By Mary Boyce
This quantity is a part of a three-volume paintings tracing the background of Zoroastrianism. within the set, literary, archaeological and numismatic proof is drawn on and native advancements are explored. research is made from the Zoroastrian contributions to Hellenistic concept and to Judaism, Christianity and Mithraism. An excursus presents a reassessment of the Zoroastrian pseudepigrapha.
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Extra resources for A History of Zoroastrianism: Volume 1, The Early Period
4 with 8-II. 59 Yt. 68, 102, 125, 136. a, leaving Mitra (in so far as he is separately celebrated) more purely benevolent. a and Vayu, not (under that) of Mitra, who is most dear to men". a] have many slings, they are fetterers of untruth (anrta-J, difficult for the deceitful mortal to circumvent". 65 These and other similar passages clearly indicate that the Vedic priests too ascribed a stern and wrathful character to Mitra on occasion, even if they no longer gave prominence to this aspect ofthe god.
C. there were various local dynasties with Aryan names in Syria and Palestine ;53 and at Boghazkoi in Asia Minor tablets have been discovered relating to the kingdom of Mitanni, in which there occur, together with a few Aryan loan-words and proper names, the names of four Aryan gods among those invoked over a treaty. 54 A strong case has been made on linguistic grounds for regarding these elements in the Mitanni records as protoso See further below, Ch. 8. , Vd. " Then answered Ahura Mazda: "When corn is abundantly sown, 0 Spitama Zarathustra.
On the connection of the Vedic Mitra with daybreak see Thieme, Mitra and Aryaman, 69, Gonda, The Vedic God Mitra, 58-9. The ever-vigilant Mithra is present, however, not only with the sun by day, but also with the luminaries of the night sky, see Boyce, BSOAS XXXII, 1969, 30 with n. 103. 44 See Yt. I6,67,99,II8. 4S Yt. 97 (on which see Benveniste, RHR CXXX, 1945, 14-16; Boyce, art. , 25 n. 74). 46 On this aspect of sacrifice see further below, Ch. 6. 47 Yt. 65 ,61. 42 43 30 THE PAGAN BACKGROUND god because of his link with the "life-giving" sun ;48 but they probably originate rather in the ancient, widespread belief that when a ruler was upright and loyal to his undertakings, then his country was rewarded with rain and good crops, whereas a king's wrong-doing brought drought and pestilence.
A History of Zoroastrianism: Volume 1, The Early Period by Mary Boyce