Persian people

The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran.[3][2] They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language,[4][5][6] as well as closely related languages.[7]

The ancient Persians were a nomadic branch of the ancient Iranian population that entered the territory of modern-day Iran by the early 10th century BC.[8][9] Together with their compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world's most powerful empires,[10][11] well-recognized for their massive cultural, political, and social influence covering much of the territory and population of the ancient world.[12][13][14] Throughout history, the Persians have contributed greatly to various forms of art and science,[15][16][17] and own one of the world's most prominent literatures.[18]

In contemporary terminology, people of Persian heritage native specifically to present-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are referred to as Tajiks, whereas those in the eastern Caucasus (primarily the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan), albeit heavily assimilated, are referred to as Tats.[19][20] However, historically, the terms Tajik, Tat, and Persian were synonymous and were used interchangeably,[19] and many of the most influential Persian figures hailed from outside Iran's present-day borders to the northeast in Central Asia and Afghanistan and to a lesser extent to the northwest in the Caucasus proper.[21][22] 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.

Regions with significant populations
 Iran49,312,834 (61–65% of the total population)[1][2]
Persian, and closely related languages.
Predominantly Shia Islam Minority: Irreligion, Christianity, the Bahá'í faith, Sunni Islam, Sufism, and Zoroastrianism.
Related ethnic groups
Other Iranian peoples.



The English term Persian derives from Latin Persia, itself deriving from Greek Persís (Περσίς),[23] a Hellenized form of Old Persian Pārsa (𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿).[24] In the Bible, it is given as Parás (Hebrew: פָּרָס‎)—sometimes Paras uMadai (פרס ומדי‎; "Persia and Media")—within the books of Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemya.

A Greek folk etymology connected the name to Perseus, a legendary character in Greek mythology. Herodotus recounts this story,[25] devising a foreign son, Perses, from whom the Persians took the name. Apparently, the Persians themselves knew the story,[26] as Xerxes I tried to use it to suborn the Argives during his invasion of Greece, but ultimately failed to do so.

History of usage

Although Persis was originally one of the provinces of ancient Iran,[27] varieties of this term (e.g. Persia) were adopted through Greek sources and used as an official name for all of Iran for many years.[28] Thus, in the Western world, the term Persian came to refer to all inhabitants of the country.[28]

Some medieval and early modern Islamic sources also used cognates of the term Persian to refer to various Iranian peoples, including the speakers of the Khwarezmian language,[29] the Mazanderani language,[30] and the Old Azeri language.[31] 10th-century Iraqi historian Al-Masudi refers to Pahlavi, Dari and Azari as dialects of the Persian language.[32] In 1333, medieval Moroccan traveler and scholar Ibn Battuta referred to the people of Kabul as a specific sub-tribe of Persians.[33] Lady Mary (Leonora Woulfe) Sheil, in her observation of Iran during the Qajar era, describes Persians, Kurds, and Leks to identify themselves as "descendants of the ancient Persians".[20]

On March 21, 1935, the former king of Iran, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty, 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.[34][35][36][37]


The earliest known written record attributed to the Persians is from the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, an Assyrian inscription from the mid-9th century BC,[38][39] found at Nimrud. The inscription mentions Parsua (presumed to mean "border" or "borderland")[40] as a tribal chiefdom (860–600 BC) in modern-day western Iran.[41][42]

Ancient Persian costumes
Costumes of an ancient Persian nobleman and soldiers.
NAMABG-Colored Alexander Sarcophagus 1
Ancient Persian and Greek soldiers as depicted on a color reconstruction of the 4th-century BC Alexander Sarcophagus.

The ancient Persians were a nomadic branch of the Iranian population that, in the early 10th century BC, settled to the northwest of modern-day Iran.[8][9][43][44] They were initially dominated by the Assyrians 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.[45][46] The Medes, another branch of this population, founded the unified empire of Media as the region's dominant cultural and political power in c. 625 BC.[10] Meanwhile, the Persian dynasty of the Achaemenids formed a vassal state to the central Median power. In c. 552 BC, the Achaemenids began a revolution which eventually led to the conquest of the empire by Cyrus II in c. 550 BC. They spread their influence to the rest of what is called the Iranian Plateau, and assimilated with the non-Iranian indigenous groups of the region, including the Elamites and the Mannaeans.[47][48][49]

Achaemenid Empire (flat map)
Map of the Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent.

