Zoroastrians in Iran
Zoroastrians are the oldest religious community of Iran. Prior to the Islamization of Iran, which was preceded by the Muslim invasion, according to the countrys official census, there were 25,271 Zoroastrians within the country in 2011. There are no records from Zarathushtras time. The earliest surviving references to Zarathushtra are those of Greek writers from 1000 BC. Prophet Zoroaster and his first followers were proto-Indo-Iranians that lived between the Bronze Age and Iron Age, the name Za-rath-ush-tra translates to a Divine Chariot that brought heavenly Light-Knowledge. The time of the Iranian peoples migration to Iran can be estimated through Assyrian records. Also, Herodotus recalled one of the Mede tribes to be called Magoi, better known as Magis, a known to have included many priests. By the time of the Median empire, Zoroastrianism is known to have well established in both the Pars region as well as in the Eastern regions. Persians led by Cyrus the Great soon established the second Iranian dynasty, however, it is clear that by the time of Darius the Great, the empire was clearly in favour of Zoroastrianism.
It was the capital of the Near East. One of the functions of Persepolis was to serve as the host of the ancient Zoroastrian festival. Therefore, every year representatives from each country under the rule of Persia would bring gifts to Persepolis to show their loyalty to the king, the Sassanid dynasty was the first Persian empire which declared Zoroastrianism as the state religion and promoted the religion more than ever. It is believed that Avesta was first gathered and put together at this time, the Sassanid authority clashed with their Armenian subjects in the Battle of Avarayr, making them officially break with the Roman Church. But the Sassanids tolerated or even sometimes favored the Christianity of the Persian Church, Mani was received kindly by king Shapur I and spent many years at his court where he was protected during all of Shabuhrs reign. Zurvanism enjoyed royal sanction during the Sassanid era but no traces of it remain beyond the 10th century, unlike Mazdean Zoroastrianism, Zurvanism considered Ahura Mazda not the transcendental Creator, but one of two equal-but-opposite divinities under the supremacy of Zurvan.
The central Zurvanite belief made Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu twin brothers that had co-existed for all time, non-Zoroastrian accounts of typically Zurvanite beliefs were the first traces of Zoroastrianism to reach the west, which misled European scholars to conclude that Zoroastrianism was a dualist faith. The Zoroastrian cult of Zurvan should not be confused with the Manichaeisms use of the name Zurvan in Middle Persian texts to represent the Manichean deity of light, Mani had himself introduced this practice in his Shapurgan, which he dedicated to his patron Shapur II. For much of the rest of the Sassanid era, the Manichaens were a persecuted minority, the three great sacred fires of Persia at the time of the Sassanids were the Adur Farnbag, Adur Gushnasp and the Adur Burzen-Mihr which burnt in Pars and Parthia respectively
Tower of Silence
A Tower of Silence is a circular, raised structure built by Zoroastrians for excarnation – that is, for dead bodies to be exposed to carrion birds. Zoroastrian exposure of the dead is first attested in the mid-5th century BCE Histories of Herodotus, the doctrinal rationale for exposure is to avoid contact with earth or fire, both of which are considered sacred. One of the earliest literary descriptions of such a building appears in the late 9th-century Epistles of Manushchihr, another technical term that appears in the 9th/10th-century texts of Zoroastrian tradition is dakhmag, for any place for the dead. This Zoroastrian Middle Persian term is a borrowing from Avestan dakhma, of meaning but related to interment. In the Avesta, the term is pejorative and does not signify a construction of any kind, in the Iranian provinces of Yazd and Kerman, dakhma continues as deme or dema. Yet another term that appears in the 9th/10th-century texts is dagdah, the word appears in Zoroastrian texts of both India and Iran, but in 20th-century India came to signify the lowest grade of temple fire.
In India the term came into use after a tower of silence was constructed on a hill of that name. The English language term Tower of Silence is a neologism attributed to Robert Murphy and this name is used in the English translation of Around the World on a Motorcycle by author Zoltan Sulkowsky, when he observed a sky-burial at one such tower in India. Zoroastrian tradition considers a body to be nasu, unclean. Specifically, the demon was believed to rush into the body and contaminate everything it came into contact with. To preclude the pollution of earth or fire, the bodies of the dead are placed atop a tower and so exposed to the sun, putrefaction with all its concomitant evils. is most effectually prevented. Zoroastrian ritual exposure of the dead is first known of from the writings of the mid-5th century BCE Herodotus, in Herodotus account, the rites are said to have been secret, but were first performed after the body had been dragged around by a bird or dog. The corpse was embalmed with wax and laid in a trench.
The tombs of the Achaemenid emperors at Naqsh-e Rustam and Pasargadae likewise suggest non-exposure, according to legend, Zoroaster is himself interred in a tomb at Balkh. Towers are a invention, and are first documented in the early 9th century. The ritual customs surrounding that practice appear to date to the Sassanid era and they are known in detail from the supplement to the Sayest ne Sayest, the two Rivayat collections, and the two Saddars. The modern-day towers, which are uniform in their construction, have an almost flat roof. The roof is divided into three rings, the bodies of men are arranged around the outer ring, women in the second circle
Zurvanism is a now-extinct branch of Zoroastrianism in which the divinity Zurvan is a First Principle who engendered equal-but-opposite twins, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. In Zurvanism, Zurvan was perceived as the god of infinite time, Zurvan was portrayed as a transcendental and neutral god, without passion, and one for whom there was no distinction between good or evil. The name Zurvan is a rendition of the word, which in Middle Persian appears as either Zurvān, Zruvān or Zarvān. The Middle Persian name derives from Avestan zruvan-, which is grammatically without gender, Zurvanism enjoyed royal sanction during the Sassanid era but no traces of it remain beyond the 10th century. Although Sassanid era Zurvanism was certainly influenced by Hellenic philosophy, the relationship between it and the Greek divinity of Time has not been conclusively established. The Avestan word zruvan is etymologically related to the late Sanskrit word sarva, meaning all, the earliest evidence of the cult of Zurvan is found in the History of Theology, attributed to Eudemus of Rhodes.
The principal evidence for Zurvanite doctrine in the polemical Christian tracts of Armenian, the post-Sassanid Zoroastrian Middle Persian commentaries are primarily Mazdean and with only one exception do not mention Zurvan at all. Of the remaining so-called Pahlavi texts only two, the Mēnōg-i Khrad and the Selections of Zatspram reveal a Zurvanite tendency. The latter, in which the priest Zatspram chastises his brother’s un-Mazdaean ideas, is the last text in Middle Persian that provides any evidence of the cult of Zurvan. The 13th century Zoroastrian Ulema-i Islam, a New Persian apologetic text, is unambiguously Zurvanite and is the last direct evidence of Zurvan as a First Principle. There is no hint of any worship of Zurvan in any of the texts of the Avesta, in the texts composed prior to the Sassanid period, Zurvan appears twice, as both an abstract concept and as a minor divinity, but there is no evidence of a cult. In Yasna 72.10 Zurvan is invoked in the company of Space and Air and in Yasht 13.56, the plants grow in the manner Time has ordained according to the will of Ahura Mazda and the Amesha Spentas.
