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should place the composition of nearly all the Yashts, though I recognize plentiful traces of Magian redaction. This conflation of Zoroastrianism with Iranian mythology and folklore, never really expelled from the Zoroastrian community, enables us to understand how the Avesta made its first entrance into Persia. The links between this second canon 2 of the Avesta and the primitive non-Aryan Magism will be shown when we have discussed the features of the latter.
II. Iranian Mazdeism can be reconstructed with complete general accuracy by the comparison of elements common to Veda, Avesta, and the Persian religion in the age of Darius and Xerxes. Some of these elements I indicated in my first paper (p. 406 sq.). Those scholars who think that some kind of Avestan Zoroastrianism was current in Persia at that period universally admit the very serious difficulty caused by the omissions and inconsistencies of the inscriptions when compared with the Avesta. The absence of Zarathushtra's name, not only from the inscriptions, but also from all Greek writers prior to Aristotle,4 is exceedingly telling when we remember the Prophet's position in the later Avesta, whose creed is practically that of Islam with the names altered. But for the compulsion of a theory I do not think any one would fail to regard such silence as decisive. But the case is just the same with Dualism. No one could question that if Achæmenid kings had professed either the creed of the Gâthâs or that of the Vendidad they would have referred to Angra Mainyu and the Daevas again and again. We find Drauga, the Lie, but it is
from "ahvā, aňhūi from ahyāi, was the appearance of the nasal, as Dr. Mills has since noted in a letter to me.
1 The Mithra Yasht (x.) will illustrate my point. A case of Magian interpolation seems to occur in vv. 121, 122, a ceremonial direction quite out of place and thoroughly after Vendidad style. Then notice that though Angra Mainyu is thrice named (v. 118-a prose, and therefore probably late passage,-v. 97, and v. 134), the essence of dualism is as truly absent as in the Haptanghaiti. Demons and Peris are quite Iranian. The characteristic Iranian insistence on truth and pledge-keeping is seen throughout : note especially in v. 2 the sanctity of a pledge to a bad man, with which we might fairly compare Ps. xv. 4. The “Fravashis of the holy" appear in v. 3. There may be something too in the probable fact that the baresma (v. 137, but not v. 91) is strewed grass like the Indian barhis, instead of the Magian barsom of twig.
? To apply the Old Testament analogy, the Gâthâs are “first Canon," Gâthâs and Yashts “second,” whole Avesta “ third.”
3 There may well have been new elements introduced in the pre-Zarathushtrian Iran. We can guess at these by comparing the last two of the three systems named ; but as we cannot demonstrate independence except in a few points the test is not a certain one.
4 See below. Few would care to build much on the fragments of Xanthus, and it makes no difference to my argument if Plato be substituted for Aristotle above.
• W. Bang (Journ. of the German Oriental Soc., vol. xlii. 527 sqq.) notes Beh. Inscr. ir 58 sq., and 78 sq., as strong evidence that Darius knew nothing of Ahriman ; his name was otherwise inevitable in an imprecation. Bang's later point (ib. p. 674), that Vend. I. 2, “Ahura nowhere made šūiti (joy-Lat. quies) " Hatly contradicts the common inscriptional formula (translated below) reckoning siyāti among the creations of Auramazda, seems to me unsafe, because of the fragmentary nature of the whole stanza in the Vendidad : it is of very doubtful genuineness,
barely an impersonation, and certainly owes nothing to the Avestan Druj, which is the same root in a different declension. Now, as have just seen, the absence of Ahriman would be intelligible on the supposition that the Persians were possessed of the second canon of the Avesta, and not of the third, since the true Gâthic “dualism" did not really survive its author. But as this omission is combined with the omission of Zarathushtra, it becomes indefinitely more probable that the Persian religion was older than the great reformation, and had not yet felt its influence.
If this is really the case, the account of Herodotus (i. 131, 132) becomes highly reliable. Where we can test it there are very few errors, and those inconsiderable, while his unsupported statements are in themselves probable. His ignorance of Zoroaster and of Ahriman tallies with the inscriptions; his omitting the name Auramazda is easily understood, for a Greek naturally called a supreme deity Zeus. The title was appropriate enough here, since Zeus, and his Vedic counterpart Dyâus, still retained their primeval connection with the “ vault of heaven,” which even without Herodotus's statement we should have expected the unreformed Iranian religion to understand by Auramazda. “Sun, moon, earth, fire, water and winds” are all Indo-Iranian divinities, but the reverence paid them was not so great that we need share the surprise felt by Diogenes Laertius at the behaviour of Xerxes towards two of them. That the cult of “ Urania," that is Anāhita, was coming in from Assyria and Arabia is just what we expect to hear-whereof more in its proper place. That Herodotus miscalls her Mitra is a point we must also return to. In the sacrifice ritual the moin and Tpíbuldov suit the Indo-Iranian “ strewed grass” (barhis, baresma) exactly. Herodotus makes a Magus take the place of the Iranian áthravan, or fire-priest (Strabo's múpaidos), which we must note in our third section. The Ocoyovín would be a hymn like those of the Veda, paralleled by the Avestan Yashts, and therefore a model likely enough to reach back to Indo-Iranian times.3
We return to the inscriptions for one or two additional indications of considerable importance. First, let us take the familiar formula which appears, mutatis mutandis, four times in the inscriptions of Darius, six times in those of the pious and admirable Xerxes, and once in the short inscription of Ochus. “A great god (baga) is Auramazda, who made this earth, who made that heaven, who made mankind, who made delight (?)* for mankind, who appointed Darius (or Xerxes, &c.) king, the sole king of many,
