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

p. 34


1. On the nature of mountains it says in revelation, that, at first, the mountains have grown forth in eighteen years; and Albûrz ever grew, till the completion of eight hundred years; two hundred years up to the star station (pâyak), two hundred years to the moon station, two hundred years to the sun station, and two hundred years to the endless light 1. 2. While the other mountains have grown out of Albûrz, in number 2244 mountains, and are Hûgar the lofty 2, Têrak of Albûrz, Kakâd-i-Dâîtîk, and the Arezûr ridge, the Aûsîndôm mountain, Mount Apârsên which they say is the mountain of Pârs, Mount Zarid also which is Mount Mânûs, Mount Aîrak, Mount Kaf, Mount Vâdgês, Mount Aûshdâstâr, Mount Arezûr-bûm, Mount Rôyisn-hômand, Mount Padashkhvârgar which is the greatest in Khvârîh, the mountain which they call Kînŏ, Mount Rêvand, Mount Dârspêt the Bakyir mountain, Mount Kabed-sikaft, Mount Sîyâk-mûî-mand, Mount Vafar-hômand, Mount Spendyâd and Kôndrâsp, Mount Asnavand and Kôndras, Mount

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[paragraph continues] Sikidâv 1, a mountain among which are in Kangdez 2, of which they say that they are a comfort and delight of the good creator, the smaller hills.

3. I will mention them also a second time; Albûrz 3 is around this earth and is connected with the sky. 4. The Têrak 4 of Albûrz is that through which the stars, moon, and sun pass 5 in, and through it they come back. 5. Hûgar the lofty 6 is that from which the water of Arêdvîvsûr 7 leaps down the height of a thousand men. 6. The Aûsîndôm 8 mountain is that which, being of ruby

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[paragraph continues] (khûn-âhinŏ), of the substance of the sky 1, is in the midst of the wide-formed ocean, so that its water, which is from Hûgar, pours down into it (the ocean). 7. Kakâd-i-Dâîtîk ('the judicial peak') is that of the middle of the world, the height of a hundred men, on which the Kînvar bridge 2 stands; and they take account of the soul at that place. 8. The Arezûr 3 ridge [of the Albûrz mountain] is a summit at the gate of hell, where they always hold the concourse of the demons. 9. This also is said, that, excepting Albûrz, the Apârsên 4 mountain is the

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greatest; the Apârsên mountain they call the mountain of Pars, and its beginning is in Sagastân 1 and its end in Khûgîstân. 10. Mount Mânûs 2 is great; the mountain on which Mânûskîhar was born.

11. The remaining mountains have chiefly grown from those; as it is said that the elevation (afsârîh) of the districts had arisen most around those three mountains 3. 12. Mount Aîrak 4 is in the middle from Hamadân to Khvârizem, and has grown from Mount Apârsên. 13. Mount [Kînŏ] 5, which is on its east, on the frontier of Tûrkistân, is connected also with Apârsên. 14. Mount Kaf 6 has grown from the same Mount Apârsên. 15. Mount

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[paragraph continues] Aûshdâstâr 1 is in Sagastân. 16. Mount Arezûr 2 is that which is in the direction of Arûm. 17. The Padashkhvârgar 3 mountain is that which is in Taparîstân and the side of Gîlân. 18. The Rêvand 4 mountain is in Khûrâsân 5, on which the Bûrzîn fire 6 was established; and its name Rêvand means this, that it is glorious. 19. The Vâdgês 7 mountain is that which is on the frontier of the Vâdgêsians; that quarter is full of timber and full of trees. 20. The Bakyîr 8 mountain is that which Frâsiyâv of Tûr used as a stronghold, and he made his residence within it; and in the days of Yim 9 a myriad towns and cities were erected on its pleasant and prosperous territory. 21. Mount Kabed-sikaft 10 ('very rugged')

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is that in Pârs, out of the same Mount Apârsên. 22. Mount Sîyâk-hômand ('being black') and Mount Vafar-hômand ('having snow') 1, as far as their Kâvûl borders, have grown out of it (Apârsên) towards the direction of Kînŏ. 23. The Spendyâd 2 mountain is in the circuit (var) of Rêvand 3. 24. The Kôndrâsp 4 mountain, on the summit of which is Lake Sôvbar 5, is in the district (or by the town) of Tûs. 25. The Kondrâs 6 mountain is in Aîrân-vêg 6. The Asnavand 7 mountain is in Âtarô-pâtakân. 27. The Rôyisn-hômand 8 ('having growth') mountain is that on which vegetation has grown.

