For those familiar with the Slavic sun worship (Svarog? Jason?) and fire (Svarozic as Brueckner would have it?) as well as the tales of a holy horse at Arkona (compare also the horse coins of the VIndelici), the following piece of information may be interesting. It comes from the Chronicle of Bishop John of Nikiu (Chapter 95) and talks about the Persian king Hurmuzd IV (Hormisdas) who reigned in Persia 578-590:
“The unhappy man was addicted to the worship of demons; moreover, he compelled Christians to worship fire and the sun. And the horses also that pastured on grass were objects of his worship.”
Earlier in (Chapter 5) John says the following under the title of “Concerning the beginning of the building of Babylon, and those who worship the image of the horse as a god, and the beginning of the chase and the eating of animal food.”
“And after [Cainan] the Indians composed (it), and there was a man from India, named Qantûrjûs [Gandubarius or Andubarius], an Ethiopian of the race of Ham, who was named Cush [author’s conflation]. He begat Afrûd, that is, Nimrod, the giant. He it was that built the city of Babylon. And the Persians served him and worshipped him as a god, and named him after the name of the stars of heaven and called him Orion, that is, Dabarah.* And he was the first to hunt and eat the flesh of animals.”
* Dabarah is an Ethiopic transcription of the Arabic word for Orion.
It is also worth point out that among the names that circulate in the Sassanid Empire at the time of Hurmuzd are such names as:
- Bozorgmehr-e Bokhtagan (Middle Persian: Wuzurgmihr ī Bōkhtagān), also known as Burzmihr, Dadmihr and Dadburzmihr who was the Qārinwand. (The Karenas, Karan-Vands, Qarinvand dynasty or Karen-Pahlevi, claimed descent from Karen, a figure of folklore and son of the equally mythical “Kaveh the Blacksmith”)
- Vinduyih (Middle Persian: Windôē)
- Bahrām Chōbīn aka Mihrevandak
Note also the similarities in these names to those of the “Paratarajas” of Baluchistan.
Further note that “Vandak” apparently meant “servant”. Mihrevandak means “servant of Mihr” or Mithra. Whether a “Vand” means, therefore, the same as a “Serv” is an interesting question. Though, apparently, such a “servant” would be of some divinity.
For added kicks, Mithra was a “yazata” which, as per the gods of Wikipedia, in turn, is “an Avestan language word meaning ‘a being worthy of worship’, ‘an object of worship” or “a holy being’.” Incidtentally, yaz– means “to worship, to honor, to venerate. The word yasna means “worship, sacrifice, oblation, prayer”.
The translation is by R. H. Charles. As he notes: “John of Nikiu was probably born about the time of the Mohammedan invasion of Egypt. He was the Coptic bishop of Nikiu and ‘rector’ of the bishops of Upper Egypt who took part in the election of the successor of John of Samnûd in 690 A.D. In 696 he was appointed administrator general of the Monasteries, but was later deposed from these offices on the ground that he had abused his powers. His Chronicle, though even imperfectly preserved, is of immense value to historians of Egypt.”
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