Culture of Iran

Culture of Iran

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To best understand Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, their related societies
Greater Iran
Greater Iran refers to the regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains, stretching from Iraq, the Caucasus, and Turkey in the west to the Indus River in the east...

 and their people, one must first attempt to acquire an understanding of their culture. It is in the study of this area where the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 identity optimally expresses itself. Hence the first sentence of prominent Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye is an American scholar of Iranic and Central Asian Studies, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University...

's latest book on Persia reads:
"Iran's glory has always been its culture."

Persians were not only open to other cultures, but freely adapted to all they found useful. Thus an eclectic cultural elasticity has been said to be one of the key defining characteristics of the Persian spirit and a clue to its historic longevity.
Furthermore, Iran's culture has manifested itself in several facets throughout the history of Iran
History of Iran
The history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from the Danube River in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and Egypt...

 as well as that of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

The article uses the words Persian and Iranian interchangeably, sometimes referring to the language and its speakers, and other times referring to the name of pre-20th century Iran, a nomenclature which survives from western explorers and orientalists. Both are not the same however, and the cultures of the peoples of Greater Persia are the focus of this article.

Art



Iranian art has gone through numerous phases of evolution. The unique aesthetics
Aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

 of Iran is evident from the Achaemenid reliefs in Persepolis
Persepolis
Perspolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire . Persepolis is situated northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid...

 to the mosaic paintings of Bishapur
Bishapur
thumb|Irano-Roman floor mosaic detail from the palace of [[Shapur I]] at BishapurBishapur is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, Iran on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The road linked the Sassanid capitals Istakhr and Ctesiphon...

. The Islamic era drastically brought changes to the styles and practice of the arts, each dynasty with its own particular foci. The Qajarid era was the last stage of classical Persian art, before modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 was imported and suffused into elements of traditionalist schools of aesthetics.

Language and literature



There are several languages spoken in different parts of Iran. Mainly Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 across the country, Azerbaijani
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

 in northwest and central Iran, Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

 in west part, Arabic in south west, Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 in east and Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

 mainly in north of Iran. Among these, the Turkish language
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

's subsets is the largest group comparing others which covers all the northwest, main part of central and north east part of Iran. This is of course the effect of the multiethnic culture of Iran due to the extension of the previous Aryan (Iranian) empires. This is because Iranians by tradition are culturally tolerant (e.g. The Cyrus Cylinder) being described since the time of Herodotus as internalizing the best traits of outsiders.
A reason for the Turkmen qualitative dominance among Iranian ethnic minorities is a result of the great Turkmen migration from the Altay which led to the coming of e.g. The Seljuq Empire, The Mongolian Empire, The Ottoman Empire to mention a few.

Ancient literature
Ancient literature
The history of literature begins with the history of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.Writing develops out of proto-literate sign systems by the 30th century BC, although the oldest literary texts that have come down to us are several centuries younger, dating to the 27th or...

 and historical records (with the exception of archaeological observations) are poorly preserved (e.g. the first national epos of Iran was first written by Ferdowsi in the First Millennium A.D. Over 1,500 years after the founding of the Hakhamaniyan Empire by Cyrus the Great the first Zoroastrian empire). This is an effect of the Arabian expansion which began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. While the Mongols are often blamed for the destruction of Persian cultural dominance in the area, the Arabs and their allies were known to have destroyed libraries, historical sources, Zoroastrian fire temples and sculptures. These actions were a result of efforts to bring about the Arabification of Greater Iran, arguably doing more damage to Persian cultural integrity than the Mongol invasions.

Persian literature inspired Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 and many others, and it has been often dubbed as a most worthy language to serve as a conduit for poetry. Dialects of Persian are sporadically spoken throughout the region from China to Syria, though mainly in Iranian Plateau
Iranian plateau
The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

. Two important dialects of Persian serving as languages are Tajiki and Dari
Dari (Eastern Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 respectively spoken in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 as official languages.

Contemporary Iranian literature is influenced by classical Persian poetry, but also reflects the particularities of modern day Iran, through writers such as Houshang Moradi-Kermani, the most translated modern Iranian author, and poet Ahmad Shamlou.

