due[14] in part to modifications introduced through recitation;[n 3] in part to influences from other Iranian languages picked up on the route of transmission from somewhere in eastern Iran (i.e. Central Asia) via Arachosia and Sistan through to Persia;[n 4] and in part due to the influence of phonetic developments in the Avestan language itself.[n 5]

The legends of an Arsacid-era collation and recension are no longer taken seriously.[18] It is now certain that for most of their long history the Avesta's various texts were handed down orally,[18] and independently of one another, and that it was not until around the 5th or 6th century that they were committed to written form.[1] However, during their long history, only the Gathic texts seem to have been memorized (more or less) exactly.[3] The other less sacred works appear to have been handed down in a more fluid oral tradition, and were partly composed afresh with each generation of poet-priests, sometimes with the addition of new material.[3] The Younger Avestan texts are therefore composite works, with contributions from several different authors over the course of several hundred years.

The texts became available to European scholarship comparatively late, thus the study of Zoroastrianism in Western countries dates back to only the 18th century.[19] Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron travelled to India in 1755, and discovered the texts among Indian Zoroastrian (Parsi) communities. He published a set of French translations in 1771, based on translations provided by a Parsi priest. Anquetil-Duperron's translations were at first dismissed as a forgery in poor Sanskrit, but he was vindicated in the 1820s following Rasmus Rask's examination of the Avestan language (A Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Zend Language, Bombay, 1821). Rask also established that Anquetil-Duperron's manuscripts were a fragment of a much larger literature of sacred texts. Anquetil-Duperron's manuscripts are at the Bibliothèque nationale de France ('P'-series manuscripts), while Rask's collection now lies in the Royal Library, Denmark ('K'-series). Other large Avestan language manuscript collections are those of the British Museum ('L'-series), the K. R. Cama Oriental Library in Mumbai, the Meherji Rana library in Navsari, and at various university and national libraries in Europe.

Talageri:In fact, the period of MaNDala VIII is the period of composition of the major part of the Avesta. That is, to the original GAthAs and the core of the early YaSts, which belong to the Middle Period of the Rigveda, were now added the rest of the Yasna (other than the GAthAs) and YaSts (late YaSts, as well as post-Zoroastrian additions to the early YaSts), and the VendidAd... Thus, it is clear that the bulk of the Avesta is contemporaneous with the Late Period of the Rigveda, while the earliest part of the Avesta (consisting of the GAthAs and the core of the early YaSts) is contemporaneous with the Middle Period.

When we come to the areas to the south of the HindUkuS, we are clearly in the mainland of the Avestan territory. But it is the southern part of this “vast region that stretches southward from the HindUkuS,” which clearly constitutes the very core and heart of the Avesta: SIstAn or Drangiana, the region of HaEtumant (Hilmand) and the HAmUn-i Hilmand basin which forms its western boundary (separating Afghanistan from present-day Iran).

There is significant evidence in the Avesta for the early Iranian occupation of the Punjab:i) Vendidād-I names Haptahəndu, the Punjab, as one of the sixteen Iranian lands. ii) Uśīnara, the initial Purāṇic conqueror of the eastern Punjab (whose son extended the conquests westwards), has an Iranian name found in the Avesta as well: Aošnara. iii) That the Iranians, earlier, lived in the Punjab to the west of the Kurukṣetra region is testified also by the reference in the Avesta to Manuša (the lake Mānuṣa referred to in the Rigveda, III.23.4, as being located at the vara ā p ṛ thivyāh, ―the best place on earth‖, in Kurukṣetra. Witzel also identifies it as ―Manuṣa, a location ̳in the back‘ (west) of Kurukṣetra‖: WITZEL 1995b:335). Darmetester translates the verse, Yašt 19.1, as follows: ―The first mountain that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama Zarathuštra! was the Haraiti Barez. That mountain stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east. The second mountain was Mountain Zeredhō outside mount Manusha: this mountain too stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east‖. Note that the ―first‖ mountains that rose up out of the earth, for the Avesta, (i.e. the earliest lands known to the Iranians), are ―towards the east‖. Darmetester interprets the word Manusha as the name of a mountain, but the verse specifies that it is talking only about the ―first‖ and the ―second‖ mountains, close to ―land washed by waters‖, so the reference is definitely to lake Mānuṣa. iv) In the Avesta, the king of Airyana Vaējah, Yima, creates a vara (―enclosure‖?) as protection against the ―severe winters‖ of the kingdom. This vara is at ―the centre of the earth‖. This could be a reference to the Iranian sojourn in the region to the west of Kurukṣetra, described in the Rigveda as vara ā p ṛ thivyāh ―the best place on earth‖ or nābhā p ṛ thivyāh ―the centre of the earth‖.(Talageri 2008)

