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Appendix. The Zarathuštra-Legend And Cg V/5 77,26 – 78,26

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Chapter Summary

The celebrated Zarathuštra-legend-essentially the story of the miraculous birth and upbringing of the prophet-is narrated in considerable detail in the late Pahlavi and mediaeval books. Understanding the legend should tell us much about the continuities and innovations within Zoroastrian thought. Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd) reproduces a variety of familiar mythological materials, still treated separately though held together by the initial identification of the reappearing Illuminator-Zarathuštra, and the framework of the Saošyants, with the 'Glory' that comes to them 'on the water'. This chapter proposes that it precisely reflects the state of the legend in Hellenistic times, and that it likewise represents the same tendencies which figure behind the subsequent developments in the later Pahlavi books. The starting-point for the elaboration of the Zarathuštra-legend is evidently the prophet's possession of the charismatic xvarenah, which in the Iranian sources he receives directly from Ohrmazd.

Keywords:Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd); charismatic xvarenah; Pahlavi books; Saošyants; Zarathuštra-legend



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