Ashem Vohu

This ninth- or 10th-century Sogdian manuscript from Dunhuang, China, contains a version of one of the holiest Zoroastrian prayers: the Ashem Vohu, composed originally in the Avestan (old Iranian) language.

Enlarged image Zoomable high-resolution image
Ashem Vohu

Zoroastrian prayer, the Ashem Vohu
British Library Or. 8212/84 (Ch.00289)
Copyright © The British Library Board

What is Zoroastrianism?

Zoroastrianism, the religion of the ancient Iranians, is named after Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in Greek sources) whose songs (Gathas) are thought to have been composed 1500-1000 BC. Zoroastrianism teaches the importance of good thoughts, words, and actions, in a world where the forces of the all-knowing lord, Ahura Mazda, are constantly opposed by those of the evil spirit, Angra Mainyu.

What are the Avesta?


Zoroastrianism in Central Asia


Who were the Sogdians?


Why is this manuscript so important?


How was the manuscript discovered?


What does this fragment show?


Click Here for the answers from the British Library

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.