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Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. [1880], at


1. On the nature of the five classes of animals (gôspend) it says in revelation, that, when the primeval ox passed away 4, there where the marrow came out grain grew up 5, of fifty and five species, and twelve 6 species of medicinal plants grew; as it says, that out of the marrow is every separate creature, every single thing whose lodgment is in the marrow 7. 2. From the horns arose peas (mîgûk),

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from the nose the leek, from the blood the grapevine 1 from which they make wine—on this account wine abounds with blood—from the lungs the rue-like herbs, from the middle of the heart 2 thyme for keeping away stench, and every one of the others as revealed in the Avesta.

3. The seed of the ox was carried up to the moon station 3; there it was thoroughly purified, and produced the manifold species of animals 4. 4. First, two oxen, one male and one female, and, afterwards, one pair of every single species was let go into the earth, and was discernible in Aîrân-vêg for a Hâsar ('mile'), which is like a Parasang ('league') 5; as it says, that, on account of the valuableness of the ox, it was created twice, one time as an ox, and one time as the manifold species of animals. 5. A thousand days and nights they were without eating, and first water and afterwards herbage (aûrvar) were devoured by them.

6. And, afterwards, the three classes (kardak) of animals were produced therefrom, as it says that first were the goat and sheep, and then the camel

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and swine, and then the horse and ass. 7. For, first, those suitable for grazing were created therefrom, those are now kept in the valley (lâî); the second created were those of the hill summits (sar-i dêz1, which are wide-travellers, and habits (nihâdak) are not taught to them by hand; the third created were those dwelling in the water.

8. As for the genera (khadûînak), the first genus is that which has the foot cloven in two, and is suitable for grazing; of which a camel larger than a horse is small and new-born. 9. The second genus is ass-footed, of which the swift 2 horse is the largest, and the ass the least. 10. The third genus is that of the five-dividing paw, of which the dog is the largest, and the civet-cat the least. 11. The fourth genus is the flying, of which the griffon of three natures 3 is the largest, and the chaffinch 4 the least. 12. The fifth genus is that of the water, of which the Kar fish 5 is the largest, and the Nemadu 6 the least.

13, These five genera are apportioned out into

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two hundred and eighty-two 1 species (sardak). 14. First are five species of goat, the ass-goat 2, the milch-goat, the mountain-goat, the fawn, and the common goat. 15. Second, five species of sheep, that with a tail, that which has no tail, the dog-sheep, the wether, and the Kûrisk sheep, a sheep whose horn is great; it possesses a grandeur 3 like unto a horse, and they use it mostly for a steed (bâra), as it is said that Mânûskîhar kept a Kûrisk as a steed. 16. Third, two species of camel, the mountain one and that suitable for grazing; for one is fit to keep in the mountain, and one in the plain; they are one-humped and two-humped. 17. Fourth, fifteen species of ox, the white, mud-coloured 4, red, yellow, black, and dappled, the elk, the buffalo, the camel-leopard ox, the fish-chewing 5 ox, the Fars ox, the Kagau, and other species of ox. 18. Fifth, eight species of horse, the Arab, the Persian, the mule 6, the ass, the wild ass (gôr), the hippopotamus (asp-i âvî), and other species of horse. 19. Sixth, ten species of dog, the shepherd's dog, the village-dog which is the house-protector, the blood-hound, the slender hound 7, the

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water-beaver 1 which they call the water-dog, the fox, the ichneumon (râsu), the hedgehog which they call 'thorny-back,' the porcupine 2, and the civet-cat; of which, two species are those accustomed 3 to burrows, one the fox and one the ichneumon; and those accustomed to jungle are such as the porcupine which has spines on its back, and the hedgehog which is similar. 20. Seventh, five species of the black 4 hare; two are wild species, one dwelling in a burrow 5 and one dwelling in the jungle. 21. Eighth, eight species of weasel; one the marten, one the black marten, the squirrel, the Bez ermine 6, the white ermine, and other species of weasel. 22. Ninth, eight species of musk animals; one is that which is recognised by its musk 7, one

