The Videvdad Project

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The Vīdēvdād Project is a long term project of a small Iranistic team in the section of Indoeuropean Linguistics of the Department of Classical Philology and Indoeuropean Studies at the University of Salamanca. It is supported with the financial aid of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia and of the Junta de Castilla y León. Formerly this project has been carried out in the Institut für Iranistik of the Freie Universität Berlin with the collaboration of Maria Macuch and with funds of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.


The main aims of the Vīdēvdād Project are two:

  1. a complete edition, translation and commentary of the Avestan and Pahlavi versions of Vīdēvdād.

  2. the carrying out of two glossaries: an Avestan glossary with includes the Pahlavi translation of every Avestan word in each passage; and a complete Pahlavi glossary of the Pahlavi version of Vīdēvdād.

At the beginning of the Project our interest was focused on the edition of the Pahlavi version considering Geldner's as reliable. Nevertheless the comparison of the Avestan text of the Pahlavi manuscripts with the data of Geldner  has shown that it is an urgent necessity also a new edition of the Avestan text. Therefore we have started to collect and digitalize copies from as much Vīdēvdād manuscripts as possible. This is a difficult task that we have not finished yet. However we have now a considerable amount of manuscripts. Some of them are of great value and were not used by Geldner (for example E4). Furthermore, it seems very possible that the stemma of Geldner has to be corrected in several points.

We consider that it is very important that the Avestan manuscripts are available to the researcher of the Avesta and that it is the only way to achieve a new edition of the Avesta that replaces Geldner's edition. One way for it is the publication of facsimiles, which is without doubt very useful. But the number of Avestan manuscripts is very high and this procedure very expensive. Therefore it should be limited to very special and important manuscripts. In the digital era new possibilities arise. For example, digital copies in CD should be by far cheaper than facsimile. But also other possibilities that allow to see at the same time the same passage in several manuscripts are to be considered. However we stand before the copyright problem. Until now it is not possible to give a definitive answer that allows an easy and comfortable research and solves the copyright problem. In the private part of this web, which is restricted to registered users, we have tried a possible solution.


On the other hand, as far as the lexicographical work regarding the Pahlavi version is concerned, we are happy to collaborate with the international project Middle Persian Dictionary Project under the leadership of Shaul Shaked.


Webmaster: Alberto Cantera

Last update: February 2d, 2006