Addressing the query of the origins of the Zoroastrian faith, this ebook argues that the intransigent competition to the cult of the daēvas, the traditional Indo-Iranian gods, is the basis of the advance of the 2 principal doctrines of Zoroastrianism: cosmic dualism and eschatology (fate of the soul after loss of life and its passage to the opposite world).

The daēva cult because it looks within the Gāthās, the oldest a part of the Zoroastrian sacred textual content, the Avesta, had eschatological pretentions. The poet of the Gāthās condemns those as deception. The ebook seriously examines a variety of theories recommend because the 19th century to account for the condemnation of the daēvas. It then turns to the appropriate Gāthic passages and analyzes them intimately to be able to supply an image of the cult and the explanations for its repudiation. ultimately, it examines fabrics from different assets, specifically the Greek bills of Iranian ritual lore (mainly) within the context of the secret cults. Classical Greek writers always affiliate the nocturnal rite of the magi with the mysteries as belonging to a similar religious-cultural type. This exhibits that Iranian spiritual lore integrated a nocturnal ceremony that geared toward making sure the soul’s trip to the past and a fascinating afterlife.

Challenging the wide-spread scholarship of the Greek interpretation of Iranian spiritual lore and featuring a brand new research of the formation of the Hellenistic suggestion of ‘magic,’ this booklet is a vital source for college students and students of background, faith and Iranian Studies.

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The Dumézilian scheme absolutely bills for the life, functionality and order of the entities. additionally, comparative information permits us to call the ‘suppressed’ (or, in Dumézil’s phrases, ‘substituted’) Indo-Iranian gods (or, at the least, their Indo-Aryan epigones) at the back of the entities: Vohu Manah is Mitra; Aša is Varuṇa; Xšaθra is Iṇdra; Haurvatāt/Amvrvtāt are the 2 Nāsatyas; and the trivalent Ārmaiti is the goddess of fecundity. The checklist ‘énumère, dans leur ordre, les trois fonctions sociales: souveraineté (en ses deux aspects), guerre, fécondité’ (Duchesne-Guillemin 1962, p. 201). The suppression of the ‘gods’ in favour of the ‘entities’ is asserted to be the paintings of Zarathuštra. ‘Disposant d’un double système traditionnel de dieux et d’entités… Zarathuštra a supprimé tous les dieux, sauf un, en ignorant Miθra et en condamnant tous les autres, qui n’étaient que des daēvas; mais il a laissé subsister toutes les éntités, en les annexant ou les subordonnant à Ahura Mazdā’ (Duchesne-Guillemin 1962, pp. 202–203). 14 The contradiction among the 2 schemes Duchesne-Guillemin makes use of to provide an explanation for Zarathuštra’s ‘theology’ isn't tough to determine. it's, at the least partly, as a result of the wish to harmonize the perceived dualism and monotheism within the Gāthās, which in 1953 he ‘credits’ to Zarathuštra within the kind of a ‘mélange unique de dualisme et de monothéisme’. The procedure constituted via the only precise god and the ‘entities’ as his ‘aspects’ defines a entire monotheism, a monarchical monotheism because it have been. simply because the Indo-Iranian king is meant to have united in his individual the entire 3 functions,15 so via his ‘aspects’ Mazdā is a common god, and thereby the single god. nonetheless, one can't account for the novel Gāthic dualism inside the program, accordingly the position of the thesis of a pre-Zarathuštra anti-daēvic ahura cult. We then have a complicated state of affairs: the daēvas, the non-ahura gods of the second one and 3rd periods, are at one and an identical time rejected – accurately simply because they aren't the gods of the 1st classification, the ahuras – and functionally accommodated within the procedure of Aməša Spəṇta entities. even if ‘ignored’, Miθra and Aryaman, Indo-Iranian ahuras based on Duchesne-Guillemin, ‘are by no means known as daēvas’ simply because they belong to the 1st functionality (Duchesne-Guillemin 1962, p. 190). Does this suggest that the traditional ahuras are in a few feel much less repudiated than the daēvas within the Gāthās? sixteen He extra provides to the confusion via mentioning that the ahuras within the Gāthic expression ‘Mazdā + ahuras’ are most likely the entities ‘qui n’avaient pas encore reçu leur désignation collective d’immortels salutaires’ (Duchesne-Guillemin 1995, p. 46). 17 As an exponent of the ahura cult, Zarathuštra ‘accentuates’ that culture via ‘absolutely interdicting’ the cult of the daēvas, the non-ahura gods of the non-sacerdotal periods, yet while he's contemptuous of the ahuras considering that he's the prophet of the only actual god; regardless of all this, in yet one more twist, he functionally admits the non-sacerdotal gods into the Mazdaean pantheon within the kind of ‘entities’, who seem because the ahuras within the Gāthās: the 2 ‘traditional’ ahuras (the opposite numbers of Varuṇa and Mitra) plus the rehabilitated gods of the non-sacerdotal periods of their functionally similar ‘entity’ kinds.

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