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Iranian Influence on Moslem Literature, Part I by M. Inostranzev

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Persians were in the habit of saying that the person would be deficient
as a writer who was not conversant with the nature of flowing waters,
with the digging of canals, with mirage, with the length of days as to
particular seasons, with the rising of the new moon, and its effects,
with weights and measures, with mensuration, triangles, squares, and
measurements of areas involving various angles, with the preparation of
channels and bridges and water mills, with the implements of artisans,
and with the intricacies of mathematics. (p. 43).

[Sidenote: Mobedan-Mobed]

I have read in one of the _Books of the Persians_ that the
_Mobedan-Mobed_ in eulogising the art of writing said etc ... (p. 47).

[Sidenote: Epistle of Aberwez.]

I have read in the Epistle of Aberwez to his son Shiruya. [Then follows
an advice about severely punishing even a small piece of dishonesty.]
(p, 58).

[Sidenote: The _Taj_.]

I have read in the _Taj_ that Aberwez said to the treasurer [here
follows some observations on integrity.]

[Sidenote: Persian sense of justice and equity.]

I have read in the _Ain_ that it behoves the ruler to understand the
jurisdiction of rightful justice, of justice which is not equity, of
equity which is not justice, and to use his judgment with regard to
evidence and eyewitnesses, and to refrain from doubtful matters. Since
it is both justice and equity to kill a person for the slaughter of a
person, and it is justice without equity to kill a master for the
slaughter of a slave, and it is equity without justice to award the same
punishment for a crime committed by a sane man as to one who was not in
his senses. (p. 88).

And I have read in the _Taj_: Said Aberwez to his chamberlain; [and here
follow very interesting instructions regarding the treatment which the
chamberlain was to give to the various persons seeking an audience of
the king.] (p. 74).

I have read in the _Taj_ [here follows an address of a secretary to a

[Sidenote: Speech from the throne.]

I have read in the _Siyaral Ajam_ [one of the Arabic versions of _Shah
Nameh_] that Ardeshir, when he was firmly established on the throne,
gathered together his subjects and addressed them with eloquence
exhorting them to love and obedience to himself, and warning them
against sin and dividing the people into four classes, upon which those
present made obeisance and their spokesman addressed the king as
follows. [Here follows one of those typical speeches of which we have so
many in _Shah Nameh_, and which leaves no doubt that the originals of
them were composed in Pahlavi and that they were almost literally



_(Egyptian Edition.)_


The dictum of BUZURJAMEHR: Buzurg, son of Bokhtagan was asked, "Which is
the thing which covers indolence." "Aye" he said, "Wisdom, which gives
beauty to it." They said, "If a person has got no wisdom?" He said,
"Then property, which will cover it." They said, "But if there is no
property?" He said, "His friends will earn respect for him." They said,
"But if he has got no friends to earn respect for him?" He said, "If a
person is indolent then he must preserve silence" They said, "But if he
does not observe silence?" He said, "Then sudden death is better for him
than that he should remain, in the world of the living." This passage
has been repeated at page 123 with a slight difference. There the
interrogator is Kisra Anushirvan, and the question is, which thing is
the best for a man who is indolent. Buzurg replies, "Wisdom, with which
he may be happy." (p, 4.)

There is mention of several authors and books similar to _Kalileh wa
Dimneh_ with the names of their authors including Sahal Ibn Harun, Ibn
Rayhani, Al Katib. (p. 30.)

Says Ismai: In the alphabet of the Romans there is no _zad_ and among
the Persians there is no _tha_. (p. 36)

A longish definition and description of oratory by Ibn ul Mukaffa. (p.

Ibn Mukaffa again referred to. (p. 65.)

Instances of Arabic poetry in which Persian words and phrases are
intermingled _e.g., garden_ for _unuk_ (neck); _av sard_ for cold water,
&c. (p. 79.)

[There are several other instances where the Persian words are there,
but the copyist and possibly also the editor, do not seem to have
understood the Kasida and the editor observes in a marginal note that,
the text is corrupt, G.K.N.]


Mention of Sahal Ibn Harun. (p. 37.)

Mention of Persia, (p. 53.)

Mention of Abdallah Ibn Mukaffa. (p. 84.)

Mention of Persia, (p. 92.)

Dicta of Ibn al Mukatia on the dignity of kings and of nobles, (p. 104.)

Reference to Khalid al Kisravi. (p. 105.)

Reference to Ibn al Mukaffa. (p. 109.)

Khalid al Kisrawi. (p. 112.)

Al Hurmuzan. (p. 139.)

On the service of kings. (p. 176.)


The ways of the Shuubiya. (p. 2.)

Reference to Persia. (p. 5.)

Persia and Arabia compared. (p. 7.)

Arabia and Persia compared. (p. 12.)

Arabia and Persia contrasted. The prophets of Ajam. (p, 13.)

Reference to Persia. (p. 44.)

The Persian throne. (p. 77.)

Dicta of Mukaffa. (p. 87.)

Khalid al Barmaki. (p. 110.)

Dicta on Adab of Mukaffa. (p. 135.)

Reference to Barmaki. (p. 174.)

Reference to Barmaki. (p. 170.)

Sahal Ibn-Harun. (p. 185.)

Dictum of Buzurja Meher. (p. 217.)

Madaini quoted. (p. 233.)

Persia referred to. (p. 234.)


[Sidenote: Value of Zoroastrian literature.]

And we note that the persons most superior with, regard to preaching our
sermons are the Persians. And among the Persians the most clever in this
respect are the people of Fars, and they are the sweetest in words, and
their pronunciation is the most correct. And the most difficult in this
respect are the people of Merv. The most eloquent dialect of Persia is
the Dari. As regards the Pahlavi idiom, of the people of the country of
Ahwaz are the best. And as regards the chantings of the HERBEDS and the
songs of the MOBEDS the superiority in this respect lies with the
annotators of the Zemzema. And it is said that he who desires to acquire
proficiency in the art of eloquence, and to be acquainted with rare
expressions, and to be profoundly versed in vocabulary should read the
book of Karwand. Moreover, if it is necessary to acquire sagacity and
good manners and knowledge of the various interpretations of terms, a
knowledge of pleasing expression and agreeable interpretation, one
should study the LIVES OF KINGS, since for the Persians this book
contains essays and sermons and fine expressions.


[Sidenote: Why no authentic history of Iran has survived.]

[Sidenote: A clear reference to the ambiguous Pahlavi script and to the
great difficulty of translating from it:]

[Sidenote: Enumeration of the sources of Iranian history.]

