By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ardeshir Babakan, the founder of the Sassanid dynasty announced a golden coin bearing the embossed image of the Eternal Fire in a cup standing on a pedestal as the official coin of Iran. He began minting those coins in 224 in Persis.The Eternal Fire which is an important symbol of Zoroastrian religion signifies light of Ahouramazda for eternity. Zoroastrianism thus became the official religion of the Sassanid empire for more than 400 years. In Iran, separation of religion from state did not seem to have occurred unless for some short periods of time; the rulers mostly wanted to base their legitimacy on some sort of divine destiny rather than public will. However, the Iranian nationalism which was based on a historical and cultural rather than a racial or regional background soon created one of the most powerful dynasties of the time that could stand Roman expansionism at the peak of its power. Although the ancient religion of Mithraism became of great importance for some time even with the Romans, building of fire altars throughout the country shows the significance of the official religion in the eye of the Sassanid rulers which collapsed against the Caliphate invasion in 637.