Saturday, August 08, 2015

The religion of Sassanid

The Sassanid Dynasty that ruled Iran from AD 224 to 651 replaced the Parthian Empire.  The Sassanid saw themselves as successors of the Achaemenid after the Hellenistic and Parthian interlude and believed that it was their destiny to restore the greatness of Persian.

The religion of Sassanid, as it had been with Achaemenid and Parthians, was Zoroastrianism. By the time of Sassanids, this dualist religion, developed by Zarathustra or Zoroaster from Iranian sky and war gods, had found a balance in the worship of moral truth of the supreme deity, Ahura Mazda. The first Sassanid king Ardashir I, accomplished a revival of Zoroastrianism by publishing holy texts in 226 called the Zend Avesta, which outlined the tenets of the religion.

Sassanid religious policies contributed to the flourishing of numerous religious reform movements, the most important were Manichean and Mazdakian religious doctrines.

Under the Sassanids, the Zoroastrian, priesthood became more structured and organized across the empire.

By the sixth century, each province or region had a chief priest tasked with maintaining spiritual and ecclesiastical harmony while a Priest of Priests oversaw the whole of the Zoroastrian hierarchy, much like the Patriarchs and Popes of Christianity.

The Sasanians presented themselves as pious Zoroastrians, putting religious images on their coins and buildings.

The Sassanid emperors’ religious zeal fueled upheavals and ethno-religious disputes in the empire and caused genocide and deportation of many tribes and ethnic groups.

Alongside Zoroastrianism, other religious, primarily Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, also existed in Sassanid society.

In the fourth century AD, Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. The Sassanids battled fiercely in Byzantine, claiming Armenia in the process.
The religion of Sassanid

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