There are four dynasties among the kings of Persia and their enumeration
is given alone and without any history of the events of their time or
the characteristics of the kings of Persia during the protracted period
of their sovereignty. They were divided into four groups called the
Feshdadiya, the Kayaniya, the Ashghaniya, and the Sasaniya. Their entire
chronology is dubious and not certain since it was translated after 150
years from one language into another and from one equivocal set of
symbols for figures into another set of symbols, so that there remained
nothing for me with reference to a narrative, in these chapters except
to bring together the doubtful transcripts. I succeeded in finding eight
transcripts and these were the following:--The Book of the Reigns of the
Kings of Persia translated by Ibn al Mukaffa, the Book of the Reigns of
the Kings of Persia translated by Muhammad Ibn al Jaham al Barmak, the
Book of the History of the Kings of Persia which was taken out of the
treasury of the Khalif Mamun; the Book of the Reigns of the Kings of
Persia which was translated by Zaduya son of Shahuya of Ispahan; the
Book of the Reigns of the Kings of Persia which was translated or
compiled by Muhammad Ibn al Behram Ibn Mutyan of Ispahan; the Book of
the Chronology of the Kings of Persia which was translated or compiled
by Heshan Ibn Kasum of Ispahan, the Book of the Chronology of the Kings
of the Sasanian Dynasty which was improved upon by Behram son of Mardan
Shah, Mobed of the district of Shabur in the country of Fars. And when I
had collected together all these works, I compared one with the others
and then acquired what was necessary for the writing of this chapter.

[Sidenote: Incorrect translations from Pahlavi.]

And says Abu Mashar, the astronomer:--The majority of their [Iranian]
histories are interpolated and corrupt, and there is the corruption
because they have come down from a great many years ago and because they
have been translated from one writing into another and from one tongue
into another and hence there have been mistakes of either excess or

"And the Persians start their assertion from the Book which was brought
to them by Zaradusht and which was called Avesta. This is the Book of
their religion. It alleges that there have elapsed since the reign of
Kayumarth, the father of mankind, down to the reign of king Yazdegerd,
4182 years, 10 months, and 19 days."

[Sidenote: Corrupt texts and faulty translations.]

Says Musa Ibn Isa al Kesravi in his book: I saw the Book which is called
the _Khoday Nameh_ and which is the Book which when it was translated
from Persian into Arabic was entitled _Kitab al Muluk al Fars._ I
carefully examined the copies of this Book and looked through the
narratives in them, and I found them in disagreement with each other so
that I could not find even two copies which agreed with each other, and
this was on account of the doubts in the minds of the translators who
turned from one writing into another.

[Sidenote: Mobed Behram the historian.]

And turning back to what I have related in the previous chapter as
regards the chronology [of the Persians], I relate what has been stated
by Behram son of Mardanshah, _Mobed_ of the district of Shabur in the
province of Fars. Says Behram the mobed: I collected together a little
over twenty copies of the book called _Khoday Nameh_ and I put together
properly the chronology of the kings of Persia from the times of
Kayumarth, the father of mankind, till the last days when the empire was
transferred from them to the Arabs.

[Hamza describes the dress of the kings according to a book in which
they were depicted just before their death. And he gives the buildings
which each of them erected, especially the fire-temples they established
along with the villages on the produce of which they were to be

[Sidenote: Avesta.]

"I have read in the book which has been translated from one of their
books called _Avesta_," and so on Hamza proceeds regarding the beginning
of creation.


(1st Series, Vol. 2, page 675.)

[Sidenote: Fire-temples in India.]

It is related by historians versed in the antiquities of Arabia and
Persia that Bhishtasb, son of Kay Loharasb, when he assumed the crown,
said:--To-day we have become sovereign and we shall employ our thoughts,
our action, and our knowledge for the acquisition of the good. And it is
said that he built in Fars a city called Fasa and he built fire-temples
in India, etc., and appointed _herbeds_ to the same. He assigned several
dignities to seven of his noblemen in his dominions and appointed each
of them to the charge of a district.

[Sidenote: The appearance of Zoroaster.]

[Sidenote: Wars of Iran and Turan.]

Zaradusht son of Isfayman appeared in the thirtieth year of his reign
and laid claim to apostleship and endeavoured that his religion might be
accepted by the king. The latter refused and then Zaradusht satisfied
him. Upon which the king accepted his claim. And he brought to him a
Writing which he claimed was a revelation. And the said Writing was
inscribed on 12,000 cow hides and they were embellished with gold, and
Bishtasp deposited the same in a place in Istakhar called Darbesht and
he appointed _herbeds_ in that connection. He prohibited the teaching of
it to ordinary people.... [Here follows a passage which is not very
clear regarding the difference that arose between the king of Iran and
the king of the Turks relating to this new religion which Bishtasb had
adopted. The name of the Turk sovereign is given as Khurzasaf.] Now when
the messenger arrived with the epistle to Bishtasb there were gathered
together the Ahl-bayat[1] and the noblemen of the empire, including
Jamasaf the Wise, and Zarrin son of Loharasaf. Then Bishtasb wrote to
the king of the Turks a strongly worded reply challenging him to a war
and expressing his determination not to withdraw the step that he had
taken and saying that that even if he refrained from fighting there
would be all the people on both sides who would continue the struggle.
On that day there were in the council of Bishtasb his brother Zarrin,
and Nastur son of Zarrin, and Isfandiyar and Beshotan, the sons of
Bishtasb and all the progeny of Loharasb. On the side of Khorasaf there
were Ju Hormaz, and Hudarman his brother, and the Ahl-bayat and
Baidarafsh, the magician. In the battle Zarrin was killed which was a
heavy blow to Bishtasb and a great booty was taken by his son
Isfandiyar, and Baidaraf was killed which was a calamity to the Turks.
There was a huge slaughter and Khorsasaf fled. Thereupon Bishtasb
returned to Balkh. Now when a number of years had passed after this war
a person called Karzam attacked Isfandiyar. There was also an
estrangement between Bishtasb and Isfandiyar. Order was issued for his
imprisonment in a castle in which there were ladies, Bishtasb then
proceeded in the direction of Kerman and Sagistan and proceeded towards
a mountain called Tamdar. [The various manuscripts write the word
differently and the editors have printed it without the diacritical
marks so that it can be read in a variety of ways], for the purpose of
teaching the religion and of spreading it there. And he left behind him
his father Loharasaf in the city of Balkh and the treasures and the
properties along with the harem including Khatus, his queen, were also
left with the old man. [As the Editor points out Khatus is the Hutaosa
of _Gosh Yast_ 26, and _Ram Yast_ 36[2]]. Now this fact was conveyed by
the spies to Khorasaf and when he learnt it he collected an innumerable
army and proceeded from his country towards Balkh and Khorasaf thought
that this was an opportunity of attacking Bishtasb and his country. Thus
when he approached Takhun he sent forward Ju Hormaz, his brother, with a
large army and directed him to continue his march till he reached the
centre of Bishtasb's country and to invade it and attack the people and
the cities. And this was done by Ju Hormaz who shed a large amount of
blood and carried off incalculable booty. And Khorasaf followed him and
set fire to the archives and slew Lohorasaf and the _herbeds_ and
destroyed the fire-temples, _(buyut-an-niran)_ and he took possession of
the properties and the treasuries and took two of the daughters of
Lohorasaf prisoner and one of them was called Khumay and the other
Bazafreh. [This of course is according to Firdousi Beh Afrid]. He
captured a great standard which was called Dirafsh Kabyan and he pursued
Bishtasb who was fleeing from him.

