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  • 3/12/2014

Zurkhane architecture and Mithraism[1] temples

zurkhane

The ranking in Zurkhane including KohneSavar, Morshed, Pishkesvat, SahebZang, SahebTaj, and Noche remind us of seven rankings among Mithraism followers which may have been of the same origins. Athletes reaching the rank of mastery were honored by leaders to have poverty crown. Followers of Roman Mithraism religion were encouraged to be better fighters. Fighting skills are also symbolically taught in Zurkhane. Many manly dances in Iran and other countries also represent fighting moves remained from those ancient manly traditions.

Based on these relations, Dr. Bahar believes, we could conclude something like Zurkhane athletics were done in European Mithraism temples. He concludes: 1. Considering the comparing research on Mithraism and Zurkhane and the relationship between Zurkhane and magnanimity, we could conclude the Zurkhane has an old history in Iran going back to at least the Parthian era; because this was the time when Mithraism went global and Mithraic temples, resembling Zurkhane were made in Europe and Ayari[2] became popular in Iran. 2. Body building in this tradition was an important precondition to reach the truth and health of the sole, but physical sports were closely related to developing morals making physical practices inseparable from moral ones. 3. Physical practices and athletics were main daily practices in ancient Iran. Athletes thankful for their physical and moral power were greatly regarded in their societies. 4. Athletes defended their people and land in case of need and were cheered for their power. Based on ancient Iranian religion, athletes first praised the beauty of paradise and then asked for physical and mental power. They firmly believed in powerful bodies and gave spirituality in their physical activities which affected their weapons.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi


Notes:

[1]The Mithraic Mysteries were a mystery religion practiced in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD

[2] Tradition honoring magnanimity

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