History of Persia

Iran is the cradle of modern civilization and in this country you will travel through different time zones.

Exploring Persia

It’s sad to begin the introduction of Iran with the word "unfortunately": but unfortunately, few people in the West have much real knowledge about this beautiful country. Moreover, many fall under the spell of extensive anti Iranian propaganda, spurred by the events which are occuring in Iran today.

Read more ▸

It’s sad to begin the introduction of Iran with the word "unfortunately': but unfortunately, few people in the West have much real knowledge about this beautiful country. Moreover, many fall under the spell of extensive anti-Iranian propaganda, spurred by the events which are occuring in Iran today. The tourism business in Iran is still in its early stages, but this too has its positive sides. For example, the relatively small number of tourists to Iran allows the visitor to wander around the world famous sites in comparative privacy, almost as if enjoying a personal and exclusive tour.
Iran is an incredible place to visit. If for no other reason than it’s continuous history of some 7,000 years (a distinction few countries can claim), it would be well worth seeing for it’s diversity of landscapes, monuments, customs, and lifestyles that make Iran attractive in an) season. About one million historical site exist in I ran, according to the statistics of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization. It’s obvious that even the most interesting of these can be visited only by making numerous trips to the country. These trips are all the more pleasant because visitors to Iran never leave it without memories of its wonder fully hospitable people. Visit Iran, to get a first hand experience of this fascinating, welcoming country. Visit it now.

Country Name:
Canventional longform, Islamic Republic of Iran

Local longform:
Jomhuriye Eslamiye Iran conventional short form: Iran

Name Origin:
The name "Iran" comes from the Old Persian word meaning "the land of the Aryans". Iran has been the name of this country at least since the Sasanid period. However, until 1935, the English-speaking world knew this country as Persia, a legacy of the Greeks who named the region after its most important province, Pars (present-day Fars).
Flag Description: Iran's flag is composed of three equal horizontal bands of green, 'white, and red (from top to bottom). Centered in the white band is the red emblem a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom. The words Allah Akbar, meaning "God is Great" are repeated 11 times along each of the inner edges of the green and red bands in white letters in angular Kufic script.

Location: Middle East

total: 1,648 million sq. km land: 1,636 million sq. km water: 12,000 sq. km

Comparative: the size of the United
Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland all combined
Land boundaries:

Total: 5,440 km
Coastline: 2,440 km
Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along the Caspian coast
Terrain: rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts and mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Caspian Sea 28m highest point: Damavand Peak,
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur
Population: 85,397,521 (July 2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.663% (2007 est.)
Gender ratio: 1.024
Males / Female (2007 est.)
Ethnic groups: Persian 51 %, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazanderani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lor 2%, Baluch 2%, Turkman 2%, other 1 % Languages: Persian and dialects 58%, Turkish and dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Lori 2%, Baluchi 1%, Arabic 1 %, other 3%
Religions: Shiite Muslim 89%, Sunnite Muslim 10%, Christian, Zoroastrian, Jewish, and other 1%
Administrative division: 30 provinces (ostanha, singular - ostan)
Capital: Tehran
Government type: Islamic Republic
Constitution: 2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the Presidency and eliminate the Prime Ministry
Legal system: The Constitution codifies Islamic principles of government. Suffrage: 15 years of age, universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei (since 4 June, 1989)
Head of government: Dr. Hassan Rohani (since 3 August, 2013)
Cabinet: Leader of the Islamic Revolution is appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts. Council of Ministers selected b)' the President with legislative approval elections. President is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. Last elections were held on 24 June, 2005.
Legislative branch: unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami (290 seats; changed from 270 seats with the 18 February, 2000 election); members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms.
Military branches: Islamic Republic of Iran regular forces (includes Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense Command), Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah) (includes Ground Forces, Air Force, Navy, Qods (special operations), and Basij (Popular Mobilization Army) forces)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Economy: a mixture of state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures major industries: oil, gas, agriculture, carpets industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, texThes, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating, armaments agriculture - products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton, dairy products, wool, caviar exports - commodities: oil and oil products 85%, carpets, fruits and nuts, iron and steel, chemicals GDP: purchasing power parity $599.2 billion (2006 est.) annual growth: 4.3% (2006 est.) inflation rate: 17.3% for consumer prices (2006 est.)
Currency: Iranian rials (IR)

History of Iran at a glance

Commonly known as Persia in the Western world, the history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from Anatolia and Egypt in the west to the Ancient India and Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman i n the south.The southwestern part of the Iranian plateau participated in the wider Ancient Near East with Elam, from the Early Bronze Age. The Persian Empire (Persia) proper begins in the Iron Age, following the influx of Iranian peoples. Iranian people gave rise to the Median, as the Persian people gave rise to the Achaemenid, the Parthians, and the Sassanid dynasties during the classical antiquity.

Read more ▸

Early Civilizations in Iran Man's presence on the Iranian plateau during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic ages has not yet been properly studied. Life during the Neolithic period, however, is much better known. Considerable geological and natural evidence has proven that Iran was home to one of mankind's first major cultures, ahead of every other part of the world except Egupt, Mesopotamia, and India.

Significant shifts 111 tool manu vase, excavated at Susa, is facture settlement patterns and subsistence methods, including domestication of plants and animals, characterize the Neolithic Iranian settlements, all of which date wholly or in part from the 8th and 7th millennia. Iranians were probably the first to cultivate wheat and dates, and to tame camels and sheep. The existence of rich mines in Iran can be an indication that metal was excavated and processed here since ancient times. One of the recently excavated archaeological sites - Arisman (p215) - has proved to be one of the world's earliest centers of the metallurgical industry. By approximately the 6th millennium B.C., village farming was widespread over much of the Iranian plateau and in lowland Khuzestan. Among others, Sialk (pp 194-195) on the rim of the central salt desert has yielded evidence of fairly sophisticated patterns of agricultural life.
Having begun in the Paleolithic era, Iran's first vigorous growth had developed by the 3rd mil-lennium B.C. into a civilization of great sophistication - Elam.
Elam (2500-644 B.C.) In the late 4th and early 3rd millennia, a brilliant ancient culture came into being on the Iranian territory - Elam, "The Land of Gods" The origin of the Elamites is unclear.
Their earliest kings reigned around 2700 B.C. These early rulers were succeeded by the Awan (Shustar) dynasty, which was then replaced by a new ruling house, the Simash dynasty. About the middle of the 19th century B.C., power in Elam passed to a new dynasty, that of Eparti. About 2500 B.C., the Elamites founded Susa, the capital of their country and the seat of their king. At that time, Elam first appeared on the world stage as an advanced civilization, centuries I ahead of Crete and Mycenae (2000 B.C.), Anatolia (1800 B.C.), China (1500 B.C.), Phoenicia (1300 s.c.), and the Hebrews (1200 B.C.).
The Middle Elamite period began in the 15th century B.C. with the rise to power of the Anzanite dynasty, of which Untash-Gal was the most renowned king. He founded the city of Dur Untash (modern Chogha-Zanbil), one of the wonders of ancient architecture, which has survived to this day. During the reign of Untash-Gal's successor, Shutruk-Nahhunte, Elam became one of the great military powers of the Middle East. Shutruk-Nahhunte captured Babylon and carried off to Susa the stele on which was inscribed the famous law code of Hammurabi (the original is now in the Louvre, but the National Museum in Tehran has a copy). The days of the Elamite military empire were, however, numbered.

