The turning point in her life was a 12-month study-leave in the Zoroastrian villages around Yazd, notably in Šarifābād in 1963-64. Boyce also believed it was critical to understand the way traditions were preserved orally. Bahman Morādiān, Farvahar 41/9-10, 2007, pp. The Wisdom of the Sasanian Sages (Dēnkard VI) by Aturpāt-i Ēmētān, Boulder, CO, 1979 (commenced under Henning and concluded under Boyce given former’s departure to Berkeley, Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1964). 159-60. 59-73. Review of Ph. Gherardo Gnoli, East and West 56/4, 2006, pp. 22-177) which she also believed to be part of that great continuity (except Zoroaster only venerated beings that were spәntā). 67-71. Review of Johanna Narten, Die Aməša Spəṇtas im Avesta, BSOAS 47/1, 1984, pp. John Hinnells, “BOYCE, MARY,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2012, available at (accessed on 15 October 2012). 10-45. I first began to study the subject seriously in 1979, when I purchased a new book by Professor Mary Boyce entitled Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (1979).Although this volume was intended for general circulation, the author’s familiarity with the subject was evident. In this volume, after discussing the pre-Zoroastrian religion of the Medes (see MEDIA) and Persians, she dedicates a chapter to each of the Achaemenid monarchs combing not only classical sources but also showing a wide knowledge of the archaeological material relating to each monarch with a particular concern to construct the history of Zoroastrianism in those imperial times. Boyce was a recipient of the Royal Asiatic Society's Burton Medal, and of the Sykes Medal of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1958). Boyce was an outstanding teacher and supervised the research of many who went on to hold professorships (see infra). “The Indian Fables in the Letter of Tansar,” Asia Major, n.s., V/1, 1955, pp. 1-103 (M.A. Boyce completed her Manichean and Parthian studies in “Parthian Writings and Literature” (pp. In ZACV, Boyce emphasizes Zoroaster’s priestly training and that the Gāthās were meditations on the Yasnā he was performing (pp. ... MC Boyce, M Breadmore, M Macka, P Doble, PR Haddad. For example, Boyce rejected the credibility of the Onesicritus story in which the citizens of Bactra (see BACTRIA) threw their old people outside the city wall to be eaten by dogs, for she found it “unthinkable that in any Zoroastrian community there should have been a practice of allowing the old or the sick to be eaten alive by dogs” because it would go against the doctrine that death is the work of Ahriman and one should not hasten death and burden one’s soul with sin (p. 7, n. 24). But she maintains that at the end of the Sasanian period traditional Zoroastrianism remained dominant and coherent (pp. In this word-list she used material collected by Henning and generously passed on by his widow, Maria Henning (see Boyce’s “Obituary: Walter Bruno Henning,” BSOAS 30/3, 1967, pp. After her return from Iran she reflected at length on the significance of what she had witnessed, and produced concomitantly some Parthian and Manichean studies as well as articles on Iran, including, for example, “The fire-temples of Kerman,” Acta Orientalia 30, 1966, pp. Farrokh Vajifdar, “Mary Boyce Memorial Lecture: Professor Mary Boyce and the Quest for Zoroaster,” Hamazor XLIX/2, 2008, pp. Ārzu Rasuli, Našr-e dāneš 22/2, Summer 2006, pp. It is accepted that Zurvan ‘est en general le dieu du firmament lumineux et etoile … avant tout le dieu du sort … en general regarde comme un dieu quadriforme’; and that his cult was ‘enracine surtout dans l'lran occidental’. Fischer himself resided in Yazd during 1970-71 to collect anthropological materials for his doctoral research, “Zoroastrian Iran between myth and praxis,” unpubl. She was born in Darjeeling where her parents were vacationing to escape the heat of the plains during the summer. Her sadly unfinished HZ IV (With Albert de Jong, Parthian Zoroastrianism, 2 vols., HO, Leiden, forthcoming) will continue the narrative down to the end of the Arsacid period. and tr., The Pahlavi Rivāyat of Āturfarnbag and Farnbag-srōš, BSOAS 35/1, 1972, pp. “The Zoroastrians of Iran: over 3000 years of faith,” Asian Affairs 16/3, 1985, pp. She was so keen to perpetuate the study of Zoroastrianism that in her will she bequeathed her estate to SOAS for the founding of a professorship in Zoroastrian studies and her library to The Ancient India & Iran Trust, Cambridge, of which she was an Honorary Fellow. 137-40). 