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The Persians are an
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia ...
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
that make up over half the population of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
. They share a common
cultural system A cultural system is the interaction of different elements in culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, la ...
and are native speakers of the
Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europ ...
, as well as languages closely related to Persian. The ancient Persians were originally an ancient Iranian people who migrated to the region of
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the l ...
, corresponding to the modern province of Fars in southwestern Iran, by the ninth century BC. Together with their compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world's most powerful empires, well-recognized for their massive cultural, political, and social influence covering much of the territory and population of the ancient world.. Throughout history, Persians have contributed greatly to
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use o ...
and science.
Persian literature Persian literature ( fa, ادبیات فارسی, Adabiyâte fârsi, ) comprises oral compositions and written texts in the and is one of the world's oldest s. It spans over two-and-a-half millennia. Its sources have been within including ...
is one of the world's most prominent literary traditions. In contemporary terminology, people of Persian heritage native specifically to present-day
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the ea ...

Afghanistan
,
Tajikistan ) , image_map = Tajikistan (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , capital = , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = (state) (interethn ...

Tajikistan
, and
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land ...

Uzbekistan
are referred to as ''
Tajiks Tajiks ( fa, تاجيک، تاجک, ''Tājīk, Tājek''; tg, Тоҷик) are a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethni ...

Tajiks
'', whereas those in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
(primarily in the present-day
Republic of Azerbaijan A republic ( la, res publica ''Res publica'' (also spelt as ''rēs pūblica'' to indicate vowel length In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived length of a vowel sound: the corresponding physical measurement is length (phonetics), du ...

Republic of Azerbaijan
and the
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
n federal subject of
Dagestan village of Grar File:Сулакский каньон.jpg, Kara-Koysu River Canyon Dagestan (; russian: Дагеста́н), officially the Republic of Dagestan (russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н), is a republics of Russia, rep ...

Dagestan
), albeit heavily assimilated, are referred to as '' Tats''. However, historically, the terms ''Tajik'' and ''Tat'' were used as synonymous and interchangeable with ''Persian''. Many influential Persian figures hailed from outside Iran's present-day borders to the northeast in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
and Afghanistan and to a lesser extent to the northwest in the Caucasus proper. In historical contexts, especially in English, "Persians" may be defined more loosely to cover all subjects of the ancient Persian polities, regardless of ethnic background.


Ethnonym


Etymology

The term ''Persian'', meaning "from Persia", derives from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
, itself deriving from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(), a Hellenized form of
Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the various peoples speaking ...
(), which evolves into () in modern Persian. In the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
, particularly in the books of
Daniel Daniel is a masculine Masculinity (also called manhood or manliness) is a set of attributes, behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling ...
,
Esther Esther is described in all versions of the Book of Esther The Book of Esther (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historica ...

Esther
,
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scripture ...

Ezra
, and , it is given as (). A Greek folk etymology connected the name to
Perseus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of s originally told by the , and a of . These stories concern the and , the lives and activities of , , and , and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own and practices. ...

Perseus
, a legendary character in
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ge ...
recounts this story, devising a foreign son, Perses, from whom the Persians took the name. Apparently, the Persians themselves knew the story, as
Xerxes I Xerxes I ( peo, wiktionary:𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 ; grc-gre, Ξέρξης; – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 ...

Xerxes I
tried to use it to suborn the
Argives Argos (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 1 ...
during his invasion of Greece, but ultimately failed to do so.


History of usage

Although
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the l ...
(Persia proper) was only one of the provinces of ancient Iran, varieties of this term (e.g., ''Persia'') were adopted through Greek sources and used as an exonym for all of the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, , translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient based in founded by . Ranging at its greatest extent from the and proper in the west to the in the east, it ...
for many years. Thus, especially in the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
, the names ''Persia'' and ''Persian'' came to refer to all of Iran and its subjects. Some medieval and early modern Islamic sources also used cognates of the term ''Persian'' to refer to various Iranian peoples and languages, including the speakers of Khwarazmian, Mazanderani, and Old Azeri. 10th-century Iraqi historian
Al-Masudi Al-Mas'udi ( ar, أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْمَسْعُودِيّ, '; –956) was an Historiography of early Islam, Arab historian, geographer and Explorer, traveler. He is ...
refers to ''Pahlavi'', ''Dari'', and ''Azari'' as dialects of the Persian language. In 1333, medieval Moroccan traveler and scholar
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an e ...
referred to the
Afghan Afghan (Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iran ...
s of
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capital ...

Kabul
as a specific sub-tribe of the Persians. Lady Mary (Leonora Woulfe) Sheil, in her observation of Iran during the Qajar era, states that the Kurds and the Leks would consider themselves as belonging to the race of the "old Persians". On 21 March 1935, former king of Iran
Reza Shah Reza Shah Pahlavi ( fa, رضا شاه پهلوی; ; originally Reza Khan (); 15 March 1878 – 26 July 1944) was an Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اس ...

Reza Shah
of the
Pahlavi dynasty The Pahlavi dynasty ( fa, خاندان پهلوی) is the last Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. ...
issued a decree asking the international community to use the term ''Iran'', the native name of the country, in formal correspondence. However, the term ''Persian'' is still historically used to designate the predominant population of the Iranian peoples living in the Iranian cultural continent.


