Greater Iran

Greater Iran

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Greater Iran refers to the regions that have significant 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...

ian cultural influence. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the 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...

 and its bordering plain
Plain
In geography, a plain is land with relatively low relief, that is flat or gently rolling. Prairies and steppes are types of plains, and the archetype for a plain is often thought of as a grassland, but plains in their natural state may also be covered in shrublands, woodland and forest, or...

s, stretching from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, 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 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...

 in the west to the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 in the east. It is also referred to as Greater Persia, while the 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...

uses the term Iranian Cultural Continent.

In a sense the concept of Greater Iran, starts from the history that originated with the first Persian Empire in Persis, and in fact is synonymous with 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...

 in many aspects. The core of ancient Persia comprised Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and 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...

. In the modern era, Persia (a part of which is now called 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...

) lost many territories gained under the Safavid dynasty
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

, including Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 to the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in 1533
Ottoman–Safavid War (1532–1555)
The Ottoman–Safavid War of 1532–1555 was fought between the Ottoman Empire of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Persian Safavid Empire of Tahmasp I.-Background:...

, 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...

 to the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 (via Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1857)
The Treaty of Paris marked the end of the hostilities of the Anglo-Persian War. On the Persian side negotiations were handled by ambassador Ferukh Khan...

 in 1857 and MacMahon Arbitration in 1905), and its 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...

 territories to Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Turkmanchey Treaty
Treaty of Turkmenchay
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

 of 1828, after the Russo-Persian wars
Russo-Persian Wars
The Russo-Persian Wars were a series of wars fought between the Russian Empire and Persia in the 18th and 19th centuries, the most important of which were:...

 permanently severed the Caucasian provinces from Iran and settled the modern boundary along the Aras river. The Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 resulted in Persia (Iran) ceding 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...

, and eastern 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...

 to Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. Due to this geographic diversity, newly independent nations under Russian or British involvement, while maintaining a cultural or language connection with Persia, developed their own unique socio-political and cultural paths. In 1935 under the rule of Reza Shah
Reza Shah
Rezā Shāh, also known as Rezā Shāh Pahlavi and Rezā Shāh Kabir , , was the Shah of the Imperial State of Iran from December 15, 1925, until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on September 16, 1941.In 1925, Reza Shah overthrew Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar...

, the endonym
Exonym and endonym
In ethnolinguistics, an endonym or autonym is a local name for a geographical feature, and an exonym or xenonym is a foreign language name for it...

 Iran was made the official international name.

Etymology


The name “Irān“, meaning “land of the Aryans”, is a new Persian of the old genitive plural aryānām (proto-Iranian, meaning "of the Aryans"), first attested in the Avestan
Avestan language
Avestan is an East Iranian language known only from its use as the language of Zoroastrian scripture, i.e. the Avesta, from which it derives its name...

 as airyānąm (Avestan is an old Iranian language
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 spoken in northeastern Greater Iran, or in what are now Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 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....

). The proto-Iranian term aryānām is present in the term Airyana Vaēǰah, the homeland of Zoroaster
Zoroaster
Zoroaster , also known as Zarathustra , was a prophet and the founder of Zoroastrianism who was either born in North Western or Eastern Iran. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism...

 and 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...

, near the provinces of Sogdiana
Sogdiana
Sogdiana or Sogdia was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great . Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created...

, Margiana, Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

, etc., listed in the first chapter of the Vidēvdād
Vendidad
The Vendidad or Videvdat is a collection of texts within the greater compendium of the Avesta. However, unlike the other texts of the Avesta, the Vendidad is an ecclesiastical code, not a liturgical manual.-Name:...

, immediately after it. The Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 sources: Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist.He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it...

 apud Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 speaks of Arianē
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

 as being between Persia and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

Although, up until the end of the Parthian period
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 in the 3rd century C.E, idea of “Irān“ had an ethnic, linguistic, and religious value, it did not yet have a political import. The idea of an “Iranian“ empire or kingdom in a political sense is a purely Sasanian one. It was the result of a convergence of interests between the new dynasty and the Zoroastrian clergy, as we can deduce from the available evidence. This convergence gave rise to the idea of an Ērān-šahr “Kingdom of the Iranians,” which was “ēr“ (Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

 equivalent of Old Persian “ariya“ and Avestan “airya“).

Definition


Richard Foltz
Richard Foltz
Richard Foltz is a Canadian scholar of American origin. He is a specialist in the history of Iran and the history of religions, particularly Islam and Zoroastrianism...

 notes that while "A general assumption is often made that the various Iranian peoples of 'greater Iran'—a cultural area that streched from Mesopotamia and the Caucasus into Khwarizm, Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

, Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

, and the Pamirs and included Persians, Medes, Parthians and Sogdians among others—were all 'Zoroastrians' in pre-Islamic times... This view, even though common among serious scholars, is almost certainly overstated." Foltz argues that "While the various Iranian peoples did indeed share a common pantheon and pool of religious myths and symbols, in actuality a variety of deities were worshipped—particularly Mitra, the god of covenants, and Anahita, the goddess of the waters, but also many others—depending on the time, place, and particular group concerned.".
To the Ancient Greeks, Greater Iran ended at the Indus.

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...

 defines Greater Iran as including "much of the Caucasus, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, with cultural influences extending to China and western India." According to Frye, "Iran means all lands and peoples where Iranian languages were and are spoken, and where in the past, multi-faceted Iranian cultures existed."

According to J. P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams
Douglas Q. Adams
Douglas Q. Adams is a professor of English at the University of Idaho and an Indo-European comparativist. Adams studied at the University of Chicago, taking his PhD in 1972. He is an expert on Tocharian and a contributor on this subject to the Encyclopædia Britannica.He has also co-authored two...

 most of Western greater Iran spoke SW Iranian languages in the Achaemenid era while the Eastern territory spoke Eastern Iranian languages related to Avesta .

George Lane also states that after the dissolution of the Mongol empire, the Ilkhanids became rulers of greater Iran and Uljaytu, according to Judith G. Kolbas, was the ruler of this expanse between 1304-1317 A.D.

Primary sources, including Timurid historian Mir Khwand, define Iranshahr (Greater Iran) as extending from the Euphrates to the Oxus


Traditionally, and until recent times, ethnicity has never been a defining separating criterion in these regions. In the words of 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...

:
Only in modern times did western colonial intervention and ethnicity tend to become a dividing force between the provinces of Greater Iran. As Patrick Clawson
Patrick Clawson
Patrick Lyell Clawson is an American economist and Middle East scholar. He is currently the Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and senior editor of Middle East Quarterly....

 states, "ethnic nationalism is largely a nineteenth century phenomenon, even if it is fashionable to retroactively extend it." "Greater Iran" however has been more of a cultural super-state, rather than a political one to begin with.

In the work Nuzhat al-Qolub (نزهه القلوب), the medieval geographer Hamdollah Mostowfi
Hamdollah Mostowfi
Hamdollah Mostowfi was a Persian historian, geographer and epic poet.Mostowfi is the author of Nozhat ol-Gholub , Zafar-Nameh , and the Tarikh e Gozideh . His tomb is a structure with a blue turquoise conical dome, at Qazvin.-References and notes:...

 wrote:

چند شهر است اندر ایران مرتفع تر از همه

Some cities of Iran are better than the rest,

بهتر و سازنده تر از خوشی آب و هوا

these have pleasant and compromising weather,

گنجه پر گنج در اران صفاهان در عراق

The wealthy Ganjeh
Ganja, Azerbaijan
Ganja is Azerbaijan's second-largest city with a population of around 313,300. It was named Yelizavetpol in the Russian Empire period. The city regained its original name—Ganja—from 1920–1935 during the first part of its incorporation into the Soviet Union. However, its name was changed again and...

 of Arran, and Esfahān as well,


در خراسان مرو و طوس در روم باشد اقسرا

Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

 and Tus
Tous, Iran
Tus also spelled as Tous, Toos or Tūs, is an ancient city in the Iranian province of Razavi Khorasan. To the ancient Greeks, it was known as Susia...

 in Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

, and Konya
Konya
Konya is a city in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. The metropolitan area in the entire Konya Province had a population of 1,036,027 as of 2010, making the city seventh most populous in Turkey.-Etymology:...

 (Aqsara) too.


The Cambridge History of Iran takes a geographical approach in referring to the "historical and cultural" entity of "Greater Iran" as "areas of Iran, parts of Afghanistan, and Chinese and Soviet Central Asia". A detailed list of these territories follows in this article.

Background


In 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...

, Greater Iran is called Iranzamin (ایرانزمین) which means "The Land of Iran". Iranzamin was in the mythical times opposed to the Turanzamin the Land of Turan
Turan
Tūrān is the Persian name for Central Asia, literally meaning "the land of the Tur". As described below, the original Turanians are an Iranian tribe of the Avestan age. As a people the "Turanian" are one of the two Iranian peoples both descending from the Persian Fereydun but with different...

, which was located in the upper part 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...

.

In the pre-Islamic period, Iranians distinguished two main regions in the territory they ruled, one Iran and the other Aniran. By Iran they meant all the regions inhabited by ancient Iranian peoples
Ancient Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples first appear in Assyrian records in the 9th century BCE. In Classical Antiquity they were found primarily in Scythia and Persia...

. That region was much vaster than it is today. This notion of Iran as a territory (opposed to Aniran) can be seen as the core of early Greater Iran. Later many changes occurred in the boundaries and areas where Iranians lived but the languages and culture remained the dominant medium in many parts of the Greater Iran.

As an example, the Persian language (referred to, in Persian, as Farsi) was the main literary language and the language of correspondence in 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...

 and Caucasus prior to the Russian occupation, Central Asia being the birthplace of modern Persian language. Furthermore, according to the British government, Persian language was also used in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

, prior to the British Occupation and Mandate in 1918-1932 http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/KURDICA/1999/FEB/Iraq-policy.html.