[Footnote 1: Ahl-bayat, or people of the house, is the Arabic equivalent
of the Iranian Visputhra and was applied by Arabs to the superior
Persian noblemen.]

[Footnote 2: Here is evidence, on the one hand, that the Arab historians
had Iranian histories at their disposal and on the other, that the
latter are still reflected in the _yasht_ literature.]

[The historian narrates how Isfandiyar went into the heart of the
kingdom of the Turk and reached his capital which was called "Dez Ruin"
and he proceeds to say "and being interpreted in Arabic it means the
palace of copper." There is further reference to the canals and castles
which we can trace to the BUNDEHESH. The struggle between Rustum and
Isfandiyar is also described. This is followed by a curious passage
regarding Zoroaster.]




[Sidenote: Rustam and Isfandiyar.]

And it is said that Zaradusht the head of the Magians came to Bishtasb
the king and told him, "I am the Apostle of God to you", and gave him
the Book which the Magians possess. Then Bishtasb believed in him and
accepted his religion which is that of the Magians and exhorted the
people of his kingdom to the same and they also accepted it _nolence
volence._ And Rustam the Strong, was at that time the Governor of
Sagistan and Khorasan, and he was powerful of body and possessed of
great vigour. And when this happened it was reported to Kaykobad the
king, this, about the admittance of Bishtasb into the Magian religion
and his abandoning the religion of their forefathers. Kaykobad became
exceedingly angry at this, and said that this was forsaking of the
religion of their forefathers who had inherited it from one generation
to another. Then the people of Sagistan were gathered together and they
wore incited to destroy Bishtasb. And they revolted against him. Upon
this Bishtasb called upon Isfandiyar who was the strongest man of his
time and said to him, "Oh son, the kingdom will be entrusted to you. But
the affairs will not improve except by killing Rustam, and you know his
strength and vigour. But you are his match in power and prowess. So do
you choose from the army whomever you like and then proceed against
him." So Isfandiyar selected 12,000 Persian knights from the forces of
his father, and marched against Rustam. And Rustam proceeded towards him
between the boundaries or Sagistan and Khorasan. Isfandiyar suggested to
Rustam that their armies should be excused from attacking each other,
but that they two should engage in single combat and that whoever killed
the other should be held to be the victor. Rustam agreed to the proposal
and the covenant. Then the two armies stood abide and the two warriors
engaged in a duel. Now the Persians have a good deal to say in this
matter and that it was Rustam who killed Isfandiyar and that the
latter's army returned to Bishtasb and informed him of what had happened
to his son Isfandiyar. The king was overwhelmed with grief fell ill and
died. And the kingdom, came to the grandson Bahman, son of Isfandiyar,
and it is related that soon after Rustam returned to his residence in
Sagistan, he died.[1]

[Footnote 1: Note that Dinawari had obviously before him Iranian
traditional materials for his history.]


The reign of Baywarasaf, Farasiyab; Dhahak, the end of the reign of
Minosher and the beginning of the reign of Farasiyab, the reign of Zab
son of Budkan and Kaykohad Zab; the reign of Kaykawuys son of Kaykobad,
the reign of Kai Khosro, the reign of Lohrasf and the invasion of Bukht
Nasar; the reign of Bhishtasb in Persia; the call of Zaradusht, the
reign of Bahman Ibn Isfandiyar in Persia and the emancipation of the
Jews, the reign of Khumani (Humay) the queen of Bahman; the reign of
Dara Ibn Bahman; the war of Dara with Greece; the reign of Darayush; the
origin of Alexander; the invasion of Alexander against Dara; the reign
of Ardwan; One para. is devoted to the Muluk ut Tawaef, and then
regularly follow all the Sasanian kings beginning with Shahan Shah



_Account of King Loharasp and his son Bishtasb and the appearance of

[Sidenote: Zend and Pazend.]

And we have related that Kai Khosrou, when he was at the point of death,
bequeathed the crown to the son of his uncle Loharasp; and when he
acquired the sovereignty he got possession of the throne of gold adorned
with jewels. For him was built in Khorasan the city of Balkh which was
called Husna (charming). He established archives and strengthened the
empire by the selection of soldiers and by advancing agriculture. He
took taxes for the purpose of wages for his soldiers. At that time the
Turks were in great strength and he went down to Balkh to fight them,
and he was a favourite with his people and strong in overpowering his
vigourous enemies, kind to his well-wishers, and of great intrepidity.
He raised great buildings and cut a number of canals, built cities. The
kings of India and China and the occident used to pay tribute to him and
addressed him in their despatches as their 'Lord' out of fear and
respect for him. Subsequently he abdicated the empire and throne and
engaged himself in devotion, appointing in succession to him his son
Bishtasb to be king. And his reign endured for 120 years. After him
Bishtasb became king and in his days appeared Zaradusht son of Sakiman
[it should be Safiman, the difference being only that of a dot] who
claimed to prophesy and the Magians followed him. And according to what
is stated by writers, Zaradusht belonged to Palestine and was a personal
servant to one of the disciples of Armaya, the prophet. He was
unfaithful to him and told him a lie so that God cursed him and he was
afflicted with leprosy and went away to the country of Azarbayjan and
there started the religion of Magians. And it is also stated by others
that he was a Persian and that he composed a Book and went about with it
in the world. But no one knew its meaning. And it was alleged that it
was in a heavenly language and was called as such. It was entitled Ashta
[this is clearly a misformation of Avesta]. Then he left Azarbayjan and
proceeded towards Fars. No one knew what was in the book and no one
accepted it. Then he went to India and produced it before the kings
there. Next he went to China and Turkey. But no one acknowledged it, and
he was driven out from their countries, and started for Farghana whose
king prepared to slay him so that he fled from there and bent his steps
towards Bhishtasb son of Loharasp; who ordered his imprisonment and he
was consequently in captivity for a time. Now Zaradusht wrote a
commentary on his Book called the Zend which means interpretation. Next
he commented upon the Zend in a book called Bazand, that is,
interpretation of interpretation, and therein are various sciences like
astrology, astronomy, medicine, etc., with reference to the history of
past ages, and the books of the prophets. And in his book is
stated,--"Adhere to what I have brought you till the time when there
will come to you the man of the red camel," which means Muhammad the
Prophet. This was at the beginning of the year 1600 and it was on this
account that there has been enmity between the Magians and the Arabs and
it has been mentioned in the history of Sabur Dhul Aktaf that this was
one of the reasons justifying the raids on the Arabs. But God knows the

[Sidenote: The Eternal fire.]