History

Persia is first attested in
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n sources from the third millennium BC in the form , designating a region belonging to the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ians. The name of this region was adopted by a nomadic ancient Iranian people who migrated to the region in the west and southwest of
Lake Urmia Lake Urmia ( fa, دریاچه ارومیه, ''Daryâche-ye Orumiye'', , az, اورمو ﮔﺆﻟﻮ, ''Urmiya gölü'', ku, دەریاچەی ورمێ) is an endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic bas ...
, eventually becoming known as "the Persians". The ninth-century BC
Neo-Assyrian The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform: ''mat Aš-šur KI'', "Country of the Assur, city of Ashur (god), god Aššur"; also phonetically ''mat Aš-šur'') was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and becam ...

Neo-Assyrian
inscription of the
Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is a black limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different Polymorphism (materials sc ...
, found at
Nimrud Nimrud (; syr, ܢܢܡܪܕ ar, النمرود) is an ancient Assyrian city located south of the city of Mosul, and south of the village of Selamiyah ( ar, السلامية), in the Nineveh plains in Upper Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyri ...
, gives it in the Late Assyrian forms

and as a region and a people located in the
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgros;'' Luri language, Luri: کویل زاگروس‎, ''Koyal Zagros;'' Turkish language, Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları;'' ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani ...
, the latter likely having migrated southward and transferred the name of the region with them to what would become
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the l ...
(Persia proper, i.e., modern-day Fars), and that is considered to be the earliest attestation to the ancient Persian people. The ancient Persians were initially dominated by the
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
ns for much of the first three centuries after arriving in the region. However, they played a major role in the downfall of the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disam ...

Neo-Assyrian Empire
. The
Medes The Medes ( peo, 𐎶𐎠𐎭 ; akk, , ; grc, Μῆδοι ) were an Iranian peoples, ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media (region), Media between western Iran, western and nor ...
, another group of ancient Iranian people, unified the region under an empire centered in
Media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications deliv ...
, which would become the region's leading cultural and political power of the time by 612 BC. Meanwhile, under the dynasty of the Achaemenids, the Persians formed a vassal state to the central Median power. In 552 BC, the Achaemenid Persians revolted against the Median monarchy, leading to the victory of
Cyrus the Great Cyrus II of Persia (; peo, wikt:𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁, 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁, translit=Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Ancient Greece, Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the Histo ...

Cyrus the Great
over the throne in 550 BC. The Persians spread their influence to the rest of what is considered to be the , and assimilated with the non-Iranian
indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
groups of the region, including the
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronz ...

Elam
ites and the
Mannaeans The Mannaeans (, country name usually Mannea; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The ...
. At its greatest extent, the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
stretched from parts of
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
in the west to the
Indus Valley The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including tw ...

Indus Valley
in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen. The Achaemenids developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence, including the establishment of the cities of
Pasargadae Pasargadae (from grc, Πασαργάδαι, from Old Persian ''Pāθra-gadā'', "protective club" or "strong club"; Modern Persian: ''Pāsārgād'') was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, tr ...
and
Persepolis Persepolis (; peo, 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, ; ) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, , translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient based in foun ...

Persepolis
. The empire extended as far as the limits of the Greek city states in modern-day mainland
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, where the Persians and Athenians influenced each other in what is essentially a reciprocal cultural exchange. Its legacy and impact on the kingdom of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...
was also notably huge, even for centuries after the withdrawal of the Persians from Europe following the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. During the Achaemenid era, Persian colonists settled in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
. In
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
(the most important Achaemenid satrapy), near
Sardis Sardis () or Sardes (; Lydian: 𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣 ''Sfard''; grc, Σάρδεις ''Sardeis''; peo, Sparda; hbo, ספרד ''Sfarad'') was an ancient city at the location of modern ''Sart'' (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005), near Salihli, ...

Sardis
, there was the Hyrcanian plain, which, according to
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, got its name from the Persian settlers that were moved from
Hyrcania Hyrcania () ( el, ''Hyrkania'', Old Persian: 𐎺𐎼𐎣𐎠𐎴 ''Varkâna'',Lendering (1996) Middle Persian: 𐭢𐭥𐭫𐭢𐭠𐭭 ''Gurgān'', Akkadian (language), Akkadian: ''Urqananu'') is a historical region composed of the land south ...
. Similarly near Sardis, there was the plain of Cyrus, which further signified the presence of numerous Persian settlements in the area. In all these centuries, Lydia and Pontus were reportedly the chief centers for the worship of the Persian gods in Asia Minor. According to
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
, as late as the second century AD, one could witness rituals which resembled the Persian fire ceremony at the towns of Hyrocaesareia and
Hypaepa Hypaepa or Hypaipa ( grc, τὰ Ὕπαιπα) was an Colonia (Roman), Ancient city and (arch)bishopric in ancient Lydia, near the north bank of the Cayster River, and 42 miles from Ephesus, Ephesus and remains a Latin Catholic titular see. Na ...
. Mithridates III of Cius, a Persian nobleman and part of the Persian ruling elite of the town of
Cius Cius (; grc-gre, Kίος or Κῖος ''Kios''), later renamed Prusias on the Sea (; la, Prusias ad Mare) after king Prusias I of Bithynia Prusias I Cholus (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to ...
, founded the
Kingdom of Pontus The Kingdom of Pontus ( grc, Βασιλεία τοῦ Πόντου, ''Basileía toû Póntou'') was a Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic O ...
in his later life, in northern Asia Minor. At the peak of its power, under the infamous , the Kingdom of Pontus also controlled
Colchis In pre-Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the nor ...

