The Northernmost Zoroastrian Fire Temple in the World


March 28, 2009

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Source: Sasanika, The History and Culture of Sassanians, UC Irvine School of Humanities

The Caucasus is a land of diverse population and beliefs. Today, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Yazidis live in cities and villages in the valleys and gorges of the region. One religion that had a strong impact on ancient Armenia, Georgia, and the Republic of Azerbijan was Zoroastrianism. While the sources and views of Zoroastrianism are mainly from its homeland, Iran, Zoroastrianism also flourished in the Caucasus in conjunction with the local, native religions of the region.

Kartveli or Georgia was converted to Christianity in the fourth century CE. The traditional date given for this momentous event in the history of Georgia is 337 CE. According to Christian sources, King Mirian (Mihran) converted from “paganism,” but a closer look at the sources suggests that the king and the people of ancient Georgia were worshippers of Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda). Legend has it that at night the shepherds in the region used to call on Armazi (Ahura Mazda) for help, and that people used to offer sacrifices to their god Armazi at a location near the “Bridge of the Magi.”[1]

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