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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism

The phenomenon of death, or nonlife as it is called in the Zoroastrian holy scripture the Gathas, is a concept accompanying the advent of creation. At the dawn of creation, twin primal spirits manifested themselves. They were spontaneously active and through encounter with each other established life and nonlife. So it shall be until the end of the world. These two primal spirits, Good ( Vahyo ) and Bad ( Akem ), are opposed in thought, word, and deed. No coexistence between them is possible. This constitutes the concepts of cosmic/moral dualism in Zoroastrianism. In his spiritual vision, Zarathushtra also conceived of two kinds of existence and consequently two worlds ( Ahva ): the spiritual ( Manhaya ) and corporeal ( Astavat ).

In the seventh century, after the Arab invasion of Iran and in order to avoid persecution, a significant number of Zoroastrians migrated to India where they became known as "Parsees." Although Iran and India continue to be the main strongholds of Zoroastrians, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many migrated and are scattered throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. These Zoroastrians continue to preserve and practice their religion; however, expediency has compelled them to adapt certain practices and rituals, particularly those related to death and disposal of the corpse, to the requirement of their adopted country of residence.

Zoroastrianism is based on seven main precepts: (1) theological monotheism; (2) moral/ cosmic dualism; (3) prevalence of the eternal law of truth; (4) existence of the bounteous good spirit; (5) operation of the law of consequences; (6) immortality of the soul or afterlife; and (7) final triumph of good over evil.

Zarathushtra designates the universal supreme creator, who is transcendent, immanent, and a-personal, Ahura Mazda (literally, "the lord of life and wisdom"). Ahura Mazda is defined by six cardinal attributes: (1) sublime wisdom ( Vahishta Manah ); (2) truth, justice, and righteousness ( Asha Vahishta ); (3) boundless constructive power ( Khshatra Vairya ); (4) universal love, tranquility, and peace ( Spenta Armaity ); (5) wholeness and perfection ( Haurvatat ); and (6) immortality ( Ameretat ). Ahura Mazda is described in the Gathas as the giver ( Datar ) and the shaper ( Tasha ). Thus He (although in the Gathas the pronoun referring to Ahura Mazda is gender neutral) has not created the world, ex nihilio, but from His own existence. The Bounteous Good Spirit ( Spenta Mainyu ) that is in Ahura Mazda unfolds His immanence in its fullness, in His creation. Thus there is a unity of existence in Zoroastriansim. The teachings of Ahura Mazda, revealed to Zarathushtra, appear in the Gathas as holy hymns or mantra ( Manthra ), meaning thought-provoking words.

Immortality of the Soul

The Gathas describes the main constituents of a human being as body ( Tanu ) and soul ( Urvan ), which live for only a limited time in the world. At the time of death, the body transforms (or perishes) and the soul goes on to live its second existence. Death has always been an enigma. From extant unearthed records, the Egyptians were perhaps the first civilized people to conjecture that after death, human beings existed somewhere and somehow. However, there is consensus that Zarathushtra was the first to introduce the idea of an afterlife that was based on morality, with rewards for the good and suffering for the evil. In the biblical period the Jews believed that the dead would continue to exist in a shadowy form in sheol, the abyss of the earth. After their liberation from captivity by Cyrus the Great in Babylon and their contact with Zoroastrians, the Jews gradually adopted the eschatological divine plan of salvation. This concept eventually appeared in Christianity and Islam.

Eastern religions differ drastically from Zoroastrianism in their notion of life after death. They generally believe in rebirth as a corollary of karma. So long as the karmic force (ignorance, desire, and attachment), which is the root cause of life, exists, the life process continues. Cessation of the life stream constitutes the ideal, at which point the purified self is nirvanized and immortalized. Immortalization means the merger into cosmic nirvana. In this sense, nonlife is eternal.

According to Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda first created the spiritual world. In His wisdom, He then created the corporeal world to manifest the spiritual world. Ahura Mazda created the universe in His Sublime Mind, shaped it in His Conscience ( Daena ), manifested it through His Benevolent Spirit, and set it into motion in accordance with the Eternal Law of Asha. He created human beings in his own spiritual image as His coworkers and friends and sparked them with God-like attributes to assist them in achieving self-realization, perfection, and immortality. He also granted them with faculties to discern between right and wrong in order to work for the progress of humanity and the advancement of the world. These faculties are the mind ( Manah ) or the ability to reason and think logically, the conscience ( Daena ), and intuition ( Baoda ).

Ahura Mazda vouchsafed human beings with freedom of choice, His greatest and most significant gift. Hence individuals have the right to choose between Good and Bad. In his justice, Ahura Mazda forewarned individuals of the happiness or the suffering that results from their choices, all in accordance with the Law of Asha. Although human beings are endowed with the potential for goodness, in the end the decision between right and wrong and good and evil is the individual's alone. As a result of this right of freedom, the material world did not remain harmonious like the spiritual world.

When life manifested itself, by definition, so did its twin nonlife or death. Similarly, with light came darkness; with truth, dishonesty; with wisdom came ignorance; and so on. The good creations (i.e., truth, wisdom, health, and peace) are manifestations of the Benevolent Spirit of Ahura Mazda ( Spenta Mainyu ) while their twins are the display of opposition to the Benevolent Spirit. The opposing twins are collectively designated "Evil or Destructive Spirit" ( Angra Mainyu, or later as Ahriman ).

In Zarathusthra's vision, life and nonlife, truth and lies, light and darkness, all exist and are real, as with two kinds of time: boundless time ( Zrvan Akarana ) and limited time ( Zrvan Daregho Khvadhata ). In Zarathushtra's view, time and space condition existence in the world within the ambit of the Eternal Law of Asha. The outcome of the ethical struggle between Good and Bad is positive, evolutionary, and optimistic. The Zoroastrian doctrine envisages perpetuation of creation and creativity (the result of dynamism of the Benevolent Spirit) and progressive change (the result of dynamism of the Eternal Law of Asha).

