When Was Zoroastrianism Founded?

Definition: When Was Zoroastrianism Founded?
estimated between 12th and 6th century BCE

The founding date of Zoroastrianism is uncertain. The religion was founded by the prophet Zoroaster in ancient Persia, but it is not known exactly when he lived. Estimates range from 1200 BCE to the 6th century BCE. All that is known for certain is that Zoroastrianism existed by the time Iran was unified under Cyrus II the Great (c. 590-529 BCE).


  1. “Zoroastrianism.” Hinnells, John R. (ed.), Penguin Dictionary of Religions (London: Penguin Books). "...Zoroaster (c. 1200 BCE). The history of the religion prior to the 6th century is largely unknown."
  2. Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques. “Zoroastrianism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 27 January 2017. "Zarathustra (flourished before the 6th century BCE)... All that may safely be said is that Zarathustra lived... before Iran became unified under Cyrus II the Great."
  3. “Zoroastrianism and Parsiism.” Doniger, Wendy (ed.), Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions (Merriam-Webster),pp. 1165-1166. "Founded by the Iranian prophet and reformer Zoroaster in the 6th century BCE..."
  4. Zoroastrianism.” BBC Religion & Ethics. "The precise date of the founding of Zoroastrianism is uncertain. An approximate date of 1200-1500 BCE has been established through archaeological evidence and linguistic comparisons with the Hindu text, the Rig Veda."
  5. Joshua J. Mark. “Zoroastrianism.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. 12 December 2019. "between c. 1500-1000 BCE"

Article Info

Title When Was Zoroastrianism Founded?
Last UpdatedFebruary 4, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/zoroastrianism/date-founded
Short URLrlft.co/3719
MLA Citation “When Was Zoroastrianism Founded?.” ReligionFacts.com. 4 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022. <religionfacts.com/zoroastrianism/date-founded>