son of Vivanhvat, like a fluttering bird: Keresaspa the manly took that brightness, since he was the mightiest among mighty men."

Here we see that, just as in the Muhammadan legend, the light passes on from generation to generation, to the most worthy man in each. It was natural for the offspring of the Sun to possess this light in the first place, and its transmission marked the handing down of the sovereignty. There seems no special suitability in the legend that it was handed down from Adam to Muhammad, unless to magnify the prophet in the same way in which the ancient legend glorified these various old Persian heroes.

Moreover, we notice that Jamshid ruled "over divs and men, magicians and Paris, evil spirits and soothsayers and wizards," just as the Jewish and Muhammadan legends spoken of in an earlier chapter 1 represent Solomon as doing. Doubtless the Jews borrowed this story from the Zoroastrians and passed it on to the Muslims, as we have said in Chapter III.

What the Muslim Tradition says of the dividing up of the "Light of Muhammad," when first created, into various parts, out of which other things were made, is very similar to the story concerning Zoroaster in the old Persian book entitled Dasatir i Asmani, whence it was very possibly

1 pp. 81, 84, and 90, note.

derived, especially as the same idea is found also in older Zoroastrian writings, as in the Minukhirad quoted above.

5. The Bridge of the Dead.

This is called in the Muhammadan Traditions As-Sirat or "The Way." There are many details given about this marvellous bridge, which is said to be finer than a hair and sharper than a sword. It stretches right over the abyss of hell, and is the only way of passing from earth to heaven on the Judgment Day. All will be commanded to cross it. The pious Muslim will do so without difficulty, guided by the angels; but the unbeliever, unable to cross, will fall headlong into hell fire.

Though the word Sirat is used in the Qur'an in the metaphorical sense of a way, as in the phrase As Siratu'l Mustaqim ("the Right Way," Surah I., Al Fatihah, et passim), yet it is not properly an Arabic word at all. Its derivation shows the origin of the legend about the bridge of that name. The word comes from no Arabic or indeed Semitic root, but is the Persian Chinvat in Arabic letters, since the Arabic language, not having any character to represent the sound ch (as in church), replaces it by the letter ص ( ṣ) the first letter in Sirat. Chinvat in Persian means a collector, one that sums up or assembles (cf. Sanskrit √ चि) or takes account. Hence it is only by contraction that the Arabic