Theodicy: The Origin of Evil

Theodicy, the explanation of the origin of evil without undermining the goodness and omnipotence of God, presents unsolvable problems in many religions. Doctrinal adversaries of the concept of theodicy, however, admit that the Zoroastrian doctrine offers the most rational explanation for the concept of evil. The appearance of evil is an inevitable phenomenon in the process in which the Benevolent Spirit of Goodness manifests itself. Nevertheless, the topic has aroused many debates, and consequently two opposing schools have emerged. One school, believing in moral dualism, considers evil as the creation of individuals who opt to oppose the Benevolent Spirit. In other words, evil is the negation of good and does not exist as an independent eternal force.

The other school, believing in cosmic dualism, maintains that both the Benevolent and the Evil Spirits are primordial. Accordingly, the evil acts of individuals are driven by an evil force and the conflict and clash continues up to the time when Good finally prevails. A subschool, a corollary of moral dualism, maintains that although Evil is no more than the negation of Good, it assumes an independent existence when it manifests itself alongside the Good and starts functioning independently ( Farhang Mehr ). Both cosmic and moral dualists hold that Good ultimately prevails over Evil and that at that time, the world is renovated or " refreshed" and characterized by peace and harmony. The two schools also agree that regardless of the origin of evil individuals ultimately decide whether to commit evil and as such will have to requite.

The Principle of Consequences and Divine Judgment

The Gathas does not speak of death, but rather of life ( Gaya ) and nonlife ( Aiyaiti ). The body, which is made of matter, may be alive or dead; the soul, however, never dies, experiencing one form of life in this corporeal world and another in the spiritual world. Zoroastrians believe in the survival of the soul after bodily death. The nature of the individual's other life is determined by the Law of Consequences, a corollary of the Law of Asha. The Law of Consequences is generally known as the principle of reward and punishment, whereby righteous acts in the world are rewarded with sustained happiness and evil acts, with misery.

In Zoroastrianism, the Eternal Law of Asha determines the consequences of an individual's acts and the fate of the soul after the individual's physical death. Asha is God's will. The individual's thoughts, words, and deeds in this world, through the exercise of one's free choice, set the consequences ( Mizhdem ) into motion and condition one's life and future according to the Law of Asha. Hence there is no predestined fate; the acts have predestined consequences.

Human beings seek happiness ( Ushta ) in life. Happiness originates in the Law of Asha, which prescribes a life of joy for the pious and eternal woe for the wicked. The Gathas warns individuals not to be deceived by ostensible or temporary victories that are illusory, nor to be disheartened by temporary defeats brought about by blows or condemnations from evil ears. In the end, the evil doers will pay for their arrogance and unjust acts.

The Nature of Consequences

The Gathas does not specify particulars on the nature of consequences nor does it mention specific rewards or punishment. Life in the hereafter is the continuation of life in the world. In this world, the righteous people ( Ashavan ) create the realm of righteousness ( Ashahya Gaeta ) that continues in the next existence. The concepts are indescribable in detailed terms, rather the terms refer to the best existence, defined as everlasting joy, tranquility, and peace as against the worst existence, defined as everlasting woe and anxiety.

According to the Gathas, the souls of the righteous people go in a state of perfect happiness, referred to as the Abode of the Song ( Garo Demana ), also called the Abode of the Good Mind ( Vangheush Demana Manangho ) or the Abode of Endless Light ( Anghra Raosha ). The souls of the evildoers go to the Abode of Wickedness ( Druji Demana ), also referred to as the Abode of the Worst Mind ( Aschishtahya Daena Manengho ) and Worst Existence ( Achishta Ahu ). These terms confirm that in Zoroastrianism heaven and hell are states of consciousness and not concrete geographical regions.

The Crossing Bridge: Chinavat

The Gathas alludes to a dividing line, a crossing boundary or bridge ( Chinavat ) between the two existences or the two worlds. No particulars about the shape or the locality of the bridge are provided. The term may have been used metaphorically indicating the end of one state of existence and the commencement of another or it may be a reference to a point of time when the final judgment is effected. According to the Gathas, the judgment takes place at death and before the deceased's true self or conscience ( Daena ) attempts to cross the bridge. On that occasion, the prophet will be present. This does not, however, imply the likelihood of any mediation on his part because there is no possibility of mediation or redemption by anyone. The predestined Law of Asha will run its course. The prophet's presence is simply a matter of good leadership; the soul of the pious will have an easy crossing and will be ushered into the next existence by his or her happy conscience as well as the prophet. The soul of the wicked will be led by his or her conscience to the worst existence.

The Intermediary Place between Heaven and Hell

It is not the Gathas, but the Younger Avesta, composed centuries after the prophet, which addresses the concept of human beings having a record with an equal number of good and evil acts; the Younger Avesta refers to an intermediary place called Misvana Gatu, where the souls of such persons reside. The reason the Gathas does not incorporate this concept is logically coherent. In Zoroastrianism each act has its own reward: potential happiness or suffering. The good and bad deeds are not added in the end of one's life to determine the level of reward or punishment. Recompense or retribution is not based on the excess of good deeds over bad deeds or the reverse. The concept of an intermediary place cannot be rationalized with the gathic doctrine.

Practices and Rituals Related to Death and the Dispoal of the Dead

The method of the disposal of the dead is a controversial subject among Zoroastrians in the twentyfirst century. The methods used are the system of the Dakhma ("Tower of Silence" as it is called by Westerners), the burial system, and, less frequently, cremation.

Dakhma is a stone-surfaced tower, built on an elevated earth outside town, on which the corpse is exposed to be devoured by vultures. The heavy bones left behind are either buried or placed in a drain beneath the surface of the Dakhma where they are destroyed with chemicals. No Dakhma dating before the Arab conquest of Iran has been unearthed. Historians suggest that this practice started later in the Arab period to avoid desecration of the dead by the Muslims and that the low walls of the Dakhma increased during the period of the Turk and Mongol invasions. If the practice of using the Dakhma existed at all in the pre-Islamic period, as it is insisted by the Parsees in India, it must have been in order to preserve the environment, a concept Zoroastrians diligently observed; the Dakhma was used to prevent the pollution of soil and water and to avoid making land unusable for agriculture.

In 1937 the Zoroastrians in Iran started using the burial system along with the old system of Dakhma, but currently they use the latter almost to the exclusion of Dakhma. In contrast, the Zoraostrians of India still rely solely on the Dakhma. In the West, with some exceptions, the burial system and cremation are used.

