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Old 02-03-2012, 10:18 AM
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Ancient Persia: Babylonian, Sasanian, Achaemenid empires

Sasanian Society | Iranian.com
At the top of the hierarchy was the Shah who the absolute ruler of the Sasanian Empire. He was answerable to no mortals, only God (Ahura Mazda) could judge his deeds and acts. The court of the Shah is detailed in Sasanian scriptures as being colorful. The Shah wore Tyrian purple silk and his beard was adorned with precious gems and gold, with a crown which was so heavy that it was suspended from the ceiling.
The Shah was allowed as many women to pleasure him as he wished. According to sources; Khosrow Parviz had over three thousand concubines in his harem amongst other consorts.
[...]
The founder of the Sasanian dynasty, Ardashir I was a high magi or priest (Mobadan Mobad) who made Zoroastrianism the official religion on Iran. Sasanian society was highly devout and pious. The magians were men, who knew the word of God written in the holy book the “Zend Avesta” which had originally been stored in the Achaemenid capital city of Persepolis, written in Old Persian on the skin of cows with gold ink. It was however burnt along with the magnificent city by Alexander the Great in 330BC. According to legend Ardashir I gathered the highest magi together to recreate and recompile the lost Avesta. But with so little reliable sources available Ardashir was forced to use a man who would have taken some from of hallucinative drug and would have apparently spoken laws which were complied and analyzed by the magi and used to produce the “Neo-Avesta”. Sasanian Zoroastrian magi modified the religion in a way to serve themselves, causing substantial religious uneasiness.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:20 AM
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Darius the Persian king in new docu-drama
Article in French
Google translation into English
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