With Imperial Russia continuously advancing south in the course of two wars against Persia, and the treaties of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Turkmenchay
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

 and Gulistan in the western frontiers, plus the unexpected death of Abbas Mirza
Abbas Mirza
Prince, Field-Marshal Abbas Mirza born Amol city , was a Qajar crown prince of Persia. He developed a reputation as a military commander during wars with Russia and the Ottoman Empire, as an early modernizer of Persia's armed forces and institutions, and for his death before his father, Fath Ali...

 in 1823, and the murdering of Persia's Grand Vizier
Vizier
A vizier or in Arabic script ; ; sometimes spelled vazir, vizir, vasir, wazir, vesir, or vezir) is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in a Muslim government....

 (Mirza AbolQasem Qa'im Maqām), many Central Asian khanates began losing hope for any support from Persia against the Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

ist armies. The Russian armies occupied the Aral
Aral
Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, is a small city in south-western Kazakhstan, located in the oblast of Kyzylorda. It serves as the administrative center of Aral District. Population roughly 39,000...

 coast in 1849, Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

 in 1864, Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

 in 1867, Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 in 1868, and Khiva
Khiva
Khiva is a city of approximately 50,000 people located in Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan. It is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva...

 and Amudarya in 1873.
"Many Iranians consider their natural sphere of influence to extend beyond Iran's present borders. After all, Iran was once much larger. Portuguese forces seized islands and ports in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century, the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 wrested from Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

's control what is today Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Republic of Azerbaijan, and part of 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...

. Iranian elementary school texts teach about the Iranian roots not only of cities like Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, but also cities further north like Derbent
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 southern Russia. The Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

 lost much of his claim to western 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...

 following the Anglo-Iranian war of 1856-1857. Only in 1970 did a UN sponsored consultation end Iranian claims to suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 over the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 island nation of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

. In centuries past, Iranian rule once stretched westward into modern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and beyond. When the western world complains of Iranian interference beyond its borders, the Iranian government often convinced itself that it is merely exerting its influence in lands that were once its own. Simultaneously, Iran's losses at the hands of outside powers have contributed to a sense of grievance that continues to the present day." -Patrick Clawson
Patrick Clawson
Patrick Lyell Clawson is an American economist and Middle East scholar. He is currently the Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and senior editor of Middle East Quarterly....

 of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. It was established by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 1985...


"Iran today is just a rump of what it once was. At its height, Iranian rulers controlled Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, 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...

, Western Pakistan, much 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...

, and 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...

. Many Iranians today consider these areas part of a greater Iranian sphere of influence."
-Patrick Clawson
Patrick Clawson
Patrick Lyell Clawson is an American economist and Middle East scholar. He is currently the Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and senior editor of Middle East Quarterly....


"Since the days of the Achaemenids, the Iranians had the protection of geography. But high mountains and vast emptiness of the 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...

 were no longer enough to shield Iran from the Russian army or British navy. Both literally, and figuratively, Iran shrank. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Afghanistan were Iranian, but by the end of the century, all this territory had been lost as a result of European military action."

Provinces


In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the territory of Greater Iran was known to be composed of two portions: Persian Iraq
Persian Iraq
Persian Iraq , also spelled Persian Irak, is an obsolete term for the central region of Iran, including cities such as Isfahan, Ray, Qazvin, and Kashan. From the 11th to 16th centuries, the term Iraq referred to two distinct regions: Arabian Iraq and Persian Iraq...

(western portion) and Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

(eastern portion). The dividing region was mostly along with Gurgan
Gürgan
Gürgan is a village in Baku, Azerbaijan. It forms part of the municipality of Gürgən-Pirallahı....

 and Damaghan
Damghan
Damghan is a city in and capital of Damghan County, Semnan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 57,331, in 15,849 families.Damghan is situated from Tehran on the high-road to Mashad, at an elevation of...

 cities. Especially the Ghaznavids
Ghaznavid Empire
The Ghaznavids were a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic slave origin which existed from 975 to 1187 and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Ghaznavid state was centered in Ghazni, a city in modern-day Afghanistan...

, Seljuqs
Seljuq dynasty
The Seljuq ; were a Turco-Persian Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to 14th centuries...

 and Timurids
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 divided their Empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 to Iraqi and Khorasani regions. This point can be observed in many books such as "Tārīkhi Baïhaqī" of Abul Fazl Bayhqi, Faza'ilul al-anam min rasa'ili hujjat al-Islam (a collection of letters of Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

) and other books. Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

 and Chorasmia were mostly included in the Khorasanian region.

Iraq



Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 was a province of various Persian Empires since the Achaemenid period and was heavily influenced by Persian culture. It is where one of the Sassanid capitals was located (Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

). There are still cities and provinces in contemporary Iraq where the Persian names of the city are still retained. e.g. al-Anbar or Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. Other cities of Iraq with originally Persian names include Nokard (نوكرد) --> al-Haditha
Al-Haditha
Al-Haditha was a Palestinian Arab village in the District of Ramla. It was located 8 km northeast of Ramla, situated on the west bank of Wadi al-Natuf....