At its greatest extent, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from parts of Eastern Europe in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.[11] The Achaemenids developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence, including the creation of Pasargadae and the opulent city of Persepolis.[50] The empire extended as far as the limits of the Greek city states in modern-day mainland Greece, where the Persians and Athenians influenced each other in what is essentially a reciprocal cultural exchange.[51] Its legacy and impact on the kingdom of Macedon was also notably huge,[13] even for centuries after the withdrawal of the Persians from Europe following the Greco-Persian Wars.[13] The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire.

During the Achaemenid era, Persian colonists settled in Asia Minor.[52] In Lydia (the most important Achaemenid satrapy), near Sardis, there was the Hyrcanian plain, which, according to Strabo, got its name from the Persian settlers that were moved from Hyrcania.[53] Similarly near Sardis, there was the plain of Cyrus, which further signified the presence of numerous Persian settlements in the area.[54] In all these centuries, Lydia and Pontus were reportedly the chief centers for the worship of the Persian gods in Asia Minor.[54] According to Pausanias, as late as the second century AD, one could witness rituals which resembled the Persian fire ceremony at the towns of Hyrocaesareia and Hypaepa.[54] Mithridates III of Cius, a Persian nobleman and part of the Persian ruling elite of the town of Cius, founded the Kingdom of Pontus in his later life, in northern Asia Minor.[55][56] At the peak of its power, under the infamous Mithridates VI the Great, the Kingdom of Pontus also controlled Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos, and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated; part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province Bithynia and Pontus, 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 Zoroastrian faith of their forefathers.[57] 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.[57] Strabo, who wrote during the time of 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".[58]

Until the Parthian era, the Iranian identity had an ethnic, linguistic, and religious value. However, it did not yet have a political import.[59] Parthian, a mutually intelligible language with Middle Persian,[60] became an official language of the Parthian Empire. It had influences on Persian,[61][62][63] as well as a major influence on the neighboring Armenian language.

Victory of Shapur I over Valerian
A bas-relief at Naqsh-e Rustam, depicting the victory of Sasanian ruler Shapur I over Roman ruler Valerian and Philip the Arab.

By the time of the Sassanian Empire, a national culture which was fully aware of being Iranian took shape, partially motivated by restoration and revival of the wisdom of "the old sages" (Middle Persian: dānāgān pēšēnīgān).[59] Other aspects of this national culture included the glorification of a great heroic past and an archaizing spirit.[59] Throughout the period, the Iranian identity reached its height in every aspect.[59] Middle Persian, which is the immediate ancestor of Modern Persian and a variety of other Iranian dialects,[61][64][65] became the official language of the empire[66] and was greatly diffused among Iranians.[59]

The Parthians and the Sasanians would also extensively interact with the Romans culturally. The Roman–Persian wars and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars would shape the landscape of Western Asia, Europe, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Mediterranean Basin for centuries. For a period of over 400 years, the neighboring Byzantines and Sasanians were recognized as the two leading powers in the world.[67][68][69] Cappadocia in Late Antiquity, 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".[70]

The intermingling of Persians, Medes, Parthians, Bactrians, and indigenous "pre-Iranian" people of Iran (including the Elamites) gained more ground, and a homogeneous Iranian identity was created to the extent that all were just called Iranians, irrespective of clannish affiliations and regional linguistic or dialectal alterities. Furthermore, the process of incomers' assimilation which had been started with the Greeks, continued in the face of Arab, Mongol, and Turkic invasions and proceeded right up to Islamic times.[47][71]


In modern-day Iran, Persians make up the majority of the population.[3] They speak the western varieties of modern Persian,[72] which also serves as the country's official language.[73]

Persian language

The Persian language and its various varieties are part of the western group of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Modern Persian is classified as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire, itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was spoken by the time of the Achaemenid Empire.[74][75][76]

Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages attested in original texts.[77] Examples of Old Persian have been found in present-day Iran, Armenia, Romania (Gherla),[78][79] Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt.[80][81] The oldest attested text written in Old Persian is from the Behistun Inscription.[82]

Related groups

There are several ethnic groups and communities which are either ethnically or linguistically related to the Persian people, living predominantly in Iran, and also within Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.[83]

The Lurish people, living primarily in the western regions of Iran, are an ethnic Iranian people often associated with Persians and Kurds.[84] They speak various dialects of the Lurish language, which are closely related to the Middle Persian language.[85][86]

Concentrated in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia (Dagestan), the Caucasian Tat people are another ethnic Iranian people whose mother tongue—the Tat language—is considered a variant of the Persian language. Their origin is traced to the merchants who settled in the region by the time of the Sasanian Empire.[87]

The Hazaras, making up the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan,[88][89][90] are a Persian-speaking people speaking a variety of Persian called Hazaragi,[91][92] which is more precisely a part of the Dari dialect continuum (one of the two main languages of Afghanistan),[93] and is mutually intelligible with Dari.[94]

The Aimaqs are a semi-nomadic Persian-speaking people found mostly in western Afghanistan.[95] They mainly speak a variety of Persian called Aimaq, which is close to the Khorasani and Dari varieties.[96]


From the early inhabitants of Persis, to the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires, to the neighboring Greek city states,[97] the kingdom of Macedon,[13] the caliphates and the Islamic world,[98][16] all the way to modern-day Iran and Western Europe, and such far places as those found in India,[99] Asia,[17] and Indonesia, Persian culture has been either recognized, incorporated, adopted, or celebrated.[98][100] This is due mainly to 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 includes major contributions from both the east and the west. Persian art borrowed heavily from the indigenous Elamite civilization and Mesopotamia, and later from the Hellenistic civilization. In addition, due to the central location of Greater Iran, it has served as a fusion point between eastern and western traditions.

Persians have contributed in various forms of art, including carpet-waving, calligraphy, miniature-painting, illustrated manuscripts, glasswork, lacquer-work, khatam (a native form of marquetry), metalwork, pottery, mosaic, and textile design.[15]

Persia - Achaemenian Vessels

5th-century BC Achaemenid gold vessels. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Anahita Dish, 400-600 AD, Sasanian, Iran, silver and gilt - Cleveland Museum of Art - DSC08123

Ancient Iranian goddess Anahita depicted on a Sasanian silver vessel. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.


The Persian language is known to have one of the world's oldest literatures,[18] with prominent medieval poets such as Ferdowsi (author of Šāhnāme, Greater Iran's national epic), Rudaki, Rumi, Hafez Shirazi, Saadi Shirazi, Nizami Ganjavi, Omar Khayyam, and Attar of Nishapur.

Not all Persian literature is written in Persian, as some consider works written by Persians in other languages—such as Arabic and Greek—to be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians, as Turkic, Caucasian, and Indic poets and writers have also used the Persian language in the environment of Persianate cultures.

Prominent writers such as Sadegh Hedayat, Forough Farrokhzad, Ahmad Shamlou, Simin Daneshvar, Mehdi Akhavan-Sales and Parvin E'tesami have also had major contributions to contemporary Persian literature.


The most prominent examples of ancient Persian architecture are the work of the Achaemenids hailing from Persis. The quintessential feature of Achaemenid architecture was its eclectic nature, with elements from Median architecture, Assyrian architecture, and Asiatic Greek architecture all incorporated.[101] Achaemenid architectural heritage, beginning with the expansion of the empire around 550 BC, was a period of artistic growth that left a legacy ranging from Cyrus the Great's solemn tomb at Pasargadae to the structures at Persepolis, and such historical sites as Naqsh-e Rustam.[102]

During the Sasanian era, multiple architectural projects took place, some of which are still existing, including the Palace of Ardeshir, the Sarvestan Palace, the castle fortifications in Derbent (located in North Caucasus, now part of Russia), and the reliefs at Taq Bostan. The Bam Citadel, a massive structure at 1,940,000 square feet (180,000 m2) constructed on the Silk Road in Bam, is from around the 5th century BC.[103]

Persepolis 06

Ruins of the Tachara, Persepolis.

