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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.

First, however, we should dispose of a third type of Zoroaster: Zoroaster the magician.

This Zoroaster is obviously generated out of the pejorative use of the term “magus” to mean “magician.” Thoughtful Greeks knew very well that the original magi were Persian priests; but their language, and subsequently Latin too, soon overwhelmed that original meaning.

However, a principle of the division of labor appears to have spared Zoroaster most of the responsibility for introducing the dark arts to the Greek and Roman worlds.Magical works specifically attributed to Zoroaster are few and very late; and although Pliny calls him the inventor of magic, he develops no accompanying magician’s persona for him. 76-250) has isolated five principal passages from Greek authors in which substantial information (some accurate, some not) is transmitted concerning Persian religion: Herodotus 1.131-2, Strabo 15.3.13-15, Plutarch 46-7, Diogenes Laertius 1.6-9, and Agathias 2.23-5. ), discussing the religion of the magi in very favorable terms, acquits them of the charge of sinister magic and adduces as evidence the Greek etymology of their prophet’s name: Zoroaster = = star-worshipper (literally. Interestingly, the friendly re-characterization is as groundless as the hostile portrait of the evil magician. CE), condemning certain “innovations” in Persian religion (“innovations” which are in fact genuine earlier features of Mazdaism), states: “But the Persians of today ... seduced by the teachings of Zoroaster the son of Horomasdes. first flourished and made his laws is impossible to discover with certainty.The last three of these passages refer to Zoroaster in his foundational role. CE), discussing dualistic theologies, states: “Others call the better of these a god and his rival a daemon, as, for example, Zoroaster the Magus, who lived, so they record, five thousand years before the siege of Troy. The Persians of today say that he was born in the time of Hystaspes, without further qualification, so that it is ... AS PERCEIVED BY THE GREEKS 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.The Greeks constructed two different types of Zoroaster: (1) Zoroaster the prophet or magus, and (2) Zoroaster the philosophical and astrological author.

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