- 公益財団法人 史学会
- 史学雑誌 (ISSN:00182478)
- vol.94, no.9, pp.1421-1449,1548, 1985-09-20 (Released:2017-11-29)
The Zoroastrianism is based on the dualism of Good and Evil, which devides everything into two opposing groups. One peculiar character of the Zoroastrian religious life has attracted many observers' attention in history. That is their hostile attitude towards some kinds of animals called xrafstras, such as serpents, scorpions, beasts of prey, insects and worms. Most people in the world would not like these creatures. But the Zoroastrians not only detest or kill these creatures, but also they consider the killing them to be meritorious acts, though the death is treated to belong to the Evil Spirit. The main purpose of this article is examining how xrafstras have been understood in history, what are xrafstras and why they are considered to be xrafstras. The natures of xrafstras are as belows ; first they are injurious to the human beings and the cattle. Second they are harmful to the corn. Third they have ugly and abominable shapes. Fourth they are related to the impurity, fifth they eat unclean food, and sixth they like darkness and have nocturnal natures. Lastly they bring in impurity to the pure creation of Ahura Mazda, such as water and earth. All xrafstras have one or a few of these natures. Through examining the natures of xrafstras, it became evident that the Zoroastrian attitude towards xrafstras reflects the very core of the Zoroastrian cosmology and theology.