Edition and transcriptions of the Yasna

Transcription and Collation of Avestan Manuscripts Selected for the Edition of the Yasna

Edited for the Multimedia Yasna Project

The work of transcribing and editing has been undertaken by:

Transcription & CollationY 0-2Almut Hintze
Y 3-8Céline Redard
Y 9-11Mehrbod Khanizadeh
Y 12-13Kerman Daruwalla
Y 28-30Benedikt Peschl
Y 56-57Chiara Grassi
Y 58-61Leon Goldman
Y 62-72Stefano Damanins
SY 1-8Martina Palladino
IT DevelopmentMartin Sievers and Catherine Smith

The transcriptions and the editions are available at the “Editions and Transcriptions” link on the top right corner, each under a Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY 4.0). The selected manuscripts are also listed in the list of witnesses.


Full-text transcriptions of the manuscripts selected for the editions were made using the Online Transcription Editor (OTE) developed by Martin Sievers, with an offline Electron version provided by Catherine Smith. The OTE automatically encodes the text in Extensible Markup Language (XML) according to the fifth version of the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI P5). By relieving the transcriber from manually encoding TEI tags directly, it ensures TEI compliance and consistent data capture.

The text has been transcribed exactly as it appears in the manuscripts with their original orthography and any textual corrections. Unclear, illegible or lacunose text is also marked as such. The full-text transcriptions of the manuscripts are available for examination of the context of a word and for comparison with the collation.

Once transcribed, the manuscript texts were collated with each other, section-by-section, using the software CollateX. The initial editing of the apparatus involved multiple stages, using the Collation Editor software developed by Catherine J. Smith (Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing University of Birmingham).

For a description of the editorial process, see pages 4–83 in: Redard, Céline. 2021. The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8. A Critical Edition with Ritual Commentaries and Glossary (Handbook of Oriental Studies – Corpus Avesticum 32/3). Leiden - New York: Brill.

List of Witnesses

The manuscripts have been selected according to their type and date. Each edition of Avestan text uses around 30 manuscripts while the Sanskrit edition is based on 8 manuscripts. The following tables list the manuscripts transcribed and collated in the MUYA project, providing their type, their name, their location, and finally their date when known.

Y Ir. Sāde3_ZolfeghariDorost Zolfeghari (Shah Bahram Dorost), Yazd 
 5_Arundel54British Library, Londonbefore 1646
 10__Mf1K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, Bombay1721/1741
 15_MZK4Muze-ye Zartoštyān, Kerman1816
 20_ML15284Majles Library, Tehranbefore 1823
 29_Pouladi3Private collection1824
 40_F3aMeherji Rana Library, Navsari1878
Y Ind. Sāde100_B3Mumbai University Library, Bombay1556
 110_K11aKongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen1647
 120_Lb2British Library, London1661
 130_O1Bodleian Library, Oxford1735
 230_L17British Library, Londonafter 1556
Y Ir. Comb (Spāhāni Phl. Y)400_Pt4Facsimile at the Bodleian Library, Oxfordca. 1780
 410_Mf4K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, Bombayca. 1780
 451_T54Meherji Rana Library, Navsarica. 1780
Y Ind. Phl. (Mihrābān’s Phl. Y)500_J2Bodleian Library, Oxford1323
 510_K5Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen1323
Y Ind. Skt.672_K6Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen 
 677_S1Columbia University, New York 
Y Ind. Skt., Phl.682_KM7Ketābxāne-ye Melli, Tehran 
Vr Ir. Sāde2005_TU2Tehran University Libraryca. 1625
 2007_VL1Vaziri Library of Astan-e Qods, Yazd1627
 2010_G18bMeherji Rana Library, Navsari1627
V Ir. Sāde4000_TU1Tehran University Library1607
 4010_Ave977-8Zolfeghari’s private collection1608/1609
 4040_Ave1001Niknām’s private collection1632/1633
 4060_RSPA230British Library, London1647
 4161_VJTehran University Librarybefore 1658
V Ind. Sāde4200_L1British Library, London 
 4210_B2Mumbai University Library, Bombay1626
 4240_T46Meherji Rana Library, Navsari1664
 4250_O2Bodleian Library, Oxford1681
Vyt Ir. Sāde5020_K4Kongelikge Bibliothek, Copenhagen1723
 5102_DY1Yazd, private collection 

For the Sanskrit version of the Yasna, the following manuscripts have been selected:

Y Ind. Skt.660_P3Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris1761
 671_J3Bodleian Library, Oxford 
 672_K6Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen 
 673_K15Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen 
 674_P11Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 
 677_S1Columbia University, New York 
 681_T55aMeherji Rana Library, Navsari 
Y Ind. Skt., Phl.682_KM7Ketābxāne-ye Melli, Tehran 

For more details on these manuscripts, see:

Khanizadeh, Mehrbod. 2021. Zoroastrian ritual and exegetical traditions: the case of the Iranian Pahlavi Yasna. The Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 84.3, 469–504 [available online].

Palladino, Martina. 2021. The Sanskrit Version of Yasna 1–8. A Critical Edition with Commentaries and Glossaries. PhD thesis London: SOAS, pages 36–39.

Peschl, Benedikt. forthcoming. The first three hymns of the Ahunauuaitī Gāϑā. The Avestan text of Yasna 28–30 and its tradition (Handbook of Oriental Studies — Corpus Avesticum). Leiden – New York: Brill. Chapter 1.

