SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Hintze, Almut (2004) '“Do ut des: Patterns of Exchange in Zoroastrianism”. A Memorial Lecture for Ilya Gershevitch. Delivered at the Royal Asiatic Society on 13 June 2002.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 14 (1). pp. 27-45.

Download (187kB) | Preview


On the basis of the Avesta and the Rigveda, the article provides an outline the Indo-Iranian ritual involving a triangular configuration of patron, priest and god engaged in gift-exchange. By investigating the contexts of the much disputed, but important, Gathic word maga-, it highlights some aspects of the Old Avestan ritual governed by the same triangular pattern of ritually enacted gift-exchange. Finally, it discusses the Gathic evidence for exchange and reciprocity in a non-ritual, religious context. It concludes that there are, in the Gathas, two distinct, but interpenetrary, exchange patterns: first, the inherited Indo-Iranian triangular model underlying the ritual activity and governing the relationship between Zarathustra and some of his contemporaries and, secondly, a new pattern without Indo-Iranian antecedent, of a two-way relationship between any human being and Zarathustra’s god, Ahura Mazda.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISSN: 13561863
Copyright Statement: © The Royal Asiatic Society 2004
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 14:53

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item