(flourished sometime between 1700 and 1000 b.c.?)
   A semilegendary religious prophet venerated by the ancient Persians and credited with establishing Zoroastrianism, the chief religion of the ancient Persian Empire. Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra) was known to the Persians as Zartosht and to the ancient Greeks as Zorastres. Most modern scholars think he may have been a real person. However, they differ widely on when he lived and preached. Ancient Greek and Roman writers tended to assign Zoroaster to very early times, often as far back as 6000 b.c. The vast majority of scholars have rejected this notion, and many do not accept another common ancient claim that he lived in the seventh or sixth century b.c., not long before the founding of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Modern linguistic studies of early Zoroastrian writings, such as the Gathas, have suggested a rough date of 1700 b.c. Mary Boyce, of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, the world's leading scholar of Zoroastrianism, places Zoroaster's life sometime between 1400 and 1000 b.c.
   Whenever Zoroaster lived, assuming he was a real person, most of what little is known about his life comes from Zoroastrian writings, mainly the Avesta and the Gathas. It appears that he was born and raised in Iran or perhaps in Bactria (now Afghanistan), where he did much of his preaching. He had a beloved wife named Hvov and three daughters and three sons. As the story goes, at about the age of thirty Zoroaster had a vision of God, similar to the later visions experienced by Christianity's St. Paul and Islam's great prophet, Muhammad. The deity with which Zoroaster made contact was Ahura-Mazda ("the Wise Lord"), who subsequently became the main Persian god. Ahura-Mazda revealed certain truths to Zoroaster, including the existence of an ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil and the need for human beings to do good works. The prophet immediately converted his wife, children, and cousin to the new faith. But at first he had difficulty converting others; most of the residents of his hometown, for example, initially mocked him. In time, however, Zoroaster gained additional followers, and the new faith spread. Eventually it thrived in Iran, especially under the Persians. For Zoroaster's basic teachings and more about his faith, see Zoroastrianism.
   See also: Avesta; Persian Empire

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zoroaster — Zoroaster, det græske navn på den iranske religionsstifter, som iranerne selv kaldte Zarathustra (nypersisk Zerduscht). Hverken om hans levetid eller hans hjemstavn ved vi klar besked. Sandsynligvis er han født i Nord eller Østiran i tiden mellem …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Zoroaster — (Zerduscht, Zarathustra, d.i. größter Liederdichter), der Vervollkommner des Parsismus u. (nach der Ansicht der Griechen) das Haupt der Magier, lebte nach Eudoxos u. Aristoteles 6000 Jahre vor Plato; nach And. 5000 Jahre vor der Einnahme Trojas;… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Zorŏaster — (im Zendavesta Zarathushtra, bei den Parsen Zerdusht), der Stifter der berühmten dualistischen Glaubenslehre der alten Iranier. Die Nachrichten über Z. sind größtenteils rein sagenhaft. So soll er gleich nach seiner Geburt wie ein Erwachsener… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Zoroáster — Zoroáster, griech. Name des Zarathushtra (bei den heutigen Parsen Zerduscht), Begründer eines orient. Religionssystems. Das System des Z., der geraume Zeit vor dem 6. Jahrh. v. Chr. in Ostiran lebte, lehrt einen Gegensatz zwischen dem Lichtgott… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Zoroaster — Zoroaster, Zerduscht, der Reformator der parsischen Religionslehre (s. d. A. Ahriman und Ormuzd), lebte wahrscheinlich 5–600 J. v. Chr. in Medien. Doch ist man über sein Zeitalter noch nicht ganz einig, wie denn überhaupt schon in den ältern… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Zoroaster — gräcisirter Name des Zarathustra (Goldgestirn), neupers. Zerduscht, welcher nicht sowohl als Stifter denn als Reformator des Parsismus betrachtet werden muß und als Verfasser der religiösen Hauptschriften der Parsen gilt; vergl. Parsen, Zend… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Zoroaster — Zoroàster DEFINICIJA v. Zaratustra …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Zoroaster — [zō΄rō as′tər, zôr′ō as΄tər] c. 6th or 7th cent. B.C.; Pers. religious teacher: founder of Zoroastrianism …   English World dictionary

  • Zoroaster — For the sludge metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, see Zoroaster (band). Zoroaster Zaraϑuštra Spitāma Zoroaster holds the celestial sphere in Raphael s School of Athens Known for Founder of Zoroastrianism …   Wikipedia

  • Zoroaster — /zawr oh as teuhr, zohr , zawr oh as teuhr, zohr /, n. fl. 6th century B.C., Persian religious teacher. Also called Zarathustra. * * * or Zarathustra born с 628, probably Rhages, Iran died с 551 BCE Iranian religious reformer and prophet, founder …   Universalium

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