The Bundahi%sn: The Zoroastrian Book of Creation

The Bundahi%sn: The Zoroastrian Book of Creation

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Overview

The Bundahisn, meaning primal or foundational creation, is the central Zoroastrian account of creation, cosmology, and eschatology. Compiled sometime in the ninth century CE, it is one of the most important surviving testaments to Zoroastrian literature in the Middle Persian language and to pre-Islamic Iranian culture. Despite having been composed some two millennia after the Prophet Zoroaster's revelation, it is nonetheless a concise compendium of ancient Zoroastrian knowledge that draws on and reshapes earlier layers of the tradition.

Well known in the field of Iranian Studies as an essential primary source for scholars of ancient Iran's history, religions, literatures, and languages, the Bundahisn is also a great work of literature in and of itself, ranking alongside the creation myths of other ancient traditions. The book's thirty-six diverse chapters, which touch on astronomy, eschatology, zoology, medicine, and more, are composed in a variety of styles, registers, and genres, from spare lists and concise commentaries to philosophical discourses and poetic eschatological visions. This new translation, the first in English in nearly a century, highlights the aesthetic quality, literary style, and complexity and raises the profile of pre-Islamic Zoroastrian literature.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190879044
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/25/2020
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Domenico Agostini is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at Tel Aviv University. He has been the recipient of the Prix Pirasteh in Persian Studies at the Acad mie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris (2008) and the Polonsky fellowship for Outstanding postdoctoral researchers (2013-2017). He has published extensively in the field of the Zoroastrian apocalyptic ideas and Middle Persian literature.

Samuel Thrope is a research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa. He earned his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a fellow of the Martin Buber Society at Hebrew University. His translation of Persian writer Jalal Al-e Ahmad's The Israeli Republic was published in 2017, and he is co-editor, with Roberta Cassagrande-Kim and Raquel Ukeles, of the 2018 exhibition catalogue Romance and Reason: Islamic Transformations of the Classical Past.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Shaul Shaked

Introduction

Prologue
1: On Material Creation
2: On the Creation of the Lights
3: On Why Creation Chose to Fight
4: On How the Adversary Attacked Creation
5: On the Opposition of the Two Spirits
6: On the Stages of the Battle of the Material Creation against the Evil Spirit
7: On the Likenesses of the Creatures
8: On the Nature of the Lands
9: On the Nature of the Mountains
10: On the Nature of the Seas
11: On the Nature of the Rivers
12: On the Nature of Lakes
13: On the Nature of the Five Forms of Animals
14: On the Nature of Mankind
15: On the Nature of the Birth of All Species
16: On the Nature of Plants
17: On the Mastery of Men, Animals, and Everything
18: On the Nature of Fire
19: On Sleep
20: On Songs
21: On the Nature of Wind, Clouds and Rain
22: On Vermin
23: On the Nature of the Wolf Species
24: On Various Things: How they were Created, and how their Adversaries Came
25: On the Religious Year
26: On the Great Deeds of the Spiritual Deities
27: On Ahriman and the Demons' Evil Deeds
28: On the Human Body as the Measure of the Material World
29: On the Mastery of the Continents
30: On the Cinwad Bridge and the Souls of the Departed
31: On the Celebrated Lands of Iran, and the Kayanid House
32: On the Glorious Kayanid Palaces, which they call Wonders and Marvels
33: On the Calamities that have Befallen Iran, Millenium by Millenium
34: On Resurrection and the Final Body
35: On the Family and Lineage of Kayanids and on the Lineage of Porusasp
36: On the Chronology of the Arabs of Twelve Thousand Years

Afterword by Guy G. Stroumsa
Bibliography
Notes
Index

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