Cinema



With 300 international awards in the past 10 years, films from Iran continue to be celebrated worldwide. Perhaps the best known director is Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami is an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active filmmaker since 1970, Kiarostami has been involved in over forty films, including shorts and documentaries...

.

Music



The music of Persia goes back to before the days of Barbod in the royal Sassanid courts. This is where many music cultures trace back their distant origins.


Traditional teahouses of Iran


There are nearly countless numbers of traditional teahouses (chai khoneh) throughout Iran, and each province features its own unique cultural presentation of this ancient tradition. However, there are certain traits which are common to all teahouses, especially the most visible aspects, strong chai (tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

) and the ever-present ghalyan hookah
Hookah
A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

. Almost all teahouses serve baqleh, steam boiled fava
Vicia faba
This article refers to the Broad Bean plant. For Broadbean the company, see Broadbean, Inc.Vicia faba, the Broad Bean, Fava Bean, Field Bean, Bell Bean or Tic Bean, is a species of bean native to north Africa and southwest Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere. A variety is provisionally...

 beans (in the pod), served with salt and vinegar, as well as a variety of desserts and pastries. Many teahouses also serve full meals, typically a variety of kabab
Kebab
Kebab is a wide variety of meat dishes originating in Middle East and later on adopted by the Middle East, and Asia Minor, and now found worldwide. In English, kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served on the skewer...

s as well as regional specialities.

Persian gardens



The Persian Garden was designed as a reflection of paradise on earth; the word "garden" itself coming from Persian roots. The special place of the garden in the Iranian heart can be seen in their architecture, in the ruins of Iran, and in their paintings.

Cuisine



Examples of traditional Iranian food include chelo kabaab, khoreshte sabzi, dolmeh, and cotlet. Today in Iran you can find fast food restaurants serving pizza, hamburgers, chicken burgers, etc.

Sports


  • The game of Polo
    Polo
    Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

     originated with Iranian tribes in ancient times and was regularly seen throughout the country until the revolution of 1979 where it became associated with the monarchy. It continues to be played, but only in rural areas and discreetly. Recently, as of 2005, it has been acquiring an increasingly higher profile. In March 2006, there was a highly publicised tournament and all significant matches are now televised.
  • The Iranian Zoor Khaneh
    Varzesh-e Pahlavani
    Varzesh-e Bastani is a traditional style of folk wrestling practiced in Iran....


Women in Persian culture



In the tales of the 1001 Nights, it is a woman, Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade , sometimes Scheherazadea, Persian transliteration Shahrazad or Shahrzād is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights.-Narration :...

, who is the protagonist and heroine of the frame tale.

Traditional important days


Iranians celebrate the following days based on a Solar calendar
Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

, in addition to important religious days of Islamic and Shia calendars, which are based on a lunar
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 calendar.
  • Nowruz
    Nowruz
    Nowrūz is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the Persian New Year....

     (Iranian New Year) - Starts from 21 March
  • Sizdah be dar (Nature Day)
  • Jashn-e-Tirgan (Water Festival)
  • Jashn-e-Sadeh
    Sadeh
    Sadé or Sada Jashn-e Sada/Sadé , also transliterated as Sadeh, is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before Nowruz. Sadeh in Persian means "hundred" and refers to one hundred days and nights past the end of summer...

     (Fire Festival)
  • Jashn-e-Mehregan
    Mehregan
    Mehrgân or Jashn-e Mehregân is a Zoroastrian and Persian festival celebrated since the pre-Islamic era to honor the Yazata of "Mehr" , which is responsible for friendship, affection and love. It is also widely referred to as Persian Festival of Autumn...

     (Autumn Festival)
  • Shab-e-Yalda (Winter Feast)
  • Charshanbeh Suri

Traditional cultural inheritors of the old Persia



Like the Persian carpet that exhibits numerous colors and forms in a dazzling display of warmth and creativity, Persian culture is the glue that bonds the peoples of western and central Asia. The Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 "occupy an important place in the historical geography of Persian civilization. Much of the region was included in the Pre-Islamic Persian empires, and many of its ancient peoples either belonged to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European peoples (e.g. Medes
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

 and Soghdians), or were in close cultural contact with them (e.g. the Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

). In the words of Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye is an American scholar of Iranic and Central Asian Studies, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University...

