The Zend Avesta, Part III (SBE31), L.H. Mills, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
MANY readers, for whom the Zend-Avesta possesses only collateral interest, may not understand why any introductory remarks are called for to those portions of it which are treated in this volume. The extent of the matter does not appear at first sight a sufficient reason for adding a word to the masterly work which introduces the first two volumes, and, in fact, save as regards questions which bear upon the Gâthas, I avoid for the most part, for the present, all discussion of details which chiefly concern either the sections treated in the first two volumes, or the extended parts of the later Avesta treated here. But the Gâthas are of such a nature, and differ so widely from other parts of the Avesta, that some words of separate discussion seem quite indispensable, and such a discussion was recommended by the author of the other volumes. A second reason why a word of introduction is necessary, when the translation of the successive parts of the Avesta passes from one hand to another, is a reason which bears upon the subject with exceptional force.
It is this: the Avesta, while clearly made out, so far as the requirements of comparative theology are concerned, yet presents difficulties as to minute detail so great, that as yet no two independent scholars can entirely agree as to their solution. Master and pupil, friend and friend, must differ, and sometimes on questions of no trivial moment.
The preliminary studies requisite to the formation of ultimate opinions are so varied, and of such a nature, involving the rendering of matter as yet totally unrendered with any scientific exactness in either India or Europe, that no person can claim to have satisfied himself in these respects. Scholars are therefore obliged to advance biassed by the fact that they are preponderatingly Iranists, or preponderatingly
[paragraph continues] Vedists, and therefore certain at the outset that they must differ to a certain degree from each other, and to a certain degree also from the truth. It was also, as might well be understood without statement, with a full knowledge of the fact that I was inclined to allow especial weight to a comparison with the Veda, and that I modified the evidence of tradition somewhat more than he did, that Professor Darmesteter urged me to accept this task. But while I am constrained to say something by way of a preparatory treatise here, a sense of the fitness of things induces me to be as brief as possible, and I must therefore ask indulgence of the reader if my mode of expressing myself seems either rough or abrupt.
As to what the Gâthas are in their detail, enough has been said in the summaries and notes. From those representations, necessarily somewhat scattered, it appears that they comprise seventeen sections of poetical matter, equal in extent to about twenty-five to thirty hymns of the Rig-veda, composed in ancient Aryan metres, ascribing supreme (beneficent) power to the Deity Ahura Mazda, who is yet opposed co-ordinately by an evil Deity called Aka Manah, or Angra Mainyu. In all respects, save in the one particular that He is not the Creator of this evil Deity, and does not possess the power to destroy him or his realm, this Ahura Mazda is one of the purest conceptions which had yet been produced. He has six personified attributes (so one might state it), later, but not in the Gâthas, described as Archangels, while in the Gâthas they are at once the abstract attributes of God, or of God's faithful adherents upon earth, and at the same time conceived of as persons, all efforts to separate the instances in which they are spoken of as the mere dispositions of the divine or saintly mind, and those in which they are spoken of as personal beings, having been in vain.
We have therefore a profound scheme, perhaps not consciously invented, but being a growth through centuries; and this system is the unity of God in His faithful creatures. It is not a polytheism properly so-called, as Ahura forms with his Immortals a Heptade, reminding, one of the Sabellian Trinity. It is not a Pantheism, for it is especially
arrested by the domain of the evil Deity. It might be called, if we stretch the indications, a Hagio-theism, a delineation of God in the holy creation. Outside of the Heptade is Sraosha, the personified Obedience (and possibly Vayu, as once mentioned); and, as the emblem of the pious, is the Kine's soul, while the Fire is a poetically personified symbol of the divine purity and power. As opposed to the good God, we have the Evil Mind, or the Angry (?) Spirit, not yet provided with full personified attributes to correspond to the Bountiful Immortals. He has, however, a servant, Aêshma, the impersonation of invasion and rapine, the chief scourge of the Zarathustrians; and an evil angel, the Drug, personified deceit, while the Daêvas (Devas) of their more southern neighbours (some of whose tribes had remained, as servile castes, among the Zarathustrians) constitute perhaps the general representatives of Aka Manah, Aêshma, the Drug, &c. The two original spirits unite in the creation of the good and evil in existence both actually in the present, and in principles which have their issue in the future in rewards and punishments. The importance of this creed, so far stated, as the dualistical creation, and, as an attempted solution, of the hardest problem of speculation, should be obvious to every enlightened eye. If there existed a supreme God whose power could undo the very laws of life, no evil could have been known; but the doctrine denies that there is any such being. The good and the evil in existence limit each other. There can be no happiness undefined by sorrow, and no goodness which does not resist sin. Accordingly the evil principle is recognised as so necessary that it is represented by an evil God. His very name, however, is a thought, or a passion; while the good Deity is not responsible for the wickedness and grief which prevail. His power itself could not have prevented their occurrence. And He alone has an especially objective name, and one which could only be applied to a person. These suggestions, whether true or false, are certainly some of the most serious that have ever been made 1, and we find them originally here.
As to the nature of religious rewards and punishments, we have suggestions scarcely less important in the eye of scientific theology, and, as a matter of fact, very much more extensively spread. To say that the future rewards held out in the Gâthas were largely, if not chiefly, spiritual, and in the man himself, would be almost a slur upon the truth. The truth is, that the mental heaven and hell with which we are now familiar as the only future states recognised by intelligent people, and thoughts which, in spite of their familiarity, can never lose their importance, are not only used and expressed in the Gâthas, but expressed there, so far as we are aware, for the first time. While mankind were delivered up to the childish terrors of a future replete with horrors visited upon them from without, the early Iranian sage announced the eternal truth that the rewards of Heaven, and the punishments of Hell, can only De from within. He gave us, we may fairly say, through the systems which he has influenced, that great doctrine of subjective recompense, which must work an essential change in the mental habits of every one who receives it. After the creation of souls, and the establishment of the laws which should govern them, Âramaiti gives a body, and men and angels begin their careers. A Mãthra is inspired for the guidance of the well-disposed. The faithful learn the vows of the holy system under the teaching of the Immortals. while the infidel and reprobate portion of mankind accept the seductions of the Worst Mind, and unite with the Daêvas as in the capital sin of warfare from wanton cruelty, or for dishonest acquisition. The consequence of this latter alliance is soon apparent. The Kine, as the representative of the holy people, laments under the miseries which make Iranian life a load. The efforts to draw a livelihood from honest labour are opposed, but not frustrated, by the Daêva-worshipping tribes who still struggle with the Zarathustrians for the control of the territory. The Kine therefore lifts
her wail to Ahura, and His Righteous Order, Asha, who respond by the appointment of Zarathustra, as the individual entrusted with her redemption; and he, accepting his commission, begins his prophetic labours. From this on we have a series of lamentations, prayers, praises, and exhortations, addressed by Zarathustra and his immediate associates to Ahura and the people, which delineate the public and personal sorrows in detail, utter individual supplications and thanksgivings, and exhort the masses assembled in special or periodical meetings.
