In the Zoroastrian sacred lore, Manûš is the ancestor of “thinkers, sages, and the wise, learned scholars”. The Magi priests of the ancient Aryans (or specifically the Indo Iranians) trace their “lineage/ancestry” to Manûš.”
The earthly prototype for Mazdá, “the supreme god of mind, memory discovery and learning,” are the learned wise, brilliant thinkers with highly developed mind powers “man-.”
Manûš-čiθra represents the seed of Manûš, manifested in “thinkers, sages and scholar priests.” Avestan čiθra– denotes “light and ancestral lineage.”
Avestan čiθra or čithra “manifest, apparent, brilliant, shining” is a cognate of Vedic citrá, Old High German heitar“ bright, shining,” and Old Norse heiar “honor, rank.”
Examples of čiθra as “light, brightness, and ancestral lineage” may be seen in the proclamations of Darius and Xerxes to be ariya(-)ciča– “of Aryan light/lineage,” and Ardeshir I, Shāpūr I, and Narseh’s declarations to be “of the line/light of the hallowed gods” kē čihr az yazdān.
The oldest trace of the name Manuš-čiθra denoting ancestry from Manûš, is found in the Avestan hymn of Fravardin Yašt, where the archetype (fravaši) of Manuš-čiθra son of Airya is venerated (Yašt 13.131.) We hallow, hail the archetype (fra-vaši,) of the virtuous Manûš čiθra, son of Airyá: Manûš čiθrahæ airyávahæ ašaônö fravašîm yaza.maidæ.
Airyá “honorable, noble” is the ancestral father of Indo Iranians. Airyá and his two brothers ruled over three realms of this earth. But it was the specific destiny of the descendants of Airyá (Middle Persian Ērič, Modern Persian Iraj) to rule over all the realms as “warrior priests and philosopher kings.”
The Indo Iranians and the ancient Germanic tribes shared a tradition about a “first king,” who divided the world among his three sons.
In ancient Iran, we have the case of the “first physician, healer sage” called thraætaôna, his three sons Airya with his two other brothers, who each ruled over a third of this earth. Thraætaôna literally means “the third, thrice, extremely lucky.”
The ancient Germans also had a similar legend recounted in Tacitus, Germania 2.2. They relate that the ancestor of the Germans, called Mannus, divided the Germanic world between his three sons, who became the eponyms of the three main Germanic nations: Ingaevones (north), Herminones (middle), and Istaevones (south).
Herodotus (4.5-6) attests the ORIGINS legend of the ancient Scythians. Accordingly, their first king begot three sons; the oldest was Lipoxais, the middle Arpoxais, and the youngest Colaxais. They ruled for some time; but, when divine fortune favored Colaxais, the elder brothers made over the whole kingdom of Scythia to him. From these three sprang all of the Scythians. From Colaxais sprang the Royal Scythians or Paralatae.
In the legend, the surname of the Royal Scythians, Paralatae, is the same as the Primordial dynasty of Paraδāta, the first and most preeminent dynasty of ancient Persian mythology. Paraδāta literally means “Primeval law (givers).” It is from this venerable and ancient house of Paraδāta that Airyá and Manuš-čithra hail from.
Manûš of the Avesta is a cognate of Mannus “the ancestor figure of the ancient Germanic tribes,” and rune mannaz of the ancient Norsemen.
A Norwegian rune poem states: Maðr er moldar auki//
mikil er græip á hauki. “Man is growth of the earth; great is the hawk’s claw.”
In the Zoroastrian sacred lore, Manûš represents the unleashing of the powers of man– “spirit/mind,” our ancestral connection to the Immortal Gods, the potential of man to overcome himself, and become of the same “brightness, light” as the race of the hallowed gods” kē čihr az yazdān.
Another rich vein for you to explore is the rise of “Western” philosophy starting with Thales. Thales lived within the Persian Empire and in addition to the influence of mazdayasna, there is also the practical benefit of peace and prosperity over a wide geographical area that allowed scholarship to flourish. Many of the Ionian philosophers have Zoroastrian beliefs in all but name. Pythagoras was trained by Magi, if not a Magi himself.