There is evidence in the Rigveda as well: i) In the early part of the Early Period, the Rigveda (VI.27) records a battle on the banks of the Harīyūpīyā and Yavyāvatī (the Dṛṣadvatī) in Kurukṣetra, where the Bharatas are aligned with a king Abhyāvartin Cāyamāna, who is described as a Parthian (Pārthava). ii) Later, by the late part of the Early period, the Parthians (VII.83.1) are now among the enemies of the Bharatas in a coalition led by a king Kavi Cāyamāna (VII.18.12), clearly a descendant of the earlier Abhyāvartin. This is the Battle of the Ten Kings, in which the Anu-Druhyu coalition fighting against the Bharatas, in the centre of the Punjab, includes (as we have already seen in detail) various proto-historical Iranian tribes led by a king and a priest with Iranian names. The Iranians were, thus, inhabitants of the areas to the west of Kurukṣetra (i.e. the Punjab) in the Early Rigvedic Period. c) The Battle of the Ten Kings led to the beginnings of major expansions of the Anus = Iranians to the west. The Middle Rigvedic Period, which followed, saw the commencement of the common development of the ―Indo-Iranian‖ culture represented in Vedic Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, and this common development of culture continued even more prominently into the Late Rigvedic period, and possibly later as well. The Late Rigvedic Period also saw the Zoroastrian ―reforms‖ in the Iranian religion to the west, and the formulation of a distinctly Iranian religion which sought (not always successfully) to shake off some of the perceived religious cobwebs of the past.(Talageri 2008)

  • 5. An analysis of a large category of personal name types shared in common by the Rigveda with the Avesta and the Mitanni (TALAGERI 2008:20-43) shows a fundamental distinction between the Early and Middle books on the one hand and the Late books on the other, with these name-types being found in 386 hymns in the Late books (and in all other post-Rigvedic texts), but found in the Early and Middle books in only 8 hymns which have been classified by the western academic scholars as Late or interpolated hymns within these books. (i.e. AB vs. CD). 6. An analysis of another category of personal names shared by the Rigveda with the Avesta (TALAGERI 2008:16-20, 47-48) shows a fundamental distinction between the Early books on the one hand and the Middle and Late books on the other, with these names being found in 60 hymns in the Middle books and in 63 hymns in the Late books (and in all other post-Rigvedic texts), but completely missing in the Early books. (i.e. A vs. BCD)... two additional words in the Rigveda, gāthā (the name of the oldest part of the Avesta, composed by Zarathushtra himself) and bīja, both central to the oldest part of the Avesta but found only in the New Books [1]
One example of such a word will suffice: the word gāthā is a pre-Avestan word in the Avesta: the oldest part of the Avesta consists of the five hymn-groups called gāthā-s composed by Zarathushtra himself, and they are not only called by that name but the word already occurs within those hymns as well. As we have already seen, in the Rigveda, gātha/gāthā is a late word found only in the New Books:

V.44.5 I.7.1; 43.4; 167.6; 190.1 VIII.2.38; 32.1; 71.14; 92.2; 98.9 IX.11.4; 99.4 X.85.6.

But what is more, the very root √gai, from which the word gāthā is derived (and the words gīta, pragātha, gāyatra and gāyatrī), is found overwhelmingly in the New Books and the Redacted Hymns,.... [2]

Rigveda and Avesta[edit]

See Rigveda and Avesta

Structure and content[edit]

In its present form, the Avesta is a compilation from various sources, and its different parts date from different periods and vary widely in character. Only texts in the Avestan language are considered part of the Avesta.

