Aredvi Sura Anahita (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā) is the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian cosmological figure, venerated as the divinity of 'the Waters' (Aban) and hence associated with fertility, healing and wisdom. Avestan is an Eastern Old Iranian language that was used to compose the sacred hymns and canon of the Zoroastrian Avesta. Indo-Iranian peoples consist of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples that is speakers of Indo-Iranian languages Cosmology (from Greek grc κοσμολογία - grc κόσμος kosmos, "universe" and grc -λογία -logia) is study Apas ( ae-Latn āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters" which&mdashin its innumerable
Aredvi Sura Anahita is 'Ardwisur Anahid' or 'Nahid' in Middle- and Modern Persian, 'Anahit' in Armenian. Middle Persian is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times (224-654 CE became a Prestige dialect The Armenian language (hy հայերեն լեզու hajɛɹɛn lɛzu —, conventional short form) is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian The Greek and Roman historians of classical antiquity refer to her either as 'Anaïtis' or identified her with one of the divinities from their own pantheons. Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural History centered on the Mediterranean 270 Anahita, a silicaceous S-type asteroid is named after her. 270 Anahita is a stony S-type Main belt Asteroid. It was discovered by C S-type asteroids are of a silicaceous ( stony) composition hence the name
An iconic shrine cult of Aredvi Sura Anahita (see the cult, below), was - together with other shrine cults - "introduced apparently in the 4th century BCE and lasted until it was suppressed in the wake of an iconoclastic movement under the Sassanids. The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty or Sassanian Dynasty (ساسانیان) is the name used for the third Iranian dynasty and the second Persian empire "
Only Arədvī (a word otherwise unknown, perhaps with an original meaning "moist") is specific to the divinity.  The words sūra and anāhīta are generic Avestan language adjectives, and respectively mean "mighty" and "pure"  (or "immaculate"). Avestan is an Eastern Old Iranian language that was used to compose the sacred hymns and canon of the Zoroastrian Avesta. Both adjectives also appear as epithets of other divinities or divine concepts such as Haoma and the Fravashis. Haoma is the Avestan language name of a plant and its divinity both of which play a role in Zoroastrian doctrine and in later Persian culture and mythology In Zoroastrian doctrine a fravashi ( Avestan fravaši; Middle Persian fraward, frawahr, frohar, frawash  Both adjectives are also attested in Vedic Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language, the language of the Vedas, the oldest Shruti texts of Hinduism. 
As a divinity of the waters (Abān), the yazata is of Indo-Iranian origin, according to Lommel related to Sanskrit Sarasvatī that, like its Proto-Iranian equivalent *Harahvatī, derives from Indo-Iranian *Sarasvntī. Apas ( ae-Latn āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters" which&mdashin its innumerable Yazata is the Avestan language word for a Zoroastrian concept The Sarasvati River ( Sanskrit: sa सरस्वती नदी sárasvatī nadī) is one of the chief Rigvedic rivers mentioned in ancient Hindu  In its old Iranian form *Harahvatī, "her name was given to the region, rich in rivers, whose modern capital is Kandahar (Avestan Haraxvaitī, Old Persian Hara(h)uvati-, Greek Arachosia). For the 2001 film see Kandahar (film; for the Kandahar meteorite of 1959 see Meteorite falls; for the places in Azerbaijan see Cəndəhar and " "Like the Indian Saraswati, [Aredvi Sura Anahita] nurtures crops and herds; and is hailed both as a divinity and the mythical river that she personifies, 'as great in bigness as all these waters which flow forth upon the earth'. "
In the (Middle-)Persian texts of the Sassanid and later eras, Arədvī Sūra Anāhīta appears as Ardwisur Anāhīd. Middle Persian is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times (224-654 CE became a Prestige dialect  No part of the name is attested in old West Iranian languages (e. g. Old Persian) or Elamite. 
At some point prior to the 4th century BCE, this yazata was conflated with (an analogue of)[α] Semitic Ištar, likewise a divinity of "maiden" fertility and from whom Aredvi Sura Anahita then inherited additional features of a divinity of war and of the planet Venus. Yazata is the Avestan language word for a Zoroastrian concept The Semitic languages are a Language family whose living representatives are spoken by more than 467 million people across much of the Middle East, Ishtar ( D IŠTAR 𒀭𒌋𒁯 is the Assyrian and Babylonian counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to The VENUS ( V ictoria E xperimental N etwork U nder the S ea project is a cabled sea floor observatory operated by the University It was moreover the association with the planet Venus, "it seems, which led Herodotus to record that the [Persis][γ] learnt 'to sacrifice to "the heavenly goddess"' from the Assyrians and Arabians. Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek Historian who lived in the 5th century BC ( 484 BC&ndash Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. " 
Ishtar also "apparently" also gave Aredvi Sura Anahita the epithet Banu, 'the Lady', a typically Mesopotamian construct that is not attested as an epithet for a divinity in Iran before the common era. It is completely unknown in the texts of the Avesta, but evident in Sassanid-era middle Persian inscriptions (see the cult, below) and in a middle Persian Zend translation of Yasna 68. The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language. Middle Persian is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times (224-654 CE became a Prestige dialect 13.  Also in Zoroastrian texts from the post-conquest epoch (651 CE onwards), the divinity is referred to as 'Anahid the Lady', 'Ardwisur the Lady' and 'Ardwisur the Lady of the waters'. 
