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Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are the Magis comparable with the wizards of northern Europe?

Yes, The Magis could be compared with wizards. The word "Magic" derives also from "Magi."

2) What is the origin of the Magis?

The Iranians were divided into three tribes.
1)Medes, 2)Parthes, 3)Parses.
Medes themselves were divided into seven tribes as Herodote mentions. Magis are one of these seven tribes of Medes.

3) Are the Magis a tribe, a race, a religion, or just some people from all sorts of faiths who have in common certain basic tenets?

No, They are just an Iranian tribe who were Magicians and perfomed miracles. They were before Zarathushtra, and Zarathushtra was their enemy.

4) When has Avesta been written and when were people using Avestan language?

Avesta has not been written on a time. It has been written during ages or even centuries by different persons.
It seems the newest part of Avesta has been written under Arcasides. and the oldest part, called Gatha(s), has been recited by Zarathushtra himself.
So, the language of the Gatha(s) is much different with the rest. (like Old English and modern English). The linguists call these two parts "Old Avesta" and "Young Avesta".
Avestan was a dead language even under Sassanids. The Zoroastrian priests under Sassanids prepared a Middle Persian or Pahlavi translation of the Avesta but with as much errors as possible.

5) Why is fire then so important for zoroastrian ceremonies?

Most people think that fire is a god for Zoroastrians, but no, fire is symbol of purification.

6) Can one say that Mandeans are gnostics, or gnostic Christians?

Yes, Mandaeans are gnostics, but not gnostic Christian, Mandaean faith is very different with Christianity.
Mandaeans are under influence of Pythagorian, Egyptian and Akkadian philosophy and astrology. Manichaeism is also under influence of Mandaeans. Father of Mani, Patek or Fatek, was a Mandaean. Mani himself was Mandaean before that he thought his new faith.

7) Are there sitll people who follow "the ancient" ways of Zoroaster, or Mandaeans?

Yes, There are many Zoroastrians, particularly in Iran and India. They have associations in America, Europe and Canada.
Mandaeans live in South-West of Iran and in Irak. Baptism is their most important ceremony, so they live particulary in rivers side.

8) Are the Aryans the same race that live in Germany etc.?

Yes, The Aryans are Indo-European.

9) When did Zarathushtra live, and what evidence supports it?

In Gathas, the Holy Hymns of Zarathushtra, which have been recited by Zarathushtra himself, he speaks of King Vishtaspa (Gushtasp in Shah-Name) who supports Zarathushtra.
Some scholars in 19th century had the opinion that this Vishtaspa is the same with the Father of Darius who named Vishtaspa also. So due to their thesis Zarathushtra lived in 650 B.C.
But the language of Gathas is too much old and is different with the style of the rest Avesta. So modern scholars do not accept this thesis any more. Due to their researches Zathaushtra lived almost in 1500 B.C. and they reference to the old langauge of Gathas as evidence.
About his birth place please read the article about Azerbaijan.


Last updated: 02/24/02


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