Two other references to Zurvan are present in the Vendidad, Zurvan does not appear in any listing of the Yazatas. The origins of the cult of Zurvan remain debated, one view considers Zurvanism to have developed out of Zoroastrianism as a reaction to the liberalization of the late Achaemenid era form of the faith. Another view proposes that Zurvan existed as a divinity that was incorporated into Zoroastrianism. The third view is that Zurvanism is the product of the contact between Zoroastrianism and Babylonian-Akkadian religions and it is however not known whether Sassanid era Zurvanism and Mazdaism were separate sects, each with their own organization and priesthood, or simply two tendencies within the same body. Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire in the 7th century, the former continued to exist but in an increasingly reduced state and by the 10th century the remaining Zoroastrians appear to have more closely followed the orthodoxy as found in the Pahlavi books. Why the cult of Zurvan vanished while Mazdaism did not remains an issue of scholarly debate, Zaehner is of the opinion that the Zurvanite priesthood had a strict orthodoxy which few could tolerate
A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians, often called dar-e mehr or agiyari. In the Zoroastrian religion, together with water, are agents of ritual purity. For, one who sacrifices unto fire with fuel in his hand, as of 2010, there were 50 fire temples in Mumbai,100 in the rest of India, and 27 in the rest of the world. First evident in the 4th century BCE, the Zoroastrian cult of fire is much younger than Zoroastrianism itself and it appears at approximately the same time as the shrine cult and is roughly contemporaneous with the introduction of Atar as a divinity. There is no allusion to a cult of fire in the Avesta proper. That the cult of fire was a modification and absent from early Zoroastrianism is evident in the Atash Nyash. In the oldest passages of that liturgy, it is the fire that speaks to all those for whom it cooks the evening and morning meal. The temple cult is a development, from Herodotus it is known that in the mid-5th century BCE the Zoroastrians worshipped to the open sky.
The second, the atroshan, were the places of burning fire which became more and more prevalent as the movement gained support. Following the rise of the Sassanid dynasty, the shrines to the Yazatas continued to exist, also, as Schippman observed, there is no evidence even during the Sassanid era that the fires were categorized according to their sanctity. It seems probable that there were only two, namely the Atash-i Vahram, and the lesser Atash-i Adaran, or Fire of Fires. The faith was practiced largely by the aristocracy but large numbers of fire temples did not exist, some fire temples continued with their original purpose although many Zoroastrians fled. The oldest remains of what has been identified as a temple are those on Mount Khajeh. Only traces of the foundation and ground-plan survive and have been dated to the 3rd or 4th century BCE. The temple was rebuilt during the Parthian era, and enlarged during Sassanid times, the characteristic feature of the Sassanid fire temple was its domed sanctuary where the fire-altar stood.
This sanctuary always had a ground plan with a pillar in each corner that supported the dome. Archaeological remains and literary evidence from Zend commentaries on the Avesta suggest that the sanctuary was surrounded by a passageway on all four sides. On a number of sites the gombad, made usually of masonry with courses of stone, is all that survives
The Vedas are a large body of knowledge texts originating in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature, Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means not of a man and impersonal, authorless. Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from religious texts. The Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, in the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma. The Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were created by Rishis, after inspired creativity. There are four Vedas, the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads. Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas, the various Indian philosophies and denominations have taken differing positions on the Vedas. Schools of Indian philosophy which cite the Vedas as their authority are classified as orthodox.
Other śramaṇa traditions, such as Lokayata, Ajivika and Jainism, despite their differences, just like the texts of the śramaṇa traditions, the layers of texts in the Vedas discuss similar ideas and concepts. The Sanskrit word véda knowledge, wisdom is derived from the root vid- to know and this is reconstructed as being derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *u̯eid-, meaning see or know. The noun is from Proto-Indo-European *u̯eidos, cognate to Greek εἶδος aspect, not to be confused is the homonymous 1st and 3rd person singular perfect tense véda, cognate to Greek οἶδα oida I know. Root cognates are Greek ἰδέα, English wit, the Sanskrit term veda as a common noun means knowledge. The term in some contexts, such as hymn 10.93.11 of the Rigveda, means obtaining or finding wealth, property, a related word Vedena appears in hymn 8.19.5 of the Rigveda. It was translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith as ritual lore, as studying the Veda by the 14th century Indian scholar Sayana, as bundle of grass by Max Müller, Vedas are called Maṛai or Vaymoli in parts of South India.
