Persian Empire

The Persian Empire (Persian: شاهنشاهی ایران‎, translit. Šâhanšâhiye Irân, lit. 'Imperial Iran') refers to any of a series of imperial dynasties that were centred in Persia/Iran from the 6th century BC Achaemenid Empire era to the 20th century AD in the Qajar dynasty era.

Map of the Achaemenid Empire
Persian Empire in the Achaemenid era, 6th century BC
Persia-Tomb-of-Cyrus-the-Great-Passargad-530BC
Tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire (the first Persian Empire) in the 6th century BC
Ctesiphon 01
Taq Kasra (Arch of Ctesiphon), symbol of the Sasanian Empire, 3rd century AD

Achaemenids

The first dynasty of the Persian Empire was created by Achaemenids, established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC with the conquest of Median, Lydian and Babylonian empires.[1][2] It covered much of the Ancient world when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. Persepolis is the most famous historical site related to Persian Empire in the Achaemenid era and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

Sasanians

From 247 BC to 224 AD, Persia was ruled by the Parthian Empire, which supplanted the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, and then by the Sassanian Empire, which ruled up until the mid-7th century.[3]

The Persian Empire in the Sasanian era was interrupted by the Arab conquest of Persia in 651 AD, establishing the even larger Islamic caliphate, and later by the Mongol invasion. The main religion of ancient Persia was the native Zoroastrianism, but after the seventh century, it was slowly replaced by Islam which achieved a majority in the 10th century.

Safavids

Shah Abbas I engraving by Dominicus Custos
Shah Abbas I, the most powerful king of the Safavid dynasty

The Safavid Empire was the first Persian Empire established after the Arab conquest of Persia by Shah Ismail I. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavid Persians established control over parts of Greater Persia/Iran and reasserted the Persian identity of the region, becoming the first native Persian dynasty since the Sasanian Empire to establish a unified Persian state.

Literature, art and architecture flourished in the Safavid era once again, and it is often cited as the "rebirth of the Persian Empire". Safavids also announced Shia Islam as the official religion in the empire versus the Sunni Islam in the neighbouring Ottoman Empire.

List of the dynasties described as a Persian Empire

Achaemenid (greatest extent)
Extent of the first Persian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire
Sasanian Empire (greatest extent)
Extent of the Sasanian Empire in 621
Safavid dynasty (greatest extent)
The maximum extent of the Safavid Empire under Shah Abbas I
Afsharid dynasty (greatest extent)
Extent of the Afsharid Empire under Nader Shah

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ Herodotus (2015) [2014]. "Halicarnassus". The Histories. Penguin Classics Deluxe (Reprint ed.). London: Penguin Classics. pp. (page needed). ISBN 978-0143107545.
  2. ^ Briant 2002, p. 15.
  3. ^ DK 2014, p. 71.

Sources

External links

2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire

The 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire (Persian: جشن‌های ۲۵۰۰ سالهٔ شاهنشاهی ایران‎), officially known as The 2,500th year of Foundation of Imperial State of Iran (Persian: دوهزار و پانصدمین سال بنیانگذاری شاهنشاهی ایران‎), consisted of an elaborate set of festivities that took place on 12–16 October 1971 to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Imperial State of Iran and the Achaemenid Empire by Cyrus the Great. The intent of the celebration was to demonstrate Iran's ancient civilization and history and to showcase its contemporary advances under His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah, the last Shah of Iran.The extravagance of the celebrations was striking. Some later historians came to think that this excess had contributed to events that resulted in the Iranian Revolution and eventual replacement of the monarchy with an Islamic Republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution. He was supported by a wide range of people, including various Islamist and leftist organizations, and student movements.

340s BC

This article concerns the period 349 BC – 340 BC.

6th century BC

The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC.

This century represents the peak of a period in human history popularly known as Axial Age. This period saw the emergence of five major thought streams springing from five great thinkers in different parts of the world: Buddha and Mahavira in India, Zoroaster in Persia, Pythagoras in Greece and Confucius in China.

Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or slightly later. This is the oldest still known grammar of any language.

In Western Asia, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after successfully rebelling against Assyrian rule. The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was ended in the 540s by Cyrus, who founded the Persian Empire in its place. The Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.

In Iron Age Europe, the Celtic expansion was in progress. China was in the Spring and Autumn period.

Mediterranean: Beginning of Greek philosophy, flourishes during the 5th century BC

The late Hallstatt culture period in Eastern and Central Europe, the late Bronze Age in Northern Europe

East Asia: the Spring and Autumn period. Confucianism, Legalism and Moism flourish. Laozi founds Taoism

West Asia: During the Persian empire, Zoroaster, a.k.a. Zarathustra, founded Zoroastrianism, a dualistic philosophy. This was also the time of the Babylonian captivity of the ancient Jews.

Ancient India: the Buddha and Mahavira found Buddhism and Jainism

The decline of the Olmec civilization in Central America

Achaemenid Assyria

Athura (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎰𐎢𐎼𐎠 Aθurā), also called Assyria, was a geographical area within the Achaemenid Empire in Upper Mesopotamia from 539 to 330 BC as a military protectorate state. Although sometimes regarded as a satrapy, Achaemenid royal inscriptions list it as a dahyu (plural dahyāva), a concept generally interpreted as meaning either a group of people or both a country and its people, without any administrative implication.It mostly incorporated the territories of Neo-Assyrian Empire corresponding to what is now northern Iraq in the upper Tigris, the middle and upper Euphrates, modern-day northeastern Syria (Eber-Nari) and part of south-east Anatolia (now Turkey). However, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula were separate Achaemenid territories. The Neo-Assyrian Empire collapsed after a period of violent civil wars, followed by an invasion by a coalition of some of its former subject peoples, the Iranian peoples (Medes, Persians and Scythians), Babylonians and Cimmerians in the late seventh century BC, culminating in the Battle of Nineveh, and Assyria had fallen completely by 609 BC.

Between 609 and 559 BC, former Assyrian territories were divided between the Median Empire to the east and the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the west. Both parts were subsumed into the Achaemenid Empire in 539 BC, and it has been argued that they constituted the satrapies of Media and Aθurā, respectively. In Herodotus' account the Ninth Tributary District comprised "Babylonia and the rest of Assyria" and excluded Eber-Nari.Despite a few rebellions, Aθurā functioned as an important part of the Achaemenid Empire and its inhabitants were given the right to govern themselves throughout Achaemenid rule and Old Aramaic was used diplomatically by the Achaemenids.Known for their combat skills, Assyrian soldiers (along with the Lydians) constituted the main heavy infantry of the Achaemenid military. Due to the major destruction of Assyria during the fall of its empire, some early scholars described the area as an "uninhabited wasteland." Other Assyriologists, however, such as John Curtis and Simo Parpola, have strongly disputed this claim, citing how Assyria would eventually become one of the wealthiest regions among the Achaemenid Empire. This wealth was due to the land's great prosperity for agriculture that the Achaemenids used effectively for almost 200 years.

In contrast to the policy of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Achaemenid Persians did not intervene in the internal affairs of their ruling satrapies as long as they continued the flow of tribute and taxes back to Persia.

Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire (; 𐎧𐏁𐏂,Xšassa (Old Persian) "The Empire" c. 550–330 BC), also called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 (or 8) million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time. The Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire.The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social, technological and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings. The impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, and the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China. The empire also set the tone for the politics, heritage and history of Iran (also known as Persia).

