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Encyclopedia > Persian mythology
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The beliefs and practices of the culturally and linguistically related group of ancient peoples who inhabited the Iranian Plateau and its borderlands, as well as areas of Central Asia from the Black Sea to Khotan (modern Ho-t'ien, China), form Persian mythology. The Iranian plateau covers much of Iran and Afghanistan. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Khotan or Hotan (Uyghur: خوتەن/Hotǝn; Chinese: 和田; pinyin: , formerly: Simplified Chinese: 和阗; Traditional Chinese: 和闐; pinyin: ) is an oasis town and a prefecture in the Taklamakan desert that was part of the southern silk road. ...

The best collection of old Persian mythology appears in the Shahnama of Ferdowsi, written over a thousand years ago. Much of the information about Persian (old-Iranian) gods can be found in the religious texts from Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) such as the Avesta, and in later sources such as the Bundahishn and the Denkard. The original Avesta dates back to 1400 - 1200 BCE, and was kept in Istakhr until Alexander of Macedon destroyed it. The current version dates from the 13th or 14th century, and contains only a fragment of the original text. Official Government Links The following websites belong to the various branches of government, or are directly operated by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Official site of the Supreme Leader, (Qom office) Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran - Official website. ... Jump to: navigation, search Zartosht, as popularly depicted by Persian artists. ... See Avesta Municipality for the Swedish town Yasna 28. ... The Denkard is the largest encyclopedia of Zoroastrianism written in 9th century. ... Jump to: navigation, search Alexander the Great fighting the Persian king Darius (Pompeii mosaic, from a 3rd century BC original Greek painting, now lost). ...

Unlike many other mythologies, Persian mythology has only 2 main gods: Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. Ahura Mazda was the god of light, construction, and fertility. In contrast, Angra Mainyu was the god of darkness, destruction, sterility, and death. The pair was always in constant conflict. Evil people followed Angra Mainyu, while good people followed Ahura Mazda. Jump to: navigation, search Faravahar (or Ferohar), the depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ... Angra Mainyu or Ahriman was the evil spirit in the dualistic strain of Zoroastrianism. ...



There are many demons or daeva (Farsi div) in the Persian mythology. The root is the Indo-European word deiva meaning "celestial, bright". As among the Aryan Indians, the pre-Zoroastrian Iranians considered the demons as holy and sacred beings; but Zarathustra rejected Daeva and called him evil. Even then the Persians living south of the Caspian Sea continued to worship the demon and resisted pressure to accept Zoroastrianism. The legend of White Demon (Div-e Sepid) of Mazandaran lingers on to this day. The Zoroastrian god of Evil, Ahriman or the Avestan Angra Mainyu (i.e. Evil Thought) has lost its original identity and is sometimes pictured as a Div. Post-Islamic religious paintings show the div as a giant of a man with spotted body and two horns. Jump to: navigation, search In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon or demoness is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit but outside Christian circles was viewed as a sort of elemental spirit: compare Daemon and djinn. ... The Daeva are a fictional clan of vampires in the role-playing game Vampire: The Requiem, published by White Wolf Game Studio . ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... Deva, a Hindu deity Deva is also a term for heavenly beings in traditional Buddhist cosmology. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aryan is an English word derived from the Indo-Aryan Vedic Sanskrit and Iranian Avestan terms ari-, arya-, ārya-, and/or the extended form aryāna-. The Old Persian (Iranian) ariya- is a cognate as well. ... Mazandaran (مازندران in Persian) is a province in northern Iran, bordering the Caspian Sea in the north. ... Angra Mainyu or Ahriman was the evil spirit in the dualistic strain of Zoroastrianism. ... See Avesta Municipality for the Swedish town Yasna 28. ...

Good and Evil

The most famous legendary character in the Persian epics and mythology is rostam. On the other side of the fence is Zahhak, a symbol of despotism who was finally defeated by Kaveh the Blacksmith who led a popular uprising against him. Zahhak was guarded by two vipers which grew out of his shoulders. No matter how many times they were beheaded, new heads grew on them to guard him. The snake like in many other Oriental mythologies was a symbol of evil. But many other animals and birds appear in Iranian mythology and especially the birds were signs of good omen. Most famous of these is Simorgh, a large beautiful and powerful bird, Homa, a royal bird of victory whose plume adorned the crowns and Samandar, the phoenix. Rostam (رستم Rostæm in Persian) is a mythical warrior of ancient Persia, son of Zal and Rudaba. ... Jump to: navigation, search Zahak, Zahhak, Zahak-e Tāzi or (Arab Zahak) also knwon as Bivar-Asp, which means [he who has] 10,000 horses in the Pahlavi (middle Persian) language, and Avestan Āži-Dahāk) is a mythical figure of ancient Persia (Iran). ... Statue of Kaveh in Isfahan Kaveh the Blacksmith (کاوه آهنگر in Persian) is a mythical figure of ancient Persia who leads a popular uprising of Persians (Iranians) against a ruthless Arab ruler, Zahak. ... In Iranian Mythology, Sênmurw Middle-Persian (Pahlavi), Sîna-Mrû (Pâzand), is a fabulous, mythical bird. ... An Iranair Boeing 747-100 lands over the houses at London (Heathrow) Airport IRAN AIR is the national and international airline of Iran. ... Samandar (also Semender) was a city in Khazaria on the western edge of the Caspian Sea, south of Atil and north of the Caucasus. ...

Pari (Avesta: Pairika), considered a beautiful though evil woman in early mythology, gradually became less evil and more beautiful until the Islamic period she became a symbol of beauty similar to the huris of Paradise. However another evil woman, Patiareh, now symbolizes whores and prostitutes. Doctor Who character, see Peri Brown. ... Look up Paradise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The word paradise is derived from the Avestan word of pairidaeza (a walled enclosure), which is a compound of pairi- (around), a cognate of the Greek peri-, and -diz (to create, make). ...

Key Texts

See Avesta Municipality for the Swedish town Yasna 28. ... The Denkard is the largest encyclopedia of Zoroastrianism written in 9th century. ... Shahnameh Shahnameh The Shahnama شاهنامه (The Book of Kings or The Epic of Kings) also written Shahnameh, written by Ferdowsi around 1000 AD, is the national epic of Iran (Persia) and one of the definite classics of world literature. ...

Related subjects

The ancient Indo-Iranians were the founders of Persia and of Indian Vedic culture. ... The term Hindu mythology refers collectively to a large body of Indian literature (essentially, the mythology of Hinduism) that detail the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... The Persian Gods, Goddesses and demons: Aesma Daeva , One of the Daevas, Aesma Daeva (madness) is the demon of lust and anger, wrath and revenge. ... Jump to: navigation, search Faravahar (or Ferohar), the depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ... The Cup of Jamshid, (or the Cup of Djemscheed or Jaam-e Jam, in Persian: جام جم) is a cup of divination, which according to legend was long possessed by rulers of ancient Persia. ... At the end of war between Iran and Turan, Turan has advanced to near Damâvand (Damavand) mountain area. ... Fulad-zereh (Persian: فولادزره) meaning [possessing] steel armor, is the name of a huge horned demon in the Persian story of Amir Arsalan. ...


  • Iran almanac and book of facts 1964-1965. Fourth edition, new print. Published by Echo of Iran, Tehran 1965.

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