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Zurvan. ‘Time’ in Zoroastrianism, speculation on which subject appears to have given rise to a ‘heresy’ so powerful that it was dominant in Sasanian if not Achaemenid times. Essentially it appears to have been an intellectual interpretation of the doctrine rather than a formal cult, since there is no evidence of a separate priesthood or temples. Probably under Greek philosophical influence, Time was seen as the source and controller of all things, as the unity behind the polarity of the twin spirits of good and evil, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. If the idea of twins requires a father, then Zurvan was that father. But Time as the controller of all things led to a doctrine of pre-destination, fundamentally at variance with ‘orthodox’ teachings on free will (Fravasi).

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