According to the Denkard, the 21 nasks (books) mirror the structure of the 21-word-long Ahuna Vairya prayer: each of the three lines of the prayer consists of seven words. Correspondingly, the nasks are divided into three groups, of seven volumes per group. Originally, each volume had a word of the prayer as its name, which so marked a volume's position relative to the other volumes. Only about a quarter of the text from the nasks has survived until today.

The contents of the Avesta are divided topically (even though the organization of the nasks is not), but these are not fixed or canonical. Some scholars prefer to place the categories in two groups, the one liturgical, and the other general. The following categorization is as described by Jean Kellens (see bibliography, below).

The Yasna[edit]

File:Bodleian J2 fol 175 Y 28 1.jpg
Yasna 28.1 (Bodleian MS J2)

The Yasna (from yazišn "worship, oblations", cognate with Sanskrit yajña), is the primary liturgical collection, named after the ceremony at which it is recited. It consists of 72 sections called the Ha-iti or Ha. The 72 threads of lamb's wool in the Kushti, the sacred thread worn by Zoroastrians, represent these sections. The central portion of the Yasna is the Gathas, the oldest and most sacred portion of the Avesta, believed to have been composed by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) himself. The Gathas are structurally interrupted by the Yasna Haptanghaiti ("seven-chapter Yasna"), which makes up chapters 35–42 of the Yasna and is almost as old as the Gathas, consists of prayers and hymns in honour of Ahura Mazda, the Yazatas, the Fravashi, Fire, Water, and Earth. The younger Yasna, though handed down in prose, may once have been metrical, as the Gathas still are.

The Visperad[edit]

The Visperad (from vîspe ratavo, "(prayer to) all patrons") is a collection of supplements to the Yasna. The Visparad is subdivided into 23 or 24 kardo (sections) that are interleaved into the Yasna during a Visperad service (which is an extended Yasna service).

The Visperad collection has no unity of its own, and is never recited separately from the Yasna.

The Vendidad[edit]

The Vendidad (or Vidēvdāt, a corruption of Avestan Vī-Daēvō-Dāta, "Given Against the Demons") is an enumeration of various manifestations of evil spirits, and ways to confound them. The Vendidad includes all of the 19th nask, which is the only nask that has survived in its entirety. The text consists of 22 Fargards, fragments arranged as discussions between Ahura Mazda and Zoroaster. The first fargard is a dualistic creation myth, followed by the description of a destructive winter on the lines of the Flood myth. The second fargard recounts the legend of Yima. The remaining fargards deal primarily with hygiene (care of the dead in particular) [fargard 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 19] as well as disease and spells to fight it [7, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21, 22]. Fargards 4 and 15 discuss the dignity of wealth and charity, of marriage and of physical effort, and the indignity of unacceptable social behaviour such as assault and breach of contract, and specify the penances required to atone for violations thereof. The Vendidad is an ecclesiastical code, not a liturgical manual, and there is a degree of moral relativism apparent in the codes of conduct. The Vendidad's different parts vary widely in character and in age. Some parts may be comparatively recent in origin although the greater part is very old.

The Vendidad, unlike the Yasna and the Visparad, is a book of moral laws rather than the record of a liturgical ceremony. However, there is a ceremony called the Vendidad, in which the Yasna is recited with all the chapters of both the Visparad and the Vendidad inserted at appropriate points. This ceremony is only performed at night.

The Yashts[edit]

File:Faravahar.svg
Faravahar, believed to be a depiction of a Fravashi, as mentioned in the Yasna, Yashts and Vendidad

The Yashts (from yešti, "worship by praise") are a collection of 21 hymns, each dedicated to a particular divinity or divine concept. Three hymns of the Yasna liturgy that "worship by praise" are—in tradition—also nominally called yashts, but are not counted among the Yasht collection since the three are a part of the primary liturgy. The Yashts vary greatly in style, quality and extent. In their present form, they are all in prose but analysis suggests that they may at one time have been in verse.

