Author:
Albert de Jong
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Abstract

This chapter examines illegitimate ritual forms in ancient Iran as practices deemed unacceptable by Zoroastrianism. It surveys specific negative roles and opponents listed in textual sources as “evil,” beginning with the daevayasna (worshippers of incorrect gods), yatu (sorcerers), and paririka (witches). Next, it looks at the supposed dewesn sect of devil-worshippers and jadugih, the legal charge of sorcery in later Zoroastrian texts. Finally, the chapter explores the reasons for difficulties in reconstructing illicit ritual practice in Zoroastrianism as well as challenges posed for any archaeological reconstruction of such activities.

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