Zoroaster v. as Percived by the Greeks

Encyclopædia Iranica (2002)
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Abstract

The Greek constructions of Zoroaster relate to the historical Zoroaster and to the Zoroaster of the Zoroastrian faith in one respect only. The Greeks knew that Zoroaster was the “prophet,” in the sense of the human founder, of the national Persian religion of their times. That, of course, is a cardinal fact, but it is one fact only. For the rest, the Greek Zoroasters — for there were many — were fantasies of their own imaginations. Since the Greeks were a curious and inventive people, these multiple Zoroasters are interesting creations in their own right. Of more importance, they are elements in the “West’s” construction — or misconstruction — of a major “oriental” religion.

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