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Āz آز is Hylē, Matter, Evil itself; as an active, invisible power (mēnōgīh) of the body. The Manichean Āz is unambiguously feminine, whereas the Avestan Āzi is determined as masculine by the form of its epithet daēvō.dāta- “demon-created.” Āz has a primary importance as leader of the demonic host. This Zurvanite conception explains the great role played by the Manichean Āz: According to a Parthian text, she is “mother of the demons (mād čē dēwān), from whom every sin has come”. ĀZ, Iranian demon known from Zoroastrian, Zurvanite, and, especially, Manichean sources. Avestan Āzi- (not in the Gāθās) derives from the root āz- “Strive for, endeavor to” (used in bonam partem). New Persian continues Mid. Ir. āz but without mythological significance, apart from the conception of Āz as demon of death implied by the expression “the door of Āz” (dar-e āz; see R. C. Zaehner, Zurvan, A Zoroastrian Dilemma, Oxford, 1955, p. 172). Ferdowsī, for example, uses the phrases āz o nīāz, “avarice and want,” and āz o ranj, “avarice and distress” (Wolff, Glossar zu Firdosis Schahname, Berlin, 1935, p. 10). Āz is Greed, Lust, Avarice, Avidity, Concupiscence—the demon both in its mythological (metaphysical) aspect and in its psychological (religious) aspect realized in man.
Az-Jeh, Mother of Demons from DRAUGA by Michael W Ford
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