Universal and Individual Eschatology in Pahlavi Literature and the Babylonian Talmud

Document Type : Original Article


Alumna of Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


The following article investigates the idea of the hereafter between Zoroastrians and Jews of Sasanian Iran. The original ancient texts that serve as the heart of these religions (the Gāθās and the Torah) lack fundamental eschatological discussions. As a result, it is difficult to demonstrate how the above-mentioned traditions have influenced each other regarding eschatological ideas. Both traditions, however, developed a comprehensive body of eschatological literature during the Sasanian era, which will be discussed in this paper. Finally, this paper will compare Bavli tractate Giṭtin 56b–57a with the Ardā Wīrāz-nāmag (a Pahlavi book in which a priest called Wīrāz ascends to heaven and hell while alive), and it will be argued that tractate Giṭtin 56b–57a was the motivating inspiration behind the Ardā Wīrāz-nāmag —a composition that shares the tractate’s themes and motifs regarding punishments in hell.