ویشت اسپه ، هیستاسپس
Vishtaspa, the son of Aurvat-aspa, was the king of a country that has been identified with Chorasmia and
Aria. According to
Avesta, Vishtaspa offered asylum to
Zarathustra when the latter was hunted down by his opponents. Later, the king organized a debate between the two parties; when Zarathustra had proved that his doctrines were superior, Vishtaspa became an adherent of the new religion.
One of the Yashts, Avestan hymns to lower deities, is said to have been written by Vishtaspa, but this is almost certainly untrue. In the first centuries CE, a book of Oracles of
Hystaspes was very popular in the
Roman Empire; it was probably written by a
Magian who used Avesta and elements from the
Persian folk lore, and describes the end of the world.
Vishtaspa is also Hystaspes, the father of the Persian king
Dariush I the Great. Hystaspes' birth year can be deduced from the fact that his son
Dariush was born c.550 BCE; Thus Hystaspes must have been born before c.565 CE. According to the
Herodotus, he had several other sons (
Artaphernes and Artanes) and at least two daughters, who were married to
Otanes, Persian noblemen.