Martin Schwartz, On Aiiehiia, Afflictress of Childbirth, and Pairika: Two Avestan Demonesses (with an Appendix on the Indo-Iranian Shipwrecked Seaman)


Two Avestan demonesses are discussed. The first is identified as the Old Iranian equivalent of the Near Eastern demoness who afflicts neonates and their mothers. The second demoness has a complex development, whose origin is suggested to be sexual nightmares and fear of women. In addition, the Indo-Iranian tale of the shipwrecked boatman is here illuminated by examination of a word which occurs, in an orthographic variant, in a passage relating to the second demoness.