ZOROASTER, one of the great teachers of the East, the founder of what was the national religion of the Perso-Iranian people from the time of the Achaemenidae to the close of the Sassanian period.
This speculation is clearly a development of that which the Iranian cosmology has to tell about the battles between Ahura-Mazda and Angro-Mainyu (Ormuzd and Ahriman).
The Iranian optimism has been replaced here by a strong pessimism.
If, in the Gnostic systems, these become daemonic or semi-daemonic forces, this points to the fact that a stronger monotheistic religion (the Iranian) had gained the upper hand over the Babylonian, and had degraded its gods to daemons.
So far as we can see, on the other hand, Basilides appears actually to represent a further development of Iranian dualism, which later produced the religious system of Mani.
The former comprised several dynasties of mixed Turki and Iranian race, but was wanting in coherency.
The inhabitants of the Kura valley consist principally of Iranian Tates and Talyshes, of Armenians and Lesghians, with Russians, Jews and Arabs.
The Caucasian races (except the Gregorians), together with the Turks and Tatars, are Mussulmans of the Sunnite sect (2,021,300), and the Iranian races mostly Mussulmans of the Shiite sect (884, too).
It was inhabited by an Iranian tribe, the Parthava of the inscriptions of Darius; the correct Greek form is HapOvaioc. Parthia became a province of the Achaemenian and then of the Macedonian Empire.
When about 255 B.C. Diodotus had made himself king of Bactria and tried to expand his dominions, the chieftain of a tribe of Iranian nomads (Dahan Scyths) east of the Caspian, the Parni or Aparni, who bore the Persian name Arsaces, fled before him into Parthia.
" Parthians," a term transferred by Firdousi to the heroes of the old Iranian legend.
On entering *The fact that the Mitannians venerated Varuna, Indra, and the Asvins is important as showing that Iranian and Indian Aryans had not yet separated as late as 1400 B.C.
Even Iranian kings in the last century B.C. found pleasure in composing, or listening to, Greek tragedies, and Herod the Great kept Greek men of letters beside him and had spasmodic ambitions to make his mark as an orator or author (Nicol.
Iranian troops seem to have been employed on a large scale by the earlier Seleucids.
Already in the later Avesta he has become a half-mythical figure, the last in the series of heroes of east Iranian legend, in the arrangement of which series priestly influence is unmistakably evident.
His doctrine was rooted in the old Iranian - or Aryan - folk-religion, of which we can only form an approximate representation by comparison with the religion of the Veda.
The newly discovered Hittite inscriptions have now thrown a welcome ray of light on the primitive Iranian creed (Ed.
In these inscriptions Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya are mentioned as deities of the Iranian kings of Mitani at the beginning of the 14th century - all of them names with which we are familiar from the Indian pantheon.
Other powers of light, such as Mitra the god of day (Iranian Mithra), survived unforgotten in popular belief till the later system incorporated them in the angelic body.
Zoroaster's teachings show him to have been a man of a highly speculative turn, faithful, however, with all his originality, to the Iranian national character.
According to later legend (Vd., 2, I), Ormazd at first wished to entrust this task to Yima (Jemshid), the ideal of an Iranian king.
We find in them the same beauties and the same defects that we observe in the production of the Iranian authors.
In the Avesta, after the separation of the Iranian stock from the Hindu and the rise of Zoroastrianism, which elevated Ormazd to the summit of the Persian theological system, his role was more distinct, though less important; between Ormazd, who reigned in eternal brightness, and Ahriman, whose realm was eternal darkness, he occupied an intermediate position as the greatest of the yazatas, beings created by Ormazd to aid in the destruction of evil and the administration of the world.
Owing to Semitic influence every Persian god had in Roman times come to possess a twofold significance - astrological and natural, Semitic and Iranian - the earlier and deeper Iranian significance being imparted by the clergy to the few intelligent elect, the more attractive and :superficial Chaldaean symbolism being presented to the multitude.
Presumably, therefore, the Scyths also spoke an Iranian dialect.
But of the Scythic words preserved by Herodotus some are Iranian, others, especially the names of deities, have found no satisfactory explanation in any Indo-European language.
The present writer believes that they were a horde which came down from upper Asia, conquered an Iranian-speaking people, and in time adopted the speech of its subjects.
The settled Scythians would be the remains of this Iranian population, or the different tribes of them may have been connected with their neighbours beyond Scythian dominion - Thracian Getae and Arimaspi, Slavonic Neuri, Finnish Androphagi and such like.
The Cimmerians who preceded the Scythians used Iranian proper names, and probably represented this Iranian element in greater purity.
In this story the names make sense in Iranian, the tribes are not again mentioned except when this passage is copied, the objects are hardly such as would be held sacred by nomads, the form of ordeal is to be paralleled in Iranian legends, and the people say themselves that they are not really Scythae.
An Iranian origin would not account for the presence of analogous types on the Yenisei.
Towards the close of the 3rd century two great religions stood opposed to one another in western Europe, one wholly Iranian, namely Mithraism, the other of Jewish origin, but not without Iranian elements, part and parcel probably of, the Judaism which gave it birth, namely Christianity.
They may have been Turanians akin to that tribe, or they may have been Iranians akin to the Iranian element in Transoxiana and the districts south of the Pamirs.
It is an Oriental (Iranian) dualism which here finds expression, though in one point, it is true, the mark of Greek influence is quite clear.
Even the characteristic dualism of Gnosticism has already proved to be in part of Iranian origin; and now it becomes clear how from that mingling of late Greek and Persian dualism the idea could arise that these seven halfdaemonic powers are the creators or rulers of this material world, which is separated infinitely from the light-world of the good God.
Definite confirmation of this conjecture is afforded us by later sources of the Iranian religion, in which we likewise meet with the characteristic fundamental doctrine of Gnosticism.
The dominant race is the Uzbegs, who are fanatical Moslem Sunnites, scorn work, despise their Iranian subjects, and maintain their old division into tribes or clans.
The great bulk of the population in the country is composed of Iranian Tajiks, who differ but very little from Sarts.
132), and the Iranian priests (athravans, later Magi) claimed, like the Brahmans, to be the highest order of society; but a variety of conditions were lacking to give them the full place of their Indian brethren.
Is he a pale form of the Babylonian chaos-dragon, or of the serpent of Iranian mythology who sprang from heaven to earth to blight the" good creation "?
Their religion has points of connexion with old Iranian and Assyrian beliefs and traces of Manichaeism and Nestorianism.
Bukhari [[[Mahommed Ahmed Ibn Seyyid Abdullah|Mahommed ibn]] Isma`il al-Bukhari] (810-872), Arabic author of the most generally accepted collection of traditions (hadith) from Mahomet, was born at Bokhara (Bukhdra), of an Iranian family, in A.H.