:
"Many times I have emphasized that the present peoples of central Asia, whether Iranian or Turkic speaking, have one culture, one religion, one set of social values and traditions with only language separating them."


The Culture of Persia has thus developed over several thousand years. But historically, the peoples of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 , Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 , Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 , Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 originate from the same or similar stock, and are related to one another as part of the larger group of peoples of Greater Iran
Greater Iran
Greater Iran refers to the regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains, stretching from Iraq, the Caucasus, and Turkey in the west to the Indus River in the east...

. Southwestern Russia is well within the sphere of influence of Persian culture as well, as can be seen from the many remaining relics, ruins, and works of literature from that region.(e.g. 1) (e.g. 2)
Derbent
Derbent |Lak]]: Чурул, Churul; Persian: دربند; Judæo-Tat: דארבּאנד/Дэрбэнд/Dərbənd) is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, close to the Azerbaijani border. It is the southernmost city in Russia, and it is the second most important city of Dagestan...



In particular, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 have been able to almost fully retain their Persian identity, while the other aforementioned entities still exhibit considerable traces of their Iranian past.

Contributions to humanity in ancient history


From the humble brick
Brick
A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

, to the windmill
Windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

, Persians have mixed creativity with art and offered the world numerous contributions. What follows is a list of just a few examples of the cultural contributions of Greater Persia.
  • (10,000 BC) - Earliest known domestication of the goat.
  • (6000 BC) - The modern brick. Some of the oldest bricks found to date are Persian, from c. 6000 BC.
  • (~5000 BC) - Invention of Wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

    . Discovery made by University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
    The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

     excavations at Hajji Firuz Tepe
    Hajji Firuz Tepe
    Hajji Firuz Tepe is an archaeological site located in West Azarbaijan province in northwestern Iran. The site was excavated between 1958 and 1968 by archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology...

     in northwestern Iran.
  • (5000 BC) - Invention of the Tar (lute)
    Tar (lute)
    The tār is a long-necked, waisted Iranian instrument. It has been adopted by other cultures and Azerbaijan. The word tar itself means "string" in Persian, though it might have the same meaning in languages influenced by Persian or any other branches of Iranian languages like Kurdish...

    , which led to the development of the guitar
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

    .
  • (3000 BC) - The ziggurat. The Sialk ziggurat, according to the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran
    Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran
    Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization is an educational and research institution overseeing numerous associated museum complexes throughout Iran. It is administered and funded by the Government of Iran....

    , predates that of Ur
    Ur
    Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

     or any other of Mesopotamia's 34 ziggurats.
  • (2500 BC) - First Banking System of the World, at the time of the Achaemenid, establishment of Governmental Banks to help farmers at the time of drought, floods, and other natural disasters in form of loans and forgiveness loans to restart their farms and husbandries. These Governmental Banks were effective in different forms until the end of Sassanian Empire before invasion of Arabs to Persia.
  • (2500 BC) - The word Check has a Persian root in old Persian language. The use of this document as a check was in use from Achaemenid time to the end of Sassanian Empire. The word of [Bonchaq, or Bonchagh] in modern Persian language is new version of old Avestan and Pahlavi language "Check". In Persian it means a document which resembles money value for gold, silver and property. By law people were able to buy and sell these documents or exchange them.
  • (2000 BC) - Peach
    Peach
    The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

    es are a fruit of Iranian origin, as indicated by their Latin
    Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

     scientific name, Prunus persica, from which (by way of the French) we have the English word "peach."
  • Tulips were first cultivated in ancient Persia.
  • (1400 BC) - The game of Backgammon
    Backgammon
    Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and players win by removing all of their pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits...

     appears in the east of Iran.
  • (1400 BC to 600 BC) - Zoroastrianism
    Zoroastrianism
    Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

