Anahita /ɑːnɑːhiːtɑː/ is the Old Persian form of the name of an Iranian goddess and appears in complete and earlier form as Aredvi Sura Anahita (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā), the Avestan name of an Indo-Iranian cosmological figure venerated as the divinity of "the Waters" (Aban) and hence associated with fertility, healing and wisdom. Aredvi Sura Anahita is Ardwisur Anahid or Nahid in Middle and Modern Persian, and Anahit in Armenian. An iconic shrine cult of Aredvi Sura Anahita was – together with other shrine cults – "introduced apparently in the 4th century BCE and lasted until it was suppressed in the wake of an iconoclastic movement under the Sassanids."
The Greek and Roman historians of classical antiquity refer to her either as Anaïtis or identified her with one of the divinities from their own pantheons. 270 Anahita, a silicaceous S-type asteroid, is named after her. Based on the development of her cult, she was described as a syncretistic goddess, which was composed of two independent elements. The first is a manifestation of the Indo-Iranian idea of the Heavenly River who provides the waters to the rivers and streams flowing in the earth while the second is that of a goddess with an uncertain origin, though maintaining her own unique characteristics, became associated with the cult of the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Inanna-Ishtar. According to a theory, this is attributed partly to a desire to make Anahita part of Zoroastrianism after diffusing from the extreme northwest to the rest of Persia.
According to H. Lommel, the proper name of the divinity in Indo-Iranian times was Sarasvatī, which also means “she who possesses waters”. In Sanskrit, the name आर्द्रावी शूरा अनाहिता means "of the waters, mighty, and immaculate". Like the Indian Sarasvatī, Anāhitā nurtures crops and herds; and she is hailed both as a divinity and as the mythical river which she personifies, “as great in bigness as all these waters which flow forth upon the earth” (Yasht 5.3).
Only Arədvī (a word otherwise unknown, perhaps with an original meaning "moist") is specific to the divinity. The words sūra and anāhīta are generic Avestan language adjectives, and respectively mean "mighty" and "pure". Both adjectives also appear as epithets of other divinities or divine concepts such as Haoma and the Fravashis. Both adjectives are also attested in Vedic Sanskrit.
As a divinity of the waters (Abān), the yazata is of Indo-Iranian origin, according to Lommel related to Sanskrit Sarasvatī that, like its Proto-Iranian equivalent *Harahvatī, derives from Indo-Iranian *Saraswṇtī. In its old Iranian form *Harahvatī, "her name was given to the region, rich in rivers, whose modern capital is Delhi (Avestan Haraxvaitī, Old Persian Hara(h)uvati-, Greek Arachosia)." "Like the Devi Saraswati, [Aredvi Sura Anahita] nurtures crops and herds; and is hailed both as a divinity and the mythical river that she personifies, 'as great in bigness as all these waters which flow forth upon the earth'." Some historians note that that despite Anahita's Aryan roots and the way she represented the commonly shared concept of the Heavenly River, which in the Vedas was represented by the goddess Sarasvatī (the later heavenly Ganga), she had no counterpart in the ancient text who bear the same name or one that remotely resembled hers.
In the (Middle-)Persian texts of the Sassanid and later eras, Arədvī Sūra Anāhīta appears as Ardwisur Anāhīd. The evidence suggests a western Iranian origin of Anāhīta. (see borrowing from Babylonia, below).
At some point prior to the 4th century BCE, this yazata was conflated with (an analogue of)[α] Semitic Ištar, likewise a divinity of "maiden" fertility and from whom Aredvi Sura Anahita then inherited additional features of a divinity of war and of the planet Venus or "Zohreh" in Arabic. It was moreover the association with the planet Venus, "it seems, which led Herodotus to record that the [Persis][γ] learnt 'to sacrifice to "the heavenly goddess"' from the Assyrians and Arabians."  There are sources who based their theory on this aspect. For instance, it was proposed that the ancient Persians worshiped the planet Venus as *Anahiti, the "pure one", and that, as these people settled in Eastern Iran, *Anahiti began to absorb elements of the cult of Ishtar. Indeed, according to Boyce, it is "probable" that there was once a Perso–Elamite divinity by the name of *Anahiti (as reconstructed from the Greek Anaitis). It is then likely (so Boyce) that it was this divinity that was an analogue of Ishtar, and that it is this divinity with which Aredvi Sura Anahita was conflated.
The link between Anahita and Ishtar is part of the wider theory that Iranian kingship had Mesopotamian roots and that the Persian gods were natural extensions of the Babylonian deities, where Ahuramazda is considered an aspect of Marduk, Mithra for Shamash, and, finally, Anahita was Ishtar. This is supported by how Ishtar "apparently" gave Aredvi Sura Anahita the epithet Banu, 'the Lady', a typically Mesopotamian construct that is not attested as an epithet for a divinity in Iran before the common era. It is completely unknown in the texts of the Avesta, but evident in Sassanid-era middle Persian inscriptions (see the cult, below) and in a middle Persian Zend translation of Yasna 68.13. Also in Zoroastrian texts from the post-conquest epoch (651 CE onwards), the divinity is referred to as 'Anahid the Lady', 'Ardwisur the Lady' and 'Ardwisur the Lady of the waters'.
