Renowned authority on Zoroastrianism, Mary Boyce confirms Next-to-kin marriage in Pre-Islamic Persia

February 10, 2015 Comments Off on Renowned authority on Zoroastrianism, Mary Boyce confirms Next-to-kin marriage in Pre-Islamic Persia


557481_255979264520089_1734695307_nNora Elisabeth Mary Boyce (2 August 1920 – 4 April 2006) was a British scholar of Iranian languages, and an authority on Zoroastrianism. Boyce was anything but a fanatic or ‘Islamist’ who wanted to bad name Zoroastrianism and Pre-Islamic Persia. A quote from Wikipedia shows that if anything she did her utmost (and apparently succeeding in many fields) to clarify many misconceptions about Zoroastrianism:

In 1963–64, Boyce spent a research year among orthodox Zoroastrians of the 24 villages of Yazd, Iran. 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. In 1975, Boyce presented the results of her research at her Ratanbai Katrak lecture series at Oxford University. 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). Her Ratanbai Katrak lecture series were published in 1977 as A Persian Stronghold of Zoroastrianism.

However, even she could not reject the well recorded hideous reality of Pre-Islamic Persia and Zoroastrian literature, namely the the next-of-kin marriage:

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