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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. The forty-third subject is this, that it is necessary to make an endeavour to kill noxious creatures and reptiles (‘hasarât) of the earth; because, in revelation 1, it is put forth as a great good work.

2. Especially these five things:—One is the frog in the water, the second is the snake and scorpion, the third is the ant (markis) 2 that flies, the fourth is the common ant (môrkah), and the fifth is the mouse. 3. Therefore 3, every time that they bring a frog up, out of the water, and make it dry, and, after (ba’hd) that, kill it, it is a good work of a thousand and two hundred dirhams in weight 4. 4. And every time that they kill a snake, and recite the Avesta that is appointed for that occasion 5, it is

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just as though they have slain an apostate (âshmôgh). 5. For every one who kills a flying ant (markis) it is as much good work as for any one who is reciting inward prayer for ten days. 6. Among the creatures of Aharman nothing whatever is more harmful than this; for, if it dies in the air (havâ) it becomes a gnat, if it dies in the dust it becomes a worm, if it dies in the water it becomes a leech 1, if it dies among the excavators of flesh it becomes a venomous snake (mâr-i af’haî), and if it dies in dung it becomes creeping things. 7. For every one who kills a corn-dragging ant it is as much good work as for any one who recites the Hôrmazd Yast. 8. And for every one who kills many noxious creatures it is as much good work as for a priest who performs the ceremonial of the sacred beings; both good works are equal. 9. For every one who kills a mouse it is as much good work as if four lions are killed 2. 10. Therefore, it is incumbent on every one to make an effort to kill a noxious creature.


306:1 See Vend. XIV, 9-17, XVIII, 144-146.

306:2 If markis were Pahlavi, it would mean 'the deadly thing.' Possibly 'the locust' (mala‘h) is meant, but the description in § 6 is rather perplexing.

306:3 Lp omits 'therefore,' and B29 has 'and.'

306:4 See Chap, XII, 9 n. The frog is considered noxious because it is supposed to injure the water, being generally found in stagnant pools which are unwholesome.

306:5 An Avesta passage of about thirty words, to be used on such occasions, is to be found in the Rivâyats, but is still unedited.

307:1 B29 has 'hedgehog.'

307:2 Ants and mice (or rats) are considered noxious on account of the damage they do to certain crops and farmers’ stores.

Next: Chapter XLIV