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

p. 99


1. On the nature of plants it says in revelation, that, before the coming of the destroyer, vegetation had no thorn and bark about it; and, afterwards, when the destroyer came, it became coated with bark and thorny 1, for antagonism mingled with every single thing; owing to that cause vegetation is also much mixed with poison, like Bis the height of hemp (kand) 2, that is poisonous, for men when they eat it die.

2. In like manner even as the animals, with grain of fifty and five species and twelve species of medicinal plants, have arisen from the primeval ox 3, ten thousand 4 species among the species of principal

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plants, and a hundred thousand species among ordinary plants have grown from all these seeds of the tree opposed to harm 1, the many-seeded, which has grown in the wide-formed ocean. 3. When the seeds of all these plants, with those from the primeval ox, have arisen upon it, every year the bird 2 strips that tree and mingles all the seeds in the water; Tîstar seizes them with the rain-water and rains them on to all regions. 4. Near to that tree the white Hôm, the healing and undefiled, has grown at the source of the water of Arêdvîvsûr 3; every one who eats it becomes immortal, and they call it the Gôkard 4 tree, as it is said that Hôm is expelling death 5; also in the renovation of the universe they prepare its immortality therefrom 6; and it is the chief of plants 7.

5. These are as many genera of plants as exist: trees and shrubs, fruit-trees, corn, flowers, aromatic herbs, salads, spices, grass, wild plants, medicinal

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plants, gum plants, and all producing 1 oil, dyes, and clothing. 6. I will mention them also a second time: all whose fruit is not welcome as food of men, and are perennial (sâlvâr), as the cypress, the plane, the white poplar, the box, and others of this genus, they call trees and shrubs (dâr va dirakht). 7. The produce of everything welcome as food of men, that is perennial, as the date, the myrtle, the lote-plum 2, the grape, the quince, the apple, the citron, the pomegranate, the peach, the fig, the walnut, the almond, and others in this genus, they call fruit (mîvak). 8. Whatever requires labour with the spade 3, and is perennial, they call a shrub (dirakht). 9. Whatever requires that they take its crop through labour, and its root withers away, such as wheat, barley, grain, various kinds 4 of pulse, vetches, and others of this genus, they call corn (gûrdâk). 10. Every plant with fragrant leaves, which is cultivated by the hand-labour of men, and is perennial (hamvâr), they call an aromatic herb (siparam). 11. Whatever sweet-scented blossom arises at various seasons through the hand-labour of men, or has a perennial root and blossoms in its season with new shoots and sweet-scented blossoms, as the rose, the narcissus, the jasmine, the dog-rose (nêstarûn),

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the tulip, the colocynth (kavastîk), the pandanus (kêdi), the kamba, the ox-eye (hêri), the crocus, the swallow-wort (zarda), the violet, the kârda, and others of this genus, they call a flower (gûl). 12. Everything whose sweet-scented fruit, or sweet-scented blossom, arises in its season, without the hand-labour of men, they call a wild plant (vahâr or nihâl). 13. Whatever is welcome as food of cattle and beasts of burden, they call grass (giyâh). 14. Whatever enters into cakes (pês-pârakîhâ) they call spices (âvzârîhâ). 15. Whatever is welcome in eating of bread, as torn shoots 1 of the coriander, water-cress (kakîg), the leek, and others of this genus, they call salad (têrak) 2. 16. Whatever is like spinning 3 cotton, and others of this genus, they call clothing plants (gâmak). 17. Whatever lentil 4 is greasy, as sesame, dûshdâng, hemp, zandak 5, and others of this genus, they call an oil-seed (rôkanô). 18. Whatever one can dye clothing with, as saffron, sapan-wood, zakava, vaha, and others of this genus, they call a dye-plant (rag). 19. Whatever root, or gum 6, or wood

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is scented, as frankincense 1, varâs2, kust, sandalwood, cardamom 3, camphor, orange-scented mint, and others of this genus, they call a scent (bôd). 20. Whatever stickiness comes out from plants 4 they call gummy (zadak). 21. The timber which proceeds, from the trees, when it is either dry or wet, they call wood (kîbâ). 22. Every one of all these plants which is so, they call medicinal (dârûk) 5.

23. The principal fruits are of thirty kinds (khadûînak), and ten species (sardak) of them are fit to eat inside and outside, as the fig, the apple, the quince, the citron, the grape, the mulberry, the pear, and others of this kind; ten are fit to eat outside, but not fit to eat inside, as the date, the peach, the white apricot, and others of this kind; those which are fit to eat inside, but not fit to eat outside, are the walnut, the almond, the pomegranate, the cocoanut 6, the filbert 7, the chesnut 8, the pistachio nut, the vargân, and whatever else of this description are very remarkable.

24 9. This, too, it says, that every single flower is appropriate to an angel (ameshôspend) 10, as the

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white 1 jasmine (saman) is for Vohûman, the myrtle and jasmine (yâsmin) are Aûharmazd's own, the mouse-ear (or sweet marjoram) is Ashavahist's 2 own, the basil-royal is Shatvaîrô's own, the musk flower is Spendarmad's, the lily is Horvadad's, the kamba is Amerôdad's, Dîn-pavan-Âtarô has the orange-scented mint (vâdrang-bôd), Âtarô has the marigold 3 (âdargun), the water-lily is Âvân's, the white marv is Khtûrshêd's, the ranges 4 is Mâh's, the violet is Tîr's, the mêren 5 is Gôs's, the kârda is Dîn-pavan-Mitrô's, all violets are Mitrô's, the red chrysanthemum (khêr) is Srôsh's, the dog-rose (nestran) is Rashnû's, the cockscomb is Fravardîn's, the sisebar is Vâhrâm's, the yellow chrysanthemum is Râm's, the orange-scented mint is Vâd's 6, the trigonella is Dîn-pavan-Dîn's, the hundred-petalled rose is Dîn's, all kinds of wild flowers (vahâr) are Ard's 7, Âsd has all the white Hôm 8, the bread-baker's basil is Asmân's, Zamyâd has the crocus, Mâraspend has the flower 9 of Ardashîr,

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[paragraph continues] Anîrân has this Hôm of the angel Hôm 1, of three kinds.

