Published between 1880 and 1897 as part of Max Muller's Sacred Books of the East series, this five-volume translation of Pahlavi texts was the work of Edward William West (1824-1905). Largely self-taught, West developed his knowledge of ancient oriental languages in India, where he worked as a civil engineer. After returning to Europe, West focused on the study of sacred Zoroastrian texts and prepared these translations of Pahlavi manuscripts, cementing his reputation for pioneering scholarship. His writings and editions are still referenced today in Indo-Iranian studies. Volume 1 includes the Bundahis (Zoroastrian traditions about the creation of the world), the Bahman Yast (a prophetic text detailing thousands of years of history, including the downfall and rebirth of Zoroastrianism) and the Shayast La-Shayast (detailing ritual impurity and sin, and purification rituals, such as those used for dead bodies). In his introduction, West compares these texts to the biblical books of Genesis, Revelation, and Leviticus.
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection