Antonio Panaino, Sheep, Wheat, and Wine: An Achaemenian Antecedent of the Sasanian Sacrifices pad ruwān



A passage contained in the Anabasis of Arrian (VI, 29, 7) briefly mentions the office performed by the Magi in honour and memory of Cyrus the Great, with reference to the sacrificial food (a sheep a day, a fixed amount of wheat and wine, and a horse each month) to be offered to the soul of the dead king. Also the Elamite tablets of Persepolis, in particular those discovered in the Fortification, preserve at least two series of documents, which precisely agree with Arrian’s report. These data are relevant to the interpretation of some passages attested in the great inscription of Šābuhr I, strictly concerning the immolation of animals and other offerings in favour of the souls of living and dead members of the royal family and its entourage (a lamb, a certain quantity of bread and wine). In its turn, the ritual triad “bread, meat, and wine,” attested in the framework of the Kirdīr’s vision, KSM 49 (par. 34), assumes a new relevance. Probably, the ritual food assumed the function of a paradisiacal meal. In other words, what men offered to the gods and pad ruwān in life but also in the afterlife (by means of their descendants) will be found again in paradise.