Graduate Papers

The Last Battle: The Dēnkard and the Post-Zoroastrian World

Keenan Baca-Winters

The Dēnkard is a compendium of Zoroastrian knowledge compiled in the ninth century CE. The Dēnkard was written in what was the Sasanian Empire, an empire whose government constructed a primordial Zoroastrian past based on the Avesta and the mythical Aryan homeland, written in this paper as Ērānšahr to properly reflect the Middle Persian, two hundred years after the early Islamic conquests and Roman-Sasanian War of the Seventh Century CE. Because of the time in which the Dēnkard was produced, a number of interesting things occur in the text that demonstrate an attempt by the compilers of this text to erect strong borders around Zoroastrians who did not convert when in a time when most Zoroastrians were converting to Islam, the religion of the Arab conquerors of Ērānšahr.