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19 December 2014


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Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Yule, and a Merry Christmas!

Lady Antebellum - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtErbVIoEII

Little Drummer Boy - Pentatonix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_MGWio-vc

Tom Lehrer - Hanukkah in Santa Monica https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSCmZU0eFJg


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Babak Makkinejad


As long as it is acknowledged that the 3 Magi (from Ancient Persian) were 3 Persian Princes we would be fine.


Babak, that you want the three Magi to have a distinctive national origin over the centuries, somewhat surprises me. They no doubt are said to have been strangers from far, from the East.

But then I checked since there has to be a debate:

"...Sebastian Brock, a historian of Christianity, has said: "It was no doubt among converts from Zoroastrianism that… certain legends were developed around the Magi of the Gospels".[29][30] And Anders Hultgård concluded that the Gospel story of the Magi was influenced by an Iranian legend concerning magi and a star, which was connected with Persian beliefs in the rise of a star predicting the birth of a ruler and with myths describing the manifestation of a divine figure in fire and light.[31]"

Why do you have the desire to locate them nationally in time and space?

I could check Avner Falk's, highly overwhelming attempt at dealing with the psychological impact of centuries of semu-mythical religious history. Maybe I reread his chapter on the times around Christianity. But strictly the 3 Magi seem to belong in the more mythical realms of the Christian story. Although, no doubt I loved this story especially as a child.

But it never really mattered where they came from. Sure from far, from East.

I hardly remember anything in this 850 pages study:
http://www.amazon.com/Psychoanalytic-History-Jews-Avner-Falk/dp/1611471303 ... But it is an interesting endeaver.

Happy Christmas to all Christians and whatever date and festivities others may have religious or non religious around winter solstice times: The very, very best to all the members or visitors of SST - out there.

Frohes Fest - Glückliches Neues Jahr
happy festivities - happy new year


oops, one mistake beyond bad proofreading, I guess.

Not winter solstice I guess, I don't want to exclude the southern hemisphere. ;)

Babak Makkinejad

Not at all, I find it interesting that there has been a Persian connection both to early Christianity in the personages of the 3 Magi as well as to early Islam in the person of Salam the Persian (Pak).

I wonder if there could have been a Persian connection to Moses as well - certainly there was a Persian connection to what later, among Jews, became Judaism and Pharisees.

It could be that all of these religions came out from under the robe of Zoroaster - it seems to me.


Merry Christmas a happy new year and a belated Chanukah to all SST friends. :)


"as well as to early Islam in the person of Salam the Persian (Pak)"

I believe you are referring to Salman al Farsi (Salman the Persian) Salman being the arabic translation of hebrew name Solomon.



Suleiman is Solomon in Arabic I think. pl


Hmm?? Babak, you could be right that this is far lesser trampled route concerning exploring cultural influences.

Moses? Well, yes our cultural memory seems to be dominated by the idea that Akhenaten is the precursor of Monotheism. ... In spite of the fact that Zaroaster was quite present from ancient Greece on, both in the arts and in philosophy. I guess these experts lost the competitive intellectual war. Or he was reduced to dualist versus monotheist?

On the other hand, i have to admit that Zarathustra remained equally mythical as Mooses himself for me. Maybe due to my rather limited grasp of ancient history and its languages.

Add to that, that I have to freely admit, that I was from very early on very fascinated by Egypt. If one would take a poll, I guess a much higher percentage of the Western world would respond similarly. Admittedly Persia was a rather blank space to me before I met Persian. Add further, I would have to check but strictly it feels to me my history lessons of the regions further East started with Alexander the Great. At least as far as I recall it.

checked with a friend with a more solid background in ancient languages and history. Just asking made interesting matters surface ... Basically I would like to read a book about The East in Western Mind over the ages. ...

thanks for responding, Babak, I guess I may have misinterpreted your response in this intimate Christmas setting of porcelain versus wood nativities.

Babak Makkinejad

Solomon is Arabic is "Soleyman" سلیمان and not "salman" - سلمان.

Babak Makkinejad

Mary Settegast in her book on Zoroaster mentions that the Greek and Roman historians dated Zoroaster to 8600 years ago (from now).

That makes Zoroaster earlier that Akhenaten.

What is left of Zoroaster's message/ministry/religion is a few obscure lines of poetry that are incomprehensible and a compendium of dreary legal precepts and rules (for rituals as well as everyday living).

In my opinion, we cannot recover the true message of Zoroaster - it is lost - and per chance, the dualism attributed to him might be of later origin.

I sometimes wonder if Islam would fare any better thousands of years from now.

That is, one can contemplate a future in which only a few verses of the Quran have remained extant - say those on the creation of Adam and a few of the Nur Chapter ("God is the Light of Heavens and Earth..") - together with a compendium of religious laws & regulation.

Would not one then think of Islam as a dualistic religion as well; with not much substance beyond its arcane religious law and legends of the Prophet?

In fact, I discern in the Protestant Churches in the United States the beginnings of a reversion back to a sort of dualism in which God is All-Good and All-Loving - to the exclusion of All-Evil and All-Hatred.

They are not yet dualists like the ancient Manicheans but I would say they are well on their way; just give them a few centuries more...


you are absolutely right, Suleiman (with a 'yaay'). Had bunch of Suleimans and Salmans in my class in primary school and i always mixed them up.

However it seems Salman has the same root as the Suleiman.

Perhaps Salman is a variant of Suleiman dervied in Arabic i could be wrong though.


Yes you are right. I have always thought of 'Salman' as variant of the translation 'Suleiman'. They seem to have same root as well.
Do you know what is the etymology of Salman that would differentiate it from Suleiman?



IMO "Salman" is deroved from the verbal root SLM having to do with "peace" i.e., I think this means "making peace". "Suleiman" I think means "peace maker" from the same root. pl


Makes sense. Thank you!

Babak Makkinejad

Farooq & Col. Lang:

The interesting thing for me is the word for the barber/hair-dresser in Persian:


Does it also derive from the root سلم



I would think that "salmani" in Persian IS derived from the Arabic verbal root "slm." This root has many functional areas of meaning. among them is the idea of making something ordered (arranged). pl

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you Sir.


Charles Dekle,
many thanks! Frohe Weinachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

re: Christmas markets, Nurembergs is indeed quite remarkable. The one thing from Nuremberg that I can't do without every year is Nürnberger Lebkuchen (without chocolate).

My city, Cologne, has a nice christmas market well placed right at the Dom (the cathedral) but ususally, unlike Nuremberg, we don't have snow i.e. 'real winters': Today, we have 9°C and it's cloudy. Glühwein needs cold and ideally snow for proper effect. Clear advantage to Nuremberg.

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