Colchis
,
Cappadocia Cappadocia (; also ''Capadocia''; tr, Kapadokya, grc, label=Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events
,
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, ...
, the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
colonies of the , and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the
Mithridatic Wars The Mithridatic Wars were three conflicts fought by Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome ...
, Pontus was defeated; part of it was incorporated into the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
as the province of
Bithynia and Pontus Bithynia and Pontus ( la, Provincia Bithynia et Pontus) was the name of a province of the Roman Empire on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia (Turkey). It was formed during the late Roman Republic by the amalgamation of the former kingdoms of Bithyni ...
, and the eastern half survived as a client kingdom. Following the Macedonian conquests, the Persian colonists in Cappadocia and the rest of Asia Minor were cut off from their co-religionists in Iran proper, but they continued to practice the Iranian faith of their forefathers. Strabo, who observed them in the Cappadocian Kingdom in the first century BC, records (XV.3.15) that these "fire kindlers" possessed many "holy places of the Persian Gods", as well as fire temples. Strabo, who wrote during the time of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
(r. 63 BC-14 AD), almost three hundred years after the fall of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, records only traces of Persians in western Asia Minor; however, he considered Cappadocia "almost a living part of Persia". The Iranian dominance collapsed in 330 BC following the conquest of the Achaemenid Empire by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
, but reemerged shortly after through the establishment of the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major political and cultural power in from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, , who led the tribe in conquering the region of in 's northeast, ...

Parthian Empire
in 247 BC, which was founded by a group of ancient Iranian people rising from
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and offici ...

Parthia
. Until the Parthian era, Iranian identity had an ethnic, linguistic, and religious value. However, it did not yet have a political import. The
Parthian language The Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi and Pahlawānīg, is an extinct ancient Northwestern Iranian language spoken in Parthia, a region situated in present-day northeastern Iran and Turkmenistan. Parthian was the language of state o ...
, which was used as an official language of the Parthian Empire, left influences on Persian, as well as on the neighboring
Armenian language Armenian (Classical Armenian orthography, classical: , Armenian orthography reform, reformed: , , ) is an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language belonging to an independent branch of which it is the only member. It is the official language ...
. The Parthian monarchy was succeeded by the Persian dynasty of the Sasanians in 224 AD. By the time of the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sasanian Empire
, a national culture that was fully aware of being Iranian took shape, partially motivated by restoration and revival of the wisdom of "the old sages" (). Other aspects of this national culture included the glorification of a great heroic past and an archaizing spirit. Throughout the period, Iranian identity reached its height in every aspect.
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
, which is the immediate ancestor of Modern Persian and a variety of other Iranian dialects, became the official language of the empire and was greatly diffused among Iranians. The Parthians and the Sasanians would also extensively interact with the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
culturally. The
Roman–Persian wars The Roman–Persian Wars, also known as the Roman–Iranian Wars, were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world File:Merida Roman Theatre2.jpg, Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco ...
and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars would shape the landscape of
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
,
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
, the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
, North Africa, and the Mediterranean Basin for centuries. For a period of over 400 years, the Sasanians and the neighboring Byzantines were recognized as the two leading powers in the world. Cappadocia in
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, now well into the Roman era, still retained a significant Iranian character; Stephen Mitchell notes in the ''Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity'': "Many inhabitants of Cappadocia were of Persian descent and Iranian fire worship is attested as late as 465". Following the Arab conquest of the Sasanian Empire in the medieval times, the Arab
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s established their rule over the region for the next several centuries, during which the long process of the
Islamization of Iran The Islamization of Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and ...
took place. Confronting the cultural and linguistic dominance of the Persians, beginning by the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
, the Arab conquerors began to establish Arabic as the primary language of the subject peoples throughout their empire, sometimes by force, further confirming the new political reality over the region. The Arabic term , denoting "people unable to speak properly", was adopted as a designation for non-Arabs (or non-Arabic speakers), especially the Persians. Although the term had developed a derogatory meaning and implied cultural and ethnic inferiority, it was gradually accepted as a synonym for "Persian" and still remains today as a designation for the Persian-speaking communities native to the modern
Arab states The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Arab countries The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي ') ...

Arab states
of the Middle East. A series of Muslim Iranian kingdoms were later established on the fringes of the declining
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
, including that of the ninth-century
Samanids People A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established ...
, under the reign of whom the
Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europ ...
was used officially for the first time after two centuries of no attestation of the language, now having received the Arabic script and a large Arabic vocabulary. Persian language and culture continued to prevail after the invasions and conquests by the Mongols and the Turks (including the
Ilkhanate The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' ( mn, Хүлэгийн улс, , ''Qulug-un Ulus'') was a khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity rul ...

Ilkhanate
,
Ghaznavids The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''ġaznaviyān'') was a Persianate Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religion. The derivation of "Muslim" is fro ...
,
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turkom ...

