HADIŠ, the Avestan name of a minor Zoroastrian divinity, glossed in Pahlavi (tr. of Visprad 1:9) by Mēnōg ī xānag “Spirit of the house.” The Old Iranian common noun hadiš, from the verb had- “seat oneself, sit; abide, dwell” (Air Wb., cols. 1753-54; Mayrhofer, Dictionary III, p. 473), is used in Old Persian for “palace” (Kent, Old Persian, p. 213 s.v.). The two brief Avestan passages in which Hadiš is invoked (Visprad 1:9 = 2:1; Visprad 9:5) suggest that he was worshipped as protector and cherisher of the homestead and those dwelling in it, for his epithets there are vāstravant “possessing pastures,” xvāθravant “possessing well-being,” and marž-dikavant “possessing compassion.” (On the debated ašivant/*ašavant see Darmesteter II, p. 203; Air Wb., cols. 253, 259.)

Hadiš appears only once elsewhere, in Dēnkard 7.1.12-13 (ed. Madan II, pp. 593.11-594.4, tr. West, p. 7. Christensen I, p. 29). The text is a translation of a lost Avestan one (Henning, p. 59), and in it Hadiš has an otherwise unknown fixed epithet, rendered in Pahlavi as pad ah-rāyīh abar arzānīg. (For possible reconstructions of the Av. term see Henning, pp. 60-61). It tells how Ohrmazd, having given the first human pair, Mašya and Mašyānag, seed corn, sends Hadiš to teach them to bless the bread they have made from this by saying over it two Ahunwars (q.v.), so that for them and their descendants it may be kept safe from harm by demons.



A. Christensen, Les types du Premier Homme et du Premier Roi dans l’histoire légendaire des Iraniens I, Stockholm, 1917.

J. Darmesteter, Études iraniennes II, Paris, 1883, pp. 201-3.

Gray, Foundations, p. 147.

W. B. Henning, “Two Manichean magical tests, with an Excursus on the Parthian ending-ēndeh,” BSO(A)S 12, 1947, pp. 58-63; repr. in Selected Papers II, Acta Ir. 15, 1977, pp. 292-95.

E. W. West, tr., Pahlavi Texts 5, SBE 47, Oxford, 1897, repr. Delhi, 1965.

(Mary Boyce)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: February 24, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 4, p. 442