Because the divinity is unattested in any old Western Iranian language, establishing characteristics prior to the introduction of Zoroastrianism in Western Iran (c. The Western Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages, attested from the time of Old Persian (6th century BC 5th century BCE) is very much in the realm of speculation. According to Boyce, it is "probable" that there was once a Perso-Elamite divinity by the name of *Anahiti (as reconstructed from the Greek Anaitis). The Old Persian language is one of the two attested Old Iranian languages (besides Avestan) Elamite is an Extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It is then likely (so Boyce) that it was this divinity that was an analogue of Ishtar, and that it is this divinity with which Aredvi Sura Anahita was conflated.  Boyce concludes that "the Achaemenids' devotion to this goddess evidently survived their conversion to Zoroastrianism, and they appear to have used royal influence to have her adopted into the Zoroastrian pantheon. " [β] According to an alternate theory, Anahita was perhaps "a daeva of the early and pure Zoroastrian faith, incorporated into the Zoroastrian religion and its revised canon" during the reign of "Artaxerxes I, the Constantine of that faith. Daeva ( daēuua, daāua, daēva) is the Avestan language term for a particular sort of supernatural entity with disagreeable characteristics Artaxerxes I (Latin Greek Ἀρταξέρξης Persian اردشیر یکم (Ardeshir corruption of Old Persian 𐎠𐎼𐎭𐎧𐎨𐏁𐎨 Artaxšacā "[δ]
The cosmological qualities of the world river are alluded to in Yasht 5 (see in the Avesta, below), but properly developed only in the Bundahishn, a Zoroastrian account of creation finished in the 11th or 12th century CE. The Bundahishn, meaning "Primal Creation" is an account of Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology and reflects ancient Zoroastrian and even pre-Zoroastrian beliefs In both texts, Aredvi Sura Anahita is not only a divinity, but also the source of the world river and the (name of the) world river itself. The cosmological legend runs as follows:
All the waters of the world created by Ahura Mazda originate from the source Aredvi Sura Anahita, the life-increasing, herd-increasing, fold-increasing, who makes prosperity for all countries. Ahura Mazda ( ae Ahura Mazdā) is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one uncreated Creator This source is at the top of the world mountain Hara Berezaiti, "High Hara", around which the sky revolves and that is at the center of Airyanem Vaejah, the first of the lands created by Mazda. Harā Bərəzaitī, literally meaning "High Watchpost" is the name given in the Avestan language to a legendary mountain around which the stars and planets revolve Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans," is a reference in the Zoroastrian Avesta ( Vendidad, Farg
The water, warm and clear, flows through a hundred thousand golden channels towards Mount Hugar, "the Lofty", one of the daughter-peaks of Hara Berezaiti. On the summit of that mountain is Lake Urvis, "the Turmoil", into which the waters flow, becoming quite purified and exiting through another golden channel. Through that channel, which is at the height of a thousand men, one portion of the great spring Aredvi Sura Anahita drizzles in moisture upon the whole earth, where it dispels the dryness of the air and all the creatures of Mazda acquire health from it. Another portion runs down to Vourukasha, the great sea upon which the earth rests, and from which it flows to the seas and oceans of the world and purifies them.
In the Bundahishn, the two halves of the name "Ardwisur Anahid" are occasionally treated independently of one another, that is, with Ardwisur as the representative of waters, and Anahid identified with the planet Venus: The water of the all lakes and seas have their origin with Ardwisur (10. 2, 10. 5), and in contrast, in a section dealing with the creation of the stars and planets (5. 4), the Bundahishn speaks of 'Anahid i Abaxtari', that is, the planet Venus.  In yet other chapters, the text equates the two, as in "Ardwisur who is Anahid, the father and mother of the Waters" (3. Apas ( ae-Latn āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters" which&mdashin its innumerable 17).
This legend of the river that descends from Mount Hara appears to have remained a part of living observance for many generations. A Greek inscription from Roman times found in Asia Minor reads 'the great goddess Anaïtis of high Hara'.  On Greek coins of the imperial epoch, she is spoken of as 'Anaïtis of the sacred water. '
Aredvi Sura Anahita is principally addressed in Yasht 5 (Yasna 65) , also known as the Aban Yasht, a hymn to the waters in Avestan and one of the longer and better preserved of the devotional hymns. Yasna ( Avestan: 'oblation' or 'worship' is the name of the primary liturgical collection of texts of the Avesta as well as the name of the Apas ( ae-Latn āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters" which&mdashin its innumerable Yasna 65 is the third of the hymns recited at the Ab-Zohr, the "offering to the waters" that accompanies the culminating rites of the Yasna service. Ab-Zohr (āb-zōhr is the culminating rite of the greater Yasna service the principal Zoroastrian act of worship that accompanies the recitation of the Verses from Yasht 5 also form the greater part of the Aban Nyashes, the liturgy to the waters that are a part of the Khordeh Avesta.