Tradition requires the performance of certain rituals for the departure of the soul. According to traditional belief (not specified in the Gathas ), the soul of a dead person lingers on earth for three days and nights following the death and stays near the place where the head of the dead was resting immediately before death, recounting all the acts the person had done in his or her life. The righteous soul chants the sacred hymns, experiencing great joy while the wicked soul recalls the evil acts, experiencing great sorrow. At the dawn of the fourth day, the soul starts its journey to the next existence or world. At the Chinavat bridge, it is met with his or her conscience ( Daena ) that accompanies the soul to its final destination.

Certain prayers and rites are performed during the three days and at the morning of the fourth day. Remembrance ceremonies are performed on the tenth day following the death, thereafter on each thirtieth day of the month for one year and finally annually for thirty years. Jews also believed that the soul fluttered in the neighborhood of his or her house for three days.

Renovation of the World: Frasho-Kereti

The Gathas refers to the end of time. The Haptanhaiti, the immediate sequel to the Gathas, composed by Zarathushtra's immediate disciples, speaks of boundless time ( Zrvan Akarana ) and limited time ( Zrvan Daregho Khvadhata ). Thus the reference to the "end of time" in the Gathas should be a reference to the latterthe end of the limited span of time one lives in this world and the transition into the other existence. That constitutes a turning point in life. For the righteous individuals this is the Great Turning Point that marks the attainment of their goal. Throughout their lives the righteous use their constructive power to advance the world, serve others, and work for the cause of peace. In doing so they seek to attain perfection ( Haurvatat ) and embrace eternity ( Ameratat ). At the Great Turning Point the righteous are ushered into the eternal spiritual existence. The righteous, through both individual and collective efforts, look to that event, which is the result of a long process of gradual progress toward perfection and immortalization. That event is called Refreshment of the World ( Frasho-Kereti) and according to the Law of Asha this goal will be reached. That event will represent the final triumph of Good ( Spenta Mainyu ) over Evil ( Angra Mainyu ) and, as such, display the omnipotence of Ahura Mazda.

The Refreshment of the World is related to the concept of the Savior ( Saoshyant ). In the Gathas, the word Saoshyant is used in the generic sense, meaning "a group of saintly workers." They do not appear at set intervals but exist and operate at all times, in different capacities and with different effectiveness. Saoshyants are not of the same rank in righteousness or the role that they play in the perfection of the world. The Gathic Refreshment process is a gradual process resulting from the contributions of the righteous and the operation of the Law of Asha. Refreshment of the World is the apex of perfection of the existing world in its evolutionary process. The Younger Avesta has, however, changed the concept of Saoshyant, and thus Refreshment of the World, referring to three distinct saviors, who at given periods, arise and with big strides lead the world toward Refreshment. The last one is Soshyos, the Saoshyant proper, who gives the final touch to an almost-perfected world, heralding the final triumph of Good over Evil.

See also: African Religions; Afterlife in Cross-Cultural Perspective; Chinese Beliefs

Bibliography

Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.

Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938.

Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques. The Western Response to Zoroaster. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1956.

Henning, W. B. Zoroaster. New York: Oxford University Press, 1951.

Irani, D. J. The Gathas: The Hymns of Zarathushtra. Boston: The Center for Ancient Iranian Studies, 1998.

Jackson, William. Zoroaster: The Prophet of Ancient Iran 1899. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1965.

Mehr, Farhang. The Zoroastrian Tradition: An Introduction to the Ancient Wisdom of Zarathushtra. Rockport, MA: Element Inc., 1991.

Pavry, Jal C. The Zoroastrian Doctrine of Future Life from Death to the Individual Judgment. New York: Columbia University Press, 1929.

Taraporewalla, Irach J. C. The Divine Songs of Zarahushtra. Bombay: Hukhta Foundation, 1993.

Zaehner, R. C. The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism. London: Winfield & Nicolson, 1961.

FARHANG MEHR

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Zoroastrianism

ZOROASTRIANISM

ZOROASTRIANISM. The prophet Zarathushtra (known to the Greeks as Zoroaster) founded Zoroastrianism, one of the world's oldest living religions, in northeastern Iran, probably between 1800 to 1000 b.c.e. Zoroastrianism became the state religion of the first Persian Empire in the sixth century b.c.e. after which its influence waxed and waned until finally it was supplanted by Islam in the seventh century C.E. In the tenth century b.c.e. a small group of Zoroastrians migrated to the Gujurat region of northwest India where they became known as Parsis (Persians). Today, the number of adherents is estimated at 274,000 worldwide with the largest community centered around Bombay and a smaller number in the Iranian homeland. Zoroastrians follow the creed of "good thoughts, good words, good deeds" and uphold virtues of honesty, charity and hospitality.

Role of Food in Zoroastrian Tradition

Dietary laws and food proscriptions are not part of original Zoroastrian teachings. Nevertheless certain ritual and symbolic uses of food have evolved over time, based on later Zoroastrian writings and as a consequence of interaction with other cultures and religions. For example, Zoroaster abolished the tribal custom of animal sacrifice, though it quickly reemerged and became incorporated in Zoroastrian rituals. Today it survives only amongst Iranian Zoroastrians during the festival of Mehregan, when meat and bread are distributed. Generally all foods are permitted and are consumed according to personal preference and local custom. For example, Zoroastrians often forgo pork and beef in deference to their Hindu and Moslem neighbors, or are vegetarian by choice. Certain foods may still be avoided because they belong to the evil counter creation. These include birds of prey and "hideous fish." Carrion is regarded as impure as is any food coming into contact with it.

The concept of purity versus impurity is central to Zoroastrianism. Cleanliness is highly regarded and purification rites are a part of most ceremonies. Formerly there were elaborate codes to preserve food from impurities such as skin, nail clippings, sweat, blood, and excreta. It was forbidden to eat or drink from a common cup, and priests would not accept food from non-Zoroastrians. Although cleanliness and purity remain as important values, ritual practices have declined amongst ordinary Zoroastrians. Constraints of contemporary urban life, and differing interpretations by orthodox and reform groups within the faith also contribute to variations in actual practice. It is also notable that fastinga common religious disciplineplays no part in the faith. Asceticism and renunciation, of which fasting is an integral part, are forbidden.

