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


1. The sixty-seventh subject is this, that it is necessary for women to practise great abstinence from committing adultery. 2. For it is declared in revelation, as to every woman who has lain with a strange man, thus: 'What is it necessary to call her, and why is the explanation 1 that she is of one nature with all wizards and sinners?'

3. And in the commentary of the Vendîdâd 2 it says '"every woman who consorts with two strange men is the first down upon me, who am Hôrmazd. 4. For if she takes a look into a river of water it will make it diminish, if she takes a look 3 at a tree or shrub the fruit of the trees becomes scanty, and if she speaks a word with a righteous man it will make the glory 4 of the man diminish." 5. Zaratust enquired of Hôrmazd, "What occurs on 5 her account?" 6. The creator Hôrmazd spoke thus: "It is necessary to kill her sooner than a biting serpent and similar creatures and wild beasts, because she is more harmful to my creatures."'

7. Therefore, since she is like this, it is necessary for women to keep themselves with great effort, so that they may not become unlawful unto their own

p. 332

husbands. 8. For, every time that one of them gives herself four times to another person, she is, after that, unlawful as long as 1 she may be in the house of her husband 2 and new sin is increasing in connection with her soul 3.


331:1 B29 has 'and it is by reason of that fault.'

331:2 What follows is a free paraphrase of Vend. XVIII, 123-132.

331:3 Lp omits these four words.

331:4 Lp, B29 add 'and purity.'

331:5 Lp, B29 have 'what is necessary.'

332:1 B29 has 'unlawful when.'

332:2 This seems to be the author's interpretation of the following commentary (Pahl. Vend. XVIII, 124a):—'And it is no matter to her; for, when cohabitation is three times conceded by her, she is worthy of death. Gôgôsasp said that this is an adulteress who is kept within bounds.'

332:3 B29 has 'increasing as to water and fire.'

Next: Chapter LXVIII