, Suristan (سورستان) --> Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

, Shahrban (شهربان) --> Miqdadiya, Arvandrud (اروندرود)--> Shatt al-Arab, and Asheb (آشب) --> Imadiyya.

In the modern era, the Safavid dynasty
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

 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...

 briefly asserted their hegemony over Iraq in the periods of 1501-1533
Ottoman–Safavid War (1532–1555)
The Ottoman–Safavid War of 1532–1555 was fought between the Ottoman Empire of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Persian Safavid Empire of Tahmasp I.-Background:...

 and 1622-1638
Treaty of Zuhab
The Treaty of Zuhab was an accord signed between Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire on May 17, 1639. The accord ended the war that had begun in 1623 and was the last conflict in almost 150 years of intermittent wars between the two states over territorial disputes...

, losing Iraq to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 on both occasions.

Kurdistan


A very early record of confrontation between the Kurds and the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 appears in a historical text called the Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak. The book explains the life of "Ardashir Papagan" or Ardashir I of Persia, the founder of the Sassanid Dynasty, and is written in the Pahlavi language. In this book, the author explains the battle between Kurdish King Madig
Madig
Madig was an ancient Iranian king thought to be of Kurdish ethnicity in present-day northern Iraq.He is mentioned in a historical text called the Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak ....

and Ardashir.

Culturally and historically Kurdistan has been part of what is known as Greater Iran. Kurds who speak a Northwestern Iranian language known as Kurdish comprise the majority of the population of the region there are also communities of Arab, Armenian, Assyrian, Azeri, Jewish, Persian, and Turkic people traditionally scattered throughout the region. Most of its inhabitants are Muslim, but there are also significant numbers of other religious sects such as Yazidi, Yarsan, Alevi, Christian, Kurdish Jews, and a modern revival of interest in Zoroastrianism, though the last of these is largely, if not entirely, nominal.

Armenia



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

 was a province of various Persian Empires since the Achaemenid period and was heavily influenced by Persian culture. Armenia however, has historically been largely populated by a distinct Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

-speaking people who merged with local Caucasian
Caucasian race
The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

 peoples, rather than being directly associated with the Iranian peoples. Ancient Armenian society was a combination of local cultures, Iranian social and political structures, and Hellenic/Christian
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 traditions. Due to centuries of independent indigenous development, conquests by western powers including the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 and Russians
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, and its diverse diasporic population that has absorbed many cultural traits, especially those of Europe and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.

Iran continues to have a sizeable Armenian minority that links 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....

 to Iranian culture. Many Armenians such as Yeprem Khan
Yeprem Khan
Yeprem Khan Davidian , also Yefrem Khan, was an Armenian revolutionary leader and national hero of Persia...

 were directly involved and remembered in 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...

.

Azerbaijan


With the Treaty of Gulistan, Iran had to cede all the Khanates of the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
The South Caucasus is a geopolitical region located on the border of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia also referred to as Transcaucasia, or The Trans-Caucasus...

, which included Baku Khanate
Baku Khanate
Baku Khanate was Persian ruled Khanate on the territory of modern day Azerbaijan from Safavid dynasty to 1806. Baku was one of Khanate which arose during the domination of Iran. During the period of Iranian domination, head of principality was a Khan. Although, the khan could act within certain...

, Shirvan Khanate
Shirvan Khanate
Shirvan Khanate was a self-governing khanate that existed in what is now Azerbaijan in 1748—1805.-History:In 1742 Shemakha was taken and destroyed by Nadir Shah of Persia, who relocated inhabitants into a new town under the same name about 16 miles to the west , at the foot of the main chain of...

, Karabakh Khanate
Karabakh khanate
The Karabakh khanate was a semi-independent khanate on the territories of modern Azerbaijan and Armenia established in about 1750 under Persian suzerainty in Karabakh and adjacent areas. The Karabakh khanate existed until 1805, when the Russian Empire gained control over it from Persia...

, Ganja Khanate
Ganja Khanate
The Ganja khanate was a Muslim principality mostly under the dominion of Persia that existed in the territory of Azerbaijan in 1747-1805. The principality was ruled by the dynasty of Ziyadoglu , which had ruled Ganja as governors under Nadir Shah and was of Qajar extraction...

, Shaki Khanate
Shaki Khanate
Shaki khanate was an Azerbaijani khanate on the territory of modern Azerbaijan between 1743 and 1819 with its capital in the town of Shaki.-History:...

, Quba Khanate
Quba Khanate
The Quba Khanate was an independent principality on the territory of modern day Azerbaijan from 1747-1806. The Quba Khanate was founded as a feudal hold around 1680 as a result of a land grant to the Saytaq family, who were related to both the Qajar dynasty and the Utsmi of Tarki in Dagestan and...

, and parts of the Talysh Khanate
Talysh Khanate
The Talysh Khanate was one of many self-ruling principalities that existed on the territory of modern Azerbaijan Republic between 1747 and 1813, which was Safavi territory at that time...

. Derbent
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...

 (Darband) was also lost to Russia. These Khanates comprise what is today the Republic of Azerbaijan.By the Treaty of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Turkmenchay
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

, Iran was forced to cede Nakhichevan Khanate and the Mughan regions to Russia, as well as Erivan Khanate
Erivan Khanate
The Khanate of Erivan , was an administrative territory that was established Safavid Persia in the early 17th century. It covered an area of roughly 7,500 square miles, and corresponded to most of present-day central Armenia, most of the Iğdır Province of present-day Turkey, and the Sharur and...

. These territories roughly constitute the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Armenia. Most localities in this region bear Persian names or names derived from Iranian languages.

Georgia



The eastern Georgian
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...

 regions of Kartli
Kartli
Kartli is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari , on which Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages...

 and Kakheti
Kakheti
Kakheti is a historical province in Eastern Georgia inhabited by Kakhetians who speak a local dialect of Georgian. It is bordered by the small mountainous province of Tusheti and the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north, Russian Federation to the Northeast, Azerbaijan to the Southeast, and...

 were Persian Provinces during Sassanid times (particularly starting with Hormozd IV). Some members of the Georgian elite were involved in the Safavid government and Amin al-Sultan, Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

, was the son of a Georgian father.

Eastern Georgia was under the influence of Persia until 1783 when Erekle II
Erekle II
Erekle II was a Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi Dynasty, reigning as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and Kakheti from 1762 until 1798. In the contemporary Persian sources he is referred to as Erekli Khan, while Russians knew him as Irakli...

 of Kartli and Kakheti
Kartl-Kakheti
The Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was created in 1762 by the unification of two eastern Georgian kingdoms, which had existed independently since the disintegration of the united Georgian Kingdom in the 15th century....

 signed the Treaty of Georgievsk
Treaty of Georgievsk
The Treaty of Georgievsk was a bilateral treaty concluded between the Russian Empire and the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti on July 24, 1783. The treaty established Georgia as a protectorate of Russia, which guaranteed Georgia's territorial integrity and the continuation of its reigning...

 with the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. Persia officially gave up claim to parts of Georgia according to the terms of the Gulistan and Turkmenchay Treaties
Treaty of Turkmenchay
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

.

Nakhchevan


Early in antiquity, Narseh of Persia is known to have had fortifications built here. In later times, some of Persia's literary and intellectual figures from the Qajar period have hailed from this region. Also separated from Greater-Iran/Persia in the mid-19th century, by virtue of the Gulistan Treaty and Turkmenchay Treaty
Treaty of Turkmenchay
The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

.

که تا جایگه یافتی نخچوان

Oh Nakhchivan, respect you've attained,

بدین شاه شد بخت پیرت جوان

With this King in luck you'll remain.

---Nizami
Nizami
-Toponyms:* Nizami raion, a settlement and rayon in Baku, Azerbaijan* Nizami, Goranboy, a village and municipality in the Goranboy Rayon of Azerbaijan* Nizami, Sabirabad, a village and municipality in the Sabirabad Rayon of Azerbaijan...


North Caucasus



North Caucasus
North Caucasus
The North Caucasus is the northern part of the Caucasus region between the Black and Caspian Seas and within European Russia. The term is also used as a synonym for the North Caucasus economic region of Russia....

 region in today's southern Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 including the republics of Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

, Chechnya
Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkariya & other republics & oblasts of the region long formed part of Persia & the Iranian cultural sphere until they were annexed by Imperial Russia over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. Strong Persian cultural influence can be traced up as far as Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

 in central Russia. Fine examples of Iranian architecture in many Caucasus cities like the Sassanid citadel in Derbent
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...

 bear witness to the importance of these territories before the arrival of Russians to the region, when it was under Persian influence, rule & suzerainty. (Even today, after decades of partition, some of these regions retain a sort of Iranian identity, as seen in their old beliefs, traditions and customs (e.g. Norouz
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....

)).

Central Asia


Khwarazm is one of the regions of Iran-zameen, and is the home of the ancient Iranians, Airyanem Vaejah
Airyanem Vaejah
Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and a reference in the Zoroastrian Avesta Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and...

, according to the ancient book of the Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

. Modern scholars believe Khwarazm to be what ancient Avestic
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

 texts refer to as "Ariyaneh Waeje
Airyanem Vaejah
Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and a reference in the Zoroastrian Avesta Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and...

" or Iran vij. Iranovich These sources claim that Urgandj
Kunya Urgench
Konye-Urgench also known as Konya-Urgench, Old Urgench or Urganj, is a municipality of about 30,000 inhabitants in north-eastern Turkmenistan, just south from its border with Uzbekistan. It is the site of the ancient town of Ürgenç , which contains the unexcavated ruins of the 12th-century capital...

, which was the capital of ancient Khwarazm for many years, was actually "Ourva": the eighth land of Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan name for a divinity of the Old Iranian religion who was proclaimed the uncreated God by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism...

 mentioned in the Pahlavi
Pahlavi scripts
Pahlavi or Pahlevi denotes a particular and exclusively written form of various Middle Iranian languages. The essential characteristics of Pahlavi are*the use of a specific Aramaic-derived script, the Pahlavi script;...

 text of Vendidad
Vendidad
The Vendidad or Videvdat is a collection of texts within the greater compendium of the Avesta. However, unlike the other texts of the Avesta, the Vendidad is an ecclesiastical code, not a liturgical manual.-Name:...

.Others such as University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii System, formally the University of Hawaii and popularly known as UH, is a public, co-educational college and university system that confers associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment...

 historian Elton L. Daniel
Elton L. Daniel
Elton L. Daniel, Ph.D., is a historian and Iranologist.A professor at the University of Hawaii, he received his doctorate from UT Austin. Elton Daniel is an associate editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, and has conducted research and traveled extensively in Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, France, and the...

 believe Khwarazm to be the "most likely locale" corresponding to the original home of the Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

n people, while Dehkhoda calls Khwarazm "the cradle of the Aryan tribe" (مهد قوم آریا). Today Khwarazm is split between several central Asian republics.

Superimposed on and overlapping with Chorasmia was Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 which roughly covered nearly the same geographical areas in Central Asia (starting from Semnan eastward through northern Afghanistan roughly until the foothills of Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

, ancient Mount Imeon
Mount Imeon
Mount Imeon is an ancient name for the Central Asian complex of mountain ranges comprising the present Hindu Kush, Pamir and Tian Shan, extending from the Zagros Mountains in the southwest to the Altay Mountains in the northeast, and linked to the Kunlun, Karakoram and Himalayas to the southeast...

). Current day provinces such as Sanjan
Sanjan (Khorasan)
Sanjan is an ancient city on the southern edge of the Kara-kum Desert, in the vicinity of the historically eminent oasis-city of Merv. Topographically, Sanjan is located in the Greater Khorasan region of Central Asia...

 in Turkmenia, Razavi Khorasan Province
Razavi Khorasan Province
Razavi Khorasan Province is a province located in northeastern Iran. Mashhad is the centre and capital of the province.Other cities and townships are Ghouchan, Dargaz, Chenaran, Sarakhs, Fariman, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Torbat-e Jam, Taybad, Khaf, Roshtkhar, Kashmar, Bardaskan, Nishapur, Sabzevar,...

, North Khorasan Province
North Khorasan Province
North Khorasan Province is a province located in northeastern Iran. Bojnord is the centre of the province.Other counties are Shirvan, Esfarayen, Maneh-o-Samalqan, Jajarm, Faroj and Germeh....

, and Southern Khorasan Province in 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...

 are all remnants of the old Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. Until the 13th century and the devastating Mongol invasion of the region, Khorasan was considered the cultural capital of Greater Iran.

Afghanistan


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...

 was part of Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

, and hence was recognized with the name Khorasan (along with regions centered around Merv and Nishapur), which in Pahlavi means "The Eastern Land" (خاور زمین in Persian).

Afghanistan is where Balkh
Balkh
Balkh , was an ancient city and centre of Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya. It was one of the major cities of Khorasan...

 is located, home of Rumi, Rabi'a Balkhi, Sanāī Ghaznawi
Sanai
Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi was a Afghan Sufi poet who lived in Ghazna, in what is now Afghanistan between the 11th century and the 12th century. Some people spell his name as Sanayee. He died around 1131.-Life:...

, Jami
Jami
Nur ad-Dīn Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī also known as DJāmī, Mawlanā Nūr al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān or Abd-Al-Rahmān Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti who is commonly known as Jami , is known for his achievements as a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and one of the greatest...

, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari and where many other notables in Persian literature
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 came from.

ز زابل به کابل رسید آن زمان

From Zabul he arrived to Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...



گرازان و خندان و دل شادمان

Strutting, happy, and mirthful

---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...

 in Shahnama

Tajikistan


The national anthem 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....

, "Surudi Milli
Surudi Milli
"Surudi milli" is the national anthem of Tajikistan, officially adopted in 1991. The lyrics were written by Gulnazar Keldi and the music by Suleiman Yudakov, the same melody from the Anthem of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic...

", attests to the Perso-Tajik identity, which has seen a large revival, after the breakup of the USSR. Their language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 is almost identical to that spoken in Afghanistan and Iran, and their cities have Persian names, e.g. Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

, Isfara
Isfara
Isfara is a city in Sughd Province in northern Tajikistan, situated on the border with Kyrgyzstan. It has a population of 40,600 . The city is capital of Isfara district.-History:...

, Rasht Valley
Rasht Valley
The Rasht Valley is located in Tajikistan and composes a significant portion of the Region of Republican Subordination, including the six districts of Jirgatol, Rasht, Roghun, Tavildara, Tajikobod and Nurabad. Historically the Rasht Valley has been called Karotegin or Karategin...

, Garm
Garm, Tajikistan
Gharm, , is a district in the Rasht Valley area of central Tajikistan.From the 1920s until 1955 there was a Gharm Oblast in Tajikistan, which included the territory of the current Gharm Valley...

, Murghab, Vahdat
Vahdat
Vahdat is a city in western Tajikistan, just 10 km east of Dushanbe. In the last century the city has been renamed several times. Former Kafirnahan...

, Zar-afshan river
Zeravshan
Zeravshan River is a river in Central Asia. Its name, "sprayer of gold" in Persian, refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river. To the ancient Greeks it was known as the Polytimetus...

, Shurab, and Kulob
Kulob
Kulob , also Kulab or Kulyab , is a city in Kulob district, Khatlon Province, Tajikistan. Located 203 km south-east of the capital Dushanbe on the Yakhsu River , it is one of the largest cities in the country Kulob , also Kulab or Kulyab , is a city in Kulob district, Khatlon Province, Tajikistan....

 (http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/ot_grp8/ot_kulab_20050727.html). Its also important to note that Rudaki
Rudaki
Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki , also written as Rudagi , was a Persian poet, and is regarded as the first great literary genius of the Modern Persian, who composed poems in the "New Persian" alphabet. Rudaki is considered as a founder of Persian classical literature.He was born in 858 in...

, considered by many as the father of modern Persian Language, was from Tajikistan.

Turkmenistan


Home of the Parthian Empire (Nysa
Nisa, Turkmenistan
Nisa was an ancient city, located near modern-day Bagir village, 18 km northwest of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.Nisa is described by some as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was traditionally founded by Arsaces I Nisa (also Parthaunisa) was an ancient city, located near modern-day...

). Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

 is also where the half-Persian caliph al-Mamun moved his capital to. The city of Eshgh Abad (some claim that the word is actually the transformed form of "Ashk Abad" literally meaning "built by Ashk", the head of Arsaced dynasty) is yet another Persian word meaning "city of love", and like Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, it was once part of Airyanem Vaejah
Airyanem Vaejah
Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and a reference in the Zoroastrian Avesta Airyanəm Vaējah, which approximately means "expanse of the Aryans, i.e. Iranians" is the "mythical homeland" of early Iranians and...

.

Uzbekistan


The famous cities of Afrasiab
Afrasiab
Afrasiab is the name of the mythical king and hero of Turan.-The Mythical King and Hero:According to the Shahnameh , by the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi, Afrasiab was the king and hero of Turan and an archenemy of Iran...

, Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

, Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz
Shakhrisabz , is a city in Uzbekistan located approximately 80 km south of Samarkand with the population of 53,000 . It is located at the altitude of 622 m. Once a major city of Central Asia, it is primarily known today as the birthplace of 14th century Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur...

, Andijan
Andijan
Andijan or Andizhan is the fourth-largest city in Uzbekistan, and the capital of the Andijan Province. It is located in the east of the country, at , in the Fergana Valley, near the border with Kyrgyzstan on the Andijan-Say River...

, Khiveh
Khiva
Khiva is a city of approximately 50,000 people located in Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan. It is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva...

, Navā'i
Navoiy
Navoiy also spelled as Navoi is a city and the capital of Navoiy Province in the southwestern part of Uzbekistan. It is located at latitude 40° 5' 4N; longitude 65° 22' 45E, at an altitude of 382 meters.-History:...

, Shirin
Shirin
Shirin was a wife of the Sassanid Persian Shahanshah , Khosrau II. In the revolution after the death of Khosrau's father Hormizd IV, the General Bahram Chobin took power over the Persian empire. Shirin fled with Khosrau to Syria where they lived under the protection of Byzantine emperor Maurice...

, Termez
Termez
Termez is a city in southern Uzbekistan near the border with Afghanistan.Some link the name of the city to thermos, "hot" in Greek, tracing its name back to Alexander the Great. Others suggest that it came from Sanskrit taramato, meaning "on the river bank". It is the hottest point of Uzbekistan...

, and Zar-afshan
Zeravshan
Zeravshan River is a river in Central Asia. Its name, "sprayer of gold" in Persian, refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river. To the ancient Greeks it was known as the Polytimetus...

 are located here. These cities are the birthplace of the Islamic era Persian literature. The Samanid
Samanid
The Samani dynasty , also known as the Samanid Empire, or simply Samanids was a Persian state and empire in Central Asia and Greater Iran, named after its founder Saman Khuda, who converted to Sunni Islam despite being from Zoroastrian theocratic nobility...

s, who claimed inheritance to the Sassanids, had their capital built here.

ای بخارا شاد باش و دیر زی

Oh Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

! Joy to you and live long!

شاه زی تو میهمان آید همی

Your King comes to you in ceremony.

---Rudaki
Rudaki
Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki , also written as Rudagi , was a Persian poet, and is regarded as the first great literary genius of the Modern Persian, who composed poems in the "New Persian" alphabet. Rudaki is considered as a founder of Persian classical literature.He was born in 858 in...


Xinjiang



The Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County regions of China harbored a Persian population and culture. Chinese Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County was always counted as a part of the Iranian cultural & linguistic continent with Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

, Yarkand, Hotan, and Turpan bound to the Iranian history.

Pakistan


The western provinces of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, which comprise the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 and Baluchistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

, are Iranian-speaking regions where Pashtuns, Baluchis comprise the majority of the local populations. The Baluch and Pashtun tribes are the easternmost of the Iranic peoples and Baluchistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

 is the easternmost region of the 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...

.

Treaties

  • 1639 Treaty of Zuhab
    Treaty of Zuhab
    The Treaty of Zuhab was an accord signed between Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire on May 17, 1639. The accord ended the war that had begun in 1623 and was the last conflict in almost 150 years of intermittent wars between the two states over territorial disputes...

    : Iran formally transfers Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

     and modern Iraq to the Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    .
  • 1813 Gulestan Treaty: Iran loses a large amount of its land in the Caucasus.
  • 1828 Turkmenchay Treaty
    Treaty of Turkmenchay
    The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire recognized Russian suzerainty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh khanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its...

    : Signed by Fath Ali Shah. Russia gains sovereignty over the Caucasus.
  • 1857 Paris Treaty: Signed by Nasereddin Shah. Iran loses Herat
    Herat
    Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

     and parts of Afghanistan in exchange for the evacuation of Iran's southern ports by Great Britain.
  • 1881 Akhal Treaty: Signed by Nasereddin Shah. Iran loses Merv
    Merv
    Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

     and parts of Khwarazmia in exchange for security guarantees from Russia.
  • 1893: Iran transfers to Russia additional regions near the Atrek River that were Iranian under the Akhal Treaty. This treaty was signed by General Boutsoff and Mirza Ali Asghar Amin al-Sultan on May 27, 1893.
  • 1907: Persia was to be carved up into three regions, according to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907.
  • 1970: Iran abandons sovereignty rights over Bahrain
    Bahrain
    ' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

     to Great Britain in exchange for Greater and Lesser Tunbs
    Greater and Lesser Tunbs
    Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb are two small islands in the eastern Persian Gulf, close to the Strait of Hormuz. They lie at and respectively, some 12 kilometers from each other and 20 south of the Iranian island of Qeshm...

     and Abu Musa
    Abu Musa
    Abu Musa is a 12-km² island in the eastern Persian Gulf, part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The island is administered by Iran as part of the Iranian province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates .Abu Musa's inhabitants call it...

     islands in the Persian Gulf
    Persian Gulf
    The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

    .

See also


  • Median Empire
  • Persian Empire
  • 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...

  • Persian language
    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...

  • List of kings of Persia
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Culture of Iran
    Culture of Iran
    To best understand Iran, Afghanistan, their related societies 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 identity optimally expresses itself...

  • Iranian peoples
    Iranian peoples
    The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

  • 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....

  • Iranian languages
    Iranian languages
    The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

  • Pan-Iranism
    Pan-Iranism
    Pan-Iranism is an ideology that advocates solidarity and reunification of Iranian peoples living in the Iranian plateau and other regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence, including the Talysh, Georgians, North Caucasian peoples, Ossetians, Kurds, Armenians, Persians of Iran,...

  • History of Afghanistan
    History of Afghanistan
    The written history of Afghanistan can be traced back to the Achaemenid Empire ca. 500 BCE, although evidence indicates that an advanced degree of urbanized culture has existed in the land since between 3000 and 2000 BCE. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived to Afghanistan in 330 BCE...

  • History of the Kurdish people
  • Kurdish culture
    Kurdish culture
    Kurdish culture is a group of distinctive cultural traits practiced by Kurdish people...

  • Kurdish language
    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....

  • History of Turkey
    History of Turkey
    The history of the Turks begins with the migration of Oghuz Turks into Anatolia in the context of the larger Turkic expansion, forming the Seljuq Empire in the 11th century. After the Seljuq victory over forces of the Byzantine Empire in 1071 at the Battle of Manzikert, the process was accelerated...

  • Greater Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

  • Persianate society
  • Turko-Persian tradition
    Turko-Persian tradition
    The composite Turko-Persian tradition was a variant of Islamic culture. It was Persianate in that it was centered on a lettered tradition of Iranian origin; it was Turkic insofar as it was for many generations patronized by rulers of Turkic background; it was Islamic in that Islamic notions of...

  • List of Persia-related topics
  • Yaz culture
    Yaz culture
    The Yaz culture is an early Iron Age culture of Bactria and Margiana . It has been regarded as a likely archaeological reflection of early East Iranian culture as described in the Avesta. So far, no burials related to the culture have been found, and this was taken as evidence of the Zoroastrian...

  • 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...

     water management system

  • Further reading


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