28. Whatever 9 mountains are those which are in every place of the various districts and various

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countries, and cause the tillage and prosperity therein, are many in name and many in number, and have grown from these same mountains. 29. As Mount Ganâvad, Mount Asparôg, Mount Pâhargar, Mount Dimâvand, Mount Râvak, Mount Zarîn, Mount Gêsbakht, Mount Dâvad, Mount Mîgîn, and Mount Marak 1, which have all grown from Mount Apârsên, of which the other mountains are enumerated. 30. For the Dâvad 2 mountain has grown into Khûgîstân likewise from the Apârsên mountain. 31. The Dimâvand 3 mountain is that in which Bêvarâsp is bound. 32. From the same Padashkhvârgar mountain unto Mount Kûmîs 4, which they call Mount Madôfryâd ('Come-to-help')—that in which Vistâsp routed Argâsp—is Mount Mîyân-i-dast ('mid-plain') 5, and was broken off from that mountain there. 33. They say, in the war of the religion, when there was confusion among the Iranians it broke off from that mountain, and slid down into the middle of the plain; the Iranians were saved by

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it, and it was called, 'Come-to-help' by them. 34. The Ganâvad 1 mountain is likewise there, on the Ridge of Vistâsp (pûst-i Vistâspân) 2 at the abode of the Bûrzîn-Mitrô fire, nine leagues (parasang) to the west. 35. Râvak Bîsan 3 is in Zrâvakad; this place, some say, is Zravad, some call itsan, some Kalâk; from this the road of two sides of the mountain is down the middle of a fortress; for this reason, that is, because it is there formed, they call Kalâk a fortress this place they also call within the land of Sarak. 36. Mount Asparôg 4 is established from the country of Lake Kêkast 5 unto Pârs. 37. Pâhargar ('the Pâhar range') is in Khûrâsân. 38. Mount Marak 6 is in Lârân. 39. Mount Zarîn is in Tûrkîstân. 40. Mount Bakht-tan 7 is in Spâhân.

41. The rest, apart from this enumeration, which they reckon as fostering hills of the country in the religion of the Mazdayasnians, are the small hills, those which have grown piecemeal in places.


34:1 These are the four grades of the Mazdayasnian heaven.

34:2 In all the geographical details, mentioned in the Bundahis, there is a strange mixture of mythical tradition with actual fact. The author of the work finds names mentioned in the Avesta, by old writers of another country, and endeavours to identify them with places known to himself; much in the same way as attempts have been made to identify the geographical details of the garden of Eden. Most of the names of these mountains occur in the Zamyâd Yast, or in other parts of the Avesta, as will be noticed in detail further on. The number 2244 is also mentioned in § 7 of that Yast. A very able commentary on this chapter will be found in Windischmann's Zoroastriche Studien, pp. 1-19.

35:1 The Av. Sikidava of Zamyâd Yt. 5.

35:2 See Chap. XXIX, 4, 10; the name is here written Kandez in R20. In M6 the word is kôf, 'mountain,' which is almost identical in form; if this be the correct reading, the translation will be, 'a mountain among those in the mountain which they say is agreeable and the delight,' &c. This mountain is, however, probably intended for the Av. Antare-kangha, 'within Kangha,' of Zamyâd Yt. 4.

35:3 The Haraiti-bares of Zamyâd Yt. 1; but it is more usually called Hara berezaiti (see Chap. V, 3).

35:4 A central peak of the mythic Albûrz, around which the heavenly bodies are said to revolve (see Chap. V, 3). It is the Av. Taêra, mentioned in Yas. XLI, 24, Râm Yt. 7, Zamyâd Vt. 6.

35:5 So in M6, but K20 has 'go in.'