    : where the first prophet of a monotheistic faith arose according to some scholars, claiming Zoroastrianism as being "the oldest of the revealed credal religions, which has probably had more influence on mankind directly or indirectly, more than any other faith".
  • (576 BC to 529 BC) - Under the rule of Cyrus II the Great, the Cyrus Cylinder
    Cyrus cylinder
    The Cyrus Cylinder is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several fragments, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great. It dates from the 6th century BC and was discovered in the ruins of Babylon in Mesopotamia in 1879...

     was issued. It was discovered in 1879 in Babylon and today is kept in the British Museum
    British Museum
    The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

    .
  • (576 BC to 529 BC) - Under the rule of Cyrus II the Great, Cyrus frees the Jews from Babylonian captivity. See Cyrus in the Judeo-Christian tradition
    Cyrus in the Judeo-Christian tradition
    Cyrus the Great figures in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews. He is mentioned twenty-three times by name and alluded to several times more....

    .
  • (521 BC) - The game Polo
    Polo
    Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

    .
  • (500 BC) - World's oldest Staple (fastener)
    Staple (fastener)
    A staple is a type of two-pronged fastener, usually metal, used for joining or binding materials together. Large staples might be used with a hammer or staple gun for masonry, roofing, corrugated boxes and other heavy-duty uses...

    .
  • (500 BC) - The first Taxation system (under the Achaemenid Empire
    Achaemenid Empire
    The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

    ).
  • (500 BC) - The first courier post. Also called the "Royal Road
    Royal Road
    The Persian Royal Road was an ancient highway reorganized and rebuilt by the Persian king Darius the Great of the Achaemenid Empire in the 5th century BC. Darius built the road to facilitate rapid communication throughout his very large empire from Susa to Sardis...

    ".
  • (500 BC) - Source for introduction of the domesticated chicken
    Chicken
    The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

     into Europe.
  • (500 BC) - First cultivation of spinach
    Spinach
    Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant , which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions...

    .

  • (400 BC) - Yakhchal
    Yakhchal
    Yakhchāl is an ancient type of refrigerator. The word also means "glacier" in Persian.In 400 BC Persian engineers had already mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert....

    s, ancient refrigerators. (See picture above)
  • (400 BC) - Ice cream
    Ice cream
    Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

    .
  • (250 BC) - According to archaeological digs, the Parthians created the world's first batteries
    Battery (electricity)
    An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

    . Their original use is still uncertain, though it is suspected that they were used for electroplating
    Electroplating
    Electroplating is a plating process in which metal ions in a solution are moved by an electric field to coat an electrode. The process uses electrical current to reduce cations of a desired material from a solution and coat a conductive object with a thin layer of the material, such as a metal...

    .
  • (250 BC) Original excavation of a Suez Canal.
  • (271 AD) - The teaching hospital
    Academy of Gundishapur
    The Academy of Gondishapur , also Jondishapur , was a renowned academy of learning in the city of Gundeshapur during late antiquity, the intellectual center of the Sassanid empire. It offered training in medicine, philosophy, theology and science. The faculty were versed in the Zoroastrian and...

  • (700 AD) - The cookie
    Cookie
    In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have...

    .
  • (700 AD) - The windmill
    Windmill
    A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

    .
  • (864 AD-930 AD) - First systematic use of alcohol
    Alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

     in Medicine: Rhazes.
  • (1000 AD) - Introduction of paper to the west.
  • (935 - 1020) - Ferdowsi
    Ferdowsi
    Ferdowsi was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran and related societies.The Shahnameh was originally composed by Ferdowsi for the princes of the Samanid dynasty, who were responsible for a revival of Persian cultural traditions after the...

     writes the Shahnama (Book of Kings) that resulted in the revival of Iranian culture and the expansion of the Iranian cultural sphere.
  • (980 - 1037) - Avicenna
    Avicenna
    Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

    , a physician, writes The Canon of Medicine
    The Canon of Medicine
    The Canon of Medicine is an encyclopedia of Galenic medicine in five books compiled by Ibn Sīnā and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time...

     one of the foundational manuals in the history of modern medicine.
  • (1207 AD - 1273 AD) - Rumi writes poetry and in 1997, the translations were best-sellers in the United States.
  • Algebra
    Algebra
    Algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations, and the constructions and concepts arising from them, including terms, polynomials, equations and algebraic structures...

     and Trigonometry
    Trigonometry
    Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that studies triangles and the relationships between their sides and the angles between these sides. Trigonometry defines the trigonometric functions, which describe those relationships and have applicability to cyclical phenomena, such as waves...

    : Numerous Iranians were directly responsible for the establishment of Algebra, the advancement of Medicine and Chemistry, and the discovery of Trigonometry.
  • Qanat
    Qanat
    A qanāt is a water management system used to provide a reliable supply of water for human settlements and irrigation in hot, arid and semi-arid climates...

    , subterranean aqueducts.
  • Wind catchers, ancient air residential conditioning.
  • "Virtually all European scholars claim Arabic music has Persian origins".

See also


  • International Rankings of Iran in Culture
  • Afsaneh Art and Culture Society
  • Cup of Jamshid
    Cup of Jamshid
    The Cup of Jamshid is a cup of divination which, in Persian mythology, was long possessed by the rulers of ancient Greater Iran. The cup has also been called Jam-e Jahan nama, Jam-e Jahan Ara, Jam-e Giti nama, and Jam-e Kei-khosrow...

  • Demography of Iran
  • Encyclopædia Iranica
    Encyclopædia Iranica
    Encyclopædia Iranica is a project whose goal is to create a comprehensive and authoritative English language encyclopedia about the history, culture, and civilization of Iranian peoples from prehistory to modern times...

     (30-volume encyclopaedia of Iran's culture; edited and published by Columbia University
    Columbia University
    Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

     & funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities
    National Endowment for the Humanities
    The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is located at...

    )
  • Flying Carpets
  • Golha
    Golha
    The Golha radio programmes comprise 1578 radio programmes consisting of approximately 847 hours of music and poetry broadcast on an Iranian government-owned radio station over a period from 1956 through 1979....

     Radio Program
  • Higher education in Iran
    Higher education in Iran
    Iran has a large network of private, public, and state affiliated universities offering degrees in higher education. State-run universities of Iran are under the direct supervision of Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and Ministry of Health and Medical Education .-Pre-Islamic...

  • Iranian calendar
    Iranian calendar
    The Iranian calendars or sometimes called Persian calendars are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Greater Iran...

  • Iranian continent
  • Iranian Studies
    Iranian Studies
    Iranian studies , is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of history, literature, art and culture of the Iranian people. It is a part of the wider field of Oriental studies....

  • List of Iranian scientists and scholars of the pre-modern age
  • List of Persia-related topics
  • Magus
  • Media of Iran
  • List of contemporary Iranian scientists, scholars, and engineers
  • Persian food
  • Persian names
  • Persian wedding
    Persian wedding
    Persian wedding traditions, despite its local and regional variations, like many other rituals in Persia goes back to the ancient Zoroastrian tradition...

  • Persian women
  • Persianate
    Persianate
    A Persianate/Persified society is a society that is either based on, or strongly influenced by the Persian language, culture, literature, art, and/or identity....

  • Persianization
    Persianization
    Persianization or Persianisation is a sociological process of cultural change in which something non-Persian becomes Persianate. It is a specific form of cultural assimilation that often includes linguistic assimilation...

  • Persophilia
    Persophilia
    Persophilia and Iranophilia refer to the appreciation or interest in Iranian culture, people or history. One of the most prominent Persophiles was the British literary historian E. G...

     the admiration of Iranians and their culture
  • Taarof
    Taarof
    T'aarof/ Tarof is a Persian form of civility emphasizing both self-deference and social rank. The term encompasses a range of social behaviours, from a man displaying etiquette by opening the door for a woman, to a group of colleagues standing on ceremony in front of a door that can permit the...

    (Persian form of civility emphasizing both self-deference and social rank)

Further reading

  • Michael C. Hillman. Iranian Culture. 1990. University Press of America. ISBN 081917694X
  • George Ghevarghese Joseph.The Crest of the Peacock: The Non-European Roots of Mathematics. July 2000. Princeton U Press.

External links