Skip to comments.Women's rights in ancient Persia
Posted on 05/26/2008 9:19:16 PM PDT by freedom44
Zoroastrian texts such as the Avesta clearly define the status of Persian women and reveal that at a time when many women in the world were deprived of their basic rights, Persian women enjoyed social and legal freedom and were treated with great respect.
Avestan texts mention both genders asking them to share responsibility and make decisions together. They are equally praised for their good deeds rather than their gender, wealth or power.
Whoever, man or woman, does what Thou, O Ahura Mazda, knowest to be the best in Life. Whoever does right for the sake of Right; Whoever in authority governs with the aid of the Good Mind, I shall bring all these to join in songs of Thy Praise, Forth, shall I with them cross the Bridge of Judgment.
In ancient Persia, women could take the throne in case the king passed away and the crown prince was still a minor. One such woman was Pourandokt, the first Persian queen regnant in Ctesiphon. Ancient scriptures describe her as a wise, just and good-natured woman who did her best to revive the Sassanid sovereignty.
Avestan texts address the issue of leadership and tell us that a ruler may be a woman as well as a man.
"May a good ruler, man or woman, reign in both the material and spiritual existences." (Yasna 41/2)
Zoroastrian texts advise parents to encourage their offspring to tread the path of knowledge and explain that women have an equal responsibility in the dissemination of knowledge and science.
"Whatever a man or a woman knows that is good and right, not only should they practice, but inform others to perform accordingly". (Yasna 41/2)
According to zoroastrian texts, female members of the Persian society were allowed to participate in religious ceremonies and sometimes even head the event as the priest.
Persian women were free to choose their spouse and Zoroaster urged them to make their decision based on wisdom.
"May God grant you him who is steadfast in good mind and united with righteousness and with the Wise One. Therefore consult with your wisdom and decide in full tranquility." (Yasna 53/3)
Regarding young couples, Zarathustra advises them to remain faithful, share their joy and sorrow, to adhere to the principles of good mind and love, and to try to surpass one another in truth and righteousness.
A female Sassanid warrior Reference has been made to the role of Persian women in society. According to Greek historian and biographer Plutarch, Persian women were active members of their society and good fighters.
There were numerous female fighters among the ranks of the Sassanid army. They have been described as excellent and competent soldiers.
According to Pahlavi texts such as the Din-Kard, women could manage their property, represent their husbands at court, chair courtrooms and perform religious ceremonies.
Ancient documents found at Persepolis, Susa and other Mesopotamian cities show that both noble and common women enjoyed economic independence in Persia.
They owned property, were involved in managing their assets, had employment opportunities and earned wages.
Although noble Persian women had to act within a defined framework set by the king, they also enjoyed economic independence and had control over their wealth.
Women were allowed to visit their estates and administer their assets individually or with the help of their husbands.
Ancient documents mention common women by the title bestowed upon them due to the nature of their work; the level of skill determined a female manager's title.
The highest-ranking female workers were known as arashshara (great chief). They managed female and male workers and received the highest salary among their peers.
Historical documents show that male and female workers received equal pay and that there were an equal number of workers from both genders.
A society that mistreats women and holds them and their views in low esteem is doomed to madness and violence.
Just look at the Middle East for proof of this.
Yes, I think so. There was an earlier post on FR where a female Saudi scholar showed that Arab women were better off before Islam as well.
Everyone was better off before Islam. Do you think polygamy is good for the average man? (Multiple wives for the big shots mean some guys get nothing.) Child abuse is also common in the patriarchal Muzzie culture.
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Until Islam took over.
christianity incorporated aspects of zorastrianism.
Actually I think many religions borrowed aspects of Judaism and Christianity...the other religions are poor facsimiles.
the problem with your scenario is that zorastrianism
not vice versa as you have it.
Zoroastrianism actually wandered 'less far' from God's Word than most other of man's inventions (just what were our Mayan and Aztec cousins thinking of??), and in fact some of the great Persian kings had affinity for the Hebrews and protected them (e.g., Cyrus sending the Hebrews back home, from their Babylonian captivity).
So from an archaeological dating perspective you are correct, Zoroastrianism preceded Christianity by around 500 years, however since Christianity was founded on God's timeless Word (including the historical record from the Creation) - Christianity is built on the unvarnished Truth, whereas Zoroastrianism was an offshoot of this Truth.
El Cid - good discussion, I agree with your scenario and explanation.
Thanks, you are a mind-reader. :)
Anyways, an interesting topic - the details of which are unfortunately lost in the dust of time...
You are welcome — I know what you meant.
Persia had a very advance society. They contributed a lot to Western Civilization. Sadly, the Muslim invaders really screwed the Persians over.
I believe Arabs had a thriving Christian and Jewish population before Islam. I know most Arabs that time were Pagans.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.