The Cult of the “Eternal” Fire in the Rituals in Avesta

Cantera, Alberto. 2019. Fire, the greatest god (ātarš … mazišta yazata). The cult of the “eternal” fire in the rituals in Avestan. Indo-Iranian Journal 62(1), 19–61.

The following paper is concerned with a comparison between the Vedic hymn RV VII 55 and the Vīdēvdād chapter XVIII 16. It is argued that little lullaby-themes, aimed at quieting men as well as animals, have come to be included into sacral and religious texts from popular sources (e.g. magical charms to be performed on sleepless babies), revealing Proto-Indo-European formulae and stylistic patterns that can be reconstructed. A Hittite text and some fragments of Greek poems by Simonides and Alcman are also included in the list of the passages to be compared.