Sassanid reliefs at Taq e Bostan

The Sasanian reliefs at Taq Bostan.

Modern contemporary architectural projects influenced by the ancient Achaemenid architecture include the Tomb of Ferdowsi erected under the reign of Reza Shah in Tus, the Azadi Tower erected in 1971 at a square in Tehran, and the Dariush Grand Hotel located on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf.


Xenophon, in his Oeconomicus,[104] states:

The Great King [Cyrus II] all the districts he resides in and visits, takes care that there are paradeisos ("paradise", from Avestan pairidaēza) as they [Persians] call them, full of the good and beautiful things that the soil produce.

For the Achaemenid monarchs, gardens assumed an important place.[104] Persian gardens utilized the Achaemenid knowledge of water technologies,[105] as they utilized aqueducts, 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 building or a palace created the impression of "paradise".[106] Parthians and Sasanians later added their own modifications to the original Achaemenid design.[104] Later on, the quadripartite design (čārbāq) of Persian gardens was reinterpreted within the Muslim world.

Today, examples of these traditional gardens can be seen in such places as the Tomb of Hafez, Golshan Garden, Qavam House, Eram Garden, Shazdeh Garden, Fin Garden, Tabatabaei House, and the Borujerdis House.


Dancers and musicians on a Sasanian bowl
Dancers and musical instrument players depicted on a Sasanian silver bowl from the 5th-7th century AD.

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.[107] In general, Sasanian music was influential, and was later adopted in the subsequent eras.[108]

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 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.[109]

Traditional instruments used in Iranian music include the bowed spike-fiddle kamanche, the goblet drum tonbak, the end-blown flute ney, the large frame drum daf, the hammered dulcimer santur, and the four long-necked lutes tar, dotar, setar, and tanbur. The European string instrument violin is also used, with an alternative tuning preferred by Iranian musicians.


Carpet weaving is an essential part of the Persian culture,[110] 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 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 in his Deipnosophistae, as he describes a "delightfully embroidered" Persian carpet with "preposterous shapes of griffins".[111]

The Pazyryk carpet—a Scythian pile-carpet dating back to the 4th century BC, which is regarded the world's oldest existing carpet—depicts elements of Assyrian and Achaemenid design, including stylistic references to the stone slab designs found in Persian royal buildings.[111]

Louvre - Tapis à décor de jardin de paradis, dit Tapis de Mantes

A Persian carpet kept at the Louvre.

Persian Carpet

Detail of a Persian carpet.


One of the most renowned traditions observed by the Persians is the festival of Nowruz. Considered the national New Year of the Iranian peoples, the festival of Nowruz has its roots in ancient Iranian traditions, and has been recognized within UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.[112]

Other traditional celebrations such as Charshanbe Suri, Sizde be Dar, and the Night of Yalda are also widely observed by the Persian people.


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  • Ansari, Ali M. (2014). Iran: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199669349.
  • Boyce, Mary (2001). Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0415239028.
  • McGing, B.C. (1986). The Foreign Policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004075917.
  • Mitchell, Stephen (2018). "Cappadocia". In Nicholson, Oliver (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0192562463.
  • Raditsa, Leo (1983). "Iranians in Asia Minor". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3 (1): The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian periods. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1139054942.
  • Roisman, Joseph; Worthington, Ian (2010). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 1-4051-7936-8.
  • Roisman, Joseph; Worthington, Ian (2011). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 1-4443-5163-X.
  • Van Dam, Raymond (2002). Kingdom of Snow: Roman Rule and Greek Culture in Cappadocia. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0812236811.

External links

Abu Muslim

Abu Muslim Abd al-Rahman ibn Muslim al-Khurasani (Arabic: أبو مسلم عبد الرحمن بن مسلم الخراساني‎; born 718/19 or 723/27, died in 755), was a Persian general in service of the Abbasid dynasty, who led the Abbasid Revolution that toppled the Umayyad dynasty.