Seljuks
,
Khwarazmians The Khwarazmian dynasty (English: , fa, خوارزمشاهیان) also known as the Anushtegin dynasty was a Persianate society, PersianateClifford Edmund Bosworth, C. E. BosworthKhwarazmshahs i. Descendants of the line of Anuštigin In Encycl ...
, and
Timurids The Timurid dynasty ( fa, , chg, ), self-designated as Gurkani ( fa, , ''Gūrkāniyān'', chg, , ''Küregen''), was a Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of '' ...
), who were themselves significantly
Persianized Persianization (), or Persification (), is a sociological Sociology is the study of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing ...
, further developing in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
,
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
, and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
, where Persian culture flourished by the expansion of the Persianate societies, particularly those of Turco-Persian and Indo-Persian blends. After over eight centuries of foreign rule within the region, the Iranian hegemony was reestablished by the emergence of the
Safavid Empire Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often c ...
in the 16th century. Under the Safavid Empire, focus on Persian language and identity was further revived, and the political evolution of the empire once again maintained Persian as the main language of the country. During the times of the Safavids and subsequent modern Iranian dynasties such as the
Qajars The Qajar dynasty (; fa, سلسله قاجار ', az, Qacarlar ) was an Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or So ...
, architectural and iconographic elements from the time of the Sasanian Persian Empire were reincorporated, linking the modern country with its ancient past. Contemporary embracement of the legacy of Iran's ancient empires, with an emphasis on the Achaemenid Persian Empire, developed particularly under the reign of the
Pahlavi dynasty The Pahlavi dynasty ( fa, خاندان پهلوی) is the last Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. ...
, providing the motive of a modern nationalistic pride. Iran's modern architecture was then inspired by that of the country's classical eras, particularly with the adoption of details from the ancient monuments in the Achaemenid capitals Persepolis and Pasargadae and the Sasanian capital
Ctesiphon Ctesiphon ( ; Middle Persian: 𐭲𐭩𐭮𐭯𐭥𐭭 ''tyspwn'' or ''tysfwn''; fa, تیسفون; grc-gre, Κτησιφῶν, ; syr, ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢThomas A. Carlson et al., “Ctesiphon — ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modi ...

Ctesiphon
. Fars, corresponding to the ancient province of Persia, with its modern capital
Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the List of Iranian cities by population, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, which is also known as Pars (Sasanian province), Pars (, ) and Persis (Persia). At the 2016 cens ...

Shiraz
, became a center of interest, particularly during the annual international
Shiraz Arts Festival The Shiraz Festival of Arts ( Persian: جشنواره هنر شیراز) was an annual international summer arts festival, held in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمه ...
and the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire. The Pahlavi rulers modernized Iran, and ruled it until the
1979 Revolution The Iranian Revolution ( fa, انقلاب ایران, Enqelâbe Irân, ); locally known as the Islamic Revolution (or the 1979 Revolution) was a series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Mohammad Rez ...
.


Anthropology

In modern Iran, the Persians make up the majority of the population. They are native speakers of the modern dialects of
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
, which serves as the country's official language.


Persian language

The Persian language belongs to the western group of the
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia ...
branch of the
Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
. Modern Persian is classified as a continuation of
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
, the official religious and literary language of the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sasanian Empire
, itself a continuation of
Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the various peoples speaking ...
, which was used by the time of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
. Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages attested in original text. Samples of Old Persian have been discovered in present-day Iran,
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
(
Gherla Gherla (; hu, Szamosújvár; german: Neuschloss) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national ...
), and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
. The oldest attested text written in Old Persian is from the
Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bisotun, Bistun or Bisutun; fa, بیستون, Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian ...

Behistun Inscription
, a multilingual inscription from the time of Achaemenid ruler
Darius the Great Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 ; New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym ( ...

Darius the Great
carved on a cliff in western Iran.


Related groups

There are several ethnic groups and communities that are either ethnically or linguistically related to the Persian people, living predominantly in Iran, and also within Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Caucasus, Turkey, Iraq, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The
Tajiks Tajiks ( fa, تاجيک، تاجک, ''Tājīk, Tājek''; tg, Тоҷик) are a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethni ...

Tajiks
are a people native to
Tajikistan ) , image_map = Tajikistan (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , capital = , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = (state) (interethn ...

Tajikistan
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the ea ...

Afghanistan
, and
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land ...

Uzbekistan
who speak Persian in a variety of dialects. The Tajiks of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are native speakers of Tajik, which is the official language of Tajikistan, and those in Afghanistan speak
Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Gr ...
, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. The Tat people, an Iranian people native to the Caucasus (primarily living in the
Republic of Azerbaijan A republic ( la, res publica ''Res publica'' (also spelt as ''rēs pūblica'' to indicate vowel length In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived length of a vowel sound: the corresponding physical measurement is length (phonetics), du ...

Republic of Azerbaijan
and the
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
n republic of
Dagestan village of Grar File:Сулакский каньон.jpg, Kara-Koysu River Canyon Dagestan (; russian: Дагеста́н), officially the Republic of Dagestan (russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н), is a republics of Russia, rep ...

