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Ahura Mazda And Angra Mainyu

Another extremely important ancient demon can be found in the Iranian figure Angra Mainyu, or "Evil Spirit," later known as Ahriman, who was paired in early Iranian mythology, especially as shaped by the prophet Zarathustra (or Zoroaster, as he was known to the ancient Greeks), with the beneficent deity Ahura Mazda, the "Wise Lord," called Ormazd in Middle Persian. Although they were not held to be siblings, Angra Mainyu and Ahura Mazda were believed to be engaged in an ongoing cosmic struggle, both for world hegemony and for each individual soul. Angra Mainyu/Ahriman was a true "Prince of Darkness," the diametric opposite—and eternal opponent—of the light-filled Ahura Mazda/Ormazd. The most extreme variant of this good-evil dichotomy was promulgated during the third-century C.E. by the Iranian religious reformer Mani (ca. 216–276 or 277 C.E.), founder of the Manichean sect, which, for a time, was a serious rival to nascent Christianity. According to the Manicheans, who emphasized free will, one could choose to follow the evil Ahriman, who might ultimately defeat Ormazd in their final, apocalyptic confrontation.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cyanohydrins to Departments of philosophy:Demonology - Osiris And Seth, Ahura Mazda And Angra Mainyu, Satanism, Non-western Demonology, She-devils And Female Demons