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

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.

 

FINDING GASPAR

One of the easiest historical connections that we can make to the Biblical Magi takes us to India of all places.


Now, of course, the Magi probably came from Persia ; although there are strong arguments for any land on the east side of the Jordan.  There have been theories of Magi coming from Ethiopia and Yemen as well as Arabia, Persia and even China.  But one connection most gravitate to in this kind of study is the search for the Magi, Gaspar.

Gaspar (also spelled Caspar) has been linked to a king in India named Gudaphares or Gondaphares.  Gondaphares I was a representative of the Parthian house of SUREN and the founder of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom.  He was a vassal of the ruling powers in Seistan.  Most believe he ruled from 20-10 BC. although one king calling himself Gondophares is recorded on a rock inscription around 20 -46 AD.  What we have found through modern research is that the name ‘Gondophares’ was a title held by many kings in the area.

“The name Gondophares is a latinization of Greek ΥΝΔΟΦΕΡΡΗΣ with gen. -ΟΥ, from Old Persian Vindafarna ‘May he find glory.’   Gondophares is ‘Gastaphar’ in Armenian. “Gundaparnah” was apparently the Eastern Iranian (Sistani) form of the name. In Pashto, the most widely spoken Eastern Iranian language, it is Gandapur, a surname and one denoting a certain tribal lineage amongst the Pashtoons of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/gondophares#ixzz3NtkK9lCT

Saint Thomas of India_thumb[2]
The Apocryphal ACTS OF THOMAS names a king in INDIA,  Gudnaphar who the apostle was sold to in slavery as a carpenter.   The King’s brother Gad, thought dead, plead Thomas’ case when he used funds he was given charge over to build a palace to take care of the poor.  Thomas departed to Madras where he is commemorated as the founder of a South Indian Christian community.  There is a church there named in his honor.

Strangely enough, Gondophares is thought through legend to be a descendant of King David, a ‘Phares’ or ‘Perez’.  

On top of this, there are direct connections between the Magi and India.  Magadha is a state in India that has a reportedly deep history with the Magi.  

“The term Maga or Magha, still used for some of the local people, particularly Magha Brahmanas, is thought by some to be derived from MAGI, a class of early Zoroastrian priests.  This has led to the theory that Zoroastrians once settled here and were absorbed into Hinduism.”
The Religions of India by Roshen Dalal

Especially after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the onslaught of Ardishir I and the Sassanian Empire in the mid to late 3rd century AD,  many of the traditional Magi who did not serve their new masters were scattered across the globe.  It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that some fled to family ties in India.

There also seems to be a lot of scholastic research concerning connections between the Magi of India and Hebrews who were brought to Babylon in the Disporia as a part of their conquest.  Here’s a sample:

“It was in that part of the Gangetic Valley now called Behar and anciently Magadha that these people who were the sons of the mother MAGA, the Persian Magi, became the Maghada, sons of the wonder-working mother of fire…  But these people had started from Armenia, not only as the conquering sons of shelah, the magic wand, but also as the offspring of his son EBER, father of the Iberians, sons of the rivers, and of the HEBREW race.  “

The Westminster Review
Volume 143
P 14

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