Dagestan
), speak a language ( Tat language) that is closely related to Persian. The origin of the Tat people is traced to an Iranian-speaking population that was resettled in the Caucasus by the time of the Sasanian Empire. The
Lurs Lurs () are an Iranian people The Iranian peoples or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European languages, Indo-European ethnolinguistic group, ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Iranian languages and other cultural si ...
, an ethnic Iranian people native to western Iran, are often associated with the Persians and the
Kurds Kurds ( ku, کورد ,Kurd, italic=yes, rtl=yes) or Kurdish people are an Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ...
. They speak various dialects of the
Luri language Luri () is a Southwestern Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It i ...
, which is considered to be a descendant of
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
. The
Hazaras The Hazaras ( fa, هزاره, Hazāra; haz, آزره, Āzra) are a Persian-speaking ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes ...

Hazaras
, making up the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, speak a variety of Persian by the name of
Hazaragi Hazaragi ( fa, هزارگی, haz, آزرگی, ) is an eastern variety of Persian that is spoken by the Hazara people, primarily in the Hazarajat region of Central Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ...

Hazaragi
, which is more precisely a part of the Dari dialect continuum. The Aimaqs, a semi-nomadic people native to Afghanistan, speak a variety of Persian by the name of
Aimaqi Aimaq or Aimaqi ( aiq, ایماقی) is the dominant eastern Persian ethnolect An ethnolect is generally defined as a language variety that mark speakers as members of ethnic groups who originally used another language or distinctive variety. Acc ...
, which also belongs to the Dari dialect continuum. Persian-speaking communities native to modern Arab countries are generally designated as ''Ajam'', including the
Ajam of Bahrain The Ajam of Bahrain ( ar, عجم البحرین), also known as Persians of Bahrain or Iranians of Bahrain, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes ...
, the
Ajam of Iraq Ajam of Iraq or Persians The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common ...
, and the Ajam of Kuwait.


Culture

From
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the l ...
and throughout the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires of ancient Iran to the neighboring
Greek city states This is an incomplete list of ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the peri ...
and the
kingdom of Macedon Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Li ...
, and later throughout the medieval
Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodne ...

Islamic world
, all the way to modern
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
and others parts of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
, Persian culture has been extended, celebrated, and incorporated. This is due mainly to its geopolitical conditions, and its intricate relationship with the ever-changing political arena once as dominant as the Achaemenid Empire. The artistic heritage of the Persians is eclectic and has included contributions from both the east and the west. Due to the central location of Iran, Persian art has served as a fusion point between eastern and western traditions. Persians have contributed to various forms of art, including
calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad-tipped instrument, brush, or other writing instrument. A contemporary call ...
, carpet weaving, ,
lacquerware Lacquerware are objects decoratively covered with lacquer. Lacquerware includes small or large containers, tableware, a variety of small objects carried by people, and larger objects such as furniture and even coffins painted with lacquer. Befor ...

lacquerware
,
marquetry is veneered in a parquetry pattern by Isaac Leonard Wise, circa 1934. Marquetry (also spelled as marqueterie; from the French ''marqueter'', to variegate) is the art and craft of applying pieces of wood veneer, veneer to a structure to form de ...
(),
metalwork Metalworking is the process of shaping and reshaping metals to create useful objects, parts, assemblies, and large scale structures. As a term it covers a wide and diverse range of processes, skills, and tools for producing objects on every scale: ...
, miniature illustration,
mosaic A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly pop ...

mosaic
,
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...
, and
textile design Textile geometry is the creative and technical process by which thread or yarn fibers are woven together or interlaced to form a flexible, functional, and decorative cloth or fabric which is subsequently printed upon or otherwise adorned. Textil ...
. Persia - Achaemenian Vessels.jpg, 5th-century BC
Achaemenid The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subj ...

Achaemenid
gold vessels.
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art
,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. Anahita Dish, 400-600 AD, Sasanian, Iran, silver and gilt - Cleveland Museum of Art - DSC08123.JPG, Ancient Iranian goddess
Anahita Anahita is the Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the language of Sasanian Empire). Like other Old Iranian ...

Anahita
depicted on a
Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...

Sasanian
silver vessel.
Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the United States, U.S. U.S. state, state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cuyahoga County. It is located along the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S ...

Cleveland Museum of Art
,
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North ...

Cleveland
. Nimtaneh-sasani.jpg,
Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...

Sasanian
marble
bust Bust commonly refers to: * A woman's breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to feed infants. Bo ...
.
National Museum of Iran The National Museum of Iran ( fa, موزهٔ ملی ایران ) is located in Tehran, Iran. It is an institution formed of two complexes; the Museum of Ancient Iran and the Museum of Islamic Archaeology and Art of Iran, which were opened in 1937 a ...
,
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the Capital city, capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the List of largest cities o ...

Tehran
. Persian-Potteries-17th-Century-Isfahan.jpg, 17th-century Persian potteries from
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahān ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and later ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in Greater Isfahan Region, Is ...

Isfahan
.
Royal Ontario Museum The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM; french: Musée royal de l'Ontario) is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for and displays a colle ...

Royal Ontario Museum
,
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
.