Marai literally means hidden, a secret, mystery, in some south Indian communities such as Iyengars, the word Veda includes the Tamil writings of the Alvar saints, such as Divya Prabandham, for example Tiruvaymoli. The Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts, the Samhitas date to roughly 1700–1100 BC, and the circum-Vedic texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c. 1000-500 BC, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BC, or the Late Bronze Age, Michael Witzel gives a time span of c.1500 to c. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material of the 14th century BC the only record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the Rigvedic period
Ephedra is a genus of gymnosperm shrubs, the only genus in its family and order, Ephedrales. In temperate climates, most Ephedra species grow on shores or in soils with direct sun exposure. Common names in English include joint-pine, Mormon-tea or Brigham tea, the Chinese name for Ephedra species is mahuang. Ephedra is called sea grape, a common name for the flowering plant Coccoloba uvifera. The alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are active constituents of E. sinica and these compounds are sympathomimetics with stimulant and decongestant qualities and are chemically substituted amphetamines. Pollen of Ephedra spp. was found in the Shanidar IV burial site in Iraq and it has been suggested that Ephedra may be the Soma plant of Indo-Iranian religion. Alkaloids obtained from the species of Ephedra in herbal medicines containing synthetically prepared pseudoephedrine and ephedrine can cause cardiovascular events and these events have been associated with arrhythmias, palpitations and myocardial infarction.
Caffeine consumption in combination with ephedrine has been reported to increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Accepted species, Ephedra alata Decne – North Africa, Arabian Peninsula Ephedra altissima Desf, – North Africa, Canary Islands Ephedra americana Humb. – Bolivia, Peru, Chile Ephedra antisyphilitica Berland ex C. A. Meyer – Clapweed, Erect Ephedra – Texas, New Mexico, Nuevo León, Chihuahua Ephedra aphylla Forssk. – eastern Mediterranean from Libya and Cyprus to the Persian Gulf Ephedra × arenicola H. C. Cutler – Arizona, Utah Ephedra aspera Engelm. – Boundary Ephedra, Pitamoreal – Texas, New Mexico, Utah, California, Durango, Sinaloa, Sonora, – Caucasus, Turkmenistan Ephedra boelckei F. A. Roig – Argentina Ephedra botschantzevii Pachom. – Kazakhstan, Tuva region of Siberia Ephedra breana Phil, – Peru, Chile, Argentina Ephedra brevifoliata Ghahr. – North Africa, Balkans, Middle East, ex Stapf – Chile, Argentina Ephedra nevadensis S. Wats. – Middle East from Sinai and Yemen to Pakistan Ephedra pedunculata Engelm, – Vine Ephedra, Vine Jointfir – Texas, Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Zacatecas Ephedra pentandra Pachom.
– Iran Ephedra przewalskii Stapf – Central Asia, Pakistan, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, – Siberia, Mongolia Ephedra regeliana Florin – Xi Zi Ma Huang – Central Asia, Pakistan, Xinjiang Ephedra rhytidosperma Pachom. – Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia Ephedra rituensis Y. Yang, D. Z. Fu & G. H. Zhu – Qinghai, Xinjiang, – Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina Ephedra sarcocarpa Aitch. -Pakiostan, Afghanistan Ephedra sinica Stapf – Cao Ma Huang, Chinese ephedra – Mongolia, Primorye, Manchuria Ephedra somalensis Freitag & Maier-St
Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633-654, recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 2.6 million, with most living in India and in Iran. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds, the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, in Zoroastrianism, the creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good father of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from him. He and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas, Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto truth oppose the Spirits opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to be among those who renew the world. to make the progress towards perfection.
Its basic maxims include, Hukhta, which mean, Good Thoughts, Good Words, there is only one path and that is the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the thing to do. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is, The Lord Creator and he proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe. He stated that human beings are given a right of choice, Zoroasters teachings focused on responsibility, and did not introduce a devil per se. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit, post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu. The name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra and he is known as Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati. The Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning worship, in English, an adherent of the faith is commonly called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian.
