ANDARZGAR, Mid. Pers. term, “counselor, teacher,” cited as a proper name of the “bishop” of the Mazdakites by the 6th-century Byzantine historian Malalas (in the form “Indarazar”) and by the 8th-9th-century writer Theophanes Confessor (“Indazaros”). The word is rather a title than a name. Comparison of these historians’ accounts with the Arabic and Persian sources which depend on the lost Xwadāy-nāmag indicates that the “Andarzgar” was probably Mazdak himself. The word may have been modeled on the more familiar Sasanian term andarzbad. But such a title may already have existed in Middle Persian before the Mazdakite sect; cf. adargāzar (< *handarza-kara) in the Aramaic portion of the Book of Daniel (3:2f.), which occurs in a context containing other Iranian names of high officials and was misunderstood in the Septuagint.


For Malalas and Theophanes, see A. Christensen, Le règne du roi Kawādh I et lecommunisme Mazdakite, Copenhagen, 1925, pp. 18, 99, 123.

Idem, Iran Sass., p. 358.

K. A. Kitchen in D. J. Wiseman et al., Notes on Some Problems in theBook of Daniel, London, 1965, p. 42f.

F. Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, Wiesbaden, 1961, p. 58.

Camb. Hist. Iran III/2, p. 1013.

(J. P. Asmussen)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 23

Cite this entry:

J. P. Asmussen, “ANDARZGAR,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/1, p. 23, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).