Printer Friendly

Der Zamyad-Yast: Edition, Ubersetzung, Kommentar.

The Zamyad Yast (Yt. 19) is the last substantial text (97 strophes) of the collection of yasts (hymns to individual deities) in the Avesta. From a literary point of view its main interest lies in the stories from the Iranian epic tradition that are here elaborated to a greater extent than anywhere else in the Avesta, presenting in "chronological" order the tales of the heroes and villains who asked for and obtained or did not obtain the [x.sup.v]arenah-. Hintze's edition is a reworking of her German Ph.D. dissertation, which she wrote under the guidance of Johanna Narten. The work thus stands in the tradition of the "Erlanger school," applying Karl Hoffmann's strict principles for philological analysis as elaborated by his student Narten (especially in her two books: Die Amesa Spentas im Avesta [Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1982], and Der Yasna Haptanhaiti [Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1986]), a method that leads to brilliant results at its best, is always sound, useful, and inspiring, but occasionally tends toward fragmentation and pedantry.

The book contains an introduction, in which numerous problems and aspects of the text are discussed; the text edition itself, containing text, critical apparatus, translation, and commentary; a less than complete glossary with etymological notes and references to the secondary literature; a rich bibliography; and exhaustive indices. (I am puzzled by the decision to exclude from the glossary words "repeated from other texts" [p. 401], as I have not found any discussion of the original loci of such passages. The fact that the scribes of the archetype of the manuscripts of this yast abbreviate a text they have already copied does not mean that the text itself was originally foreign to this yast.)

The problems discussed in the nine-part introduction center on the structure and contents of the hymn. After a survey of previous work on the hymn, Hintze discusses in part two the cosmological section on the origin of mountains, with which this hymn begins and which is commonly assumed to have originally been a separate text appended to the actual hymn. It is not, however, clear to me whether Hintze shares this opinion, since on pp. 12-13 she presents the argument for it from the karde ("section") division in the manuscripts, but on p. 14 she points out that the first, cosmological, part corresponds to the final, eschatological, part of the hymn. In the next parts of the introduction Hintze discusses (part 3) the term [x.sup.v]arenah, its meaning, functions, and etymology, preferring a derivation from *suel-"to swell, glow" (p. 32); (part 4) the epic parts of the hymn, in which she concludes that the underlying difference between the early dynasty of the Pesdadids and the later one of the Kayanids is one of myth as opposed to epic, denying these stories any historicity; (part 5) the geographical references in the work; and finally (part 6), the name of the yast, which is Kayan yasn in the oldest manuscript (F1 and its copy E1) after kauuaem [x.sup.v]arano, the theme of the yast (the preceding yast - Yt. 18 - is similarly called Eran yasn, after airiianem [x.sup.v]arano; p. 45) and Zamyad yast only in much later manuscripts. At this point the connection between the mountains and the [x.sup.v]arenah- is again discussed, and here Hintze seems to lean toward the conclusion that the initial mountain section is a later addition (for my own opinion, see my article in Die Sprache 36 [1994]: 199-243). Part 7 of the introduction concerns the language of the yast, with a listing of alleged dialect forms based upon Karl Hoffmann and Johanna Narten, Der sasanidische Archetypus (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1989), but without a discussion of the chronology of the "dialect influences" (for my view on some of these matters, see my review of Hoffman's and Narten's book in Kratylos 36 [1991]: 108). A brief section on metrics (part 8) concludes the discussion of the contents and form of the hymn. The rest of the introduction is devoted to a discussion of the manuscripts, the present edition, translation, and the structure of the edition. It is Hintze's great merit to have discovered additional manuscripts of the yasts in India (see her "F1, E1 und drei neue Yast-Handschriften," Munchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 50 [1989]: 31-50) and to have contributed to the publication of the important codex F1 (K. JamaspAsa, The Avesta Codex F1 [Niyayisns and Yasts]: Facsimile Edition with an Introduction [Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1991]).

Most readers will avidly devour the philological commentary, which leads far beyond the text under discussion and contains numerous felicitous observations and convincing new morphological and semantic analyses. I need not quote these within the limited space of this review, instead I shall mention a few places where improvements can still be made by applying even more strictly the philological principles upon which the work is based.

P. 70. Hintze's discussion of *[upaosan.sup.v]asca is an example of what I called "fragmentation," above. By this I mean that words are occasionally treated too much in isolation. The oldest forms of this word reconstructible through manuscript criticism are *upaosan(u)huuasca and *upaosanhasca. Hintze assumes that these spellings are for *[upaosan.sup.v]hasca. However, n(u)huu is not the most common scribal resolution of the group n h (usually nuh; see, e.g., Karl Hoffman, Aufsatze zur Indoiranistik [Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1976], 596), and when one looks closer at the mountain names in this section, one notices that quite a few of them end in -uua(s) (in the list on pp. 5051 these have been assigned various stems): 2 mazisuua, 4 draosisuuasca sairiuuasca (and nanhusmaca "with m after u" [?]. 5 *asanuuasca, 6 odutauuasca, rauuasca. The function of this suffix therefore seems to be to make mountain names, and it may not be much older than Avestan. Rather than an old (at least Indo-Iranian?) formation *upa-usah-ua(nt)- "containing proximity to dawn," we may be dealing with (a local Iranian?) type of mountain name: "Mount Early Dawn." Similarly, in Yt. 19.5 (p. 85) vafraiiasca is emended to vafrauuasca without considering the rhyming name frapaiiasca in 19.6.

