Zoroastrianism

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Zoroastrianism – Iran – West Asian religion

By |2018-06-11T18:34:59+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

An Iranian fire sacrifice Zoroaster/Zarathustra himself Around 1000 BC (probably), about the same time that people in India were writing the Rig Veda, a man named Zoroaster (also called Zarathustra) was a priest in a small temple in the eastern part of West Asia, in an area with a lot of small kingdoms and no major power. Zoroaster believed that [...]

What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By |2018-04-25T23:58:29+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day of their New Year. Nowruz is [...]

Monotheism and polytheism – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-15T12:06:29+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna The earliest people in West Asia were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important goddess. Like the [...]

Who was Mithra? Zoroastrian god – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-15T00:38:16+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Ardashir II becomes the Persian king, in the center, with Mithra and Ahura Mazda by his side (Taq-e Bostan, Iran, 300s AD) (They're trampling on the Roman Empire Julian.) Mithra was the most important Zoroastrian god on the side of Truth. He was the god of contracts and keeping your promises, like the German god Tyr. [...]

West Asian religion – Enuma Elish, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, etc.

By |2018-04-19T15:51:07+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sumerian clay worshippers from Tell Asmar West Asia has been the home of many of the world's most popular religions, and has always been a hotbed of new religious ideas. Religions may have gotten started in West Asia because empires got started there. Some historians think that centralized, organized religions form as a kind of [...]

Who is Ahura Mazda? Zoroastrianism and West Asian religion

By |2018-06-01T08:20:46+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

A carving of the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda, from the Louvre museum in Paris Who is Ahura Mazda? About 1500 BC, people in India and Iran worshipped a sky god they called Ahura Mazda. An Indo-European god Ardashir I was the first Sassanian ruler of the Parthian Empire. Here he gets the kingship from [...]

From Xerxes to Alexander – the later Persian Empire

By |2018-04-23T07:27:11+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The Persian shah, Xerxes, from the 400s BC. Death of Xerxes and revolt King Xerxes was killed in 465 BC. His assassin may have been his son Ardashir I (Artaxerxes in Greek), who succeeded him. Ardashir was a weak king, and a lot of the conquered countries revolted while Ardashir was king. By this time, [...]

Who were the Parthians? Iran – West Asian history

By |2018-04-07T17:04:48+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Grasslands of Central Asia - the steppe that the Parthians came from Parthians invade Iran Around 300 BC, some new people invaded West Asia from the north. These people were called the Parthians. Like the Scythians, and like the Persians when they first came to West Asia, the Parthians were nomadic people. They travelled around Central Asia [...]

Where do Easter eggs come from? History of religion

By |2018-04-09T23:07:27+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion|

Ostrich eggshell from Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa (60,000 BC) Easter eggs go back long before Easter, and even long before the beginning of farming. As long ago as the Paleolithic, about 60,000 BC, people in Africa were scratching patterns and lines on ostrich eggs, though nobody knows what they had in mind. By the later Stone Age, [...]

What is Nirvana? Indian religion

By |2018-04-23T15:20:30+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Wheel of Life (Konark Sun temple, Odisha, India, 1200s AD) About 300 BC, Hindu people in India began to feel that they didn't like the idea of being reincarnated over and over again forever. Instead, they wondered what it would be like to be free from greed, money, work and slavery. People thought maybe it would be better to [...]