Explain the Main Elements of the Persian Religion and Assess the Extent to Which Xerxes Used Religion to Support Empire.

Topics: God, Zoroastrianism, Religion Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: August 8, 2011
The Persians had originally worshipped many minor gods before the teaching of Zoroaster were adopted by Darius and the Xerxes. These minor gods were called Daevas. Darius and Xerxes had replaced the Daevas with Ahuramazda as the Persian god to worship. From the leadership of Darius and Xerxes, the Persian was Zoroastrian religion, this religion believed in rituals such as Lan-sacrifice which was cantered on making offering to a god or traditional cult. The Persepolis tablet gives evidence that these rituals were supported with regular rations every month. Ration such as grain, flour, wine, beer, fruit and royal rams from the royal warehouse. Other type of rituals involves a special drink called Haoma. Persian believed in good and evil spirits. A few sculptures were found which gave evidence of this. The main symbol of evil was a lion, bull, winged lion. They believed in the God, Ahuramazda, there is a constant battle of the good of Ahuramazda and the evil of a bad spirit named Ahriman. Someday good will win and time will end and the dead will return to life; these are the general beliefs of the religion. The magi were the priest of the temples of fire; the magi acted for the king, they were an important part of the religious policy of the Achaemenid. Xerxes’ policies generally followed the beliefs of his father Darius and his reforms. Xerxes followed the same pattern of appointing a mixed government of local and Persian rulers and to grant local independence to the rulers. However, in his religious policies Xerxes differed from Darius. Darius was a strict follower of Zoroastrianism and constantly reminds the will and favour of Ahuramazda and Arta behind his every action. There is no evidence that Darius ever tried to force his beliefs on the people of his empire, and he is generally considered a generous ruler in the matters of religious freedom. On the other hand, Xerxes, in one of his inscriptions, says “… and in one of these countries, there places where...
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