According to Nyberg and supported by Lommel and Widengren, the older portions of the Aban Yasht were originally composed at a very early date, perhaps not long after the Gathas themselves. The word "Gātha" means a "hymn of praise" in the earliest Indo-Iranian poetry [ζ] Yasna 38, which is dedicated "to the earth and the sacred waters" and is part of seven-chapter Yasna Haptanghāiti, is linguistically as old as the Gathas.
In the Aban Yasht, the river yazata is described as "the great spring Ardvi Sura Anahita is the life-increasing, the herd-increasing, the fold-increasing who makes prosperity for all countries" (5. Yazata is the Avestan language word for a Zoroastrian concept 1). She is "wide flowing and healing", "efficacious against the daevas", "devoted to Ahura's lore" (5. Daeva ( daēuua, daāua, daēva) is the Avestan language term for a particular sort of supernatural entity with disagreeable characteristics 1). She is associated with fertility, purifying the seed of men (5. 1), purifying the wombs of women (5. 1), encouraging the flow of milk for newborns (5. 2). As a river divinity, she is responsible for the fertility of the soil and for the growth of crops that nurture both man and beast (5. 3). She is a beautiful, strong maiden, wearing beaver skins (5. 3,7,20,129).
The association between water and wisdom that is common to many ancient cultures is also evident in the Aban Yasht, for here Aredvi Sura is the divinity to whom priests and pupils should pray for insight and knowledge (5. 86). In verse 5. 120 she is seen to ride a chariot drawn by four horses named 'wind', 'rain', 'clouds' and 'sleet'. In newer passages she is described as standing in 'statuesque stillness', 'ever observed', royally attired with a golden embroidered robe, wearing a golden crown, necklace and earrings, golden breast-ornament, and gold-laced ankle-boots (5. 123, 5. 126-8). Aredvi Sura Anahita is bountiful to those who please her, stern to those who do not, and she resides in 'stately places' (5. 101).
The concept of Aredvi Sura Anahita is to a degree blurred with that of Ashi, the Gathic figure of Good Fortune, and many of the verses of the Aban Yasht also appear in Yasht 17 (Ard Yasht), which is dedicated to Ashi. Ashi ( aši) is the Avestan language word for the Zoroastrian concept of "that which is attained The word "Gātha" means a "hymn of praise" in the earliest Indo-Iranian poetry So also a description of the weapons bestowed upon worshippers (5. 130), and the superiority in battle (5. 34 et al). These functions appears out of place in a hymn to the waters, and may have originally been from Yasht 17.
Other verses in Yasht 5 have masculine instead of feminine pronouns, and thus again appear to be verses that were originally dedicated to other divinities.  Boyce also suggests that the new compound divinity of waters with martial characteristics gradually usurped the position of Apam Napat, the great warlike water divinity of the Ahuric triad, finally causing the latter's place to be lost and his veneration to become limited to the obligatory verses recited at the Ab-Zohr. Burz is the Middle Persian name for the Indo-Iranian divinity of waters For the fictional character in the Marvel Universe series see Ahura (comics; for the river see Akhurian River. Ab-Zohr (āb-zōhr is the culminating rite of the greater Yasna service the principal Zoroastrian act of worship that accompanies the recitation of the
The earliest dateable and unambiguous reference to the iconic cult of Anahita is from the Babylonian scholar-priest Berosus, who - although writing over 70 years[η] after the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon[θ] - records that the emperor had been the first to make cult statues of 'Aphrodite Anaitis' and placed them in temples in many of the major cities of the empire, including Babylon, Susa, Ecbatana, Persepolis, Damascus and Sardis. Artaxerxes II Mnemon ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçrā, Ἀρταξέρξης (ca Babylon was a City-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Ecbatana ( Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, written Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, Agámtanu by Nabonidos Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial Damascus ( دمشق,, also commonly known as الشام ash-Shām) is the capital and largest city of Syria. Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in [c1] Also according to Berosus, the Persians knew of no images of gods until Artaxerxes II erected those images. [c1][λ] This is substantiated by Herodotus, for in his mid-5th century BCE general remarks on 'the usages of the Perses', Herodotus notes that "it is not their custom to make and set up statues and images and altars, and those that make such they deem foolish, as I suppose, because they never believed the gods, as do the Greeks, to be the likeness of men. " [c23]
The extraordinary innovation of the shrine cults can thus be dated to the late 5th century BCE (or very early 4th century BCE), even if this evidence is "not of the most satisfactory kind. " Nonetheless, by 330 BCE and under Achaemenid royal patronage, these cults had been disseminated throughout Asia Minor and the Levant, and from there to Armenia. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black See also Names of the Levant The Levant (lə'vænt is a geographical term that denotes a large area in Western Asia, roughly bounded on the north by the Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani  This was not a purely selfless act, for the temples also served as an important source of income. From the Babylonian kings, the Achaemenids had taken over the concept of a mandatory temple tax, a one-tenth tithe which all inhabitants paid to the temple nearest to their land or other source of income.  A share of this income called the quppu ša šarri, "kings chest" - an ingenious institution originally introduced by Nabonidus - was then turned over to the ruler. Nabonidus ( Akkadian Nabû-nāʾid) was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, reigning from 556-539 BCE
Nonetheless, Artaxerxes' close connection with the Anahita temples is "almost certainly the chief cause of this king's long-lasting fame among Zoroastrians, a fame which made it useful propaganda for the succeeding Arsacids to claim him (quite spuriously) for their ancestor. "
Artaxerxes II's devotion to Anahita is most apparent in his inscriptions, where her name appears directly after that of Ahura Mazda and before that of Mithra. Ahura Mazda ( ae Ahura Mazdā) is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one uncreated Creator This article is about the Zoroastrian Yazata Mithra (Miθra For other divinities with related names see the general article Mitra. Artaxerxes' inscription at Susa reads: "By the will of Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra I built this palace. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) May Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra protect me from all evil" (A²Hc 15-10). This is a remarkable break with tradition; no Achaemenid king before him had invoked any but Ahura Mazda alone.
The temple(s) of Anahita at Ecbatana (Hamadan) in Medea must have once been the most glorious sanctuaries in the known world. Ecbatana ( Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, written Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, Agámtanu by Nabonidos [π][c2] Although the palace had been stripped by Alexander and the following Seleucid kings,[c3] when Antiochus III raided Ecbatana in 209 BCE, the temple "had the columns round it still gilded and a number of silver tiles were piled up in it, while a few gold bricks and a considerable quantity of silver ones remained. Antiochus III the Great, ( Greek; ca 241&ndash187 BC ruled 222&ndash187 BC younger son of Seleucus II Callinicus " [c4]
Polybius' reference to Alexander is supported by Arrian, who in 324 BCE wrote of a temple in Ecbatana dedicated to 'Asclepius' (by inference presumed to be Anahita, likewise a divinity of healing), destroyed by Alexander because she had allowed his friend Hephaestion to die. For others with this name see Arrianus (disambiguation. Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon' (ca Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' Hephaestion ( Greek:, alternative spelling "Hephaistion" c [c5] The massive stone lion on the hill there (said to be part of a sepulcral monument to Hephaestion[ψ]) is today a symbol that visitors touch in hope of fertility.
Plutarch records that Artaxerxes II had his concubine Aspasia consecrated as priestess at the temple "to Diana of Ecbatana, whom they name Anaitis, that she might spend the remainder of her days in strict chastity. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ( Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος c "[c6] This does not however necessarily imply that chastity was a requirement of Anaitis priestesses. [ν]
Isidore of Charax, in addition to a reference to the temple at Ecbatana ("a temple, sacred to Anaitis, they sacrifice there always"[c2] also notes a "temple of Artemis"[μ] at Concobar (Lower Medea, today Kangavar). Isidore of Charax, also known as Isidorus Characenus, was a 1st century geographer from the city of Charax in Characene, on the northern end of the present Kangāvar ( ( Konkobar or Concobar) is the name of a small district in the province of Kermanshah in Iran, as well as of the town that is Despite archaeological findings that refute a connection with Anahita, remains of a 2nd century BCE Hellenic-style edifice at Kangavar continue to be a popular tourist attraction.
Isidore also records another "royal place, a temple of Artemis, founded by Darius" at Basileia (Apadana), on the royal highway along the left bank of the Euphrates. Darius III ( Artashata) (c 380&ndash330 BC Persian داریوش Dāriūš dɔːriˈuːʃ was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of The Euphrates ( ( Arabic: ar نهر الفرات; Turkish: tr Fırat Syriac: syr ܦܪܬ; Hebrew: he פרת [c7]
During the Hellenistic Parthian period, Susa had its 'Dianae templum augustissimum'[c8] far from Elymais where another temple, known to Strabo as the "Ta Azara", was dedicated to Athena/Artemis[c9] and where tame lions roamed the grounds. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Elymais or Elamais, (Graecized form of the more ancient name Elam. This may be a reference to the temple above the Tang-a Sarvak ravine in present-day Khuzestan Province. Khūzestān (خوزستان is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Other than this, no evidence of the cult in Western Iran from the Parthian period survives, but "it is reasonable to assume that the martial features of Anāhita (Ishtar) assured her popularity in the subsequent centuries among the warrior classes of Parthian feudalism. "
In the 2nd century CE, the center of the cult in Parsa (Persia proper) was at Staxr (Istakhr). Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. There, Anahita continued to be venerated in her martial role and it was at Istakhr that Sassan, after whom the Sassanid dynasty is named, served as high priest. Sasan or Sassan (in Persian ساسان was the great priest of Temple of Anahita and father of Papag (Babak and grandfather of Ardashir Sassan's son, Papak, likewise a priest of that temple, overthrew the King of Istakhr (a vassal of the Arsacids), and had himself crowned in his stead. "By this time (the beginning of the 3rd century), Anāhita's headgear (kolāh) was worn as a mark of nobility," which in turn "suggests that she was goddess of the feudal warrior estate. " Ardashir (r. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia 226-241 CE) "would send the heads of the petty kings he defeated for display at her temple. "
During the reign of Bahram I (r. Bahram I (also spelled Varahran or Vahram, r 273&ndash276 was the fourth Sassanid emperor of the second Persian Empire. 272-273 CE), in the wake of an iconoclastic movement that had begun at about the same time as the shrine cult movement, the sanctuaries dedicated to a specific divinity were - by law - disassociated from that divinity by removal of the statuary and then either abandoned or converted into fire altars.  So also the popular shrines to Mehr/Mithra which retained the name Darb-e Mehr - Mithra's Gate - that is today one of the Zoroastrian technical terms for a fire temple. This article is about the Zoroastrian Yazata Mithra (Miθra For other divinities with related names see the general article Mitra. The temple at Istakhr was likewise converted and, according to the Kartir inscription, henceforth known as the "Fire of Anahid the Lady. Kartir Hangirpe (alternatively Karder or Kirdir) was a highly influential Zoroastrian high-priest of the late 3rd century CE and served as advisor to at " Sassanid iconoclasm, though administratively from the reign of Bahram I, may already have been supported by Bahram's father, Shapur I (r. Shapur I was the second Sassanid King of the Second Persian Empire. 241-272 CE). In an inscription in Middle Persian, Parthian and Greek at Ka'ba of Zoroaster, the "Mazdean lord, . The Ka'ba-ye Zartosht (alt Kaba-ye Zardusht, Kaba-ye Zardosht) meaning the "Cube of Zoroaster " is a 5th century BCE Achaemenid-era . . , king of kings, . . . , grandson of lord Papak" (ShKZ 1, Naqsh-e Rustam) records that he instituted fires for his daughter and three of his sons. Naqsh-e Rustam (in Persian: نقش رستم Nāqš-e Rostām) is an archaeological site located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars province His daughter's name: Anahid. The name of that fire: Adur-Anahid.
Notwithstanding the dissolution of the temple cults, the triad Ahura Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra (as Artaxerxes II had invoked them) would continue to be prominent throughout the Sassanid age, "and were indeed (with Tiri and Verethragna) to remain the most popular of all divine beings in Western Iran. Tishtrya (Tištrya is the Avestan language name of an Zoroastrian benevolent divinity associated with life-bringing rainfall and fertility " Moreover, the iconoclasm of Bahram I and later kings apparently did not extend to images where they themselves are represented. At an investiture scene at Naqsh-e Rustam, Narseh (r. Naqsh-e Rustam (in Persian: نقش رستم Nāqš-e Rostām) is an archaeological site located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars province Narseh (whose name is also sometimes written as Narses or Narseus) was the seventh Sassanid King of Persia (293&ndash302 and son of Shapur 293-302 CE) is seen receiving his crown from a female divinity identified as Anahita. Narseh, like Artaxerxes II, was apparently also very devoted to Anahita, for in the investure inscription at Paikuli (near Khaniqin, in present-day Iraq), Narseh invokes "Ormuzd and all the yazatas, and Anahid who is called the Lady. Khanaqin Kurdish خانه قين, Xaneqîn ( Arabic خانقين,, also transliterated as Khanakin Xanaqin is a city in eastern Yazata is the Avestan language word for a Zoroastrian concept "
Anahita has also been identified as a figure in the investiture scene of Khusrow Parvez (r. Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called 590-628 CE) at Taq-e Bostan, but in this case not quite as convincingly as for the one of Narseh. Taqwasân or Taq-e Bostan or Taq-i-Bustan ( Persian: طاق بستان, Kurdish: Taqwesan is a series of large rock relief from the era of  But, aside from the two rock carvings at Naqsh-e Rustam and Taq-e Bostan, "few figures unquestionably representing the goddess are known. " The figure of a female on an Achaemenid cylinder seal has been identified as that of Anahita, as have a few reliefs from the Parthian era (250 BCE-226 CE), two of which are from ossuaries. Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran 
In addition, Sassanid silverware depictions of nude or scantily dressed women seen holding a flower or fruit or bird or child are identified as images of Anahita.  Additionally, "it has been suggested that the colonnaded or serrated crowns [depicted] on Sasanian coins belong to Anahid. "
The cult flourished in Lydia even as late as end of the Hellenistic Parthian epoch. Defining Lydia Aside from a legend related by Herodotus, who states that the name Lydia came from king Lydus at the time of the fall of Troy  The Lydians had temples to the divinity at Sardis, Philadelphia, Hierocæsarea, Hypaipa, Maeonia and elsewhere; the temple at Hierocæsarea reportedly[c10] having been founded by "Cyrus" (presumably Cyrus the Younger, brother of Artaxerxes II, who was satrap of Lydia between 407 and 401 BCE). Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in Alaşehir ( Greek: Philadélphia (Φιλαδέλφεια is a town and district of Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey Hierocæsarea, also spelled Hierocaesarea, from the Greek for 'sacred' and the Latin for 'Casear's' is a Roman Catholic Titular bishopric in the former Roman Defining Lydia Aside from a legend related by Herodotus, who states that the name Lydia came from king Lydus at the time of the fall of Troy Cyrus (Kuruš the Younger, son of Darius II of Persia (Dārayavahuš and Parysatis, was a Persian prince and General. See also the related deity Satrapes. Satrap (Persian ساتراپ was the name given to the governors of the Provinces of ancient In the second century CE, the geographer Pausanias reports having personally witnessed (apparently Mazdean) ceremonies at Hypaipa and Hierocaesarea. Pausanias ( Greek:) was a Greek traveller and Geographer of the 2nd century CE, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus [c11] According to Strabo, Anahita was revered together with Omanos at Zela in Pontus. Strabo ( Greek: Στράβων 63/64 BC – ca AD 24 was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher. Zile, also known as Zela, is a City and a district of Tokat Province, Turkey. Geography The Black Sea region loosely called Pontus by various scholars has a steep rocky coast with rivers that cascade through the gorges of the coastal ranges [c12] [c13] At Castabala, she is referred to as 'Artemis Perasia'. [c14] Anahita and Omanos had common altars in Cappadocia. Cappadocia (or Capadocia, Turkish Kapadokya, from Greek: Καππαδοκία / Kappadokía which in turn is from the Persian: [c15]
Main article: Anahit
"Hellenic influence [gave] a new impetus to the cult of images [and] positive evidence for this comes from Armenia, then a Zoroastrian land. Anahit was the goddess of fertility and birth (analog to Aphrodite beauty and water in Armenian mythology " According to Strabo, the "Armenians shared in the religion of the Perses and the Medes and particularly honored Anaitis". [c16] The kings of Armenia were "steadfast supporters of the cult" and Tiridates III, before his conversion to Christianity, "prayed officially to the triad Aramazd-Anahit-Vahagn but is said to have shown a special devotion to 'the great lady Anahit, . Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani Tiridates III (or Trdat III; Armenian: hy Տրդատ Գ 250s – Circa 330 was the king of Arsacid Armenia (285-339 and is also known In Armenian mythology Aramazd was the father of all gods and goddesses the creator of heaven and earth Vahagn (or Vahagan was a god worshiped anciently and historically in Armenia. . . the benefactress of the whole human race, mother of all knowledge, daughter of the great Aramazd'" According to Agathangelos, tradition required the Kings of Armenia to travel once a year to the temple at Eriza (Erez) in Acilisene in order to celebrate the festival of the divinity; Tiridates made this journey in the first year of his reign where he offered sacrifice and wreaths and boughs. Agathangelos (in Armenian Ագաթանգեղոս in Greek Αγαθάνγελος was a supposed secretary of Tiridates III, King of Armenia Hachdeanq was a region and family of the old Armenia c 400-800 [c27] The temple at Eriza appears to have been particularly famous, "the wealthiest and most venerable in Armenia"[c29], staffed with priests and priestesses, the latter from eminent families who would serve at the temple before marrying. [c16] This practice may again reveal Semitic syncretic influences, and is not otherwise attested in other areas. Pliny reports that Mark Antony's soldiers smashed an enormous statue of the divinity made of solid gold and then divided the pieces amongst themselves. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author Marcus Antonius (in Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N ( c January 14 83 BC&ndash August 1, 30 BC known in English as Mark [c19] Also according to Pliny, supported by Dio Cassius, Acilisene eventually came to be known as Anaetica. Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus ( Greek:) (c 155 or 163/164 to after 229 known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius, or Dio was [c20] [c21] Dio Cassius also mentions that another region along the Cyrus River, on the borders of Albania and Iberia, was also called "the land of Anaitis. "[c22][σ]
Anahit was also venerated at Artashat (Artaxata), the capital of the Armenian Kingdom, where her temple was close to that of Tiur[φ], the divinity of oracles. Artashat (Արտաշատ Hellenized as Artaxata: Ἀρτάξατα is a city on the Araks River in the Ararat valley At Astishat, center of the cult of Vahagn, she was revered as oskimyr, the 'golden mother'. Vahagn (or Vahagan was a god worshiped anciently and historically in Armenia. [c24] In 69 BCE, the soldiers of Lucullus saw cows consecrated to 'Persian Artemis' roaming freely at Tomisa in Sophene (on the Euphrates in South-West Armenia), where the animals bore the brand of a torch on their heads. For his grandfather and namesake see Lucius Licinius Lucullus. For the kingdom please see Kingdom of Sophene. Sophene (Ծոփք - Tsopk) was a province of the Armenian Kingdom and of the Roman Empire The Euphrates ( ( Arabic: ar نهر الفرات; Turkish: tr Fırat Syriac: syr ܦܪܬ; Hebrew: he פרת [c25] Following Tiridates' conversion to Christianity, the cult of Anahit was condemned and iconic representations of the divinity were destroyed. 
