Creation is an epic historical fiction novel by Gore Vidal which was published in 1981. In 2002, he published a restored version, adding four chapters that a previous editor had cut. He also added a brief 2002 foreword explaining what had happened to the book in its original version and why he restored the cut chapters.
Cyrus, who is the grandson of Zoroaster and who survives his murder, grows up at the Achaemenid court as a quasi-noble, and becomes a close friend of his schoolmate Xerxes. Because of his talent with languages, Cyrus Spitama is sent by the King Darius as ambassador to India, but he is more interested in the many religious theories he encounters there than in establishing profitable trade relations for Darius. After his school friend Xerxes comes to power, the king sends Cyrus Spitama to China, where he spends several years as a captive and "honored guest" in one of the warring states of the Middle Kingdom, and spends a great deal of time with Confucius. Upon returning home, Cyrus witnesses the defeat of Xerxes and the end of the Greco-Persian wars. Cyrus then goes into retirement, but is called upon by the King Artaxerxes to serve as ambassador to Athens and witness to the secret peace treaty between Pericles and himself.
The story is related in the first person, as "recalled" to his Greek great-nephew Democritus. Cyrus says he wants to set the record straight after hearing what Herodotus had to say about the Greco-Persian wars.
As noted in Vidal's own introduction, it can be considered a "crash course" in comparative religion, as during the story, the hero sits down with each of the religious/philosophical figures (apart from Socrates) and discusses their views.