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Sacred book of Zoroastrianism. It contains hymns, prayers, and appeals to righteousness ascribed to Zoroaster. The present text was assembled in the 3rd–7th century AD from the remains of a larger body of scripture that was destroyed when Alexander the Great conquered Persia. It has five parts: the Gathas, hymns in what are thought to be Zoroaster's own words; Visp-rat, containing homages to spiritual leaders; Vendidad, the main source for Zoroastrian law; the Yashts, 21 hymns to angels and ancient heroes; and the Khurda avesta, composed of minor texts.
Variants of AVESTA
Avesta or Zend-Avesta
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Avesta, visit Britannica.com.