The religion was founded in the early Sasanian era by Zardusht, a Zoroastrian priest who was a contemporary of Mani (d. 274). It is however named after its most prominent advocate, Mazdak, who was a powerful and controversial figure during the reign of king (shah) Kavad I (r. 498–531).
- Daryaee, Touraj (2014). Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–240. ISBN 0857716662.
- Boyce, Mary (2001). Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Psychology Press. pp. 1–252. ISBN 9780415239028.
- Frye, R. N. (1983), "Chapter 4", The political history of Iran under the Sasanians, The Cambridge History of Iran, 3, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-20092-9
- Frye, Richard Nelson (1984). The History of Ancient Iran. C.H.Beck. pp. 1–411. ISBN 9783406093975.
- Crone, Patricia (2012). The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–543. ISBN 9781139510769.