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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. The sixty-fourth subject is this, that it is necessary to practise great abstinence from committing theft 5 and seizing anything from mankind by force.

2. For it is declared in revelation that, as to every one who steals one dirham 6 away from another, when they really know it, it is necessary to take two dirhams away from him; one dirham being that which was carried off, and one dirham as the fine of him who committed the theft. 3. It is also requisite to cut off one ear, and it is necessary to strike ten blows with a stick, and to detain him one period in prison.

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4. And if he shall steal another 1 dirham, in the same manner one is to take away two dirhams 2, to cut off the other ear, to strike twenty blows with a stick, and to detain him two periods 3 in prison. 5. And if he shall steal three dirhams and two dângs 4, it is requisite to cut off his right hand. 6. If he shall steal five hundred dirhams 5, it is requisite to hang him.

7. On the spot the punishment is this, and among the spirits it brings punishment on the soul itself. 8. And, if the other person does not know it, they take away twice as much good work, among the spirits, from that thief, and give it to the soul of this person. 9. If the thief possesses no good works, they give the compensation from the constantly-beneficial treasury 6, and exhibit the punishment on the soul of that thief.

10. As to that person who has seized anything

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from another by force, among the spirits they seize back four things 1 as compensation for every single one. 11. And if, on the spot where people capture him, he makes it convenient to return four things in compensation for one, when they have fully understood, as they capture that person who is committing highway-robbery, that he makes it convenient 2, they may kill him at once.


326:5 B29, J15 have 'violence.'

326:6 A silver coin of 63 grains in weight, or about 5 3/5 annas (see Dd. LII, 1 n); say, seven-pence.

327:1 Lp has 'two.'

327:2 Lp has 'to take four.'

327:3 The Gugarâti translator takes 'one period' as 'one ghadî (24 minutes),' but 'two periods' as '2½ ghadî (one hour).' The word sâ’hat, 'period,' means also 'an hour,' but so short a term of imprisonment seems improbable.

327:4 That is, 3½ dirhams, nearly, 1¼ rûpî, or, say, two shillings.

327:5 That is, 175 rûpîs, or, say, £ 14 12s.

327:6 Where all supererogatory good works are supposed to be kept in store by the angels, for the purpose of granting them to souls who deserve them, but have been unable to acquire a sufficiency. It is said to be situated in the 'endless light' of heaven, and is the misvânô gâtus hvadhâtô, 'ever-benefiting place, the self-sustained,' of Vend. XIX, 122. Perhaps gang, 'treasury,' may have been originally gung, 'space,' which would better suit the idea of a 'self-sustained place' (see Dd. XXVI, 3, XXXI, 24, XXXVII, 22, 24, XXXVIII, 3). The term 'treasurer,' applied to the female personifications of conscience who meet the soul with the stores of its good works and sins. (sec Sg. IV, 92-96), seems to have no connection with this treasury of other people's good works.

328:1 Twice as much as in cases of theft without violence (see § 2).

328:2 So that they may not interfere with such benefit for his soul as he may obtain by atonement. These old priestly laws having much more consideration for the soul than for the body.

Next: Chapter LXV