35:6 This appears to be another peak of the mythic Albûrz, probably in the west, as it is connected with Satavês, the western chieftain of the constellations (see Chaps. XXIV, 17 and II, 7), It is the Av. Hukairya berezô, of Yas. LXIV, 14, Âbân Yt. 3, 25, 96, Gôs Yt. 8 Mihir Yt. 88, Rashnu Yt. 24, Fravardîn Yt. 6, Râm Yt. 15.

35:7 See Chap. XIII, 3-5.

35:8 In Aûharmazd Yt. 31 and Zamyâd Yt. 2, 66, an Ushidhâo mountain is mentioned as having many mountain waters around it, but this seems to be a near neighbour of the Ushidarena mountain (see § 15). The details in the text correspond with the description of the Hindva mountain, given in Tîstar Yt. 32, thus: us Hindvad paiti garôid yô histaiti maidhîm zrayanghô vouru-kashahê, 'up on the Hindva mountain, which stands amid the wide-shored p. 36 ocean;' and the Pahlavi name, Aûsîndôm, has probably arisen from the us Hindvad of this passage, as suggested by Justi. (See Chaps. XIII, 5, and XVIII, 10, 11.)

36:1 The sky is considered to be a true firmament, or hard and indestructible dome.

36:2 The Kinvatô-peretu of the Avesta, mentioned even in the Gâthas. In the Pahlavi Vend. XIX, 101, it is stated that 'they pass across by the Kinvad bridge, whose two extremities are their own heavenly angels, one stands at Kakâd-i-Dâîtîk, and one at Albûrz;' the former mountain seems not to be mentioned in the Avesta, but the bridge is the path of the soul to the other world if righteous the soul passes by it easily over Albûrz (the confines of this world) into paradise, but if wicked it drops off the bridge into hell.

36:3 See Vend III, 23, XIX, 140. The words in brackets may perhaps be inserted by mistake, but they occur in all MSS. examined, and there is nothing inconsistent with tradition in supposing Arezûr to be the extreme northern range of the mythic Albûrz which surrounds the earth, being the place where demons chiefly congregate.

36:4 Justi adopts the reading Harpârsên, which occurs in K20 four times out of eleven, but is corrected thrice. Windischmann suggests that this mountain is the Av. skyata (or iskatâ) upairi-saêna of Yas. X, 29, and Zamyâd Yt. 3, which the Pahlavi translator of the Yasna explains as 'the Pârsên crag.' It seems to be a general name for the principal mountain ranges in the south and east of Iran, as maybe seen on comparing this passage and Chap. XXIV, 28, p. 37 with Chap. XX, 16, 17, 21, 22, where the Haro, Hêtûmand, Marv, and Balkh rivers are said to spring from Mount Apârsên; but its application to the southern range is perhaps due to the etymological attempt, in the text, to connect it with Pârs. The Selections of Zâd-sparam, VII, 7, have Kînîstân for Khûgîstân.

37:1 This name can also be read Sîstân.

37:2 In § 2 it is also called Zarid, but in Zamyâd Yt. 1 Zeredhô and Aredhô-manusha are mentioned as neighbouring mountains. The word 'great' is omitted in M6.

37:3 That is, around the ranges of Albûrz, Apârsên, and Mânûs.

37:4 Perhaps intended for the Erezishô of Zamyâd Yt. 2. The description would apply to any of the mountains near Nîsâpûr.

37:5 This name is omitted in the MSS., but is taken from § 2 as suggested by Justi. Perhaps it maybe connected with 'the country of Sênî' (Chap. XV, 29), which is explained as being Kînîstân, probably the land of Samarkand, which place was formerly called Kîn, according to a passage in some MSS. of Tabari's Chronicle, quoted in Ouseley's Oriental Geography, p. 298.

37:6 Not Kâf, nor is it mentioned in the Pahlavi Vend. V, 57, as supposed by Justi; the kâf kôp ârâyad of Spiegel's edition of the Pahlavi text being a misprint for kâfakŏ pârâyad, 'it traverses a fissure' (see Haug's Essays. 2nd ed. p. 326, note 2).

38:1 The Av. Ushi-darena of Yas. I, 41, II, 54, III, 65, IV, 45, XXII, 31, XXV, 22, Aûharmazd Yt. 31, Zamyâd Yt. 0, 2, 97.

