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


1. The ninth subject is this, that it is necessary to practise abstinence from committing or permitting unnatural intercourse 3. 2. For this is the chief of all sins in the religion: there is no worse sin than this in the good religion, and it is proper to call those who commit it worthy of death in reality.

3. If any one comes forth to them, and shall see them in the act, and is working with an axe 4, it is requisite for him to cut off the heads or to rip up the bellies of both, and it is no sin for him. 4. But it is not proper to kill any person without the authority of high-priests and kings, except on account of committing or permitting unnatural intercourse.

5. For it says in revelation that unnatural intercourse is on a par with Aharman, with Afrâsiyâb 5, with Dahâk 5, with Tûr-i Brâdar-vakhṣh 6 who slew

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[paragraph continues] Zaratust, with Malkôs 1 who will arise, with the serpent Sruvar which existed in the days of Sâm Narîmân 2, and as many sins as are theirs. 6. And Aharman, the evil one, becomes more joyful, owing to this practice, than owing to the other sins which have made high-priests necessary 3; for the soul itself of that person becomes extinct.

7. And when they commit the sin with women, it is just the same as that with men.


267:3 Ghulâmbâragî u mûâgarî.

267:4 B29, J15 have 'takes a look,' and J15 adds 'he shall kill then.'

267:5 See Mkh. VIII, 29 n.

267:6 One of five brothers of the Karap tribe (see Byt. II, 3, Dd. LXXII, 8).

268:1 See Mkh. XXVII, 28 n.

268:2 Sâma and Naremanau are two titles of the hero Keresâspa who slew the serpent Srvara (see SBE, vol. xviii, pp. 369-371). In the Shâhnâmah he is called Sâm, son of Narîmân.

268:3 J15 has 'which the high priests have made manifest.'

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