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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at


1. As to the fifty-first question and reply, that which you ask is thus: There is a man who hands over a dirham 2 as regards five bushels (kafîz) of

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wheat, thus: 'I give this to thee as an instalment (bôn-ae) 1 of five bushels of wheat at the end of a month;' and during the month, and at its end, those five bushels of wheat become five times the price; would they authorisedly seize the five bushels of wheat when winnowed (pêkhtŏ kardŏ) by him, through that instalment which he handed over, or not?

2. The reply is this, that when they who shall take his dirham have to intrust the five bushels of wheat, unsuspiciously and by their own will, to him to winnow, even so as they are advisedly and unsuspiciously winnowed by him they should take them just as winnowed; this is the decision authorisedly given. 3. But when it is winnowed by him on account of very grievous necessity for payment, it is more suitable for the soul to beg the giver of the money, who is the purchasing payer 2, for some of that excess of undivided (apâr) profit. 4. For he has to consider the profit of his successors as among the profit of money on the spot 3--when more than

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such instalment demanded--and not as a fresh carrying off of a gift 1.


180:2 The dirham (δραχμή) is a weight, and also a silver coin of that weight, but its amount is rather uncertain. According to the Pers. MS. M5 (fol. 55), written A.D. 1723, the proper dowry for a 'privileged' wife is 2000 dirhams of white-silver, or 2300 rûpîs, and 2 dirhams of red gold, or 2¼ tolas. The rûpîs formerly current in Gugarât were less in value than the present Indian coinage, but the tola, which is the weight of the present rûpî, was probably much the same as it is now, or 180 grains; the statement in M5 is, therefore, equivalent to saying that the dirham contained 202 grains of pure silver. This is so much more than the amount deducible from other authorities that it might be supposed that the stîr (στατήρ) or tetradrachm was meant, if it were not confirmed, to some extent, by the Pers. Rivâyats, which state the dowry at 2000 dirhams of pure white silver and 2 dînârs of red gold of the Nîshâpûr currency; the dînâr being a gold coin containing a dirham weight of pure p. 181 gold. It is safer, however, to rely upon the average weight of the Sasanian dirham coins, which, according to Dr. Mordtmann's statement in ZDMG. vol. xii, pp. 44, 45, is about 63 grains, or 5 3/5 annas' worth of silver; so that the stîr would be 252 grains or 22 3/5 annas. But the actual value of such coins of former times can be ascertained only from the quantity of corn! or other well-defined necessary of life, which they would purchase.

181:1 K35 has vaban twice in this sentence, but bôn in § 4. M14 alters this word and others, so as to make the chapter unintelligible. The money is supposed to be given merely as a deposit, in acknowledgment of a bargain to be carried out after the corn is ready for delivery.

181:2 Reading zednunand dûkhtâr, but, perhaps, this is a corruption of zednûnînîdâr, 'a causer of purchase, a broker.'

181:3 That is, 'ready money.'

Next: Chapter LIII