Buyid dynasty

The Buyid dynasty or the Buyids (Persian: آل بویه‎ Āl-e Buye), also known as Buwaihids, Bowayhids, Buyahids, or Buyyids, was a Shia Iranian dynasty of Daylamite origin. Coupled with the rise of other Iranian dynasties in the region, the approximate century of Buyid rule represents the period in Iranian history sometimes called the 'Iranian Intermezzo' since, after the Muslim conquest of Persia, it was an interlude between the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate and the Seljuk Empire.The Buyid dynasty was founded by 'Ali ibn Buya, who in 934 conquered Fars and made Shiraz his capital. His younger brother Hasan ibn Buya conquered parts of Jibal in the late 930s, and by 943 managed to capture Ray, which he made his capital. In 945, the youngest brother, Ahmad ibn Buya, conquered Iraq and made Baghdad his capital. He received the laqab or honorific title of Mu'izz al-Dawla ("Fortifier of the State"). The eldest, 'Ali, was given the title of 'Imad al-Dawla ("Support of the State"), and Hasan was given the title of Rukn al-Dawla ("Pillar of the State").

As Daylamite Iranians, the Buyids consciously revived symbols and practices of Iran's Sasanian Empire. Beginning with 'Adud al-Dawla, they used the ancient Sasanian title Shahanshah (شاهنشاه), literally "king of kings".At its greatest extent, the Buyid dynasty encompassed territory of most of today's Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria, along with parts of Oman, the UAE, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the 10th and 11th centuries, just prior to the invasion of the Seljuq Turks, the Buyids were the most influential dynasty in the Middle East. Under king 'Adud al-Dawla, it became briefly the most powerful dynasty in the Middle East.

Darius III

Darius III (c. 380 – July 330 BC), originally named Artashata and called Codomannus by the Greeks, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, from 336 BC to 330 BC. Artashata adopted Darius as a dynastic name.His empire was unstable, with large portions governed by jealous and unreliable satraps and inhabited by disaffected and rebellious subjects.

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great began his invasion of the Persian Empire and subsequently defeated the Persians in a number of battles before looting and destroying their capital, Persepolis, by fire in 330 BC. With the Persian Empire now effectively under Alexander's control, Alexander then decided to pursue Darius. Before Alexander reached him, however, Darius was killed by his cousin Satrap Bessus.

Immortals (Achaemenid Empire)

The Immortals (Persian: جاویدان‎ jâvīdân, Ancient Greek: Ἀθάνατοι Athánatoi) also known as the Persian Immortals or Persian Warriors was the name given by Herodotus to an elite heavily-armed infantry queued unit of 10,000 soldiers in the great army of the Achaemenid Empire. This force performed the dual roles of both Imperial Guard and standing army. The force consisted mainly of Persians, but also included Medes and Elamites. Essential questions regarding the unit remain unanswered, because authentic sources are missing.

Iranian monarchy

Iranian monarchy may refer to:

Iranian kingdoms and empires of classical Iran:

Median Empire, 715–549 BCE

Achaemenid Empire (First Persian Empire), 550 BC–330 BCE

Parthian Empire, 247 BCE – 224 CE

Sasanian Empire (Second Persian Empire), 224–651 CE

Iranian kingdoms and empires of post-classical Iran:

Medieval and early modern Muslim Iranian dynasties, 820–1794

Qajar dynasty, 1794–1925

Pahlavi dynasty, 1925–1979

Issus, Cilicia

Issus (Phoenician: Sissu, Ancient Greek: Ἱσσός or Ἱσσοί) is an ancient settlement on the strategic coastal plain straddling the small Pinarus river (a fast melt-water stream several metres wide) below the navigationally difficult inland mountains towering above to the east in the Turkish Province of Hatay, near the border with Syria. It can be identified with Kinet Höyük in the village of Yeṣilköy near Dörtyol in the Hatay province of Turkey. Excavations on the mound occurred between 1992 and 2012 by Bilkent University. It is most notable for being the place of no less than three decisive ancient or medieval battles each called in their own era the Battle of Issus:

The Battle of Issus (333 BC); Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia. This battle is occasionally called the First Battle of Issus, but is more generally known simply as the Battle of Issus, owing to the importance of Alexander's victory over the First Persian Empire and its impact on subsequent history of the region, including all the successor polities.