Here, it must be noted, that the population among whom these hymns were composed were chiefly agriculturists and herdsmen. Circumstances which affected their interests as such were of course paramount with them, and as their land and cattle represented their most valuable property, whatever threatened them was the most of all things to be dreaded. Accordingly rapine, and the raid, whether coming from Turanians or Daêva-worshippers, were regarded as the most terrible of visitations. But their moral earnestness in their determination to avoid rapine on their part, even when tempted by a desire for retaliation, is especially to be noted 1. It was as awful when regarded as a sin as it was when suffered as an affliction; and their animus in this particular was most exceptional. While the above facts explain to us, on the one hand, the principal deities, and the peculiar hopes and fears which inspired their worship, they lead us also, on the other hand, to wonder the more that so subtle a theology as we have found expressed in the documents, should have arisen amid so simple a community.
In the course of the recitations we have also special intimations of an organised struggle of the Daêva-party to overwhelm the Zarathustrians. At times they seem very nearly to have accomplished their object. A distinct reference to a battle in the lines occurs, while sanguinary violence is alluded to more than once as in
the line, or in skirmish. We conclude from the prevalence of a thankful tone that the Zarathustrians gained the upper hand during the Gâthic period, but although the result may have been assured, the struggle at the time of the last Gâtha was by no means over. In the latest Gâtha, as in the earliest, we have signs of fierce and bloody conflict. The same type of existence prevailed greatly later, in the time of the Yasts, but the scene seems very different, and Zarathustra's human characteristics are wholly lost in the mythical attributes with which time and superstition had abundantly provided him. By way, then, of summarising the chief characteristics of his original system, we may say that he and his companions were struggling to establish a kingdom under the Sovereign Power of God, whose first care was to relieve suffering, and shelter the honest and industrious poor 1. This kingdom was to be conducted according to His holy Order, or plan of salvation, to be permeated by living Piety, and with the ultimate object of bestowing both Weal and Immortality. This high ideal was also not left as an abstract principle to work its way. Society was far too rudimental, then as ever, for the efficient survival of unsupported principles. A compact hierarchical system seems to have existed, the sacramental object being the fire, before which a priesthood officiated with unwavering zeal; but the traces of this are very restricted in the Gâthas, and, according to all probability, it was greatly less elaborated at their period than later.
Such, in very brief outline, is the system which meets us as Zarathustrianism in that period of Mazda-worship when Zarathustra lived and composed the Gâthic hymns.
As to the further question, 'Who was Zarathustra, and when and where did he live?' diversity of opinion still prevails,
so much so that as regards it I differ slightly even from my eminent friend and predecessor. As such differences on the subject of the Avesta are however matters of course, I freely state my impressions. Who was then the person, if any person, corresponding to the name Zarathustra in the Gâthas? Did he exist, and was he really the author of these ancient hymns? That he existed as an historical person I have already affirmed; and as to the hymns ascribed to him and his immediate associates, I have also no hesitation. Parts of these productions may have been interpolated, but the Gâthas, as a whole, show great unity, and the interpolations are made in the spirit of the original. And that Zarathustra was the name of the individual in which this unity centres, we have no sufficient reason to dispute. The name is mentioned in the most sacred connections, as well as in those which depict the reality of the prophet's sufferings; and there is no reason at all why it should have come down endeared to humanity, unless it belonged to one, who, in the presence of a Sovereign and a kingdom, could impress his personality with greatly more defined distinctness upon his contemporaries than either that Sovereign or any of his adherents 1. That any forgery is present in the Gâthas, any desire to palm off doctrines upon the sacred community in the name of the great prophet, as in the Vendîdâd and later Yasna, is quite out of the question. The Gâthas are genuine in their mass, as I believe no scholar anywhere now questions.
For the characteristics of this great teacher, I refer to the hymns themselves, which stand alone, of their kind, in literature. Nowhere, at their period, had there been a human voice, so far as we have any evidence, which uttered thoughts like these. They are now, some of them, the great commonplaces of philosophical religion, but till then they were unheard (agustâ).
And yet we must say of Zarathustra, as of all our first announcers, that while he antedates all whose records have come down to us, he was probably only the last visible link
in a far extended chain. His system, like those of his predecessors and successors, was a growth. His main conceptions had been surmised, although not spoken before. His world was ripe for them, and when he appeared, he had only to utter and develop them. I would not call him a reformer; he does not repudiate his predecessors. The old Aryan Gods retire before the spiritual Ahura; but I do not think that he especially intended to discredit them. One of the inferior ones is mentioned for a moment, but the great Benevolence, Order, and Power, together with their results in the human subject, Ahura's Piety incarnate in men, and their Weal and Immortality as a consequence, crowd out all other thoughts. His mental insight is as evident from his system as his deep moral inspiration. As to his secondary characteristics, his manner of thought and expression, we find them peculiar to the last degree. He has given us writings in which every syllable seems loaded with thought, sometimes much repeated, and to us of the present day, very familiar; but then, when he wrote, one would suppose that he intended to 'utter his dark speech.' Succinctness is carried to an unexampled extreme 1, while the wonderful idea that God's attributes are His messengers sent out into the human soul to ennoble and redeem, makes him at times so subtle that the latest scholars cannot tell whether he means Asha and Vohu Manah personified as Archangels, or as the thoughts and beneficent intentions of the Deity reproduced in men. I can recall no passage whatsoever in which Vohu Manah, Asha, Khshathra, &c., are not strongly felt to mean exactly what they signify as words, while at the same time they are prayed to, and besought to come, as Gods or angels. Either the personification is purely poetical, which would make it, as found in the Gâthas, considering their age and place, a very remarkable phenomenon, or else, having dogmatically personified the divine attributes, Zarathustra never forgets to express a respect which is higher than 'a respect for persons,' that is,
a respect for the principles which they represent. In making every laudatory statement, however, I take for granted, what I fear is nevertheless far from uniformly granted, and that is, that the reader will weigh well what makes all the difference, namely, the very remote period at which we are obliged to place the Gâthas, and the comparatively rude civilisation amid which we must suppose them to have been composed. We must set the ideas which lie before us in this framework of time and place. If we fail to do so, as a matter of course the thoughts and their expression will contain for us nothing whatever new; but as viewed in the light of relation, after long weighing the matter, I cannot refer to them in any other terms than those which I use, without becoming aware that I am recoiling through fear of exaggeration from stating what I believe to be the truth.
As to the personal sentiment of Zarathustra, we can only say that it was devoted. His word zarazdâiti gives the keynote to his purposes. We are certain that he was a man of courage; but that he was not scrupulous at shedding blood is also evident: He was not reticent under misfortune, while yet endowed with rare persistence to overcome it.
