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(born c. 628, probably Rhages, Irandied c. 551 BCE) Iranian religious reformer and prophet, founder of Zoroastrianism and Parsiism. He was a priest in his tribal religion, with which he eventually became disillusioned. Having received a vision, he began teaching that Ahura Mazda was the highest god and alone was worthy of worship, a concept that went against the polytheism of Iranian religion. He forbade the orgiastic rites that accompanied animal sacrifice, common in his time, but preserved the ancient cult of fire worship. After converting a king called Vishtaspa to his teachings, Zoroaster remained at the royal court. He became the subject of legends and a model for various occupations.
Variants of ZOROASTER
Zoroaster or Zarathustra
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Zoroaster, visit Britannica.com.