Studia Iranica – Cahier 30
The Hêrbedestân and Nêrangestân. Volume III : Nêrangestân, Fragard 2 / edited and translated by F. M. Kotwal & P. G. Kreyenbroek
Paris, A.A.E.I., 2003. Broché, 302 p. ISBN 2-910640-16-7.
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 acquaintance 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 Second Fragard of the Nêrangestân is based on the Teachings of Sôshâns, but was probably written down in its present form several generations after this great Commentator. It is by far the longest extant chapter of the text, and the wealth of information it contains affords new insights into several aspects of the religious and ritual life of the Zoroastrian community.