Literature

The Persian language is known to have one of the world's oldest and most influential literatures. Old Persian written works are attested on several inscriptions from between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC, and
Middle Persian literature Middle Persian literature is the corpus of written works composed in Middle Persian, that is, the Middle Iranian dialect of Persis, Persia proper, the region in the south-western corner of the Iranian plateau. Middle Persian was the prestige diale ...
is attested on inscriptions from the Parthian and Sasanian eras and in
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōro ...
and
Manichaean Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name' ...
scriptures from between the 3rd to the 10th century AD. New Persian literature flourished after the
Arab conquest of Iran The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, led to the fall of the Sasanian Empire of Iran (Name of Iran, Persia) in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrianism, Zoroastrian religion. The rise of Muslims coinc ...
with its earliest records from the 9th century, and was developed as a court tradition in many eastern courts. The ''
Shahnameh The ''Shahnameh'' or ''Shahnama'' ( fa, شاهنامه, Šāhnāme ; ) is a long epic poem written by the Persian literature, Persian poet Ferdowsi for Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni between c. 977 and 1010 CE and is the national epic of Greater Iran ...
'' of
Ferdowsi Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi Tusi, also Firdawsi ( fa, ; c. 940–1019/1025), or just Ferdowsi ( ) was a Persians, Persian poet and the author of ''Shahnameh'' ("Book of Kings"), which is one of the world's longest epic poetry, epic poems created by a ...

Ferdowsi
, the works of
Rumi Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), (also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mowlānā (, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (, "my master")) more popularly known simply as Rumi ( ...

Rumi
, the '''' of
Omar Khayyam Omar Khayyam (; fa, عمر خیّام ; 18 May 1048 – 4 December 1131) was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethni ...
, the '' Panj Ganj'' of
Nizami Ganjavi Nizami Ganjavi ( fa, نظامی گنجوی, lit=Niẓāmī of Ganja, Azerbaijan, Ganja, translit=Niẓāmī Ganjavī) (c. 1141–1209), Nizami Ganje'i, Nizami, or Nezāmi, whose formal name was ''Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ...
, the '' Divān'' of
Hafez Khāwje Shams-od-Dīn Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī ( fa, خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمّد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hafez (, ''Ḥāfeẓ'', 'the memorizer; the (safe) keeper'; 1315-1390) and as "Hafiz", was ...

Hafez
, ''
The Conference of the Birds ''The Conference of the Birds'' or ''Speech of the Birds'' ( fa, منطق الطیر, ''Manṭiq-uṭ-Ṭayr'', also known as ''Maqāmāt-uṭ-Ṭuyūr''; 1177) is a Persian poem by Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar, commonly known as Attar of Nis ...
'' by
Attar of Nishapur Attar or Attoor ( ar, عطار, ) may refer to: People *Attar (name) *Fariduddin Attar, 12th-century Persian poet Places *Attar (Madhya Pradesh), the location of Attar railway station, Madhya Pradesh, India *Attar, Iran, a village in Razavi Khor ...
, and the miscellanea of '' Gulistan'' and '' Bustan'' by
Saadi Shirazi Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī ( fa, ابومحمّد مصلح‌الدین بن عبدالله شیرازی), better known by his pen name Saadi (; fa, سعدی, , ), also known as Sadi of Shiraz (, ''Saʿdī Shīrāzī'' ...
are among the famous works of medieval Persian literature. A thriving contemporary Persian literature has also been formed by the works of writers such as
Ahmad Shamlou Ahmad Shamlou ( fa, احمد شاملو, ''Ahmad Šāmlū'' , also known under his pen name A. Bamdad ( fa, ا. بامداد)) (December 12, 1925 – July 23, 2000) was an Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), ...

Ahmad Shamlou
,
Forough Farrokhzad Forugh Farrokhzad ( fa, فروغ فرخزاد; 29 December 1934 – 13 February 1967) was an influential Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, ...
,
Mehdi Akhavan-Sales Mehdi Akhavān-Sāles, or Akhavān-Sāless ( fa, مهدی اخوان ثالث) (March 1, 1929 in Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad or Meshad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Kho ...
,
Parvin E'tesami Parvin E'tesami (also known as, Rakhshandeh Etesami, Parvin Etesami ( fa, رخشنده), fa, پروین اعتصامی) (1907 – April 5, 1941), was an Iranian 20th-century Persian poet. Life Parvin E'tesami was born in 1907 in Tabriz Tabriz ...

Parvin E'tesami
,
Sadegh Hedayat Sadegh Hedayat ( fa, صادق هدایت ; February 17, 1903, in Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the Capital city, capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger m ...

Sadegh Hedayat
, and
Simin Daneshvar Simin Dāneshvar ( fa, سیمین دانشور)‎ (28 April 1921 – 8 March 2012) was an Iranian academic, novelist, fiction writer and translator. She was largely regarded as the first major Iranian woman novelist. Her books dealt with the li ...

Simin Daneshvar
, among others. Not all Persian literature is written in Persian, as works written by Persians in other languages—such as Arabic and Greek—might also be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians, as Turkic, Caucasian, and Indic authors have also used Persian literature in the environment of Persianate cultures.


Architecture

The most notable examples of ancient Persian architecture are the works of the Achaemenids hailing from
Persis Persis ( grc-gre, , ''Persís''), better known in English as Persia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the l ...
.
Achaemenid architecture Achaemenid architecture includes all architectural achievements of the Achaemenid The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire ...
, dating from the expansion of the empire around 550 BC, flourished in a period of artistic growth that left a legacy ranging from at
Pasargadae Pasargadae (from grc, Πασαργάδαι, from Old Persian ''Pāθra-gadā'', "protective club" or "strong club"; Modern Persian: ''Pāsārgād'') was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, tr ...
to the structures at
Persepolis Persepolis (; peo, 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, ; ) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, , translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient based in foun ...