25. It is concerning plants that every single kind with a drop of water on a twig (teh) they should hold four finger-breadths in front of the fire 2; Most of all it is the lotos (kûnâr) they speak of.


99:1 M6 has 'poisonous,' but is evidently copied from an original almost illegible in some places.

99:2 Perhaps 'hemp the height of Bîs' would better express the Pahlavi words, but Bîs (Napellus Moysis) is often mentioned as a poisonous plant. The phrase may also be translated 'like Bîs and tall hemp.'

99:3 See Chap. XIV, 1.

99:4 M6 has 'a thousand,' but marks an omission. See Chap. IX. 4.

100:1 See Chaps. IX, 5, XVIII, 9, XXIX, 5.

100:2 The apparently contradictory account in Chap. IX, 2, refers only to the first production of material plants from their spiritual or ideal representative. The bird here mentioned is Kamrôs (see Chaps. XIX, 15, XXIV, 29), as appears from the following passage (Mkh. LXII, 40-42): 'And the bird Kamrôs for ever sits in that vicinity; and his work is this, that he collects that seed which sheds from the tree of all seeds, which is opposed to harm, and conveys it there where Tîstar seizes the water, so that Tîstar may seize the water with that seed of all kinds, and may rain it on the world with the rain.'

100:3 See Chaps. XII, 5, XIII, 3-5.

100:4 Here written Gôkarn in all MSS. See Chaps. IX, 6, XVIII, I, 2.

100:5 That is, in Yas. IX, where Haoma is entitled dûraosha.

100:6 See Chap. XXIV, 27.

100:7 See Chap. XXIV, 18.

101:1 Comparing this list with the subsequent repetition it appears probable that hamâk barâ is a corruption of aesam bôd (see §§ 19, 21), and that we ought to read 'gum plants, woods, scents, and plants for oil, dyes, and clothing.' M6 has 'oil and dyes for clothing.'

101:2 The kûnâr (see Chap. XV, 13).

101:3 The Pâz. pêhani (which is omitted in K20) is evidently a misreading of Pahl. pashang, 'a hoe-like spade.'

101:4 M6 adds Pâz. gavina (Pahl. gûnak) to gvîd gvîd mungân, without altering the meaning materially.

102:1 Reading stâk darîd; Justi has 'baked shoots;' Anquetil has 'the three following;' M6 has stâk va karafs, 'shoots and parsley.'

102:2 Or târak in § 5, Pers. tarah.

102:3 Reading Huz. neskhunân, 'twisting,' but the word is doubtful. Justi has 'sitting on the plant,' which is a rather singular description for cotton.

102:4 Reading makag; Anquetil, Windischmann, and Justi read mazg, 'marrow,' but this is usually written otherwise.

102:5 Perhaps for zêtô, 'olive,' as Anquetil supposes, and Justi assumes.

102:6 Reading tûf (compare Pers. tuf, 'saliva').

103:1 Pâz. kendri for Pahl. kundur probably.

103:2 Justi compares Pers. barghast.

103:3 Pâz. kâkura may be equivalent to Pers. qaqulah, 'cardamoms,' or to Pers. kâkul or kâkûl, 'marjoram.'

103:4 K20 omits a line, from here to the word 'either.'

103:5 The line which contained this sentence is torn off in K20.

103:6 Pâz. anârsar is a misreading of Pahl. anârgîl (Pers. nârgîl, 'cocoa-nut').

103:7 Pâz. pendak, a misreading of Pahl. funduk.

103:8 Pâz. shahbrôd, a misreading of Pahl. shahbalût; omitted in M6.

103:9 M6 begins a new chapter here.

103:10 These are the thirty archangels and angels whose names are applied to the thirty days of the Parsi month, in the order in p. 104 which they are mentioned here, except that Aûharmazd is the first day, and Vohûman is the second.

104:1 M6 has 'yellow.'

104:2 Synonymous with the Ardavahist of Chap. I, 26.

104:3 Anquetil, Windischmann, and Justi have 'the poppy.'

104:4 M6 has Pâz. lg as only the first part of the word, and Justi translates it by 'red lac,' which is not a plant. Transcribing the Pâzand into Pahlavi, perhaps the nearest probable word is rand, 'laurel.'

104:5 M6 has Pâz. mênr; Anquetil has 'vine blossom,' and is followed by Windischmann and Justi, but the word is very uncertain.

104:6 The remainder of this chapter is lost from K20.

104:7 This female angel is also called Arshisang (see Chap. XXII, 4).

104:8 See § 4.

104:9 M6 leaves a blank space for the name of the flower; perhaps it is the marv-i Ardashîrân.

105:1 Reading, in Pahlavi, Hôm yêdatô aê hôm.

105:2 See Chap. XXI, 1. Referring to the necessity of drying firewood before putting it on the fire. The kûnâr is specially mentioned, as one of the first fire-woods used by mankind, in Chap. XV, 13.

Next: Chapter XXVIII