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Document Details :
Title: Astrology and Religion in the Zoroastrian Pahlavi Texts
Author(s): RAFFAELLI, Enrico G.
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 305 Issue: 2 Date: 2017
This article overviews the references to astrology found in the Zoroastrian religious texts in Middle Persian (or Pahlavi) dating from the Sasanian period to the 10th century. Through their analysis, it highlights how astrology was integrated in the Zoroastrian doctrinal corpus from the Sasanian times to the early Islamic period. The basic view underlying the astrological references in the Pahlavi texts, is that the good astral entities (which include the zodiacal constellations, the sun, and the moon), fight against the evil astral entities (which include planets and lunar nodes). The main astrological doctrines documented in these texts are that of the horoscope of birth of the world and of Gayōmard (the first man), the astrological explanation of the death of Gayōmard at age 30, the millenary chronocratoria, that is, the rule over time, of zodiacal constellations and of Saturn, and the melothesia, that is, the attribution of the parts of the body, to celestial entities. The article argues that these doctrines express the Zoroastrian view that the malefic influence of the evil astral bodies contributes to the pollution characterizing the present state of existence of the world. The article also touches upon astrological doctrines documented in Zoroastrian New Persian texts.