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the musk animal with a bag in which is their pleasant scent, the Bis-musk 1 which eats the Bis-herb, the black musk which is the enemy of the serpent that is numerous in rivers, and other species of musk animals. 23. Tenth, one hundred and ten species of birds; flying creatures (vey = vâî) such as the griffon bird 2, the Karsipt 3, the eagle, the Kahrkâs 4 which they call the vulture, the crow, the Ardâ, the crane, and the tenth 5 is the bat. 24. There are two of them which have milk in the teat and suckle their young, the griffon bird and the bat which flies in the night; as they say that the bat is created of three races (sardak), the race (âyina) of the dog, the bird, and the musk animal; for it flies like a bird, has many teeth like a dog, and is dwelling in holes like a musk-rat. 25. These hundred and ten species of birds are distributed into eight groups (khadûînak), mostly as scattered about as when a man scatters seed, and drops the seed in his fingers to the ground, large, middling, and small. 26. Eleventh 6, fish were created of ten

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species; first, the fish Ariz 1, the Arzuvâ, the Arzukâ, the Marzukâ, and other Avesta names 2. 27. Afterwards, within each species, species within species are created, so the total is two hundred and eighty-two species 3.

28. Of the dog they say that out of the star station, that is, away from the direction of the constellation Haptôk-rîng, was given to him further by a stage (yôgist) 4 than to men, on account of his protection of sheep, and as associating with sheep and men; for this the dog is purposely adapted 5, as three more kinds of advantage are given to him than to man, he has his own boots, his own clothing 6, and may wander about without self-exertion. 29. The twelfth 7 is the sharp-toothed beast of

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which the leader of the flock is in such great fear, for that flock of sheep is very badly maintained which has no dog.

30. Aûharmazd said when the bird Vâresha 1 was created by him, which is a bird of prey, thus: 'Thou art created by me, O bird Vâresha! so that my vexation may be greater than my satisfaction with thee, for thou doest the will of the evil spirit more than that of me; like the wicked man who did not become satiated with wealth, thou also dost not become satiated with the slaughter of birds; but if thou be not created by me, O bird Vâresha! thou wouldst be created by him, the evil spirit, as a kite 2 with the body of a Varpa 3, by which no creature would be left alive.'

31. Many animals are created in all these species for this reason, that when one shall be perishing through the evil spirit, one shall remain.


45:4 See Chaps. IV, 1, and X, 1.

45:5 All MSS. have lakhvâr, 'again,' but this is probably a blunder for lâlâ, 'up.'

45:6 K20 has 'fifteen' here, but 'twelve' in Chaps. X, 1, and XXVII, 2.

45:7 K20 has 'of every single thing the lodgment is in the marrow.'

46:1 Probably kadûk-i raz may mean 'the pumpkin and grape.'

46:2 Reading dîl; but the word may also be read sar, 'the head,' or jigar, 'the liver.'

46:3 See Chap. X, 2.

46:4 This translation suits both text and context very welt but gôspend pûr-sardak is evidently intended for the Av. gâus pouru-saredhô, 'the ox of many species,' of Mâh Yt. 0, 7, and Sîrôz. 12.

46:5 Reading mûn aê parasang humânâk; if 3 be read for aê the translation must be, 'three of which are like a Parasang,' for a Hâsar cannot be equal to three Parasangs (see Chaps. XVI, 70 and XXVI). The phrase in the text probably means merely that a Hâsar is a measure for long distances, just as a Parasang is.

47:1 Justi reads gîrîsak, the Av. gairishâkô, 'mountain-frequenting,' of Tîstar Yt. 36; but this is doubtful.

47:2 Pahl. zibâl = Pers. zîbâl.

47:3 The Paz. sin-i se avinâ is the Pahl. sên-i 3 khadûînak of Chap. XXIV, II, 29, the Sîn bird or Sîmurgh of Persian legends, the Av. saêna. The word avinâ is a Pâz. misreading either of âînak, 'kind, sort,' or of anganâk, 'dividing.' The mixture of Pâzand and Pahlavi in this and some other chapters is rather perplexing, but the Pâzand misreadings can usually be corrected after transliterating them back into Pahlavi characters.

47:4 Reading va taru (Pers. tar).

47:5 See Chaps. XVIII, 3, and XXIV, 13.

47:6 If this Pâzand word be written in Pahlavi letters it may be read va magan, which may stand for va magil, 'and the leech;', but this is very uncertain.

48:1 K20 alone has 272 (see Chap. X. 3).

48:2 The khar-bûz (see Chap. XXIV, 2).

48:3 Supposing se koh to be a Pâz. misreading of Pahl. sukûh. Justi's translation is: 'it inhabits the three mountains, like the horse.'

48:4 Pâz. ashgun is evidently for Pahl. hasgûn.

48:5 Transcribing the Pâz. mâhi khu ushân into Pahlavi it may be read mâhîkân-khvashân (khashân?).

