Category Archives: History

Passport – A Persian Innovation

Passport – A Persian Innovation

Reportedly, one of the earliest references to passports is found in the Biblical book of Nehemiah, circa 450 BC. Nehemiah, an official serving King Artaxerxes I of Persia, asked leave to travel to Judea. The king gave a letter addressed ‘to the governors beyond the river’, requesting a safe passage.

The Persian Kings of the Achaemenid dynasty were great visionaries and pioneers. Historians refer to Kurush II, more popularly known as Cyrus the Great, as “the most outstanding person of the ancient world” and architect of the first “World Empire”. His empire was so vast that it took two years to travel from one end of his kingdom to the other, on horseback. What an amazing administrative set-up it must have been, in an age without telephone, e-mail and fax machines. Law and order was so strictly observed that it gave rise to the phrase, “The laws of the Medes and the Persians” (Daniel VI, 8), or laws that were immutable.

In an age seeped in cruelty, slavery and the law of “might is right”, Cyrus gave humanity the first charter of human rights, declaring, among others rights and freedom, man’s right to freedom of religion, opinion, expression and free movement.

Later, the empire of Darius the Great stretched from the river Danube (Europe) in the west, right up to Sind and the present-day Frontier Province and part of the Punjab and from Central Asia right up to the north-eastern parts of Africa.

For administrative purposes, the empire was divided into various satrapies, or a provincial government, who’s Satraps or governors were appointed by the King himself and were directly responsible to him for civil administration, justice, finance, law and order.

Darius built roads, bridges and waterways to reach far-flung parts of his empire. The royal highway from Susa to Sardis was about 1700 miles along with 107 post-houses and fine caravansaries. Darius is credited with pioneering the world’s first postal service. He is also credited to have built the prototype of the Suez Canal connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean.

Noshir H. Dadrawala

Courtesy : Rusi Sorabji

Zoroastrian History and Practices

I know how we try to find good articles that can enrich our knowledge of our religion. It tells us something about mankind, our past history and links to other religions too.

In today’s times sometimes we shirk away from some reading due to controversies entwined.

We wonder what we can pass on to the next generations. This gap may get bridged with the following link to text which was written 82 years ago and is devoid of current confusions.

The link may please be clicked and a treasure trove in chronological order will unfold. Great reading for one and family too.

I am really glad I found it. When books are not available I feel this collection is very precious. Do read thro’ and you may not stop till the wee hours of morning. May God Bless us all.

Dilnawaz Irani.

Parsis- The World’s Smallest “Nation”

This the story of a people, who out of a steadfast love of their identity, religion, beliefs, customs and ancient traditions and much more that goes to forming a people/nation, decided they would rather find refuge in a new land, than give up all that was precious and invaluable to them.

These were the Persian Zoroastrians, who after the debacle of the Sassanid Empire and the victory of the Arab conquerors, found they had lost king and country.


Time is the predominant factor in evolution and, as such, when the time comes, things happen as destined in Nature. The time is now ripe when all the Zarthushtis of the world should become aware of the coming of the Saviour, RAENIDAR BEHRAM VARZAVAND. It is possible that some unfortunate sceptic may not believe in it. So be it, but at least let him/her be aware of it so that when it does happen, that individual will not be absolutely at sea.  

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