L’ombra di Ahriman. La contraddittoriale essenza del male, dalla mitologia persiana alla cultura occidentale

Dariush Rahiminia


The shadow of Ahriman. The contradictorial essence of evil, from Persian mythology to Western culture. At all time human beings have been questioning the possible origin controlling evil impulses and actions resulting from it. The ancient Persian religion called Zoroastrianism suggests a reading key in whichwe can find a complex “dualistic monotheism” which deals with the existence of two contradictorially opposed priciples inside its divinity. The struggle created by the good/evil dichotomy perfectly fits in the definition of “contradictorial” proposed by Gilbert Durand, describing an opposition that cannot be overcome by a subsequent synthesis but remains creating a never-ending energy inside us. This dualism is innate, as pointed out in ancient times religious practices in Persia and yet it reaches us to knock on our doors. The entity which harbours in the god called Ahura Mazda (in the old Avestic language) or Ohrmazd (in modern Persian) is called Angra Mainyu - or Ahriman, in Farsi language. The figure of this entity which harbours in us, creating the natural dualism between good and evil, has influenced many thinkers which have given their contribute to form our Western culture. To mention some of them: Voltaire mentions it in his “Philosophical Dictionary”, Leopardi dedicates his poem “Ad Arimane” to it, it helps Freud to formulate the dualism between Eros and Thanatos and affects Jung while he formulates his archetypes. Therefore, the following essay aims to bring to light the fil rouge connecting apparently distant cultures which are based on the good/evil dichotomy; distinctive characteristic of the present-day society’s atmosphere of overwhelming uncertainty . 


Ahriman; Zoroastrianism; Contradictorial; Persia; Dualistic monotheism

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Bausani A. a cura di (1980), Rumi - Poesie mistiche, BUR, Milano

Blochet E. (1901), Les sources orientales de la D.C., Maisonneuve, Parigi

D’Amato M. (2009), Immaginario e satanismo. Nuovi percorsi di identità giovanile, Libreria Universitaria, Roma

D’Andrea F. (2010), Un mondo a spirale, Bevivino Editore, Bergamo

Darmesteter J. (1877), Ohrmazd et Ahriman: leurs origines et leur histoire, Vieweg, Parigi

Dent E. (1979), Il teatro di Mozart, Rusconi, Rimini

Duchesne-Guillemin J.(1982), Ahriman, in “Encyclopaedia Iranica”, Routledge & KeganPaul, New York City, pp. 670–673

Durand G.(1972), Le strutture antropologiche dell’immaginario, Dedalo, Bari

Freud S. (1920), Al di là del principio di piacere, edizione consultata: in “Opere di Sigmund Freud”, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1986.

Galimberti U. (2001), Enciclopedia di psicologia, Garzanti, Torino,

George R. R. Martin in conversation with Dan Anthony, 28 Luglio 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTTW8M_etko . Ultimo accesso: 05/02/2017

Goethe (1808), Divano occidentale-orientale, edizione consultata: BUR, Milano, 1997

Interview with Lord Ahriman, http://www.playlouder.com/feature/+dr-rock-vs- lord/. Ultimo accesso: 03/02/2017

Henderson M. (1997), Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, Bantam Books, New York City

Jones L. (1998), Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography, Coronet, Londra

Jung C.G. (1954), Gli archetipi dell'inconscio collettivo, edizione consultata: Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2014

Krappe A. (1952), La genèse dus mythes, Payot, Parigi

Leopardi G. (1835), Ad Arimane, edizione consultata: in “Tutte le opere” a cura di Walter Binni, Sansoni Editore, Firenze, 1983

Mills L. (1908), Avesta eschatology compared with the books of Daniel and Revelations, Open Court, Chicago

Modi J.J. (1914), Dante Papers, Taylor & Francis, Londra

Morin E. (2001), I sette saperi necessari all’educazione del futuro, Raffaello Cortina, Milano

Nietzsche F., (1885), Così parlò Zarathustra, edizione consultata: Adelphi, Milano, 2004

Pettazzoni R. (1920), La religione di Zarathustra, Zanichelli, Bologna

Pizzi I. (1894), Storia della poesia persiana, Bertram Books, Norwich

Star Wars Database http://www.swx.it/databank/index.php?title=La_Forza. Ultimo accesso: 09/04/2017

Steiner R. (1910), La scienza occulta nelle sue linee generali, Editrice Antroposofica, Milano

Voltaire (1747), Zadig, edizione consultata: Feltrinelli, Milano, 2000

Voltaire (1764), Dizionario Filosofico, edizione consultata: Feltrinelli, Milano, 1985

Yasemi G.R. (1932), Ardaviraf Nameh, University of Tehran, Tehran

Zaehner R. C. (2003), The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York City


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary - Biannual - Edizioni Mimesis