London: Avalonia Books, 2013. Paperback, 275 pages. New.
The ancient Indo-Iranian goddess Anahita is described as a beautiful maiden, strong, tall and pure, the Goddess of all the waters upon the Earth. Anahita, subtitled Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata is an anthology of essays, art and poetry celebrating the many facets of this complex and fascinating goddess. The contributions in this volume include exploration of Anahita’s representations in Art, her role in purification and purity rituals, her place in Mahāyāna Buddhism, and her possible relationship with Dame du Lac of Arthurian Legend. Combining meticulous scholarship and contributions from contemporary devotees, and illustrated with a wealth of drawings and photographs showing the material culture associated with Anahita, this is a unique study of a goddess thought to be the Persian Aphrodite, and who bears some remarkable similarities to other ancient goddesses such as Ishtar, Isis and Venus.
The most extensive study of Anahita in recent years, and including previously-unpublished material, Anahita is essential reading for anyone interested in not only this goddess, but also Persian and Middle Eastern history.