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Golden statuettes of two mobads, Oxus Treasure
Golden statuettes of two mobads, Oxus Treasure

A Mobed, Mowbed, or Mobad (Middle Persian: 𐭬𐭢𐭥𐭯𐭲) is a Zoroastrian cleric of a particular rank. Unlike a herbad (ervad), a mobed is qualified to serve as celebrant priest at the Yasna ceremony. A mobed is also qualified to train other priests.


In general (lay) use, the term is also used as an honorific to denote any priest, of any rank. For instance, Hormizd I appointed Kartir moabadan-moabad, which is frequently translated as "priest of priests", but more precisely indicates "high priest of high priests".

The term "mobed" is a contraction of Middle Persian magu-pati, the first half of the expression apparently deriving from Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬔𐬀 maga- or magu-, and with Avestan 𐬞𐬀𐬌𐬙𐬌 -paiti meaning "guardian" or "protector" (Persian root of پاییدن pâyidan) as in azarpäd. Through Old Persian 𐎶𐎦𐏁 magush and Ancient Greek μάγος magos, Old Iranian magu- is also identified as the origin of the Latin word magus, a "magian". Through the Greek adjective μαγικός magikos and Old French magique, 'mobed' is distantly related to the English language word "magic".

The word was borrowed into Georgian as Mogwi.[1]

Zoroastrian priests in India are required to be male,[2] but women have been ordained in Iran and North America as a mobedyar, meaning an assistant mobed.[3][4]


  1. ^ Rapp, Stephen H. (2014). The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 978-1472425522.
  2. ^ Nigosian, Solomon Alexander (1993), The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research, Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen's University Press, p. 104, ISBN 077351144X, OCLC 243566889
  3. ^ Wadia, Arzan Sam (March 9, 2011), "The Jury Is Still Out On Women as Parsi Priests",, Parsi Khabar
  4. ^ Khosraviani, Mahshad (June 19, 2013), "Sedreh Pooshi by Female Mobedyar in Toronto-Canada",, Parsi News, archived from the original on October 9, 2014, retrieved October 10, 2014


This page was last edited on 15 August 2021, at 13:38
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