Battle of Issus (194), or Second Battle of Issus — between the forces of Emperor Septimius Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger.

Battle of Issus (622), or Third Battle of Issus — between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Persian Empire.Whether Issus is still present within a modern settlement is hotly debated among researchers. Regardless of which mountain brook was the locus of the battles, the old town was situated close to present-day İskenderun, Turkey, in the Gulf of İskenderun. Today, no town exists on both sides of the Pinarus river, which may or may not have been called Issus.

Although Issus was once considered to have been an episcopal see, there is no evidence to support that idea: Issus is not mentioned in the "Notitiae Episcopatuum" of the Patriarchate of Antioch, to which the Roman province of Cilicia belonged.

Lydia

Lydia (Assyrian: Luddu; Greek: Λυδία, Lydía; Turkish: Lidya) was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.The Kingdom of Lydia existed from about 1200 BC to 546 BC. At its greatest extent, during the 7th century BC, it covered all of western Anatolia. In 546 BC, it became a province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, known as the satrapy of Lydia or Sparda in Old Persian. In 133 BC, it became part of the Roman province of Asia.

Coins are said to have been invented in Lydia around the 7th century BC.

Panyassis

Panyassis of Halicarnassus, sometimes known as Panyasis (Ancient Greek: Πανύασις), was a 5th century BC Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey).

Parthian Empire

The Parthian Empire (; 247 BC – 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.

The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it eventually saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions. The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps. The court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris (south of modern Baghdad, Iraq), although several other sites also served as capitals.

The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west and the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, and in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius. Various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the ensuing Roman–Parthian Wars of the next few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold on to them. Frequent civil wars between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous to the Empire's stability than foreign invasion, and Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Istakhr in Persis, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus V, in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire, which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, and the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania; all eponymous branches of the Parthian Arsacids.

Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian, Greek and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, and the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories, but also Chinese histories, prompted by the Han Chinese desire to form alliances against the Xiongnu. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources.

Persian

Persian may refer to:

People and things from Iran, historically called Persia in the English language

Persians, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples

Persian language, an Iranian language of the Indo-European family, native language of ethnic Persians

Persian alphabet, a writing system based on the Arabic script

People and things from the historical Persian Empire

Persian carpet, an essential part of Persian culture

Persian Gulf, a mediterranean sea in Western Asia

Samaritan alphabet

The Samaritan alphabet is used by the Samaritans for religious writings, including the Samaritan Pentateuch, writings in Samaritan Hebrew, and for commentaries and translations in Samaritan Aramaic and occasionally Arabic.

Samaritan is a direct descendant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, which was a variety of the Phoenician alphabet in which large parts of the Hebrew Bible were originally penned. All these scripts are believed to be descendants of the Proto-Sinaitic script. That script was used by the ancient Israelites, both Jews and Samaritans. The better-known "square script" Hebrew alphabet traditionally used by Jews is a stylized version of the Aramaic alphabet called "Assyrian writing" (כתב אשורי) which they adopted from the Persian Empire (which in turn adopted it from the Arameans). After the fall of the Persian Empire, Judaism used both scripts before settling on the Aramaic form. For a limited time thereafter, the use of paleo-Hebrew (proto-Samaritan) among Jews was retained only to write the Tetragrammaton, but soon that custom was also abandoned.

The Samaritan alphabet first became known to the Western world with the publication of a manuscript of the Samaritan Pentateuch in 1631 by Jean Morin. In 1616 the traveler Pietro della Valle had purchased a copy of the text in Damascus, and this manuscript, now known as Codex B, was deposited in a Parisian library.

Sasanian Armenia

Sasanian Armenia, also known as Persian Armenia and Persarmenia (Armenian: Պարսկահայաստան – Parskahayastan), may either refer to the periods where Armenia (Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭫𐭬𐭭𐭩‎ – Armin) was under the suzerainty of the Sasanian Empire, or specifically to the parts of Armenia under its control such as after the partition of 387 AD when parts of western Armenia were incorporated into the Byzantine Empire while the rest of Armenia came under Sasanian suzerainty whilst maintaining its existing kingdom until 428.