Pp. 71-73. In Yt. 19.2 Hintze edits usa[Delta]a, against Geldner's usida and Bartholomae's usida, following Kellens' (and Duchesne-Guillemin's) etymology [note: ?? sx, not ?? s, is Geldner's "default" value for "sh"-letters; thus, his spelling usida in principle means that he leaves the question of the nature of the "sh"-letter open]. The name is also attested in Yt. 1.28 and 19.66. The manuscript situation is: Yt. 1.28 usadam Pt1, O3; usi.dam Jm4, J9; usidam L18, P13, K12 (descendants of Pt1); Pahlavi us-dastar. Yt. 19.2 usado F1(and its descendants); usado J10, D; usado L18, B27 (descendants of Pt1; incidentally the differences between Pt1 and its descendants in Yt. 1.28 and 19.2 indicate that these go back to an archetype different from and later than Pt1). Yt. 19.66 usada F1(and its descendants), J10; usada D.

We see that the originals must have been: Yt. 1.28 usadam or usi.dam; Yt. 19.2 usado or usado; Yt. 19.66 usada. When we further note that F1 (especially in its later parts) not infrequently has s for s - e.g., Yt. 19.58 tarasuca for *[tarsu.sup.o]; Yt. 19.96 [sud.sup.o] and [saod.sup.o] for [sud.sup.o] - there can be little doubt that the manuscripts support the reading [usad.sup.o].

Neither Hintze nor Kellens is aware of Georg Morgenstierne's proposal that the name is identical with the word usada- "shoulder" attested in the Frahang i oim 3g: usadam = Pahlavi pust i tez "pointed back," for which he adduced Sogdian so and modern Yidgha sile (Indo-Iranian Frontier Languages, vol. 2 [Oslo: H. Aschehoug, 1938], 251b, with reference to the Sogdian form). Kellens, in his Les Noms-racines de l'Avesta (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1974), 213-14, quotes an opinion of Karl Hoffmann's in Gert Klingenschmitt's unpublished edition of the Frahang i oim that usada- is an error for *usnij/za-, an unfounded assumption.

It would seem that this name was sometimes associated phonetically (acoustically) by the scribes or in the oral tradition with the name of Kauui Usan: Yt. 5.45, 14.39 nom. Usa; Yt. 13.131 gen. Usadano; Yt. 19.71 acc. Usadanem. Here the syllable [Delta]a seems to be intrusive, perhaps caused partly by the similar-sounding name Usadano in Yt. 13.121 and partly by the mountain name in Yt. 19.

P. 73. For the mountain name Usi.darena- Hintze (after Kellens after Hoffmann) proposes the meaning "with red cracks." Alternately one might think of the "Crack of Dawn" or the "Dawn-breaker" (cf. also darra Mid. Pers. "crack," Mod. Pers. "valley").

P. 78. On vasana- see also Rudiger Schmitt, "Zu einem awestischen Gebirgsnamen," Munchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 53 (1992): 175-77.

P. 128, n. 192. Descendants of *xarda- "excrement, filth" are found in East-Iranian dialects. See, e.g. Georg Morgenstierne, An Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto (Oslo: Jacob Dybwad, 1927), 97, s.v. xer, and Etymological Vocabulary of the Shughni Group (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1974), 78b, s.v. sard-. I assume euuito.xareda- means "from which the excrement has not gone away," and that it logically refers to unam.

P. 208. Hintze suggests that what is commonly edited as naire.manah- [less than] *nairiiamanah- is a corruption of nere.manah-. The manuscript evidence, however, does not support such a reading. From her prospectus of manuscript variants it is clear that the oldest readings are naire.manah- and nairi.manah- and that the occasional naire.manah- in old manuscripts has e for e, which is not uncommon, even in old manuscripts. As compounds with first member ending in a rather than o are not uncommon (cf. mazdadata-, ahuradata-), the traditional analysis is perfectly acceptable (note also naire dat. of nar- in Yt. 11.2; nairi F1, Jm4, naire K36). The evidence of D and K40 (both made for Westergaard - K40 in 1842) against the other manuscripts is in my opinion not sufficient to correct the massively attested naire.manah- (cf. also Middle Persian Nariman).

P. 356. In Yt. 19.85 we must read draoca paruuanca "in tree and stone," as shown by Jochen Schindler, quoted in Calvert Watkins, How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1995), 162-63.

P. 373. For a proposed emendation of vaedam > *vadam, see Watkins, How to Kill a Dragon, 319.

P. 392. The emended form *mido.aojanho is another example of emending without paying enough attention to the manuscript readings, which actually point to an original mioo vaox anho "having (never) spoken falsehood," as I have shown in JAOS 117 (1997): 145-47.

In conclusion, this is a book that Avestan scholars cannot afford not to keep on their desk for constant consultation.

Bibliographical update and additions: Almut Hintze, "Compositional Techniques in the Yasts of the Younger Avesta," in Proceedings of the Second European Conference of Iranian Studies, ed. Bert G. Fragner et al. (Rome: Istituto per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1995), 277-86.

Antonio Panaino, "L'Innologia avestica," in L'Inno tra rituale e letteratura nel mondo antico: Atti di un colloquio, Napoli 21-24 ottobre 1991, A.I.O.N. (Rome: Gruppo Editoriale Internazionale, 1991 [pub. 1993-94]), 107-23.

Prods Oktor Skjaervo, "Hymnic Composition in the Avesta, Die Sprache 36 (1994): 199-243.

Eva Tichy "Indoiranische Hymnen," in Hymnen der alten Welt im Kulturvergleich, ed. Walter Burkert and Fritz Stolz, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, 131 (Freiburg, Switzerland: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1994), 79-95.

P. OKTOR SKJAERVO HARVARD UNIVERSITY
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Oriental Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Skjaervo, P. Oktor
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1997
Words:1946
Previous Article:Babylonians.
Next Article:Studia Iranica, vol 17, Sceaux magiques en Iran sassanide.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters