Zoroastrianism

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:07 am

I'm 3 pages away from her first mention of it, according to the index. I'll get there tonight.

I was surprised to read this:

Passages in the Gathas suggest that Zoroaster was filled with a sense that the end of the world was imminent and that Ahura Mazda had entrusted him with revealed truth in order to rouse mankind for their vital part in the final struggle.


I wonder what our rapture-based fundies would say if they learned that this idea preceded Jesus by 1,500 years?
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:10 am

Oh, it's even older than that, Min. It's what the horse sacrifice is all about - to prevent the end of the world happening.

The word sacrifice has changed over time to just mean giving up something - I suppose the ultimate being the Lamb of God giving up his life on the Cross.

But I've recently discovered that the Siberian horse was splayed on a cross over the fire, and that the cross was hugely symbolic. Then certain ceremonies took place around it. There was also a sex act between either the king and a mare, or a queen and a horse. I know this is distasteful, to talk about ... but we have different sensibilities these days.

But do you remember there used to be that story about the 18th century Russian Empress Catherine the Great? Of course, it's all been denied a million times. But why did the story originate? Well, Siberia is part of Russia.

So anyway, the horse sacrifce is thought to be an alchemical act - it later became the king having sex with an hierodule, a sacred prostitute, whiich I'm sure was a lot more pleasurable!

But anyway, the whole aim of this sacrifice, however it took place, was to stop the end of the world happening.

You've got to admit, it's worked so far! :lol:
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Postby pattylt » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:40 pm

This has been a great thread! Keep it up!
Could you expand on this? I am unfamiliar with the story...
But do you remember there used to be that story about the 18th century Russian Empress Catherine the Great? Of course, it's all been denied a million times. But why did the story originate? Well, Siberia is part of Russia.

Thanks
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:42 pm

The reason I'm asking about the Vendidad is because it seems to be an account of the ancient Iranians, led by the patriarch Yima, leaving their home in the north just before the ice age (which Ahura Mazda warns them about) and setting off to travel south.

There's also a story which reads remarkably like a precursor to Noah's Ark.

And Ahura Mazda spake unto Yima, saying: 'O fair Yima, son of Vivanghat! Upon the material world the evil winters are about to fall, that shall bring the fierce, deadly frost; upon the material world the evil winters are about to fall, that shall make snow-flakes fall thick, even an aredvi deep on the highest tops of mountains ...

... 'Therefore make thee a Vara, long as a riding-ground on every side of the square, and thither bring the seeds of sheep and oxen, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red blazing fires. Therefore make thee a Vara, long as a riding-ground on every side of the square, to be an abode for man; a Vara, long as a riding-ground on every side of the square, for oxen and sheep.

Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men and women, of the greatest, best, and finest on this earth; thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best, and finest on this earth.

'Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of tree, of the highest of size and sweetest of odour on this earth; thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the best of savour and sweetest of odour. All those seeds shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara....
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:43 pm

pattylt wrote:This has been a great thread! Keep it up!
Could you expand on this? I am unfamiliar with the story...
But do you remember there used to be that story about the 18th century Russian Empress Catherine the Great? Of course, it's all been denied a million times. But why did the story originate? Well, Siberia is part of Russia.

Thanks


Patti, I maybe shouldn't go into too much detail - but if you Google Catherine the Great+horse, all will be revealed.
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:21 pm

The same royal/animal 'mystic marriage' theme develops in the Greek myths into the story of the Minotaur.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minotaur

After he ascended the throne of Crete, Minos struggled with his brothers for the right to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of approval. He was to sacrifice the bull in honor of Poseidon but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. To punish Minos, Poseidon caused Pasiphaë, Minos' wife, to fall madly in love with the bull from the sea, the Cretan Bull She had Daedalus, the famous architect, make a wooden cow for her. Pasiphaë climbed into the decoy in order to have sex with the white bull. The offspring of their unnatural lovemaking was a monster called the Minotaur.
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Postby Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:22 pm

but we have different sensibilities these days.



Well...some of us, do.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:54 pm

Minimalist wrote:
but we have different sensibilities these days.



Well...some of us, do.


Well Cogs has been discussing the sex life of Stuart Fiedel which, imo, is far more distasteful. :lol:
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Postby Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:36 pm

Oh, it's even older than that, Min. It's what the horse sacrifice is all about - to prevent the end of the world happening.




The oceans of blood from sacrificial victims in South and Central America were also for the same stated purpose: Postponing the end of the world.

Maybe it worked? We're still here.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:44 pm

Minimalist wrote:
Maybe it worked? We're still here.



So far ... but there hasn't been one for a while. 8)
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Postby Minimalist » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:58 am

Ish, et al, I have scanned a page out of the book....page 77 for anyone who cares. I have added the underlining.

The discussion is about the solidification of Zoroastrian thought under the Persian Achaemenian Dynasty (Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, etc.) who were done in by Alexander the Great.

The last phrase prior to the start of the scan...on Page 76, if you will was:


"gradually many of Zoroaster's .... "

Image



The Achaemenians were routed c 333 BC which is one hell of a long time prior to xtianity, isn't it. It's pretty clear to see where a lot of those ideas came from.

I note that Boyce still holds to the idea that the "Jews" were who they say they were in later writings. She should talk to Davies!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:33 am

So what did Arch say when you put this to him, Min? :)

Yes, I see Boyce thinks it's just a fortuitous dovetailing of philosophies between two cultures instead of a straight rip off.
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:05 am

Damn it. I forgot. I'll do it now.

It should be a reply for the ages!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:31 am

Meanwhile, last night, I came across this passage:

So it was out of a Judaism enriched by five centuries of contact with Zoroastrianism that Christianity arose in the Parthian period, a new religion with roots thus in two ancient faiths, one Semitic, the other Iranian. Doctrines taught perhaps a millenium and a half earlier by Zoroaster began in this way to reach fresh hearers; but again, as in Judaism, they lost some of their logic and coherence by their adoption into another creed; for the teaching of the Iranian prophet about creation, Heaven and Hell, and the Day of Judgment, were less intellectually coherent when part of a religion which proclaimed the existence of one omnipotent God, who unrestricted rule was based not on justice but on love.



:lol:

That one ought to fry Archies' oyster, too!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:33 am

Yep! :D
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