1 The Avestan Peri of Barrenness appears in a Persepolis inscription, but not as an impersonation.
* As we saw above, there is some probability that this “barsom " was known to the preMagian Avesta, though in the same Yasht (x. 91) the later form of it seems to be described.
3 Some traditional liturgies of this sort may lie behind the problematic sacred writings which Oppert traces in the Behistân account of Gaumâta's usurpation, in a passage found only in the Susianian version. I cannot pronounce on the genuineness of the discovery.
• The word is šiyāti, see above. Bartholomae gives it as “ dwelling,” but the translation adopted seems preferable.
the sole ruler of many."1 Add the opening of the Persepolis inscription, which will serve as a specimen of many similar statements.
"The great Auramazda, who is the greatest of gods (baga), he hath made Darius king, he hath brought him the kingdom, by grace of Auramazda is Darius king." The same acknowledgments are most freely made as each victory over a pretender is recounted in the great Behistân inscription. We see, therefore, that, as Herodotus indicates, Auramazda was far the highest of the godsas far above the other gods as Darius was above his satraps ; he is the Creator, and his providence rules over all. The king's exhortations that the readers of his rock-graven records should honour and obey Auramazda, under whose almighty protection they would prosper, as he had prospered, are striking testimonies to the piety of the great monarch, and to the all but monotheistic conception of the Persian Deity. Neither Darius nor Xerxes names the lesser gods. But, at Persepolis, “ Saith Darius the King, May Auramazda help me together with the clan-gods (baga). . ... May no enemy come to this province, nor army, nor barrenness, nor lie; for this favour I pray Auramazda together with the clan-gods, may Auramazda together with the clan-gods give me this." The Clan (Old Pers. Vith; Zend vis; Skt. viç : cf. oikos, Opýlkes) was a deeply-rooted institution in Iran, and it was naturally under the special protection of the national religion.
It is obvious that the step from a polytheism of this sort to monotheism was but a short one. Zarathushtra had only to exalt Ahura yet higher among a people who already worshipped Him as supreme, and he may well have thought that by simply ignoring the lesser divinities they would be eliminated. It is significant that he drops entirely the universal Iranian title baga,? which had polytheistic associations.
The position of the Indo-Iranian god Mithra in the Persian religion will require careful treatment when we come to discuss the period at which the Avesta became established in Western Iran. I am disposed to think that this divinity continued to be worshipped among the lower classes, and in connection doubtless with the acknowledged cult of the sun. Proper names attest his survival, while the mistaken identification of Herodotus seems to show he was not regularly recognized. In the historian's time the Assyrian cult of Ishtar (as Anâhita) was spreading among the masses, and the Assyrian combination of Ishtar and Bel (the sun) may have encouraged the association of Mithra and Anâhita when Artaxerxes Mnemon (if my theory is right) established the Avestan religion in Persia.
(To be continued.)
* I quote from the Alvend inscription of Darius (Spiegel, p. 46).
* The corresponding Sanskrit bhága retains its distinctive meaning (“ bounteous ”) and has only taken the first step towards the Iranian use. In the later Avesta the title returns, and is applied to Ahura, but a certain sense of inferiority seems stamped on it: thus Mithra (Yt. x. 141) is "the strongest of bagha's,” which half suggests a consciousness that a higher name belonged to Ahura. The prevalence of the name in Iran is well shown by the probable fact that the Phrygians (Bayałos), and even the Slavs (Old Bulg., bogů=God) borrowed it from them.
STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS.
HOSEA, CHAPTERS iv.-xiv.-Continued. The condition of the people as it concerns their relation to the law and worship of Jehovah is not less terrible. All hope of faithful service is lost, the goodness of Israel was but " as the morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away." Now they are sunken in puerile Gentile superstitions ; they “ ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them.”i In the time of affliction they no longer turn to Jehovah, they but howl upon their beds, or with all the frenzy of Oriental fanatics seek their corn and wine.?