Symbolism and Sacred Foods

Rituals are important in Zoroastrianism. They establish a connection between the material and spiritual universes. Food plays a part in rituals, as a thanksgiving to God and as a symbol of fellowship created through sharing of material bounty. There are certain foods that are symbolic of the various creations of Ahura Mazda and are therefore regarded as being superior and thus suitable for use in religious rituals and ceremonies. These include bread (dron ), milk, water, ghee, rice, dates, and pomegranates. Dron is an unleavened bread made from wheat flour and ghee. It may be prepared only by a member of a priestly family. During the preparation of the bread the words humata, hukhta, hvarshta (good thoughts, good words, good deeds) are intoned three times, accompanied by placing a mark on the bread, for a total of nine marks. This bread of life is a source of spiritual strength. Haoma (hom ) juice extracted from the haoma plant is used in a number of rituals. It contains a mild narcotic.

The pomegranate, being an evergreen, is a symbol of everlasting life and of the fecundity of nature. It is also a symbol of prosperity and plenty because of its numerous seeds. Pomegranate leaves are chewed during purification rituals at initiation ceremonies, marriages, after childbirth and by those who have come into contact with corpses. (There has been a modern decline in the latter practice). Rice, as in the Hindu tradition, represents happiness and prosperity.

Ceremonies and Ritual

Yasna is the most important of the Zoroastrian ceremonies. It is celebrated daily, but only in Iranian and Indian fire temples and only by qualified priests. Yasna is an "inner" ceremony, which only Zoroastrians may attend and is often specially commissioned by community members. Ritual materials used include haoma with pomegranate twigs, goat's milk, dron with ghee, water, and a presanctified mixture known as parahom. The water signifies health and wellbeing, while the milk represents the presence of Vohu Manah, the protector of the animal kingdom. The haoma twigs and pomegranate leaves are pounded with consecrated water and milk is

Zoroastrian festivals
Name Season Description Creation link Dates
Maidh-yo-zarem mid-spring Fresh vegetables in plenty Sky April 30May 4
Maidh-yo-shema mid-summer Time for harvesting corn Water June 29July 3
Paiti-Shahem early autumn Harvesting of fruit Earth September 1216
Aya-threm mid-autumn Sowing of winter crops Plants October 1317
Maidh-ya-rem mid-winter Period of perfect rest Cattle January 15
Hamas-path-maedern pre-spring Equality of heat and cold Man March 1620
Nou Rouz spring Renewal of life Fire March 21
The Zoroastrian year is based on a solar calendar and starts at the exact time of the vernal equinox.
source: Adapted from the website of the Ancient Iranian Cultural and Religious Research and Development Centre (www.ancientiran.com).

added to the mixture, some of which is then poured out into a well from whence it will flow out to strengthen the whole of creation. The remainder of the mixture is offered first to those present who endowed the ceremony and then to other observers.

One of the main Zoroastrian "outer" ceremonies, Afrinagan, may be performed in any suitable clean place and can be witnessed by Zoroastrians and non-Zoroastrians alike. Its purpose is to praise the bounty of Ahura Mazda and to request His blessings on members of the community. Ritual objects include a tray of food, usually fruit, wine, eggs, milk and water, which serves as a visible sign of Ahura Mazda's generosity and care for the wellbeing of his people. The main feature of the ritual is a threefold exchange of flowers between the officiating priests.

After giving birth, a woman should be confined with her baby for a period of forty days in order to allow the impurities she has contacted to dissipate. For modern urban Zoroastrian women this requirement not to leave the house for nearly six weeks is extremely difficult to fulfill. As a compromise the woman eats separately from the rest of the family. After forty days she takes a ritual bath that allows her to rejoin the wider community. The new baby may be given a drop of consecrated hom from a Yasna ceremony as a "strengthening drink." If this is not possible a drink may be made from hom twigs, pomegranate leaves and water.

Children are initiated into the Zoroastrian faith at age seven to eleven years (Parsi) or twelve to fifteen years (Iranian), at which time they become responsible for fully observing Zoroastrian practices. At the initiation ceremony (Naojote) the child receives a sacred white shirt (sudra ) and a sacred cord (kushti ). A ceremonial tray prepared for the ceremony contains a mix of rice, pomegranate, raisins, almonds, and slices of coconut. The officiating priest who blesses the child pours these over the head of the child. A banquet for family and friends follows the initiation ceremony.

Marriage ceremonies take place at the house of the bride or in public places where large crowds can congregate. Prior to the actual marriage ceremony the bridegroom, with family friends and priests, arrives at the bride's house. While the others enter the house the groom remains on the threshold where he is greeted with traditional symbols of welcome. An egg, a coconut, and a dish of water are successively passed around his head, then dashed to the floor. The groom may then enter the house and the marriage ceremony commences. During the ceremony the priest sprinkles rice on the bride and groom who also sprinkle each other with rice. A feast for family and friends follows the marriage ceremony.

After a death, consecrated food, such as dron or eggs is offered to sustain the soul of the newly departed. The family of the deceased may not eat meat for three days, a practice that may be linked to fear over impurities or to the idea that flesh food is more suitable for celebratory occasions. On the anniversary of a death the souls of the departed are offered cooked foods, milk, water, and fresh fruit. This food is subsequently given to charity. These observances, like others, may be in decline.

Holidays and Festivals

Zoroaster established a series of holy days and also assimilated existing traditional festivals and celebrations. There are six seasonal festivals known as Gahambars, which celebrate the six creations of Sky, Water, Earth, Plants, Cattle, and Man. Traditionally each lasted for five days, though now much curtailed, and included feasting, prayer and rejoicing. The most important festival is that of Nou Rouzthe New Year. Held at the spring equinox it celebrates the rejuvenation of nature and the beginning of new life, and is linked to firethe seventh and most sacred creation of Ahura Mazda. It is marked by family and community gatherings, religious services, feasting, and gift giving. The ten days prior to Nou Ruz are for commemoration of the departed. A variety of grains and lentils are soaked so that they will germinate in time for the holiday. These green sprouts are added to a thanksgiving table that also holds a variety of other symbolic objects and foods such as bread, fruit, fresh vegetables, sugar cones, and decorated eggs.

