DRIWAY- (or Driβi-), Younger Avestan noun from the Vidēvdād; it is not a substantive but an adjective in -i- referring to a defect of the body defined as “the mark of Aŋra Mainiiu” (see AHRIMAN; Vd. 2.29) or, in the compound akaranəm.driβi- “eternal driβi,” to the fly that embodies the demon of corpses (nasu; Vd. 7.2). It is also the name of a daēuua (see *DAIVA-; Vd. 19.43). It is not certain whether the vowel i in the first syllable is original or whether a derivation from reconstructed *d(h)ṛb(h)i- must be assumed. Beside being attested only in late texts, the word driβi- belongs to a vocabulary so special that its etymology cannot be taken as certain, despite suggestions put forward by Jarl Charpentier and H. W. Bailey. A relation with driβika- (Vd. 1.8), rendered as “sobs” by the Pahlavi translator (Avesta, tr. Darmesteter, II, p. 10 n. 21), is also uncertain. The word probably referred either to a skin disease (AirWb., pp. 46, 778; cf. Charpentier: Flecken) or to drooling (Bailey).



(For cited works not found in this bibliography and abbreviations found here, see “Short References.”) J. Charpentier, “Zur arischen Wortkunde,” ZVS 40, 1907, pp. 460-62.

H. W. Bailey, “Avestan driβi-,” Professor Jackson Memorial Volume, Bombay, 1954, pp. 1-7.

(Jean Kellens)

Originally Published: December 15, 1995

Last Updated: December 1, 2011

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Vol. VII, Fasc. 5, pp. 553-554