SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Zoroastrian Literature in Translation

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2017/2018
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year

This course will examine a range of Zoroastrian literature from ancient to modern times and of different genres. Texts that will be read include selections from the Older and Younger Avesta, Old and Middle Persian inscriptions, the Pahlavi literature and modern Zoroastrian interpretations of the ancient teachings. Moreover, the course includes outside perceptions of Zoroastrianism from ancient Greek, Roman and Islamic times as well as modern travellers.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The aim of the course ids to provide BA students of religious with a clear understanding of the characteristics of Zoroastrian primary sources in a way that will enable them to establish interconnections with other course that they are taking.  students taking this course will be expected to develop analytical skills in the understanding and interpretation of primary textual sources.

Students who complete the course successfully will be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the teachings and history of Zoroastrianism and will be able to support their own argument with reference to the primary sources. They will be expected to demonstrate this understanding by the completion of pieces of course work and by the ability to respond to unseen questions.

Method of assessment

2 essays (2,500 words each) (20% each), 3-hour exam (60%).

Suggested reading

  • Boyce, M (1989 2nd impression) A History of Zoroastrianism, Leiden: Brill (1975).
  • Hinnells, John R (1981) Zoroastrianism and the Parsis, London: Ward Lock Educational.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules