A man of such greatness and significance, belonging to the dim hazy past, is the founder of the religion of the Iranian people: Zoroaster as we call him after the Greeks, or bettcr Zarathustra in conformity to nati ve tradition-a form of the name naturalized in the German language through the influence of the title of a. recent philosophical work. So deeply buried are his activity and still more his personality in a chaotic mass of myths that many people hesitate to treat him as historical; thcy suggest that he should rather be rcgarded as a purely legendary figure. In fact we must take a sharp knife in hand a.nd ply it unmerci· fully if wc would extract the historica.l kernel from a.ll the farrago of myth in which it lies embedded.