Translation Techniques and Exegesis in Zand of Three Gāthic Hymns of Avesta

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, Iran.

2 Academy of Persian Language and Literature, Tehran, Iran.


Zand texts or Middle Persian translations of Avestan texts are an important part of Middle Persian literature. Zoroastrians believe that Zand literature is as important as Avestan texts. Most scholars suppose that Zand literature dates back to the period when Avestan texts were compiled. According to oral traditions, even some are of the opinion that Zand texts are older than Sassanid Archetype of Avesta.  In the whole, it can be said that Zand literature, probably, belongs to the period in which Sassanid inscriptions were written. In this article, general concepts regarding translation and translation techniques will be examined including communicative and semantic translation. In addition, some manners of translation like borrowing, calque, transposition will be studied. This survey is based on Zand rendering of three gāthic hymns 28-30. One of the most important doctrines of Gāthās is the role of abstract forces which are called on along with God’s name. in later Avesta, these forces are totally individuated and called Aməša Spəntas “divine immortal beings.” We also consider whether the translator was aware of that these entities were abstract forces or he considered them as individual gods.


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