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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Zoroaster: Selected full-text books and articles

The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster By Miles Menander Dawson Macmillan, 1931
The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism By R. C. Zaehner G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1961
What World Religions Teach By E. G. Parrinder George G. Harrap, 1963
Librarian's tip: Chap. 13 "Zoroaster and the Good Life"
The Religions of Mankind By 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 By James Hope Moulton Humphrey Milford, 1917
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Zoroaster and the Parsis"
An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia By Mehdi Amin Razavi; Seyyed Hossein Nasr Oxford University Press, vol.1, 1999
Librarian's tip: Part One "Early Persian Philosophy: The Zoroastrian Period"
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
A History of Philosophical Systems By Vergilius Ferm Philosophical Library, 1950
Librarian's tip: Chap. Two "Zoroastrian Philosophy"
The Myth of the Magus By 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 By Vilho Harle Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 66
Fifty Eastern Thinkers By Diané Collinson; Kathryn Plant; Robert Wilkinson Routledge, 2000
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 3
Philosophers and Religious Leaders By Christian D. Von Dehsen Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Zoroaster begins on p. 202
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