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.
For a long time the city and country was the central seat of the Zoroastrian religion, the founder of which is said to have died within the walls.
Furthermore, it is now very generally admitted that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which is advanced for the first time in the Old Testament in Daniel, also originated among the Persians, 8 and could only have been engrafted on the Jewish mind after a long period of intercourse with the Zoroastrian religion, which came into contact with the Jewish thinkers considerably after the time of Nebuchadrezzar.
The investigations of Haug, Spiegel and Windischmann show that this was a real Zoroastrian doctrine.
It consists, as we shall afterwards see, of the last remains of the extensive sacred literature in which the Zoroastrian faith was formerly set forth.