Albrile Ezio ,
È M¢š Par–g l’Ouroboros iranico? ,
Antonianum, 84/3 (2009) p. 595-606
Summary: The demonisation of the Planets had embarrassing consequences in Iranian astrology lore. The Zoroastrians had adopted the number seven from Babylon astral omens, and that number naturally included the Sun and Moon, both of which had been the object of the highest veneration among the Iranians from the earliest times. Since the Sun and the Moon themselves were safe from demonisation, the Zoroastrians invented a dark Sun and a dark Moon which were supposed to be responsible for the eclipses. They recognized them in two maleficent astral beings called Mar Gōzihr and M¢š Par–g. These are perhaps identical with the anabibazontes mentioned in the Manichaean Kephalaion 69, on which the Planets are said to depend. Gōzihr, that «having the seed of the cattle», was in the middle of the sky, like a serpent. Its head was in Gemini (dō-pahikar) and its tail in Centaurus (nēmasp) so that between its head and tail there were six constellations in all directions (Bundahišn 52, 12). Whereas M¢š Par–g has a tail and wings leapt forth. The Sun bound him to his chariot so that he should not be able to do harm (Bundahišn 53, 1). Both astral images probably influenced the Hellenistic representations of the Alchemical Ouroboros.