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of the "old Roman people," as well as the reign of Augustus, "till growing sycophancy scared them away."4 Already hes suggesting t...
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Greeks and Parthians . Our knowledge of Zoroastrianism during the long stretch of time extending from the conquest of the Persian empire by Alexander The Great (330, ., the death of Darius III ) to the foundation of the Sasanian dynasty (ca. 224 CE) is very fragmentary. Although pieces of information are abundant enough to witness the presence of Zoroastrianism throughout the Near East, including Armenia, they do not add up to a coherent history. Sasanian writers knew of Alexander only as a legendary, evil (Mid. Pers. gizistag ) Roman ( hrōmāyig , ., Byzantine) enemy of Iran, who destroyed the Avesta and created general confusion of the Good Religion. There is a vague reference in the Dēnkard to an attempt under Walaxš (Vologases I, ca. 51-80; see BALĀŠ I ) to gather together the Avesta dispersed because of Alexander. In general, however, Sasanian political rhetoric was at pains to place the Arsacids in a bad light as custodians of traditional Iranian values, while portraying themselves as the restorers of tradition and particularly of Zoroastrianism. Since already in the 3rd century the high priest Kirdēr presupposes an ecclesiastical hierarchy and organization, one may assume that this was an inheritance from the Arsacids (Widengren, 1965a).
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