48:6 Instead of these first three species M6 has 'the white, black, yellow, bay, and chestnut.' K20 omits 'the ass' by mistake.

48:7 These first four species are the Av. pasus-haurvô, vis-haurvô, vôhunazgô, and taurunô of Vend. V, 92-98, XIII, 21, 26-74, 117, 164, 165.

49:1 The Av. bawris upâpô of Âbân Yt. 129.

49:2 The word indra has usually been taken as a Pâz. misreading of the Pahl. aûdrak (Av. udra, 'otter,' of Vend. XIII, 48, 167, 169, XIV, 2), but this would be more probably read andra. The Pahl. sûgar, 'porcupine,' is just as likely to be misread indra, and its meaning suits the context better.

49:3 The Paz. âmokhtesn, which is an ungrammatical form, is evidently a misreading of the Pahl. âmûkhtagân.

49:4 K20 has seyâ, M6 has zyâgi hest. Perhaps some old copyist has corrected siyâk-gôsh into khar-gôsh, and so both the epithets have crept into the text, the word 'black' being superfluous.

49:5 Reading khan-mânist, the Pâz. khu being an obvious misreading of khan.

49:6 The Pâz. bez is written bedh in the Pâzand MS. (the z in M6 being shaped something like dh), and Justi supposes it represents the Arabic abyadh or baîdhâ, 'white,' and is explained by the Pers. sapêd, 'white,' which follows; but there is nothing in the text to indicate that the second name is an explanation of the first. It is more probable that bez represents the Pers. bîgâd, 'reddish, rufous, variegated,' an epithet quite applicable to the ermine in its summer fur.

49:7 Or, 'is known as the musk animal.'

50:1 A kind of musk-rat; the bîs it eats is said to be the Napellus Moysis.

50:2 Pahl. sênô mûrûk, the sîmurgh of Persian tradition, and Av. mereghô saênô of Bahrâm Yt. 41.

50:3 See Chap. XIX, 16.

50:4 See Chap. XIX, 25.

50:5 Counting the 'flying creatures' and 'the vulture' as distinct species, 'the bat' is the tenth. It has been generally supposed that we should read 'eleventh,' and consider the bats as an eleventh group, especially as the MSS. call the next group (the fish) the 'twelfth;' but this view is contradicted by the remarks about the bats being mingled with those about the birds, and also by Zâd-sparam in his Selections, Chap. IX, 14 (see App. to Bund.), not mentioning any group of bats among the other animals.

50:6 All the MSS. have 'twelfth,' but they give no 'eleventh' nor 'thirteenth,' though they have 'fourteenth' in § 29. These irregularities p. 51 seem to indicate that part of this chapter has been omitted by some old copyist.

51:1 See Chaps. XVIII, 5, and XXIV, 13.

51:2 None of these names are found in the portion of the Avesta now extant.

51:3 K20 alone has 272 (see Chap. X, 3). The actual total number of species mentioned is 186, leaving ninety-six for the 'species within species.' Zâd-sparam in his Selections, Chap. IX, 14, differs from the numbers given in the text merely in giving ten species of ox, instead of fifteen; so the total of his details is 181, leaving 101 sub-species to make up his; grand total of 282 (see App. to Bund.)

51:4 A yôgist (compare Sans. yogana) was probably from fifteen to sixteen English miles, as it consisted of sixteen hâsar, each of one thousand steps of the two feet (see Chap. XXVI, 1). This sentence seems to imply that on account of the useful qualities of the dog he has a part of the lowermost grade of paradise allotted to him, further from the demon-haunted north than that allotted to the men whose inferior order of merit does not entitle them to enter the higher grades of paradise.

51:5 Reading âhang-hômand, 'having a purpose.'

51:6 Compare Vend. XIII, 106.

51:7 All the MSS. have 'fourteenth,' but they give no 'thirteenth.'

52:1 No doubt 'a hawk' (Pers. vâsah or bâsah), as mentioned by Justi; Av. vâre would become vâ or bâ in Persian.

52:2 Compare gûrîk with Pers. varik, varkâ, varkâk, varkak, vargâh, 'an eagle, falcon, kite, or hawk.'

52:3 Transcribing the Pâz. varpa êyi into Pahlavi we have varpak-aê, which is very nearly the same in form as varîkak-aê, 'a hut or cottage' (Pers. gurîkah-ê); so the formidable bird which the evil spirit might have created was 'a kite with a body like a cottage.'

Next: Chapter XV