عنوان مقاله [English]
In the Manichaean Ms. M538 (verso), corresponding to ag3 in A Reader in Manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian (Boyce, 1975, 92) there is a sentence which was translated by scholars with some added words or phrases as well as few comments laid in round brackets by them; so that, in the sentence in question, because of the ambiguity of the meaning followed by the obscurity of the syntax, we see no more than uncertain translation.
In the present article, the phrase that is the subject of discussion contains a difficult word in a short sentence, the inexplicable syntactical structure of which has not been unlocked in any way. This word is the Parthian semi-hapax “pdm’dg /padmādag/” and it is the very basic element causing some obscurity in the meaning of that phrase. But, by scrutinizing any available evidence of “pdm’d(g)” in Parthian, and only one (pym’d /paymād) in Manichaean middle Persian, which we have, the problem in that case is to be solved to provide us the relatively exact meaning (as far as possible) of this word, then, it might resolve the unclear concept of that phrase and sentence in Ms. M538. There is also another word (pd /pad/) that fairly clears up the phrase but those scholars who took this text into consideration did not pay much attention to it.
Although there are five or six samples in Manichaean Parthian and Middle Persian fragments for “pdm’d” and its derivatives, due to badly preserved texts, either the two side of this word is lost, or by studying the remnant of the phrase, it is impossible to approach the logical concept of the matter related by the author; therefore, every word like these are in the same situation like a hapax. Thus, alongside considering the precious academic studies done by scholars, we have to scan all of the fragmentary evidence of “pdm’dg” to make an inference about the original proper meaning of this word in the phrase M538, which one of the literal meanings of “pdm’dg” could approximately fit with it. This means that according to this plan every direct fragment must be exhibited here, and any related suggestions made by scholars need to be under discussion.
Ten lines of Ms. M538 recto is about veneration of Father of Greatness and the rest lines have been distorted. The verso begins with blessing of twelve Aeons and then ether, praised earth and shiny inhabitants of [light world] are venerated; in this part it runs: “kādūš kādūš ō šahrān rōšnān, kē pad tō wuzurgīft radanīn padmādag ahēnd”. Only the last part of this was translated by Boyce as: “who are apportioned (?) (as) Jewels (?)” (Boyce, 1975: 92). Mirfakhraie rendered it into “holy, holy to realms of light which are appointed by your greatness jewels” (Mirfakhraie, 2008: 87). By adding a word to his translation, Klimkeit translated it with passive voice without any explanation about that; then (in note no.6) he made reference to a view proposed by Sundermann who pointed it out to him (Klimkeit, 1993, 30, 33).
It seems that there is no disagreement between scholars about inflection and the meaning of “padmādag”; this word is past participle of “padmād-” “measure”, but for several reason mentioned above, its syntactical role in M538 has remained still unknown.
In Mirfakhraie and Boyce’s translations “kē” which refers to “šahrān” is the subject of the sentence and “padmādag” becomes predicate of that. In Klimkeit’s, the translation is unclear, but in the comment suggested by Sundermann “padmādag” has been rendered two times: once as a past simple verb (appointed) and later as an adjective (fitting) for “radanīn”; so, by this latter interpretation, “padmādag” is not predicate but adjective for the predicate (= radanīn).
The simplified form of this sentence is “šahrān pad tō wuzurgīft radanīn padmādag ahēnd”. Now considering this, there are two notes offered below: 1) as it has been recognized by Sundermann, in this sentence, “padmādag” is an adjective and not the predicate. 2) Therefore, the matter in this phrase is “to fit jewels” into the Greatness of Father, and this is that significance which was presumably stressed by the author, thus “padmādag” in that case is not predicate here but adjective for the predicate. By this analysis, it can be said that the Aeons placed on the Greatness of Father are actually “implanted jewels set up on (pad) or situated within Greatness of you (oh, Father!)”. Moreover, in Manichaean texts (like ax2 or al3; see Boyce, 1975: 107, 96), the Aeons are addressed as jewels [of + adjective, or appositive]. By art of jewelry-making and facet, a jewel-maker who measures and places gems on precious metal is known as “stone-setter”; thus, in that phrase the suitable translation for “padmādag” could be some synonym words like “implanted, placed, appointed”.
Thus, by this explanation, syntactical structure of the phrase became properly complete, so that without any added or omitted words, or frequent usage of question marks and parenthesis, the whole concept of the sentence would be unveiled: “holy, holy to shiny Aeons who are the placed jewels on your Greatness [oh, Father!]”.
Further evidence of this word is listed below in brief:
1. In well-preserved M6040, line 9, there is the infinitive form “padmādan” which means “make measurement, pouring (something) into a vessel” (Sundermann, 1981, 87).
2. In M8100, line 14, the past participle “padmād” can be rendered as verb, past simple tense, 3rd sg. (as plur.) pass., which means “[the Aeons] was measured”; or adjective which means “fitted, adorned [Aeones]”.
3. In M101h, line 5, “padmād” is past simple verb, 3rd sg., and it possibly means “placed, settled” in: “the earth settled trees and spring with …”(cf. Henning’s translation: “keep measured the mixture (?)”, for “zamīg” had been read by him as “wimēg”; see Henning, 1943: 63). According to Sundermann’s view, in M101h we do not have a single word as “pdm’d /padmād/”, and this transliteration might be wrong; for actually there are two words which must be transliterated separately to “pd /pad/” and “m’d /mād/” (mother), since there is a significant gap between these; then he gives an incomplete unrelated example with a question mark denoting his uncertainty (Sundermann, 1975, 299, n. 18).
4. In M433a, line 4, we see the only remained form (pymʼd /paymād/) in Manichaean middle Persian fragments; but in this case the syntactical structure of the phrase is not comprehensible at all. Although this fragment is a very small fraction of a paper, but “paymād” must be past simple verb, 3rd singular, having “š” as agent; therefore, here it means “he measured”.
An analysis of the entire fragmentary texts indicates that M538 and M6040 contain the best possible complete evidence (verb, participle and infinitive forms) existing in M.Parth. and M.Mper. manuscripts. Thus at first step the researcher has to base his study almost entirely on these fragments, then, he can, if needed, apply other evidence to check the meaning and significance of “pdm’d(ag)”, and see how much his translation is in accordance with the real concept of the text. Since there is no sufficient evidence of “padmādag” to approach or find out the close significance of this word, we necessarily have to rely upon syntactical analyzing of the phrase. According to this attitude, it is proposed here that in M538, “padmādag” is the adjective for the predicate and here this adjective means “placed, implanted, appointed” or so on.