Attempts have been made to identify Anahita as one of the prime three divinities in Albania, but these are questionable. This article is about the country in southern Europe For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Albania topics. However, in the territories of the Moschi in Colchis, Strabo mentions[c26] a cult of Leucothea, which Wesendonck and others have identified as an analogue of Anahita. In ancient Geography, Colchis or Kolchis ( Georgian and Laz: კოლხეთი k'olxeti; Greek:, Kolchís In Greek mythology, Leucothea ( Greek: Leukothea (Λευκοθέα English translation: "white goddess" was one of the aspects 
As a divinity Aredvi Sura Anahita is of enormous significance to the Zoroastrian religion, for as a representative of Aban ('the waters'), she is in effect the divinity towards whom the Yasna service - the primary act of worship - is directed. Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings Apas ( ae-Latn āpas) is the Avestan language term for "the waters" which&mdashin its innumerable Yasna ( Avestan: 'oblation' or 'worship' is the name of the primary liturgical collection of texts of the Avesta as well as the name of the (see Ab-Zohr). Ab-Zohr (āb-zōhr is the culminating rite of the greater Yasna service the principal Zoroastrian act of worship that accompanies the recitation of the "To this day reverence for water is deeply ingrained in Zoroastrians, and in orthodox communities offerings are regularly made to the household well or nearby stream" [ε]
It is "very probable" that the shrine of Bibi Shahrbanu at royal Ray (Rhagae, central Medea) was once dedicated to Anahita. Shahrbānū (or Shahr Banu) ( Persian: شهربانو (Meaning "Lady of the Land" is a personage described to have been one of the daughters of See Rayshahr for the Sassanid center of learning in Fars province [ρ] Similarly, one of the "most beloved mountain shrines of the Zoroastrians of Yazd, set beside a living spring and a great confluence of water-courses, is devoted to Banu-Pars, 'the Lady of Persia'. "
However, and notwithstanding the widespread popularity of Anahita, "it is doubtful whether the current tendency is justified whereby almost every isolated figure in Sassanid art, whether sitting, standing, dancing, clothed, or semi-naked, is hailed as her representation. "
By the 1st century BCE, Armenian Anahit had became the object of a cult distinct from Zoroastrianism. In 1997, the Central Bank of Armenia issued a commemorative gold coin with an image of the divinity on the obverse.
|α||^||Boyce (1982:29-31) proposes that there was once a Perso-Elamite divinity named *Anahiti (as she reconstructs it from the Greek rendering of Anaitis, being otherwise unattested in old Persian) that was an analogue of Semitic Ishtar-Inanna. Anahita temple kangavar mapgif|thumb|right|200px|The Anahita temple at Kangavar site plan Depicted are A) "temple" B) courtyard C) peristyle]]The Ishtar ( D IŠTAR 𒀭𒌋𒁯 is the Assyrian and Babylonian counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to Inanna ( D INANNA B153ellstpng|100x20px|INANNA]]) is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love fertility and warfare "That the concept [of *Anahiti] owes much to that of Ishtar was first suggested by H. Gressman, Archiv f. Religionswissenschaft XX, 1920, 35ff. , 323ff. "|
An inheritance from Ishtar is also supported by Cumont and Lommel.  For a rejection of some of the numerous other identifications (Atargatis, Anat, etc. For the metal band see Atargatis (band. Atargatis, in Aramaic ‘Atar‘atah, was a Syrian deity "the great Anat, also ‘Anat is a major northwest Semitic goddess ‘Anat in Ugarit In the Ugaritic Ba‘al / Hadad cycle ‘Anat ) as historically distinct, see Meyer. 
|β||^||According to Boyce's theory (see note α above), "the problem of how to offer veneration to a divinity unknown to the Avesta was solved by assimilating *Anāhiti to *Harahvaitī Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā, whose third epithet was very close to the western divinity's proper name, and indeed may already in late Old Persian have become identical with it, through the dropping of the final vowel in ordinary speech. " |
In antiquity, "to invoke a deity correctly, it was essential to know his proper name" and when people "worshipped gods other than their own, they invoked them by their original names. "
|γ||^||Persis is Greek for the ethnic group of people from Parsa (Persia proper). Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Herodotus, was born and raised in Lydia (then an Achaemenid satrapy) and hence quite aware of the differences between the various ethnic groups (Persis, Medes etc). Defining Lydia Aside from a legend related by Herodotus, who states that the name Lydia came from king Lydus at the time of the fall of Troy See also the related deity Satrapes. Satrap (Persian ساتراپ was the name given to the governors of the Provinces of ancient Herodotus reported on the customs as he observed them in Asia-Minor; he did not visit Parsa.|
|δ||^||Although Taqizadeh's hypothesis is not supportable in light of the archaic nature of the Gathic nucleus of Yasht 5 (see In the Avesta, above), it is worth noting that Artaxerxes I (r. Artaxerxes I (Latin Greek Ἀρταξέρξης Persian اردشیر یکم (Ardeshir corruption of Old Persian 𐎠𐎼𐎭𐎧𐎨𐏁𐎨 Artaxšacā 465-424 BCE) moved his capital from Susa to Babylon, where it would remain until Artaxerxes II moved it back in 395 BCE. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Babylon was a City-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq Artaxerxes II Mnemon ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçrā, Ἀρταξέρξης (ca Darius II was half-Babylonian and died in Babylon. Darius's son and successor, Artaxerxes II also had a Babylonian mother, Parysatis, who was immensely influential on both Darius and her sons (the other being Cyrus the Younger). Parysatis was the 5th century BCE illegitimate daughter of Artaxerxes I, Emperor of Persia and Andia of Babylon. Cyrus (Kuruš the Younger, son of Darius II of Persia (Dārayavahuš and Parysatis, was a Persian prince and General. |
