Audio Book – The Story of the Zoroastrians: An Historical Perspective

I am writing to introduce you to my Audio Book – The Story of the Zoroastrians: An Historical Perspective – that is now available on my website
The story of the Zoroastrians is such an integral part of Iranian civilization that one cannot understand one without the other. The Audio Book is an historical overview. It takes as its starting point the Zoroastrian dynasties of the Achaemenids, Parthians and the Sasanians when Iran was a superpower. It then progresses to the Arab invasion of the Iranian Empire and the Islamization of Iran and the diminishing Zoroastrian population. This leads onto the subject of the survival of Zoroastrians and Zoroastrianism in Iran governed by Muslim dynasties; and the experiences of Zoroastrians into the 20th century. The final sections include the Parsi migration and settlement in India and the community’s interactions with the British and its’ place on the sub-continent post-independence.
The duration of the Audio Book is 8 hours and 10 minutes. When you visit the website, and to ensure the best listening experience, please follow the instructions to make sure you have the correct audio book reader.
In addition to the Audio Book, the .zip file contains:
Table of Contents
Time Line
For your convenience, you may download them directly from here itself:

Map of the Persian Empire

Map of Modern Iran

I would recommend you print these pdfs and the maps; keep them handy and refer to them while listening. For ease of listening, the Table of Contents lists the start time of each section. As you would expect, you can pause and start at any point in the recording.
Please feel free to introduce the website and the Audio Book to friends, family and anyone you feel may be interested in the subject.
It is my hope that you may find the re-telling helpful, and in its audio format, you can keep and return to the Story of the Zoroastrians.
You may download the audio file here and hear it with iTunes or VLC player:
Rashna Writer

Rashna Writer is a political scientist. She commenced her career as a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; went on to become a Contributing Editor of the Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook; Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy. Subsequently, she was Head of Global Risks for a strategic risk consultancy in the UK, where she specialized in advising Lloyds of London syndicates specialty insurance underwriters on war, political and terrorism risks. She was a senior advisor to some European companies. She occasionally contributed on CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters television on strategic risk issues.

Rashna pursued a parallel career in academia. She is the author of Contemporary Zoroastrians: An Unstructured Nation (1994); co-author, with Shahrokh Shahrokh of The Memoirs of Keikhosrow Shahrokh (1994), and author of The Reshaping of Iran from Zoroastrian to Muslim (2013), and the audio book The Story of the Zoroastrians: An Historical Perspective (2021). She has lectured on ancient Iranian history at Birbeck College (London) and Richmond College (London); was a Research Assistant at Manchester University where she undertook work on the Zoroastrian community in the United Kingdom. Between 2008 and 2019, she was Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, where she lectured on Zoroastrianism in Ancient and Modern Worlds. She has participated at international conferences and lectured in the UK, USA and the Indian sub-continent on Iranian history.

Among her awards were a Commonwealth Scholarship (1973), and a Fellowship of the British Institute of Persian Studies (1988/89). She was a member of the National Employment Panel: 2006-2007, commissioned by Britain’s then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, before his elevation to the office of Prime Minister.

Rashna Writer holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics in International Relations.


  • Thank you for creating this informative audio book and .pdfs.

  • It would be interesting to see the research on the Zoroastrians who choose to go East following the Muslim “convert to Islam or die” ultimatum, into what is now China, where fire temple remains have been found; and those who fled West, eventually settling in the Cathar region in the area between France and Spain, attempting to assimilate into the prevailing Catholic orthodoxy, only to be suppressed and slaughtered in the Albigensian Crusades in the 11th and 12th century.

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