An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā. In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual who has formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony. The term Mazdaism /ˈmæzdə. ɪzəm/ is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda, the March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, perhaps derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. In older English sources, the terms Gheber and Gueber were used to refer to Zoroastrians, Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphaels School of Athens by Giorgio Vasari in 1550. The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayces Principles of Comparative Philology, Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme god, Ahura Mazda, or the Wise Lord
Daeva is an Avestan language term for a particular sort of supernatural entity with disagreeable characteristics. In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrian canon and this meaning is – subject to interpretation – perhaps evident in the Old Persian daiva inscription of the 5th century BCE. In the Younger Avesta, the daevas are noxious creatures that promote chaos, in tradition and folklore, the dēws are personifications of every imaginable evil. Equivalents for Avestan daeva in Iranian languages include Pashto, Kurdish dêw, Persian dīv/deev, all of which apply to demons, the Iranian word was borrowed into Old Armenian as dew, Georgian as devi, with the same negative associations in those languages. In English, the word appears as daeva, deev, Old Avestan daēuua or daēva derives from Old Iranian *daiva, which in turn derives from Indo-Iranian *daivá- god, reflecting Proto-Indo-European *deiu̯ó with the same meaning. For derivatives in a European context, see Tyr, the Vedic Sanskrit cognate of Avestan daēuua is devá-, continuing in Indo-Aryan languages as dev.
The same is true of the inscription, where the daiva are the gods of rebels. The issue is related to the question of how Zoroasters own contribution to Iranian religion might be defined, while the progressive hypothesis gives Zoroaster credit for giving Iranian religion a moral and ethical dimension, it does not give Zoroaster credit for the development of the daevas into demons. It assumes that the development was gradual, and that a general distrust of the daevas already existed by the time the Gathas were composed, although with some points of comparison such as shared etymology, Indic devá- is thematically different from Avestan daēva. In the Rigveda, the devas are the angels of natural elements, in conflict with the asuras, asuras cant be compared to western world demons. There is no such division evident in the Zoroastrian texts, the use of asura in the Rigveda is unsystematic and inconsistent and it can hardly be said to confirm the existence of a category of gods opposed to the devas.
Indeed, RigVedic deva is variously applied to most gods, including many of the asuras, likewise, at the oldest layer, Zoroastrianisms daevas are originally gods, and it is only in the younger texts that the word evolved to refer to evil creatures. And the Zoroastrian ahuras are only vaguely defined, and only three in number, the Gathas speak of the daevas as a group, and do not mention individual daevas by name. In these ancient texts, the term daevas occurs 19 times, wherein daevas are a category of quite genuine gods. In Yasna 32.3 and 46.1, the daevas are still worshipped by the Iranian peoples, Yasna 32.8 notes that some of the followers of Zoroaster had previously been followers of the daevas, the daevas are clearly identified with evil. In the Gathas, daevas are censured as being incapable of discerning truth from falsehood and they are consequently in error, but are never identified as drəguuaṇt- people of the lie. In Yasna 32.4, the daevas are revered by the Usij, described as a class of priests, devoid of goodness of mind and heart.
Like the daevas that they follow, the Usij are known throughout the region of the earth as the offspring of aka mainyu, druj
The Yaz culture of Bactria-Margiana has been regarded as a likely archaeological reflection of the early Eastern Iranian culture described in the Avesta. Avestans status as a language has ensured its continuing use for new compositions long after the language had ceased to be a living language. It is closely related to Vedic Sanskrit, the oldest preserved Indo-Aryan language, which is associated with northeastern Iran, and Old Persian, which belongs to the southwest, together constitute what is called Old Iranian. The Old Iranian language group is a branch of the Indo-Iranian language group, Iranian languages are traditionally classified as eastern or western, and within this framework Avestan is classified as eastern. But this distinction is of limited meaning for Avestan, as the developments that distinguish Eastern from Western Iranian had not yet occurred. Avestan does not display some typical Western Iranian innovations already visible in Old Persian, Old Avestan is closely related to Old Persian and in some extent close in nature to Vedic Sanskrit.