As we have seen, the wealth of the nation went to raise sun-pillars, and multiply altars. The corruption of this idol-worship spreads far and wide. The manufacturers of these goods are busy, craftsmen making them according to their skill. Every degrading service is readily submitted to. Men whose office is priestly degrade it to the vilest purposes ; the men who come to worship they direct to the plated images, and the rubric appointed for the worshippers is, “Let them kiss the calves." The worship of the calves was apparently something very different to a merely more symbolical and sacramental worship of the Jehovah of the Jerusalem temple.
Of this idolatrous service all the apparatus was to hand : idols covered with plates of silver or gold, sun-pillars, altars, Asherahs, mountain tops, and shady groves of oak, poplar, and terebinth. High places, with their calves, made Bethel into Beth-aven, the house of God into the house of vanity or nothingness. In this period we meet with a new order of priesthood, that of the Kemarim, the character of whose service, by almost every derivation of the word, savours of fanaticism, whether it be the traditional one of Kimchi, that they wore dark robes, or the Syriac, of mourning, or the latest, that finds in the root the idea of extravagant devotees who “cast themselves down" upon the ground in some act of prostration, and in the spirit of an Indian fakir, Here, too, we meet what has been absent from the page
. Whether the reading “cut themselves" of the LXX., some MSS. of the Hebrew, and margin of R. V. be accepted, or the translation of Fuerst “to be anxious,” or of Ewald “ excite themselves," or of the Targum and Rabbins "assemble," be accepted, the scene suggested by the prophet's word may find a good illustration from the assembly, excitement, and selflacerations upon Mount Carmel recorded in 1 Kings xviii. 3 xiii. 2.
4 iv. 15. 5 Might not an illustration of this aspect of the service of the Kemarim be found in the modern dervishes who submit to the ceremony of the “ Doseh " or “Treading," described by Lane, Modern Egyptians ? Cf. Isa. li. 23.
Scripture since the sojourning in Canaan of the patriarch Jacob, at a time when the immoralities of the corrupt race were in undiminished force, viz., the institution of the Qedeshah, or temple harlot, a widely spread abomination traceable in Phænicia, Syria, Phrygia, Babylonia, and Assyria. The licentiousness of the women of Israel had its counterpart in the shamelessness of men who could sacrifice with these Qedeshoth, burn incense in the recesses of the groves, and offer shameful sacrifices to obscene deities.
Yet it is not merely against this open idolatry and flagrant rebellion against the Holy One of Israel, perhaps confined to a growing minority, that the prophet protests; he has stern things to utter concerning the formal, empty, worthless religion of the masses. The state of unreal, insincere profession denounced by Isaiah in the case of Judah was at its height in Israel ; here, too, incense was an abomination, and “iniquity and a solemn meeting" convertible terms. It was a nation of mock worshippers. They came near with professions of fellowship, "My God, we, Israel, know Thee"; of which doubtless the judgment of Jehovah was, “This people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me; but have removed their heart far from Me."'3 They came with flocks and herds to seek the Lord, thinking Him a God to be "pleased with thousands of rams, and with ten thousands of rivers of oil."4 But He“ desired mercy, and not sacrifice.”5 The sacrifices which they offered were mere opera operata; they slew oxen, and ate the appointed parts; but it was feasting, not sacrificing, a devouring of flesh, not a mortifying of sin. The very seasons of worship and occasions of their devotions should prove a share and a destruction; the new moon festival denounced by Isaiah in the “Great Arraignment” would witness their personal destruction, and the ruin of their possessions ; " the new moon shall devour them with their fields."6
There was no need to marvel that such was the religious condition of the people generally. A sufficient cause existed in the holders of religious office, the leaders of religious thought. The prophet was “a snare of a fowler,” misguiding men to their destruction, as the lying spirit led Zedekiah ben Chenaanah, and he misled King Ahab to the fatal campaign against Ramoth-Gilead.? No better in character, not less false to righteousness and to God, were the priests. Since in some measure the northern kingdom continued to adhere to certain points of the earlier legislation and worship, the sin-offerings were still offered and the allotted portions still given to the priests for their use. But instead of receiving these portions with the feelings of regret which, as representatives of a holy and angered God, had become them, they devoured them with a greedy joy. “They set their heart” with eager anticipation upon the people's iniquity, and look for the sin-offering which must follow the transgression. They recognized that a
3 Hosea viii. 2, 3; Isa. xxix. 13. 4 v. 6; Micah vi. 6, 7.
5 yi. 6.
6 v. 7. 7 ix. 8; 1 Kings xxii. 8 iv. 8.--In spite of the tendency of critical theories, Canon Cheyne (Hosea, p. 66) accepts the older notion found in Kimchi, that "sin" here is equivalent to “sin-offering."