In 428, Armenian nobles petitioned Bahram V to depose Artaxias IV (r. 422); Bahram V (r. 420–438) abolished the Kingdom of Armenia and appointed Veh Mihr Shapur as marzban (governor of a frontier province, "margrave") of the country, which marked the start of a new era known as the Marzpanate period (Armenian: Մարզպանական Հայաստան – Marzpanakan Hayastan), a period when marzbans, nominated by the Sasanian emperor, governed eastern Armenia, as opposed to the western Byzantine Armenia which was ruled by several princes, and later governors, under Byzantine suzerainty. The Marzpanate period ended with the Arab conquest of Armenia in the 7th century, when the Principality of Armenia was established. An estimated three million Armenians were under the influence of the Sasanian marzpans during this period.The marzban was invested with supreme power, even imposing death sentences; but he could not interfere with the age-long privileges of the Armenian nakharars. The country as a whole enjoyed considerable autonomy. The office of Hazarapet, corresponding to that of Minister of the Interior, public works and finance, was mostly entrusted to an Armenian, while the post of Sparapet (commander-in-chief) was only entrusted to an Armenian. Each nakharar had his own army, according to the extent of his domain. The "National Cavalry" or "Royal force" was under the Commander-in-chief. The tax collectors were all Armenians. The courts of justice and the schools were directed by the Armenian clergy. Several times, an Armenian nakharar became Marzpan, as did Vahan Mamikonian in 485 after a period of rebellion against the Iranians.

Three times during the Marzpanic period, Iranian kings launched persecutions against Christianity in Armenia. The Iranians had tolerated the invention of the Armenian alphabet and the founding of schools, thinking these would encourage the spiritual separation of Armenia from the Byzantines, but on the contrary, the new cultural movement among the Armenians proved to be conducive to closer relations with Byzantium.

Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian Empire (), also known as the Sassanian, Sasanid, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire (known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr, or Iran, in Middle Persian), was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD. The Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years.The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, Eastern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatif, Qatar, UAE), the Levant (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), Yemen and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani.The Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, and influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam. In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture, music and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world.

Shah

Shah (; Persian: شاه‎, translit. Šāh, pronounced [ʃɒːh], "king") is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran (historically known as Persia in the West). It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan (a historical Iranian region in Transcaucasia) namely the Shirvanshahs. It was also used by Persianate societies such as the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire (spelled as Şah and Şeh in the modern Turkish language), Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent, the Bengal Sultanate, as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran (and the Greater Iran region) the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the Shahanshah (Persian: شاهنشاه‎, translit. Šāhanšāh, "King of Kings") or Padishah (Persian: پادشاه‎, translit. Pādešāh, "Master King") of the Persian Empire.

Other words for King in other Iranian languages, like Sogdian xšyδ, Kurdish, Parthian and Gilaki šāh, Bactrian šao, Luri and Mazandrani ša and Pashto pača are also from the same root.

Tahirid dynasty

The Tahirid dynasty (Persian: طاهریان‎, Tâhiriyân) was a dynasty, of Persian dihqan origin, that effectively ruled the Khorasan from 821 to 873 while other members of the dynasty served as military and security commanders for the city of Baghdad from 820 until 891. The dynasty was founded by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general in the service of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. Their capital in Khorasan was initially located at Merv but was later moved to Nishapur. The Tahirids have been described as the first independent Iranian dynasty after the fall of the Sassanian Empire. However, according Hugh Kennedy: "The Tahirids are sometimes considered as the first independent Iranian dynasty, but such a view is misleading. The arrangement was effectively a partnership between the Abbasids and the Tahirids." And instead, the Tahirids were loyal to the Abbasid caliphs and enjoyed considerable autonomy rather than being independent from the central authority. The tax revenue from Khorasan that was sent to the caliphal treasury was perhaps larger than those collected previously.

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