Each day in the Zoroastrian calendar is dedicated to a particular divine being or important event, twelve of which also has its own month. Name-day feasts are held when month name and day name coincide. Adar, the ninth day of the ninth month, is celebrated as the birthday of fire and is a time to give thanks for warmth and light. Traditionally food is not cooked in the home, to give the fire a rest. Other festivals include the birth and death anniversary of the prophet and the feast of all souls (Muktad) for remembrance of departed family members.

See also Death and Burial ; Feasts, Festivals, and Fasts ; India: Northern India ; Iran ; Middle East ; Religion and Food .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979.

Clark, Peter. Zoroastrianism. An Introduction to an Ancient Faith. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1998.

Dhalla, Homi B. "Social Dimensions of the Zoroastrian Jashan Ceremony." Dialogue and Alliance 4, no. 11 (1990): 2736.

Nigosian, Solomon A. The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1993.

Paul Fieldhouse

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Zoroastrianism

ZOROASTRIANISM

Pre-Islamic religion founded by the Iranian prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster).

Founded as early as 1400 to 1200 b.c.e., Zoroastrianism spread from central Asia to Iran around the ninth century b.c.e., where it was propagated by priests called the magi, or mobeds. Zoroastrianism remained the major faith in Iran until the Sassanian state fell to the Arabs in 651 c.e. Thereafter, the religion lost many followers through conversion to Islam between the eighth and the thirteenth centuries. Zoroastrianism reached India in the tenth century, when some Zoroastrians migrated from Iran to avoid adopting Islam. Descendants of these immigrants are called the Parsis (Parsees). Those who remained behind sought refuge from Islam by moving to sparsely populated regions in central Iran. By the thirteenth century, extensive contact between Parsis and Persian Zoroastrians had recommenced. In 1854, when the Parsis sent an emissary to the Qajar court, the poll tax levied on Iranian Zoroastrians by the Muslim state was abolished. The community in India flourished, and in the mid-1990s it numbered around 72,000.

Zoroastrians in Iran encountered less success, though there was a respite from financial hardship and pressure to practice Islam during the Pahlavi dynasty (19251979). Since the Iranian Revolution, despite being recognized as an official minority of about 30,000, Zoroastrians are offered little protection from their Muslim neighbors, and many have fled Iran. International dispersion during the twentieth century has produced Zoroastrian communities in Pakistan (3,700), England (7,000), Australia (1,000), the United States and Canada (10,000), and other countries. By the early 1990s, low birthrates together with widespread nonacceptance of converts contributed to an overall decline in the number of Zoroastrians.

The faith's central canon is the Avesta (Pure instruction), a scripture that includes the Gathas (Songs), which were probably composed by Zarathushtra himself. Prayers recited by the laity in daily religious observances are compiled in a text known as the Khorde Avesta (Shorter Avesta). Next in importance are religious exegeses written in Pahlavi, a Middle Iranian language; among these are the Zand, a commentary on the Avesta, and the Bundahishn (Book of creation). There are more recent Zoroastrian texts in the New Persian, Gujarati, and English languages that transmit tenets of the faith and the meanings of rituals to believers who no longer understand the Avestan and Pahlavi languages.

The religion proposes an ethical dualismwhich later became a cosmic dualismbetween righteousness and falsehood, personified by a pair of primal spirits: Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd), the Lord Wisdom, and Angra Mainyu (Ahreman), the Destructive Spirit. Ahura Mazda, the supreme deity, is believed to have created the spiritual and material worlds completely pure. Evil, disease, pollution, and death are attributed to Angra Mainyu, the devil. According to Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda created six amesha spentas, or beneficent spiritual beings, and other minor good spirits to assist him in protecting the material creations. Angra Mainyu produced numerous daevas, or demons, to defile the spiritual and material worlds. Zoroastrian texts claim that human beings were created by Ahura Mazda as allies in the struggle against Angra Mainyu, and that humans entered into a covenant with their creator to combat the forces of evil through daily good deeds.

Between the ages of seven and twelve, each Zoroastrian child undergoes initiation into the religion. %
The ritual, which symbolizes a spiritual rebirth, is termed sedra pushun in Iran and navjote in India. Every initiate dons a white undershirt called the sedra, or sudra, and ties a sacred girdle known as the kashti, or kusti, around the waist. The girdle, which most Zoroastrians continue to wear, should be untied and retied with the recitation of prayers on awakening each morning, and prior to performing worship. Many rituals, such as the jashan, or thanksgiving ceremony, are conducted within buildings known as fire temples. Fire is one of the seven sacred creations; the others are water, earth, metal, plants, animals, and human beings. Moreover, fire is believed to destroy evil, and thus it became the religion's icon. Sacred fires burn constantly in altars at major temples at Sharifabad, near Yazd, in Iran and at Surat, Navsari, and Bombay in India. Smaller temples in Iran and India and elsewhere do not maintain constantly burning fires; rather, a fire is lit in an altar prior to acts of worship. Because impurity is thought to arise from evil, Zoroastrians undergo elaborate rituals to ensure their spiritual purity. In addition to rituals of worship and purification, other acts of devotion include seven feasts, such as that celebrating Nav Ruz, the new year.

Zoroastrian doctrine holds that earth, fire, and water are polluted if a corpse is buried, cremated, or placed in water. Consequently, corpses are washed, then placed in a dakhma (funerary tower), which is open to the sky and accessible to birds of prey. Thereafter, the bones are collected and disposed of. Exposure of corpses has been phased out in Iran since the 1940s, replaced with interment (burial), but many Parsis in India and Pakistan continue the tradition of exposing bodies in funerary towers, particularly at Bombay and Karachi. Most Zoroastrians elsewhere follow their Iranian coreligionists' adaptation. Certain Zoroastrian communities, particularly those in North America, now perform cremation. Zoroastrians believe that after death each individual's soul is judged by a triad of godsMithra, the keeper of covenants; Rashnu, the judge; and Sraosha, the messengerat the Bridge of the Separator, which connects earth to heaven over the pit of hell. If the soul's good deeds are greater than its evil deeds, it is led across the bridge into paradise. When its evil deeds outweigh the good, the soul is cast into hell until the day of universal judgment. In cases where a soul's good and evil deeds are equal, it is consigned to limbo. The faithful believe that at the end of time a savior (saoshyant) will resurrect the dead. Thereafter, Ahura Mazda will descend to earth and separate the righteous individuals from the evil ones. Each sinner will be purified of his or her transgressions and granted immortality. Then Angra Mainyu will be forced back into hell, and the world will become free of evil and impurity forever.


