Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. I write the indication of the midday shadow; may it be fortunate!
2. Should the sun come 4 into Cancer the shadow is one foot of the man, at the fifteenth degree of Cancer it is one foot; when the sun is at Leo it is
one foot and a half, at the fifteenth of Leo it is two feet; when the sun is at Virgo it is two feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Virgo it is three feet and a half; at Libra it is four 1 feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Libra it is five feet and a half 2; at Scorpio it is six feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Scorpio it is seven 3 feet and a half; at Sagittarius it is eight feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Sagittarius it is nine feet and a half; at Capricornus it is ten feet, at the fifteenth of Capricornus it is nine 4 feet and a half; at Aquarius it is eight 5 feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Aquarius it is seven feet and a half; at Pisces it is six feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Pisces it is five feet and a half; at Aries it is four feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Aries it is three feet and a half; at Taurus it is two feet and a half, at the fifteenth of Taurus it is two feet; at Gemini it is one foot and a half, at the fifteenth of Gemini it is one foot 6.
3. The midday shadow is written 1, may its end be good!
4. I write the indication of the Aûzêrîn (afternoon) 2 period of the day; may it be well and fortunate by the help of God (yazdân)!
5. When the day is at a maximum (pavan afzûnŏ), and the sun comes unto the head 3 of Cancer, and one's shadow becomes six feet and two parts 4, he makes it the Aûzêrîn period (gâs).
[paragraph continues] 6. Every thirty days it always increases one foot and one-third, therefore about every ten days the reckoning is always half a foot 1, and when the sun is at the head of Leo the shadow is seven 2 feet and a half. 7. In this series every zodiacal constellation is treated alike, and the months alike, until the sun comes unto the head of Capricornus, and the shadow becomes fourteen feet and two parts. 8. In Capricornus it diminishes again a foot and one-third 3; and from there where it turns back, because of the decrease of the night and increase of the day, it always diminishes one foot and one-third every one of the months, and about every ten days the reckoning is always half a foot, until it comes back to six feet and two parts; every zodiacal constellation being treated alike, and the months alike 4.
397:3 The contents of this chapter, regarding the lengths of midday and afternoon shadows, immediately follow a tale of Gôst-i Fryânô, which is appended to the book of Ardâ-Vîrâf's journey to the other world, both in M6 and K20. As will be seen from the notes, these details about shadows were probably compiled at Yazd in Persia, as they are suitable only for that latitude.
397:4 Reading âyad-ae (a very rare form), or it may be intended for hômanâe, 'should it be,' but it is written in both MSS. exactly like the two ciphers for the numeral 5. Mullâ Fîrûz in his Avîgeh Dîn, p. 279 seq., takes 5 khadûk pâî as implying that the shadow is under the sole of the foot, or the sun overhead; but neither this reading, nor the more literal 'one-fifth of a foot,' can be reconciled with the other measures; though if we take 5 as standing for pangak, 'the five toes or sole,' we might translate as follows: 'When the sun is at Cancer, the shadow is the sole of one foot of the man.'
398:1 K20 has 'three' by mistake.
398:2 M6 omits 'and a half' by mistake.
398:3 K20 has 'six' by mistake.
398:4 Both MSS. omit one cipher, and have only 'six,' but the shadow must be the same here as at the fifteenth of Sagittarius.
398:5 Both MSS. have 'seven,' which is clearly wrong.
398:6 It is obvious that, as the length of a man's shadow depends upon the height of the sun, each of these observations of his noonday shadow determines the altitude of the sun at noon, and is, therefore, a rude observation for finding the latitude of the place, provided we know the ratio of a man's foot to his stature. According to Bund. XXVI, 3 a man's stature is eight spans (vitast), and according to Farh. Okh. p. 41 a vitast is twelve finger-breadths, and a foot is fourteen (see Bund. XXVI, 3, note), so that a man's stature of eight spans is equivalent to 6 6/7 feet. Assuming this to have been the ratio adopted by the Observer, supposing the obliquity of the ecliptic to have been 23° 35´ (as it p. 399 was about A.D. 1000), and calculating the latitude from each of the thirteen different lengths of shadow, the mean result is 32° 1´ north latitude, which is precisely the position assigned to Yazd (the head-quarters of the small remnant of Zoroastrians in Persia) on some English maps, though some foreign maps place it 15´ or 20´ farther south. With regard to the rough nature of this mode of observation it may be remarked that, as the lengths of the shadows are noted only to half a foot, there is a possible error of a quarter-foot in any of them; this would produce a possible error of 2° 4´ in the midsummer observation of latitude, and of 39´ in the midwinter one; or a mean possible error of 1° 22´ in any of the observations; so that the possible error in the mean of thirteen observations is probably not more than 6´, and the probable error is even less, provided the data have been assumed correctly.
399:1 Reading nipist, but only the first and last letters are legible in M6, and the middle letter is omitted in K20.
399:2 See Bund. XXV, 9.
399:3 The word sar, 'head,' usually means 'the end,' but it must be here taken as 'the beginning;' perhaps, because the zodiacal signs are supposed to come head-foremost.
399:4 What portion of a foot is meant by bâhar, 'part,' is doubtful. It can hardly be a quarter, because 'two quarters' would be too clumsy a term for 'a half.' But it appears from § 5-7 that the shadow, necessary to constitute the Aûzêrîn period, is taken as increasing uniformly from six feet and two parts to fourteen feet and two parts, an increase of eight feet in six months, or exactly one foot and one-third per month, as stated in the text. And, deducting this monthly increase of one feet and one-third from the seven and a half feet shadow at the end of the first month, we have six feet and one-sixth remaining for the shadow at the p. 400 beginning of the month. Hence we may conclude that the 'two parts' are equal to one-sixth, and each 'part' is one-twelfth of a foot.
400:1 Meaning that the increase of shadow is to be taken into account as soon as it amounts to half a foot, that is, about every ten days. Practically, half a foot would be added on the tenth and twentieth days, and the remaining one-third of a foot at the end of the month.
400:2 Both MSS. have 'eight,' but this would be inconsistent with the context, as it is impossible that 'six feet and two parts' can become 'eight feet and a half' by the addition of 'one foot and one-third,' whatever may be the value of the 'two parts' of a foot.
400:3 Both MSS. have 3 yak-1 pâî, instead of pâî 3 yak-1.
400:4 This mode of determining the beginning of the afternoon period is not so clumsy as it appears, as it keeps the length of that period exceedingly uniform for the six winter months with some increase in the summer time. In latitude 32° north, where the longest day is about 13 hours 56 minutes, and the shortest is 10 hours 4 minutes, these observations of a man's shadow make the afternoon period begin about 3¾ hours before sunset at mid-summer, p. 401 diminishing to 2¾ hours at the autumnal equinox, and then remaining very nearly constant till the vernal equinox.