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Thursday, December 23, 2010


This morning found me waking up earlier than usual. After a few tosses on my side of the bed I decided to get up and look to see what time it is...4:14am.

Sometimes I like to have fun with numbers, especially with time. Whenever you become aware of time and it is, let's say, 5:55, I call that Trinity Time. It's a special time when my awareness of time and awareness of self meld and I receive divine inspiration. This morning, I decided to look up what happened during the year 414 A.D.

414, know in the Roman world as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Constans, was basically an uneventful year, at least according to history. The one thing that stuck out to me was religious in nature, and also demonstrated that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In the year 414, a Christian Bishop, Abdas of Susa, in what is now the country of Iran is blamed for the burning down of a Zoroastrianism Temple in his zeal to spread Christianity throughout the Persian Empire. This act is followed by the political reaction by King Yazdegerd of Persia who orders the destruction of all Christian Churches in the Empire. That's the headline if the Times where publishing in the day; however, here's the rest of the story...

Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Persia (Iran). In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. In some form, it served as the national- or state religion of a significant portion of the Iranian people for many centuries. Its leading doctrines were adopted by other religious systems, like Jewish and then Christian religions. It was ultimately replaced by the spread of Islam in the 7th century A.D.

Abdas had a Zoroastrian mother. She educated him in good virtues, which made him loved by everyone. After Abdas had gained an excellent education and grown up in virtuous life, he was ordained a priest, and built up in his hometown a monastery and a school, which he took personal care of and which grew to have around 60 teachers. This caused the local magi to become jealous of him and his teachings.

King Yazdegerd began his reign being not only tolerant of Christianity, but also to help it spread in his attempt to keep the Zoroastrian religion in check to increase his power. He later would turn on Christianity and promote Zoroastrianism for the same reason. It was during this later time that the incident involving Abdas occurred.

So, in doing some historical investigation and applying human behaviour to the equation the following facts come to live on this case:

1. Abdas, being raised by a Zoroastrian mother, is highly unlikely to promote the burning of Zoroastrian Temple. In fact, he pleaded innocence when accused by the magi.

2. Yazdegerd was tolerant of all religions; however, he used their emotional volatility to his political advantage.

3. Humans being humans, it's highly likely that the jealousy of Abdas' success was the motivating factor of the magi to accuse him.

4. It is also highly likely that agents of Yazdegerd actually carried out the burning of the Temple to set up the Christians.

5. When Abdas was ordered by Yazdegerd to pay for the restoration of the Temple, Abdas refused based on his innocence. This gave Yazdegerd the green light to order the destruction of all Christian Churches as a result.

Religious intolerance, ignorant masses, manipulative leaders, violence and political gain are still very much alive 1,596 years later!  Know what you believe and why.

Sir Hook the Tolerant of Warrick


  1. Hey Sir Hook!

    Wow....didn't know I would wake up to such a history lesson this morning! Fascinating stuff...and I think the moral is that history is always seemingly doomed to repeat itself.

    For that matter,I know people today think things have never been worse with the scandals in the Catholic and other Christian churches, but the reality is this has happened throughout the ages. There was much more corruption and down-right murder committed during the Middle Ages by the Church.....let alone remember the Spanish Inquistion...where heathens were literally tortured if they didn't convert. Talk about a HARD sell for your faith!!!

    As I have read in some good books over the years....especially Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly...Christ's teachings are perfect, but the Church is sometimes twisted because Man by our fallen nature is imperfect. Faith and Grace is what should guide us as to the right path.

    Thanks for your musings today....and I hope others are logging on and enjoying the blog in its new location and format these days.

    Hoisting a dark lager to all Knights on this day before Christmas Eve...and blessings to all your families and safe travels.

    Sir Richard Lion-heart (who I'm sure my ancestor did some nasty things like eye-gouges and fingernail pulling during the Crusades!!)

  2. Hello brewers, that this Christmas will bring much happiness to all and many beers ...
    Happy Christmas ...........