We have heard speakers this morning telling us about the Central Asian links with Parsi culture, the Chinese influence on Parsi textiles and the weaving traditions of the Parsis. As we move on, I would now like to focus on the extensive intercultural traditions of the Parsis, while examining how the core beliefs of the Zoroastrian religion, have yet been preserved in terms of the nature symbols in Parsi crafts.
As you may be aware, the Parsis are the followers of the Bronze Age Prophet Zarathushtra of Iran.
He is believed to have preached his message of the one true God, Ahura Mazda around 1600 BC. Zoroaster’s followers included Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC) and Darius of the Achaemenian dynasty. This Iranian dynasty created the largest Empire of the ancient world, which stretched from Europe to China and provided humanity with the first Bill of Human Rights. Known as the Cyrus Cylinder, its replica is kept in the UN Building to emphasise the relevance of its message to mankind even today.
In 331 BC Alexander of Macedon defeated Darius III in battle. Alexander the Great in the Western world is Alexander the Accursed to the Persians. He caused irreparable damage by burning the palace at Persepolis; the entire library, with its collection of scriptures written in letters of gold, perished in the flames. So the religion and culture remained ...