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Pahlavi Texts, Part V: Marvels of Zoroastrianism (SBE47), E.W. West, tr. [1897], at

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1. The triumph of the creator Aûharmazd, and glory of complete wisdom, is the divine (ahûîg) religion of Mazda-worship.

2. The fifth book is about the sayings of the saintly Âtûr-farnbag 1, son of Farukhzâd, who was the leader of the orthodox, even as to the manuscript which is called Gyêmarâ 2. 3. The collected replies of Âtûr-farnbag,

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son of Farukhzâd, the leader of the orthodox, about several significant questions that are the wonder of the moderns, which are like the friendly words, spoken by him as to those of the ancient tribe 1 (kâmon-ramân) who call it really their Gyêmarâ, which are obtaining 2 a like wonder for them openly accessible to him 3.

4. About the unswerving and co-operating chieftainship of those forefathers who went in mutually-friendly command of troops, and the complete enclosure of that tribe within the military control of Bûkht-Narsîh 4. 5. About the disabling of vicious habits and evil deeds, which are entirely connected, and of the heinous demon-worship and mischief which

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are owing to them, through the ruler Kaî-Loharâsp 1t being sent, with Bûkht-Narsîh, from the country of Irân to Bêtâ-Makdis 2 of Arûm, and their remaining in that quarter. 6. And the orthodox belief in the rude particulars of religious custom in the mutual deliberation of those of the tribe, the acquaintance with religion of a boor (durûstakŏ-1), the difficult arrangements, and the enquirer doubtful of the religion after the many controversial, deliberative, and cause-investigating questions and answers adapted to the importunities of that wordy disciple 3.

7. About how the accepting of this religion by the prophets before Zaratûst occurred 4, how the pure and saintly Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas came 5, and who will afterwards come as bringers of the same pure and good religion hereafter 6. 8. That is, of the prophets, apostles, and accepters of the religion, there were they who accepted it concisely and completely such as Gâyômard was, from whom came irregularly (durûstakŏ) such as Masyê and Sîyâmak, Hâôshâng, Tâkhmôrup, Yim, Frêdûn, Mânûskîhar, the Sâmân, the Kayân, and also many other leaders in those times 7. 9. And their acceptance expressly at various times is produced for action, and thereby the adversity of the creatures is removed, benefit

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and prosperity are sought, the world is controlled, and the creator and good creations are propitiated.


119:1 He was the leader of the orthodox about AD. 815-835, and held a religious disputation with the heretic Abâlis in the presence of the Khalîfah Al-Mâmûn (A. n. 813-833), as detailed in the Mâdîgân-î Gugastak Abâlis. He was also the first compiler of the Dînkard, probably of its first two Books, which are not yet discovered, as well as of some of the materials for the other Books. (See S.B.E., vol. xxxvii, p. 411, n. 1.)

119:2 The name of this MS. can be only guessed. It occurs three times in each of the two MS. authorities, B and K43, and the simplest reading of five of these six occurrences would be Sîmrâ, so that the remaining one (Sarmâ) may be neglected as a corruption. A final â in Pahlavi is a very certain indication of a Semitic word, for if a final of similar form occurs in an Irânian word, it represents either h or kh; so if the name were Irânian, its most probable reading would be Sîmurkh. But, in § 3, it is intimated that the MS. belonged to an ancient tribe, or congregation (ram); it also seems, from Chap. IV, 8, 9, that the religion of this tribe was not so inconsistent with Zoroastrianism, as to prevent its members being taught that orthodox faith; and §§ 4, 5 of the present chapter appear to quote from that MS. some p. 120 particulars regarding the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. From these circumstances we may suspect that Âtûr-farnbag, while collecting materials for his Dînkard, had asked some Jewish friends what information their MSS. contained regarding the old Persians, as the two peoples had been in contact, more or less, ever since the time of the Achaemenian dynasty. If he did so enquire, the Jews would naturally search in the Talmud, in which references to the Persians still survive, though the text is no longer complete. The question is, therefore, whether the MS., whose name has been provisionally read Sîmrâ, can have had any connection with the Talmud. It will be at once evident to any Pahlavi student that Pahl. sî may be read gyê equally well, and that we have no better reason for reading Sîmrâ than for the Gyêmarâ, which has been put into the text, as a suggestion that Âtûr-farnbag was really referring to the Gemarâ of the Jews, the supplement to their commentary upon Scripture. Whether this can be clearly proved remains to be seen, and positive evidence seems scanty.

120:1 Or 'congregation.'

120:2 Or 'including (van dig).'

120:3 Pahl. 'mûnsânŏ ham-shkûp-vindîg frâz aûbas yehamtûnisnîg.' From which it appears as if there had been a mutual interchange of information between him and his Jewish friends.

120:4 The Pahlavi form of Bu‘ht-i-naʓar, or Nebuchadnezzar.

121:1 The father of Kaî-Vistâsp (see Bd. XXXI, 8, 29; XXXIV, 7). His expedition to Jerusalem is mentioned in Pahl. Mkh. XXVIII, 67, and by some Arab writers.

121:2 'The holy place,' a title of Jerusalem.

121:3 Not identified. From this point to Chap. IV, 7, Âtûr-farnbag must have used the same authorities as the writer of Dk. VII; but he returns to the Gyêmarâ in Chap. IV, 8.

121:4 Dk. VII, i, 7-40.

121:5 Ibid. 41.

121:6 Ibid. 42.

121:7 See the details in Dk. VII, i, 7-40. §§ 1-8 have been already translated in Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, ii. 93-94.

Next: Chapter II