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


1. The sage asked the spirit of wisdom (2) thus: 'As to these stars which are apparent in the sky, and their number is so great, what is then their duty and influence? 3. And how is the motion of the sun and moon and stars?'

4. The spirit of wisdom answered (5) thus: 'Of the stars which are in the sky the first star is Tîstar 4, which is said to be great and good, more valuable and more glorious 5. 6. And prosperity of every kind and the fertility of the world are in the path of Tîstar.

7, 8. 'And the star of water germs is for the increase of the star of plant germs 6. 9, 10. And the star of plant germs is for the increase of cattle germs 7.

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[paragraph continues] 11. And water, fire 1, plant, and cattle germs are created for the increase of man germs 2.

12. 'And the star Vanand 3 is intrusted with the passes and gates of Albûrz 4; (13) so that the demons and witches and fiends may turn from those gates and passes, (14) that it may not be possible for them to cut off and break up the road and passage of the sun and moon and stars 5.

15. 'And the star Haptôk-ring 6, with 99,999 guardian spirits of the righteous 7, is intrusted with the gate and passage of hell 8, (16) for the keeping

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back of those 99,999 demons and fiends, witches and wizards, who are in opposition to the celestial sphere and constellations of the zodiac. 17. Its motion, also, is round about hell; (18) and its special business is this, as it were it holds the twelve signs of the zodiac by the hand, in their proper going and corning. 19. And those twelve constellations also proceed in like manner by the power and help of Haptôk-ring 1; (20) and every single constellation, when it comes in at Albûrz, provides support for Haptôk-ring 2, (21) and begs protection from Haptôk-ring.

22. 'The remaining unnumbered and innumerable constellations 3 which are apparent are said to be the guardian spirits of the worldly existences. 23. Because, as to the creatures and creations of every kind, that the creator Aûharmazd created for the worldly existence, which are procreative and also which are developable (ârôdisnîk) 4, for every single body there is apparent its own single guardian spirit of a like nature.

24. 'And the motion of the sun and moon is the special illumination of the world, (25) and the maturing of procreations and growths of all kinds. 26. And the correct keeping of the day, month, and year, summer and winter, spring and autumn, and other calculations and accounts of all kinds which men ought to obtain, perceive, and understand, (27)

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are more fully defined by means of the setting (nisîvakŏ) 1 of the sun and moon.'


90:4 Av. Tistrya, the eastern leader of the stars and special opponent of the planet Tîr (Mercury), which can be identified only with Sirius. It is personified as an angel who contends with the demon of drought and produces rain (see Bd. II, 7, V, 1, VII, 1-13).

90:5 The usual Avesta epithets of Tîstar are 'the radiant and glorious.'

90:6 L19 has 'for the increase of water. And the star of earth germs is for the increase of earth.'

90:7 L19 has 'for the increase of plants. And the star of cattle germs is for the increase of cattle.' The stars of water, earth, and plant germs are mentioned in the formula of dedication to Tîstar (Sîr. 13), and the moon is said to possess the germs of cattle (Sîr. 12). p. 91 Reference is also made to all of them in Rashnu Yt. 29-31, 33, and to those of water germs in Vend. XXI, 33, Tîstar Yt. 39, 45, 46.

91:1 L19 has 'earth.'

91:2 L19 has 'for the increase of men.' As both the Pahlavi and Pâzand versions of §§ 7-11 are complete and consistent in themselves, it is uncertain which of them gives the original text. The Pâzand corresponds more closely to certain passages in the Avesta, but a wish to produce such a correspondence may have led Nêryôsang to alter the text. That the Pahlavi writer was thinking of some other passage, as yet unidentified, is evident from the omission of the star Satavês (which follows Tîstar in Sîr. 13) and from the details he gives concerning the others.

91:3 The southern leader of the stars and special opponent of the planet Aûharmazd (Jupiter), which is perhaps best identified with Fomalhaut (see Bd. II, 7, V, 1). The Avesta mentions it in connection with Tîstar (Sîr. 13).

91:4 See Chap. XLIV, 16 n.

91:5 Which are supposed to rise and set through openings or passes in the mountain range of Albûrz, which encircles the world (see Bd. V, 5).

91:6 Av. Haptôiringa, the northern leader of the stars and special opponent of the planet Vâhrâm (Mars), which corresponds to Ursa Major (see Bd. II, 7, V, 1). The Avesta mentions it, in connection with the other stars named in the text, in Sîr. 13.

91:7 See Fravardin Yt. 60. The number here mentioned is that generally used in the Avesta to express an indefinitely large number.

91:8 Which is supposed to be in the north, so that the circumpolar p. 93 constellation of Ursa Major seems to revolve around it, and to remain on the watch.

92:1 Written Haptâôrig in §§19-21 in K43.

92:2 L19 has 'holds to Haptôk-ring by the hand.'

92:3 L19 has 'stars.'

92:4 L19 has azâisnî, 'unprocreative.'

93:1 Nêr. reads vaheza and translates 'new year's day.'

Next: Chapter L