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


1. On matters of religion 3 it says in revelation thus: 'The creatures of the world were created by me complete in three hundred and sixty-five days,' that is, the six periods of the Gâhanbârs which are completed in a year. 2. It is always necessary first to count the day and afterwards the night, for first the day goes off, and then the night comes on 4. And from the season (gâs) of Mêdôk-shêm 5,

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which is the auspicious 1 day Khûr of the month Tîr 2, to the season of Mêdîyârêm 3, which is the

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auspicious day Vâhrâm of the month Dîn 1—the shortest day—the night increases; and from the season of Mêdîyârêm to the season of Mêdôk-shêm the night decreases and the day increases. 4. The summer day is as much as two of the shortest 2 winter days, and the winter night is as much as two of the shortest summer nights 3. 5. The summer day is twelve Hâsars, the night six Hâsars; the winter night is twelve Hâsars, the day six; a Hâsar being a measure of time and, in like manner, of land 4. 6. In the season of Hamêspamadâyêm 5, that is, the

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five supplementary days at the end of the month Spendarmad, the day and night are again equal.

7. As from the auspicious day Aûharmazd of the month Fravardîn to the auspicious day Anîrân of the month Mitrô 1 is the summer of seven months, so from the auspicious day Aûharmazd of the month Âvân to the auspicious month Spendarmad, on to the end of the five supplementary days 2, is winter of five months. 8. The priest fulfils the regulation (vakar) about a corpse and other things, by this calculation as to summer and winter. 9. In those seven months 3 of summer the periods (gâs) of the days and nights are five—since one celebrates the Rapîtvîn—namely, the period of daybreak is Hâvan, the period of midday is Rapîtvîn, the period of afternoon is Aûzêrîn, when the appearance of the stars has come into the sky 4 until midnight is the period of Aîbisrûtêm, from midnight until the stars become imperceptible is the period of Aûshahîn 5. 10. In winter are four periods, for from daybreak till Aûshahîn is all Hâvan, and the rest as I have said; and the reason of it is this, that the appearance 6 of winter is in the direction of the

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north, where the regions Vôrûbars1 and Vôrûgarst are; the original dwelling of summer, too, is in the south, where the regions Fradadafsh and Vîdadafsh are; on the day Aûharmazd of the auspicious month Âvân the winter acquires strength and enters into the world, and the spirit of Rapîtvîn goes from above-ground to below-ground, where the spring (khânî) of waters is, and diffuses 2 warmth and moisture in the water, and so many roots of trees do not wither with cold and drought. 11. And on the auspicious day Âtarô of the month Dîn 3 the winter arrives, with much cold, at Aîrân-vêg; and until the end, in the auspicious month Spendarmad, winter advances through the whole world; on this account they kindle a fire everywhere on the day Âtarô of the month Dîn, and it forms an indication that winter has come. 12. In those five months the water of springs and conduits is all warm 4, for Rapîtvîn keeps warmth and moisture there, and one does not celebrate the period of Rapîtvîn. 13. As the day Aûharmazd of the month Fravardîn advances it diminishes the strength which winter possesses, and summer comes in from its own original dwelling, and receives strength and dominion. 14. Rapîtvîn comes up from below-ground, and ripens the fruit of the trees; on this account

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the water of springs is cold in summer 1, for Rapîtvîn is not there; and those seven 2 months one celebrates the Rapîtvîn, and summer advances through the whole earth. 15. And yet in the direction of Hindûstân, there where the original dwelling of summer is nearer, it is always neither cold nor hot; for in the season which is the dominion of summer, the rain always dispels most of the heat, and it does not become perceptible; in the winter rain does not fall, and the cold does not become very perceptible 3. 16. In the northern direction, where the preparation of winter is, it is always cold 4; for in the summer mostly, on account of the more oppressive winter there, it is not possible so to dispel the cold that one might make it quite warm. 17. In the middle localities the cold of winter and heat of summer both come on vehemently.

