priestly caste in ancient Persia.
are thought to have been followers of Zoroaster,
the Persian teacher and prophet. Professing the doctrines
of Zoroastrianism, they
practiced a ritual that involved pouring libations of milk,
oil, and honey over a flame while chanting prayers
the religion of the magi incorporated Babylonian
elements, including astrology, demonology, and magic.
(The word magic is derived from the word magi.) By the 1st
century AD, the magi were identified with wise men and soothsayers.
Thus, the biblical magi who came from the East to worship
the infant Jesus
(see Matthew 2:1-12) were regarded as wise men.
also Wise Men of the East
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