In a series of campaigns between 692 and 639 B.C, the armies of the As A high point of Elamite syrian king Ashurbanipal destroyed Susa and brought B.C., life-size bronze statue of Queen Napirasu from the Elamite kingdom to an end. Other important ethnic groups that coexisted with the Elamites on the Iranian plateau were the Urartians and the Mannai. The king¬dom of Urartu, which arose in the 9th century B.C., was centered in northwestern Iran and extended
into present-day Turkey and Armenia. The Mannai kingdom was located to the south-west of the Urartians and was overtaken by them in about 800 B.C. Arr.an Tribes in Iran POOO-I000 B.C.)
The beginning of the Iron Age in Iran is marked by major dislocations of cultural and historical patterns, caused by the Aryans' arrival. Most probably, the Aryans came to Iran via routes around the Caspian Sea and through the Caucasian Mountains. The Aryans started to migrate about 3000 B.C. and, in three major and successive movements, finally settled on the Iranian plateau around 1000 ac. Cold, population pressures, overgrazing in their home areas, and hosThe neighbors may have prompted these migrations. The natives of the Iranian plateau enthusiastically greeted the newcomers, who brought with them the technologies that could help them to survive.
Among the Aryan tribes in Iran, three major groups are identifiable - the Scythians, the Medes, and the Persians.
The Scythians established themselves in the northern Zagros Mountains and clung to a seminomadic existence in which raiding was the chief form of economic enterprise.
The Medes settled over a huge area, reaching as far as modern Tabriz in the north and Esfahan in the south.
The Persians settled in three areas: to the south of Lake Orumiyeh, on the northern border of the Elamite kingdom, and in the environs of modern Shiraz, where they established their main settlements, to which they gave the name Parsa (or Persia, in Greek).
Gradually Iranian tribes, especially under the pressure of constant Assyrian attacks, started to reorganize themselves into kingdoms and then empires. The first-known Iranian empire was that of the Medes.

History of Iran briefly

History is a book which one has to start from the middle, particularly that of the ancient civilizations such as China, India, and Iran. Thought the history of Iran is long and complex, it’s shapes is determined by the rise and fall of successive dynasties with intervals of chaos and confusion unit it’s latest stage, victory of the Islamic revolution and rising of an Islamic Republic in the modern world.

Read more ▸

History is a book that one has to start from the middle, especially from ancient civilizations like China, India and Iran. Think that the history of Iran is long and complex, its forms are determined by the rise and fall of the successive dynasties - with intervals of chaos and confusion - unity of their recent phase, victory of the Islamic revolution and rise of an Islamic republic in the Modern world.
Man has been living on the Iranian plateau for 15,000 years. The oldest inhabitants were nomadic hunters who gradually turned to agriculture and developed permanent settlements. Sialk, not for the south of modern Tehran, is the site of one of the world's most famous settlements. Here, some of the first stages of civilization, which have made considerable progress in architecture and graphic design, developed, the early sialkwaren with their geometrical and abstract motifs in fact "modern".
Wild wheat and barley were cultivated first in Iran and already in the 4th millennium BC. To Egypt and from there to Europe introduced. Several animals have been domesticated and great progress has been made in the use of metals, especially copper.
The greatest civilization in Iran during prehistoric times was that of Elam, the alluvial plain of the Southwest Iran, now known as Khuzestan province. Susa, the Elamite capital, is the site of literally dozens of consecutive archaeological periods that peaked in the golden period of the 13th century BC, when Elam dominated all of western Iran, as well as the Tigris Valley and most of the Persian Gulf region. In the past, and until the second half of the twentieth century when it came to telling the origin of their country, most Iranians used the side of the myth or mingled the myth with the actual story. This was a true reflection of the influence of the great literary works such as Shahnameh on the people. More than a dozen royal dynasties ruled Iran for a period of more than 2000 years, on average, according to national legends. Details of these dynasties are given in the Avesta, the sacred writing of the Zoroastrian faith, written according to Islamic sources on 12,000 pieces of cow skin. Apart from the Avesta and Shahnameh names of the legendary kings and dynasties are given in Vedas and Mahabharata, as well.

Early Persian
What follows is a brief sketch of the history of the ancient Persian empire, in which the present Iran has its roots. Early in the first millennium BC, significant invasions of Indo-European tribes took place. They gave themselves their names for their new homeland - they were Aryans, meaning 'of noble origin' ', and the name Iran derives from it. According to some sources, the speakers of the Iranian language can already as early as 1500 BC. Travel to this part of South-East Asia. They apparently succeeded in subjugating peoples who had already lived there and intermingled with them, but their dominance of certain areas was recorded in the derived place names of Parsua and Parsumash. The Assyrian rules were adopted in the ninth century BC. Expeditions against them, and the resources of these campaigns are evidence of the early Persians.

The Medes
The Median Kingdom started with the rule of Deioces. He organized his realm into several provinces and created a strong army to stop the Assyrians. The military genius of his son and successor, Phraortes, helped the Medes defeat the Assyrians. After Phraortes, there was a short period of Scythian domination over the Medes until they were overthrown by Cyaxares, who induced Scythian kings to get so drunk that they were then easily slain. Cyaxares, the greatest king of the Medes, reorganized the army and utterly defeated the Assyrians. At his death, the Medes controlled vast territories, stretching from Anatolia in modern Turkey to the area of Tehran as well as all of southwestern Iran.

Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.)
Cyrus the Great was the first important Achaemenid ruler. By the time he became king, Persia was already a large domain, but Cyrus aspired to nothing less than the conquest of the entire known world. In a campaign that lasted for less than two years, he took Elam, Media, Lydia, and several Greek cities on the Ionian coast. Having strengthened his power, Cyrus besieged and captured Babylon and released the Jews who had been held captive there, thus earning immortality in the Book of Isaiah. His territories in the east also were great and stretched as far as the Hindu Kush in present-day Afghanistan.

Hellenistic Period (323-141 B.C.)
In his world-conquering campaign, Alexander hoped for a fruitful union of the Europeans with the peoples of the Middle East. In the effort to reach this goal, Alexander married Roxana, daughter of the most powerful of the Bactrian chiefs, and commanded 80 of his top officers and 10,000 of his soldiers to marry Persian women in a mass wedding at Susa. However, his plans to consummate the union of the Greek and Iranian peoples ended when Alexander was struck with fever and died in Babylon.

Parthian Empire (247 B.C.-224 A.D.)
Under the Achaemenians, a satrapy named Parthava was annexed to the empire during Cyrus the Great's campaign south and east of the Caspian Sea. The Parthians were among the first to revolt against the Seleucids and were led by two brothers, Arsaces and Tiridates. Arsaces was proclaimed the first king, and his name became the honorific title used by all subsequent Parthian kings, who were generally known as the Arsacids.

Sasanid Empire (224-651 A.D.)
The last Parthian king, Artabanus V, lost the final battle to the Sasanians around 224 A.D. A legend has it that Ardashir Babakan, a vassal of Artabanus V, provoked the encounter when he founded a city called Gur, or the "Glory of Ardashir" near Firuzabad. Ardashir traced his ancestry to Sasan, a Zoroastrian priest, who gave his name to the last native dynasty in Persia before the Arab conquest. A strong central-ized government, a strict principle of dynastic legitimacy, and an official religion, which were quite contrary to the Parthian confederation and freedom of religious practices, characterized the Sasanid domain, which rapidly rose to rank among the world's largest empires.

Arab Conquest and the Early Iranian Islamic Dynasties (636 - c. 1100)
The Muslim Arabs who toppled the Sasanid Empire were insprred by a new religion Islam. Although the Koran, the holy b k f h religion, considered people equal regardless their race and social status, the conquerors, especially the Umayyads (the Muslim rulers who succeeded the Prophet Mohammad), tended to stress the primacy of Arabs. Despite this, the Iranians rapidly integrated into the new Islamic community.

Ghaznavid Dynasty (962-1186)
The Ghaznavid dynasty was of Turkish origin. It was founded by Saboktekin, a former Turkish slave who was recognized by the Samanids as governor of Ghazna (modern Ghazni, in Afghanistan). As the Samanid dynasty weakened, Saboktekjn consolidated his position and expanded his domains as far as the Indian border. His son Mahmud continued the expansionist policy, and during his reign, Ghaznavid power reached its zenith. Mahmud created an empire that stretched from the Oxus to the Indian Ocean.

Mongol Rulers of Iran (1219-1353)
Mongol occupation was disastrous to Iran. Numerous cities were razed, and a large number of people (particularly males) were killed. The Kharazrn-Shahs could not oppose the Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan. The last Kharazrn-Shahs' prince, al-o Din, tried to restore the empire but failed to unite the Iranian regions, although by that time Genghis Khan, who had withdrawn to Mongolia, was dead.

