ANTIA, EDULJI KERSASPJI (1842-1913/1212-83 yazdegerdi), Parsi scholar, born of priestly stock in Navsari in Gujarat, where he received his early education, becoming ervad (priest) while studying at the Sir Cawasji Jehangir Zarthoshti Madressa, where Avesta and Pahlavi were taught on traditional lines. From there he went to Bombay becoming one of the small group of young priests to study under Kharshedji R. Cama, pioneer among the Parsis of the scientific study of the books of their faith. Partly through Cama’s inspiration the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejeebhoy Madressa was founded in 1863 to further such studies, and Antia became one of its first students, having been awarded a scholarship. There he studied also Persian, Sanskrit and English, and in 1871 was awarded the Fardunji S. Parakh fellowship. In 1876 he was appointed lecturer in Avestan, a post which he held until his death. Among his many pupils, who regarded him with high esteem and affection, were Sir Jivanji J. Modi and Dastur Darab P. Sanjana. Antia published a number of scholarly works, the best known of which are his edition of the Kārnāmak-i Artakhshīr Pāpakān (Bombay, 1890), and his massive Pāzand Texts collected and collated (Bombay, 1909), still indispensable for Zoroastrian studies. His articles include a number based on the then little known Persian Rivāyats, which he studied in manuscript with critical attention. Antia served his community in various capacities in numerous institutions and societies, and acted also as adviser to Dastur Darabji M. Meherji Rana of Navsari, holder of the oldest hereditary Parsi dasturship.

(K. M. JamaspAsa and M. Boyce)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: September 24, 2012

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Vol. II, Fasc. 2, p. 119