History celebrates every great warrior culture, except one, the Scythians, who were known as “Saka” to the Persians, and as “Shakas” to the Indians. This culture may have originated on the north banks of the Black Sea and migrated east and west after inventing the wheel and domesticating the horse. They may also have been involved with smelting metals and domesticating other animals and birds. I suspect their exclusion from history may be a result of their documented affection for cannabis, as they are the first stoners in recorded history. According to Herodotus, they employed tipis as smoke-inhalation tents.
The Scythians built the Silk Trail and after a large number settled in what is now known as Pakistan, they invented Sanskrit, and seem to have stopped inhaling cannabis smoke, as they had learned to mix cannabis with hot milk and spices to achieve a much more medicinal effect. The Zoroastrians built great fire temples to produce this elixir, which became extremely popular and still is today although now known as bhang.
At this point in history the most popular temples were often the ones that provided sacred prostitutes. In Persia, a woman was required by law to have sex with a stranger at least once in her life, and had to accept whatever donation in coin he offered. This kept a steady stream of virginal prostitutes arriving at the temple. However, the culture emanating in the east was ascetic in nature, and sought to harness and control the senses. The Soma/Hamoa served in these temples quickly became known as the world’s greatest medicine, and pilgrims began appearing from all corners of the earth to sample it.
The Scythians were also involved in the slave trade, always the most lucrative profession, and also would have been trading cannabis, opium and spices, and, much later in time, silk from China. Once writing and hemp paper appeared, sacred scrolls became quite lucrative. Only the rich could afford documents, and early documents would have assumed magical powers, especially if they contained wisdom from ancient sages. Temples would have purchased any scrolls they felt contained important knowledge.
The Phoenicians perfected the alphabet that had been pioneered in Sumeria by mixing it with Egyptian hieroglyphics. This alphabet spread around the world, first to Greece, and they only made slight adjustments. But some of the earliest writing took place around Pakistan, where the Scythian horse culture from the Russian plains was merging with an agrarian culture, producing an epic wave of spiritual enlightenment. Pretty soon documents from this area were filtering into Persia and Greece, and having a revolutionary impact on cosmology, law, philosophy and religion.
First, the Zoroastrians upended the pagan pantheons with the emergence of “one god,” but their paradigm got upended by Buddha’s “no gods” enlightenment. Buddha, like Moses and Jesus, sought to remove all icons from the altar, so naturally they turned him into the icon. After Alexander conquered the world, there was an enormous cultural mixing, creating Greco-Buddhism. Zoroastrian ideas morphed in the west into the worship of Mithra, the Persian sun god. Many Eastern concepts began appearing in Europe with a slightly different twist. The Cynics in Greece are comparable with the Zen Buddhists of Tibet. Documents like the Laws of Manu were used to construct the laws of Greece and Rome, and the question-and-answer format copied by Plato to construct his dialogues.
Jesus appears at the peak of this cultural revolution, and his myth integrated elements from previous spiritual traditions, although obviously, most of the myth was constructed on top of Zoroastrian sun worship, it also include elements of Buddhism. The reason Judaism and Christianity absorbed Zoroastrian concepts is simply because it was the first Zoroastrian king of Persia (Cyrus the Great) who freed the Jews from Babylon and allowed them to return to Judea. In gratitude the mythical Moses was based on a composite of Cyrus and Zoroaster. In the 1860s, Louis Jacolliot learned Sanskrit and quickly concluded Jesus Christ was derived from Zeus Krishna.
My theory is the real Jesus appeared around 240 AD and successfully merged all the great religions of his time to end war. He became a living Buddha in India, a Zoroastrian Magi in Persia, and was called an “apostle of Jesus” in the west. His father had been an early Christian/Jew, while his mother’s family were Zoroastrians.
His name was Mani, and while still a young man, he was lured into a trap, tortured, skinned alive and decapitated. The gate where his head was put on display still carries his name to this day, yet few know the real story. When the general Constantine captured and remade Christianity to build his empire, elements from Mani’s bio were placed into the story of the mythical Jesus. I suspect Mani deployed cannabis to heal the blind and lame, which is why both Mani and cannabis disappeared around the same time.