Zoroaster (zōr´ōăs´tər), c.628 BC–c.551 BC, religious teacher and prophet of ancient Persia, founder of Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster, the name by which he is ordinarily known, is derived from the Greek form of Zarathushtra (or Zarathustra) [camel handler?], his Persian name. Zoroaster is believed to have been born in NW Persia. His youthful studies were crowned at the age of 30 by the first of a series of revelations of a new religion. His attempts to proselytize at home failed, and he fled east to ancient Chorasmia (now largely Iranian Khorasan), where he converted King Vishtaspa (who may have been Hystaspes, the father of Darius). The religion then spread rapidly through Vishtaspa's domain. The circumstances of Zoroaster's death are not known.

See E. Herzfeld, Zoroaster and His World (1947); R. C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (1961).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Zoroaster: Selected full-text books and articles

The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster
Miles Menander Dawson.
Macmillan, 1931
From Zarathustra to Khomeini: Populism and Dissent in Iran
Manochehr Dorraj.
Lynne Rienner, 1990
The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism
R. C. Zaehner.
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1961
What World Religions Teach
E. G. Parrinder.
George G. Harrap, 1963
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Zoroaster and the Good Life"
The Religions of Mankind
Edmund Davison Soper.
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1938
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "The Religion of Zoroaster"
The Treasure of the Magi: A Study of Modern Zoroastrianism
James Hope Moulton.
Humphrey Milford, 1917
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Zoroaster and the Parsis"
An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia
Seyyed Hossein Nasr; Mehdi Amin Razavi.
Oxford University Press, vol.1, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Part One "Early Persian Philosophy: The Zoroastrian Period"
A History of Philosophical Systems
Vergilius Ferm.
Philosophical Library, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "Zoroastrian Philosophy"
The Myth of the Magus
E. M. Butler.
Cambridge University Press, 1948
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 20
Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World
Vilho Harle.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 66
Fifty Eastern Thinkers
Diané Collinson; Kathryn Plant; Robert Wilkinson.
Routledge, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 3
Philosophers and Religious Leaders
Christian D. Von Dehsen.
Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 202
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