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A Discovery of Two Foreign Sects: The Sect of the Parsees,
the Ancient Inhabitants of Persia


Series Editor:
Jamshid Varza

Lord, Henry

Chapter I
Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI
Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

The Author's Conclusion to the reader


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This extensive report was published in a British Journal reporting the discovery of two foreign sects in India -- Banians and Parsees. The Parsees were identified as the ancient inhabitants of Persia. They migrated to western India at 10th century after years of religious persecution and forced conversions in their homeland.

This article provides a comprehensive description of Parsees, their religion, traditions and customs. The year 1752 is just two years prior to arrival of Anquetil Du Perron to India. Anquetil Du Perron was a French officer who brought copies of Avesta and other Zarathushtrian scriptures to west for the first time. His work set off a series of studies on Zarathushtra and Zarathushtrians in Europe.

This original article should provide first hand observation of Parsee life and traditions during the 18th century India. One can appreciate the progress and depth which Zarathushtrian studies have made during the last three centuries.

  1. Cover Page
    A Discovery of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies, The Sect of Banians, The ancient natives of India, and, The Sect of Parsees, The ancient inhabitants of Persia.
  2. Introduction
  3. Chapter I
    Declaring who these Parsees are, Their ancient place of abode, The cause of relinquishing their own country, Their arrival in East India, and Their abode here.
  4. Chapter II
    Containing the opinion of the Parsees, touching the Creation of the World, and the Creatures therein, together with a short mention of the Flood, and the general Division of the Discourse.
  5. Chapter III
    Concerning Zarathushtra the Law-Giver of Parsees, his Parents, the Omens that forerun his nativity, their Interpretation, his perils in his birthplace, his escape into Persia, and the accidents happening in his travels.
  6. Chapter IV
    Showing Zarathushtra's meditation of the world wickedness, he goes out to enquire of God some Revelation for the world's better government, he meets and angel, is rapt into heaven, his request of Almighty, his vision; he receives a Book from the Lord, and returns back from Heaven again.
  7. Chapter V
    Showing what happened to Zarathushtra after the angel left him, the devil met him and revealed him; He comes to Gushtasp's court, the joy of his parents for his return; the infamy Gushtasp's Churchman to put upon him, the miracles thereby Zarathushtra does vindicate his fame; Gushtasp's four demands, and his four grants.
  8. Chapter VI
    Wherein he showed the main contents of the book delivered to Zarathushtra, and by him published to the Persians or Parsee.
  9. Chapter VII
    Containing the particulars of the Book of their law, as they are apportioned first to the Behdin or layman; secondly to the Herbod; which is the ordinary Churchman: and lastly, to the Dastur, which is their archbishop.
  10. Chapter VIII
    Declaring other ceremonies amongst these Parsees, in the feasts and fasts, in their idolatrous worship of Fire, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.
  11. The Author's Conclusion to the reader