Timurid and Turkman Rulers (1389-1508)
Tamerlane (Timur), who claimed descent from Genghis Khan's family, was the next ruler to achieve the status of emperor. He did not have the huge forces of earlier Mongol leaders, so his conquests were slower than those of Genghis Khan or Hulagu Khan. Ironically, this ruthless warrior and appalling killer was a great patron of arts and initiated a true civilization with a center in Samarqand. Timur was famed for his great interest in unorthodox religious beliefs, among them Sufism, which developed considerably in his time.

Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736)
While the Turkrnan dynasties ruled in Azerbaijan, Sheikh Heydar headed a movement that had begun in the late 13th century as a Sufi order under his ancestor, Sheikh Safi al-Din of Ardabil, who claimed descent from the Seventh Shiite Imam, Musa al-Kazem. By the end of the 15th century, this Sufi order was turned into a militant movement with numerous followers, mainly from the Turkman tribesmen of Anatolia.

Afsharid and Zand Dynasties (1736-1779)
After a disastrous but brief Afghan occupation, the country was united under the power of Tahmasb Qoli, a chief of the Afshar tribe. He expelled the Afghans in the name of surviving Safavid members, but soon dethroned them and was himself crowned as Nader Shah. He chose Mashhad as his capital.

Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925)
After Karim Khan's death, Agha Mohammad Qajar, who was brought up at the Zand court, gathered a large force of his Qajar tribesmen and embarked upon a war of conquest. He defeated the last Zand ruler and in the same year took Mashhad, which was at the time the residence of the last Afsharid king. In this way, he made himself master of the country and founder of the Qajar dynasty.
Under his successors Faith Ali Shah (1798-1834), Mohammad shah (1834-48), Nasser od-Din Shah (1848-96), Muzaffar od-Din Shah (1896-1907), Mohammad Ali shah (1907-09) and Ahmad shah (1909-25), the whole context of Iranian history changes, we emerge from the middle Ages into recent times, in which the interest of Iran lay not in her own civilization or splendor or mystery, but in her possibilities as a field for expansion among rival great powers- or rather , to be more precise, as a field in which expansion of one great power should be limited by a rival power, and it was precisely this rivalry, rather than any inherent strength in the Qajar monarchy, which together with a nation- wide resistance enabled Iran to preserve her endangered independence.

The Pahlavis
In 1921, Reza khan, an army officer, led a state coup and established a Shah military dictatorship and ended the Qajar dynasty. In 1941, two months after the German invasion of Russia, British and Russian troops occupied Iran. On 16 September Reza shah took leave of his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. American troops later followed Iran to handle the delivery of war supplies to Russian fronts.
At the Tehran conference in 1943, the Tehran Declaration signed by the United States, Great Britain and Russia guaranteed the independence and territorial integrity of Iran. But the Russians, dissatisfied with the refusal of the Iranian government to grant oil concessions, formed a revolt in the north that led to the formation of marionette governments led by the People's Republic of Azarbaijan and the Kurdish People's Republic (December 1945) under the leadership of Russian controlled party leaders.
When the Russian troops remained in Iran after the end of a war treaty (January 1946), which also allowed the presence of American and British troops, Iran protested against the United Nations. The Russians finally withdrew (May 1946), after receiving a pledge from oil concessions from Iran, subject to Parliament's approval.
The Russian-established governments in the north, lacking popular support, were deposed by Iranian troops late in 1946, and the Parliament subsequently rejected the oil concessions. In 1951, the National Front Movement, headed by Premier Musaddiq, a militant nationalist, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Although a British blockade led to the virtual collapse of oil industry and serious internal economic problems, Musaddiq continued its nationalization policies.

Brief Account Of The History Of Pars

Few are the countries possessed of such historical and world wide fame as Fars, or Pars.
The name of this old land, and it’s brave and high minded people, who brought two great world empires, the Achæmenian and the Sassanian, into being, are copiously reported in the ancient records and writings of historians from the ninth century befor Christ and during the centuries of the Christian ear.

Read more ▸

(The southern province of Iran from which the world-famous name of Persia is derived.)
Few are the countries possessed by such historic and world-famous fame as Fars or Pars.
The name of this ancient country and its brave and generous people, who brought two great empires, the Achaemenians and the Sassanians, are abundant in the ancient records and writings of the ninth century Christians and Christians during the centuries of the Christian era Ear
The name Pars has earned a world record as all European races have referred to Iran as Persia and the Iranian people and the language as Persians.
The founding of the Persian state, and the great and astonishing transformation which arose in the ancient civilized East from a most important chapter in the history of the world. This state brought many of the former leading empires under its influence and became their only and most appropriate successor.
Under the clear and azure skies of the Fars, in the shelter of these fine mountains, and in these green and expansive plains, Cyrus and Darius, two outstanding and distinguished Persian figures, two splendid members of the Achaean family, came into being Areas of the world; Tossed the Assyrian and Babylonian tyrants; An end to the reign of the Pharaohs and went beyond the center and the west of Asia, penetrated into the heart of Greece.

The Sassanian Ardeshir and Shapour, worthy successors of the Achaean emperors, transformed their powerful empire of the East, the climate, the geographical position, the aboriginal abilities and the courage, the arrogance of the race, and the excellent education that this country instilled in their sons The great western empire of Rome. This extended in the west to Armenia and Georgia, in the north to the Caucasus and Káshghar; And in the east of Kábul and Sind, and an important part of Kushán, as far as the city of Pesháwar.
The clear history, the transformation of the ancient countries of the East, the creation of a period of world peace after the internal struggle of the peoples, which began several thousand years and took shape in this region.

A knowledge of the history of the countries and the monuments which have remained to them from the past, and the impact they have had on the development of history and the world of art, are essential to those affected. Above all, this is the case with the city and Shiráz region, in the discussion, which is the center of the most famous province of Iran, Fars, and is of world renown. Here not only noble kings ruled, but also famous writers such as Sa'adi and Háfez, and well-known scholars and scholars, painters and craftsmen, who were later referred to in this book. They were kings of literature and science.

Persia and Persian, Shiráz and its inhabitants can also be proud of their brilliant past and their famous men of action and letters.
Before we begin discussing the historical remains of Shiráz and its present state, it is advisable to draw the attention of the reader and give a brief explanation of the Persian race and the ancient inhabitants of this country.
The Persians were a group of Aryans who came to the Fars through the east of Iran and made this region their home through Sistán and Kermán. The Aryans (arya = nobel) were a part of the Indo-Iranian race, which was inhabited by population increase, lack of food, territorial constriction, excessive cold or the occurrence of other political and natural causes that are not known to us Middle of the second millennium before Christ. A group entered through the Hindu Kush series into the Sind and Punjab valleys and became forefathers of the Indians; Another group, which lived in the fertile valleys of the Oxus and the Jaxartes, came south-westward to the Iranian high plateau and gradually occupied Iran and gave it its name.

This group of Aryans did not all go on a route and did not settle in a center, but a group remained in Khorassan in the north-west, which became known as Parthian. Another group went along the shores of the Caspian Sea to the west and Azarbaijan and the slopes of the Alburz Mountain into the neighborhood of the Caucasus and became known as Medes. A third group across the east and Kermán came south. These were the Persians. They called their place of settlement and called it Pars. From this time on until now the name given to this region, then, has insisted. Persia, the term commonly used in European countries is taken from the Fars and Parsa, which transcended in Greek as Persia, the Arabic of the Fars.

Before arriving in Pars from the group of the Aryan race as mentioned above, the original in the inhabitants of this country consisted of an indigenous people of black race, rude, coarse and ugly hill. Traces of their art have often been found in prehistoric hills that contain fine tanned pottery and metal, and as a result of the recent arrivals in Tehran and the Persepolis and Pars museums.
The arrested group of the Aryans, powerful, intelligent, and well-equipped, and a white and handsome nation, were naturally conscious of their superiority in their first contact with the coarse and ugly indigenous black race, and after all they were able to do so after many conflicts To subdue them, so the uninvited guests became the owners of the house. Of the struggles and disputes between the invaders and the defenders, no reliable information is available since no inscriptions or carvings have been found from which the situation could be judged, but this can ensure that, after a long period of the conflict, the invaders finally In conflict, goods were victorious and settled down in Pars and made them home.