Because the divinity is unattested in any old Western Iranian language, establishing characteristics prior to the introduction of Zoroastrianism in Western Iran (c. 5th century BCE) is very much in the realm of speculation. Boyce concludes that "the Achaemenids' devotion to this goddess evidently survived their conversion to Zoroastrianism, and they appear to have used royal influence to have her adopted into the Zoroastrian pantheon." [β] According to an alternate theory, Anahita was perhaps "a daeva of the early and pure Zoroastrian faith, incorporated into the Zoroastrian religion and its revised canon" during the reign of "Artaxerxes I, the Constantine of that faith."[δ]
The cosmological qualities of the world river are alluded to in Yasht 5 (see in the Avesta, below), but properly developed only in the Bundahishn, a Zoroastrian account of creation finished in the 11th or 12th century CE. In both texts, Aredvi Sura Anahita is not only a divinity, but also the source of the world river and the (name of the) world river itself. The cosmological legend runs as follows:
All the waters of the world created by Ahura Mazda originate from the source Aredvi Sura Anahita, the life-increasing, herd-increasing, fold-increasing, who makes prosperity for all countries. This source is at the top of the world mountain Hara Berezaiti, "High Hara", around which the sky revolves and that is at the center of Airyanem Vaejah, the first of the lands created by Mazda.
The water, warm and clear, flows through a hundred thousand golden channels towards Mount Hugar, "the Lofty", one of the daughter-peaks of Hara Berezaiti. On the summit of that mountain is Lake Urvis, "the Turmoil", into which the waters flow, becoming quite purified and exiting through another golden channel. Through that channel, which is at the height of a thousand men, one portion of the great spring Aredvi Sura Anahita drizzles in moisture upon the whole earth, where it dispels the dryness of the air and all the creatures of Mazda acquire health from it. Another portion runs down to Vourukasha, the great sea upon which the earth rests, and from which it flows to the seas and oceans of the world and purifies them.
In the Bundahishn, the two halves of the name "Ardwisur Anahid" are occasionally treated independently of one another, that is, with Ardwisur as the representative of waters, and Anahid identified with the planet Venus: The water of the all lakes and seas have their origin with Ardwisur (10.2, 10.5), and in contrast, in a section dealing with the creation of the stars and planets (5.4), the Bundahishn speaks of 'Anahid i Abaxtari', that is, the planet Venus. In yet other chapters, the text equates the two, as in "Ardwisur who is Anahid, the father and mother of the Waters" (3.17).
This legend of the river that descends from Mount Hara appears to have remained a part of living observance for many generations. A Greek inscription from Roman times found in Asia Minor reads "the great goddess Anaïtis of high Hara". On Greek coins of the imperial epoch, she is spoken of as "Anaïtis of the sacred water."
Aredvi Sura Anahita is principally addressed in Yasht 5 (Yasna 65), also known as the Aban Yasht, a hymn to the waters in Avestan and one of the longer and better preserved of the devotional hymns. Yasna 65 is the third of the hymns recited at the Ab-Zohr, the "offering to the waters" that accompanies the culminating rites of the Yasna service. Verses from Yasht 5 also form the greater part of the Aban Nyashes, the liturgy to the waters that are a part of the Khordeh Avesta.
According to Nyberg and supported by Lommel and Widengren, the older portions of the Aban Yasht were originally composed at a very early date, perhaps not long after the Gathas themselves. [ζ] Yasna 38, which is dedicated "to the earth and the sacred waters" and is part of seven-chapter Yasna Haptanghāiti, is linguistically as old as the Gathas.
In the Aban Yasht, the river yazata is described as "the great spring Ardvi Sura Anahita is the life-increasing, the herd-increasing, the fold-increasing who makes prosperity for all countries" (5.1). She is "wide flowing and healing", "efficacious against the daevas", "devoted to Ahura's lore" (5.1). She is associated with fertility, purifying the seed of men (5.1), purifying the wombs of women (5.1), encouraging the flow of milk for newborns (5.2). As a river divinity, she is responsible for the fertility of the soil and for the growth of crops that nurture both man and beast (5.3). She is a beautiful, strong maiden, wearing beaver skins (5.3,7,20,129).
The association between water and wisdom that is common to many ancient cultures is also evident in the Aban Yasht, for here Aredvi Sura is the divinity to whom priests and pupils should pray for insight and knowledge (5.86). In verse 5.120 she is seen to ride a chariot drawn by four horses named "wind", "rain", "clouds" and "sleet". In newer passages she is described as standing in "statuesque stillness", "ever observed", royally attired with a golden embroidered robe, wearing a golden crown, necklace and earrings, golden breast-ornament, and gold-laced ankle-boots (5.123, 5.126-8). Aredvi Sura Anahita is bountiful to those who please her, stern to those who do not, and she resides in 'stately places' (5.101).
