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xvii, 1). Her name appears under the form Ardokhro on coins of the Indo-Scythian Kings Kanishka and Huvishka (second century A.D.), where she is represented as bearing a cornucopia."



CISTI ([Religious] Wisdom'), a minor divine being," is once (Visparad, ix, 1) mentioned as having healing agencies; but no details are given.


DRVĀSPA ('Possessed of Sound Horses'), the genius of the animal world, and especially of horses," is the heroine of the ninth Yasht, invoked together with Geush Tashan ('Shaper of the Ox') and Geush Urvan ('Soul of the Ox'), and the recipient of sacrifices from Haoma and many heroes. Yima made offering to her that he might avert from men death and the infirmities of age (Yasht, ix, 10); and it is she who keeps cattle, friends, and children sound, being healing in her activities (Yasht, ix, 1-2). In Mithraism she was identified with Silvanus.26


HAOMA, the Iranian counterpart of the Vedic Soma, was an Iranian deity from primeval times, appearing in terrestrial form as the yellow haoma used in the IndoIranian sacrifice, though later there was also a mystic White Hōm, identified with the Gaokerena or Gōkart tree (Bundahishn, xxvii, 4; cf. ix, 6; xviii, 1-6; xxiv, 27).” Ac

28 M. A. Stein, "Zoroastrian Deities on Indo-Scythian Coins," in BOR, 1887, p. 165.

24 Dhalla, op. cit., p. 101.

25 Ib., p. 125.

26 Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, p. 112.

27 SBE v, 31, 65-66, 91, 100.

cording to the Avesta (Yasna, x, 23, 90), the juice of this plant was first extracted by Mithra from a health-giving, invigorating herb brought from lofty Haraiti (Mount Elburz) by birds (Yasna, x, 10-11); and in its sacred character, it was the ceremonial drink which gave strength and life to man, prepared by the priests with elaborate, prescribed ritual prayers and ceremonies." The haoma was first offered to Ahura Mazda by Vivanghvant; its medical properties were associated with the joys of the Amesha Spenta Vohu Manah (Yasna, ix, 4; x, 12); and it was invoked for health and all bodily blessings (Yasna, ix, 17, 19; x, 9).

The exhilarating juice of the haoma plant gave a sense of power and ability (Yasna, x, 13); and though it seems at one time to have been banned by the Gāthās as inspiring orgies (cf. Yasna, xxxii, 14; xlviii, 10)," it later reappeared, but without objectionable features.


MITHRA, the Mitra of the Vedas, was an Iranian deity of great antiquity, and according to the Avesta, Ahura Mazda created him "as worthy of honor, as worthy of praise as myself, Ahura Mazda" (Yasht, x, 1), whence he was the most important Yazata. Though regarded by the majority of scholars as primarily a solar god, he seems, in reality, to have been originally the apotheosis of the contract, the pledge, whence he was later identified with the all-seeing sun.8° Among the Iranians, accordingly, he


28 Darmesteter, op. cit., i, lxxvii-lxxx; also Haug, Essays on . . . the Parsis, 3d ed., pp. 399-403; J. J. Modi, "Haoma," in ERE vi, 507-510. 29 Moulton, Zoroastrianism, pp. 71-73, 357-358, 379.

30 A. Meillet, "Le Dieu indo-iranian Mitra," in JA, X, 1907, x, 143159. For the Vedic Mitra see Macdonell, "Vedic Mythology," in GIPA, 1897, pp. 29-30, and references there given; see also Hillebrandt, op. cit., iii, 53-59. For a survey of the Iranian Mithra see Dhalla, op. cit., pp. 103-111, 239-240.

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was the divinity of righteousness and of the plighted word, and the protector of justice, the defender of the worshippers of truth and righteousness in their struggles against Angra Mainyu, and the god of battles who gave victory over the foes of Iran. He is invoked, inter alia, for healing and for physical soundness (Yasht, x, 5, 94), and is entreated to “be present at our sacrifices, be present at them hallowed; gather them for atonement; lay them down in the House of Praise" (Yasht, x, 32).