Bibliography

Boyce, Mary. A Persian Stronghold of Zoroastrianism. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1977. Reprint edition, Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994.

Choksy, Jamsheed K. Purity and Pollution in Zoroastrianism: Triumph over Evil. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989.

Writer, Rashna. Contemporary Zoroastrians: An Unstructured Nation. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994.

Zaehner, Robert C. The Teachings of the Magi: A Compendium of Zoroastrian Beliefs. New York: Macmillan; London: Allen and Unwin, 1956. Reprint, London: Sheldon, 1975.

jamsheed k. choksy
updated by eric hooglund

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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism (zô´rōăs´trēənĬzəm), religion founded by Zoroaster, but with many later accretions.

Scriptures

Zoroastrianism's scriptures are the Avesta or the Zend Avesta [Pahlavi avesta=law, zend=commentary]. The Avesta consists of fragmentary and much-corrupted texts; it is written in old Iranian, a language similar to Vedic Sanskrit. The major sections of the Avesta are four—the Yasna, a liturgical work that includes the Gathas ( "songs" ), probably the oldest part of the Avesta and perhaps in part written by Zoroaster himself; the Vispered, a supplement to the Yasna; the Yashts, hymns of praise, including the Khurda ( "little" ) Avesta; and the Videvdat, a detailed code of ritual purification, often erroneously called the Vendidad. Other sources of information on Zoroastrianism are Achaemenid inscriptions, the writings of Herodotus, Strabo, and Plutarch, and the commentaries on the Avesta written (6th cent. AD) in Pahlavi, a Persian dialect used as a priestly language, under the Sassanids.

Origins and Beliefs

In its origins Zoroastrianism appears to have been the religious expression of the peaceful, sedentary communities of N Iran as opposed to the animistic polytheism of their enemies, the nomadic horsemen. Zoroaster consistently contrasts these two peoples as the People of Righteousness (asha) and the People of the Lie (druj). The religion was concerned with increasing the harvest and with protecting and treating kindly the domestic animals whose labors accomplished the production of food.

Gradually certain practices that Zoroaster appears to have deplored, such as the use of haoma (a narcotic intoxicant) in prayer and the sacrifice of bulls in connection with the cult of the god Mithra (a lesser god in Zoroastrianism), became features of the religion. It is not surprising, however, that former customs should be thus revived, because Zoroaster appears to have incorporated in his religion the old Persian pantheon, although very much refined. Instead of tolerating the worship of all the deities, however, he divided them into those who were beneficent and truthful and those whose malevolence and falseness made them abhorrent.

Heading the good spirits was Ahura Mazdah (also Ormazd or Ormuzd) [sovereign knowledge], in primitive Zoroastrianism the only god. Six attendant deities, the Amesha Spentas, surround him. These abstract representations, formerly the personal aspects of Ahura Mazdah, are Vohu Manah [good thought], Asha Vahista [highest righteousness], Khshathra Vairya [divine kingdom], Spenta Armaiti [pious devotion], Haurvatat [salvation], and Ameretat [immortality]. In time the Amesha Spentas became archangelic in character and less abstract. Opposing the good ahuras were the evil spirits, the daevas or divs, led by Ahriman. The war between these two supernatural hosts is the subject matter of the fully developed cosmogony and eschatology of Zoroastrianism.

The entire history of the universe, past, present, and future, the religion teaches, is divided into four periods, each of 3,000 years. In the first period there was no matter; the second preceded the coming of Zoroaster; and in the third his faith is propagated. The struggle between good and evil rages during the first nine millennia, and humans help Ahura Mazdah or Ahriman according to whether their conduct is good or evil. Each person after death crosses the Chinvato Peretav [bridge of the separator], which spans hell. If he is reprobate, the bridge narrows and he tumbles to perdition, but if he is worthy of salvation he finds a wide road to the realm of light. In the fourth period of the universe a savior, Saoshyant, will appear, the dead will rise for their final reward or punishment, and good will reign eternally.

Zoroastrianism should be regarded as quasi-dualistic, rather than (as sometimes described) wholly dualistic, since it predicts the ultimate triumph of Ahura Mazdah. This god may be represented in the form of the pure natural substances that he has created, notably fire but also water and earth. The special veneration shown to fire and its use in religious ceremonies has led to the erroneous belief that the Zoroastrians were fire worshipers. The care taken to avoid contaminating these natural substances led to great elaboration of the purification ritual.

History

The religion's priests, successors to the pre-Zoroastrian Magi, acquired great power by their command of the techniques of purification. The priests also had great influence on the government in the first period of Zoroastrianism, that under the Achaemenids, when it was for a time the state religion. Alexander's conquest of Persia and the collapse of the Achaemenids destroyed the privileged position of Zoroastrianism. Little is known of the religion for the next 500 years, except that an offshoot, Mithraism (stemming from the worship of Mithra), was taking hold farther west. Zoroastrianism reemerged (c.AD 226) under Ardashir I, who established the Sassanid dynasty and fostered a general revival of Achaemenian culture. For four centuries Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the Sassanids, and it successfully met the challenge of nascent Christianity and, later, of heretical Manichaeism. In the mid-7th cent. Persia fell to Islam, and Zoroastrianism largely disappeared. The Parsis of India, centered on Mumbai, probably form the largest group of modern Zoroastrians, who are estimated to number between 124,000 and 190,000. Estimates of the number of persons (concentrated in Yazd, Tehran, and Kerman) who practice the religion in Iran today vary widely. Zoroastrianism affected Judaism (particularly during the time of the Captivity) and, through Gnosticism, Christianity.

Bibliography

See M. N. Dhalla, Zoroastrian Theology (1914, repr. 1972) and History of Zoroastrianism (1938, repr. 1963); R. C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (1961); M. Boyce, Zoroastrians (1986); M. Farhang, The Zoroastrian Tradition (1988). The Manual of Discipline in the Dead Sea Scrolls is believed to reflect Zoroastrian influence. See also bibliography under Zoroaster.

