Ideology and Work Ethic Underlying Material Culture
Material Culture
Eternity of Iran
   From the Avesta, the Holy Books of Pre-Islamic Iran (see slide 15 ff.)
                     The Places of Greatest Happiness on Earth

The First :  “It is the place where one of the faithful steps forth”
i.e., to found settlements, civilization.

The Second: “It is the place where one of the faithful erects a house, with a priest within,
with cattle, with a wife within, with children within, with good herds, and wherein,
thereafter, virtue continues to thrive, cattle continue to thrive, provender continue to thrive,
the dog continues to thrive, the wife continues to thrive, the fire continues to thrive, and
every blessing of life continues to thrive”.

The Third: “It is the place where one of the faithful sows the most grain, the most grass,
the most fruit trees . . .  Where he irrigates soil that is too dry or drains soil that is
flooded.”
                                   -  Sacred Books of the East, Oxford, 1895,
                                      Vendidad, a pronunciation of Videvdad,
                                      meaning how to do justice unto the
dev (devil).

By partaking from the Zoroastrian work ethic, which continues to-day in an Islamic garb
each member of society gained a sense of dignity and self-worth, and in adopting a
lifestyle based on it they looked forward with pleasure to work and achievement - rather
than as burden. This led to a high state of welfare, one that, as has been observed, would
be difficult to surpass.  
Compiled, Edited and Annotated by Afshin Zand,
co-author and former student

Foreword by Richard Frye