HORDĀD, one of the Avestan entities (see AMƎŠA SPƎNTA), normally mentioned in association with Amərətāt (very often in a dual dvandva; see AMURDĀD) already in the Ḡāθās. The name is the Pahlavi form of Av. Hauruuatāt-, also by haplology HauruuāŸt- (NPers. Ḵordād; Skt. tr. Avirdāda, udaka “water” and s arvapravṛttihá “source of everything”; Bartholomae, AirWb., cols. 1791-92; Gray, 1888, p. 5, n. 3, pp. 92-93; Jackson, p. 51; Narten, pp. 43-44, n. 55), “Integrity (of body), Wholeness” (cf. Ved. sarvátāti-, fem., “intactness, perfection”; for sarvátāt-, fem., see Grassmann, col. 1490).

A functional correspondence between Hauruuatāt and Amərətāt and the Vedic Nāsatyas has been assumed by Georges Dumézil (1945; idem, 1977; Duchesne-Guillemin, 1958, pp. 40-41; idem, 1962, pp. 197-202; Widengren, 1965, passim); but a number of scholars have argued against this hypothesis (see Gershevitch, pp. 40, n. 321; Narten, pp. 104-5; Gnoli, 1991, pp. 123-24; Kellens, 1991, pp. 28-32; for possible, but problematic, correspondences with the Vedic Ādityas see Geiger, passim; Thieme, pp. 208-16; Narten, p. 104; Humbach, 1991, pp. 18-21). Johanna Narten suggests (p. 72; see also Kellens and Pirart, I, p. 38; II, p. 327; Kellens, 1991, p. 40) that in the Yasna Haptaŋhāiti, where the list of the Aməṧa Spəntas is still open, dāenā- and fsəratū- substitute for Hauruuatāt and Amərətāt, who are not attested there.

Both abstract termini, hauruuatāt- and amərətatāt-, have in the Ḡāθās, according to Narten (1982, pp. 45-51, 116-17, 134-46), two different utilizations: for the human community they represent the desired, eschatological (Y. 45.5) or material (Y. 44.18, 51.7) “integrity” and “immortality,” while with respect to Ahura Mazdā they assume a concrete ritual value as his strengthening sacrificial offerings and as divine food (Y. 33.81, 34.1, 11; 44.18). Yasna 51.7 reads: dāidī mōi yə̄ gąm tašō apascā uruuarāscā / amərətātā hauruuātā spə̄ništā mainiiū mazdā / təuuīšī utaiiūitī manaŋhā vohū sə̄ŋ́hē “grant me, O Thou, who hast fashioned the cow, the waters, and the plants, [grant me] immortality and integrity through, O Wise one, [Thy] most beneficent spirit, as well as might and fitness with good thinking at the pronouncement” (cf. Insler, pp. 104-5; Humbach, 1991, p. 187; Kellens and Pirart, p. 182). This text constitutes the main Old Avestan passage in which a possible relation (in chiasmus) of Hauruuatāt and Amərətatāt with water and plants (normal in later Zoroastrian literature according to a systematic correspondence between the Aməša Spəntas and the elements) could be assumed, but the matter is disputed (see Gray, 1888, p. 50; Geiger, p. 244; Lommel, 1930, 126-27; idem, 1964; Nyberg, pp. 140-42; Zaehner, p. 46; Duchesne-Guillemin, 1949, p. 69; idem, 1962, p. 197; Narten, pp. 116-17). In the Young Avestan Yasna ritual clearly āp- “water” and uruuarā- “plant” can be substituted, probably after a speculation on Yasna 51.7, with Hauruuatāt and Amərətatāt (Narten, pp. 134-46); the latter are also directly opposed to šud- “hunger” and taršna- “thirst” (Yt. 19.96; Hintze, pp. 396-99).

A later hymn (Yt. 4) is specifically dedicated to Hauruuatāt (see HORDĀD YAŠT; cf. Darmesteter, 1892, II, pp. 358-62; Geldner, pp. 108-14; Wolff, pp. 164-66; Lommel, 1927, pp. 24-26). Her direct antagonist in the Ahrimanian pandaemonium (Bundahišn 30.29; Zādspram, 35.37, ed. and tr. Gignoux and Tafazzoli, pp. 134-35) is Tauruui “Conquering (?)” (Pahl. Tairēw), who makes a pair with Zairik “Yellowish” (Pahl. Zairīč) against Amərətāt (Gray, 1929, pp. 184-85; Jackson, pp. 51, 88-89). Both demons will be destroyed at the end of the world. Plutarch (De Iside et Osiride 46; cf. Clemen, pp. 163-64; Gray, 1904, pp. 346-47) called her ploutos “wealth, riches” (but also “Plutus,” god of riches).