The concept of Aredvi Sura Anahita is to a degree blurred with that of Ashi, the Gathic figure of Good Fortune, and many of the verses of the Aban Yasht also appear in Yasht 17 (Ard Yasht), which is dedicated to Ashi. So also a description of the weapons bestowed upon worshippers (5.130), and the superiority in battle (5.34 et al.). These functions appears out of place in a hymn to the waters, and may have originally been from Yasht 17.
Other verses in Yasht 5 have masculine instead of feminine pronouns, and thus again appear to be verses that were originally dedicated to other divinities. Boyce also suggests that the new compound divinity of waters with martial characteristics gradually usurped the position of Apam Napat, the great warlike water divinity of the Ahuric triad, finally causing the latter's place to be lost and his veneration to become limited to the obligatory verses recited at the Ab-Zohr.
There are also parts in the Yasht that show discrepancies in the description of Anahita. There was the case, for instance, of her beaver coat, which was described to an audience for whom the Yasht was redacted. It was clear that these do not know the animal given the fact that the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) were found in the Caucasus but did not range south of the Caspian Sea nor the rivers and lakes of the Aral-Caspian steppe.
The earliest dateable and unambiguous reference to the iconic cult of Anahita is from the Babylonian scholar-priest Berosus, who – although writing over 70 years[η] after the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon[θ] – records that the emperor had been the first to make cult statues of Aphrodite Anaitis and place them in the temples of many of the empire's major cities, including Babylon, Susa, Ecbatana, Bactria, Persepolis, Damascus and Sardis.[c1] Also according to Berosus, the Persians knew of no images of gods until Artaxerxes II erected those images.[c1][λ] This is substantiated by Herodotus, whose mid-5th-century-BCE general remarks on the usages of the Perses, Herodotus notes that "it is not their custom to make and set up statues and images and altars, and those that make such they deem foolish, as I suppose, because they never believed the gods, as do the Greeks, to be the likeness of men." [c23] As the cult was institutionalized, it began to spread widely, reaching beyond the borders of Persia taking root in Armenia and Asia Minor.
The extraordinary innovation of the shrine cults can thus be dated to the late 5th century BCE (or very early 4th century BCE), even if this evidence is "not of the most satisfactory kind." Nonetheless, by 330 BCE and under Achaemenid royal patronage, these cults had been disseminated throughout Asia Minor and the Levant, and from there to Armenia. The temples also served as an important source of income. From the Babylonian kings, the Achaemenids had taken over the concept of a mandatory temple tax, a one-tenth tithe which all inhabitants paid to the temple nearest to their land or other source of income. A share of this income called the quppu ša šarri or "kings chest" – an ingenious institution originally introduced by Nabonidus – was then turned over to the ruler.
Nonetheless, Artaxerxes' close connection with the Anahita temples is "almost certainly the chief cause of this king's long-lasting fame among Zoroastrians, a fame which made it useful propaganda for the succeeding Arsacids to claim him (quite spuriously) for their ancestor."
Artaxerxes II's devotion to Anahita is most apparent in his inscriptions, where her name appears directly after that of Ahura Mazda and before that of Mithra. Artaxerxes' inscription at Susa reads: "By the will of Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra I built this palace. May Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra protect me from all evil" (A²Hc 15–10). This is a remarkable break with tradition; no Achaemenid king before him had invoked any but Ahura Mazda alone by name although the Behistun inscription of Darius invokes Ahuramazda and "The other gods who are".
The temple(s) of Anahita at Ecbatana (Hamadan) in Media must have once been the most glorious sanctuaries in the known world.[π][c2] Although the palace had been stripped by Alexander and the following Seleucid kings,[c3] when Antiochus III raided Ecbatana in 209 BCE, the temple "had the columns round it still gilded and a number of silver tiles were piled up in it, while a few gold bricks and a considerable quantity of silver ones remained." [c4]
Polybius' reference to Alexander is supported by Arrian, who in 324 BCE wrote of a temple in Ecbatana dedicated to "Asclepius" (by inference presumed to be Anahita, likewise a divinity of healing), destroyed by Alexander because she had allowed his friend Hephaestion to die.[c5] The massive stone lion on the hill there (said to be part of a sepulcral monument to Hephaestion[ψ]) is today a symbol that visitors touch in hope of fertility.
Plutarch records that Artaxerxes II had his concubine Aspasia consecrated as priestess at the temple "to Diana of Ecbatana, whom they name Anaitis, that she might spend the remainder of her days in strict chastity."[c6] This does not however necessarily imply that chastity was a requirement of Anaitis priestesses. [ν]
Isidore of Charax, in addition to a reference to the temple at Ecbatana ("a temple, sacred to Anaitis, they sacrifice there always")[c2] also notes a "temple of Artemis"[μ] at Concobar (Lower Media, today Kangavar). Despite archaeological findings that refute a connection with Anahita, remains of a 2nd-century BCE Hellenic-style edifice at Kangavar continue to be a popular tourist attraction.