Redard, Céline. 2021. The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8. A Critical Edition with Ritual Commentaries and Glossary (Handbook of Oriental Studies – Corpus Avesticum 32/3). Leiden - New York: Brill, pages 14–25.


The transcriptions and apparatus are available at the “Edition and Transcriptions” link on the top right corner. The titles of the different projects of MUYA are displayed side by side. The full-text transcriptions and the editions with critical apparatus of a particular project are accessed by selecting one of them.

Digital transcriptions

The digital transcriptions of a particular manuscript is accessed by selecting a particular manuscript from a particular sub-project. A side panel provides the navigation through the folios of a manuscript and through the stanzas of the text. Under “Go to page”, the drop-down menu provides the folio numbers. Under “Go to Stanza”, there is a drop-down menu for each chapter. Clicking on “select” under a chapter opens a drop-down menu with the stanza numbers of that chapter, and selecting the stanza number provides the transcription of that stanza.

The display of the manuscript transcriptions is as follows:

  1. The text reference with the number of the chapter and of the stanza is written in superscript.
  2. The main text in Avestan or Sanskrit is written in italics, while ritual directions are in normal type.
  3. In bilingual manuscripts, the distinction is made between translation and commentary in the Pahlavi and / or Sanskrit text. The commentary is indicated by angle brackets ⟨⟩.
  4. Any headings and dedications appear in bold.
  5. Abbreviated words are written in round brackets. If the transcriber has expanded the abbreviation, the expanded text appears when hovering the cursor over the abbreviation.
  6. Words containing a correction are underlined, and the correction appears in a small window when hovering the cursor over the corrected word.
  7. Curly brackets indicate a deficient letter and square brackets a lacuna.
  8. Text written in red in the manuscript is displayed in red.
  9. Hovering the cursor over a raised text graphical element provides the description of the graphical element in a small window.
  10. Marginalia are indicated by a raised blue capital M. Details of the marginalia are shown by hovering the cursor over the M.

An editorial note appears as Note written in blue and raised. Hovering over it will provide the text of the note.

Digital editions (edited text and text-critical apparatus)

The digital editions with edited text and text-critical apparatus are accessed by selecting “Apparatus” from a particular sub-project.

Under “Go to Stanza”, there is a drop-down menu for each chapter. Clicking on “select” under a chapter opens a drop-down menu with the stanza numbers of that chapter. Select a stanza number to navigate to that stanza. The edited text appears in the main window with the apparatus below.

The Avestan edited text is in italics. Middle Persian ritual directions, in transliteration, are in normal type. The readings in the apparatus appear in italics when in Avestan, and in normal type when in another language.

The edition of the Sanskrit translation and commentary follows the same system: the Sanskrit text is in italics, while the Sanskrit ritual directions are in normal type. Furthermore, within the Sanskrit text, the commentary is indicated by angle brackets ⟨⟩.

In the main edited text, words with variant readings are followed by a raised number, which refers to a note placed below the edited text. The numbering starts at ¹ within each stanza. If two terms have been collated together, they are presented in the critical apparatus under a single number, written after each of them in the main edited text.

To unburden the critical apparatus from readings which are not meaningful for the transmission, the readings, whenever possible, have been regularised as phonetic (p.), orthographic (o.), orthographic-phonetic (op.), reconstructed (r.) or abbreviation to the main variant. The MUYA team has defined regularisation rules for this purpose.

The manuscripts are numbered according to the system of Cantera (Vers une édition de la liturgie longue: pensées et travaux préliminaires, 2014, 406–417). In the apparatus, the manuscripts are listed in numerical order within one variant reading. A semi-colon separates different classes of manuscripts, and a comma separates the Iranian from the Indian manuscripts within the same class. Clicking on the siglum of a manuscript opens a new window taking the user to the manuscript transcription and showing the word in the context of that particular manuscript.

The critical apparatus is arranged as follows:

  • In first position is the edited form.
  • Main variants are arranged according to the numerical order of manuscript sigla.
  • Subreadings are arranged as follows: phonetic (p.), phonetic reconstructed (pr.), orthographic-phonetic (op.), orthographic-phonetic reconstructed (opr.), orthographic (o.), orthographic reconstructed (or.), reconstructed (r.) and abbreviation (indicated by round brackets). If a category appears more than once, the sequence is according to the witness siglum, the lowest number appearing first, etc.

Finally, text absent from a manuscript is listed as follows: omission (om.), non legitur (non leg.), lacuna (lac.), abbreviated text (abbr.) and not expected (not exp.).

The following sigla and abbreviations are used:

  1. An emended form is indicated by a raised plus sign ⁺ before the edited form.
  2. First hand readings are marked by an asterisk (*) after the siglum of the text witness; corrections by the suffix C. Witnesses which have more than one instance of the same verse are indicated by the suffixes -1 and -2 when the readings differ.
  3. Deficient letters appear in curly brackets {}.
  4. Lacunae appear in square brackets [] with the number indicating the number of letters missing.
  5. Restored text appears in square brackets, indicating that the text has been completed by a restorer.
  6. Abbreviated words appear in round brackets ().
  7. Other abbreviations used are:
    • abbr. for an abbreviated portion of text.
    • lac. for a lacuna due to damage to page.
    • non leg. states for non legitur / leguntur and refers to a portion of text which cannot be read because the paper has been repaired.
    • not exp. for a text portion not expected in a Yasna ceremony.
    • om. states for omisit or omiserunt and refers to scribal omissi