The present volume deals with the hidden meaning of the traditional date of Zoroaster, customarily placed 258 years before Alexander. But despite all the confusing appearances, the synchronism with the acme of the Iranian prophet was paradoxically anchored to the beginning of the Seleucid era (312/311 BCE). This solution gave Zoroaster a (pseudo)-historical character, removing him from the clouds of an undetermined past, although with a number of inevitable consequences, which this book tries to analyze. This study also shows that the early Sasanians had no fear of their future and that their religious chronology did not suffer a temporal reduction in order to avoid the risks of the approaching turn of the millennium. On the contrary, Zoroastrian millennialism was optimistic, despite the emergence of later apocalyptic doctrines, which, in any case, never countered the diffusion of a kind of eschatology based on the idea of the apocatastasis, which promised peace and salvation to everybody, including all the sinners in hell. The volume contains four additional contributions by Domenico Agostini (Tel Aviv University), Jeffrey Kotyk (University of British Columbia/University of Bologna), Paolo Ognibene (University of Bologna) and Alessia Zubani (Labex Hastec – École Pratique des Hautes Études), which develop some particular problems connected with the main subject of the present research.
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