Ahriman the Dark God of Persia
The devil or dark god of the Persians was known as Ahriman. Pictured as a lion-headed demon, this devil is found in the ancient beliefs of Zoroastrianism. The founder of this religion was Zoroaster, an Iranian prophet1. He established his religion on monotheistic beliefs that would come to dominate over much of the Arabic and Middle Eastern world.
In the mythological legends of the Zoroaster, there was a devil named Ahriman, with a twin brother who was considered holy, named Ahura Mazda. This was the highest god in Zoroastrian religion, upholding truth and cosmic order. His brother, Ahriman, however was quite different. The name Ahriman means fiendish spirit. In the myths of the Zoroaster, It was the duty of Ahriman to direct the seasonal changes.
Ahriman was also the spirit who would bring disease and illness. In his legends, Ahriman lived in a dark place, where all evil people are condemned to go, after they die.
He is symbolized in Zoroaster myth by the image of the snake. It was up to people to decide if they would follow the fiendish spirit of Ahriman or follow the good or spirit of light, Ahura.The good spirit Ahura had a host of angels who were known as yazatas, which helped people in life, and his twin broher Ahriman commanded a legion of demons known as daevas, appealing to human’s darker side2.
1.Age of Zoroastrianism [Zoroaster, c.628 BC-c.551]
Encyclopedia.com http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/Z/Zoroaste.asp Accessed 2/4/09
2. Ahriman [Myth Encyclopedia]
http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/A-Am/Ahriman.html#ixzz4RsY3HNJM Accessed 12/4/16
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