The Siroza[edit]

The Siroza ("thirty days") is an enumeration and invocation of the 30 divinities presiding over the days of the month. (cf. Zoroastrian calendar). The Siroza exists in two forms, the shorter ("little Siroza") is a brief enumeration of the divinities with their epithets in the genitive. The longer ("great Siroza") has complete sentences and sections, with the yazatas being addressed in the accusative.

The Siroza is never recited as a whole, but is a source for individual sentences devoted to particular divinities, to be inserted at appropriate points in the liturgy depending on the day and the month.

The Nyayeshes[edit]

The five Nyayeshes, abbreviated Ny., are prayers for regular recitation by both priests and laity.[2] They are addressed to the Sun and Mithra (recited together thrice a day), to the Moon (recited thrice a month), and to the Waters and to Fire.[2] The Nyayeshes are composite texts containing selections from the Gathas and the Yashts, as well as later material.[2]

The Gahs[edit]

The five gāhs are invocations to the five divinities that watch over the five divisions (gāhs) of the day.[2] Gāhs are similar in structure and content to the five Nyayeshes.

The Afrinagans[edit]

The Afrinagans are four "blessing" texts recited on a particular occasion: the first in honor of the dead, the second on the five epagomenal days that end the year, the third is recited at the six seasonal feasts, and the fourth at the beginning and end of summer.

Fragments[edit]

All material in the Avesta that is not already present in one of the other categories falls into a "fragments" category, which – as the name suggests – includes incomplete texts. There are altogether more than 20 fragment collections, many of which have no name (and are then named after their owner/collator) or only a Middle Persian name. The more important of the fragment collections are the Nirangistan fragments (18 of which constitute the Ehrbadistan); the Pursishniha "questions," also known as "Fragments Tahmuras"; and the Hadokht Nask "volume of the scriptures" with two fragments of eschatological significance.

Other Zoroastrian religious texts[edit]

Only texts preserved in the Avestan language count as scripture and are part of the Avesta. Several other secondary works are nonetheless crucial to Zoroastrian theology and scholarship.

The most notable among the Middle Persian texts are the Dēnkard ("Acts of Religion"), dating from the ninth century; the Bundahishn ("Primordial Creation"), finished in the eleventh or twelfth century, but containing older material; the Mainog-i-Khirad ("Spirit of Wisdom"), a religious conference on questions of faith; and the Book of Arda Viraf, which is especially important for its views on death, salvation and life in the hereafter. Of the post-14th century works (all in New Persian), only the Sad-dar ("Hundred Doors, or Chapters"), and rivayats (traditional treatises) are of doctrinal importance. Other texts such as Zartushtnamah ("Book of Zoroaster") are only notable for their preservation of legend and folklore. The Aogemadaeca "we accept," a treatise on death is based on quotations from the Avesta.

Geography of the Avesta[edit]

Gnoli identifies fifteen of the sixteen Iranian lands named in the VendidAd list. But he feels that “the first of the countries created by Ahura Mazda, Airyana VaEjah, should be left out” of the discussion, since “this country is characterized, in the Vd. I context, by an advanced state of mythicization”.37

While this (i.e. that Airyana VaEjah is a mythical land, a purely imaginary Paradise) is a possibility, there is another alternate possibility: the other fifteen lands, from Gava (Sogdiana) to RaNhA (the region between the KAbul and Kurrum rivers in the NWFP) are clearly named in geographical order proceeding from north to south, turning east, and again proceeding northwards.

That the list of names leads back to the starting point is clear also from the fact that the accompanying list of the evil counter-creations of Angra Mainyu, in the sixteen lands created by Ahura Mazda, starts with “severe winter” in the first land, Airyana VaEjah, moves through a variety of other evils (including various sinful proclivities, obnoxious insects, evil spirits and physical ailments), and comes back again to “severe winter” in the sixteenth land, RaNhA.

