Martin Schwartz, How Zarathushtra Generated the Gathic Corpus: Inner-textual and Intertextual Composition
This article constitutes a revised and expanded statement of the
author's most recent discoveries concerning the compositions of the
Gathas of Zarathushtra.
The principles of systematic concentric
ring-composition (in various patterns) which govern the compostion of
each individual canonical poem are set forth. The same principles of
concentrism are noted as applying to sequences of stanzas within many
of of the canonical poems. These inner concentric compositions
represent the earlier completed poems ("proto-poems") and, overlapping
with the last line of the latter, concentically composed expansions of
the proto-poems, the two inner compositions together forming the basis
of the canonical (i.e. final) poems of the corpus.
The article also sets forth the principle of
sequential recursive compostion, whereby, proceeding forwards and
backwards, beginning with the first poem composed, each stanza of the
poem contributes consecutive lexical material toward the skeleton of
the next poem to have been composed, upon completion of whose
composition both poems similarly yield the skeleton of a third
poem, and so forth. Each poem in our corpus (except the first poem
composed), reflects, in all of its stanzas, the sequential recasting of
lexical elememts from the earlier compositions, poem by poem, in order
of their authorship.
Recursive composition is illustrated, with
charts, of poems which bear on Zarathushtra's etymological play on
components of ten Gathic personal/family names.