Hashim (Arabic/Persian: هاشم), better known as al-Muqanna‘ (Arabic: المقنع‎ "The Veiled", died ca. 783.) was a Persian who claimed to be a prophet, and founded a religion which was a mixture of Zoroastrianism and Islam. He was a chemist, and one of his experiments caused an explosion in which a part of his face was burnt. For the rest of his life he used a veil and thus was known as "Hashemi" ("The Veiled One"). Said Nafisi and Arian-Pour have written about him in the "Khorrām-Dīnān" armies.

Ariobarzanes of Pontus

Ariobarzanes (in Greek Ἀριoβαρζάνης; reigned 266 BC – c. 250 BC) was the second king of Pontus, succeeding his father Mithridates I Ctistes in 266 BC and died in an uncertain date between 258 and 240. He obtained possession of the city of Amastris in Paphlagonia, which was surrendered to him. Ariobarzanes and his father sought the assistance of the Gauls, who had come into Asia Minor twelve years before the death of Mithridates, to expel the Egyptians sent by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Ariobarzanes was succeeded by Mithridates II.

Arsaces of Pontus

Arsaces of Pontus (flourished 1st century BC) was a Prince from the Kingdom of Pontus. He was a monarch of Iranian and Greek Macedonian ancestry.

Arsaces was the second son and youngest child born to King Pharnaces II of Pontus and his Sarmatian wife. He had two older siblings: a brother called Darius and a sister called Dynamis. His paternal grandparents were the Pontian Monarchs Mithridates VI and his first wife, his sister Laodice. Arsaces was born and raised in the Kingdom of Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom.

According to Strabo, Arsaces and Darius were guarded by a chief rebel called Arsaces for a time when he held a fortress that was besieged by Polemon I and Lycomedes of Comana. In 37 BC Darius had died and Arsaces succeeded his brother as King of Pontus. He was made King by Roman Triumvir Mark Antony. According to Strabo, in Arsaces’ reign “he played the role of the sovereign and excited rebellion without the permission of a Roman prefect”.His reign as King was short, as Arsaces died later in 37 BC or even perhaps in 36 BC. Mark Antony put on the Pontian throne as Arsaces’ successor, Polemon I.


Arsames (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠𐎶 Aršāma, modern Persian: آرشام‎ Arshām, Greek: Ἀρσάμης; – ca. 520 BC) was the son of Ariaramnes and perhaps briefly the king of Persia during the Achaemenid dynasty, but gave up the throne and declared loyalty to Cyrus II of Persia. After this, Arsames most likely retired to his family estate in the Persian heartland of Parsa, and lived out the rest of his long years there peacefully, though he may nominally have exercised the duties of a "lesser king" under the authority of the "Great King". In an inscription allegedly found in Hamadan he is called "king of Persia", but some scholars believe it is a fraud, either modern or ancient. Another attestation of his reign is the Behistun Inscription, where his grandson Darius I lists him among his royal forebears and counts him among the eight kings who preceded him.

Arsames was father of Hystaspes, satrap of Parthia, and of Pharnaces. Arsames would live to see his grandson, Darius I, become the Great King of the Persian Empire, though he would die during his reign. In any case, he must have been one of the longest-surviving royals anywhere in the world at that time, probably living well into his nineties.

The name translates to "having a hero's strength".

Artaphernes (son of Artaphernes)

Artaphernes (Greek: Ἀρταφέρνης), son of Artaphernes, was the nephew of Darius the Great, and a general of the Achaemenid Empire. He was a Satrap of Lydia from 492 to after 480.

He was appointed, together with Datis, to take command of the expedition sent by Darius to punish Athens and Eretria for their support for the Ionian Revolt. Artaphernes and Datis besieged and destroyed Eretria, but were beaten by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Ten years later, Artaphernes is recorded as being in command of the Lydians and Mysians in the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Artavasdes V

Artavasdes IV (flourished 3rd century) was a Sassanid ruler of the Kingdom of Armenia from 252 until 287. According to ancient historians and Armenian tradition, Artavasdes IV was installed as King by the Persian King of the Sassanid Empire, Shapur I. His predecessor, Khosrov II of Armenia was murdered by Anak the Parthian, an agent of the House of Suren.


