To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zam (Zām)[pronunciation?] is the Avestan language term for the Zoroastrian concept of "earth", in both the sense of land and soil and in the sense of the world. The earth is prototyped as a primordial element in Zoroastrian tradition, and represented by a minor divinity Zam who is the hypostasis of the "earth". The word itself, changed to 'Zamin' in Modern Persian, is cognate to the Baltic 'Zemes', Slavic 'Zem', Greco-Thracian Semele, meaning the planet earth as well as soil.

The element zam exists with the same meaning in Middle Persian, which is the language of the texts of Zoroastrian tradition. The divinity Zam, however, appears in the later language as Zamyad, which is a contraction of "Zam Yazad", i.e. the yazata Zam.

Zam of the earth is not related to the Zam of the Shahnameh. That Zam—Zahhak-e-Maar-Doosh (Aži Dahāka in Avestan, Azhdshak in Middle Persian)—is the king of dragons that slew Jamshid.

In scripture

The element zam is the domain of the Armaiti, the Amesha Spenta of the earth and one of the Ahura Mazda's primordial 'divine sparks' from whom all other creation originates. It is through the earth that Armaiti is immanent. This close identification of the element zam with Armaiti also causes the divinity Zam to paired with Armaiti, to the extent that in some verses Armaiti appears where "earth" is expected.[1] The rare dvandvah expression Zam-Armaiti occurs in Yasht 1.16, 16.6 and 42.3.

The Zamyad Yasht, the Avesta's hymn nominally devoted to Zam, has little to do with "earth": The first eight chapters of that hymn simply enumerate geographical landmarks, while the rest of the hymn is in praise of those who possess kavaem khareno "royal glory". These remaining verses begin with the creation of the earth, that is with a verse to Ahura Mazda (chapter 10), and closes with a verse to the Saoshyant (89). In between, it contains verses invoking the Amesha Spenta (15), Mithra (35). Mortals invoked include Yima (31), Thraetaona (36), the Kayanian dynasts (66-72), Zarathushtra (79) and Vishtaspa (84). According to Darmesteter, "this Yasht would serve as a short history of the Iranian monarchy, an abridged [Shahnameh]."[2]

The Zamyad Yasht has been considered to be an example of a simple concept being elevated to the rank of an angel.[3] For Zam, this probably occurred as a linguistic conciliation between Zam and Armaiti. But notwithstanding the dedication of the 28th day of the month and the manifestation as one of the primordial elements, Zam is not a particularly significant divinity. Dhalla goes so far as to say "her personality is very insipid as compared with Armaiti, who, as we have seen, has the earth under her care and is, in fact, a more active guardian genius."[4]

In tradition

The principal source of information on the Zoroastrian notions of the earth (and accordingly of its divinity) is the Bundahishn, an account of the religion's cosmogony and cosmology completed in about the 12th century. According to that text,[5] the earth was the third of the primordial creations, following that of the sky and the waters, and before that of plants and fire. The creation of the earth is described in three stages: At first, the surface of the earth was a round, flat disk, floating in the center of the waters that filled the lower half of the "sky". Then, from its surface grew up the mountains, the tallest of these being Hara Berezaiti whose outlying ranges encircled the earth and beyond which lay the world river Aredvi Sura. Finally, during the time of the fourth creation (plants), the primordial tree grew up, and was the prototype of all plants (this tree is already alluded to in scripture as the Saena tree; in Yasht 12.17 it is further described as the "Tree of All Remedies" because it bears the seeds of all healing herbs). The fifth creation is that of the primordial bovine Gavaevodata from whose seed, marrow, organs and soul the earth is populated with animal life and the progenitors of the human race.

In the Shayest na-Shayest ("[what is] Proper and Improper"), an enumeration of the qualities that each divinity epitomizes associates Zam with "conclusiveness". In contrast, Armaiti is identified with "fruitfulness".[6]

In the Counsels of Adarbad Mahraspandan the author advises his readership not to take medicine on the day of the month dedicated to Zam.[7]

In the Pazend Afrin-i haft Amshespand ("Blessings of the seven Amesha Spenta"), Zam is joined by Amardad, Rashn and Ashtad (Ameretat, Rashnu and Arshtat) in withstanding the demons of hunger and thirst.[8]

The last hymn recited in the procedure for the establishment of a Fire temple is the Zamyad Yasht. This is done because the required 91 recitals in honor of the Yazatas would in principle require each of the 30 hymns associated with the divinities of the 30 days to be recited thrice with one additional one. However, the first three recited are dedicated to Ahura Mazda, leaving 88, and 88 modulo 30 is 28, the day-number dedication of Zam.[9]

From among the flowers associated with the yazatas, Zam's is the Basil (Bundahishn 27).[10]

According to Xenophon (Cyropaedia, 8.24), Cyrus sacrificed animals to the earth as the Magians directed.[4]

References and bibliography

  1. ^ cf. Boyce 1987, p. 413.
  2. ^ Darmesteter 1882, p. 286.
  3. ^ Dhalla 1938, pp. 145–146.
  4. ^ a b Dhalla 1938, p. 230.
  5. ^ cf. Boyce 1975, pp. 133–139).
  6. ^ West 1880, p. 405.
  7. ^ Jamasp-Asa 1897, p. 71.
  8. ^ Antia 1909, p. 86.
  9. ^ Modi 1922, pp. 219–220.
  10. ^ Anklesaria 1956, p. 153.
  • Anklesaria, Behramgore Tehmuras, ed., trans. (1956), Zand-Akasih: Iranian or Greater Bundahishn, Bombay: Rahnumae Mazdayasnan Sabha.
  • Antia, E. E. Kersaspji, ed., trans. (1909), "Afrin-i haft Amshespand", Pazend texts collected and collated, Bombay: K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, pp. 86–88.
  • Boyce, Mary (1975), A History of Zoroastrianism, I, Leiden: Brill.
  • Boyce, Mary (1987), "Ārmaiti", Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2, New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 413–415.
  • Darmesteter, James, ed. trans. (1882), "Zamyad Yast", The Zend Avesta, Part II, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 23, Oxford: OUP, pp. 206–309.
  • Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji (1938), History of Zoroastrianism, New York: OUP
  • Jamasp-Asa, J. D., ed., trans. (1897), "Counsels of Adarbad Mahraspandan", Pahlavi Texts, Bombay: K. R. Cama Oriental Institute.
  • Modi, Jivanji Jamshedji (1922), The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees, Bombay: British India Press.
  • West, Edward William, trans. ed. (1880), "Shayast la-Shayast", Pahlavi Texts, Part 1, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 5, Oxford: OUPCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).

Full texts

This page was last edited on 18 May 2021, at 17:46
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.