His sphere was not restricted. The objects which concern him are provinces as well as villages armies as well as individuals. His circle was the reigning prince and prominent chieftains, a few gifted men deeply embued with religious veneration for the sacred compositions which had come down to them from primeval antiquity in ancient metres; and these, together with a priesthood exceptionally pure, leading on a sobered population, were also his public. But three orders appear in it, the king, the people, and the peers. That the times were disturbed is involved in what has already been said. One feature alone needs mention, it is that the agitations involved the tenure of the throne. Vîstâspa had no easy seat, and the prospect of revolution in the sense of supersedure was continually before him. As to the family life of Zarathustra, we can only say that he commanded respect; nothing whatever is further known.
It will be seen from the above sketch that I make the widest distinction between the Gâthic period and that of the
later Avesta. I do so, not influenced very greatly by the fact that the Gâthas are cited in the later Avesta. Most of these citations are indeed genuine and valid as proofs of priority, while others are mere displacements of the Gâthas made for liturgical purposes, as Genesis is read in churches sometimes after portions of later matter. But a book may be cited by another when it is merely prior to it, and not much older. Nor do I lay too much stress upon the difference between the Gâthic dialect and the so-called Zend; but I do lay very great stress upon the totally dissimilar atmospheres of the two portions. In the Gâthas all is sober and real. The Kine's soul is indeed poetically described as wailing aloud, and the Deity with His Immortals is reported as speaking, hearing, and seeing; but with these rhetorical exceptions, everything which occupies the attention is practical in the extreme. Grehma and Bendva, the Karpans, the Kavis, and the Usigs(-ks), are no mythical monsters. No dragon threatens the settlements, and no fabulous beings defend them. Zarathustra, Gâmâspa, Frashaostra, and Maidhyômâh; the Spitâmas, Hvôgvas, the Haêkat-aspas, are as real, and are alluded to with a simplicity as unconscious, as any characters in history. Except inspiration, there are also no miracles. All the action is made up of the exertions and passions of living and suffering men. Let the Zendist study the Gâthas well, and then let him turn to the Yasts or the Vendîdâd; he will go from the land of reality to the land of fable. He leaves in the one a toiling prophet, to meet in the other a phantastic demi-god. However ancient the fundamental ideas in the myths of the Yasts and Vendîdâd may be (and some of them were certainly older than the Gâthas or the oldest Riks) in the forms in which they now stand, they are greatly later.
As we enter into further and necessary detail, this seems to be the place for a word as to the relative ages of the several sections which make up these hymns. We see struggle and suffering, fear and anger in some of them, and we naturally group these together as having been composed at a particular stage in Zarathustra's career. We read expressions of happy confidence, and we refer them to a
period of repose, as we do those sections where meditation, speculation, or dogmatic statement, are prominent; but nothing is certain except that Y. LIII must have been written after Zarathustra had attained to a sufficient age to have a marriageable daughter. An ancient leader may have reached a position of influence from doctrinal productions, and afterwards expressed the vicissitudes of an active political career. One circumstance must, however, be held in view; and that is, that neither the Gâthas, nor any other ancient pieces, which were hardly at first committed to writing, have been preserved in the form in which they were delivered for the first time. The poet himself would file them into better (?) order at each subsequent delivery, and verses which referred originally to one period of time would, if especially striking, be reproduced in subsequent effusions. And pieces which the composer may have left in one shape, his early successors would be likely to modify by interpolations, excerptions, or inversions. I believe that the Gâthas show the presence of less foreign matter than is usual, and that the interpolations which are present in them, are themselves of great antiquity, or even practically synchronous with the original. Certainly few of them show anything like an ingenious attempt at imitation. If there exist any interpolations, and we may say à priori that all existing compositions of their antiquity are, and must have been, interpolated, the additions were the work of the author's earliest disciples who composed fully in his spirit, while the position of sections in this or that Gâtha has little or nothing to do with the question of their relative age, the metres being all ancient, and the Ustavaiti, Spenta-mainyu, &c., showing as decided evidence of originality as any parts of the Ahunavaiti. (See remarks on the Gâtha Ustavaiti, p. 91 ff.)
As we proceed from the question of the relative age of the particular sections as compared with each other to that of their age considered as a whole, we are first met by the question as to place. Were the Gâthas first sung in the East or the West of Iran? I would here say that I regard this point as especially open, as I am even inclined to differ in one particular from my eminent friend
[paragraph continues] Professor Darmesteter, but let it be understood, only or chiefly, as to the place of origin of the Gâthas. I think that the scene of the Gâthic and original Zarathustrianism was the North-east of Iran, and that the later Avesta was composed during the hundreds of years during which the Zarathustrian tribes were migrating westward in Media.
One certain fact is the occurrence of geographical names in Vendîdâd I, which are obviously intended to describe the earliest homes of the Iranian races whose lore was the Avesta. The present forms of those names, as they appear in the Avesta, are indeed not the most ancient, but they occur in passages which plainly repeat very ancient myths. These names describe a region from the middle of the North of Iran to the East of it, including ancient Bactria, but extending as far West as Ragha; and, as the Gâthas are unanimously acknowledged to be the oldest portion of the Avesta, dealing as they do with Zarathustra as an historical person, we naturally look for the scene of his life in the oldest seats. The Zarathustrian Ragha, much further West than the other places mentioned, seems to have a special claim to be regarded as his birthplace, as it possesses so firm a hold upon his name, but the epithet Zarathustrian, together with the special eminence of the governor of Ragha as needing no 'Zarathustra' over him, that is, no imperial chief (see Y. XIX, 19), may both be attributed to successors of Zarathustra. From some reason, probably the migration of Zarathustrian influence toward the West, Ragha became a stronghold of his descendants; or his name, entirely apart from all family connection, may have become a title for leading politico-ecclesiastical officials (compare the Zarathustrôtema). There is no mention of a foreign origin of Zarathustra in the Gâthas, nor is there any expression from which we might infer it. His family seems as settled as himself. The Spitâmas are mentioned with the same familiarity as the Hvôgvas, and the persons named are, some of them, related to him. He was no isolated figure among the people whom he influenced. Unless then we can place Vîstâspa and Gâmâspa, Frashaostra, and Maidhyômâh, in Ragha, we cannot well place Zarathustra there,
for he is to be placed beside them. Tradition of a late and dubious character places Vîstâspa in Bactria; but it is better to leave the exact region undecided, as certainty can never be reached.
The other circumstances which are imperative with many for a decision for the East as the region where Zarathustra laboured, have been stated with perhaps the greatest power and beauty by Darmesteter 1, who still inclines to the West. These are the strong analogies existing between the Zend language and the Vedic Sanskrit on the one side, and between the gods, heroes, and myths of the Avesta, and those of Veda, on the other.
As bearing, however, in favour of a western origin of the Gâthic, as well as of the later Avesta, we must confess that the West Iranian of the Cuneiform Inscriptions possesses the same analogies with the Vedic which the language of the Avesta possesses with it; and no reader should need to be reminded that the West Iranian as well as the East Iranian was in no sense derived from the Vedic. The old Aryan from which all descended was once spread without distinction over both West and East, while, on the other hand, the mythological features of the Avesta, kindred as they are to those of the Eastern Veda, are yet reproduced for us, some of them, in the poetry of the mediæval West as drawn from the Avesta; and the name of Mazda, unknown (?) to the Riks 2, appears cut in the rocks of Persepolis and Behistun, while all the sacred books of the Zarathustrians, including the Gâthas as well as the later Avesta, together with their interpretations, have come down to us from the West, where the Greeks also found their system from the time of Herodotus down.
Added to which we must acknowledge that the differences in dialect between the Avesta and Veda make a wide separation as to place far from startling, while myths as well as religions migrate as by a law.
We must therefore consider well before we venture to differ from those who decide for the West as the scene of Zarathustra's life.
But as we mention the Inscriptions, we must make a very careful distinction. Is their theology that of Zarathustra? If it is, this would certainly constitute a point in conjunction with the descriptions of the Greeks, in favour of a still more extensive prevalence of Zarathustrianism in the West at the dates which the Inscriptions cover.
As to this disputed point, I would answer that their theology may be the Zarathustrian in a sense as yet too little applied to the term, for it may be Gâthic Zarathustrianism, or at least a Mazda-worship at a stage of development corresponding to the stage of Mazda-worship in which it stood when Zarathustra left it; but that it was the later and fully developed Zarathustrianism, provided with all the regulations of the Vendîdâd, seems out of the question.
In the first place there is no certain mention of Angra Mainyu, or of the Amesha Spenta, in the Inscriptions; and this silence must be accounted for 1 in any case 2.
The ready and just suggestion is made that the documents are exceedingly limited; that many deities would not be named on so narrow a space, while the statements of Herodotus and his successors make it probable that the entire system of Zarathustra was known in the near neighbourhood, and must have been very familiar to the persons who ordered the Inscriptions to be cut. To this the necessary rejoinder might be made, that the familiarity of Darius with the later, or indeed with the original, Zarathustrianism, if he was familiar with it, renders the absence of the name of Angra Mainyu at least all the more striking.
What more imperative call could there be for the use of that name than in denouncing the opponents whose overthrow forms the theme of the mighty writings?
As the 'grace of Auramazda' is mentioned on the one
side, one naturally expects to sec some reference to the 'opposition' of His chief adversary on the other, and one also expects to trace some certain recognition of the Bountiful Immortals. I think that both were omitted because their names retained less weight, as we cannot suppose that they were unknown, or, if once known, then forgotten. But allowing that it is not quite fair to reason from such scanty texts, we are met by the positive fact that an important Inscription is written on a tomb 1; and, as the burial of the dead was one of the most flagrant violations of the Zarathustrian ceremonial law, it is not conceivable that Darius could have been a Zarathustrian according to the later Faith. He was either a heretical schismatic departing from a sacred precept, or he was following the creed of his fathers, a Mazda-worshipper, but not 'of Zarathustra's order,' or, if a Zarathustrian, then a partial inheritor of Zarathustra's religion at an undeveloped stage, while burial was not as yet forbidden by it; and at the same time he neglected also prominent doctrines of the Gâthas.
It is not possible that he could have been an isolated schismatic as to such a particular. If he composed the Inscriptions as a monarch of another religion than that of the later Avesta, it would seem to prove either that he was an adherent to a cruder, or half effaced, form of Gâthic Zarathustrianism, which had found its way during the long periods of its existence westward before the later Zarathustrianism arose in the western settlements, or else that it, the religion of the Inscriptions, simply originated where we find it, from an original and wide-spread Mazda-worship which had not yet forbidden the burial of the dead 2.
That such a Mazda-worship once existed in primeval Iran seems certain, and that it was greatly earlier than Zarathustrianism 1. It is also very probable that some form of it survived unadulterated by Zarathustrianism. And this is as probable à priori when we reflect on what might have happened, as it is when we seek for an explanation of the burial of a Mazda-worshipper in a tomb.
As the Asura (Ahura) worship extended into India with the Indians as they migrated from Iran, a form of Asura worship arose in Iran which added the name of Mazda to the original term for God. In the East it began to acquire additional peculiarities out of which, when Zarathustra arose, he developed his original system, while in other parts of Iran, and with great probability in Persia, it retained its original simplicity. At subsequent periods only, the Zarathustrian form spread, first at the Gâthic stage, and later a second time, and from a centre further West, as the Zarathustrianism of the later Avesta which is reported by the Greeks. Either then Darius was a Mazda-worshipper, like his fathers, following an original and independent type of Mazda-worship, or he was following a mutilated Gâthic Zarathustrianism, which may not yet have forbidden burial 2, he and his chieftains adhering to this ancient form, while the masses yielded to the novelties, as the patrician Jews held to Sadduceeism after the masses had become Pharisees, and as the patrician Romans clung to Paganism after Rome had become Catholic. In either case it seems to me that the Mazda-worship of the Inscriptions might be severed from the later Zarathustrianism; and that it must be so severed on some theory or other, all with one voice seem to agree.
In deciding for the North-east 3 as the scene of Zarathustra's personal labours, and for the Gâthic dialect as its more particular form of speech, I am not, I trust, solely
or unduly influenced by the occurrence of the eastern names in the first chapter of the Vendîdâd, for those names may indicate primeval homes from which the ancestors of Zarathustra migrated toward the west centuries before his appearance. I merely say that the occurrence of the names shows that the ancestors of the Zarathustrian Mazda-worshippers once lived in East Iran; and if that is the case, their descendants may have still lived there when Zarathustra developed his system, and it is also possible that masses of Zarathustrians may long have remained behind in the East Iranian mountains after the Zarathustrians of the later Avesta had gone west. The descendant may have arisen in the home of his ancestors, and in fact, other things being equal, there is a stronger probability that he arose there. I do not think that the appearance of a later Zarathustrianism in the west, is a sufficient reason for doubting that the founder of the system laboured nearer the land of the Vedas, where a Vîstâspa once ruled (?), where a Daêva-worship long lingered, and where the common names of the Irano-indian gods were heard as household words, and which we may add, was precisely the place where we should suppose the Indo-aryans to have left the Irano-aryans, as they descended into the Puñgâb.
Having formed an opinion as to the place where Zarathustra laboured, and proceeding to the question as to when he lived and wrote the Gâthas, we find ourselves under the necessity to form our estimate first as to the age of the later parts of the Avesta. While interpolated passages, or indeed whole Yasts, may be very late, I cannot place the later Avesta in its bulk later than the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Darius, for the fact that the Inscriptions preserve either a pre-Zarathustrian Mazdaism, or the Zarathustrianism of the Gâthas long previous as it was in its origin to that of the Vendîdâd, has nothing whatever to do with the relative age of the Inscriptions themselves. The later Avesta, with its forbiddal of burial and cremation, must have existed for a long time side by side with that religion which has left sepulchral monuments, and
whose adherents could contemplate the burning of captives; and analogous facts are universal.
But aside from the seeming difference in the type of Mazda-worship, which simply severs the religion of the Inscriptions from that of the more developed Zarathustrianism, and which has, as we have seen, nothing whatever to do with the question of the relative ages of the Inscriptions and the later Avesta, I think that we have some signs of a later age in the language of the Inscriptions apart from their contents. As, however, Darmesteter is inclined to regard the West Iranian, or Cuneiform, as better preserved than the Zend of the later Avesta, I make my few remarks only with great hesitation.
The termination -, which would otherwise be justly considered as an evidence of degeneration in the Zend, I regard as merely a wrong writing for -ahya = Gâthic ahyâ. The letter is a relic of the time when the Avesta stood in the Pahlavi character; I think that it is here merely a lengthened = ya 1. Terminations also seem much mutilated in the Cuneiform, and the name Auramazda written as one word, does not seem to me so original.
We must indeed remember that a later generation, owing to an isolated position, often preserves an older dialect, as it may an older form of religion, whereas an earlier generation, if its predecessors have lived in a compact society in smaller districts, varies the ancient forms, as the old Indian developed into Sanskrit and Prâkrit. Still we have little reason to be certain that the civilisation of Media and
[paragraph continues] Persia was either more or less condensed and social than that of Bactria and the East. But beside a priority to the Inscriptions, we are obliged to consider the time needed for developments. The Greeks of the time of Herodotus probably, and those later certainly, found a form of Zarathustrianism in full development in Media; but if the contemporaries of Herodotus heard familiarly of a Zarathustrianism there, a long period of time must be allowed for its development if it originated in Media, and a still longer period if it found its way there from the East. If, then, the bulk of the later Avesta existed at the time of Herodotus and at that of Darius, how long previously must it have been composed; for such systems db not bloom in a day?
We have the evidence of historical tradition that the Magi 1 were influential even at the time of Cyrus, not dwelling upon the possibility of their existence at the earliest mention of Medes as the conquerors and rulers of Babylon.
Can we then, considering the recognised stagnation of ancient Eastern intelligence, ascribe to the development of the Median Zarathustrianism a shorter period than from one to three centuries? If, then, the bulk of the later Avesta must be placed so long before the Inscriptions of Darius, where shall we place the earlier Avesta with its most important remaining fragments, the Gâthas 2?
After studying the Gâthas carefully in detail, and becoming also familiar with them as a whole by frequent perusal, we must measure the time needed for the change from their tone to that of the later Avesta. Could it have been less than a century, or centuries? Was not as much time needed for the Zarathustra of the Gâthas to become the Zarathustra of the later Avesta, as was afterwards consumed by the migration of the creed from the North-east, if it really originated there? As there is undoubtedly a
difference of several centuries between the dates of the newest and oldest parts of the later Avesta, so we must think of a considerable interval between the oldest parts of the later Avesta and the latest parts of the older Avesta, for there is the other consideration which imperatively constrains us to avoid concluding for short periods in the stages of development. The Vedic Hymns, sung in metres closely similar to those in both the Gâthas and the later Avesta, and naming gods, demons, and heroes so closely related, not to speak of myths, challenge us to say whether they are, the oldest of them, older or later than the oldest parts of the Avesta, and, if there exists any difference as to the ages of these ancient productions, how great that difference is. The oldest Riks have now an established antiquity of about 4000; were the hymns sung on the other side of the mountains as old? The metres of these latter are as old as those of the Rig-veda, if not older, and their grammatical forms and word structure are often positively nearer the original Aryan from which both proceeded. If it were not for two circumstances, we should be forced to ask very seriously which were the older, and to abandon altogether our mention of later dates. Those circumstances are the absence of the Aryan gods from the Gâthas; and, secondly, their abstract conceptions. These latter are so little offset with expected puerilities that it is often hard to believe that the Gâthas are old at all. Their antiquity is placed beyond dispute by the historic mention of Zarathustra. But, if Zarathustra were not indisputably a living man in the Gâthas, their depth and refinement, together with the absence of Mithra, Haoma, &c., would, in themselves considered, force us to place them rather late. As it is, the absence of Mithra and his colleagues, who reappear in the later Avesta, permits us to place the Gâthas considerably later than the oldest Riks. For no sudden and intentional dismissal of the ancient gods is to be accepted with Haug, nor any religious schism as the cause (!) of the migration of the Indians toward the south. The process was of course the reverse.
The migrating tribes, in consequence of their separation
from their brethren in Iran, soon became estranged from them, and their most favoured Gods fell slowly into neglect, if not disfavour. We need time to account for this change, and no short interval of time. We can therefore place the Gâthas long after the oldest Riks. While, therefore, in view of the established age of the Rig-veda, the Gâthas may possibly have been composed as early as about 1500 B. C., it is also possible to place them as late as (say) 900-1200 B. C., while the fragments in the Gâthic dialect must be considered somewhat later. The dates of the composition of the several parts of the later Avesta, on the other hand, must be supposed to extend over many centuries, as the various sections in the Zend dialect are so much more numerous than those in the Gâthic, the Gâthas themselves representing practically out one date. Placing then the oldest portions of the later Avesta somewhat earlier than Darius, we are obliged to extend the period during which its several parts were composed so far as perhaps to the third or fourth century before Christ, the half-spurious matter contained in them being regarded as indefinitely later.
It seems necessary to state here for the information of non-specialists, and as bearing very seriously upon all the questions involved, that a very unusually severe controversy prevails upon the exegesis of the Avesta, and that it centres in the question as to the value of the Asiatic translations of it. A similar debate was once held on the Rig-veda, but that is now silenced, all agreeing that the traditional renderings are neither to be slavishly followed, nor blindly ignored. Very different has been the fate of Zend philology, and in one important particular the studies are poles apart; for whereas the commentaries on the Riks are written in Sanskrit, which is clear to experts, those on the Zend-Avesta are written in a language upon which the lexicography is most incomplete, and the elucidation of these explanations themselves remains by far the most
difficult task now before us. Professor von Spiegel has accomplished much toward breaking the rough road of science in this direction, and scholars of the first order have followed his leading, while all with one accord express to him their acknowledgments. But Professor von Spiegel has not intended his editions and citations to represent full translations. He has, as a matter of course, taken it for granted that those who oppose him, as well as those who follow him, have studied his Pahlavi editions, not paying him the undesired compliment of making his commentaries the sole source of their knowledge of tradition. Moreover in no branch of science does scholarship make more rapid strides than in Pahlavi, several important works having appeared since Spiegel's commentaries.