Atropates (Greek Aτρoπάτης, from Old Persian Athurpat "protected by fire"; c. 370 BC – after 321 BC) was a Persian trader and nobleman who served Darius III, then Alexander the Great, and eventually founded an independent kingdom and dynasty that was named after him. Diodorus (18.4) refers to him as 'Atrapes', while Quintus Curtius (8.3.17) erroneously names him 'Arsaces'.

Darius of Pontus

Darius of Pontus (reigned 37-37/36 BC) was a monarch of Iranian and Greek Macedonian ancestry. He was the first child born to King Pharnaces II of Pontus and his Sarmatian wife. He had two younger siblings: a sister called Dynamis and a brother called Arsaces. His paternal grandparents were Mithridates VI, the king of Pontus and his first wife, his sister Laodice.

Hardly anything is known about Darius. We only have a mention by Appian that he was appointed king of Pontus by Mark Antony.According to Appian, Mark Antony established client kings in the eastern areas of the Roman empire which were under his control on condition that they paid a tribute. In Anatolia, Darius, the son of Pharnaces II and grandson of Mithridates VI, was appointed in Pontus, Polemon in a part of Cilicia and Amyntas in Pisidia. This was in 37 BC, before Antony's war with Parthia, when he was making preparations for it and before he wintered in Athens in the winter of 37/36 BC. The reign of Darius was short-lived. Strabo wrote that Polemon and Lycomedes of Comana attacked Arsaces, one the sons of Pharnaces II, in Sagylium because he “was playing the dynast and attempting a revolution without permission from any of the [Roman] prefects …” This stronghold was seized, but Arsaces fled to the mountains where he starved because he was without provisions and without water. Three decades earlier Pompey had ordered the wells to be obstructed by rocks to prevent robbers from hiding on the mountains. Arsaces was captured and killed. Cassius Dio described Polemon as "the king of that part of Pontus bordering on Cappadocia” Presumably, Polemon was appointed as a king of Pontus as a reward for suppressing Arsaces' attempt to assume the throne of Pontus. Pontus, which had become a Roman province, must have been assigned to several client kings who administered its various regions. We do not know whether Darius died and Arsaces was trying to succeed him or whether Arsaces was a usurper. Darius' reign must have lasted less that a year because Cassius Dio referred to Polemon as a king of Pontus when he was involved in Mark Antony's war against the Parthians in 36 BC.

Ishaq al-Turk

Ishaq al-Turk (also: Eshaq El-Tork, Arabic إسحاق الترك). Abbasid propagandist for Abu Muslim sent to the Turks of Transoxania, hence the name al-Turk (of the Turks). After Abu Muslim's murder at the orders of al-Mansur, he fled to Transoxania, and declared a revolt on al-Mansur. He claimed that Abu Muslim was a prophet who was sent to reform Zoroastrianism, thus starting one of many movements claiming prophethood or divinity for Abu Muslim. He also claimed descent from Yahya ibn Zayd ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, his name speaks itself, he was an ethnic Turk, opposite to the claim that he is most likely an ethnic Persian. The Abbasid ruler of Khorasan had him captured and executed. His group continued to be known as al-Muslimiyya (followers of Abu Muslim Khorasani), and constitute the fundamental ideology of the sect well known as Bābak’iyyāh in the future.

List of Persian poets and authors

The list is not comprehensive, but is continuously being expanded and includes Persian writers and poets from Iran, Afghanistan,Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. This list is alphabetized by chronological order. Although a few authors in this list do not have their ethnic origin, nevertheless they have enriched Persian culture and civilization by their remarkable contributions to the rich Persian literature. The modern Persian speaker comprehends the literature of the earliest Persian poets including founder of the Persian poetry and literature Rudaki (approximately 1150 years ago) all the way down to the works of modern Persian poets. Some names that lived during the turn of a century appear twice.

