GŌŠ YAŠT

GŌŠ YAŠT, the title of the ninth Yašt of the Avesta, also known as Drwāsp Yašt, after the goddess Druuāspā (see DRVĀSPĀ) to whom, in fact, it is dedicated. This Yašt corresponds to the fourteenth day of the Zoroastrian calendar, which also bears the name Gōš and on which Gə̄uš tašan, Gə̄uš uruuan and Druuāspā are invoked (Sirōza 1.14, 2.14). However, nowhere in the Yašt itself are Gə̄uš tašan and Gə̄uš uruuan mentioned, while Druuāspā appears in the first two stanzas only, the remaining thirty-one consisting of borrowings from the ĀbānYašt and Ard Yašt. The title of the Yašt, then, derives from the liturgical requirements of the fourteenth day dedicated to the deities having to do with domestic animals, especially cattle and horses. The structure of the Yašt shows that it is a late composition of redactors who were able to append material borrowed from the two Yašts mentioned to a core of ancient epithets of a goddess about whom we know almost nothing. Since the metrical structure of stanzas 1 and 2 is quite defective, it is hard to see in them vestiges of a more extensive Yašt to Druuāspā. Nevertheless, certain sequences of epithets display good octosyllabic composition and it may be that these are half-lines inherited from the priestly poetic repertory.

Bibliography:

Boyce, Zoroastrianism I, p. 82.

H. Lommel, Die Yäšt’s des Awesta, Göttingen and Leipzig, 1927, pp. 57-61.

(William W. Malandra)

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