It is believed that it might be close to a dialect of Pashto as well. The Avestan language is attested in two forms, known as Old Avestan and Younger Avestan. Younger Avestan did not evolve from Old Avestan, the two not only in time, but are different dialects. Every Avestan text, regardless of whether originally composed in Old or Younger Avestan, Karl Hoffmann traced the following stages for Avestan as found in the extant texts. In roughly chronological order, The natural language of the composers of the Gathas, the Yasna Haptanghaiti, the script used for writing Avestan developed during the 3rd or 4th century AD. By the language had been extinct for centuries. As is still the case today, the liturgies were memorized by the priesthood, the script devised to render Avestan was natively known as Din dabireh religion writing. It has 53 distinct characters and is written right-to-left and these symbols, like those of all the Pahlavi scripts, are in turn based on Aramaic script symbols. Avestan incorporates several letters from other writing systems, most notably the vowels, a few letters were free inventions, as were the symbols used for punctuation.
Also, the Avestan alphabet has one letter that has no corresponding sound in the Avestan language, Avestan script is alphabetic, and the large number of letters suggests that its design was due to the need to render the orally recited texts with high phonetic precision. The correct enunciation of the liturgies was considered necessary for the prayers to be effective, the Zoroastrians of India, who represent one of the largest surviving Zoroastrian communities worldwide, transcribe Avestan in Brahmi-based scripts. Today, Avestan is most commonly typeset in Gujarati script, some Avestan letters with no corresponding symbol are synthesized with additional diacritical marks, for example, the /z/ in zaraϑuštra is written with j with a dot below
Zoroaster, known as Zarathustra, Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra, was an ancient Iranian prophet whose teachings developed into Zoroastrianism. He inaugurated a movement that became the dominant religion in Ancient Persia. He was a speaker of Old Avestan and lived in the eastern part of the Iranian Plateau. Zoroastrianism was already an old religion when first recorded, and it was the religion of Persian Empires. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, most of his life is known from the Zoroastrian texts. Zoroasters name in his language, was probably Zaraϑuštra. His English name, derives from a Greek transcription, Zōroastrēs, as used in Xanthuss Lydiaca and this form appears subsequently in the Latin Zōroastrēs and, in Greek orthographies, as Zōroastris. The Greek form of the name appears to be based on a phonetic transliteration or semantic substitution of Avestan zaraϑ- with the Greek zōros, subject to whether Zaraϑuštra derives from *Zarantuštra- or from *Zaratuštra-, several interpretations have been proposed.
If Zarantuštra is the form, it may mean with old/aging camels. With angry/furious camels, from Avestan *zarant-, furious, who is driving camels or who is fostering/cherishing camels, related to Avestan zarš-, to drag. Why this is not so for zaraϑuštra has not yet been determined, notwithstanding the phonetic irregularity, that Avestan zaraϑuštra with its -ϑ- was linguistically an actual form is shown by attestations reflecting the same basis. All present-day, Iranian-language variants of his name derive from the Middle Iranian variants of Zarϑošt, there is no consensus on the dating of Zoroaster, the Avesta gives no direct information about it, while historical sources are conflicting. Many scholars like Mary Boyce used linguistic and socio-cultural evidence to place Zoroaster between 1500 and 1000 BCE, both texts are considered to have a common archaic Indo-Iranian origin. These scholars suggest that Zoroaster lived in a tribe or composed the Gathas before the 1200–1000 BCE migration by the Iranians from the steppe to the Iranian Plateau.
The shortfall of the argument is the comparison, and the archaic language of Gathas does not necessarily indicate time difference. Other scholars propose a period between 7th and 6th century, for example, c, the latest possible date is the mid 6th century, at the time of Achaemenid Empires Darius I, or his predecessor Cyrus the Great. However, in the Avesta it should not be ignored that Vishtaspas son became the ruler of the Persian Empire, the most likely conclusion is that Darius Is father was named in honor of the Zoroastrian patron, indicating probable Zoroastrian faith by Arsames. e. This belief is recorded by Diogenes Laërtius, and variant readings could place it six hundred years before Xerxes I, Diogenes mentions Hermodorus belief that Zoroaster lived five thousand years before the Trojan War, which would mean he lived around 6200 BCE