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Chapter V.—Hero-Worship.

“Therefore the magician Nebrod, being destroyed by this lightning falling on earth from heaven, for this circumstance had his name changed to Zoroaster, on account of the living (ζῶσαν) stream of the star (ἀστέρος) being poured upon him.  But the unintelligent amongst the men who then were, thinking that through the love of God his soul had been sent for by lightning, buried the remains of his body, and honoured his burial-place with a temple among the Persians, where the descent of the fire occurred, and worshipped him as a god.  By this example also, others there bury those who die by lightning as beloved of God, and honour them with temples, and erect statues of the dead in their own forms.  Thence, in like manner, the rulers in different places were emulous of like honour, and very many of them honoured the tombs of those who were beloved of them, though not dying by lightning, with temples and statues, and lighted up altars, and ordered them to be adored as gods.  And long after, by the lapse of time, they were thought by posterity to be really gods.

Next: Chapter VI