Presentation on theme: "Kathleen MacNabb. The Basic History Religion of Persian Empire Founded c.1500-1000 BCE in Persia? Prevalent until rise of Islam Zoroastrianism."— Presentation transcript:
The Basic History Religion of Persian Empire Founded c.1500-1000 BCE in Persia? Prevalent until rise of Islam Zoroastrianism = Mazdaism Emperor was leader Magi lead locals
Fundamental Principles Cosmic battle between the one god and the one devil Good Words, Good Thoughts, Good Deeds "A thousand people cannot convince one by words to the extent that one person can convince a thousand by action.“- Avesta "There is a remedy for everything but death, a hope for everything but wickedness, and everything will lapse except righteousness." -Avesta
Fundamental Principles Salvation for all Do not believe in reincarnation Does not limit earthly pleasures Believe in karma Revered the number 3 "[there is] No reincarnation as far as our religion is concerned, because if there is reincarnation, then there cannot be the idea of resurrection…”- magi of Widea Fire Temple “Zoroaster was wise enough to recognize that all the motives of human beings are based on action and reaction. Because, the receiver of every good deed in this world will react accordingly with the good behavior. Therefore... if human beings act favorably, they receive favorable reaction and vice versa. In this regard, if a person robs another one, he should not be surprised when some day he will be robbed as well.”-Mary Boyce, professor at Cambridge
Literature: The Avesta A portion of the book is Zoroaster’s words Transmitted orally for centuries Original copies destroyed 1/3 of the message survives to today
Literature: The Avesta Yasta Daily rituals Gathas (hymns about Zoroaster’s life and exultation of Ahura Mazda Where and which part of land shall I go to succeed? They keep me away from the family and the tribe. The community that I wish to join does not gratify me, nor do the deceitful tyrants of the lands. How shall I gratify you, O Mazda Ahura? I approach you with good thought, O Mazda Ahura, so that you may grant me (the blessing) of two existences, the material and that of thought, the blessing emanating from Truth, with which one can put (your) support in comfort.
Role of Women Crucial to battle between evil and good Seen as weaker and more easily tempted Female adulterers punished more harshly then males
Art, Science,Technology and Education Holidays Naw-Ruz (March 21): New Year Khordad Sal (March 26): Birth of Zoroaster Yalda (December 21): Winter Solstice Zarathust No Diso (December 26): Death of Zarathustra Church sponsored schools for secular and spiritual enlightenment “Hellenistic style” art with Zoroastrian subjects after the retreat of Alexander
Major Contributers Zoroaster (Zarathustra): Left worship based on animal sacrifice 10 year journey Visions from Ahura Mazda Darius I & Xerxes I forcibly promoted Zoroastrianism across Persian Empire Other emperors collected and copied Avesta
Influence on other Religions Influence of Judaism is disputed because Zoroastrianism can not be easily dated. Influences on Christianity and Islam: Duality (battle between good and bad) Resurrection Heaven and Hell Final Judgment
Influence on Political and Economic Structures Xerxes I and Darius I increased Persian Empire to save people from the temptation of Ahrima Centralized government of the Persian Empire = more internal trade
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