Studia Iranica – Cahier 16
The Hêrbedestân and Nêrangestân. Volume II : Nêrangestân, Fragard 1 / Edited and translated by F. M. Kotwal and P. G. Kreyenbroek
Paris, A.A.E.I., 1995. Broché, 144 p. ISBN 2-910640-02-7.
The Nêrangestân, the “Book of Ritual Directions”, follows the Hêrbedestân in the manuscripts but is in fact a separate text, dealing with matters of ritual where the Hêrbedestân is mainly concerned with religious education. Both texts belong to the learned tradition of Zoroastrianism, and the lengthy passages of Pahlavi commentary are often more illuminating than the terse Avestan sentences. Still, few parts of the text make easy reading ; most Western Iranists have at best a passing acquantaince with the various Zoroastrian rituals, while the Nêrangestân was intended to elucidate points which seemed obscure even to the practising priests of its time. The knowledge of a trained Zoroastrian priest is therefore indispensable for the interpretation of Nêrangestân, especially since the ritual practices of modern Zoroastrianism and those referred to in the Nêrangestân appear to be so similar that the former can often be confidently used to illuminate the latter.
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