In the attempt to master the Pahlavi translations of the Avesta we must consider many and difficult problems.
In the first place, and as a matter of course, they cannot be at all reasonably attempted without a full knowledge of the Gâthic and Avesta texts so far as they have been as yet otherwise and approximately elucidated. The two problems hang together like the arches of a circular building, and they should be studied together word for word; for the Pahlavi used is not fully that of the books. It is often turned quite out of its course, as Pahlavi, by an effort to follow the more highly inflected Zend literally. Then, again, a question of the utmost importance meets us in estimating the glosses, which are often, but not always, from a later hand. A translation of the Pahlavi must of course first be considered as in the light of the glosses, for the language is so indefinite as to many of its grammatical forms, that such an indication as a gloss, if it be proved to have been written by the same person who composed the text, would be decisive in determining the rendering; but a final translation should be made more strictly in the light of the Gâthic, so far as it affords on its side positive indications, and the glosses, where they do not correspond, should be set apart as from a later hand. Then, once more, and on the contrary, where the gloss is obviously right, and the text erroneous, the former should be appropriated
unencumbered by the latter 1. We must recognise the traces of former accurate scholarship whether we see them in text or gloss, and, from the accumulation of the correct surmises, we should construct an argument for the probability of the correctness of the hints of the Pahlavi in cases of great difficulty. In rendering the Pahlavi as a necessary prelude to rendering the Avesta, all possible help should of course be sought from the Asiatic translations of the Pahlavi, from those of Neryosangh in Sanskrit, and from the still later ones in Parsi and Persian. Here, again, those who read the Pahlavi only as rendered by Neryosangh need great caution. If Neryosangh is simply read like the classical Sanskrit, great errors will be committed. He needs a glossary of his own, and should be read solely in the light of the Pahlavi which was chiefly his original. So of the Parsi Persian translations, they must be read with especial attention to their originals. After these original translations have been fully mastered, and compared with an improved rendering of the Gâthic, likewise also studied in the full light of the Veda, the patient scholar will be surprised at the result. He will find that to a certain extensive degree, the two sources of information coincide when reasonably estimated, and, moreover, that where the Pahlavi gives us an indication differing from that derived from the Vedic, the surmise of the Pahlavi is the more often correct. I say 'reasonably estimated,' for not only is the Pahlavi, as a less highly inflected language, incapable of rendering the Avesta literally, but its authors do not uniformly make the attempt to do so; nor do they always follow the order of the Gâthic or Zend. Their translations generally run word for word as to their outward forms, for the ancient interpreters probably regarded such a following as essential to a complete rendering, but they found themselves
compelled to resort to the most important exceptions. And, lastly, the rejection, or total neglect of the Pahlavi translations and their successors, on the ground that they contain errors, is a policy which seems to me defective, and to the last degree. What absurdities can Sâyana be capable of, and yet who would utter final opinions upon the Rig-veda without either the ability, or the attempt, to read Sâyana 1?
It is hardly necessary to mention that the restoration of texts goes hand in hand with translation. For how are we to interpret a passage before we know that it exists? And of what inestimable worth are the Pahlavi translations as evidence to texts! Who does not see that where the ancient scribe is most free or erroneous as to form, or root, his rendering often shows plainly which of two words stood before him in his manuscripts. Our oldest MS. (that of Copenhagen, numbered 5) dates from the year 1323 A.D.; and what were the dates of the ancient documents before the eyes of the Pahlavi translator who writes in it?
We must now ask whether our present Pahlavi translations are improvements upon their predecessors, or the reverse. That they are improvements in some few instances is undeniable, for, as we have seen, some of the glosses to them from later hands give the truth where the text is wide. But the glosses which show a later origin are, for the most part, inferior in richness to the texts. Here and there a talented, or fortunate, Parsi threw new light or the subject, but the general tendency was one of deterioration; that is, before the revival of Parsi-learning under Neryosangh (400-500 years ago). This deterioration would naturally decrease as we approach successive periods in going back to the time when MSS. of the Gâthas existed according to positive evidence, that is, to the time when, according to the Ardâ Vîrâf, Alexander's servants found skins at Persepolis on which the Avesta had been traced in
gilded letters (for it is not positively proved that the informants of Herodotus heard the Magian priests singing their 'theogonies' from written books). At each of these periods scholarship is proved to have been competent by the results which it accomplished. The first of them we must place in the sixth century when, on Spiegel's estimate 1, the Zend characters were modified into their present lucid form from the Pahlavi, and distinct short vowels took the place of the unknown signs which existed previously. Then all MSS. which were to be found must have been collected and copied, and, so to speak, re-edited; and here we must accordingly place a period when the Pahlavi translations were more valuable than those of any later date. As we go further back we come upon another period, when, under Shapur II, Âdarbad Mahraspend brought the surviving portions of the Zend-Avesta together (about A.D. 330). Still earlier the servants of Artaxerxes, the Sasanian, collected yet more abundant writings, when Zarathustrianism was instituted as the state religion. Then, under the Arsacids (possibly under Vologeses the first), those most competent in the realm were directed to gather the then extant documents.
While, if we hold that the entire Avesta was written originally in some character different from the Pahlavi, we must finally infer the existence of an early epoch, when the entire Avesta was brought over in its bulk from the earlier East (or West?) Iranian character in which it was first inscribed. If this character differed radically from the Pahlavi, this transliteration must be regarded as one of the most remarkable of literary events. Notwithstanding all the now rapidly corrected errors, the texts have been handed down with the minutest distinctions of dialect preserved 2, and this proves the existence of competent interpreters at a period practically contemporaneous with the composition of the later portions of the later Avesta. What commentaries must then have existed, not free from
error, as we see from the Zand of the Avesta, but, as to language and general sense, how close! Even if the degree of linguistic knowledge increases only gradually or steadily in going back, without any epochs from the time of Neryosangh to the inferable date of the latest Zend writings, and if the character in which the Avesta was first recorded (after a lengthy life as an orally extended lore) differed only as to mode and fashion, and not radically, from the Pahlavi (which, so far as the later Avesta is concerned, is most probable), we have yet the transliteration of the Gâthas to account for, which perhaps were brought over (after long oral life) from the so-called Aryan character, while the existence of a gradual tradition of a scholarship does not refute the fact that this scholarship must have been at times of the highest character; it makes high scholarship more probable.
