:: Volume 2, Issue 6 (5-2013) ::
کیمیای هنر 2013, 2(6): 21-34 Back to browse issues page
Exegesis in Ancient Iran and Its Influence on Artwork Interpretation
Neda Akhavan Aghdam *
Abstract:   (14372 Views)
The history of the Zoroastrian religion, from the viewpoint of documentations, is not quite a rich one and it shortcomings can be observed in written as well as pictorial resources. Many of the writings, relative to this epoch, are not survived and the major portion that is remained has been long preserved in oral tradition and only written in followed centuries. On the other hand, due the Zoroastrian religious opposition to image worship, the remained pictorial resources of this period are extremely insignificant. The Zoroastrians believed that an icon is a place for the settlement of evil power, hence the prohibition of icon making and image worshipping. As a result, in Zoroastrianism the interpretation is fundamentally relevant to Avesta exegesis. It seems that this tradition was common even before the times that Avesta appeared in the written form. This article initially intends to revolve around the beliefs of the ancient Iranians about icon creating and image worshipping in order to determine what the reasons of scarcity of pictorial resourcesmay be. It follows to introduce the common tradition of exegesis in ancient Iran that is the interpretation and translation of Avesta which was of validity and importance for the Zoroastrians. Eventually, a plaque relevant to the 7th and 8th Centuries AD with an image of “Zurvan” is interpreted with the help of the exegesis of Avesta. This method guides us to ask a question: could a correlation be found between the interpretations of a religious text and that of an artwork? Since our findings from Avesta text are improved as a result of modern linguistics it seems sensible to ask whether this can elevate our understanding of cultural and artistic works of the era or not?
Keywords: exegesis in ancient Iran, Zand, Avesta, image worship in Zoroastrianism, Zurvan
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2014/02/24 | Accepted: 2014/02/24

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Volume 2, Issue 6 (5-2013) Back to browse issues page