[Sidenote: Royal archives forbidden to the Vulgar.]

Then Bishtasb caused Zaradusht to present himself before him since he
was in Balkh. And when he came to him he commenced with his religion.
Bishtasb admired it, followed it, and forced his people to embrace it,
and slew a large number of them till the rest adopted it. But the
Magians assert that he was by origin from Azarbayjan and that he came to
the king from the roof of his palace and that there was in his hand a
cube of fire with which he played without its injuring him; that whoever
took it from his hand did so without hurting himself. He caused the king
to follow him and to accept his creed. And he built fire temples in the
country and lighted them with that fire. For it is stated that the fires
which are in their fire-temples are burning from that fire to this day.
But they are telling an untruth since the fire of the Magians was
extinguished in all their temples when God sent Muhammad down as his
apostle as we shall describe, God willing, in the sequel, as well as the
appearance of Zaradusht after thirty years of the reign of Bishtasb. And
Zaradusht brought a writing which is alleged to be revelation from God
and is inscribed on 12,000 cow hides inlaid with gold. Bishtasb
deposited them in a place in Istakhar and forbade the teaching of thorn
to the vulgar.



[Sidenote: The Kohan Nameh and the Ain Nameh.]

The Persians have a book called the _Kohan Nameh_ in which are mentioned
all the officers of the Persian monarch amounting to 600 and classed
according to their respective ranks. This book formed part of the _Ain
Nameh._[1] The meaning of Ain Nameh is the 'Book of regulations'. It is
a book containing several thousands of leaves and no one can find a copy
of it anywhere except among the _mobeds_ and others invested with
authority. The mobed of the Persians at the moment of writing this
history, that is in the year 364, for the country of Jabal in Iraq and
for the countries of Ajam, is Ammad son of Ashwahisht. Before him these
countries had for their mobed Isfandiyar, son of Adarbad, son of Anmid,
who was killed by Radi at Baghdad in 325.

[Footnote 1: A remarkable passage from this Pahlavi treatise has been
embodied in a close Arabic version in Ibn Kutayha's _Uyun-al-Akhbar._
The credit of discovering and translating this unique passage into a
European language belongs to M.K. Inostranzev.]

I have seen in the city of Istakhar in Fars in the year 303 in the
house of a high noble Persian, a large book in which were set out along
with the descriptions of several sciences the histories of the
kings of Persia, their reigns and the monuments which they had
erected,--fragments which I have not been able to find anywhere else in
Persian books, neither in the _Khoday Nameh_, nor in the _Ain Nameh_ nor
in the _Kohan Nameh_ or anywhere else.

[Sidenote: Portrait of Sasanian kings taken just before their demise.]

[Sidenote: Persian Imperial archives: Translation into Arabic.]

In this book were pictures of the kings of Persia belonging to the house
of Sasan, twenty seven in number, twenty five men and two women. Each of
them was represented as at the moment of death, whether old or young
with the royal ornaments, with the tiara, hair, beard, and all the
features of his face. This dynasty reigned over the country for 433
years one month and seven days. When one of these kings died his
portrait was painted and it was deposited in the treasury in order that
the living princes may know the features of the dead kings. The
representation of every king who was painted as a warrior was in a
standing posture; that of every king who was occupied with government
affairs was in the sitting posture. To it was joined the biography of
each, of them detailing his public and private life together with the
important events and facts concerning the most interesting incidents of
his reign. The book which I saw was redacted according to the documents
found in the treasuries of the kings of Persia and it was completed in
the middle of the second Jamada of the year 113. It was translated for
Hisham son of Abdal Malik son of Merwan from Persian into Arabic. The
first of the kings of this dynasty whom one sees there is Ardeshir. The
distinctive colour in his portrait was of a brilliant red. His trousers
were of sky-blue and the mitre was green on gold. He held a lance in the
hand and he was standing. The last was that of Yezdegerd, son of
Shahariyar, son of Kesra Abarvez. His distinctive colour was green. His
trousers were sky-blue and his mitre vermillion. He held in his hand a
lance and rested the other hand on his sabre. This painting was made
with Persian colours which are no longer to be found now-a-days and of
gold and silver dissolved and of pulverised copper. The leaves of the
book were of a purple colour and of a marvellous tint. It was so
beautiful and prepared with such care that I do not know whether it was
paper or whether it was thin parchment. (P. 250.)

[Which stands for Pahlavi and not modern Persian.]

[Sidenote: Zoroaster, Avesta, and Avesta Script.]

Zaradusht brought to the king the book of _Avesta_, the name of which in
Arabic has received a final _kaf_ and has thus become _Abestak_. The
number of chapters of book is twenty one, each chapter comprising 200
leaves. In this book we find a total of sixty vowels and consonants each
with a distinct character. Some of these characters are found elsewhere
and others have fallen into disseutude. For this script is not confined
to the language of the Avesta.

[Sidenote: Extent of Avesta.]

[Sidenote: Persian translation of Avesta.]

[Sidenote: Contents of Avesta.]

Zoroaster invented this writing which the Magians have called Sin
Dabireh, that is to say, the 'sacred writing'. He incised his writing
into 12,000 cow skins and filled it with gold. It was in the ancient
language of Persia of which no one has any knowledge to-day. Only a few
portions of its chapters have been translated into the modern Persian.
It is this Persian translation which they have in their hands when, they
say their prayers. The translation contains fragments like the Ashtad,
the Chitrasht, the Aban Yasht, the Hadukht, and other chapters. In the
Chitrasht are found the recitals of the origin and the end of the world.
Hadukht comprises exhortations.

[Sidenote: commentaries on Avesta.]

Zoroaster composed the commentary on the Avesta which he called the
Zend, and which in the eyes of his followers was revealed to him by God.
He subsequently translated it from Pahlavi into Persian. Zoroaster,
further, prepared a commentary on the Zend and called it Bazend.

[Sidenote: Their destruction.]

The Mobeds and the Herbeds, learned in the science of religion,
commented in their turn on this commentary and their work was called the
Barideh, and, by others, the Akradeh. After he had conquered the Persian
Empire and put to death Dara son of Dara, Alexander burnt them....

[Sidenote: Synopsis of Zoroastrian beliefs.]