22-38). to date, Tehran, 1995-96; Review: BSOAS 40/3, 1977, pp. 236-60. Hist. This was followed by volume 2 of History of Zoroastrianism in 1982 (also as a part of the Orientalistik monograph series), and volume 3 in 1991 which she co-authored with Frantz Grenet. Here also Boyce sees continuity between living practice in Iran and the Zoroastrianism found among Zoroastrians living in Galatia (p. 260) and believes modern practice can illuminate an Achaemenid-era altar found in Cappadocia (p. 265 and pp. In 1946 Boyce returned to Cambridge and embarked on her doctoral dissertation on “The Parthian hymn cycles” under the joint supervision of Henning and Harold W. Bailey (1899-1996). W. Foy, London, 1978; repr. Gignoux and A. Tafazzoli, Louvain, 1974, pp. 30-44. The major change she sees in the Sasanian period was the emergence of a written form of the orally transmitted Avesta  although she argues this affected only the learned priestly classes (ZACV, pp. 908-15; “Some Parthian abecedarian hymns,” BSOAS 14/3, 1952, pp. In the same year she published the first volume of her magnum opus, The History of Zoroastrianism, which appeared in the monograph series Handbuch der Orientalistik (Leiden:Brill). “The pious foundations of the Zoroastrians,” BSOAS 31/2, 1968, pp. Her mother Nora (née Gardiner) was a granddaughter of the historian Samuel Rawson Gardiner. 245-46. Review of Jean-Pierre de Menasce, Une encyclopédie mazdéenne: le Dēnkart. Boyce explains the continuity with pre- Zoroastrian tradition especially the Yazatas since the prophet altered the concepts only in so far as they were not to be venerated as independent deities but as evocations or agents of Ahura Mazdā (p. 111). In reconstructing the religion of the various Achaemenid monarchs she often uses evidence taken from living usage (for example, p. 70, on Cambyses making offerings for his father’s soul and p. 248 on the calendar observed by Artaxerxes II, 404-358 BCE). ): “There is thus no reliable evidence from the Gāthās to set against the tradition and the observance of Zoroaster’s followers, which testify to his maintenance of the blood sacrifice and haoma cult, together with the other rites of the ancient Ahuric religion.” Later (p. 223) she wrote, “It seems natural that Zoroaster as priest should have been concerned to give his new doctrines expression in observances, so that belief could declare itself through worship and be sustained by it; and there is no reason therefore to doubt the tradition that attributes to the prophet himself the founding of the feasts later known as gahāmbārs” (see GĀHĀNBĀR; cf. The results of her research there were formative to her understanding of Zoroastrianism and she discovered that much of the previously established scholarship on the ancient faith was terribly misguided. Submitted tags will be reviewed by site administrator before it is posted online.If you enter several tags, separate with commas. In the early chapters she summarized her conclusions from HZ I and II, and sometimes refined those earlier works and drew out the implications so as to form something of a conclusion to her work. 229-45). Foreword to Samuel N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China: a Historical Survey, Manchester, 1985, repr. She developed her theory of the continuity of Zoroastrian belief and practice from the time of the prophet right down to modern times. 261-70. ©2020 Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mary C. Boyce Appointed Provost of Columbia University. 69-76; “On Mithra, lord of fire,” Monumentum H. S. Nyberg, I, Acta Iranica 4, Tehran and Liège, 1975, pp. When she goes on to discuss Zoroastrian influence on the Jews (HZ III, pp. Guba, E.G. Another key theme in the final chapter is how the teachings underpin the daily life and ideals of these remote and oppressed Zoroastrians (ZACV, pp. 2005, pp. Idem, “The Zoroastrian Temple Cult of Fire in Archaeology and Literature (II),” Orient: Report of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan 17, 1981, pp. There is no room for sacerdotal functions as a really integral part of such a man’s gospel; and of ritual or spells we hear as little as we expect to hear.” Boyce rejected such polarization and saw Zoroaster as both teacher and prophet, inspired, as she was, by the priests she encountered in Iran. “Maneckji Limji Hataria in Iran,” Golden Jubilee Volume: K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Bombay, 1969, pp. Lanham, MD, 1989. Review: Michael Fischer, Iranian Studies 10/4, 1977, pp. “Rapithwin, Nō Rūz, and the feast of Sade,” Pratidānam: Indian, Iranian and Indo-European studies presented to Francisicus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper, ed., J. C. Heesterman et al., The Hague and Paris, 1968, pp. ; also “On the antiquity of Zoroastrian apocalyptic,” BSOAS 47/1, 1984, pp. James Russell, Zoroastrianism in Armenia, Cambridge, MA, 1987 (Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1982). Till her demise, it compelled her to work while lying on her back and writing everything by hand. Boyce was always keen to encourage others to study Zoroastrianism. II, Freiburg im Brisgau, 1966, pp. At Newnham College, Cambridge she studied English, archaeology and anthropology, graduating with a double first.[1].
2020 mary boyce scholar