Up to this point, most editions of Avestan texts have been concerned with interpreting the text. Although repetitions and abbreviations were known, they were often ignored since they did not offer new insight into the understanding of the meanings of words. The present study takes the opposite approach. Ignoring the meaning of the text (at first), it tries to detect the compositional structure of the Yasna ceremony by concentrating on formal matters such as specific closing sections, frames, etc. In a second step, the content is considered in order to offer interpretations for the compositional structure. In ReAF I (Jügel 2015), information on the technical and theoretical background of the tool “Repetition Analysis Function” (ReAF) was given and textual units were identified. In ReAF II, the results of the ReAF for the Yasna ceremony as it appears in the manuscript J2 will be presented in detail. Furthermore, I will offer an interpretation of how to transfer the structural results to an analysis of the compositional structure of the Yasna. This also allows for the formulation of assumptions on the ceremonial structure.
Thomas Jügel is a Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Mondes iranien et indien (UMR 7528) in Paris.
The 57th volume of the Acta Iranica is dedicated to the memory of late Xavier Tremblay (* 26. 6. 1971, Lille—15. 11. 2011), in order to celebrate his contribution to Iranian and Indo-European Studies. Evenunfinished, the workofXavierTremblay plays a fundamental role to our understanding of the origins of the Zoroastrian liturgy.
Between 2006 and 2013 J. Kellens published in five volumes (the last one together with C. Redard) a corrected version of the text edited by K.F. Geldner of the longest and most important Zoroastrian ritual usually known by the name of one of its variants as the Yasna. The text accompanies an experimental translation and both are followed by a commentary. J. Kellens is pioneering in translating and studying, not only the standard daily variant of the liturgy, but also its more solemn version. Furthermore, his work is the first attempt to read the complete text of the liturgy as the coherent text (although produced at different times) of an old and meaningful liturgy, although it has been traditionally understood as a late composition. As it appears in the manuscripts and is celebrated still today in India, the liturgy is the result of a series of conscious interpretations, reinterpretations and rearrangements of older versions. Despite of this, it is a coherent text and ritual in which each section of the liturgy plays a concrete role that J. Kellens has tried to bring to light for the first time. In the present review, I try to highlight the extraordinary importance of Kellens’ new approach to the Zoroastrian Long Liturgy and to expose his main achievements. At the same time, I expose the main weaknesses of this monumental work: 1. its dependence on the text edited by Geldner, which hides part of the ritual variety of the Long Liturgy; 2. the conscious disregard of the meta-ritual information provided by the Zoroastrian tradition about the performance of the liturgy; 3. J. Kellens’s Yasna-centrism that prevents him to recognize the close connections between the Long Liturgy and other minor rituals and the participation within the Long Liturgy of many short rituals that can be celebrated independently.
Alberto Cantera is a scholar of Ancient Iranian Studies and Avestan and Middle Persian Philology and Codicology. He is the director of the Institut of the Iranian Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.
The discussions about the origin of mazdean dualism are concentrated upon the interpretation of the Gathic stanza Y30.3 which opposes two mental powers called mainiiu and usually translated by «spirit». The divergence of the understandings led to a controversy on the nature of this dualistic opposition : is it philosophical, cosmic or religious? Do these various distinctions remain relevant now we know that this stanza is not a piece of a sermon, but of a liturgical recitative?
International conference to be held at the department of “Langues et religions du monde indo-iranien ancien” at the University of Liege. This conference is organized by Philippe Swennen, Céline Redard and Hamid Moein and will take place on June 9th and 10th.
Corpus Avesticum III: “Phonetics and Phonology in Avestan and Beyond”
Paris, 25-26. April. 2016
The third meeting of the European research network Corpus Avesticum to be held in Paris, 25-26 April. 2016. Researchers from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the UK will meet to discuss various projects in preparation of a new edition of the Avesta and the special topic of this meeting.
This meeting is dedicated to the research questions mainly regarding to the “Phonetics and Phonology in Avestan and Beyond”.
Briefing: Current state of Avestological project of the members of the Network
Salome Gholami: “Newly found Avestan manuscripts from Yazd”
Martin Kümmel: “Avestan syllable structure: a look from Middle Iranian”
Götz Keydana: “Evidence for foot structure in Early Vedic”
Paul Widmer: “Phonological domains in Avestan”
Chiara Riminucci-Heine: “Av. saoka- und av. hu-xšn aora- : zwei altiranische Wortstudien”
Almut Hintze: “Proto-Indo-European *h₁u es- ‘to be good’ and Avestan vahma-“
Michiel de Vaan: “On the orthography and phonology of <h>”
Alberto Cantera & Jaime Martínez Porro: “On the treatment of n before front vowels”
Benedikt Peschl: “The transmission of anaptyxis before the endings -biš and -biio in Avestan”
26. April 2016
Armin Hoenen: “La statistique des déviations du Yasna”
Tim Aufderheide: “Zoroastrian phoneticians? Reconstructing the phonetic knowledge underlying the transmission of the Avesta”
Shervin Farridnejad: “Scribal Schools and Dialectal Characteristics in the Transmission of the Avesta”
Miguel Ángel Andrés Toledo: “Avestan and Pahlavi Paleography
in the oldest Pahlavi Widewdad Manuscripts”
Salome Gholami: “Dialectal phonological variations in the colophons”
The Project of Corpus Avesticum (CoAv) is a pan-European Co-operation that aims at making the Zoroastrian Texts, called the Avesta accessible in a new Edition. The current one stems from 1896 and is erroneous with regard to many crucial aspects, the most important of which is the amalgamation of the liturgical and exegetical text witnesses.
See also the previous posts on the First and Second Meeting of Corpus Avesticum.
The second issue of the Estudios Iranios y Turanios, which was launched last year by the Sociedad de Estudios Iranios y Turanios, has been published. This issue of the journal, entitled Homenaje a Éric Pirart en su 65º aniversario, collects a number of philological discussions in honour of Éric Pirart’s 65th birthday.
Panaino, Antonio. 2015. The vision of Ahura Mazdā’s poet. Notes on Y. 31,5. In M.C. Pelevin (ed.), «НА ПАСТБИЩЕ МЫСЛИ БЛАГОЙ» Сборник статей к юбилею И. М. Стеблин-Каменского [Collection of articles for the anniversary of Steblin-Kamensky], 47–62. St. Petersburg: Контраст.
Y.31,5 is a very intriguing O.Av. stanza, which presents some interesting problems centered on the pivotal role of ərəšiš “seer, inspired poet”, corresponding to Ved. r̥ṣi-, whose insight should be connected not only with the Manah who was Vohu, but also with the inner manah- of Ahura Mazdā himself by means of a word-game played around the stem manah- evoked in its compositional form (mə̄ṇ°). The “better” (vahiiō) rule assigned by the Gods to the poet and priest (Zoroaster) opens his eyes offering the Av. ərəši– a new power of discrimination and comprehension of the world (probably both in the ritual dimension and in reality) so that he might actually impress in his own mind what does not exist and what is really existent. In this respect the text by means of the direct opposition between two subjunctives (yā nōit̰ vā aŋhat̰ aŋhaitī vā) of the root ah (very interestingly, one with a secondary ending, the latter with a primary one), shows how the idea of “existence” and “inexistence” — in this very case deeper than that of “being” or not “being” — was fittingly formulated already in the earliest Mazdean framework.
AntonioPanainoisprofessor of ancient Iranian philologyandhitory of religionat the University ofBologna.