Did the traditional Magi, Gaspar, have connections to northern Iran?

We have already discussed the three traditional names of the Magi (Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar) and many of the connections.  Gaspar, especially, has strong connections to India and the Gondaphares dynasty.  This also lines up with the Gospel of Saint Thomas who also has strong connections in India due to his missionary journeys there.  In fact, to this day there is a strain of Christians there who call themselves Saint Thomas Christians.

But, in digging through the list of Magi in the recently released document, REVELATION OF THE MAGI, I found an interesting connection again possibly to the Kings named Gondaphares, India and, therefore, Gaspar.

I have found that most of the King names whose sons make up the twelve magi who visited the Christ child (So far at least) have coincided with the time of the early Sassanid rulers and their conquests of the Parthian kings.  Artaban, who was killed by Ardashir in 224 CE, and Santatruq, who was destroyed with his city, HATRA, in 240 CE are both mentioned in the list along with Merian and Khosrov who were kings in Iberia and Armenia.  Among these men is a king named Gudaphar which is, at least, connected to the Gondaphares line.

The Magi Princely son is named Austazp which is rendered Gusnasp by Theodorus bar Koni.  Amazingly enough, there is a King by that name and he and is people have connections to the Gondapharian dynasty.  But he didn’t reign in India.

The Kushan Empire had done major damage to the kingdom Gondaphares left his descendants about 79 AD.  Northern India had been taken from his current successor, Pacores, and most of what was left of that empire was driven deeper south.  However, there were holding further north that stayed intact but were separated from their southern brothers.


Mazandaran is the mountainous region north of Tehran and the ancient city of Ray!

Gusnasp reigned in the land called Mazandaran which included parts of the kingdoms of Tabaristan and Padashkhwargar.  It was from these lands that Artaban V drew troops to meet Ardashir on the day he fell.  The people of Mazandaran were a rugged, independent people and are know to have held off the Islamic invasion longer than most of their neighbors.  They were known to be available and able warriors and were called upon almost like mercenaries.  After the failure of Artaban V to stop the agression of Ardashir, Gusnasp was recorded via a letter to the Sassanian King weighing his options.

In the end, Gusnasp and his people agreed to turn on the Parthians and become a Sassanian vassal state, therefore keeping control of their lands and staving off an obviously tragic war.



Magi and ‘Fire Temples’

Zoroastrian Magi have always had a connection with fire.

But through the first 500 years of modern history, Magi were in a phase that rejected the idea of a place of worship and were radically against a temple of any sort.  They were thought of as folly.

This would mean that the Magi who worshiped the Christ child were of the same ilk, probably.

However, around 500 AD, the thought seemed to shift and small open aired ‘fire temples’ began to pop up all over the middle east and much of the near east also.

There were four simple walls representing the four directions  and, at its center an open flame.  These began to pop up in Armenia and up through Azerbaijani and may leave a trail to follow the descendants of the Magi.

The Lion of Namrut and the 8 point stars

Just a curiosity really.  The only connection, SO FAR, with our Magi studies is the ‘magi star’ or the 8 pointed stars that are scattered across the relief.  But it’s position in Armenia both before the rise and fall of the Parthian empire and after make it impossible to ignore!

The relief is said to be the constellation Leo and also is considered to be frozen in time.  A particular time, really.  According to most experts, it points to 109 BC; the time of the crowning of King Mithradates.  Named after the pagan god, Mithra, who was very popular with the assimilating Zoroastrians.

The statue was actually erected by Mithradates son, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene.  Other scholars point to the fact that the three planets shown and labeled above the lion/leo star chart actually passed through the constellation about 62 BC.  This could have possibly coincided with Anticuhus’ crowning by the Roman, general Pompey.

Whichever it was commemorating, we know that Antichus was a ‘helenized Zoroastrian’.  This and the eight point stars on his greatest commissioned work of art make him suspect of being a grand part of the legacy of the Magi.