This volume traces the history of Zoroastrianism at times and places where its existence has previously been largely ignored, or treated only episodically. Literary, archaeological and numismatic evidence has been drawn on (some of it only recently brought to light), and local developments are distinguished.
In Iran itself some 200 years of Macedonian rule had little effect on the national religion. To the east, Zoroastrianism survived in the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms and under Mauryan suzereinty, where it came into contact with Buddhism. In Eastern Mediterranean lands it was maintained by Iranian expatriates well down into Roman imperial times. They adopted Greek for their written tongue, and Zoroastrian doctrines thus became known in the Greco-Roman world.
Study is made accordingly of Zoroastrian contributions to Hellenistic thought, and to Judaism, Christianity and Mithraism; and an excursus provides a thorough reassessment of the Zoroastrian pseudepigrapha.
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'...a monumental documentation, important for students of the Hellenistic East far beyond the boundaries of religious history...will be an indispensable standby...'
A.D.H. Bivar, Journal Roman St., 1992.
'...wird sicherlich noch lange ein Standardwerk fur die iranische Religionsgeschichte wie auch fur den orientalischen Hellenismus bleiben.'
H.-J. Klimkeit, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, 1993.
'A daunting range of data of very heterogenous provenance is lucidly presented, and analysed on the basis of coherent and recognizable criteria...undoubtedly a masterpiece.'
Philip G. Kreyenbroek, BSOAS, 1994.
'...we now have a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of existing evidence for Zoroastrian, and general Iranian, customs and practices...henceforth it will be the standardwork on the subject.'
Richard N. Frye, Journal of N.W. Sem. Langs, 1993.
'This volume is an excellently researched, detailed account...The discussion opens up a wealth of ideas...indispensable for scholars with relevant interests.'
Roxanne Hakim, Theological Book Review, 1992.
'...historians of religions, scholars in the field of iranian studies, Central Asia and Classical antiquity are deeply indebted to the authors for this book.'
Manfred Hutter, Numen, 1994.
'The author has written extensively on the modern practice of faith...to wish the author health of body and long life...'
James Russell, JAAR/JBL, 1993.
'Eine Bibliographie und ein Index schliessen ein Werk ab, dem man nur hoechste Anerkennung zollen kann und das sicherlich fur die nachsten Jahrzehnte das Standardwerk sein wird.'
K. Schippmann, Bibliotheca Orientalis, 1994.
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