Besides the two modes of writing which they owe to Zoroaster, the
Persians have five other methods in many of which Nabatian words have
been introduced. We have explained all these in our books already cited
with quotations of portions regarding the miracles of Zoroaster, the
marks and the proof of his revelation, the belief in the five eternal
principles which are Ormazd or God, Ahriman which is the same as Satan,
the wicked, Kah or time, Jay or space, Homa or the good spirituous
liquor, the grounds on which they support these doctrines, the reasons
why they render homage to the two luminaries and to other heavenly
lights, the distinction which they make between fire and light, their
discourses regarding the origin of the human species, on Mashya son of
Gayomert, and Mashyana his daughter, and how the Persians trace their
geneologies back to these two personages, and finally, other things
connected with the exercise of their religion, the practice of their
cult and the various places where they have established their fire

[Sidenote: Confutation of prejudice Moslem theologians.]

Certain Musalman theologians and authors of books on various sects, and
several authors who have set before them the task at different times of
refuting Zoroastrianism have alleged that it is believed in their
religion that from the reflexion of God on himself has issued an evil
spirit or the devil and that God, indulgent towards him, has accorded
him a certain time during which to tempt mankind. These authors further
cite as appertaining to this religion propositions which the Magians
themselves have always rejected. I believe that they must have heard
these particulars from ordinary people and that they have recorded them
as the authentic expression of the followers of the religion of

[Footnote 1: Our celebrated Arab polyhistor not only does not malign the
faith of Zoroaster but proceeds to confute his prejudiced
co-religionists who pretended to refute the old faith of Iran.]



(_Page 112, Bombay Edition. Compare also page 83 of the Egyptian Edition
on the margin of Ibn Hazm._)


These people believe in two Principles as we have already stated; only,
that the original Magians were of the belief that it was not possible
that there should be two Principles eternal and without beginning, but
that the light was without beginning and darkness was only produced; and
they were of different views as regards the origin of its rise,--whether
it arose from light, since light cannot bring something that was partly
evil. How then could the principle of evil or anything else arise since
there was nothing at first which participated with light in its
production and in its being eternal? Here the error of the Magians
becomes apparent. They also assert that the first of persons was
Kayumarth, though they sometimes say that he was Zarwan the great, and
that the last of the prophets was Zaradusht. The Kayumarthiya assert
that Kayumarth was Adam; Kayumarth appears as Adam in the histories of
India and Persia. But all the histories are against this.[1]

[Footnote 1: I have constantly referred to Haarbrucker's German
translation and to the German passages cited by Gottiel in the Drisseler
Volume which was very kindly presented to me by our Prof. A.V.W.
Jackson. Gottiel has omitted the sections regarding the Kayumarthiya.]


These are the followers of Zaradusht, son of Budashab who appeared in
the time of Bishtasb, son of Lohrasb, the king. His father came from
Azarbayjan and his mother from Ray and her name was Doghd. They assert
that they had prophets and kings and that they had Kayumarth who was the
first king on the earth and that his residence was at Istakhar, that
after him came Haushanj, son of Farawal, who descended on India. After
him came his son Jam; the king. Then followed prophets and kings among
whom was Minochehr. He proceeded to Babel and settled there, and it is
related that Musa, (may peace be on him!) appeared in his time. Things
continued like this till the sovereignty came to Bishtasb, son of
Lohrasb. In his time appeared Zaradusht al Hakim or the Wise....

[Sidenote: Miracles of Zoroaster.]

[Sidenote: Essence of his teachings.]

[Sidenote: His Cosmogony.]

Then the child [Zaradusht] laughed a great laugh which was noticed by
all those present, and people contrived so as to put Zaradusht in the
way of cattle and the way of horses and in the way of wolves. But each
of them stood up to protect him from its own kind. After he had attained
to an age of thirty God sent him as his prophet and apostle to his
creation, and he turned himself with his calling to king Bishtasb and
the latter accepted his creed. His creed consisted in the reverence of
God and the non-reverence of Satan, in the obedience to good and in the
prohibition of the evil, and in abstaining from unclean things. He said
that light and darkness were two original principles which opposed each
other antagonistically, and so were Yazdan and Ahriman and that both
were the beginning of the created things in the world. That the
composition of it was the product of the co-mingling and that the
variety of forms were given rise to by means of the various unions, but
that God was the creator of light and darkness and of both the prime
origins. He was one without a companion, without an opponent, and
without anyone who was his like, and that it was not possible to trace
to him the existence of darkness in the way in which the Zarwanites
trace it, but that good and evil, pure and impure, holy and unholy, were
brought forth only by the co-mingling of light and darkness, and had not
the two fore-gathered the world would not have come into existence. They
were pitched each against the other and they fight each other till light
shall overcome darkness, and good evil. And then the good will be
liberated and come to its own, and the evil will be hurled down to its
own world and that will be the cause of the emancipation. God, the
Almighty, however, has in his wisdom compounded and co-mingled them.
Sometimes they make out that light is the original principle and express
themselves thus: The existence of light is a real existence. Darkness,
however, is only a consequence like the shadow of a person. It was
alleged that darkness was a thing produced though not created in
reality, and that God had produced light and that darkness had come out
as a consequence, because contrast was a matter of necessity in
existence. Hence the existence of darkness was also essential. And thus
it had become a thing created although not as in the first view, as
brought out with reference to a man's shadow.

[Sidenote: Zend Ave-ta.]

He [Zaradusht] also had composed a book about which people said that it
was revealed to him, namely, the _Zand Awasta_ which divides the world
into two parts, Mino or the spiritual and Geti or the corporeal; that is
to say, into spiritual and corporeal worlds, or in other words, into
mental and physical. And just as the creation is divided into two
worlds, so according to him, all that was in the world was again divided
into two, namely, _Bakhshis_ [Haarbrucker translates _Bakhshis_ by
_gnade_ or favour, but the original Arabic expression is _takdir_ which
means _destiny_, and _kunish_ or _deed_, by which are meant
pre-destination By God and human action.]

[Sidenote: Zoroastrian Ethics.]

Further, he discussed the duties relating to the religious law and these
have reference to the movements of man. He divided them into three parts
_Manish, Guyish_ and _Kunish_, meaning thereby belief, speech, and act,
and these comprehended all the duties. When in this a man is wanting he
is out of obedience and out of creed. But if he conducts himself in
these three movements according to the standard of the law and the
ordinance he attains to the highest good.[1]

[Footnote 1: Here is an instance where the Arab philosopher and writer
hands down to posterity the spirit of Zoroastrianism without prejudice
and with precision.]

[Sidenote: Some Miracles explained.]

The Zaradashtiya ascribed to Zaradusht a number of miracles including
that while Zaradusht was thrown into prison the forefeet of the horse of
Bishtasb entered into its body. When he was set at liberty, the feet of
the animal came out. Next, it is said that he happened to pass a blind
man at Dinawar and to have told him, "Take the herb", which he described
to him "and press its juice into your eye and you will be able to see".
This was done and the blind man was restored to his sight. This,
however, is to be attributed to his knowledge of the properties of the
herb and so it is in no wise a miracle. (Here Gotthiel omits one section
on the Saisaniya and the Bihafridiya[1]).

