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I follow the translation of Rev. James Legge, D. D., of the London Missionary Society, in my extracts from both.
Zoroaster, it is supposed, lived between 560 and 700 B. C., yet Dollinger fixes an earlier date, and with Rupp gives 1200 to 1300 B. C.
Some suppose two Zoroasters. He was a prince, or of high birth. The Zendavesta is probably made up of fragments of different works, partly by Zoroaster, and the Gathas, or songs, are its oldest parts, considered by Dr. Haug as dating back to Moses' time, or 1480. B. C. It is the sacred and infallible book of the Persians. The Zend language is probably a dialect of the Sanscrit, yet scholars are not agreed
I use Mrs. Child's work, an article in the Radical, by C. D. B. Mills, of Syracuse, and Ross Winans' “One Religion, Many Creeds,” for my authorities.
The author of the Divine Pymander, or Poemander, is spoken of by Lord Bacon as of kingly power, priestly illumination, and profound wisdom-“Potestate regis, illuminatione sacerdotis, eruditione philosophiae!" I use Dr. Everard's translation, made in England, A. D. 1650. The preface says the work has been published in Arabic, Greek, Latin, French and Dutch. Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus was a king of Egypt. Probabilities put him with the Pharaohs before Moses, yet this is disputed by some. This remarkable work is held authentic by eminent authorities.
Marcus Aurelius Antonius was Emperor of Rome, A. D. I21.
Epictetus was a native of Hieropolis, a city of Phrygia, and was a slave in Rome to Epaphroditus, a courtier of Nero, about A. D. 65. He was made free and died old and poor, ever cheerful and kind to all.
Seneca was of Spanish birth, came to Rome with his father in the reign of Augustus Cæsar, and rose to eminence, but suffered for his liberal opinions.
All three, especially the two last, were of the Stoic Philosophers.
I use the translations in Bohn's Classical Library.