Bundahišn’s Stemma Codicum & Codices’ Tradition

Authors

Alessio Giordano

Abstract

In 1977, Walter Belardi wrote that if Iranian philology wanted to move on, it had to cope with the experiences other philologies went through1. Nowadays there are many works about Iranian philology, but only few of them attempt to describe the written tradition of Avestan and Pahlavi texts2. This paper has its origins in the seminar held by Professor G. Consolmano, director of the “Specula Vaticana”. The seminar was entitled "Studying Planets, from Medieval to Modern Times". Starting from this point, this work aims at illustrating briefly the Iranian astronomical and astrological conceptions during the Sasanian period. Unfortunately, there are no texts left from that time, but just texts written after the Islamic invasion. Specifically, this paper will focus on an important witness to the Persian cosmological Weltanschauung: the Bundahišn. Moreover, it was noticed that there is no complete illustration of Bundahišn's stemma codicum, because of the missing information conserved in the colophones of the manuscripts. The situation has changed since 1970, when the manuscripts TD1 and DH were published in fac. by the Iranian Culture Foundation, but still there are no acceptable genealogical trees of the Bundahišn. This work aims at retracing the stemma codicum of the Pahlavi text, in line with the most complete tradition of the manuscript, which is still not considered by the scholars in this research area. This paper deals with the lack of information, and it wants to strengthen the relations between the texts we have received. This is achieved by taking into account both the information contained in the colophones and the personal relationships between the copists and their social context, delving into the possibility of transmissions and contaminations from the work of copying. In this paper, an analysis of the manuscripts was carried out, but it was decided not to draw up corrispondence charts between them, which they can easily be found in the work of (Belardi 1977d). Moreover, it was preferred, where appropriate, to analyse the colophones, normally scarcely available, so that they could be examined in order to understand the genealogical reconstruction of the tree. The texts in Pahlavi are presented without the original version, since the translations of (Anklesaria 1908) is accepted. As for the terminological comparison, it must be said that in this work there are no occurrences of the differences between the manuscripts. In conclusion, this work proposes a close comparison between all the manuscript traditions, never before taken into consideration in their totality, including the incomplete passages in the tradition of other writings, like the

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References

- DH = The codex DH. Being a facsimile edition of Bondahesh, Zand-e Vohuman Yasht and parts of Denkard, Iranian Culture Foundation, Teheran, 1970.
- K20, K20b = The Pahlavi Codices K20 and K20b, Codices Avestici et Pahlavici Bibliothecae Universitatis Hafniensis, vol. I, Copenhagen, 1931.
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- TD2 = The Bûndahishn. Being a facsimile of the TD manuscript no. 2 brought from Persia by Dastur Tirandâz and now preserved in the late Ervad Tahmuras’ Library, British India Press, Bombay, 1908.
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