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HYSTASPES (the Greek form of the Persian Vishtaspa).

(1) A semi-legendary king (kava), praised by Zoroaster as his protector and a true believer, son of Aurvataspa (Lohrasp). The later tradition and the Shahname of Firdousi makes him (in the modern form Kai Gushtasp) king of Iran. As Zoroaster probably preached his religion in eastern Iran, Vishtaspa must have been a dynast in Bactria or Sogdiana. The Zoroastrian religion was already dominant in Media in the time of the Assyrian king Sargon (c. 715 B.C.), and had been propagated here probably in much earlier times (cf. PERSIA); the time of Zoroaster and Vishtaspa may therefore be put at c. 1000 B.C.

(2) A Persian, father of Darius I., under whose reign he was governor of Parthia, as Darius himself mentions in the Behistun inscription (2. 65). By Ammianus Marcellinus, xxiii. 6. 32, and by many modern authors he has been identified with the protector of Zoroaster, which is equally impossible for chronological and historical reasons, and from the evidence of the development of Zoroastrianism itself (see PERSIA: Ancient History). (Eo. M.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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