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Filmography - Eastern Philosophies and Religions: Zoroastrianism

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011


Titles available on DVD as of June 2018.


This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library catalog.



Birth of a Nation: The Acquisitions and Achievements of the Achaemenid Empire. 1 streaming video file (52 min.). At its height, the Achaemenid Empire of ancient Persia embraced all previous civilized states of the ancient Near East-a multinational empire without precedent. This program presents the history of the First Persian Empire, with particular attention paid to the historic architecture of the period's major cities and palaces. Insights into the development of the region by rulers such as Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Xerxes are offered. The ruins of royal residences are also emphasized, and explanations of the architecture and reliefs of palaces, including the Hall of Apadana and Tacara, provide a historical backdrop to the program. Streaming video.

Mystics, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians. 1 online resource (streaming video file). Your attention shifts to those thinkers who looked beyond the physical world for answers to their questions about the fundamental issues of existence. Examine the impact of several key texts and belief systems, including the Upanishads, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Zoroastrianism. Streaming video.

Renaissance of Glory: The Rise and Fall of the Sassanid Empire. 1 streaming video file (43 min.). The rule of the Sassanid Empire of ancient Persia was characterized by considerable centralization, ambitious urban planning, agricultural development, and technological improvements. This program reveals the history of the Second Persian Empire, with a focus on the architecture of the royal palaces and religious temples of the period. The rise of the Sassanids through Ardeshir e Babakan, the important role of Zoroastrianism during the duration of the empire, and the reigns of Shapur I and Anushirvan are recounted. Throughout the program, special attention is given to the ancient ruins and bas-reliefs of the period, such as Ardeshir's palace and the city of Shapur. Streaming video.

The Silk Road. 1 online resource (1 video file (52 min., 29 sec.)). In the final episode of his series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, Dr Sam Willis continues his journey west in Iran. The first BBC documentary team to be granted entry for nearly a decade, Sam begins in the legendary city of Persepolis - heart of the first Persian Empire. Following an ancient caravan route through Persia's deserts, he visits a Zoroastrian temple where a holy fire has burned for 1,500 years, and Esfahan, one of the Silk Road's architectural jewels and rival to Sam's next destination - Istanbul. In the ancient capital of Byzantium Sam discovers how the eastern Roman Empire was ruled through silk and how Venetian merchants cashed in on the wealth and trade it generated. Sam's last stop takes him full circle to Venice. Visiting Marco Polo's house, Sam reminds us how the great traveler's book was one of the first to link East to West and how the ideas and products that trickled down the Silk Road not only helped to trigger the Renaissance, but set Europe on a path of unstoppable change. Streaming video.

Tales of Flood and Fire. 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 32 minutes). Fire and flood are universal images, so it's not surprisingly that many myth traditions in South Asia and the Middle East include them in their stories of destruction and eventual renewal. See this powerful theme at work in Gilgamesh, Zoroastrian mythology, and the Buddha's Sermon of the Seven Suns. Streaming video.

Why Does Evil Exist. 1 online resource (1 video file (50 min., 6 sec)). In this video, Morgan Freeman explores the existence of evil. In a maximum-security prison, he comes face-to-face with a serial killer and looks for the physical root of evil in his brain. In an ancient tomb, Egyptologist Salima Ikram shows him a depiction of the weighing of the heart and the belief that what you do in this life matters in the next.In India, Freeman discovers that Hindus believe evil stems from the tormented souls of one's ancestors. Freemanexplores the idea of redemption, when he speaks with former Neo-Nazi skinhead Bryon Widner, who turned his back on a life of evil and encounters Zoroastrianism, whose belief in a cosmic balance of good and evil inspired the Christian Devil. Psychologist Jesse Bering discovered that children who believe they are being watching by an invisible being obey the rules more than those who don't. Streaming video.