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.

 

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Original Home of the Magi?

One of the seven great houses of the Parthian Empire (which ruled parts of Persia from 247 BC–224 AD) was the House of Mihran. I believe the blood line of the magi can be traced through these houses and especially Mihran due to their coming from the city of Ray in modern Iran; also called Rhaga.

This city was the ancient home of the Median Empire of old. According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes:

Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, and ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes of which they consist: the Busae, theParetaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi.

The Median Tribes resided in the area in the triangle of between Ecbatana, Rhagae and Aspadana.

The Torah (Jewish holy book) claimed Ray is one door of the Earth and the people of the world go there for their commercial affairs.  According to the Avesta (sacred book of the Zoroastrians), Ray was a famous base of the Zoroastrian priests and the religious center of Zoroastrians before Islam. It was considered their holy city for some historians believed Zoroaster’s mother was a native of Ray; called Reyeh in the Avesta. It is interesting that the mother of Zoroaster, the patriarch of the Zoroastrian religion, claimed an area of which the Magi factored prominently.

What is even more interesting is the fact that the city of Ray is today known as the Iranian capital of Tehran.