Widengren has a similar hypothesis, but places it in the Proto-Avestan period. In this opinion, Anahita is Nahaithya, the Avestan daeva(s) that Widengren also suggests might be cognate with the Nasatyas. The Ashvins (अश्विन ( aśvin- "possessor of horses" "horse tamer" "cavalier" dual aśvinau) or Ashwini Kumaras
|ε||^||Although one could (polemically) say Zoroastrians were fire worshippers, it would be quite as just and reasonable to call them water worshippers. |
|ζ||^||Boyce agrees: "Linguistically, Aredvi Sura's hymn appears older than [the Gathic hymn of] Asi's. " It "was presumably after [Artaxerxes II] that verses [that] describe a temple statue" were incorporated in Yasht 5. |
|η||^||Berosus' account dates to ca. 285 BCE, Artaxerxes II died in 358 BCE.|
|θ||^||'Mnemon' is a Greek epithet, roughly translatable as 'the mindful one', but is itself a mistranslation of Vohu Manah, the Amesha Spenta of 'Good Mind' or 'Good Purpose'. ae Amesha Spenta ( ae Aməša Spənta) is an Avestan language term for a class of divinity/divine concepts in Zoroastrianism, and literally means "Bounteous |
|λ||^||See also: Müller's Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, 16|
|μ||^||"Artemis [is] one of the Greek identifications of Anahid. " Isidore of Charax (Mansiones Parthicae 1) also speaks of "the city of Besechana" (Piruz-sabur, Parthian Msyk, or Massice by Pliny) "in which is a temple of Atargatis", which Boyce, citing Chaumont, states is a temple of Anahita at Beonan. Isidore of Charax, also known as Isidorus Characenus, was a 1st century geographer from the city of Charax in Characene, on the northern end of the present  Atargatis is however a Levantine goddess and, although also associated with water and the planet Venus, had a cult that is historically distinct from that of Anahita. For the metal band see Atargatis (band. Atargatis, in Aramaic ‘Atar‘atah, was a Syrian deity "the great See also Names of the Levant The Levant (lə'vænt is a geographical term that denotes a large area in Western Asia, roughly bounded on the north by the |
|ν||^||"It is impossible (in the absence of contemporary Iranian evidence) to know the limits of what is implied here - whether, that is, all priestesses of Anahita were required at this epoch to be chaste for life, or only certain among them. Celibacy is not in general a state respected by Zoroastrians, or regarded by them as meritorious. "|
|π||^||Ecbatana "is said to have greatly exceeded all the other cities in wealth and the magnificence of its buildings" (Polybius, Histories 10. Polybius (ca 203 &ndash 120 BC, Greek) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his book called The Histories 27. 5). The citadel supposedly had a circumference of 7 stades (ca. The ancient Greek system of weights and measures was built mainly upon the Egyptian, and formed the basis of the later Roman system. 1,300 m; 1,400 yd) and built of cedar and cypress wood. The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International A yard (abbreviation yd) is a unit of Length in several different systems including English units Imperial units and United "The rafters, the compartments of the ceiling, and the columns in the porticoes and colonnades were plated with either silver or gold, and all the tiles were silver" (10. 27. 10-11).|
|ρ||^||In 1948, Persian scholar Abd al-Husayn Nava'i addressed the Shahrbanu legend and suggested that there must have been a Zoroastrian shrine at Ray whose sanctity attracted the legend. See Rayshahr for the Sassanid center of learning in Fars province |
The shrine, which legend attributes to the eldest daughter of Yazdegerd III, continues to be a pilgrimage site (by women only, through a concession by male descendants of Mohammed) even in Islamic times. Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of  Boyce suggests that the shrine may be even older than the Sassanid period, dating perhaps to the Hellenistic Parthian era. 
|σ||^||"like Acilisene, it was doubtless the territory of a temple dedicated to Anahita but otherwise unknown. "|
|φ||^||According to Boyce, Tiur is Mesopotamian Nabu-*Tiri conflated with Avestan Tishtrya.  In Hellenic (Seleucid and Parthian) times Tiur was associated with Pythian Apollo, patron of Delphi. The Seleucid Empire /sə'lusɪd/ ( 312 - 63 BC) was a Hellenistic empire i PYTHIA is a computer simulation program for particle collisions at very high energies (see Event (particle physics) in Particle accelerators Delphi ( Greek,) ( pronounce and dialectal forms) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western|
|ψ||^||The stone lion of Hamadan is said to have been part of Alexander's plan to build a monument to Hephaestion. Hamedān or Hamadān ( Persian: همدان, Old Persian: Hagmatana Hebrew: המזיין Ancient Greek: Ecbatana) Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' Hephaestion ( Greek:, alternative spelling "Hephaistion" c|
|Ω||^ ^||Plutarch is relying on older sources, probably on "the often innacurate" Ctesias. Ctesias of Cnidus ( Greek) was a Greek Physician and Historian from Cnidus in Caria.|