srutavega chlodwig.h.werba at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Mar 28 10:05:05 EST 2002

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk]Im Auftrag von Allen W
> Thrasher
> Gesendet am: Donnerstag, 28. März 2002 0.12
> An: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
> Betreff: history of text of the Avesta
> Could anyone provide me with a bibliography of the process by which the
> text of the Avesta was generated, transmitted, fixed, and the transition
> to its being written down?  I am interested in possible parallels and
> divergences with these process in the case of the Vedas.
> I posted this on the largely quiescent Indo-Iranian group and got no
> response except for someone who expressed a similar interest.
> Thanks,
> Allen Thrasher
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian       101 Independence Ave., SE
> Southern Asia Section               LJ-150
> Asian Division                            Washington, DC 20540-4810
> Library of Congress                     U.S.A.
> tel. 202-707-3732                       fax 202-707-1724
> Email: athr at loc.gov
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the
> Library of Congress.

Dear Colleague,
I really can't imagine that no one of Your "Indo-Iranian group" answered to
Your request. Anyway, the relevant study for Your quest where You will find
all the references to earlier publications is:

Karl Hoffmann - Johanna Narten, Der Sasanidische Archetyp. Untersuchungen
zur Schreibung und Lautgestalt des Avestischen. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig
Reichert Verlag, 1989.

A short summary of their results (also in German) You will find in the
introductory part of the ALF, i.e.:

Karl Hoffmann - Bernhard Forssman, Avestische Laut- und Flexionslehre. [IBS
84]. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität, 1996.

Although in my eyes therein the ultima ratio concerning the transmission of
the Avesta text is contained (with obvious parallels to the Vedas), I don't
want to withhold from You the most recent publication in this area of
Iranian Studies (at least according to my knowledge) by the chair holder of
Indo-Iranian studies in Paris, although in the main it tries to deconstruct
Hoffmann's views without paying any regard to Ockham's razor:

Jean Kellens, Considérations sur l'histoire de l'Avesta. JA 286 (1998)

In any case this voluminous article might help You in detecting some further

Last, but not least we have two articles of the holder of the Agha Kan Chair
in Harvard which should not be neglected, especially because of their paying
regard to further secondary literature and also introducing some aspects of
literary history (which find their counterparts in Vedic):

Prods Oktor Skjaervo, The Avesta as Source for the Early History of the
Iranians. In: George Erdosy (ed.), The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia.
Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity. [IPSAS 1]. Berlin - New York 1995,
p. 155-176, and
Id., Hymnic Composition in the Avesta. Die Sprache 36 (1994[98]) 199-241.

Hoping that German will pose no problems to You, I remain with my best
wishes to You and all of the members of this list, at this pratipad of the
Feast of Pascha / Easter

                                kaamasukhaaya vo bhuuyaad, vasantasyotsava.h ´samaat //

Chlodwig H. Werba / ´Srutavega
Institute of South Asian-, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
University of Vienna.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list