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A mobed[pronunciation?] or mobad is a Zoroastrian cleric of a particular rank. Unlike a herbad (ervad), a mobed is qualified to serve as celebrant priest at the Yasna ceremony. A mobed is also qualified to train other priests.

In general (lay) use, the term is also used as an honorific to denote any priest, of any rank. For instance, Hormizd I appointed Kartir moabadan-moabad, which is frequently translated as 'priest of priests', but more precisely indicates 'high priest of high priests'.

The term 'mobed' is a contraction of Middle Persian magu-pati, the first half of the expression apparently deriving from Avestan maga- or magu- (of uncertain meaning), and with Avestan -paiti meaning "master" or "teacher". Through Old Persian magush and Ancient Greek μάγος magos, Old Iranian magu- is also identified as the origin of the Latin word magus, a "magian". Through the Greek adjective μαγικός magikos and Old French magique, 'mobed' is distantly related to the English language word "magic".


Boyce, Mary (2001). Zoroastrians, their religious beliefs and practices. London: Routledge