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.



Earliest names of the Magi and Sassanian Kings

You will find many entries on the names of the legendary Magi here in this blog.  They vary from nation to nation and tongue to tongue.  But one of the earliest renditions of the three came from a 6th century Syrian source, one Zoroastrian scholar, Dariush Jahanian.

He listed the three Magi as follows:

Hormizdah, King of Persia

Yazdegerd, King of Saba

Perozadh, King of Sheba

Now, these names are not Sabaean or Arab, as one would expect, but Persian.


But the real astonishing thing is that during the fourth through sixth centuries the Sassanian Empire, began by Ardishir I back in the 3rd Century, had kings of similar names!

YAZDEGERD I (399-420)

Yazdegerd II (438-457)

Peroz I (457-484)

Hormizd IV (579-590)



(Notice that the Sasanian Empire reached to Yemen also called Saba or Sheba and parts of Atabia)

Was the writers intent to honor these Sassanian Kings in some way?  Why not?  I see similarities in the twelve names given in REVELATION OF THE MAGI to Parthian Kings of the 3rd Century.  It is not far to go to believe that the kings list and the Syrian Jahanian’s list were not also so influenced.