[Footnote 1: The Bihafridiya formed a heresy from Zoroastrianism in the
time of the Moslems. The sect furnishes the strongest proof that there
was no persecution worth the name in Persia at the time. Not only in
those days were the Zoroastrians permitted to follow their own faith but
here is a curious pars from Al Biruni which proves that both the
original Zoroastrians and the heresy were permitted to flourish side by
side under the Khalifs:--"When Abu Moslem came to Nishapur the _mobeds_
and _herbeds_ assembled before him telling him that this man [the
founder of the Bihafridi sect] had infected Islam as well as their own
[Zoroastrian] religion. So he sent Abdalla to fetch him. He met him in
the mountain at Badjeh and brought him before Abu Moslem to put him to
death together with such of his followers as he could capture. His
followers called the Bihafridians still keep the institutes of their
founder and strongly resemble the Zam-Zamis among the Magians."
Shaharastani adds that they were the most hostile of God's creatures to
the Zamzami Magians. The entire chapter on the Iranian sects in
Shaharastani is worthy of careful and deep study. It explains the
divergence between the prescriptions of the _Vendidad_ and the practice
of the bulk of the Iranians. The _Vendidad_ was, it would appear, the
authoritative scripture of one of the sects of Zoroastrianism. At any
rate it is not too extravagant to deduce from the careful studies of the
Iranian religion by Arab writers that as the teachings of Sakya Muni
developed into more Buddhisms than one so there were several creeds with
the common designation of Zoroastrianism.]

[Sidenote: The dignity of Mobedan Mobed.]

The Magians and the followers of the Two Principles and the followers of
Mani and the other sects which are related to the Magians are known as
the adherents of the Great creed or the Great religion. All the kings of
Persia were the followers of the religion of Ibrahim, subjects and all
those who belonged to the country among them during the reign of each of
them followed the religion of their rulers. But these latter relied upon
the chief of the ecclesiastics, _Mobed Mobedan_, the sage of sages, and
the wisest of men according to whose instructions the kings conducted
themselves and without whose judgment they undertook nothing; to him
they showed reverence such as is shown to the Khalif of the time.




As regards the Magians they believed in the prophetship of Zaradasht....

And as regards Zaradasht it is said that the majority of Moslems
believed in his prophetship....

[Sidenote: "Majority of Moslems believed in the Prophetship of

And the Book of the Magians and their religious Law were for a long time
during their sovereignty in the possession of the _mobeds and_ 23
_herbeds_. Each of the herbeds had a volume which was individual and
separate. In it was associated none of the other herbeds and no outsider
had any concern with it. Subsequently there was a break on account of
Alexander setting fire to their books at the time when he invaded Dara,
son of Dara, and they admit with unanimity that a portion of their
scriptures to the extent of a third has perished. This has been
mentioned by Bashir and Nasik and others of their men of learning....

[Sidenote: History of Zoroastrian Sacred literature.]

And Magians compiled all the scriptures (ayat) regarding the miracles of
Zoroaster such as that of the brass which was spread over and melted on
his chest and which did not injure him, and the feet of the horse which
had penetrated his belly and which were drawn out by him, etc.

[Sidenote: Zoroastrians are _Kitabis_.]

And among those who assert that the Magians are _Ahal Kitab_ are Ali Ibn
Talib and Khuzayfa, may God be pleased on these two, and Said Bin Al
Musib and Karadah and Abu Thaur and the whole of the sect of the
Zahurites. And we have set out the arguments of the validity of this
statement in our book entitled the _Isal_ in the chapters on Jehad,
Ceremonial Slaughter, and Nikah. And therein is sufficiently proved the
validity of the acceptance of Jaziya by the prophet of God from them.
For in the clear statement of the Qoran in the last verses of the
chapter of _Burat_, God has declared unlawful the acceptance of the
Jaziya from _non-Kitabis_....

Now as regards the Magians they admit that the books of theirs in which
is incorporated their religion were destroyed by fire by Alexander when
he slew Dara son of Dara,--that more than two-thirds of them have
perished the remnants being less than a third,--that their religious law
was comprised in what has disappeared. Now since this is the condition
of their religion, then their claims are void altogether became of the
disappearance of the majority of their books; since God does not held
responsible any person with reference to anything that has not been
entrusted to him.

[Sidenote: Zoroastrians extant scriptures are corrupt.]

And among their books there is one entitled the _Khudhay_ to which they
pay great reverence, in which it is related that king Anushirwan
prohibited the teaching of their religion in any one of the cities
except Ardeshir Khurrah and the religion spread from Datjird. Before
this time it was not taught anywhere except Istakhar and it was not
proper for anyone to engage in its study except a special class of
people. And of the books which remained after the conflagration by
Alexander there were 23 volumes and there were appointed 23 _herbeds_,
one _herbed_ for each volume. And no herbed transgressed upon the volume
of another. And the MOBED MOBEDAN was the superintendent of the whole of
those scriptures. Now whatever is in this condition has its contents
altered and modified and each of the transcripts is in this state. Hence
they are corrupt and do not deserve to be regarded as authentic. Thus
whatever is in their books cannot be held to be authentic except by
reason of faith alone since there are evident falsehoods in them like
the statement that their king mounted on Iblis and rode on him wherever
he willed, that man in the beginning originated from a vegetable like
grass called Sharaliya, and the birth of Bayarawan Siyawush son of Kay
Kawash who built a city called Kangdez between the earth and the heaven
and settled therein 80,000 men belonging to the _people of family_, that
they are there to this day, and that when Behram Hamawand manifests
himself on his bull to restore to them their sovereignty that city will
descend to earth and will help him to restore their religion and Empire.
Says Abu Muhammed, may God be pleased with him. And every book in which
is incorporated a falsehood is invalid and fictitious. It does not come
from God. Thus there is corruption in the religion of the Magians just
as there is in the religion of the Jews and the Christians to an equal


Ibn Haukal has been edited in the _Bibliotheca Geogra phorum Arabicorum_
by De Goege, but as the text is not available the following excerpts
from a translation of it made over a century ago by Sir William Ouseley
will indicate its importance. He flourished in the middle of the 11th

[Sidenote: Fire Temples.]

"There is not any district nor any town of Fars without a fire temple.
These are held in high veneration. We shall hereafter minutely describe
them. Also throughout Fars there are castles one stronger than another.

[Sidenote: Nirang.]

"There is not any district of this province nor any without a fire
temple. One near Shapur they call Kunbud Kaush.... And in the religion
of the Guebres it is ordained that 'Omnis Foemina quae tempore gravid it
at is aut tempore menstruorum, fornicationem seu adultarium fecerit,
pura non erit, donec ad Pyraeum (seu templum Ignicolarum) accesserit
(et) coram Heirbed (sacerdote) nuda ferit et urina vaccae se laverit.'