What translations, we again remark, may have existed among these early sages! And, if they could once make translations fresh from the exegesis of the latest Zend writers themselves, is it not practically certain, considering the tenacity of life manifested by Zoroastrianism, that their explanations still lurk in the commentaries which have come down to us. And if these inferences be at all correct, how should we labour to discover from our present translations what these predecessors were; and what scholar cannot perceive that gems of evidence as to texts and sense may yet linger in those of our present Pahlavi translations which may yet be otherwise most filled with phantastic error? And shall we not therefore conclude that their expected inaccuracies, whether small or great, cannot destroy their inherent value? What, then, are we to think of it, when the New Persian, a quasi-daughter of the Pahlavi, is superficially referred to for linguistic analogies, when even the Armenian is also scanned, while the Pahlavi is left un-mastered? Is a quasi-mother language of the New Persian any the less likely to afford linguistic analogies because an actual translation of the Avesta has been attempted in it, and because the Avesta once stood in it, characters, while it may also present claims to be considered to a certain limit a daughter language to both the Gâthic and Zend?
[paragraph continues] And should the acknowledged difficulty of the character continue to be a reason for avoiding all efforts to make it out 1?
In the endeavour to divide our Avesta texts into originals and gloss, we are greatly aided by the metre. Interpolated words and phrases are often obvious at a glance, and we should never suspend our efforts to discover all the traces of metre which exist in the Avesta, as a necessary step to the restoration of the documents to their first form; but we should avoid exaggeration, and a carelessly dogmatic procedure in insisting upon reducing lines to an exact, or to a supposed exact, number of syllables 2. I regard it as unwise to suppose that the metrical lines of the Avesta, or indeed of any very ancient poetical matter, have been composed with every line filed into exact proportions. The ancient poets would have brought out the measures in many a place by accent and a sandhi which are no longer known to us. The Vedic Hymns may, to a great extent, form an exception, but who would not say that where uniform evenness is at hand, an effort to improve the metre has often corrupted the text. Priests or reciters of intelligence would here and there round off an awkward strophe, as year after year they felt the unevenness of numbers. Metre must inevitably bring a perfecting corruption at times, as a deficiency in the metre must also prove a marring corruption. Cases should be carefully discriminated. The expression of passionate feeling, for instance, would he likely to cause
unevenness in lines. The language would be vigorous and idiomatic and of unusual value as a fragment of ancient phrase, but the metre would have suffered.
Then as to conjectured texts; after texts have been improved from all available relics of ancient tradition, or scholarship, as afforded by the Pahlavi translations, and from the evidence of metre, we are at times still left with readings before us which could not have been original. The composers have indeed here and there constructed sentences which they either could not, or would not, make easy, but as a general thing we may say, that where the text, as it stands, gives no satisfactory sense to us, after we have exhausted the resources of previous Asiatic scholarship, or direct analogy, in our efforts to explain it, it is in that case not the text as the composer delivered it. We are then reduced to conjecture, for how are we to translate a text before we are certain that it is integral? Our first efforts should be directed to the detection of losses; for a text may still be of great value when considered as a mass of broken sentences, for, if we are certain that such is its character, we can often fill out the missing members with much probability. But whether we insert supplementary conjectures, or merely bracket later interpolations, we must by all means in cases of real necessity make the effort to amend the text (as also in the Veda).
Even if we fail in our attempted improvements, we are often little worse off than before, for whereas it is possible, or even probable, that the composers wrote what we suggest, it is sometimes not possible that they wrote exactly what stands in our texts. We should even suggest alternative readings where our present ones are only less probable (for the suggestion of an alternative is not the wholesale destruction of a sentence), while even when we declare their outcoming meaning totally unsatisfactory, the MSS. still remain to other writers to begin on afresh. And in estimating what would be reasonable meanings, we should guard carefully against both extremes, and we should especially exercise a strong negative criticism against the recognition of
too much meaning, or too subtle a meaning. Profound and subtle conceptions placed where we are obliged to place the Gâthas, and other ancient portions of the Avesta, are indeed precious relics, as such conceptions at any age show a higher mental power, but we must doubt them only so much the more, and doubt, if we would be scientific and conscientious, till doubt becomes no longer possible. Beyond that we should turn our suspicions against our doubts themselves, which is the proper course if we would exhaust the meanings of the Gâthas. Unless these are a fortuitous concourse of syllables, religiously profound modes of thought are manifest throughout. It is therefore strictly unscientific to force parts of them to express shallow details, and it is above all deplorable to change the text itself in order to produce out of it less enlarged meanings 1. I say to force parts of them, for the great mass of them confessedly defies all attempts to reduce them to the statements of simple commonplace.
They can never possess the rich colour of the Riks; it is therefore the more to be deplored if we fail to see their deep, but awkwardly expressed, and oft-repeated thought. I must express my regret that until lately, when the enclitics have been more carefully considered, the form of sentences in the Gâthas does not seem to have been noticed, writers conjecturing infinitives and simple accusatives at the ends of sentences. Both may, of course, fall there, but when we wish to reconstruct a word, we should not change it to a form which is not placed according to prevailing analogies. Infinitives and accusatives generally, both in the Gâthas and the Rig-veda, avoid the end of the sentence. The accusative when it falls there, is generally preceded by qualifying words often in apposition or agreement with it. Also in the conception of translations, authors seem to suppose
it impossible that the lines can contain anything but lengthened prosaic sentences (too often with an accusative, or infinitive, pushed awkwardly out to the end). To me the Gâthic sentence is often very short, and so better adapted to poetic expression.
It has been already implied, and it has been taken for granted throughout 1, that the Avesta should be closely compared with the Veda, but let it never be forgotten, in the name of science, that the force and meaning of analogous words in the Gâthic and the Vedic cannot be expected to be uniformly identical, considering the extent of territory, and the length of time, by which those who spoke the two languages were separated. The meanings of the Vedic words could not hold their own even in India, developing into the Sanskrit and Prâkrit which differ widely, how truly misguided is it therefore to attribute necessarily the same shades of meaning to the terms of the two sister tongues. If even the Gâthic hymns stood in the Indian forms, and had been discovered in India, having also reference to Indian history, no thoughtful writer would have rendered them in complete analogy with the Rig-veda. The Gâthic usages would have been added in our dictionaries to those of the Vedic, just as the Sanskrit definitions are added.
An additional word seems called for as to the results of Zarathustrian theology. Besides its connection with the modern philosophy through Gnosticism which has been already noticed 2, a relation between it and the Jewish theology since the Captivity has long been mentioned. The hagiology, the demonology, the temptation, the parables, the eschatology, have all been supposed to show traces of the time when Persian power was dominant in Jerusalem, and with it, Persian literature; but the discussion of such questions requires separate treatises.