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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism. The religion of the followers of the prophet known in the West as Zoroaster (Zarathustra to his followers). However, by the 7th cent. BCE, his teaching had spread across the Iran plateau, and when Cyrus the Great established the Persian Empire in the 6th cent., Zoroastrianism became the official state religion and so held sway from N. India to Greece and Egypt.

In the 3rd cent. there was a revolt when the Sasanians from the SW of the country, Persia proper, overthrew the Parthian northerners. They legitimated their rebellion by presenting their rule as a reassertion of Zoroastrian power, publicity which has affected generations of W. scholars (e.g. R. C. Zaehner's Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, 1961). The Sasanian era was perhaps the time of the greatest courtly splendour in Iran. The monarchs threw their considerable power behind the official priesthood (magi), so Church and State were spoken of as ‘brothers, born of one womb and never to be divided’. Once the authority of the chief priests had been declared, deviance from their teaching became not only heresy, but treason. Whether that teaching was what historians consider ‘orthodox’ Zoroastrianism may be doubted. It seems rather to have been the ‘heresy’ of Zurvanism (Zurvan), which not only contravened traditional Zoroastrian teaching on free will, but also questioned the essential goodness of the material world. The Sasanian period is the only era in Zoroastrian history where there is clear evidence of the oppression of other religions. Whether this was royal fervour or Zurvanite teaching is not known, but there were attempts to convert or suppress Jews and Christians (Naujote).

The 1,200 years of Zoroastrian imperial history came to an end in the 7th cent. CE with the rise of Islam. The last Zoroastrian king, Yazdegird III, fled and was killed by one of his own people in 652. After the initial conquest, the imposition of Muslim rule on the lives of the people was a gradual affair. There was some ambivalence over the position of Zoroastrianism as a religion of the book (ahl al-kitāb), though in Islamic times the Avesta had emerged as the holy text of the religion. Ever-increasing Muslim oppression forced the diminishing number of Zoroastrians to retreat from the big cities near trade routes to the desert cities of Yazd and Kerman and their neighbouring villages. In the 10th cent., a band of Zoroastrians left the homeland to seek a new land of religious freedom, and settled in India where they are known as the Parsis, or the people from Pars (Persia).

In 20th cent. Iran, the Zoroastrians experienced a revival of their fortunes. Due largely to the efforts of a Parsi, Manekji Limji Hataria, the jizya had been removed in 1882, and grinding poverty was eased. He and others laboured hard to make educational and medical provisions for the oppressed Zoroastrians, so that, at the start of the 20th cent., they had improved in learning, health, and wealth as a number of merchants began to flourish. In 1906, a parliament, the Majles, was established and a Zoroastrian was elected. In 1909, all minorities were given one representative, including the Zoroastrian representative, Kay Khosrow Shahrokh. When the Majles deposed the last Qajar monarch and enthroned the prime minister as Reza Shah Pahlavi, the physical circumstances of Zoroastrians improved considerably. They were generally seen as the true, the ancient, Iranians, and were recognized as reliable, industrious, and able.

When the Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Khumayni assumed power in 1979, many Zoroastrians feared for their future. Those who remained in the homeland have not suffered the persecution they feared, but their rights in law are not equal to those of Muslims; their opportunities in education and the professions are restricted. Always there is the fear of an outbreak of fanaticism. The future of the world's oldest prophetic religion in its homeland seems delicately poised as the third millennium begins.

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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism Religion founded by Zoroaster in the 6th century bc. It was the state religion of Persia from the middle of the 3rd century ad until the mid-7th century. Viewing the world as divided between the spirits of good and evil, Zoroastrians worship Ahura Mazdah as the supreme deity, who is forever in conflict with Ahriman, the spirit of evil. They also consider fire sacred. The rise of Islam in the 7th century led to the decline and near disappearance of Zoroastrianism in Persia. Today, the Parsi comprise most of the adherents of Zoroastrianism, which has its main centre in Mumbai, India.

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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism a monotheistic pre-Islamic religion of ancient Persia founded by Zoroaster in the 6th century bc. According to the teachings of Zoroaster the supreme god, Ahura Mazda, created twin spirits, one of which chose truth and light, the other untruth and darkness. Later writings present a more dualistic cosmology in which the struggle is between Ahura Mazda (Ormazd) and the evil spirit Ahriman. The scriptures of Zoroastrianism are the Zend-Avesta. It survives today in isolated areas of Iran and in India, where followers are known as Parsees.

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Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism. Iranian religion derived from the teachings of Zoroaster (Zarathustra) (probably early-second millennium bc), which still has devotees (e.g. the Parsees of India). The most important architectural remains are fire temples: such buildings provided precedents for later Islamic mausolea and elements of mosque design.

Bibliography

Jane Turner (1996)

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Zoroastrian

Zoroastrian (XVIII), Zarathustrian (XIX) pert. to (adherent of) the religious system of Zoroaster, Zarathustra (Av. Zarathustra, Gr. Zōrástrēs), Persian founder of the religion in the 6th cent. B.C.; see -IAN.