During the Hellenistic Parthian period, Susa had its "Dianae templum augustissimum"[c8] far from Elymais where another temple, known to Strabo as the "Ta Azara", was dedicated to Athena/Artemis[c9] and where tame lions roamed the grounds. This may be a reference to the temple above the Tang-a Sarvak ravine in present-day Khuzestan Province. Other than this, no evidence of the cult in Western Iran from the Parthian period survives, but "it is reasonable to assume that the martial features of Anāhita (Ishtar) assured her popularity in the subsequent centuries among the warrior classes of Parthian feudalism."
In the 2nd century CE, the center of the cult in Parsa (Persia proper) was at Staxr (Istakhr). There, Anahita continued to be venerated in her martial role and it was at Istakhr that Sassan, after whom the Sassanid dynasty is named, served as high priest. Sassan's son, Papak, likewise a priest of that temple, overthrew the King of Istakhr (a vassal of the Arsacids), and had himself crowned in his stead. "By this time (the beginning of the 3rd century), Anāhita's headgear (kolāh) was worn as a mark of nobility", which in turn "suggests that she was goddess of the feudal warrior estate." Ardashir (r. 226-241 CE) "would send the heads of the petty kings he defeated for display at her temple."
During the reign of Bahram I (r. 272-273 CE), in the wake of an iconoclastic movement that had begun at about the same time as the shrine cult movement, the sanctuaries dedicated to a specific divinity were - by law - disassociated from that divinity by removal of the statuary and then either abandoned or converted into fire altars. So also the popular shrines to Mehr/Mithra which retained the name Darb-e Mehr - Mithra's Gate - that is today one of the Zoroastrian technical terms for a fire temple. The temple at Istakhr was likewise converted and, according to the Kartir inscription, henceforth known as the "Fire of Anahid the Lady." Sassanid iconoclasm, though administratively from the reign of Bahram I, may already have been supported by Bahram's father, Shapur I (r. 241-272 CE). In an inscription in Middle Persian, Parthian and Greek at Ka'ba of Zoroaster, the "Mazdean lord, ..., king of kings, ..., grandson of lord Papak" (ShKZ 1, Naqsh-e Rustam) records that he instituted fires for his daughter and three of his sons. His daughter's name: Anahid. The name of that fire: Adur-Anahid.
Notwithstanding the dissolution of the temple cults, the triad Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra (as Artaxerxes II had invoked them) would continue to be prominent throughout the Sassanid age, "and were indeed (with Tiri and Verethragna) to remain the most popular of all divine beings in Western Iran." Moreover, the iconoclasm of Bahram I and later kings apparently did not extend to images where they themselves are represented. At an investiture scene at Naqsh-e Rustam, Narseh (r. 293-302 CE) is seen receiving his crown from a female divinity identified as Anahita. Narseh, like Artaxerxes II, was apparently also very devoted to Anahita, for in the investure inscription at Paikuli (near Khaniqin, in present-day Iraq), Narseh invokes "Ormuzd and all the yazatas, and Anahid who is called the Lady."
Anahita has also been identified as a figure in the investiture scene of Khusrow Parvez (r. 590-628 CE) at Taq-e Bostan, but in this case not quite as convincingly as for the one of Narseh. But, aside from the two rock carvings at Naqsh-e Rustam and Taq-e Bostan, "few figures unquestionably representing the goddess are known." The figure of a female on an Achaemenid cylinder seal has been identified as that of Anahita, as have a few reliefs from the Parthian era (250 BCE-226 CE), two of which are from ossuaries.
In addition, Sassanid silverware depictions of nude or scantily dressed women seen holding a flower or fruit or bird or child are identified as images of Anahita. Additionally, "it has been suggested that the colonnaded or serrated crowns [depicted] on Sasanian coins belong to Anahid."
The cult flourished in Lydia even as late as end of the Hellenistic Parthian epoch. The Lydians had temples to the divinity at Sardis, Philadelphia, Hieroaesarea, Hypaipa (where she was still revered as Artemis Anaitis or Persian Artemis in Classical and Roman times), Maeonia and elsewhere; the temple at Hierocaesarea reportedly[c10] having been founded by "Cyrus" (presumably Cyrus the Younger, brother of Artaxerxes II, who was satrap of Lydia between 407 and 401 BCE).
