ĀDUR-BŌZĒD, a Sasanian mobad of mobads (mowbedān mowbed) or high priest. He is mentioned in Middle Persian sources with two others who held this title, Ādurfarnbaḡ and Hūdād (Dēnkard II, p. 573.23f.; The Epistles of Manushchihar, ed. B. N. Dhabhar, Bombay 1912, p. 47.2), and with Ādurbād, son of Zardušt (who was son of Ādurbād Mahrspandān; Mādiyān ī hazār dādistān, ed. J. J. Modi, part 2, Bombay, 1912, p. 38). The Mādiyān places all four in the reign of a Yazdegerd, probably Yazdegerd II (A.D. 438-57; see S. J. Bulsara, The Laws of the Ancient Persians, Bombay, 1937, p. 546, n.; A. Perikhanian, Sasanidskiĭ sudevnik, Erevan 1973, p. 421). Ādurbād son of Zardušt was also a contemporary of Yazdegerd I (399-420); Yazdegerd son of Šāpūr in Dēnkard I, p. 140.13), and the same time span is therefore also possible for Ādur-Bōzēd.

The Syriac Acts of the Persian Martyrs mention a mowbed Adārbōzī in the reign of Yazdegerd I who may be this same priest. A Zoroastrian was healed and converted to Christianity by a Christian priest, who received a donation of land for a church. Adārbōzī brought the case to the king’s attention and induced the Zoroastrian to reconvert. The land and church were reclaimed, but another Christian priest named Narsē retook the property (now a fire temple) and reinstated it as a church. Taken prisoner by the local people, he was sent to Ctesiphon and tried before Adārbōzī. Narsē refused to make ritual atonement for “killing” the sacred fire and was executed at the king’s order. This incident may have occurred in 420 (J. Labourt, Le Christianisme dans l’empire perse, Paris, 1904, p. 109).


Christensen, Iran. Sass., pp. 272-73.

G. Hoffmann, Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Märtyrer, Leipzig, 1880, pp. 36ff.

O. Braun, Ausgewählte Akten persischer Märtyrer, Kempten and Munich, 1915, pp. 142-49.

Justi, Namenbuch, p. 3.

(A. Tafażżolī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, p. 472

Cite this entry:

A. Tafażżolī, “ĀDUR-BŌZĒD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, p. 472; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/adur-bozed-a-sasanian-mobad-of-mobads-mowbedan-mowbed-or-high-priest (accessed on 6 March 2014).