free ebooks

Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

And was followed by the present Yezd


The

fact that the Persian Government recognizes the "race religions," such as those of Armenians, Parsees and Jews, has led many to believe that religious liberty exists in Persia. There is a relative tolerance, but nothing more, and even the Parsees and Jews have had until quite lately--and occasionally even now have--to submit to considerable indignities on the part of the Mullahs. For new sects like the Behai, however, who abandon the Mussulman faith, there is absolutely no official protection. Great secrecy has to be maintained to avoid persecution. There seems, nevertheless, to be a disposition on the part of the Government to go considerably beyond this point of sufferance, but wider toleration does not exist at present, nor is it perfectly clear to what length the Government of the country would be prepared to go.

CHAPTER XXXIX

The Guebres of Yezd--Askizar--The Sassanian dynasty--Yezdeyard--The name "Parsees"--The Arab invasion of Persia--A romantic tale--Zoroaster--Parsees of India--Why the Parsees remained in Yezd and Kerman--Their number--Oppression--The teaching of the Zoroastrian religion and of the Mahommedan--A refreshing quality--Family ties--Injustice--Guebre places of worship--The sacred fire--Religious ceremonies--Three excellent points in the Zoroastrian religion--The Parsees not "fire worshippers"--Purification

of fire--No ancient sacred books--Attire--No civil rights--The "jazia" tax--Occupations--The Bombay Parsees Amelioration Society and its work--The pioneers of trade--A national assembly--Ardeshir Meheban Irani--Establishment of the Association--Naturalized British subjects--Consulates wanted--The Bombay Parsees--Successful traders--Parsee generosity--Mr. Jamsetsji Tata.

Yezd is extremely interesting from a historical point of view, and for its close association with that wonderful race the "Guebres," better known in Europe by the name of Parsees. The ancient city of Askizar was buried by shifting sands, in a desert with a few oases, and was followed by the present Yezd, which does not date from earlier than the time of the Sassanian dynasty.

[Illustration: Ardeshir Meheban Irani and the Leading Members of the Anguman-i-Nasseri (Parsee National Assembly), Yezd.]

Yezdeyard, the weak and unlucky last King of the Sassan family, which had reigned over Persia for 415 years, was the first to lay the foundations of the city and to colonize its neighbourhood. It is in this city that, notwithstanding the sufferings and persecution of Mussulmans after the Arab invasion of Persia, the successors of a handful of brave people have to this day remained faithful to their native soil.

To be convinced that the Parsees of Yezd are a strikingly fine lot of people it is sufficient to look at them. The men are patriarchal, generous, sober, intelligent, thrifty; the women, contrary to the usage of all Asiatic races, are given great freedom, but are renowned for their chastity and modesty.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us