"In the province of Fars, they have three languages--the PARSI, which
they use in speaking one to another, though there may be some
variations of dialects in different districts yet it is in fact all the
same and they all understand the languages of each other and none of
their expressions or words are unintelligible; the Pahlavi language
which was formerly used in writings; this language now requires a
commentary or explanatory treatise; and the Arabic language which at
present is used in the Divans or royal courts of justice and revenue,

[Sidenote: Maritime commerce.]

"As to the manners of the people in Fars those who are the chief men and
occupy the higher offices in the service of the sovereign are polite and
courteous. They have fine palaces and are very hospitable. The people in
general, are kind and civil in their manners. The merchants are
remarkably covetous and desirous of wealth. I have heard that there was
a certain man of Siraj who had forty years at sea never leaving his ship
during this time. Whenever he came to a port he sent some of his people
on shore to transact his commercial affairs, and when the business was
finished he sailed on to some other place. The inhabitants of Siraj
devoted their whole time to commerce and merchandise. I myself saw at
this place several persons who possessed 4,000 thousand dinars and there
were some who had still more and their clothes were those of labourers.

[Sidenote: Parsis in Fars.]

"In Fars there are fire worshippers, Guebres, and Christians and some
Jews. And the practices of the Guebres, their fire temples, and their
customs and ceremonies and Guebreism or Magism, still continue among the
people of Fars and there are not in, any country of Islam so many
Guebres as in the land of Fars. It has been their capital or residence."

[Like all other Arab authors Ibn Haukal mentions the celebrated men
belonging to each of the provinces he describes. Among the celebrities
of Fars are reckoned Hormuz, "Guebre", who in the time of Omar was taken
by Abdulla Ibn Omar and put to death; and Salman Farsi who was one of
the illustrious men. His piety is celebrated throughout the world. He
sought the truth of religion in all quarters only to find it at Medina
with the Prophet. In consequence of this Selman became a true believer.
Abdulla Ibn Mukaffa also belonged to Fars. In the territory of Istakhar
is a great building with statuettes carved in stone and there also are
inscriptions and paintings.]





_Dehkan_ is a Persian word signifying both a farmer and a historian. It
is generally used to designate a person of ancient Persian family
possessing hereditary landed property. (P. 77).

_Ispeh Salar._ This word signifies commander of the troops. (P. 228).
KATIBS or writers were the persons employed in public offices: the
directors, clerks and secretaries in government service were all called

[Sidenote: Nauruz in Baghdad.]

_Khalifs' Nauruz._--This another name for Nauruz Khasa "New Year's day
proper," in which it was customary to offer presents to the sovereign.
This festival was held on the sixth day of the month of Ferwardin (end
of Marob). The old Persian custom of celebrating Nauruz existed at
Baghdad under the Abbaside Khalifs. (See P. 203 of this work, see also
an anecdote of Ahmed Ibn Yusuf al Khatif in his life of Al Mubarad.) (P.

"In the year 499 Ak Sunkur was directed by the sultan Muhamed to lay
siege to Tikrit which was then in the possession of Kaikobad Ibn
Hazarasb (about 1125)." (P. 227.)

[Sidenote: Ibn Mukaffa.]

Ibn Khallikan has devoted seven pages to the life of Ibn Mukaffa who is
called _the Katib_ and was renowned for the elegance of his style. He
was the author of admirable epistles. He was a native of Fars and a
Magian. But he was led to the profession of Islam by the uncle of the
two first Abbaside Al Safar and Al Mansur. He then became a secretary
and was admitted into intimacy. It was related that Mukaffa went to Isa
Ibn Ali and said that he was persuaded of the truth of Islam and wished
to make a profession of that faith. Isa answered, "Let it be done in the
presence of the leaders and chiefs of the people who come here
to-morrow." On the evening of that very day he went to dine with Isa,
and having sat down he began to eat and to mutter according to the
custom of the Magian, "How" said Isa, "he mutters like the Magian
although resolved to embrace Islam?" To this Makaffa replied: "I do not
wish to pass a single night without some religion." The next morning he
made to Isa his solemn profession of Islam. Notwithstanding the eminent
merit of Mukaffa he was suspected of infidelity and Al Jahiz states that
his religious sincerity was doubted (P. 431). Ibn Kallikan says, "It was
Mukaffa who composed the book entitled _Kalileh Wa-Dimneh_. But some
state that he is not the author of the work which they say was in
Pahlavi, and he translated it into Arabic, and put it in an elegant
style. But the discourse at the beginning of the work is by him."


Ahmed Ibn Yusuf addressed to Al-Mamun a verse with a present of an
embroidered robe on the day of Nauruz. (P. 32).

Al-Marzubani received his surname of Al-Marzubani because one of his
ancestors bore the name of Al-Marzuban, a designation applied by
Persians to great and powerful men only. This word signifies guardian of
the frontier, as we learn from Ibn al Jawaliki's work called Al-muarrab.
(P. 68).

A reference to the game of chess which originated in India, and the game
of Nerd as invented by the Persian king Ardeshir.

We often come across names like Dhia-ad-Din Abu Said Bahrain Ibn
al-Khidr, just as we have Paul Pakiam indicating the bearer of the name
was originally Hindu but had adopted subsequently Christianity. (P.

[Sidenote: Nominal converts.]

Abl-Hasan Mihyar Ibn Mirzawaih, a native of Dadam and secretary for
Persian language was a Fire-worshipper, but afterwards adopted the
Moslem faith. It is said that he made his profession to Sharif ar-Rida
who was his professor and under whom he made his poetical studies. It
seems, however, the conversion of Mihyar was only nominal. Ibn al-Athir
al-Jazari says in his Annals that one Ibn Burhan said to him. "Mihyar,
by becoming a Musalman you have merely passed from one corner of hell to
another." "How so?" said Mihyar. Ibn Burhan replied: "Because you were
formerly a fire-worshipper and now you revile the companions of our
blessed Prophet in your verses." (P. 517.)

Ibn Khallikan adds that "Mihyar and Mirzawaith are both Persian names.
Their signification is unknown to me."


Instances of hybrid compound names, the Iranian component being

Izz ad-Din Kaikaus son of Ghiath ad-Din Kaikhosru. (P. 487).

Ala ad-Din Kaikobad. (P. 489).

Abu Mahfuz Ibn Firuz. (P. 384).

Abu Manzur Al Muzaffar Ibn Abi I-Husain Ardeshir. (P. 365).

Abu Mansur-Sheherdar Ibn Shiruyah. (P. 11).

Sultan ad-Dawlat, Fanakhrosru (which is no doubt equivalent to Panah
Khurso.) (P. 278).