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Zoroastrian

Zoroastrianantipodean, Crimean, Judaean, Korean •Albion •Gambian, Zambian •lesbian •Arabian, Bessarabian, Fabian, gabion, Sabian, Swabian •amphibian, Libyan, Namibian •Sorbian •Danubian, Nubian •Colombian • Serbian • Nietzschean •Chadian, Trinidadian •Andean, Kandyan •guardian •Acadian, Akkadian, Arcadian, Barbadian, Canadian, circadian, Grenadian, Hadean, Orcadian, Palladian, radian, steradian •Archimedean, comedian, epicedian, median, tragedian •ascidian, Derridean, Dravidian, enchiridion, Euclidean, Floridian, Gideon, Lydian, meridian, Numidian, obsidian, Pisidian, quotidian, viridian •Amerindian, Indian •accordion, Edwardian •Cambodian, collodion, custodian, melodeon, nickelodeon, Odeon •Freudian • Bermudian • Burundian •Burgundian •Falstaffian, Halafian •Christadelphian, Delphian, Philadelphian •nymphean • ruffian • Brobdingnagian •Carolingian • Swedenborgian •logion, Muskogean •Jungian •magian, Pelagian •collegian •callipygian, Cantabrigian, Phrygian, Stygian •Merovingian • philologian • Fujian •Czechoslovakian • Pickwickian •Algonquian • Chomskian •Kentuckian •battalion, galleon, medallion, rapscallion, scallion •Anglian, ganglion •Heraklion •Dalian, Malian, Somalian •Chellean, Machiavellian, Orwellian, Sabellian, Trevelyan, triskelion •Wesleyan •alien, Australian, bacchanalian, Castalian, Deucalion, episcopalian, Hegelian, madrigalian, mammalian, Pygmalion, Salian, saturnalian, sesquipedalian, tatterdemalion, Thessalian, Westphalian •anthelion, Aristotelian, Aurelian, carnelian, chameleon, Karelian, Mendelian, Mephistophelian, Pelion, Sahelian •Abbevillian, Azilian, Brazilian, caecilian, Castilian, Chilean, Churchillian, civilian, cotillion, crocodilian, epyllion, Gillian, Lilian, Maximilian, Pamphylian, pavilion, postilion, Quintilian, reptilian, Sicilian, Tamilian, vaudevillian, vermilion, Virgilian •Aeolian, Anatolian, Eolian, Jolyon, Mongolian, napoleon, simoleon •Acheulian, Boolean, cerulean, Friulian, Julian, Julien •bullion •mullion, scullion, Tertullian •Liverpudlian •Bahamian, Bamian, Damian, Mesopotamian, Samian •anthemion, Bohemian •Endymion, prosimian, Simeon, simian •isthmian • antinomian •Permian, vermian •Oceanian •Albanian, Azanian, Iranian, Jordanian, Lithuanian, Mauritanian, Mediterranean, Panamanian, Pennsylvanian, Pomeranian, Romanian, Ruritanian, Sassanian, subterranean, Tasmanian, Transylvanian, Tripolitanian, Turanian, Ukrainian, Vulcanian •Armenian, Athenian, Fenian, Magdalenian, Mycenaean (US Mycenean), Slovenian, Tyrrhenian •Argentinian, Arminian, Augustinian, Carthaginian, Darwinian, dominion, Guinean, Justinian, Ninian, Palestinian, Sardinian, Virginian •epilimnion, hypolimnion •Bosnian •Bornean, Californian, Capricornian •Aberdonian, Amazonian, Apollonian, Babylonian, Baconian, Bostonian, Caledonian, Catalonian, Chalcedonian, Ciceronian, Devonian, draconian, Estonian, Etonian, gorgonian, Ionian, Johnsonian, Laconian, Macedonian, Miltonian, Newtonian, Oregonian, Oxonian, Patagonian, Plutonian, Tennysonian, Tobagonian, Washingtonian •Cameroonian, communion, Mancunian, Neptunian, Réunion, union •Hibernian, Saturnian •Campion, champion, Grampian, rampion, tampion •thespian • Mississippian • Olympian •Crispian •Scorpian, scorpion •cornucopian, dystopian, Ethiopian, Salopian, subtopian, Utopian •Guadeloupian •Carian, carrion, clarion, Marian •Calabrian, Cantabrian •Cambrian • Bactrian •Lancastrian, Zoroastrian •Alexandrian • Maharashtrian •equestrian, pedestrian •agrarian, antiquarian, apiarian, Aquarian, Arian, Aryan, authoritarian, barbarian, Bavarian, Bulgarian, Caesarean (US Cesarean), centenarian, communitarian, contrarian, Darien, disciplinarian, egalitarian, equalitarian, establishmentarian, fruitarian, Gibraltarian, grammarian, Hanoverian, humanitarian, Hungarian, latitudinarian, libertarian, librarian, majoritarian, millenarian, necessarian, necessitarian, nonagenarian, octogenarian, ovarian, Parian, parliamentarian, planarian, predestinarian, prelapsarian, proletarian, quadragenarian, quinquagenarian, quodlibetarian, Rastafarian, riparian, rosarian, Rotarian, sabbatarian, Sagittarian, sanitarian, Sauveterrian, sectarian, seminarian, septuagenarian, sexagenarian, topiarian, totalitarian, Trinitarian, ubiquitarian, Unitarian, utilitarian, valetudinarian, vegetarian, veterinarian, vulgarian •Adrian, Hadrian •Assyrian, Illyrian, Syrian, Tyrian •morion • Austrian •Dorian, Ecuadorean, historian, Hyperborean, Nestorian, oratorian, praetorian (US pretorian), salutatorian, Salvadorean, Singaporean, stentorian, Taurean, valedictorian, Victorian •Ugrian • Zarathustrian •Cumbrian, Northumbrian, Umbrian •Algerian, Cancerian, Chaucerian, Cimmerian, criterion, Hesperian, Hitlerian, Hyperion, Iberian, Liberian, Nigerian, Presbyterian, Shakespearean, Siberian, Spenserian, Sumerian, valerian, Wagnerian, Zairean •Arthurian, Ben-Gurion, centurion, durian, holothurian, Khachaturian, Ligurian, Missourian, Silurian, tellurian •Circassian, Parnassian •halcyon • Capsian • Hessian •Albigensian, Waldensian •Dacian • Keatsian •Cilician, Galician, Lycian, Mysian, Odyssean •Leibnizian • Piscean • Ossian •Gaussian • Joycean • Andalusian •Mercian • Appalachian • Decian •Ordovician, Priscian •Lucian •himation, Montserratian •Atlantean, Dantean, Kantian •bastion, Erastian, Sebastian •Mozartian • Brechtian • Thyestean •Fortean • Faustian • protean •Djiboutian •fustian, Procrustean •Gilbertian, Goethean, nemertean •pantheon •Hogarthian, Parthian •Lethean, Promethean •Pythian • Corinthian • Scythian •Lothian, Midlothian •Latvian • Yugoslavian •avian, Batavian, Flavian, Moldavian, Moravian, Octavian, Scandinavian, Shavian •Bolivian, Maldivian, oblivion, Vivian •Chekhovian, Harrovian, Jovian, Pavlovian •alluvion, antediluvian, diluvian, Peruvian •Servian • Malawian • Zimbabwean •Abkhazian • Dickensian •Caucasian, Malaysian, Rabelaisian •Keynesian •Belizean, Cartesian, Indonesian, Milesian, Salesian, Silesian •Elysian, Frisian, Parisian, Tunisian •Holmesian •Carthusian, Malthusian, Venusian

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