Ardashir, who was a zealous worshipper of Ahuramazda and in intimate connexion with the magian priests, established the orthodox Zoroastrian creed as the official religion of his new kingdom, persecuted the infidels, and tried to restore the old Persian empire, which under the Achaemenids had extended over the whole of Asia from the Aegean Sea to the Indus.
Meanwhile in Persia a usurper, the Magian Gaumata, arose in the spring of 522, who pretended to be the murdered Bardiya (Smerdis).
Every larger district had its upper Magian (Magu pat, mobed, i.e.
He even sought to emancipate himself from the Magian Church, put an end to the persecutions, and allowed the Persian Christians an individual organization.
The crown-prince, Chosroes, was, on the other band, wholly orthodox; and, towards the close of his fathers reign, in conjunction with the chief Magian, he carried through a sacrifice of the Mazdakites, who were butchered in a great massacre (528).