World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). According to legend preserved in the Book of Arda Viraf, a 3rd or 4th century work, a written version of the religious texts had existed in the palace library of the Achaemenid kings (559–330 BC), but which was then supposedly (Arda Viraf 1.4-7 and Denkard 3.420) lost in a fire caused by the troops of Alexander. It is no more used for day to day communication purposes, and hence is referred to as a „dead language.‟ This elementary book, helps beginners to study the Avestan script, learn the language and understand its basic texts. The texts of the Avesta, also known as the Zend Avesta, — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. Download the Khordeh Avesta PDF here (365 pages/3.2MB): Khordeh Avesta . Religious persecution under Alexander the Great. One possibility is that the term derives from Middle Persian abestāg, meaning "praise.". Excessive Violence          Sexual Content Originally, each volume had a word of the prayer as its name, which so marked a volume’s position relative to the other volumes. In contrast, the texts of the Avesta proper remained sacrosanct and continued to be recited in Avestan, which was considered a sacred language. 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Avesta’ which means the “Smaller (i.e. Rask's seminal work, A Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Zend Language (Bombay, 1821), may have contributed to the confusion. The various texts are thought to have been transmitted orally for centuries before they found written form in the 3rd century. The most notable among the Middle Persian texts are the Dēnkard ("Acts of Religion"), dating from the 9th century; the Bundahishn ("Primordial Creation"), finished in the 11th or 12th century, but containing older material; the Mainog-i-Khirad ("Spirit of Wisdom"), a religious conference on questions of faith; and the Arda Viraf Namak ("Book of Arda Viraf"), which is especially important for its views on death, salvation and life in the hereafter. Manuscripts of the Avesta exist in two forms. l'Avesta résulte de la réforme religieuse due à Zoroastre (forme hellénisée de Zarathoustra). Nonetheless, Rasmus Christian Rask concluded that the texts must indeed be the remnants of a much larger literature, as Pliny the Elder had suggested in his Naturalis Historiae, where he describes one Hermippus of Smyrna having "interpreted two million verses of Zoroaster" in the 3rd century BC. Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002. //-->. The other is the Vendidad Sadeh, in which the Yasna, Visperad and Vendidad are set out in alternating chapters, in the order used in the Vendidad ceremony, with no commentary at all. google_ad_width = 160; Only about a quarter of the text from the nasks has survived until today. [4] However, neither assertion can be confirmed since the texts, if they existed, have been lost. Cette réforme n'a certainement pas touché la religion officielle de la Perse à l'époque de sa splendeur, celle de la dynastie des Achéménides. Article Id: If you need a copy, please contact: Soli P. Dastur at: dastur [at] comcast [dot] net. According to the Dēnkard, the Tonsar effort resulted in the reproduction of twenty-one volumes, called nasks, subdivided into 348 chapters, with approximately 3.5 million words in total. Correspondingly, the nasks are divided into three groups, of seven volumes per group. The confusion then became too universal in Western scholarship to be reversed, and Zend-Avesta, although a misnomer, is still occasionally used to denote the older texts. Post-Sasanian deterioration of the written transmission due to incorrect pronunciation (Vulgate); In the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. the manuscript copies of individual texts were made on which the extant manuscripts are based; Earlier manuscripts were copied in manuscripts dating from A.D. 1288 till the nineteenth century by scribes who introduced errors and corruptions. FEZANA published a Nawruz prayer book: Hama-Anjuman Prayers for Naurooz In English, Farsi and Gujarati. The remainder of the 21 nasks, including the Chihrdad, has been lost since then, especially after the fall of the Sassanid empire, after which Zoroastrianism was supplanted by Islam. Only texts in the Avestan language are considered part of the Avesta. The Avesta, as known today, represents only those parts of the text that are used liturgically, and therefore survived in the memory of the priests; and, as it now consists of all surviving liturgical texts in the Avestan language, it may or may not include material that never formed part of the 21 nasks at all. The contents of the Avesta are divided topically (even though the organization of the nasks is not), but these are not fixed or canonical. In its present form, the Avesta is a compilation from various sources, and its different parts date from different periods and vary widely in character. The word Zend or Zand, literally meaning "interpretation", refers to late Middle Persian (see Pazend and Pahlavi) language paraphrases of and commentaries on the individual Avestan books: they could be compared with the Jewish Targums.

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