The newcomers first put the indigenous population on hard tasks and employed them in agriculture, in buildings, pasture cattle and in personal service, but later, when they had become better acquainted and did not anticipate an uprising, a closer contact became possible Certain rights, and a blessing took place.

The indigenous peoples and the ancient inhabitants of the Iranian plateau are referred to in the legends and ancient stories as "div" from which the word "devil" is derived, for the Aryans who worshiped Ahuramazda called those who believed in the nonareers , "Div yasna", that is, revered by the Div, the non-Aryan god.

Scholars believe that Aryans arrived on the Iranian plateau 1500 to 1400 years before Christ. One of its reasons is the discovery in Boghazkuy in Kleinasien in 1907 of a baked clay tablet, on which an oath was inscribed in the name of Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Nasatya, four of the gods in which the ancient Aryans believed before they separated into groups . This seems to have been a contract for the year 1350 B. C. between two peoples, the Hittites and Mitanni.There are the same four gods mentioned in the Rigveda as they are worshiped by the Indian Aryans, and since the time of the composition of the Veda, the sacred book of the Indians, is not laid before the fourteenth century BC Date is not very different from that when the separation and spread of two Aryan groups that have entered India and the one that came to the Iranian high level took place. However, after this date, the Aryans became worshipers of a god, whose name they became Ahuramazda.

Although so far no scientific discoveries have been made in various parts of the Fars, of which the earliest traces of the arts and culture of this historical country could be conclusively attested, yet it is certain that in very distant prehistoric people humans lived at that time and had their share The culture and civilization of that time.
Only in the Marvdasht level in recent years have been some light excavations by the American Oriental Institute, and continued the Archæological Institute of Persepolis. Remnants of the fifth, fourth and third millennium before Christ were discovered that correspond in the period with those in other prehistoric hills on the Iranian plateau, like Ja'afarábád near Shúsh, or Siálak near káshán.

Here one must not fail to point out that civilization, which is designated by the remains discovered, should not be regarded as the earliest civilization of the population of that district. Because it is certain that the construction of houses and the production of tools, equipment and pottery vessels for life after thousands of years of hiking in deserts and lives in tents took place and the beginning of the discovery of remains does not show the beginning of the civilization of a people anywhere.
At present, it still lives in various parts of Fars' migratory birds, who spend their days in the deserts, mountains and tens of thousands, even though they live in a century when civilization has reached its highest and highest level Of the conveniences and industrial products of modern life. Accordingly, the discovery of remains from the fifth and fourth centuries BC in the plains of the Fars is no proof that before this time man lived in the conditions of savagery and barbarism, without art and civilization.

It was only from the time when houses were built, and groups and communities gathered together, that the remains of their lives remained where they were, buried among the bodies of their dead under the earth, and brought to light by excavations. By observing the designs and the type of pottery and the depth of the soil above the found objects, the date can be estimated.

Before the discovery and translation of the cuneiform tablets in the treasury of Persepolis, the earliest information that Persian historians had given after the rise of Islam in their writings on the date and the antiquity of Shiráz had been enlarged in 74. AH (693 AD) By Muhammad Ebn Yusef Saqafi, the brother of Hajjá, was an agent in Fars to Abdulmalek Ebn Marvá, the Califf, and made the seat and center of the governors of the day. Most historians who have made statements about Fars and Shiráz, such as Muqaddasi, Ebn ulBalkhi, Sheikh Sa'id Abi ulkhair, the author of the Mujmal uttavárikh v'ulqassas (the summary of histories and fables), Hamdullah Mustaufi, and more recently, The Author of Farsnameh, Háji Mirza Hassan Fasáí and the writer of Ásár-i-'Ajam the monuments of Persia Fursat udDowleh Shirázi, have given the same information.
But after the clay tablets of Persepolis, which had written the cuneiform, had been read and deciphered in the last few years by the administrator of Elamite, Professor George Cameron, of the University of Chicago, and observed the word Shirzziish on one or two The tablets, all doubts and hesitations were removed, and it was certain that the date of Shiráz was far earlier than assumed and assigned. The result of these investigations and investigations and also the excavations of the French oriental mission in Qasr-i-Abu'lNasr east of Shiráz and the discovery of several articles made it clear that the beautiful city of Shiráz, where Sa 'Adi and Háfez were cultivated, was also From the time of the Achaemenian monarchs, and had seen the great time in which the emperors of this dynasty and also the Sassan line ruled. And perhaps, if it could speak, it would reveal many secrets and reveal the wealth of historical memories hidden in her bosom, of which a hundredth part of history was not able to record.
The cuneiform inscriptions on clay tablets, in which the name Shiráz is to be seen, consist of a report on the wages of the workers who were commissioned by the king for the construction works in Shiráz and which were paid out of state resources.

To Vahush, the treasurer of Parsa, Artataxma speaks: "Karsha, Shekels, and a quarter shekels, silver, the equivalent of half wages as wages for laborers, for whom Bakurada is the chief man in Shiráz, the salary of the month Samiamantash of the 19th century. Year. 12 men, each, per month, 3 shekels and three quarters of the same that they are to receive. 11 boys, every 134 shekels and one eighth of a shekels to be received. 13 boys, each a shekel and a quarter to receive. 15 boys, each one half and one eighth of a shekels whom they are to receive. They shall receive women, two shekels, and a half shekels. 12 girls, each a shekel, three quarters, and an eighth of a shekel whom they are to receive. 18 girls, a shekels and a quarter of a shekels to be given. 20 girls, each one half and one eighth of a shekels, silver to receive.

The month of Samiamantash was the winter month, February 6 to March 7. The nineteenth year of Xerxes was 466 B. C.

To Ratininda the treasurers say, Artataxma: 37 karsha, Ihe shekels, and a quarter of a shek, give them as a reward for workers for whom Bakurada is the chief man in Shiráz. It equals half of the wages. Your reward for the month Thuravahara of the 20th year. 12 men, one month 3 shekels and 3 quarters each. 11 boys, each 2 shekels and a half shekels. 11 boys, each 1 shekels and 3 quarters and one eighth. 13 boys, each, 1 shekels and a fourth. 15 boys each, half a shekel and an eighth.The month of Thuravahara was the spring month corresponding to May 5 to June 3.

Further evidence that the date of Shiráz goes back to the Achæmenian period or beyond id provided by the deep-cut well on the sa’adi hill, known as the well of the Fahandez Fort, or the well of the Bandar Fort. This resembles the wells which the Achæmenians cut in soild rock, one at Persepolis, and three others at the end of Mount Rahmat beside the main road from Shiráz to Teheran, opposite the Aliábád spring. This well is 102 meters deep, and its dimensions are four meters by three. These five wells, and other such wells, which perhaps exist on other hills in Fars, but are still hidden from view, were all cut in the rock with one end in view, and if their date is not prior to the Achæmenians, it is certainly contemporary.
Thus, the city of Shiráz existed in the Achæmenians period, but not in the size and meaning it later acquired in the Islamic period and after the fall of the city of Estakhr. It belonged to a period whose history is still hidden from us, and which is older than we have assumed from the monuments and cuneiform notes which have been discovered. It is hoped that future excavations and investigations will make its historical position clearer.

The French Archaeological Mission of Qasr-i-Abu Nasr, during 1933 and 1934 and several months that it carried out excavations in the ruins, found a series of coins, vessels and objects belonging to the Seleucian, Parthian and Sassanid periods in these Periods. The result of the excavations in Qasr-i-Abu Nasr proved
that the structure belonged to Sassanian or the end of the Parthian period. Among the articles found were certain poetry, which read the name of Ardeshir Khureh and the name of a city that was similar to that of Shiráz. In addition, the carvings will be made on the rock at Barm-i-Delak and Dasht-i-Khezr, the Sassanid times, to which reference will later be made, suggesting the existence of a city and populated center in that plane.

