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Eight years ago I blogged a post, Queen Tiye, Monotheism, Moses and the Hebrews. It began, “Sigmund Freud wrote Moses and Monotheism which was not published until after his death in 1939. Apparently, he didn’t want the trouble of defending his unusual theory on the early history of the Jews from attacks.” Because the book I am currently writing, presently titled Love Your Life, has a section dedicated to the Seven Sages of Greece, it was necessary to check for the sources of their 147 suggestions for leading a good life. Those suggestions appear to have been assembled about 570 BC and published on stone tablets at the site of the Delphi oracle, “an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world (as early as 1400 BC).” Those ideas were popular, and copies were sent throughout the Greek-speaking world. That brought me to Zoroaster, who lived sometime between 1,500 and 1,000 BC and founded a widespread religion before the Pre-Socratic period, which began in the sixth century BC. He lived a thousand or more years before Jesus and a minimum of five hundred years before the Old Testament which was mostly written after that date and which was based on a protean verbal tradition.

The point is that the 147 suggestions of the Seven Sages were based on much earlier thinking, and those ideas were probably derivative of or at least influenced by Zoroaster of Iran via his religion now known as Zoroastrianism. That ancient religion stresses worldly wisdom and that is what the 147 ideas of the Seven Sages of Greece exemplified. His dates are speculative but they either overlap with Queen Tiye of Egypt or follow hers a little, but both of these influential people were creators of a Monotheistic tradition whose primary symbol is the Sun and both of whom predated the Classic Greeks by centuries. I suspect that Queen Tiye was a key to the creation of the short-lived Amarna monotheistic religion and not her husband or son because she was known to be brilliant and fierce and her king husband appears to have been a hereditary placeholder. Her father Yuya was thought to come from Mitanni culture which is within the Zoroastrian influence and near where Zoroaster was teaching.

The above links are weak and their exact dates speculative, but within a hundred years, and their philosophies not identical but they do form a reasonable sequence from which the ideas of the Classic Greeks also sprang. The PIE culture (Proto Indo-European) seems to have had a common core of seeking a reality based on natural forces like Earth and Sun. What a surprise came out of that for me!

Those 147 precepts in Love Your Life appear to have an ancestry going back to Zoroaster.