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Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. [1880], at


1. Seven chieftains of the planets have come unto the seven chieftains of the constellations 2, as the planet Mercury (Tîr) unto Tîstar, the planet Mars (Vâhrâm) unto Haptôk-rîng, the planet Jupiter (Aûharmazd) unto Vanand, the planet Venus (Anâhîd) unto Satavês, the planet Saturn (Kêvân) unto the great one of the middle of the sky, Gôkîhar 3

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and the thievish (dûggun) Mûspar 1, provided with tails, unto the sun and moon and stars. 2. The sun has attached Mûspar to its own radiance by mutual agreement, so that he may be less able to do harm (vinâs).

3. Of Mount Albûrz 2 it is declared, that around the world and Mount Têrak 3, which is the middle of the world, the revolution of the sun is like a moat 4 around the world; it turns back in a circuit 5 owing to the enclosure (var) of Mount Albûrz around Têrak. 4. As it is said that it is the Têrak of Albûrz from behind which my sun and moon and stars return again 6. 5. For there are a hundred

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and eighty apertures (rôgîn) in the east, and a hundred and eighty in the west, through Albûrz; and the sun, every day, comes in through an aperture, and goes out through an aperture 1; and the whole connection and motion of the moon and constellations and planets is with it: every day it always illumines (or warms) three regions (kêshvar) 2 and a half, as is evident to the eyesight. 6. And twice in every year the day and night are equal, for on the original attack 3, when 4 it (the sun) went forth from its first degree (khûrdak), the day and night were equal, it was the season of spring; when it arrives at the first degree of Kalakang (Cancer) the time of day is greatest, it is the beginning of summer; when it arrives at the sign (khûrdak) Tarâgûk (Libra) the day and night are equal, it is the beginning of autumn; when it arrives at the sign Vahîk (Capricorn) the night is a maximum, it is the beginning of winter; and when it arrives at Varak (Aries) the night and day have again become equal, as when it

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went forth from Varak. 7. So that when it comes back to Varak, in three hundred and sixty days and the five Gâtha days 1, it goes in and comes out through one and the same aperture; the aperture is not mentioned, for if it had been mentioned the demons would have known the secret, and been able to introduce disaster.

8. From there where the sun comes on on the longest day to where it comes on on the shortest day is the east region Savah; from there where it comes on on the shortest day to where it goes off on the shortest day is the direction of the south regions Fradadafsh and Vîdadafsh; from there where it goes in on the shortest day to where it goes in on the longest day is the west region Arzah; from there where it comes in on the longest day to there where it goes in on the longest day are the north regions Vôrûbarst and Vôrûgars2. 9. When the sun comes on, it illumines (or warms) the regions of Savah, Fradadafsh, Vîdadafsh, and half of Khvanîras 3; when it goes in on the dark side, it illumines the regions of Arzah, Vôrûbarst, Vôrûgarst, and one half of Khvanîras; when it is day here it is night there.


21:2 Five of these are mentioned in Chap. II, 7, 8, to which the sun and moon are here added.

21:3 As this name stands in the MSS. it may be read Gûrgdâr (as in the Pâz. MSS), Gûrkîhar, or Dûrkîhar; the reading is very uncertain, and Windischmann suggests Gûrg-kîhar, 'wolf progeny' (compare vehrkô-kithra in Ardabahist Yast 8). A shooting star, p. 22 or meteor, is probably meant (see Chap. XXX, 18, 31), and as it is the special disturber of the moon, it may be Gô-kîhar (Av. gaokithra, of ox-lineage'), a common epithet of the moon; the Pahlavi letter k being often written something like the compound rk; and this supposition is confirmed by the Gôk-kihar of TD in Chap. XXVIII, 44.

22:1 This is written Mûs-parîk in TD in Chap. XXVIII, 44, and seems to be the mûs pairika of Yas. XVII, 46, LXVII, 23, as noticed by Windischmann; it is probably meant here for a comet, as it is attached to the sun. The zodiacal light and milky way have too little of the wandering character of planets to be considered planetary opponents of the sun and moon.

22:2 The hara berezaiti, 'lofty mountain-range,' of the Avesta, which is an ideal representative of the loftiest mountains known to the ancient Iranians, the Alburz range in Mâzendarân, south of the Caspian. See Chaps. VIII, 2, XII, 1, 3.

22:3 The Taêra of Yas. XLI, 24, Râm Yt. 7, Zamyâd Yt. 6. See Chap. XII, 2, 4.

22:4 The word mayâ-gîr is a Huz. hybrid for âv-gîr, 'a water-holder, or ditch.'

22:5 The word may be either âvêgak or khavîgak, with this meaning.

22:6 This appears to be a quotation from the Rashnu Yast, 26. The Huz. word for 'month' is here used for the 'moon.'

23:1 This mode of accounting for the varying position of sunrise and sunset resembles that in the Book of Enoch, LXXI, but only six eastern and six western gates of heaven are there mentioned, and the sun changes its gates of entrance and exit only once a month, instead of daily.

23:2 See § 9 and Chap. XI.

23:3 The reading of this word is doubtful, although its meaning is tolerably clear. The Pâz. MSS. read har dô, 'both;' Justi reads ardab, 'quarrel;' and in the Selections of Zâd-sparam it is written ârdîk. It seems probable that the word is kharah, 'attack,' which being written exactly like ardê (Av. ashya, see Yas. LVI, 1, 1) has had a circumflex added to indicate the supposed d, and this false reading has led to the more modern form ârdîk (Pers. ârd, 'anger'). But probabilities in obscure matters are often treacherous guides.

23:4 Reading amat, 'when,' instead of mûn, 'which,' throughout the sentence (see note to Chap. I, 7).

24:1 The five supplementary days added to the last of the twelve months, of thirty days each, to complete the year. For these days no additional apertures are provided in Albûrz, and the sun appears to have the choice of either of the two centre apertures out of the 180 on each side of the world. This arrangement seems to indicate that the idea of the apertures is older than the rectification of the calendar which added the five Gâtha days to an original year of 360 days.

24:2 This sentence occurs, without the names of the kêshvars or regions, in the Pahl. Vend. XIX, 19. For the kêshvars see Chap. XI.

24:3 Often corrupted into Khanîras in the MSS.

Next: Chapter VI