A logical conclusion would be that the first land, Airyana VaEjah, lies close to the sixteenth land (RaNhA). The lands to the north (VarAna), west (VaEkArAta, Caxra, UrvA), and south (Hapta-HAndu) of RaNhA are named, so Airyana VaEjah must be in Kashmir to the east of RaNhA. RaNhA itself leads Gnoli “to think of an eastern mountainous area, Indian or Indo-Iranian, hit by intense cold in winter”.38

In sum, the geography of the Avesta almost totally excludes present-day Iran and areas to its north and west, and consists exclusively of Afghanistan and areas to its north and east, including parts of Rigvedic India (see map opposite p.120). (Talageri 2000)


References[edit]

Notes

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  1. K1 represents 248 leaves of a 340-leaf Vendidad Sade manuscript, i.e. a variant of a Yasna text into which sections of the Visperad and Vendidad are interleaved. The colophon of K1 (K=Copenhagen) identifies its place and year of completion to Cambay, 692Y (= 1323–1324 CE). The date of K1 is occasionally mistakenly given as 1184. This mistake is due to a 19th-century confusion of the date of K1 with the date of K1's source: in the postscript to K1, the copyist – a certain Mehrban Kai Khusrow of Navsari – gives the date of his source as 552Y (= 1184 CE). That text from 1184 has not survived.
  2. For a summary of Andreas' theory, see Schlerath (1987), pp. 29–30.
  3. For example, prefix repetition as in e.g. paitī ... paitiientī vs. paiti ... aiienī (Y. 49.11 vs. 50.9), or sandhi processes on word and syllable boundaries, e.g. adāiš for *at̰.āiš (48.1), ahiiāsā for ahiiā yāsā, gat̰.tōi for *gatōi (43.1), ratūš š́iiaoϑanā for *ratū š́iiaoϑanā (33.1).[15]
  4. e.g. irregular internal hw > xv as found in e.g. haraxvati- 'Arachosia' and sāxvan- 'instruction', rather than regular internal hw > ŋvh as found in e.g. aojōŋvhant- 'strong'.[16]
  5. e.g. YAv. instead of expected OAv. -ə̄ for Ir. -ah in almost all polysyllables.[17]
Citations

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Boyce 1984, p. 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Boyce 1984, p. 3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Boyce 1984, p. 2.
  4. Kellens 1987, p. 239.
  5. Cantera 2015.
  6. Humbach 1991, pp. 50–51.
  7. Humbach 1991, pp. 51–52.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Humbach 1991, pp. 52–53.
  9. Humbach 1991, pp. 53–54.
  10. Humbach 1991, p. 54.
  11. Humbach 1991, p. 55.
  12. Humbach 1991, p. 57.
  13. Hoffmann 1958, pp. 7ff.
  14. Humbach 1991, pp. 56–63.
  15. Humbach 1991, pp. 59–61.
  16. Humbach 1991, p. 58.
  17. Humbach 1991, p. 61.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Humbach 1991, p. 56.
  19. Boyce 1984, p. x.
Works cited
  • Boyce, Mary (1984), Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism, Manchester UP<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Cantera, Alberto (2015), "Avesta II: Middle Persian Translations", Encyclopedia Iranica, New York: Encyclopedia Iranica online<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Hoffmann, Karl (1958), "Altiranisch", Handbuch der Orientalistik, I 4,1, Leiden: Brill<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Humbach, Helmut (1991), The Gathas of Zarathushtra and the Other Old Avestan Texts, Part I, Heidelberg: Winter<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Kellens, Jean (1983), "Avesta", Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. 3, New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 35–44<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Kellens, Jean (1987), "Characters of Ancient Mazdaism", History and Anthropology, vol. 3, Great Britain: Harwood Academic Publishers, pp. 239–262<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Schlerath, Bernfried (1987), "Andreas, Friedrich Carl: The Andreas Theory", Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. 2, New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 29–30<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.

Further reading[edit]

  • Talageri, S. G. (2010). The Rigveda and the Avesta: The final evidence. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Jal, M., & Centre for Studies in Civilizations (Delhi, India). (2012). Zoroastrianism: From antiquity to the modern period.

External links[edit]

Template:Zoroastrian literature