In the 2nd century CE, the geographer Pausanias reports having personally witnessed (apparently Mazdean) ceremonies at Hypaipa and Hierocaesarea.[c11] According to Strabo, Anahita was revered together with Omanos at Zela in Pontus.[c12] [c13] At Castabala, she is referred to as 'Artemis Perasia'.[c14] Anahita and Omanos had common altars in Cappadocia.[c15]
"Hellenic influence [gave] a new impetus to the cult of images [and] positive evidence for this comes from Armenia, then a Zoroastrian land." According to Strabo, the "Armenians shared in the religion of the Perses and the Medes and particularly honored Anaitis".[c16] The kings of Armenia were "steadfast supporters of the cult" and Tiridates III, before his conversion to Christianity, "prayed officially to the triad Aramazd-Anahit-Vahagn but is said to have shown a special devotion to 'the great lady Anahit, ... the benefactress of the whole human race, mother of all knowledge, daughter of the great Aramazd'" According to Agathangelos, tradition required the Kings of Armenia to travel once a year to the temple at Eriza (Erez) in Acilisene in order to celebrate the festival of the divinity; Tiridates made this journey in the first year of his reign where he offered sacrifice and wreaths and boughs.[c27] The temple at Eriza appears to have been particularly famous, "the wealthiest and most venerable in Armenia"[c29], staffed with priests and priestesses, the latter from eminent families who would serve at the temple before marrying.[c16] This practice may again reveal Semitic syncretic influences, and is not otherwise attested in other areas. Pliny reports that Mark Antony's soldiers smashed an enormous statue of the divinity made of solid gold and then divided the pieces amongst themselves.[c19] Also according to Pliny, supported by Dio Cassius, Acilisene eventually came to be known as Anaetica.[c20] [c21] Dio Cassius also mentions that another region along the Cyrus River, on the borders of Albania and Iberia, was also called "the land of Anaitis."[c22][σ]
Anahit was also venerated at Artashat (Artaxata), the capital of the Armenian Kingdom, where her temple was close to that of Tiur[φ], the divinity of oracles. At Astishat, center of the cult of Vahagn, she was revered as voskimayr, the 'golden mother'.[c24] In 69 BCE, the soldiers of Lucullus saw cows consecrated to 'Persian Artemis' roaming freely at Tomisa in Sophene (on the Euphrates in South-West Armenia), where the animals bore the brand of a torch on their heads.[c25] Following Tiridates' conversion to Christianity, the cult of Anahit was condemned and iconic representations of the divinity were destroyed.
Attempts have been made to identify Anahita as one of the prime three divinities in Albania, but these are questionable. However, in the territories of the Moschi in Colchis, Strabo mentions[c26] a cult of Leucothea, which Wesendonck and others have identified as an analogue of Anahita. The cult of Anahita may have also influenced Ainina and Danina, a paired deities of the Caucasian Iberians mentioned by the medieval Georgian chronicles.
As a divinity Aredvi Sura Anahita is of enormous significance to the Zoroastrian religion, for as a representative of Aban ("the waters"), she is in effect the divinity towards whom the Yasna service – the primary act of worship – is directed. (see Ab-Zohr). "To this day reverence for water is deeply ingrained in Zoroastrians, and in orthodox communities offerings are regularly made to the household well or nearby stream."[ε]
It is "very probable" that the shrine of Bibi Shahrbanu at royal Ray (Rhagae, central Media) was once dedicated to Anahita.[ρ] Similarly, one of the "most beloved mountain shrines of the Zoroastrians of Yazd, set beside a living spring and a great confluence of water-courses, is devoted to Banu-Pars, "the Lady of Persia"."
However, and notwithstanding the widespread popularity of Anahita, "it is doubtful whether the current tendency is justified whereby almost every isolated figure in Sassanid art, whether sitting, standing, dancing, clothed, or semi-naked, is hailed as her representation."
The Armenian cult of Anahit, as well as the pre-Christian Armenian religion in general, was very closely connected to Persian Zoroastrianism, but it also had significant distinct features deriving from local pagan traditions as well as from non-Zoroastrian foreign cults. In present-day Armenia, it is remembered as part of the historical mythological heritage of the nation, and the name Anahid is a popular female given name. In 1997, the Central Bank of Armenia issued a commemorative gold coin with an image of the divinity Anahit on the obverse.
In his Life of Johnson, James Boswell tells the story of Donald McQueen, who believed a building near Dunvegan Castle to be the ruins of a temple to Anahita. Samuel Johnson gave no credence to McQueen's beliefs, which Johnson said was based purely on phonological similarities of names.
|α||^||Boyce (1982:29-31) proposes that there was once a Perso-Elamite divinity named *Anahiti (as she reconstructs it from the Greek rendering of Anaitis, being otherwise unattested in old Persian) that was an analogue of Semitic Ishtar–Inanna. "That the concept [of *Anahiti] owes much to that of Ishtar was first suggested by H. Gressman, Archiv f. Religionswissenschaft XX, 1920, 35ff., 323ff."
An inheritance from Ishtar is also supported by Cumont and Lommel. For a rejection of some of the numerous other identifications (Atargatis, Anat, etc.) as historically distinct, see Meyer.
|β||^||According to Boyce's theory (see note α above), "the problem of how to offer veneration to a divinity unknown to the Avesta was solved by assimilating *Anāhiti to *Harahvaitī Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā, whose third epithet was very close to the western divinity's proper name, and indeed may already in late Old Persian have become identical with it, through the dropping of the final vowel in ordinary speech." 
