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Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism is a major ancient and pre-Islamic religion of Iran For over a thousand years from around 549 BCE to 652 CE the religion taught by Zarathushtra flourished as the state religion of three mighty Iranian empires the Achaemenians 549 - 330 BCE the Parthians 248 BCE - 224 CE and Sasanians 224 - 652 CE Amongst the many subjects of the Achaemenian Empire were the Jews who adopted some of the prophets main teachings and transmitted them in due course to Christianity and later to Islam Zoroastrianism is a religion founded in ancient times by the prophet Zarathushtra known to the Greeks as Zoroaster Arising out of the polytheistic traditions of ancient India and Iran he was one of the first monotheists in human historyBoyce 1979 Zarathushtra preached that there was one God whom he called Ahura Mazda Ahura means Lord and Mazda means Wise so Zoroastrians call God the Wise Lord No one knows exactly when Zarathushtra lived The modern estimate of Zarathushtras date is anywhere from 1500 to 1000 BCE Ibid A picture of Zarathushtra The emphasis of the Zorastrian religion is based around their basic scripture a set of 5 poetic songs called the Gathas which were composed by Zarathushtra himself and have been preserved through the millennia by Zoroastrian priests The Gathas are the core text of the faith They are composed in a very ancient language known as Avestan which is closely related to Sanskrit In the Gathas Zarathushtra preached that the One God Ahura Mazda is transcendent but he is in constant relationship with human beings and the world God created through his attributes Ibid These attributes are how God reaches the world and how the world reaches God These attributes are called the Amesha Spentas or Bounteous Immortals Each one of these embodies an attribute of God as well as a human virtue They are also symbols for
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