Hordād and Amurdād’s identification with, and protective function over, water and plants is well documented in Pahlavi literature: Dēnkard 3.316.3 (here against the demon Āz, q.v.; see de Menasce, 1973, p. 301; Zaehner, p. 171), Dēnkard 7.2.37 (Molé, 1967, pp. 20-21), Zād-spram, 35.39 (Gignoux and Tafazzoli, pp. 134-35), and Šāyast nē-šāyast 15.8; 65 (Kotwal, pp. 58, 65). Tištar, Wāy, and the Frawahr (see FRAVAŠI) are Hordād’s assistants (Iranian Bundahišn 3.16; Zaehner, pp. 323, 335; see Gray, 1929, p. 52; Panaino, 1995, p. 91). Hordād is called čarbtar “the mildest” among the Amahraspandān (Šāyast nē-šāyast 23.1; Kotwal, p. 94-95); the words yaθā āiš are for Hordād and water (Šāyast nē-šāyast 8.15; Kotwal, p. 45), while Zādspram, 35.17 (Gignoux and Tafazzoli, pp. 130-31; Molé, 1963, p. 94) relates the god with the priest āsnadār, represented by fresh water in a beaker in the Jašan ceremony (Mistree, p. 66).

Chatter offends both gods (Mēnōg ī xrad 2.33; West, 1885, p. 11; Bausani, p. 80; Dēnkard 9.19.1; West, 1892, p. 207); Hordād and Amurdād are injured by the wicked women, who do not take proper care during menstruation (Ardā Wirāz-nāmag 72.5; see Gignoux, pp. 116-17, 202; Vahman, pp. 163, 213).

Hauruuatāt/Hordād presides over the third month of the Zoroastrian (Bundahišn 35.20), Cappadocian (e.g., Aroatata, etc.; cf. Benfey and Stern, pp. 79, 92-94), and Chorasmian calendars (hrwtt), and over the sixth day of the month (Pahl. Xordād; Sogd. ʾrtʾt (in documents from Mount Mug), ʾrtʾt (Manichean texts), ʾrdd (Biruni, Āṯār, p. 45-47, tr. Sachau, pp. 56-57; see CALENDARS i.). According to the Sad dar-e naṯr 52 (West, 1885, pp. 314-15), every year, on the day Hordād of the month Frawardīn (q.v.), after the drōn (q.v.) is consecrated, Hordād makes intercession for the person whose lot is determined for the following year (see also Dhalla, pp. 366-67). The day of Hordād corresponds to that of Manyu “mind” and Anna “food” in the Maga Brāhmaṇas’ calendrical lists (see Panaino, 1996, pp. 45, 48-49).

Although in Avestan Hauruuatāt and Amərətatāt were of feminine gender, after the loss of grammatical gender in Middle Persian, they were generally considered as male entities (Boyce, Zoroastrianism I, p. 206), but in Zādprasm 35.13 (Gignoux and Tafazzoli, pp. 130-31) the three daughters of Zoroaster are in the image of Spandarmad, Hordād, and Amurdād.

The pair Hordād and Amurdād is attested in a Sogdian glossary, where hrwwt (Harwōt or Harūt) and mrwwt (Marwōt) are listed in comparison with Middle Persian ʾ(mwr)dʾd (Amurdād) and hrwdʾd (Harwadād) (Henning, 1940, pp. 16, 19; idem, 1977, pp. 17, 20; for Arioch and Marioch in the Book of Enoch [see ENOCH, BOOKS OF], and a possible echo in the Manichean literature, cf. Milik, p. 110; de Menasce, 1943, pp. 191-92; Russell, p. 381). A comparison with the Manichean Xrōštag “Call” and Padwāxtag “Answer” has been suggested by Édouard Chavannes and Paul Pelliot (1911, p. 522 and 1912, p. 26).

Hārut and Mārut (q.v.) are known also in the Koran (2.96), where they appear as two Babylonian demons; according to another Islamic tradition, both demons were imprisoned in Mount Damāvand (q.v.; Lagarde, 1866, p. 15; Littmann, pp. 70-87; Dumézil, 1945, pp. 162-69; de Menasce, 1943, pp. 10-18; Russell, p. 381). Very important is the Muslim legend of the angels Hārut and Mārut who, according to the legend, were able to ascend and descend from the heavens, thanks to a secret magic word. They tried to seduce a woman, named Zohra (i.e., Venus), but she escaped their seduction and came to know the magic word. Then she ascended to the heavens, where God transformed her into the planet Venus, and severely punished both angels. The legend of Arōt kaì Marōt is referred to in the anti-Muslim book of John VI Cantacouzenus (14th century; see Grünbaum, pp. 225-29, 322-23; Dähnhardt, pp. 294-96; Wensinck, pp. 289-90; de Menasce, 1943, pp. 10-18; Russell, p. 381). For the comparison of this myth with the Indian legend attested in Mahābhārata 3.123-25 of the princess Sukanyā, whom the Aśvins try to kidnap, see Dumézil (1945) and Jean de Menasce (1945, pp. 10-18).

In Armenia hawrot-mawrot is the name of the tuberose, a flower used on the Ascension day in popular rites (Lagarde, 1847, p. 9; idem, 1850, p. 368; Gray, 1929 p. 52; Henning, 1965, p. 251, n. 53; idem, 1977, p. 626; Russell, pp. 375-98).



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(Antonio Panaino)

Originally Published: December 15, 2004

Last Updated: March 23, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 5, pp. 458-460

Cite this entry:

Antonio Panaino, “HORDĀD,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XII/5, pp. 458-460, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hordad (accessed on 30 December 2012).