Book: The Chaldean Oracles by ZoroasterTHESE Oracles are considered to embody many of the principal features of Chaldan philosophy. They have come down to us through Greek Translations and were held in the greatest esteem throughout antiquity, a sentiment which was shared alike by the early Christian Fathers and the later Platonists. The doctrines contained therein are attributed to Zoroaster through to which particular Zoroaster is not known; historians give notices of as many as six different individuals all bearing that name, which was probably the title of the Prince of the Magi, and a generic term. The word Zoroaster is by various authorities differently derived: Kircher furnishes one of the most interesting derivations when he seeks to show that it comes from TzURA = a figure, and TzIUR = to fashion, ASH = fire, and STR = hidden; from these he gets the words Zairaster = fashioning images of hidden fireor Tzuraster = the image of secret things. Others derive it from Chaldee and Greek words meaning "a contemplator of the Stars."
It is not, of course, pretended that this collection as it stands is other than disjointed and fragmentary, and it is more than probable that the true sense of many passages has been obscured, and even in some cases hopelessly obliterated, by inadequate translation. Where it has been possible to do so, an attempt has been made to, elucidate doubtful or ambiguous expressions, either by modifying the existing translation from the Greek, where deemed permissible, or by appending annotations.
A certain portion of these Oracles collected by Psellus, appear to be correctly attributed to a Chaldan Zoroaster of very early date, and are marked "Z," following the method indicated by Taylor, with one or two exceptions. Another portion is attributed to a sect of Philosophers named Theurgists, who flourished during the reign of Marcus Antoninus, upon the authority of Proclus,*** and these are marked "T." Oracles additional to these two series and of less definite source are marked "Z or T." Other oracular passages from miscellaneous authors are indicated by their names.
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