In antiquity, "to invoke a deity correctly, it was essential to know his proper name" and when people "worshipped gods other than their own, they invoked them by their original names."
|γ||^||Persis is Greek for the ethnic group of people from Parsa (Persia proper). Herodotus, was born and raised in Lydia (then an Achaemenid satrapy) and hence quite aware of the differences between the various ethnic groups (Persis, Medes etc.). Herodotus reported on the customs as he observed them in Asia-Minor; he did not visit Parsa.|
|δ||^||Although Taqizadeh's hypothesis is not supportable in light of the archaic nature of the Gathic nucleus of Yasht 5 (see In the Avesta, above), it is worth noting that Artaxerxes I (r. 465-424 BCE) moved his capital from Susa to Babylon, where it would remain until Artaxerxes II moved it back in 395 BCE. Darius II was half-Babylonian and died in Babylon. Darius's son and successor, Artaxerxes II also had a Babylonian mother, Parysatis, who was immensely influential on both Darius and her sons (the other being Cyrus the Younger).
Widengren has a similar hypothesis, but places it in the Proto-Avestan period. In this opinion, Anahita is Nahaithya, the Avestan daeva(s) that Widengren also suggests might be cognate with the Nasatyas.
|ε||^||Although one could (polemically) say Zoroastrians were fire worshippers, it would be quite as just and reasonable to call them water worshippers.|
|ζ||^||Boyce agrees: "Linguistically, Aredvi Sura's hymn appears older than [the Gathic hymn of] Asi's." It "was presumably after [Artaxerxes II] that verses [that] describe a temple statue" were incorporated in Yasht 5.|
|η||^||Berosus' account dates to ca. 285 BCE, Artaxerxes II died in 358 BCE.|
|θ||^||'Mnemon' is a Greek epithet, roughly translatable as 'the mindful one', but is itself a mistranslation of Vohu Manah, the Amesha Spenta of 'Good Mind' or 'Good Purpose'.|
|λ||^||See also: Müller's Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, 16|
|μ||^||"Artemis [is] one of the Greek identifications of Anahid." Isidore of Charax (Mansiones Parthicae 1) also speaks of "the city of Besechana" (Piruz-sabur, Parthian Msyk, or Massice by Pliny) "in which is a temple of Atargatis", which Boyce, citing Chaumont, states is a temple of Anahita at Beonan. Atargatis is however a Levantine goddess and, although also associated with water and the planet Venus, had a cult that is historically distinct from that of Anahita.|
|ν||^||"It is impossible (in the absence of contemporary Iranian evidence) to know the limits of what is implied here - whether, that is, all priestesses of Anahita were required at this epoch to be chaste for life, or only certain among them. Celibacy is not in general a state respected by Zoroastrians, or regarded by them as meritorious."|
|π||^||Ecbatana "is said to have greatly exceeded all the other cities in wealth and the magnificence of its buildings" (Polybius, Histories 10.27.5). The citadel supposedly had a circumference of 7 stades (ca. 1,300 m; 1,400 yd) and was built of cedar and cypress wood. "The rafters, the compartments of the ceiling, and the columns in the porticoes and colonnades were plated with either silver or gold, and all the tiles were silver" (10.27.10-11).|
|ρ||^||In 1948, Persian scholar Abd al-Husayn Nava'i addressed the Shahrbanu legend and suggested that there must have been a Zoroastrian shrine at Ray whose sanctity attracted the legend.
The shrine, which legend attributes to the eldest daughter of Yazdegerd III, continues to be a pilgrimage site (by women only, through a concession by male descendants of Mohammed) even in Islamic times. Boyce suggests that the shrine may be even older than the Sassanid period, dating perhaps to the Hellenistic Parthian era.
|σ||^||"like Acilisene, it was doubtless the territory of a temple dedicated to Anahita but otherwise unknown."|
|φ||^||According to Boyce, Tiur is Mesopotamian Nabu-*Tiri conflated with Avestan Tishtrya. In Hellenic (Seleucid and Parthian) times Tiur was associated with Pythian Apollo, patron of Delphi.|
|ψ||^||The stone lion of Hamadan is said to have been part of Alexander's plan to build a monument to Hephaestion.|
|Ω||^ ^||Plutarch is relying on older sources, probably on "the often inaccurate" Ctesias.|
Anahita (minor planet designation: 270 Anahita) is a stony S-type Main belt asteroid. It was discovered by C. H. F. Peters on October 8, 1887, in Clinton, New York, and was named after the Avestan divinity Aredvi Sura Anahita.
In 2001, the asteroid was detected by radar from the Arecibo Observatory at a distance of 0.92 AU. The resulting data yielded an effective diameter of 47 ± 7 km.Aban
Apas (, Avestan: āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters", which, in its innumerable aggregate states, is represented by the Apas, the hypostases of the waters.
Āb (plural Ābān) is the Middle Persian-language form.AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is a men's professional golf tournament, co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Sunshine Tour, and Asian Tour. It began in 2015 and was played at Heritage Golf Club in Bel-Ombre, Mauritius. In 2016 and 2018 the tournament was held at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, returning to Heritage Golf Club in 2017. The 2015 and 2016 events were played in May but in 2017 it was moved to December and was part of the 2018 European Tour schedule.
