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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at

p. 178


1. The fiftieth question is that which you ask thus: As to one of the good religion who drinks wine immoderately, and loss and injury happen to him owing to that immoderate drinking, what is then the decision about him? 2. And how is the measure of wine-drinking which when they drink is then authorised for them?

3. The reply is this, that whoever through the influence of opportunity drinks wine immoderately, and is adult and intelligent, through every loss and injury which thereupon come to him from that immoderate drinking, or which occasion anything unto any one, is then his causing such pollution to the creatures, in his own pleasurably 1 varied modes, that the shame owing to it is a help (dastakîh) out of that affliction. 4. And even he who gives wine authorisedly 2 unto any one, and he is thereby intoxicated by it, is equally guilty of every sin which that drunkard commits owing to that drunkenness.

5. And concerning that drunkenness, what is said is that that is to be eaten through which, when one eats it, one thinks better, speaks better, and acts

p. 179

better; and such even is the food by which, through having drunk wine, one becomes more virtuous, or does not become more vicious, in thought, word, and deed. 6. When an experiment as regards its being good is tried, so that having drunk it in that proportion one becomes better, or does not become worse, then it is allowable to drink it.

7. When an untried person, for the sake of being tried, has drunk a mingled portion, first of one drinking-cup 1, secondly of two drinking-cups, and thirdly of three drinking-cups, and through drinking it he becomes more virtuous, or does not become more vicious, in thought 2, word, or deed, he is to increase the drinking-cups, and the experiment is allowable unto those tested just so far as the proportion is such that he becomes better, or does not become worse. 8. To those tested it is authorisedly given to that amount through which the experimenting that is mentioned has extended; and to him who it is proved will become worse through the drinking of wine, that amount, through the drinking of which, when given 3 in the experiment, it was seen that he became worse, is not authorisedly given.

9. In a case of doubt one is to consider him who is orthodox (hû-dînô), who has chanted the sacred hymns, and is of good. repute, whose drunkenness

p. 180

is not manifest, in this way, that he drinks as much wine as was tried by him when he became no worse by drinking it. 10. It is necessary to consider him whose religion is unseen, whose religion is wrong, and him who is a child furnished even with the realities of religion, in this way, that he becomes worse through having drunk wine. 11. When apart from the decision there is no assignable (bangisnîk) reason as regards it, the share of wine which they gave not authorisedly who themselves drank wine, one considers as some of the wine on its being given more authorisedly 1.


178:1 K35 has a blank space here for a word, but no word seems really necessary. M14 fills up the blank by changing gvîdŏ into gardînidŏ, and reads 'converted unto his own pleasure, and the mode,' &c.

178:2 M14 has 'unauthorisedly,' a very natural emendation of the text as it stands in K35, but it does not appear that the author intended to limit the responsibility of the person giving the wine merely to those cases in which his action would be quite unjustifiable.

179:1 Reading âv gâmakŏ, 'water-cup;' but it is written like âv sîmakŏ in the MSS.

179:2 K35 has mân, M14 mînisnŏ.

179:3 Reading vehabûntŏ instead of the unintelligible gân bûdŏ of K35, the alteration being merely lengthening the bottom stroke of the Pahl. b. M14 substitutes barâ yehevûnêd for bûdŏ gân bûdŏ, which gives the following meaning: 'through the drinking of which, in the experiment, it is seen that he becomes thoroughly worse.'

180:1 The meaning appears to be that, when there is no special reason to the contrary, the quantity of wine one may have already drunk elsewhere is to be considered as part of one's allowance.

Next: Chapter LII