The origin and condition of each district are determined by the remains discovered there. From the scientific excavations in various parts of the Iranian plateau, it is clear that the history of some parts such as Siyálek in Kashan or Ja'afarabad in the Shush or Marvdasht plain goes back 7000 years, but no archaeological investigation has been undertaken The Shiráz Plain was undertaken, To determine how many thousand years before Christ it was inhabited. It is to be hoped that one day the curtain may be lifted, for excavations have shown that large cities and old towns have been built on sites for a long time, the residence of tribes and peoples such as Shush, Pasargadé, and Persepolis Thousands of years.

Prehistory of Iran

Few are the countries possessed of such historical and world wide fame as Fars, or Pars.
The name of this old land, and it’s brave and high minded people, who brought two great world empires, the Achæmenian and the Sassanian, into being, are copiously reported in the ancient records and writings of historians from the ninth century befor Christ and during the centuries of the Christian ear.

Read more ▸

The long prehistoric period in Iran is known to us mainly from excavation work carried out at a few key points that led to the emergence of a chronology of different periods characterized by the production of certain types of pottery, tools and others objects in daily use. Among the main attractions are
Tappeh Stalk, near Kshan, first settled in the fourth millennium BC, Tappeh Giyan near Nehvand and Tappeh Hissar near Dmghan.

The Birth of Cities in Iran: Susa and Elam

Babylonische Quellen erwähnen die Anwesenheit anderer Völker im westlichen Iran zu dieser Zeit, insbesondere die Guti, die Lullubi und die Kassiten. Diese Völker, die in den Gebirgsregionen zwischen den mesopotamischen Ebenen und dem iranischen Hochplateau lebten, kontrollierten viele der Strecken, die diese Gebiete überquerten, insbesondere die Hamedan-Bagdad-Straße, die eine der wenigen natürlichen Wege auf dem Plateau aus dem Westen Krieg. Diese Stämme nutzten die Perioden der Schwäche der babylonischen Macht, um die Siedlungen der Ebene zu stürzen und zu überfallen, und um 2200 v. Chr. Gelang es den Guti sogar, in Babylon einzudringen, war der Fall des Reiches von Akkad verursachte.
Dieser Fall gilt nur für den Fall, dass er nicht in der Lage ist,
Until about the 15th century BC, Elam continues to be strongly influenced by Mesopotamian culture, while gradually developing its own identity. In the 12th century BC, at the height of his glory, Elam defeated Assyria and Babylon, captured by the latter fabulous writings, including the famous code of Hammurabi, now at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Bronze Age

Susa is one of the oldest known settlements of Iran and the world. Based on C14 dating, the time of foundation of the city is as early as 4395 BCE, a time that goes beyond the age of civilization in Mesopotamia. The general perception among archeologists is that Susa was an extension of the Sumerian city state of Uruk.

Read more ▸

In it’s later history, Susa became the capital of Elam, which emerged as a state found 4000 BCE.

Early Iron Age

Records become more tangible with the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and its records of incursions from the Iranian plateau. As early as the 20th century BCE, tribes came to the Iranian Plateau from the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Read more ▸

Some say the arrival of Iranians on the Iranian plateau forced the Elamites to relinquish one area of their empire after another and to take refuge in Susiana, Khuzistan and nearby area, which only then became coterminous with Elam.

Elamite Empire

The Iranian Plateau did not experience the rise of urban, literate civilization in the late 4th and early 3rd millennia on the Mesopotamian pattern but the lowland Khuzestan did. It was the Elamite Civilization. Geographically, Elam included more than Khuzestan, it was a combination of the lowlands and the immediate highland areas to the north and east.

Read more ▸

Elamite strength was based on an ability to hold these different areas together under a coordinated government that allowed the maximum exchange of natural resources that are unique to each region. Traditionally, this has been the result of a federated government structure.
Closely related to this form of government was the Elamite system of inheritance and energy distribution. The normal government pattern was that of a sovereign who ruled over vassal princes. In the earliest time, the superintendent lived in Susa, which functioned as a federal capital. With him, his brother was the closest to his age, the Viceroy, who usually had his government in the hometown of the current ruling dynasty. This Viceroy was presumptuous for the Supreme. But a third official, the Regent or Prince of Susa (the district), shared power with the sovereign and the Viceroy.

He was usually the son of the Supreme, or, if no son was available, his nephew. After the death of the sovereign, the Viceroy became supreme. The prince of Susa remained in office, and the brother of the old Viceroy, who was nearest to him, became the new Viceroy. Only when all the brothers were dead, the prince of Susa was promoted to the Viceroy, and made it possible for the sovereign to call his own son (or nephew) a new prince of Susa. Such a complicated system of governmental control, equilibrium, and powerlessness often broke down despite bilateral descent, and consulted the marriage (the forced marriage of a widow to the brother of her deceased husband). It is remarkable how often the system worked; It was only in the middle and Neoelamite periods that sons of more frequent fathers succeeded to power.
Elamite's history can be divided into three main phases: the old, middle and late or neoelamitic, periods. In all periods Elam was closely connected with Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, sometimes by peaceful trade, often by war. Similarly, Elam was often a participant in events on the Iranian plateau. Both participations related to the combined necessity of all lowland cultures to control the warlike peoples in the East and to use the economic resources of the plateau.

Old Elamite Period
The earliest kings in the ancient Elamite period may be until about 2700 BC. Already in conflict with Mesopotamia, in this case apparently with the city of Ur, was characteristic of the Elamite history. These early rulers followed the Awan (Shustar) dynasty.

The 11th king of this line entered into the treaty relations with the great Naram-Sin of Akkad (around 2254 - around 2218 BC). Nevertheless, a new mansion soon appeared, the Simasch dynasty (Simash may have been in the mountains of the southern Lurist). The most prominent event of this period was the virtual conquest of Elam by Shulgi of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur (around 2094 - around 2047 BC).

Middle Elamite Period
After two centuries, for which sources reveal nothing, lay the means Elamish time with the rise to the power of the Anzanite dynasty opened, their home probably in the mountains north-east of Khuzestan. Political expansion under Khumbannumena (c 1285 - .. C 1266 BCE), the fourth king of this line, proceeded rapidly, and his successes were thought by his acceptance of the title "Expander of the Empire." He was from his son, Untash-Gal (Untash (d) Gal or Untash-Huban), a contemporary of Shalmaneser I of Assyria (c 1274 - C 1245 BCE) and the founder of the city of Dur Untash (modern Chogha Zanbil) .
In the years immediately following Untash-Gal, Elam increasingly found itself in a real or potential conflict with the rising power of Assyria. Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria (c. 1244 - c. 1208 BC) Fought in the mountains north of Elam. The Elamites under Kidin-Khutran, the second king to Untash-Gal, responded with a successful and devastating attack on Babylonia.
In the end, however, Assyrian power seems to have been too great. Tukulti-Ninurta managed to expand, for a brief time, Assyrian control well to the south in Mesopotamia, Kidin-Khutran faded into obscurity, and the Anzanite dynasty came to an end.

After a short time of dynastic difficulties, the second half of the middle Elamite period opened with the rule of Shutruk-Nahhunte (around 1160 BC). Two equally powerful and two less impressive kings followed this founder of a new dynasty whose home was probably Susa, and at that time Elam became one of the great military powers of the Middle East. Tukulti-Ninurta died about 1208 BC And Assyria fell into a period of inner weakness and dynastic conflicts.
Elam took advantage of this situation by engaging extensively in the area of the Diyala River and the heart of Mesopotamia. Shutruk-Nahhunte conquered Babylon, and after Susa led the Stela on which was recorded the famous law-code of Hammurabi. Shilkhak-In-Shushinak, brother and successor of the oldest son of Shutruk Nahhunks, Kutir-Nahhunte, who was still struggling to exploit the Assyrian weakness, fought far north as the territory of the modern Kirkuk.In Babylonia, however, the second dynasty of Isin led a native revolt against such a control as the Elamites could exert there, and the elamite power in central Mesopotamia was eventually broken. The elamite military empire began to shrink rapidly. Nebuchadrezzar I of Babylon (c. 1124-c. 1103 BC) attacked Elam and was barely beaten. A second Babylonian attack, however, succeeded, and the whole Elam was apparently overtaken, and ended the middle period of Elamit.

