As for the religious rites, they assumed a form and a character which made them seem like simplicity itself by the side of the former systems; and which, although somewhat complicated by the additions and alterations of a later and more superstitious, generation, have still maintained the noble and honourable characteristics imparted to them by the great reformer and compiler of the Mazdayashnian religion.

Then he remembered how Zoroaster himself was a good Mazdayashnian, and how he had occupied himself with religious studies from his youth up, and how he had enjoyed the advantage of being the companion of Daniel, the Hebrew governor, whose grand simplicity of faith had descended, to some degree, upon his pupil.

The vast body of existing hymns, of which many were by no means distinctly Mazdayashnian, were reduced to a limited number containing the best and purest; and the multifarious mass of conflicting caste practices, partly imported from India, and partly inherited by the pure Persians from the Aryan home in Sogdiana, was simplified and reduced to a plain rule.

They came out and ranged themselves around the walls of the temple, threescore and nine men, of holy order, trained in the ancient chanting of the Mazdayashnian hymns; men in the prime and strength of life, black-bearded and broad-shouldered, whose massive brows and straight features indicated noble powers of mind and body.