The word _abna_ signifies _sons_. It was generally employed to designate
persons one of whose parents was an Arab and the other of a foreign
race. At the time of Mahomed and afterwards there was in Yeman a great
number of _Abna_ whose fathers were Persians and whose mothers were
Arabs. (P. 334).

Dress of the Ulema. (P. 273).

Yahya Ibn al Munajjim whose real name was Abban Hasis, the son of Kad,
the son of Mahavindad, the son of Farrukhdad, the son of Asad, the son
of Mihr, the son of Yezdigerd, the last of the Sasanian kings of Persia.

Story of the onagar with the inscription on its ear written by Bahramgor
in the Kufic character. Ibn Khallikan quotes Al Khawarezmi's
_Mafatih-al-Ulum._ (P. 85).

[Sidenote: Old castles.]

Istakhri refers to the castle of Jiss in the district of Arrajan about
which we have a more exhaustive notice by other writers. "Here lived the
Magians," says Istakhri, "and here also are to be found memorials of the
past of Persia. The place is strongly fortified. The castle of Iraj is
also strongly fortified. The fastnesses which cannot be subjugated are
so many that it is not possible to detail them."

Describing the city of Jur Istakhri says that it was built by Ardeshir.
"It is said that here water used to be collected as in a lake. The king
had taken a vow to build a city and to erect a fire temple at the place
where he had defeated his enemy. He had the place drained, and when it
was dried he built the city of Jur on the site. The city in its extent
is like Istakhr, Sabur, and Darabgird. It had mud walls and moats and
many gates, the eastern one being called the gate of Mihr, the western
the gate of Bahram, the northern the gate of Hormuz, and the southern
the gate of Ardeshir. In the centre of the city is a building with a
cupola built by Ardeshir. It is said that it is so high that it commands
a view of the city and its surroundings. _High at its top is a fire
altar_.[1]" (P. 56).

[Sidenote: Languages of Iran.]

In another portion of his book Istakhri describes the inhabitants as
thin, with little growth of hair and of brown colour. "In the colder
tracts," he continues, "the people are of a taller stature with a thick
growth of hair and very fair. They speak three languages,--the Parsi,
which everybody speaks and which is employed in their letters and their
literature; the Magians who dwell among them use the Pahlavi in their
writings, but it needs for a thorough understanding an explanation in
Parsi; and Arabic which is the language used in the correspondence of
the Sultan, the Government Boards, the grandees and the Amirs." (P. 67).

[Footnote 1: This goes to confirm the hypothesis of Sir John Marshall
that the curious structure with probably a fire-altar at the top
excavated by him at Taxila near Rawal Pindi is a Zoroastrian

[Sidenote: Tardy Converts.]

In the same place he makes mention of a numerous settlement of the
Magians. "Here are," he says, "a goodly number of Magians in the
neighbourhood of Istakhr. There is a large stone building with carvings
and pillars about which the Persians relate that it is the mosque of
Solomon; the son of David, and that it is the work of genii. In bulk it
is comparable to the buildings in Syria and Egypt" "In the neighborhood
of Sabur is a mountain on which the representations of all the kings,
governors, servitors of temples and grand mobeds who were celebrated in
the times of the Persian monarchy are to be found. On the pedestals of
these figures are engraved the events in connection with and the deeds
of these personages." Describing the Karen mountains Itakhri says, "The
mountainous region is inaccessible and the inhabitants hold commerce
with no one outside. During the Omayad period they persisted in their
adherence to Zoroastrianism, and they could not be subjugated, and were
worse than the inhabitants of the Koz mountain. But when the Abbasides
came to power they embraced Islam. These Magians were extraordinarily
brave. Yakub and Amru the sons of Leith, commenced their rule and power
here and drew their supporters from these hills." "Mokan," says
Istakhri, "contains many villages which are inhabited by the Magians."
(P. 71.)




BY G. Lestrange.

The following fire-temples are mentioned:--At [Transcriber's note: word
unreadable] there was an ancient fire temple called Ardahish. (P. 56)

A dragon was slain by king Kaikaushro who then built on the spot a fire
temple afterwards known as Dayr Kushid. (P. 69).

Turshid was the chief city of the Kohistan province and near it was the
village Kishwaz famous for the great cypress trees planted by Zoroaster
as related by Firdausi in the Shah Nameh, (Turner, 1. Macar Vol. 4, line
1061). Near Tushiz were four famous castles one of which was called
Arthush Gah or the Fire temple. (P. 80).

Herat was watered by the canals of the river Hari Rud. It had a famous
castle called Sham Iram built over the ruins of an ancient Fire temple
on a mountain two leagues distant from the city. Mustawfi adds a long
account of the town, its markets and its shrines, giving the names of
the various canals derived from the Hari Rud. (P. 85).



[Sidenote: Zoroastrians are treated like Jews and Christians.]

The religious bodies which enjoy rights of subjects under the protection
of law are four,--the Jews, the Christians, the Majus, and the Sabiah.
(P. 67-69).

[Sidenote: Nauruz and Miherjan.]

The worshippers of idols in Sind are not of the Dhimma, nor those under
the protection of Islam; it is on this account that they are exempted
from the poll tax. _The Majus are counted with the Dhimma; for Omar
ordered them to be treated in the same way as the people of the book
(the Jews and Christians;_) the fact that we call the followers of one
and the same code of doctrines by two names, one of praise and one of
blame, does not arise from eulogising or reviling on our part; our
object is merely to shew what others think of any sect, and by what
names they call them. (P. 7).



And Behram was matchless among kings, perfect in manners and facile of
tongue. For he used to converse on the days of public assemblies and
courtly meetings in Arabic and in matters of receiving petitions and
granting of the gifts in Persian, and when giving public audiences he
used the Dari language, and when playing polo he used Pahlavi, and
Turkish while at war, and when out hunting the language of Zabulistan
and in legal matters Hebrew, in questions of medicine the Indian
language, in Astronomy the language of the Greeks, and while on voyage
he used the Nabatian language and while speaking with women he used the
speech of Herat. (P. 555).

That Thaalibi knew the correct distinction between Pahlavi and Persian
can be seen from the fact that he says at p. 633 of his history with
reference to the book of _Kalileh wa Dimna_ as follows:--When Burzuyeh
arrived at the court and presented himself before Anushirwan he
recounted to him what had happened to him and announced to him as a
happy event that he was in possession of the book. Then he made a
present of it to the king. (Anushirwan was charmed with it and he gave
the order to translate the book into Pahlavi.) Burzuyeh requested and
got from the king the permission to place at the head of the first
chapter the king's name, and a notice of his life. And the book remained
carefully guarded with the kings of Persia until Ibn Muquaffa translated
it into Arabic and Rudaki at the command of Amir Nasr Ibn Ahmad turned
it into Persian verse.

Reference to _Kitab al Ain_. (P. 14.)

Reference to the murder and burial of the last Sasanian king, (P. 748.)

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