20 Facts About Zoroaster


Zoroaster, known as Zarathustra, is regarded as the spiritual founder of Zoroastrianism.


Zoroaster is said to have been an Iranian prophet who founded a religious movement that challenged the existing traditions of ancient Iranian religion, and inaugurated a movement that eventually became a staple religion in ancient Iran.


Zoroaster was a native speaker of Avestan and lived in the eastern part of the Iranian plateau, but his exact birthplace is uncertain.


Zoroaster is credited with authorship of the Gathas as well as the Yasna Haptanghaiti, a series of hymns composed in his native Avestan dialect that comprise the core of Zoroastrian thinking.


Some scholars propose that the chronological calculation for Zoroaster was developed by Persian magi in the 4th century BC, and as the early Greeks learned about him from the Achaemenids, this indicates they did not regard him as a contemporary of Cyrus the Great, but as a remote figure.


Mair himself guessed that Zoroaster could have been born in the 2nd millennium BC.


The birthplace of Zoroaster is unknown, and the language of the Gathas is not similar to the proposed north-western and north-eastern regional dialects of Persia.


Zoroaster is recorded as the son of Pourusaspa of the Spitamans or Spitamids family, and Dugdow, while his great-grandfather was Haecataspa.


Zoroaster became a priest probably around the age of fifteen, and according to Gathas, he gained knowledge from other teachers and personal experience from traveling when he left his parents at age twenty.


Zoroaster soon became aware of the existence of two primal Spirits, the second being Angra Mainyu, with opposing concepts of Asha and Druj.


Zoroaster received further revelations and saw a vision of the seven Amesha Spenta, and his teachings were collected in the Gathas and the Avesta.


Zoroaster died when he was 77 years and 40 days old.


Manichaeism considered Zoroaster to be a figure in a line of prophets of which Mani was the culmination.


Zoroaster emphasized the freedom of the individual to choose right or wrong and individual responsibility for one's deeds.


Zoroaster is rarely depicted as looking directly at the viewer; instead, he appears to be looking slightly upwards, as if beseeching.


Zoroaster is almost always depicted with a beard, this along with other factors bearing similarities to 19th-century portraits of Jesus.


The framework is a retelling of Plato's Myth of Er, with Zoroaster taking the place of the original hero.


Later, an even more elaborate mythoetymology evolved: Zoroaster died by the living flux of fire from the star which he himself had invoked, and even, that the stars killed him in revenge for having been restrained by him.


Pliny's 2nd- or 3rd-century attribution of "two million lines" to Zoroaster suggest that a formidable pseudepigraphic corpus once existed at the Library of Alexandria.


Pliny records that Zoroaster's head had pulsated so strongly that it repelled the hand when laid upon it, a presage of his future wisdom.