18. Again, the year dependent on the revolving moon is not equal to the computed year on this account, for the moon 5 returns one time in twenty-nine, and one time in thirty days, and there are four

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hours (zamân) more than such a one of its years 1; as it says, that every one deceives where they speak about the moon (or month), except when they say that it comes twice in sixty days. 19. Whoever keeps the year by the revolution of the moon mingles summer with winter and winter with summer 2.

20. This, too, it says, that the auspicious month Fravardîn, the month Ardavahist, and the month Horvadad 3 are spring; the month Tîr, the month Amerôdad, and the month Shatvaîrô are summer; the month Mitrô, the month Âvân, and the month Âtarô are autumn; the month Dîn, the month Vohûman, and the month Spendarmad are winter 4. 21. And the sun comes from the sign (khûrdak) of Aries, into which it proceeded in the beginning, back to that same place in three hundred and sixty-five days and six short times (hours), which are one year. 22. As every three months it (the sun) advances through three constellations, more or less, the moon comes, in a hundred and eighty days, back to the place out of which it travelled in the beginning 5.


91:3 That is, 'on the periods for observance of religious duties.'

91:4 The Jewish and Muhammadan practice is just the contrary.

91:5 The Av. maidhyô-shema of Yas. I, 27, II, 36, III, 41, Visp. I, 3, II, 1, Âfrîngân Gâhanbâr 2, 8. It is the second season-festival, held on the five days, ending with the 105th day of the Parsi year, which formerly corresponded approximately to midsummer, according to the Bundahis. Later writings assert that it commemorates the creation of water.

92:1 A dispute as to the meaning of this word formed no small part of the Kabîsah controversy, carried on between the leaders of the two rival sects of Parsis in Bombay about fifty years ago. Dastur Edalji Dârâbji, the high-priest of the predominant sect (who adhered to the traditional calendar of the Indian Parsis), insisted that it meant 'solar,' or 'belonging to the calendar rectified for solar time by the intercalation of a month every 120 years;' Mullâ Firûz, the high-priest of the new sect (who had adopted the calendar of the Persian Parsis, which is one month in advance of the other), asserted that the word had no connection with intercalation, but meant 'commencing,' or 'pertaining to New-year's day,' as translated into Sanskrit, by Nêryôsang, in Mkh. XLIX, 27. Anquetil translates it either as 'inclusive' or 'complete;' Windischmann simply skips it over; and Justi translates it everywhere as 'inclusive.' Dastur Edalji reads the word vehîgakî or vehîgak; Nêryôsang has vaheza, Mullâ Firûz reads nâîkakîk in the Bundahis, but vêhîgakîk in the Dînkard, where the word also occurs; Justi has nâîkakîk. The meaning 'inclusive' suits the context in nearly all cases in the Bundahis, but not elsewhere; if it had that meaning the most probable reading would be vikhêgakîk or nikhêgakîk, 'arising, leaping over, including.' It is nearly always used in connection with dates or periods of time, and must be some epithet of a very general character, not only applicable to intercalary periods, but also to New-Year's day and dates in general; something like the Arabic epithet mubârak, 'fortunate,' so commonly used in Persian dates. Dastur Edalji compares it with Pers. bîhrak or bihtarak, 'intercalary month,' which is probably a corruption of it; and this suggests veh, 'good,' as one component of the epithet. The word may be read veh-yazakîk, 'for reverencing the good,' but as veh, 'good,' is an adjective, this would be an irregular form; a more probable reading is veh-îkakîk, 'for anything good,' which, when applied to a day, or any period of time, would imply that it is suitable for anything good, that is, it is 'auspicious.' Sometimes the word is written vehîkak, vêhîkakîk, or vêhîkŏ; and epithets of similar forms in Pahlavi are applied by the writers of colophons to themselves, but these should be read vakhêzak or nisîvak, 'lowly, abject.'

92:2 The eleventh day of the fourth month, when the festival commences.

92:3 The Av. maidhyâirya of Yas. I, 30, II, 39, III, 44, Visp. I, p. 93 6, II, 1, Âf. Gâhan. 2, 11. It is; the fifth season-festival, held on the five days ending with the 290th day of the Parsi year, which formerly corresponded approximately to midwinter, according to the Bundahis. Later writings assert that it commemorates the creation of animals.