It’s remarkable that, during the middle period of the Elamites, the old system of succession and distribution of power seems to have collapsed. Increasingly, the son succeeded in becoming a father, and less is heard of shared authority within a networked system. This probably reflects the efforts to raise the central authority in Susa to carry out effective military campaigns abroad and to hold Elamite foreign conquests.The old system of regionalism, which has balanced itself with federalism, must have suffered, and the fraternal section struggles that weakened Elam during the Neo-Lama period can have their roots in the centrifugal developments of the 13th and 12th centuries.

Neo-Elamite Period
A long period of darkness separates the Middle and Neoelamitic periods. In 742 BC a certain Huban-Nugash is mentioned as king in Elam. The country seems to have been divided into some principalities, with the central power being rather weak.
The next 100 years testified to the constant attempts of the Elamites to interfere in Mesopotamian affairs, usually in the alliance with Babylon, against the constant pressure of neo-Assyrian expansion. Sometimes, with this policy, they were militarily and diplomatically successful, but by and large forced to make way for the increasing Assyrian power. Local elamite dynastic difficulties were fortified from time to time by Assyrian and Babylonian interference. Meanwhile the Assyrian army lost power and influence in Luristan.This internal and external pressure led to an almost complete collapse of every important central authority in Elam. In a series of campaigns between 692 and 639 BC, the armies of Ashurbanipal Susa destroyed a political and diplomatic mess that had become a chronic headache for the Assyrians. They smashed the buildings, plundered and sowed the land Elam With salt.


The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in an area known as Media and who spoke a northwestern Iranian language referred to as the Median language. Their arrival to the region is associated with the first wave of Iranian tribes in the late 2nd millennium BCE (the Bronze Age collapse) through the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE.
From the 10th to late 7th centuries BCE, the Iranian Medes and Persians fell under the domination of the Neo Assyrian Empire based in Mesopotamia. 

Read more ▸

Median Kingdom (728-550 B.C.)
The Median Kingdom started with the rule of Deioces. He organized his realm into several provinces and created a strong army to stop the Assyrians. The military genius of his son and successor, Phraortes, helped the Medes defeat the Assyrians. After Phraortes, there was a short period of Scythian domination over the Medes until they were overthrown by Cyaxares, who induced Scythian kings to get so drunk that they were then easily slain. Cyaxares, the greatest king of the Medes, reorganized the army and utterly defeated the Assyrians. At his death, the Medes controlled vast territories, stretching from Anatolia in modern Turkey to the area of Tehran as well as all of southwestern Iran. The last king of the Medes, Astyages, was perhaps the first unjust ruler of the country. Moreover, the simplistic life style of the Aryans that provided the Medes with their amazing conquests, was replaced with an extravagant Mesopotamian court life. The Median Kingdom started to decline. The Persian Achaemenid dynasty. tracing their origin from Khahamanish (Achaemenes, in Greek), were gaining power.

The Medes / midz / (from the ancient Persian Mādā) were an ancient Iranian people living in an area known as a medium, which spoke a north-western Iranian language, called the median language. Their arrival in the region is marked by the first wave of Iranian tribes in the late 2nd millennium BC. (Bronze Age collapse) by the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. Connected.

Median Empire map
From the 10th to late 7th centuries BCE, the Iranian Medes and Persians fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire based in Mesopotamia.
After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, between 616 BC and 605 BC, a unified median state was formed, which together with Babylonia, Lydia and Egypt became one of the four great powers of the ancient Near East. An alliance with the Babylonians and the Scythians helped the Medes conquer Nineveh in 612 BC, which led to the collapse of the neo-Assyrian empire. The Medians were later able to establish their median kingdom (with Ecbatana as their royal center) beyond their original home (Central-West Iran) and finally had an area that stretched from north-eastern Iran to the Halys River in Anatolia. The Mediterranean Empire was conquered by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, who founded the next Iranian dynasty - the Persian Achaemenid empire.
A few archaeological sites (discovered in the "Median Triangle" in western Iran) and sources of text (from contemporary Assyrians and Greeks in later centuries) provide a short documentation of the history and culture of the median state. These architectural sources, religious temples, and literary references show the importance of median continuous contributions (such as the Safavid-Achaemenid-Median link of the tradition of the "pillory pubic halls") with Iranian culture. A series of words from the median language are still in use, and there are languages which are geographically and comparatively derived from the north-western Iranian language of the median. The Medians had an ancient Iranian religion (a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism or Mithra worship) with a priesthood named "Magi". Later and during the reign of the last Median kings, the reforms of Zarathustra spread in western Iran.

Alongside Ecbatana (modern Hamedan), the other media were in Laodicea (modern Nahavand) [7] and the hill, which is the largest city of the Medes, Rhages (also called Rey), on the edge of Shahr Rey south of Tehran. The fourth city of Media was Apamea, near Ecbatana, whose exact location is unknown. In later periods, Medes and above all Mede soldiers are identified and portrayed prominently in ancient Persian archaeological sites such as Persepolis, where they are shown to have an important role and presence in the military of the Persian Empire's Achaemenid dynasty.
According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes:
Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, and ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes of which they consist: the Busae, the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi.
The six median tribes lived in Media, the triangle between Ecbatana, Rhagae and Aspadana, in modern Iran, the area between Tehran, Isfahan and Hamadan. Of the median tribes lived the magicians in Rhaga, modern Tehran. [12] It was a kind of sacred caste that served the spiritual needs of the Medes. The Paretaceni tribe lived in and around Aspadana, the modern Isfahan, the Arizanti lived in and around Kashan and the busae tribe lived in and around the future Median capital of Ecbatana, modern Hamadan. The Struchate and the Budii lived in villages in the Middle Delta.

The original source for various words that call the Mediterranean, its language and home is a directly transmitted ancient Iranian geographical name, which is attested as the ancient Persian "Māda-" (sing masc.). The meaning of this word is not precisely defined. The linguistic scientist W. Skalmowski proposes the proto-Indo-European word "med (h) -", meaning "central, fitting in the middle", referring to ancient Indian "madhyan" and old Iranian "maidiia" meaning With descendants, including Latin medium, Greek méso, and German means.
The Median people are mentioned by that name in many ancient texts. According to the Histories of Herodotus;
The Medes were called anciently by all people Aryans; but when Medea, the Colchian, came to them from Athens, they changed their name. Such is the account which they themselves give.

Historical geography of Media
The original population of the median was West Iran and named after them as "media". At the end of the 2nd millennium BC the median tribes (one of several Iranian tribes) emerged in the region, which they later called the media. These tribes extended their control over larger areas later, and, over a period of several hundred years, moved the boundaries of the media.

Ancient textual sources
An early description of the territory of the media by the Assyrians dates from the end of the ninth century BC to the beginning of the 7th century BC. The southern border of the media, at this time, is called as the Elamite region of Simaški in today Lorestan. From west and north-west it was bordered by the Zagros mountains and from the east by Dasht-e Kavir. The region of the media was governed by the Assyrians, and the region stretched along the Great Khorasan Road from the east of Harhar to Alwand and probably further north through the non-Iranian state of Mannea in the south of Ellipi. "The location of Harhar is proposed to be" the central or eastern "Mahidasht in Kermanshah province.
In the East and Southeast of the media, as described by the Assyrians, another country with the name "Patušarra" appears. This country was located near a mountain range called the "Bikni" by the Assyrians and referred to as "Lapis Lazuliberg". There are different opinions about the location of this mountain. Damavand of Teheran and Alvand of Hamadan are two proposed markings of this position. This place is the most remote eastern area that the Assyrians, during their expansion up to the beginning of the 7th century BC,

In the sources of Achaemenid Iran, and especially from the inscription on Behistun (2.76, 77-78), the capital of the media is called "Hamgmatāna" in ancient Persian (and as Elamite "Agmadana", Babylonian "Agamtanu" . The classical authors reported this as Ecbatana. This site is the modern Hamadan province.

