‘Silver’ in the Texts of Avesta

 
PIIS032103910013865-4-1
DOI10.31857/S032103910013865-4
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Researsher
Affiliation: A. Yu. Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies of the NAS of Ukraine, Department of Eurasian Steppe
Address: Kyiv, 4 M. Hrushevskoho Street
Journal nameVestnik drevnei istorii
EditionVolume 81 Issue 1
Pages52-61
Abstract

A context-semantic analysis of the use of the word ‘silver’ (Av. ərəzata-) in Avestan texts is carried out in the paper. There are 12 cases of its usage (Yasna 10.17; Yashts 5.129; 10.112, 125; 17.14; 19.67; Videvdat 7.75; 8.88; 14.11 (2); Aogemadaēca 17; 84). The analysis shows that the word ‘silver’ is used in several different semantic contexts, such as the ritual of Haoma (Yasna 10.17) and the purifying ceremony (Videvdat 7.75). Silver is associated with the concept of ‘brilliance’ and is represented in the descriptions of its various manifestations. The brilliance of silver is associated with the idea of the sun rays manifesting themselves in the image of Mithra (Yasht 10.112), and of lunar splendour (Yasht 10.125). Beaver-skin robe of the goddess Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā glistens like “silver (and) gold” (Yasht 5.129). The connection of silver with water is confirmed by its inclusion in Iranian hydronymics (Yasht 19.67). The combination “silver (and) gold” may be a metonymic designation for the concept of wealth (Yasht 5.129; 17.14; Aogemadaēca 84). The value of silver was lower than that of gold (Yasna 10.17; Yasht 10.125; Videvdat 7.74–75, 8.87–88; 14.11). Silver is mentioned in the descriptions of the other world: the pantries of the righteous are filled with silver (Yasht 17.14), and the righteous deceased have silver clothes (Aogemadaēca 17).

Keywordssilver, Avesta, Yasna, Yashts, Videvdat, vocabulary, rituals, Zoroastrianism
Received13.10.2020
Publication date29.03.2021
Number of characters23859
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