Persian mythology, ancient

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Persian mythology, ancient Beliefs of the ancient Persian (Iranian) people. The oldest Persian deity was Mithra, who was identified with the sun. He was a god of courage and enlightenment, and led the chariot of the sun across the sky on its daily journey. He was associated with Anahita, the goddess of water and of fertility. In the Zoroastrian period, Mithra became subordinate to Ahura Mazdah, worshipped by the Achaemenid Kings of Persia as the creator and ruler of the world. Ahura Mazdah was engaged in an eternal conflict with Ahriman, the principle of evil. At a later period, both Ahura Mazdah and Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu) were regarded as the twin offspring of Zurvan (Time). Their cosmic struggle would end ultimately with the victory of Ahura Mazdah.