Persepolis
and
Naqsh-e Rostam Naqsh-e Rostam (literal translation, lit. mural of Rostam, fa, نقش رستم ) is an ancient archeological site and necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran. A collection of ancient Iranian rock relie ...

Naqsh-e Rostam
. The Bam Citadel, a massive structure at constructed on the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
in , is from around the 5th century BC. The quintessential feature of Achaemenid architecture was its eclectic nature, with elements from Median architecture, Assyrian architecture, and Asiatic Greek architecture all incorporated. The architectural heritage of the Sasanian Empire includes, among others, castle fortifications such as the Fortifications of Derbent (located in
North Caucasus The North Caucasus ( ady, Темыр Къафкъас, Temır Qafqas; kbd, Ишхъэрэ Къаукъаз, İṩxhərə Qauqaz; ce, Къилбаседа Кавказ, Q̇ilbaseda Kavkaz; rus, Северный Кавказ, r=Severnyy Ka ...
, now part of
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
), the and the , palaces such as the
Palace of Ardashir The Palace of Ardashir Pāpakan (in fa, کاخ اردشير پاپکان, ''Kākh-e Ardashir-e Pāpakān''), also known as the ''Atash-kadeh'' آتشکده, is a castle located on the slopes of the mountain on which Dezh Dokhtar is situated. Bu ...

Palace of Ardashir
and the
Sarvestan Palace The Sassanid Palace at Sarvestan ( fa, کاخ ساسانی سروستان ''kakh-eh Sassani-ye Sarvestan'') is a Sassanid Empire, Sassanid-era building in the Iranian city of Sarvestan, some 90 km southeast from the city of Shiraz. The pala ...

Sarvestan Palace
, bridges such as the Shahrestan Bridge and the Shapuri Bridge, the , and the reliefs at
Taq-e Bostan Taq-e Bostan ( fa, طاق بستان) means "Arch of the Garden" or "Arch made by stone" is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran), carved around the 4th century CE. This example of Per ...
. Persepolis 06.jpg, Ruins of the
Tachara The Tachara, or the Tachar Château, also referred to as the Palace of Darius the Great, was the exclusive building of Darius I at Persepolis, Iran. It is located 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in Fars Province. History and c ...
,
Persepolis Persepolis (; peo, 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, ; ) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, , translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient based in foun ...

Persepolis
. Pasargad Tomb Cyrus3.jpg,
Tomb of Cyrus The Tomb of Cyrus ( Persian: آرامگاه کوروش بزرگ translit. ''ārāmgāh-e kurosh-e bozorg'') is the monument of Cyrus the Great Cyrus II of Persia ( peo, 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁, translit=Kūruš; ; ) commonly known as Cyrus the ...

Tomb of Cyrus
,
Pasargadae Pasargadae (from grc, Πασαργάδαι, from Old Persian ''Pāθra-gadā'', "protective club" or "strong club"; Modern Persian: ''Pāsārgād'') was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, tr ...
. Sassanid reliefs at Taq e Bostan.jpg, The
Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...

Sasanian
reliefs at
Taq-e Bostan Taq-e Bostan ( fa, طاق بستان) means "Arch of the Garden" or "Arch made by stone" is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran), carved around the 4th century CE. This example of Per ...
. Falakolaflak.jpg, ,
Khorramabad Khorramabad ( fa, خرم‌آباد or KhorMoa as local say - also Romanized as Khorramābād, Khoramabad, Khurramabad, Khorram Abad and occasionally Khur Ramābād) is a city and the capital of Lorestan Province, Iran Iran ( fa, ای ...
.
Architectural elements from the time of Iran's ancient Persian empires have been adopted and incorporated in later period. They were used especially during the modernization of Iran under the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty to contribute to the characterization of the modern country with its ancient history.


Gardens

Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens mont ...

Xenophon
, in his ''
Oeconomicus The ''Oeconomicus'' ( grc-gre, Οἰκονομικός) by Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian-born military leader, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices phil ...
'', states: The
Persian garden is a famous historic Persian garden in Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the List of Iranian cities by population, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, which is also known as Pars (Sasanian province), ...
, the earliest examples of which were found throughout the Achaemenid Empire, has an integral position in Persian architecture. Gardens assumed an important place for the Achaemenid monarchs, and utilized the advanced Achaemenid knowledge of water technologies, including
aqueduct Aqueduct may refer to: Bridges *Aqueduct (bridge), a bridge to convey water over an obstacle, such as a ravine or valley *Navigable aqueduct, or water bridge, a structure to carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or r ...
s, earliest recorded gravity-fed water rills, and basins arranged in a geometric system. The enclosure of this symmetrically arranged planting and irrigation by an infrastructure such as a palace created the impression of "paradise". The word ''paradise'' itself originates from
Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian ...
(
Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the various peoples speaking ...
;
New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or re ...
, ), which literally translates to "walled-around". Characterized by its quadripartite ('''') design, the Persian garden was evolved and developed into various forms throughout history, and was also adopted in various other cultures in Eurasia. It was inscribed on
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
's
World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
in June 2011. Naghshe Jahan Square Isfahan modified.jpg, ,
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahān ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and later ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in Greater Isfahan Region, Is ...

Isfahan
. Botanical Garden, Shiraz.jpg,
Eram Garden Eram Garden ( fa, باغ ارم, ''Bāgh-e Eram'') is a historic Persian garden in Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the List of Iranian cities by population, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, which ...

Eram Garden
,
Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the List of Iranian cities by population, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, which is also known as Pars (Sasanian province), Pars (, ) and Persis (Persia). At the 2016 cens ...

Shiraz
. Hafez 880714 095.jpg,
Tomb of Hafez The Tomb of Hafez (Persian language, Persian: آرامگاه حافظ), commonly known as Hāfezieh (), are two memorial structures erected in the northern edge of Shiraz, Iran, in memory of the celebrated Persian people, Persian poet Hafez. The ...

Tomb of Hafez
,
Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the List of Iranian cities by population, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, which is also known as Pars (Sasanian province), Pars (, ) and Persis (Persia). At the 2016 cens ...

Shiraz
. باغ وعمارت شاهزاده ماهان.jpg, ,
Kerman Kerman ( fa, ; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), ge ...

Kerman
.


Carpets

Carpet weaving is an essential part of the Persian culture, and Persian rugs are said to be one of the most detailed hand-made works of art. Achaemenid rug and carpet artistry is well recognized.
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens mont ...

Xenophon
describes the carpet production in the city of Sardis, stating that the locals take pride in their carpet production. A special mention of Persian carpets is also made by
Athenaeus of Naucratis Athenaeus of Naucratis (; grc, Ἀθήναιος ὁ Nαυκρατίτης or Nαυκράτιος, ''Athēnaios Naukratitēs'' or ''Naukratios''; la, Athenaeus Naucratita) was a Greeks, Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourishing about the end ...
in his ''
Deipnosophistae The ''Deipnosophistae'' is an early 3rd-century AD ancient Greek, Greek work ( grc, Δειπνοσοφισταί, ''Deipnosophistaí'', lit. "The Dinner Sophists/Philosophers/Experts") by the Hellenistic period, Greek author Athenaeus of Na ...
'', as he describes a "delightfully embroidered" Persian carpet with "preposterous shapes of
griffin The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...

griffin
s". The Pazyryk carpet, a
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
pile-carpet dating back to the 4th century BC that is regarded as the world's oldest existing carpet, depicts elements of Assyrian and Achaemenid designs, including stylistic references to the stone slab designs found in Persian royal buildings.


Music

According to the accounts reported by Xenophon, a great number of singers were present at the Achaemenid court. However, little information is available from the music of that era. The music scene of the Sasanian Empire has a more available and detailed documentation than the earlier periods, and is especially more evident within the context of Zoroastrian musical rituals. iv. First millennium C.E. (1) Sasanian music, 224-651. Overall,
Sasanian music Sasanian music refers to the golden age of Persian music that occurred under the reign of the Sasanian dynasty. Persian classical music dates to the sixth century BC; during the time of the Achaemenid Empire (550-331 B.C.), music played an import ...
was influential and was adopted in the subsequent eras. Iranian music, as a whole, utilizes a variety of musical instruments that are unique to the region, and has remarkably evolved since the ancient and medieval times. In traditional Sasanian music, the
octave In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated co ...

octave
was divided into seventeen tones. By the end of the 13th century, Iranian music also maintained a twelve-interval octave, which resembled the western counterparts.


Observances

The Iranian
New Year New Year is the time Time is the continued of and that occurs in an apparently succession from the , through the , into the . It is a component quantity of various s used to events, to compare the duration of events or the interva ...

New Year
's Day,
Nowruz Nowruz ( fa, نوروز, ; ) is the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year, which begins on the spring equinox, marking the first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian solar calendar. It is celebrated worldwide by v ...

Nowruz
, which translates to "new day", is celebrated by Persians and other peoples of Iran to mark the beginning of spring on the vernal equinox on the first day of
Farvardin Farvardin ( fa, فروردین, ) is the Iranian Persian name for the first month A month is a unit of time, used with calendars, which is approximately as long as a natural Orbital period, period related to the motion of the Moon; ''month'' and ' ...
, the first month of the
Iranian calendar The Iranian calendars or Iranian chronology ( fa, گاه‌شماری ایرانی, ''Gāh-Šomāri-ye Irāni'') are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in , also known as Persia. One of the longest chronological re ...
, which corresponds to around March 21 in the Gregorian calendar. An ancient tradition that has been preserved in Iran and several other countries that were under the influence of the ancient empires of Iran, Nowruz has been registered on
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
's Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. In Iran, the Nowruz celebrations (incl. Charshanbe Suri and Sizdebedar) begin on the eve of the last Wednesday of the preceding year in the Iranian calendar and last on the 13th day of the new year. Islamic festivals are also widely celebrated by Muslim Persians.


References


Sources

* * * * * * * *


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Persian People
Ancient peoples Peoples of the ancient world (i.e. prior to AD 476). ''For individuals, see :Ancient people.'' {{CatAutoTOC + Historical ethnic groups ...
Iranian ethnic groups Ethnic groups in Iran Ethnic groups in the Middle East Indigenous peoples of Western Asia