As to the general benefit which has resulted from Zarathustrianism in the past, few reflections need to be added. If the mental illumination and spiritual elevation of many millions of mankind, throughout long periods of time, are of
any importance, it would require strong proof to deny that Zarathustrianism has had an influence of very positive power in determining the gravest results. That men should be taught to look within rather than without, to believe that suffering and sin do not originate from the capricious power of a Deity still called 'good,' that the 'good thought, word, and deed' should be recognised as essential to all sanctity, even in the presence of a superstitious ceremonial, that a judgment should have been expected according to the deeds done in the body, and the soul consigned to a Heaven of virtue or to a Hell of vice, its recompense being pronounced by the happy or stricken conscience, these can never be regarded by serious historians as matters of little moment, and if, on the contrary, they are allowed to be matters of great moment, the Zend-Avesta should be revered and studied by all who value the records of the human race.
xix:1 Haug long since called attention to the likeness of Hegelianism to the p. xx chief ideas in the Zarathustrian philosophy as centring in its dualism. And I think that it is quite evident, and I believe conceded by experts, that the Hegelian sublated dualism is a descendant from the Zarathustrian through the Gnostics and Jacob Boehme.
xxi:1 They pray against Aêshma without qualification. They might practise desolating havoc in time of war; but the raid, as in times of nominal peace, seems to have been foreign to them.
xxii:1 The practical operation of this prime principle seems to have been at times beneficial to a remarkable, if not unparalleled, extent. Under the Sasanids the lower classes enjoyed great protection. See the remarks of Professor Rawlinson, The Seventh Oriental Monarchy, page 440 ff. Also recall the extraordinary treatment of the poor during the drought and famine under Perozes. The account is, however, exaggerated. See Tabari II, p. 130, cited by Professor Rawlinson, p. 314.
xxiii:1 See especially the remarks preceding Y. L.
xxiv:1 I regard it as most unfortunate that Zendists should search for easy and natural expression in the Gâthas, and the expression of commonplace detail. It is only in passionate utterance that their style becomes simple.
xxix:1 See the Introduction to the first two volumes, and also Ormuzd and Ahriman.
xxix:2 But cp. Rv. VIII, 20, 17, divó—ásurasya vedhásah (medhasah (?)).
xxx:1 Some relief is given by a mention of the Draogha, but the bagâhya are probably Mithra and Anâhita (see the Inscription of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 4 rather than the Amesha Spenta. As we notice the name of Mithra, however, we must remark that, as the Mithra worship undoubtedly existed previously to the Gâthic period, and fell into neglect at the Gâthic period, it might be said that the greatly later Inscriptions represent Mazda-worship as it existed among the ancestors of the Zarathustrians in a pre-Gâthic age or even Vedic age.
xxx:2 Angra Mainyu and the Amesha are also prominent in the Gâthas.
xxxi:1 And all are the Inscriptions of buried men. See also the statements of Professor de Harlez on the subject.
xxxi:2 And perhaps it had also not forbidden cremation. Geiger (see 'The Civilisation of the Eastern Iranians in Ancient Times;' English translation by Dârâb Dastur Peshotan Sañganâ, B. A., p. 90) conjectures that the dakhma were originally places for cremation. If this is a correct surmise, both burial and cremation may have been permitted at the Gâthic period, being forbidden long after. At least the original Mazda-worship did not recoil from cremation, otherwise the story of the attempt to burn the Lydian Crœsus could not have arisen. The earlier Persians had no abhorrence of either burial or burning. Only the developed Zarathustrian Magism of the Medes obeyed the Vendîdâd.
xxxii:1 Compare even the Scythic name Thamimasadas, cited by Professor Rawlinson (Herod. 3rd edit. iii, p. 195). Were branches of the Scyths themselves in a sense Mazda-worshippers, or could the name have been borrowed?
xxxii:2 And which insisted less upon the personality of Satan.
xxxii:3 The name Bactrian cannot be considered as more than a convenient expression.
xxxiv:1 Also is simply ayam, and should be so transliterated; so also in a throng of other words. Salemann has noticed the origin of = ê, but gives no other indication in the present sense. I think that and also , where they equal Aryan ya, should be corrected everywhere, like all other instances of miswriting. Unless indeed we can regard the , for which were often clearly miswritten, as itself of double significance, as in Pahlavi. might then regularly and properly equal both ê and ya; so may equal long ê or yâ (ayâ). Other instances of miswriting in Zend would be dat. dual -bya. The Aryan -âm was first written as the nasal vowel -ã, and still further carelessly reduced to -a, but never so spoken. On the contrary, in the acc. fem. &c., the nasalisation was over-written, too much expressed. The final nasal caused the scribes to write the preceding letter as if nasalised, 'ã,' but it was never nasalised in speech.
xxxv:1 I regard the Magi as representing the Zarathustrianism of the Vendîdâd. This the false Bardiya endeavoured to introduce, demolishing the temples which the old Mazda-worship permitted in Persia. See the Cuneiform Inscription of Behistun II; Darius 61.
xxxv:2 All in the Gâthic dialect is old.
xxxix:1 I would here state to the distinguished scholars who have done me the honour to study my work on the Gâthas, that the Pahlavi translations contained in it are those made in the light of the glosses. Here and there final ones will be added in a later volume, as from the Pahlavi texts sometimes considered apart from the Pahlavi glosses, and in consequence often much nearer the Gâthic than those from both text and gloss.
xl:1 Well has Geldner mentioned the 'epoch-making' Etudes Iraniennes of Darmesteter (KZ. vol. xxviii, p. 186). It is to be hoped that these brilliant pieces will stimulate the study of the relation between the Zend and the New Persian through the Ancient Persian and the Pahlavi.
xli:1 Eranisches Alterthumskunde III, s. 767.
xli:2 See Hübschmann. KZ. bd. 24, s. 326.
xliii:1 One of the most powerful tributes ever paid to the Pahlavi translators was Haug's conversion to them. Before studying them he lost no opportunity to stigmatise their deficiencies; later, however, he followed them in many an important place, and sometimes with little reserve.
As writers of the opposed extremes seem honestly convinced of the radical error of each other's views, it is obvious that association and interest have much to do with decisions. A scholar should put himself fully under the influence first of one school and then of the other. The necessity for well-balanced studies is extremely great.
xliii:2 It is only lately that the variation from eleven to twelve syllables in the lines of Trishtup has been applied to the Gâthic metres, nor has the possibility of a shifting caesura been acceded to till lately.
xlv:1 Non-specialists must not suppose that our texts are more apparently uncertain than (say) many portions of the Old Testament. Large portions of them are also as clear, at least, as the Rig-veda; and the emendations referred to need very seldom affect the doctrines. Let the learned public, however, insist on scholars making honest attempts to render the texts as they stand before their emendations, and greater harmony would result.
xlvi:1 See remarks in the Preface, p. xv.
xlvi:2 See note on p. xix.