In the second round of the inaugural tournament in 2015, Spain's Javier Colomo made a hole-in-one the par-4 9th hole, the first par-four ace in the history of all three co-sanctioning tours. It was his final hole of the day, and he had needed birdie or better to make the cut.Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda (; also known as Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz) is the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is the highest spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism, along with being the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is "mighty" or "lord", and Mazda is "wisdom".
Ahura Mazda first appeared in the Achaemenid period (c. 550 – 330 BCE) under Darius I's Behistun Inscription. Until Artaxerxes II of Persia (405–04 to 359–58 BCE), Ahura Mazda was worshipped and invoked alone. With Artaxerxes II, Ahura Mazda was invoked in a triad, with Mithra and Anahita. In the Achaemenid period, there are no representations of Ahura Mazda other than the custom for every emperor to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses, to invite Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles. Images of Ahura Mazda began in the Parthian period, but were stopped and replaced with stone carved figures in the Sassanid period.Anahit
Anahit (Armenian: Անահիտ) was the goddess of fertility and healing, wisdom and water in Armenian mythology. In early periods she was the goddess of war. By the 5th century BC she was the main deity in Armenia along with Aramazd. The Armenian goddess Anahit is related to the similar Old Persian goddess Anahita. Anahit's worship, most likely borrowed from the Iranians during the Median invasion or the early Achaemenid period, was of paramount significance in Armenia. Unlike Iranians, Armenians incorporated idol-worship into the cult of Anahit. Artaxias I erected statues of Anahit, and promulgated orders to worship them.Anahita (spider)
Anahita is a genus in the family Ctenidae (wandering spiders).Anahita Hemmati
Anahita Hemmati (Persian: آناهیتا همتی, born July 23, 1973 in Tehran) is an Iranian actress.Anahita Ratebzad
Anahita Ratebzad (Dari/Pashto: اناهیتا راتبزاد; November 1931 – 7 September 2014) was an Afghan socialist and Marxist politician and a member of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and the Revolutionary Council under the leadership of Babrak Karmal. Ratebzad was Afghanistan's deputy head of state from 1980 to 1986.Anahita Uberoi
Anahita Uberoi (born 1967) is an Indian stage actress working actively in theater circuit. Besides Uberoi also acted in some Hindi films.Anahita punctulata
Anahita punctulata, the southeastern wandering spider, is a species of wandering spider in the family Ctenidae. It is found in the USA.Fuman, Iran
Fuman (Persian: فومن Fuman) is the capital of Fuman County in Gilan Province, Iran. At to the 2006 census, its population was 27,763 in 7,728 families.Rice has been cultivated in this region for many years, where some indigenous cultivars were conventionally bred by farmers. Fuman also produces popular cookies known as koluche. Fuman's koluche is thinner and larger than its brethren in Lahijan.
The city is also known for its statues, including the statue of the ancient Iranian goddess Anahita and the statue of the Four Girls.Hara Berezaiti
Harā Bərəzaitī, literally meaning "High Watchpost", is the name given in the Avestan language to a legendary mountain around which the stars and planets revolve.Kangavar
Kangavar (Persian: كنگاور, Kangâvar; also Romanized as Kangāvar) is a city and capital of Kangavar County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 48,901, in 12,220 families.Kangavar is located in the easternmost part of Kermanshah Province, on the modern road from Hamadan to Kermanshah, identical with a trace of the Silk Road, located at the distance of about 75 km from Hamadan and 96 km from Kermanshah.Its name may be derived from the Avestan Kanha-vara, 'enclosure of Kanha'.Kangavar was mentioned by Isidore of Charax in the 1st century AD, by the name of "Konkobar" or "Concobar" (Greek: Κογκοβάρ) in the ancient province of Ecbatana (modern Hamedan). In antiquity, the city was in Media, with a temple of Artemis (Isidor. Char. p. 7; Tab. Pent.; Geogr. Rav.)The district, which lies in the Kangavar river valley, is very fertile and contains 30 villages. Kangavar township is 47 miles from Hamadan on the high road to Kermanshah.
In the early 20th century, Kangāvar was held in fief by the family of a deceased court official, forming a separate government.
Today, the town is best known for the archaeological remains of a mixed Sassanid and Achaemenid-style edifice. During the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the ruins were misused as a source for building material for the expanding town. Excavation first began in 1968, by which time the "large structure with its great columns set on a high stone platform" had been associated with a comment by Isidore of Charax, that refers to a "temple of Artemis" (Parthian Stations 6) at "Concobar" in Lower Medea, on the overland trade route between the Levant and India. References to Artemis in Iran are generally interpreted to be references to Anahita, and thus Isidore's "temple of Artemis" came to be understood as a reference to a temple of Anahita.