Little is known of the ritual of the Iranian worship of Mithra; but his cult in the Occident was identified with occultism, magic, astrology, and mystic ceremonies, much of which is believed to have been injected under the influence of the 'Chaldæans' and during its spread through Babylonia and Asia Minor. Mithra was essentially a moral mediator, struggling against the powers of evil to redeem mankind, this eternal contest being symbolized by the slaying of the bull for regeneration; while other ceremonies included communion with bread and wine and ointments of honey for consecration, all of which were mystic remedies of Mithra for the healing of the body and for the sanctification of the soul.31

The cult of Mithra, popular and powerful in Iran, spread rapidly to Asia Mincz, to Greece, and finally over the Roman Empire, carrying with it the occultism of the Chaldæans and the mysterious sciences of the Orient, so that Romans saw Mithra's astrologers passing whole nights on the tops of their towers, and his magicians practiced their mysteries on the slopes of the Aventine and on the banks of the Tiber.82 The cult encountered bitter hatred and the violent opposition of all Christians, and this religious struggle continued in the more remote 31 Cumont

t, op. cit., pp. 157-160, 206. 82 Bruzor. La Médecine et les religions, p. 137.

quarters of Europe perhaps as late as the fifth century of our era.




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THRAÉTAONA (OR FARIDON) THRAĒTAONA, son of Athwya, and the Faridūn of Persian and Arabic authors, is apparently the Iranian counterpart of the Indian Traitana, who is mentioned only in a single passage of the Rigveda (I, clviii, 5)." His fravashi is invoked against itch, fever, and two other (unknown) diseases (Yasht, xiii, 131), and a Pazand charm34 contains the words:“May N.N., by virtue of the strength and power of the virtue of Fredūn, the son of Athwya, by virtue of the strength of the northern stars, be healthy in body.” According to the Pahlavi writings, Frētūn (Thraētaona) was “full of healing(Dātistan -i Dinīk, xxxviii, 35);95 but subsequently he became fused with his doublet, Thrita, in the national hero Faridūn, who, in mighty struggle, overcame his father's murderer and his own inveterate foe, tyrant Azhi Dahāka, a monster created by Ahriman with three jaws, three heads, and six eyes, while on its shoulders grew two snakes from kisses

, imprinted by the arch-fiend. After conquering the demon, the hero fettered him with chains in a cavern on Mount Damavand for a thousand years and took possession of his palace, reigning peacefully for five centuries (Yasna, ix, 7-8; Yasht, v, 33-35; ix, 13-14; etc. ;-Būndahishn, xxix, 9; xxxiv, 6). Thraētaona has been interpreted as a winddeity.87

83 Cf. Macdonell and Keith, Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, i, 331.

34 Modi, in AP, p. 48; two other charms of similar character are given by Kanga, in CMV, pp. 144-145.

85 SBE xviii, 90.
36 SBE v, 119, 150.
37 Carnoy, in JAOS, 1918, xxxviii, 297-299.


THRITA (?'Third'), the third to strain the haoma-juice, his reward being parentage of two heroic sons (Yasna, ix, 9-10), was the first who "held disease to disease, held death to death," receiving from Ahura Mazda, for this purpose, "medicine and the boons of Khshathra Vairya," i.e., apparently (since this Amesha Spenta presided over metals), herbs and the surgeon's knife (Vendīdād, xx, 1-3). He is the Iranian counterpart of the Indian Trita Aptya, but in the Avesta Aptya appears as a separate being, Athwya (Yasna, ix, 6-7); and Thrita himself is superseded, at an early date, by the cognate figure Thraētaona. He has been explained as originally a water-god."



TISHTRYA (Sirius), the star-genius who presides over rain, and the center of devotion in the ninth Yasht, white, shining, and exalted, grants fertility to the fields and happy abodes to man, and is the lord of all stars, as worthy of sacrifice, invocation, propitiation, and glorification as is Ahura Mazda himself. When due offerings are made to him, he sends rain and other blessings; and he is especially renowned for his victory over the drought-demon Apaosha. He is described as healing; as washing away, by his waters, all abomination from all creatures, and thus healing them; but as removing every remedy from the presence of the wicked (Yasht, viii, 2, 43, 60).


VERETHRAGHNA, the genius of victory, is the Iranian counterpart of the Vedic Vṛtrahan ('Slayer of Vṛtra'),

38 See supra, p. 160; and cf. Spiegel, Die arische Periode, pp. 257271; C. Bartholomæ, "Arica I," in IF, 1892, i, 180-182.

39 Carnoy, loc. cit.

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