93:1 The twentieth day of the tenth month, when the festival ends.

93:2 The word kah-aît is merely a hybrid Huzvâris form of kahist, 'shortest,' which occurs in the next phrase.

93:3 This statement must be considered merely as an approximation. The longest day is twice the length of the shortest one in latitude 49°, that is, north of Paris, Vienna, and Odessa, if the length of the day be computed from sunrise to sunset; and, if twilight be included, it is necessary to go still further north. In Âdarbîgân, the northern province of Persia, the longest day is about 14½ hours from sunrise to sunset, and the shortest is about 9½ hours.

93:4 According to this passage a hâsar of time is one hour and twenty minutes; it is the Av. hâthra of the Farhang-i Oîm-khadûk (P. 43, ed. Hoshangji), which says, 'of twelve Hâsars is the longest day, and the day and night in which is the longest day are twelve of the longest Hâsars, eighteen of the medium, and twenty-four of the least—an enumeration of the several measures of the Hâsar.' For the hâsar measure of land, see Chap. XXVI.

93:5 So in K20, but this name is rarely written twice alike; it is the Av. hamaspathmaêdaya of Yas. I, 31, II, 40, III, 45, Visp, I. 7, II, 1, Âf. Gâhan. 2, 12. It is the sixth season-festival, held on the five Gâtha days which conclude the Parsi year, just before p. 94 the vernal equinox, according to the Bundahis. Later writings assert that it commemorates the creation of man.

94:1 That is, from the first day of the first month to the last day of the seventh month.

94:2 That is, from the first day of the eighth month to the last of the five Gâtha days, which are added to the twelfth month to complete the year of 365 days.

94:3 All MSS. have 'five months' here.

94:4 K20 has 'when the stars have come into sight.'

94:5 The Avesta names of the five Gâhs are Hâvani, Rapithwina, Uzayêirina, Aiwisrûthrema, and Ushahina.

94:6 Pâz. ashâris is evidently a misreading of Pahl. âshkârîh.

95:1 See Chaps. V, 8, XI, 3. The north, being opposed to the south or midday quarter, is opposed to the midday period of Rapîtvîn, which, therefore, disappears as winter approaches from the north.

95:2 If, instead of khânî for khânîk, 'spring,' we read ahû-i, 'lord of,' the translation will be, 'so that the angel of waters may diffuse,' &c.

95:3 The ninth day of the tenth month.

95:4 That is, warmer than the air, as it is cooler in summer.

96:1 K20 has 'winter' by mistake.

96:2 K20 has 'six,' and M6 'five,' instead of 'seven.'

96:3 This is a fairly accurate account of the effect of the monsoons over the greater part of India, as understood by a foreigner unacquainted with the different state of matters in a large portion of the Madras provinces.

96:4 M6 has khûrâsân instead of ârâyisn, 'preparation,' which alters the sense into 'that is, Khûrâsân, of which the winter is always cold.'

96:5 The MSS. have the Huzvâris term for 'month,' which is sometimes used, by mistake, for 'moon.' It is doubtful which word the author intended to use here, but it is usual to count the days of a lunar month from the first actual appearance of the new moon, which usually occurs a full day after the change of the moon.

97:1 Meaning, probably, that the lunar year is four hours more than twelve months of 29 and 30 days each, alternately. It should be 8 hours, 48 minutes, and 37 seconds. The sentence seems defective, but it is evident from § 21 that zamân means 'hour.'

97:2 That is, the lunar year being eleven days shorter than the solar one, its months are constantly retrograding through the seasons.

97:3 Generally written Avardâd in Pâzand, and Khurdâd in Persian.

97:4 The names of the months are selected from the names of the days of the month (see Chap. XXVII, 24), but are arranged in a totally different order.

97:5 Probably meaning, that the new moon next the autumnal p. 98 equinox is to be looked for in the same quarter as the new moon nearest the vernal equinox, the moon's declination being nearly the same in both cases.

Next: Chapter XXVI