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Historical Evolution

  1. A Discovery of Two Foreign Sects: The Sect of the Parsees, 1752
    Lord, Henry
    This historic article provides a comprehensive description of Parsee community, their religion, traditions and customs as it was observed in ca. 1752 by the author, Henry Lord. This article was published two years prior to arrival of Anquetil Du Perron in India.

  2. A history of Zoroastrians of Kerman "Tarikh e Zartoshtian e Kerman"
    Varza, Jamshid


  3. Avesta, An Introduction
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar
    This article presents an informative summary of the Avestan Language, text, and its evolution. It elaborates on its relationship with other ancient Indo-European languages.

  4. Conflict and Cooperation
    Mehr, Professor Farhang

    Review of the historical evolution of the Iranian society in the post Islamic invasion and the dynamics of the forces at work are covered.

  5. Does Sad Dar Reflect Zarathushtrian Thought?
    McIntyre, Dina G.

    A fifteenth century text Sad Dar written by unknown author in Islamic Iran is sometimes mistaken for Zarathushtrian religion scripture. Dina provides an insightful discussion on the relevance of this text in the context of Zarathushtra's thoughts.

  6. Dr. Mehraban Shahriari
    Farshidi, Dr. Bahram
    Driven by the desire to improve the welfare of the populace of his native city and to be an agent of social change, Mehraban Shahriari studied medicine and became a well admired doctor to the citizens of his native city.  Respected by those who came to know him, his legacy has continued to inspire generations who came after him.

  7. Events that Shaped Early Zarathushti Religion
    Kevala, Dr. Rustom
    This paper attempts to identify the historical events that shaped Iranian religion from Zarathushtra’s times up to the end of the Parthian dynasty. Until recent times, culture, religion, and national identity have always been mixed together, each influencing the other. The author believes that major turning points in the history of ancient Iran provide a window on the beliefs and practices the Zarathushti religion prior to Sassanian times. 

  8. Historical perspective on Zoroastrianism
    Soroushian, Dr. Mehrborzin
    As the oldest and one of the most influential religions, Zoroastrianism has been at the basis of the first world empire, has helped the evolution of other faiths, and has shaped human thoughts in significant ways.  A historical perspective on the evolution of World's oldest religion is presented.

  9. Interaction of the religion of Zarathushtra with other religions
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar

    A historical review of interaction between the religion of Zarathushtra and other religious schools in the East as well as the Abrahamic traditions.

  10. Is The Vandidad a Zarathushtrian Scripture?
    Shahzadi,Mobed Rostam

    A review of evolution of Zarathushtrian priesthood, religious practices, and the adaptation of temporal laws as religious laws, and some of the causes of deviation from the original message of Zarathushtra is given. 

  11. Kharoshti Script
    Kerr, Dr. Sam

    The Kharoshti language was introduced into Gandhara - Afghanistan and the North-west frontiers of India during the early part of the 5th century BCE as a result of Achaemenian conquests eastwards. The language and script, it seems, became refined with time but it was ultimately overtaken by the much older language of the region, Brahmi and it became extinct by about the middle (c. 300-350 CE) of the Sassanian Dynasty (which lasted c.224 to 641 CE). This insightful article provides information about the evolution of this language.

  12. Languages of The Parsi scriptures
    Haug, Martin
    The renown German Linguist, Martin Haug, traveled to India during the second half of the nineteenth century where he stayed for over ten years and studied the Zarathushti scriptures of the Parsee community residing in state of Gujarat. Haug in his studies discovered the language used in certain sections of Yasna, known as Gathas was different and much older than the rest of the scriptures; later he figured that Gathas were the words of the prophet Zarathushtra preserved and passed down through thirty seven centuries.

  13. Maga, The Magian Fellowship
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar
    Were Magians real people or mystical figures in Persian literature? In this article Dr. Jafarey discusses the oldest references to the word "Maga" in Avesta and other Zarathushti religious scriptures.

  14. Manijeh (Kermani) Shahrokh
    Mehrfar, Dr. Khosro E.
    Mehrfar in his own powerful language presents the biography of late Manijeh Kermani, a Zarathushti woman well ahead of her own times in social organization and leadership. This biography is prepared with first-hand information provided by Mrs. Katayoon Farin, daughter of late Manijeh Kermani.

  15. Memoirs of Ardeshir Khâzè
    Soroushian, Dr. Mehrborzin
    Growing up as a Zartoshty boy in the village of Allahabad, Yazd at the turn of the 20th century, one person's  mission to amoriliate the conditions of his community and to do his part in bringing about progress to his country of birth is detailed in this book.  The author's compilation of his life memories and experiences provides a valuable source of information on the facts of life for the Zarathushtis of Iran of the late 19th century, and 20th century.

  16. Messages for the Ages: The Uniqueness of Zarathushtra's Message
    Delavega, Ronald

    The author shares his thoughts and views on the uniqueness of Zarathushtra's Vision and the promise it holds for humanity. In his informative review, the author brings out interesting points as to the impact of this spiritual journey of discovery on his life.

  17. Mithraism
    Taraporwala, Dr. Iraj

    Mithraism originated in Iran, predating Zoroastrianism. Being predominant in Rome prior to Christianity, elements of it can be found in Zoroastrianism and in Christianity. This article investigates its bearing on Zoroastrianism.

  18. New Scope on some Aspects of Zoroasrtrian History and Philosophy
    DuBreuil, Professor Paul
    The author discusses the shortcomings of the scholars in acknowledging the contribution of Zarathushtra's thoughts to the evolution of human civilization. He outlines his view of the course of action the followers of this religion ought to adapt to enhance the welfare of humanity in keeping with the vision of their prophet.

  19. Noruz, The Fire of Spring
    Shapero, Hannah M.G.

    This article introduces the reader to the great Iranian new year festival of "Noruz." Ms. Shapero using her elegant writing style tells you how to set your Noruz table -- Haft Seen.

  20. Nov-Ruz, The Zarathushtrian New Year
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar
    A comprehensive review of Nov-Ruz, the Zarathuhtrian New Year is given from historical and religious perspective.  The significance of the Nov-Ruz table as the center piece of its celebration is also described.


  21. Parvin the Daughter of Sassan
    Hedayt, Sadeq
    Set against the background of eminent fall of a major Iranian city to the invading Arab forces following the collapse of the Imperial Sassanian forces, the faith of a Zoroastrian family as they face the reality of the changing norms and value system about to be imposed on them is brought alive through this emotion filled play.

  22. Persia Past and Present
    Damania, Dr. Ardeshir B.

    Abraham V. W. Jackson, a professor of Indo-Iranian language at Columbia university at the turn of the 20th century undertook a trip to Iran and India to  meet the followers of the ancient religion of Zarathushtra, and to see first hand the plight of its followers in their ancestral land.  Through the painstaking details of his travelogue, a lot of valuable insight and information about the heroic struggle of the Zarathushtis for survival in the sea of Islamic hostility is captured in this valuable book.

  23. Persien, das Land und Seine Bewohner; Ethnograpische Schilderungen
    Soroushian, Dr. Mehrborzin
    Travelogue of a nineteenth century Austrian Physician who spent nine years in Iran, provides interesting perspective on some unique aspects of Zarathushtrian religion, and points out how demise of Zoroastrianism in Iran meant the fall of Iran from grace.

  24. The Achaemenians, Zoroastrians in Transition
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar
    This article sheds light on understanding the practice of Zarathushti religion and its evolution during the Achaemenian era. The evolution of the religion during that period had great implication for subsequent periods.

  25. The Ideal of Aryan Womanhood
    Taraporwala, Dr. Iraj

    This insightful article analyzes the position of woman from a Zarathushtrian perspective, from the time of Zarathushtra to 20th century. Historical evolution of the position of Zoroastrian woman is looked at based on historical evidence.

  26. The Avesta, An Introduction
    Jafarey, Dr. Ali Akbar
    The evolution and origin of various texts of the Zarathushtrian religion starting with the poetic compositions of Zarathushtra himself is discussed in this book. The information contained in this article serves as a good reference.

  27. The Being of Zarathushtra in the light of Anthroposophy
    Bana, Aban

    The initiator of Anthroposophy was inspired by an large by their understand of the essence of Zarathushtrianism. In this article, the author shares her understanding on this subject as it relates to matters of human spirituality.

  28. The case for Zarathushtrianism at the turn of the 3rd Millennium
    Mehrfar, Dr. Khosro E.

    The progressive human society is gradually overcoming the fear of life and death and the unpredicted.  The faiths appealing to human's fear-based existence may not hold as significant a grip on man in the third millennium as was the case before.  Faiths based on logical and rational thinking calling on humans to take control of their destiny and assume responsibility for their actions  will be more in keeping with the evolving human society in the third millennium and beyond.  The author makes the case for Zarathushtrianism by considering the relevant factors at the entrance in the third millennium.

  29. The Light of the Sacred Fire
    Shapero, Hannah M.G.

    For a western educated reader wishing to have a general understanding of the Zarathushti religious belief and philosophy, Ms. Shapero's article is certainly a wonderful "knowledge gate".

  30. The Origin of Israel’s Faith – and its Debt to Zoroaster
    MacAllister, P.E.

    An insightful discussion of the evolution on the Judeo-Christian religious thoughts and its borrowings from Zarathushtra's thought is presented in this article.

  31. The Wadias of India: Then and Now
    Jungalwala, Khorshed

    The history of an enterprising Zarathushtrian dynasty whose generation after generation built pioneering businesses that contributed in significant ways to the industrialization of British India and Independent India for the past three  centuries is related by one of its direct descendents. The ships they built crossed the open seas to promote trade for India and for other nations.  The reputation they built for honesty, generosity and a genuine concern for their fellow human beings was a hallmark of their enterprises. The family's spirited philanthropy went beyond the Zarathushti community, covering areas of education, health, welfare and industry.

  32. The Zarathushtrian Foundations of Human Civilization
    This article presents a brief review of the Zarathushtrian concepts that have shaped human thoughts and influenced our religions and cultures. The subtlety of concepts of freedom of choice and moral responsibility for promoting the rightful order is discussed.

  33. Trois ans en Asie (Three years in Asia) 1855-1858
    Dr. Mehrborzin Soroushian

    This relatively obscure French diplomat from an aristocratic background whose family fortune overturned with the onset of the French revolution writes his account of Iran and its people including the badly battered Zarathushti community, providing valuable information and insight about the conditions he finds in that ancient land.

  34. Universal Elements Forming the Fundamentals of the Religion of Zarathushtra
    Homji, Dasturji Nowrooz D. Minocher
    The universality of the Religion tradition introduced by Zarathushtra and the unique and humanistic aspects of the same are discussed in this easy to comprehend speech delivered in 1984.

  35. Uniqueness of Zarathushtra's Vision and its Impact
    Sidhwa,Ervad Godrej
    “MAN”, said Rousseau, Father of the French Revolution, “was born free. But every where he is in chains.’’ The uniqueness of Zarathushtra's vision aimed at freeing human beings from their various bondages including the worst of all "superstition" is discussed in this article.

  36. Was Zarthushtra's original religion diverted?
    Bagli, Ervad Dr. Jehan
    This remarkable question was asked by many scholars and mobeds. This article offers a concise review of the issue -- whether the Magis diverted the original teachings of Zarathushtra. 

  37. Zarathushtra: Building the Civil Society
    Smith,Timothy R
    An informative review of the impact of Zarathushtra's philosophy on human thought and its influence on other religious thoughts.  Some of the concepts central to Zarathushtra's thought are covered.

  38. Zarathushtra – Source of the Judeo-Christian Heritage
    Antia, Dr. Kersey

    The influence of Zarathushtra's teachings was profound on western thought, the Greeks made a practice of sheltering a philosophic or 'scientific' theory under the guise of Zarathushtra's authority. Many of the Judeo-Christian traditions and beliefs have their origin in the ancient religion of Zarathushtra, which was dominant and wide-spread in Persia before the birth of Christ. This article provides good insight into the influence of Zarathushtra's thought on the development of Judeo-Christian believes.

  39. Zarathushtra, Mazdayasna, and Governance
    Jahanian, Dr. Daryoush

    The form of government consistent with Zarathushtra vision for humanity is a topic of discussion of this insightful paper. 

  40. Zarathushtrian Theodicy
    Bailey, Albert

    Theodicy is the branch of theology dedicated to understanding the problem of evil, that is, why evil exists in a world governed by a good, wise, and powerful god. Over the centuries, Persian thought has addressed this question more thoroughly than any other religious tradition.

  41. Zoroastrian Studies in Europe through the 19th century
    Mobed, Keikhosrow
    A brief review of the major milestones in the study of the religion of Zarathusthra in Europe through the Nineteenth century is given. The events that unfolded as a result of the initiatives taken by Voltaire and Anquetil Du Perron that resulted in the studies of Zoroastrianism are covered. These studies were the prelude to the very extensive work done on the Gathas of Zarathushtra in the 20th century.

  42. Zoroastrians of Iran: Conversion, Assimilation, or Persistence
    Dr. Mehrborzin Soroushian
    The dynamics at work in shaping the evolution of the Zarathushtrian community of Iran in the 20th century is analyzed in this well researched book.

  43. Zoroastrianism: Its Antiquity And Constant Vigor
    Dr. Mehrborzin Soroushian
    This book being a collection of lectures given at Columbia University makes for a quick tutorial on the development of the Zarathushtrian traditions throughout the ages all the way to recent times.