Persian Mythology (Iranian)

Persian Mythology, part of the cultural heritage of Iran (formerly Persia), is a blend of ancient Iranian folklore, Zoroastrianism, and Islamic influences. These myths are rich in epic heroes, complex deities, and profound philosophical insights.

Major Deities and Figures

  1. Ahura Mazda: The supreme god in Zoroastrianism, representing all that is good, truth, and light.
  2. Angra Mainyu (Ahriman): The destructive spirit, opposing Ahura Mazda, embodying darkness and evil.
  3. Mithra: A deity associated with covenant, light, and oath.
  4. Simorgh: A mythical bird, similar to the phoenix, often a symbol of wisdom.

Epic Tales and Poetic Literature

  • Shahnameh (The Book of Kings): An epic poem by Ferdowsi, recounting the history of Persia through mythical and historical narratives.
  • The Story of Rostam and Sohrab: A tragic tale of a father and son from the Shahnameh.

Zoroastrian Myths and Beliefs

  • Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, has significantly influenced Persian mythology.
  • Concepts like the eternal battle between good and evil, judgment after death, and the eventual triumph of good are central.

Folk Tales and Legends

  • Layla and Majnun: A famous love story often considered the Persian equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.
  • The Conference of the Birds: A Sufi allegorical story about the search for enlightenment.

Cultural and Artistic Influence

  • Persian mythology and its rich poetic tradition have profoundly influenced Iranian culture, art, literature, and music.
  • Persian miniature paintings, carpets, and architecture often depict scenes and symbols from these myths.

Modern Relevance

  • These myths and legends continue to be celebrated in Iranian literature, cinema, and festivals.
  • Persian mythology, with its themes of heroism, morality, and the struggle between good and evil, remains relevant in contemporary culture.

Mongolian Mythology

Mesopotamian Mythology (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian)