In recognition of her pioneering field-work she was awarded the Burton Gold Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1972, and, in 1985 the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. 92-99. W. B. Henning Memorial Volume, eds., Mary Boyce and Ilya Gershevitch, London, 1970. 294-99. She enthusiastically accepted the Yasnā Haptaŋhāiti as a prose liturgical creation of the prophet (ZACV pp. Chicago, 1990. 38-40. She supported, encouraged and where necessary chided all who came to her for help. Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1998). Since her physical condition prevented her from travelling, they all came to her, to be treated to long and passionate discussions and to black tea with dates from Kerman, brought by a friend from Iran, and Parsee shortbread offered by visiting Zoroastrians from India. The results of her work with the Iranian Zoroastrians were presented when she gave the Ratanbai Katrak Lectures in Oxford in 1975. 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). Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. In her chapter on “The religion of empires” (ZACV, pp. A. Sh. After completing her doctorate, she made several visits to Hamburg and Berlin to catalogue the Iranian manuscripts in the Manichean script. 104-05; see NOWRUZ i). Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. to date, Tehran, 1995-96; Review: BSOAS 40/3, 1977, pp. This became a standard work of reference for generations of scholars. Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, died on the Mary's first teacher in Iranian matters was 4th of April 2006. Gignoux and A. Tafazzoli, Louvain, 1974, pp. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. 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). She also joined a seminar (1949-50) to study the important Sasanian tract, the Letter of Tansar. Idem, Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2006, p. 27, reprinted in FEZANA Journal 19/3, Summer 2006, p. 125. As is almost customary, she came to Iranian studies more or less by accident. Her first research was on Manichaean texts, leading to a Cambridge doctorate in 1952 (her thesis was published as Manichaean Hymn-Cycles in Parthian, 1954). But she saw the cult of the fravašis as perhaps a deviation from Zoroaster’s teaching (ZACV, 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. Dr. Ira Katznelson, who has been currently serving as Interim Provost, will serve in this position until July. Her mother, Nora, was a granddaughter of the noted historian of the Puritan revolution, Samuel Rawson Gardiner. She was taught by Hector Munro Chadwick (1870-1947), a world authority on oral literatures who influenced some of her studies on Parthian minstrelsy mentioned below. ...Was he Prophet and Teacher, or was he Priest? “[Zoroastrianism] Early Days,” Man’s Religious Quest: a Reader, ed. Dean Boyce will officially take over as Provost starting July 1, 2021. “The Zoroastrian houses of Yazd,” Iran and Islam: in memory of the late Vladimir Minorsky, ed., C. E. Bosworth, Edinburgh, 1971, pp. Such an innovative approach should be expected to spark controversy, but this, while certainly not lacking, mainly concerned points of detail. A Word-List of Manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian, with a Reverse Index by Ronald Zwanziger, Acta Iranica 9a, Tehran and Liège, 1977; tr. In chapter 1 she dismissed the various legends linking Zoroaster with different places (see ZOROASTER ii), while in chapter 2 she examined the social conditions implied by the Old Avestan literature, concluding that “The possible chronological limits thus appear to be c. 1500-c. 1200; and a date at the lower limit, i.e. 50-58. Review of R. C. Zaehner, The Teachings of the Magi: a compendium of Zoroastrian beliefs, JRAS 1957, pp. She summed this up in a little-known article published for the Open University program in Britain, “The Continuity of the Zoroastrian Quest,” in Man’s Religious Quest: a Reader, ed. Upload PDF. 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). You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. 116-19) who asked: “How are we to classify Zarathushtra [?] From the studies of Zurvanism made in this century, a large measure of agreement has been reached. Done. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. 270-89. Review of Malcolm Colledge, The Parthians, BSOAS 31/3, 1968, pp. She argues that the modern period has been neglected because philologists have dominated Zoroastrian studies and their interest wanes after the Pahlavi period (p. 165). I am delighted she has agreed to serve as Provost and look forward to working even more closely with her in the years to come. “Den senere Zoroastrisme,” Illustreret religionshistorie, eds., J. P. Asmussen and J. Læssøe, vol. The following articles are merged in Scholar. 84-85) and the gahāmbārs including Nowruz (ZACV, pp. Dr. Mary Boyce has dedicated her life to learning. and tr. ): “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. 108-10 and associated notes). 69-76; “On Varuna’s part in Zoroastrianism,” Mélanges linguistique offerts à Émile Benveniste, Paris, 1975, pp. ed. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? 43-53. thesis, University of London, 1986). 125-47. Review of Behramgore Anklesaria, ed. “Some aspects of farming in a Zoroastrian village of Yazd,” Persica 4, 1969, pp. Idem, “Boyce, (Nora Elizabeth) Mary,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, January 2010; online edition, September 2010, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/97119. 25-36). She asserts that the statues erected in Achaemenid and Parthian times were removed as more fire temples were built (p. 141). 35/2, 2006, pp. 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. Mary Boyce was one of the world's greatest scholars of ancient and medieval Iran. Boyce was born in Darjeeling in 1920, but had only faint memories of India, since she left the country as a young child and was never able to go back. In a purely academic study of religion it is possible to make a subjective choice of what seems significant whereas encounters with a living faith force one to accept its adherents’ own understanding of its essentials, which are likely, moreover, to be embodied in its main observances.” Having studied with devout priests, she came to take a different view of priesthood from that which had dominated Protestant scholarship as exemplified by J. H. Moulton (Early Zoroastrianism, Hibbert Lectures, London, 1913, pp. Boyce believes the Iranians have more importance than the Parsis (see PARSI COMMUNITIES i) for her study because they have remained in Iran and retained their old traditions better than the Parsis have in their new country; further, she argues that persecution made them more steadfast whereas Parsis have been influenced by western Christian thought. Her other contributions should also be noted in this respect: “Some remarks on the present state of the Iranian Manichaean MSS. She was 85. 65, 87-94); Narten apud Boyce, new foreword to HZ I, 3d repr., 1996, p. xiv, and suggested as quite probably so in Narten apud Hintze, BSOAS 65/1, 2002, p. 32; q.v. 513-39 which thesis she herself refuted in her last articles, “Further on the Calendar of Zoroastrian Feasts,” Iran 53, 2005, pp. Mary Boyce was one of the world’s greatest scholars of ancient and medieval Iran. Mary Boyce Appointed Provost. With Frantz Grenet, A History of Zoroastrianism: Zoroastrianism Under Macedonian and Roman Rule, and a contribution by Roger Beck, vol. 30-32. 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). W. Foy, London, 1978; repr. Boyce was always keen to encourage others to study Zoroastrianism. II, Göttingen, 1972, pp. ; also “On the antiquity of Zoroastrian apocalyptic,” BSOAS 47/1, 1984, pp. 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 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. Aḥmad Tafażżolī, M.A., University of London, 1965 (studies commenced under Henning and concluded with Boyce and MacKenzie); “A Critical Edition and Translation of the Ninth Book of the Dēnkard,” unpubl. 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