ORIGINAL TITLE Title: Arda Viraf, ‘Righteous Viraf’
PRONUNCIATION: Arda Viraf, ‘Righteous Viraf’
MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: Folio 25.5 x 21.2 cm
COMPONENTS: 134 folios with 3 full page paintings and a further 71 half-page illustrations
CONDITION: This manuscript has some damaged pages.
NOTES: An incredibly rich and beautifully illustrated manuscript. Despite the size of the Zoroastrian (Parsee) community, illuminated manuscripts about their faith are of extreme rarity. The British Library had an exhibit of the two copies they own of the Arda Viraf, both dated later than this one.
ITEM ID: 3930
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Zoroastrian Manuscript

DATE
Century: 18th (1701-1800)

A description of the dream-journey of the devout Zoroastrian Viraf through the stages of Heaven and Hell.

Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest continually practiced religions, based on the teaching of the Indo-Persian prophet Zoroaster (the Greek rendering of the Avestan name Zarathustra). There is no scholarly consensus on when he lived with estimates dating from 1,000-500 B. C.

Zoroastrianism has a dual cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology which predicts the ultimate conquest of evil by good. The unique features of Zoroastrianism, such as it’s monotheism, messianism, judgement after death, Heaven and Hell, and free will probably influenced other later religions and philosophy such as Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Greek philosophy, Christianity and Islam. Once the religion of much of the Middle East and India before the coming of Islam, today it is still practiced in parts of Indian and is still a strong influence in the present culture and mythologies of the peoples of the Iranian speaking world.

ARTISTS
Name: Ziya’ al-Din Nakhshabi Gujarat
Type: Artist