38:2 Called Arezûr-bûm in § 2, which name stands for the sixth and seventh mountains, Erezurô and Bumyô, in Zamyâd Yt. 2. The land of Arûm was the eastern empire of the Romans.

38:3 Evidently the mountain range south of the Caspian, now called Albûrz; but whether this actual Albûrz is to be considered a part of the mythic Albûrz is not very clear.

38:4 The Av. Raêvaus, 'shining,' of Zamyâd Yt. 6. It is also called the Ridge of Vistâsp (see § 34).

38:5 Or, 'the east.'

38:6 See Chap. XVII, 8.

38:7 The Av. Vâiti-gaêsô, the twelfth mountain in Zamyâd. Yt. 2; Bâdghês in Persian.

38:8 In § 2 it is Bakyir, which Justi thinks is another name for Mount Dârspêt ('white poplar'); the latter name not being repeated here makes this supposition probable.

38:9 K20 has rûm and M6 has lanman, but both explained by the Pâz. gloss Yim, which is also the reading of the Pâz. MSS. If the gloss be rejected the most probable translation would be, 'and in our days Shatrô-râm (or râmisn), the victorious, erected on it a myriad towns and cities.'

38:10 Windischmann suggests that this may he intended for the Av. skyata or iskatâ mentioned in the note on Apârsên in § 9.

39:1 The Av. Syâmaka and Vafrayau of Zamyâd Yt. 5; and probably the Siyâh-kôh and Safêd-kôh of Afghânistân. With regard to Kînŏ, see the note on § 13. The former mountain is called Sîyâk-mûî-mand, 'having black hair,' in § 2, which is certainly a more grammatical form than Sîyâk-hômand.

39:2 The Av. Spentô-dâta of Zamyâd Yt. 6.

39:3 The term var often means 'lake,' but we are not informed of any Lake Rêvand, though a mountain of that name is described in § 18; so it seems advisable to take var here in its wider sense of 'enclosure, circuit, district.'

39:4 The Av. Kadrva-aspa of Zamyâd Yt. 6.

39:5 See Chap. XXII, 3. All MSS. have Sôbar here.

39:6 If the circumflex be used in Pahlavi to indicate not only the consonant d, but also the vowel î, ê when it follows a vowel, as seems probable, this name can be read Kôîrâs; in any case, it is evidently intended for the Av. Kaoirisa in Zamyâd Yt. 6. It is written Kôndras in § 2.

39:7 The Av. Asnavau of Zamyâd Yt. 5, Âtash Nyây. 5, Sîrôz. 9. See also Chap. XVII, 7.

39:8 The Av. Raoidhitô, the eighth mountain of Zamyâd Yt. 2.

39:9 So in M6 and the Pâz. MSS., but K20 has, 'The country mountains.'

40:1 This list is evidently intended to include the chief mountains known to the author of the Bundahis, which he could not identify with any of those mentioned in the Avesta.

40:2 This is the Pâzand reading of the name, on which very little reliance can be placed; the Pahlavi can also be read Dânad, and it may be the Deana mountain, 12,000 feet high, near Kaski-zard.

40:3 See Chap. XXIX, 9. This volcanic mountain, about 20,000 feet high and near Teheran, still retains this ancient Persian name, meaning 'wintry.' It is the chief mountain of the Padashkhvârgar range, which the Bundahis evidently considers as an offshoot of the Apârsên ranges.

40:4 The present name of a mountain between Nîsâpûr and the desert.

40:5 The name of a place about midway between Astarâbâd and Nîsâpûr. This mountain is called Mîgîn in § 29, probably from a place called Mezinan in the same neighbourhood.

41:1 The Pers. Kanâbad, or Gunâbad, is near Gumin.

41:2 Another name for Mount Rêvand (§ 18). See Chap. XVII, 8.

41:3 Probably in Kirmân.

41:4 The mountain ranges of western Persia, including the Mount Zagros of classical writers.

41:5 See Chap. XXII, 2.

41:6 Probably the Merkhinah range in northern Lâristân.

41:7 The Bakhtiyârî range in the province of Ispahân.

Next: Chapter XIII