Although a general plan of the complex has been compiled, it is still not sufficient to learn about the function and shape of the terrace and the buildings that stood there. Given the lack of archaeological evidence for a temple-like building, "it is questionable whether the [temple noted by Isodore] is identical with the ruins of Kangāvar. Isidorus described obviously another temple of the first century AD, somewhere in the region of Congobar (Kangāvar) or at the place of the later platform, which, according to the results of the excavation, seems to be built up in Sasanian times."Despite the archaeological findings, the association with the divinity of fertility, healing, and wisdom has made the site a popular tourist attraction.Le mage
Le mage is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jean Richepin. It was first performed at the Paris Opéra in Paris on 16 March 1891 in costumes by Charles Bianchini and sets by Auguste Alfred Rubé, Philippe Chaperon and Marcel Jambon (Act I), Amable and Eugène Gardy (Act II), Alfred Lemeunier (Act III), and Jean-Baptiste Lavastre and Eugène Carpezat (Acts IV and V).
Since its premiere run of 31 performances Le mage has been rarely performed (it was seen in The Hague in 1896), and is one of Massenet's least known operas. However, it falls squarely in the middle of his most inspired period and therefore deserves attention. A rare complete concert performance took place in Saint-Étienne in 2012.Parthian style
The Parthian style is a style (sabk) of historical Iranian architecture.
This style of architecture includes designs from the Seleucid (310–140 BCE), Parthian (247 BCE – 224 CE), and Sassanid (224–651 CE) eras, reaching its apex of development in the Sassanid period.
Examples of this style are Ghal'eh Dokhtar, the royal compounds at Nysa, Anahita Temple, Khorheh, Hatra, the Ctesiphon vault of Kasra, Bishapur, and the Palace of Ardashir in Ardeshir Khwarreh (Firouzabad).The Parthi style of architecture appeared after Alexander the Great's conquest of the Achaemenid Empire in the 3rd century BCE, and historically includes the Sassanid, Parthian, and post Islamic eras, up to the 9-10th centuries. The remains of the architectural style of this period are not abundant, and although much was borrowed and incorporated from Greek designs and methods, architects and builders of this age employed many innovative concepts of their own as well.Qadamgah (ancient site)
Qadamgah or Chasht-Khor is a (post)-Achaemenid rock-cut monument at the southeastern part of the Kuh-e Rahmat mountain in Fars Province of Iran, about 40 km south of Persepolis. It consists of three platforms with rear walls and staircases, and features cavities on the back wall and a now-dry spring and pond at the bottom. Its function has been a matter of debate, with latest research pointing to a religious function related to the holy element Water.Qal'eh Dokhtar
Qal'eh Dokhtar, Ghale Dokhtar , Dezh Dokhtar (Persian: دژ دختر, "The Maiden Castle"), is a castle made by Ardashir I, in present-day Fars, Iran, in 209 AD. It is located on a mountain slope near the Firouzabad-Kavar road.The name of the castle implies it was dedicated to the Goddess Anahita, to whom the term "Maiden" refers. After capturing Isfahan and Kerman from the Parthians, Ardashir (re)built the city of Gur near the castle in Pirouzabad, making it his capital. After defeating Ardavan V ( Artabanus V ), the Parthian king in a great battle in 224 AD, he built the Palace of Ardashir nearby the Dezh Dokhtar structure. Ardashir's grandfather was a prominent priest of the Goddess Anahita at the nearby temple of Darabgird, "City of Darius."
The castle is built on a high bluff which overlooks the river and roadway running south from Fars. The entrance to the castle is through a tall gateway within a large, rectangular tower. Inside, a broad stairway leads up to a rectangular hall, with blind niches on either side and two large buttresses at the east end. These supported stairways go up to the next level, with another large rectangular room, 14 x 23 m, with an iwan at the east end and arched blind windows on either side.
It was presumably roofed by an arched vault. Beyond this there are steps to a third level and a large rectangular room with ¼ circle squinches at each corner supporting a domed roof. This was buttressed by very thick walls on all sides, presumably to ensure its stability, and the cupola could be reached by a spiral staircase on the south side.
The fortified palace contains many of the recurring features of Sasanian palace and civic architecture: long halls, arches, domes, recessed windows, and stairways. The construction is uniform of roughly shaped stone and mortar, but the surfaces were obviously all finished with a thick coating of plaster or stucco, giving a smooth and elegant appearance, which could have been decorated with ornamentation or painting.
The 1,800-year-old castle has lost some four meters of its original height over the last century and experts warn if urgent measures are not taken to enforce it, the castle may soon collapse.Temple of Anahita, Kangavar
The Anahita Temple (Persian: معبد آناهیتا or پرستشگاه آناهیتا) is the name of one of two archaeological sites in Iran popularly thought to have been attributed to the ancient deity Anahita. The larger and more widely known of the two is located at Kangāvar in Kermanshah Province. The other is located at Bishapur.
The remains at Kangavar reveal an edifice that is Hellenistic in character, and yet display Persian architectural designs. The plinth's enormous dimensions for example, which measure just over 200m on a side, and its megalithic foundations, which echo Achaemenid stone platforms, "constitute Persian elements". This is thought to be corroborated by the "two lateral stairways that ascend the massive stone platform recalling Achaemenid traditions", particularly that of the Apadana Palace at Persepolis.Another Iranian construction with Hellenistic characteristics is the Khurra mausoleum in Markazi Province.