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The Avestan Hymn to Mithra, written in the fifth century BC, is the one extensive, ancient literary record of the attributes, companions and cult of the Iranian god whose worship spread, five or six centuries later, as far as Britain. Dr Gershevitch here reproduces Geldner's text and critical apparatus of the Hymn, adding his own introduction, translation and commentary. The introduction offers an orientation on the main problems concerning Mithra: how the god came to be included in the Zoroastrian religious system, his relation to Zarathustra's god Ahura Mazdah, his functions, his development from the stage at which the Indian Mitra is found in the Rig Veda, and the extent to which the Western Mithras has preserved the characteristics of the Avestan Mithra. The text is faced by the English translation, and is followed by Dr Gershevitch's exhaustive commentary.
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