Islamic Iran*

Marri^e, Property and Conversion among the
Zoroastrians: From Late Sasanian to Islamic Iran*


This essay discusses the impact of xwédôdah or consanguine marriages, sanctioned by the Zoro-
astrian tradition on the population during a time of religious dialogue, and proselytizing in

Éraníahr (600-800 CE). I believe that advocacy for such a type of marriage was intensified in

particular periods in Iranian history, namely the third century, when the Manichaeans chal-
lenged Zoroasuianism; and more importantly in the 6th century when Christianity became a

major threat; and finally in the eighth and the ninth centuries when state support for Zoroastri-
anism had collapsed and the Muslims were gaining numbers and becoming the new elite. It is

assened here that xwédôdah had a practical purpose, which was to keep wealth within the family
and the community at a time when conversion threatened the survival of Zoroastrianism.


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