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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the religion of the Achaemenids and early Sasanians by examining parallels between passages in Zoroastrian religious texts, particularly the Avesta, and the Achaemenid and early Sasanian royal inscriptions. Zoroastrian deities and demons, as well as concepts of dualism and cosmic order, are treated. Principles of kingship, as outlined in the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, are compared with Zoroastrian precepts. Ethics, purity, and pollution are all discussed and the vexed question of the nature of Achaemenid religion is treated.

Keywords: Zoroastrianism, Avesta, Achaemenids, Sasanians, purity, pollution, religion

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