Mithridates III of Pontus

Mithridates III (Greek: Mιθριδάτης) was the fourth King of Pontus, son of Mithridates II of Pontus and Laodice. Mithridates had two sisters: Laodice III, the first wife of the Seleucid King Antiochus III the Great, and Laodice of Pontus. He may have ruled in an uncertain period between 220 BC and 183 BC. Nothing is known of him since the years just cited, because the kingdom of Pontus disappears from history. His same existence is contested by certain historians, even if it is necessary to account for Appian's indication of Mithridates VI of Pontus as the eighth king of the dynasty and the sixth of the name. Mithridates married an obscure Seleucid princess called Laodice. By this wife, he had three children: Mithridates IV of Pontus, Pharnaces I of Pontus and Laodice.

Mithridates II of Pontus

Mithridates II (in Greek Mιθριδάτης; lived 3rd century BC), third king of Pontus and son of Ariobarzanes, whom he succeeded on the throne.

He was a minor when his father died, but the date of his accession cannot be determined. It seems probable that it must have taken place well before 240 BC, as Memnon tells us that he was a child at his father's death, and he had a daughter of marriageable age in 222 BC. Shortly after his accession, his kingdom was invaded by the Gauls, who were eventually repulsed.After Mithridates attained manhood, he married Laodice, a sister of Seleucus II Callinicus, with whom he is said to have received the province of Phrygia as a dowry. Despite this alliance, Mithridates II fought against Seleucus during a war between Seleucus and Antiochus Hierax. Eventually, Mithridates defeated Seleucus in a great battle at Ancyra in 235 BC whereby Seleucus lost twenty thousand of his troops and narrowly escaped with his own life. In 222 BC, Mithridates gave his daughter Laodice in marriage to the Seleucid king Antiochus III. Another of his daughters, also named Laodice, was married about the same time to Achaeus, the cousin of Antiochus.In 220 BC, Mithridates declared war upon the wealthy and powerful city of Sinope. However, he was unable to weaken it and the city did not come under the control of the kings of Pontus until 183 BC.Earlier in his rule, Mithridates II vied with the other monarchs of Asia in sending magnificent presents to the Rhodians, after the destruction of their city by an earthquake in 227 BC. The date of his death is unknown. He was succeeded by Mithridates III, his son with Laodice.

Mithridates IV of Pontus

Mithridates IV of Pontus, sometimes known by his full name Mithridates Philopator Philadelphus, (Greek: Mιθριδάτης ὁ Φιλoπάτωρ Φιλάδελφoς, "Mithridates the father-loving, brother-loving"; died c. 150 BC) was a prince and sixth ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus.

Muhammad Bal'ami

Abu Ali Muhammad Bal'ami (Persian: ابو علی محمد‎), also called Amirak Bal'ami (امیرک بلعمی) and Bal'ami-i Kuchak (بلعمی کوچک, "Bal'ami the Younger"), was a Persian historian, writer, and vizier to the Samanids. He was from the influential Bal'ami family.


The Nawayath (also spelled Navayath and Nawayat) are an Indian Muslim community concentrated mostly in the state of Karnataka, and in southern Maharashtra and some parts of Tamil Nadu. Some live in Madhya Pradesh and many migrated to Pakistan after independence in 1947 and predominantly settled in Karachi.


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

Pharnaces I of Pontus

Pharnaces I (Greek: Φαρνάκης; lived 2nd century BC), fifth king of Pontus, was of Persian and Greek ancestry. He was the son of King Mithridates III of Pontus and his wife Laodice, whom he succeeded on the throne. Pharnaces had two siblings: a brother called Mithridates IV of Pontus and a sister called Laodice who both succeeded Pharnaces. He was born and raised in the Kingdom of Pontus.

Xerxes I

Xerxes I (; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayaṛša (Khshāyarsha ) "ruling over heroes", Greek Ξέρξης Xérxēs [ksérksɛːs]; 519–465 BC), called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Xerxes I is one of the Persian kings identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther. He is also notable in Western history for his failed invasion of Greece in 480 BC. His forces temporarily overran mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth until the losses at Salamis and Plataea a year later reversed these gains and ended the second invasion decisively. Xerxes also crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon. Roman Ghirshman says that, "After this he ceased to use the title of 'king of Babylon', calling himself simply 'king of the Persians and the Medes'."Xerxes oversaw the completion of various construction projects at Susa and Persepolis.

Ethnic groups
Ancient peoples
Iranian religions

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