Archaeological evidence
The median archaeological sources are rare. The discoveries of median locations happened only after the 1960er years. For some time after 1960, the search for median archaeological sources for most parts was concentrated in an area known as the "median triangle", which is found in the region of Hamadān, Malāyer (in the province of Hamdan) and Kangāvar (in The province of Kermanshah). Three major sites from central western Iran in the Iron Age III period (the 850-500 BCE) are:

• Tepe Nush-i Jan (a primarily religious site of Median period),
The site is located 14 km west of Malāyer in the province of Hamadan. The excavations began in 1967 with D. Stronach as a director. The remains of four main buildings on the site are "the central temple, the western temple, the fortress and the pillared hall", which were probably built in Stronach in the order mentioned and predict this last occupation of the first half of the 6th century BC . According to Stronach, the central temple, with its crisp design, "provides a remarkable, if silent, expression of religious belief and practice".
A series of ceramics from the Mediterranean of Tepe Nush-i Jan were found, which are connected with the time (the second half of the 7th century BC) The median consolidation of their power in the Hamadān areas. These results show four different goods known as "common goods" (buff, cream, or light red in color and with gold or silver mica), including various size glasses, the largest of which is a form of ribbed pithoi. Smaller and more elaborate vessels were found in "gray goods" (these show a smoothed and browned surface). The "cooking ware" and "crumbly ware" are also recognized in individual handmade products.

• Baba Jan (probably the seat of a lesser tribal ruler of Media).
The site is located in northeastern Luristan with a distance of roughly 10 km from Nūrābād in Lurestan province. The excavations were conducted by C. Goff in 1966-69. The level II of this site probably dates to 7th century BCE.
These sources have both similarities (in cultural features) and differences (due to functional differences and diversity among the median strains). The architecture of these archaeological finds, which may be dated to the Median period, reveals a link between the tradition of the pillar halls, often found in Achaemenid Iran (eg in Persepolis) and also in Safavid Iran ("Forty Columns" And the median architecture.

• Godin Tepe (its period II: a fortified palace of a Median king or tribal chief),
The site is located 13 km east of the town of Kangāvar on the left bank of the river Gamas Āb. The excavations begun in 1965 were directed by TC Young, Jr., who, according to D. Stronach, apparently has a significant Bronze Age construction, which was eventually re-inhabited before the Iron III period began. The Young excavations show the remains of a part of a single residence Local ruler, who later became quite significant, similar to those often mentioned in Assyrian sources.
The materials that were found in Tepe Nush-i Jan, Godin Tepe and other places in Media along with the Assyrian reliefs, show the existence of urban settlements in media in the first half of the 1st millennium BC, as centers For the production of handicrafts And also from an agricultural and livestock economy of a secondary type. For other historical documents, the archaeological evidence, though rarely, allow along with wedge-shaped records of Assyria, regardless of Herodotus accounts, to establish some of the early history of the Median.

Rise to power
Pre-dynastic history

Iranian tribes were in western and northwestern Iran at least from the 12th or 11th century BC. The importance of Iranian elements in these regions has been increasing since the beginning of the second half of the 8th century BC. At this time, the Iranian tribes were the majority in what later became the territory of the empire Median and also the West of the media. A study of regional sources reveals that in the neo-Assyrian period, the media regions, and further west and northwest, had a population with Iranian-speaking people as the majority.
In western and northwestern Iran and in areas west of these and before the median rule, there have been political activities of powerful societies of Elam, Mannaea, Assyria and Urartu (Armenia). There are various and updated opinions on the positions and activities of the Iranian tribes in these societies and before the "great Iranian state formation" in the late seventh century BC An opinion (by Herzfeld et al.) Is that the ruling class is "Iranian Migrants ", but the society was" autochthonous ", while another opinion (by Grantovsky et al.) That both the ruling class and the basic elements of the population goods were Iranian.
During the period of the Neo Assyrian Empire (911-612 BC) the Medes, Persians and other Iranian peoples of northern and western Iran were subject to Assyria. This changed during the reign of Cyaxares, who in alliance with Nabopolassar of Babylon and the Scythians attacked and destroyed the strife riven empire between 616 and 605 BC.

Median dynasty
The list of Median rulers and their dates compiled according to A: Herodotus who calls them "kings" and associates them with the same family, and B: Babylonian Chronicle which in "Gadd's Chronicle on the Fall of Nineveh" gives its own list, is:

Deioces (reign 700-647 BCE)
Phraortes (reign 647-625 BCE)
Scythian (reign 624-597 BCE)
Cyaxares (reign 624-585 BCE) and
Astyages (reign 585-549 BCE),
A total of 150 years. Not all of these dates and personalities given by Herodotus match the other near eastern sources

In Herodotus (Book 1, Chapter 95-130) Deioces is introduced as the founder of a centralized median state. He was known to the Median as a "just and incorruptible man," and when he was asked by the Medians to resolve their possible conflicts, he agreed that they would make him a "king" and a great city in Ecbatana as the capital of Median condition. To judge and ignore the contemporary sources of the region, the representation of Herodotus represents the formation of a unified median state during the reign of Cyaxares or later.

Culture and society
Greek references to "median" People make no clear distinction between the "Persians" and the "medians"; In fact, for a Greek to "too closely linked to Iranian culture" was "medianized, not persianized." The median kingdom was a short-lived Iranian state and the textual and archaeological sources of that time are rare and little could be known from the median Culture, which has nevertheless made a "deep and lasting contribution to the wider world of Iranian culture".

There are very limited sources about the religion of the Medians. Primary sources pointing to religious affities of Medes and so far found include the archaeological discoveries in Tepe Nush-e Jan, personal names of Median individuals and the histories of Herodotus. The archaeological source discovers the earliest of the temple structures in Iran and the "kicked fire tale" discovered there is connected to the common Iranian legacy of the "cult of fire". Herodotus mentions Median Magi as a median tribe, the priest for both the Medes and the Persians. They had a "priestly caste," which passed their functions from father to son.
They played a significant role in the court of the Median King Astyages, who had certain medians in his court as a "consultant, dream interpreter and fortune-teller". Classical historians "unanimously" regarded the magicians as priests of the Zoroastrian faith. From the personal names of Medes recorded by Assyrians (in the 8th and 9th centuries BC), there are examples of the use of the Indian-Iranian word arta (lit. "truth"), both of Avestan as Also from the Old Persian and also from examples is known from theophoric names, the Maždakku and also the name "Ahura Mazdā". The scholars disagree whether these are references to the Zoroastrian religion of the Medes. Diakonoff believes that "Astyages and perhaps even Cyaxares had already adopted a religion derived from the teachings of Zoroaster," which was not identical with the doctrine of Zarathustra, and Mary Boyce believes that "the existence of magicians in the media with their Own traditions and forms of worship was an obstacle for Zoroastrian proselytizing there ". Boyce wrote that the Zoroastrian tradition in the median city of Ray probably dates back to the 8th century BC. It is suggested that from the 8th century BCE, a form of "Mazdaism with common Iranian traditions" existed in Media and the strict reforms of Zarathustra began to spread in western Iran during the reign of the last Median kings in 6th century BCE.
It is also suggested that "Mithra" has a Median name and Medes may have practised Mithraism and had Mithra as their supreme deity.
In 553 BC, Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, rebelled against his grandfather, the Mede King, Astyages son of Cyaxares; he finally won a decisive victory in 550 BC resulting in Astyages' capture by his own dissatisfied nobles, who promptly turned him over to the triumphant Cyrus.
After the victory of Cyrus against Astyages, the Medes were subjected to their kinsmen, the Persians. In the new empire they maintained a prominent position; In honor and war they stood beside the Persians; Their court ceremony was taken over by the new Sovereigns who lived in Ecbatana during the summer months; And many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps and generals. Interestingly, the Greek historians referred at the beginning to the Achaemenid empire as a medieval age.

Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire ( 550–330 BCE), or First Persian Empire, was an empire in Western and Central Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great. The dynasty draws it’s name from king Achaemenes, who ruled Persis between 705 BCE and 675 BC. The empire expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world, which at around 500 BC stretched from the Indus Valley in the east to Thrace and Macedon on the northeastern border of Greece. The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt as well. It was ruled by a series of monarchs who unified its disparate tribes and nationalities by constructing a complex network of roads.

Read more ▸

Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.)
Cyrus the Great was the first important Achaemenid ruler. By the time he became king, Persia was already a large domain, but Cyrus aspired to nothing less than the conquest of the entire known world. In a campaign that lasted for less than two years, he took Elam, Media, Lydia, and several Greek cities on the Ionian coast. Having strengthened his power, Cyrus besieged and captured Babylon and released the Jews who had been held captive there, thus earning immortality in the Book of Isaiah. His territories in the east also were great and stretched as far as the Hindu Kush in present-day Afghanistan.
Cyrus was a world conqueror unlike any other. Not only Persians but even Greeks held him in the sentiments of esteem and even awe. and it was no accident that Xenophon praised Cyrus as an ideal monarch.
Cyrus died in battle, while putting down a revolt, and was buried in Pasargadae, the capital he had founded. Cyrus's son and iI successor, Cambyses II, was less successful. However, he managed to invade Egypt and create the dynasty of Persian kings there. He was killed (or died of a self-inflicted wound) during a revolt led by a priest, Gaumata, who held the throne until overthrown by a member of a collateral branch of the Achaemenid family, Darius I.
Darius I, another "Great" of the Achaemenid dynast)', finished Cyrus's incomplete job of invasion, having conquered Northern India and some parts of Greece, as well as the whole of Asia Minor and parts of southern Europe. He also recaptured Egypt. where he ordered a canal to be dug between the Red and the Mediterranean seas, a forerunner of Suez. He even ventured to the northern Black Sea region, but was thrown back by the Scythians. Darius also attacked the Greek mainland, but as a result of his defeat at the Battle of Marathon was forced to retract the limits of the empire to Asia Minor. Despite this defeat, Darius's empire was the largest the world had ever known, and administering such a gigantic land was quite a challenge.
Darius was certainly a man of exceptional farsightedness and the greatest of politicians. One of his amazing achievements was creating the world's first highway network. The stone-paved Royal Road, 2,703 km long, ran from the empire's winter capital at Susa to Ionian Ephesus on the Mediterranean and had III stations. Darius is also credited for the introduction of the world's first postal system (barid). He coined money (darik), established the institution of political marriage, appointed royal inspectors to be aware of state affairs, and was the first ruler to ask for sons and heirs of the defeated kings as hostages and guarantors of their fathers' loyalty. Other accomplishments of Darius's reign included the codification of data, a universal legal system upon which much of later Iranian law was based, and the construction of a new capital at Persepolis. Trade was extensive and, as a result of this commercial activity, Persian words for typical items of trade became prevalent throughout the Middle East and eventually entered Western languages.
Examples in English are bazaar, shawl, tiara, orange, lemon, peach, spinach, and asparagus.
After Darius the Great and his successor Xerxes, the Achaemenid power started to decline. The last Achaemenid king, Darius III, was overthrown by Alexander the Great. In 330 B.C., the 26-year-old Macedonian conqueror set fire to Persepolis and put a full stop to the Achaemenid rule.

Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid empire (/ ?ki?m?n?d / Persian: Hax?mani?iy?, ca. 550-330 BC) Or the first Persian empire was an empire in western and central Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. The dynasty takes its name from King Achaemenes, who dominated Persis between 705 BCE and 675 BC The kingdom extended to finally dominate over important parts of the ancient world, around 500 BC From the Industal in the east to Thrace And Macedon on the north-eastern frontier of Greece. The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt. It was ruled by a number of monarchs who unified their disparate tribes and nationalities by building a complex network of streets.
Up to the 600th BC, the Persians (Parsa) had settled in the southwestern Iranian plain, bounded in the west by the Tigris and in the south by the Persian Gulf; This region came to its core country. From this region Cyrus the Great would defeat the Kingdom of the Media, the kingdom of Lydia and the Babylonian Empire to form the Achaemenid Empire.

At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire covered about 8 million square kilometers on three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. In its greatest scope, the empire embraced the modern territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all the major populations of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya,Thrace and Macedonia, many of the Black Sea coast regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Afghanistan, northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and parts of Oman and the UAE. It is used in Western history as the antagonistic enemy of the Greek cities during the Greek-Persian wars, for the emancipation of the slaves including the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity and for the establishment of infrastructures such as post-systems, road systems and the use of an official language, Aramaic , In all areas. The empire had a central, bureaucratic administration under the king, and a large professional army and civilian services that inspired similar developments in later empires.The delegation of power to local governments eventually weakened the king's central authority, causing resources to be expended in attempts to subdue local rebellions. This accounts for the dis-unification of the region by the time Alexander the Great invaded Persia in 334 BCE.

This position is, however, challenged by some modern scholars who argue that the Achaemenid empire had no such crisis at the time of Alexander, and that only internal successor struggles within the Achaemeniden family were ever closer to weakening the empire. Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great,

Finally, the collapse of the Empire and its disintegration around 330 BC would lead to the later Ptolemaic kingdom and the Seleucid empire, in addition to other smaller areas which gained independence at that time. However, the Persian culture of the central high plain remained until the 2nd century BC.
The historical feature of the Achaemenid empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences, and also encompassed cultural, social, technological and religious influences.Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a cultural exchange, some of which were occupied or allied by the Persian kings. The impact of the Cyrus of the Great Edict of Restoration is mentioned in Jewish-Christian texts and the empire was instrumental in spreading Zoroastrianism as far east as China. Even Alexander the Great, the man who wanted to conquer this great empire, respected his customs by respecting respect for the royal Persian kings including the Cyrus of the Great, and even in proskynesis a Persian royal habit, despite the severe Macedonian contempt. The Persian Empire would also set the tone for the politics, heritage and history of modern Persia (now Iran).
In 480 BCE, it is estimated that 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire or about 44% of the world's population at the time, making it the largest empire in history (by population percentage).


The Persian nation contains a number of tribes, as listed here. ...: the Pasargadae, Maraphii and Maspii, on which all other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most important; They contain the clan of the Achaemenids, from whom the Perseid kings are spring. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all fixed on the ground, the rest - the Dai, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, nomadic.
The Persian Empire is named after a West Iranian tribe called Parsua. The name Persia is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the name Parsua, and Persis (or in Persian, Pars) was their territory, an area located north of the Persian Gulf and East of Tigris river.

Despite its success and rapid expansion, the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as in the 6th century BC, Another group of Iranian peoples had already founded the Mediterranean. The Medes were originally the dominant Iranian group in the region, which came into power at the end of the 7th century BC and integrated the Persians into their realm. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region around 1000 BC and had first fallen under the rule of the Assyrian Empire (911-609 BC). However, the Medes and Persians (together with the Scythians and Babylonians) played an important role in the destruction of an Assyrian territory, which was characterized by internal disputes.
The term Achaemenid is in fact the Latin version of the ancient Persian name Hax?mani? (a bahuvrihi compound, which has "translated a friend"), meaning in Greek "the family of Achaemenis". Despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes himself was a small seventh century ruler of the Anshan (Ansham or An??n) in the southwest of Iran.
Only when Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) was a descendant of the Achaemenans, did the Achaemenid empire develop the prestige of a kingdom, and set about integrating the existing empires of the ancient East to become the vast Persian empire Old texts.

At some time in 550 BC, Cyrus the Great rose in rebellion against the Median Empire (presumably by the Persian Persian Persecution), eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire. Cyrus the Great used his tactical genius as well as his understanding of the socio-political equations that dominated his territories to eventually integrate into the Persian empire the neighboring Lydian and Neo-Babylonian empires and also to pave the way for his successor Cambyses II in Egypt Dare to defeat the Egyptian kingdom.
Cyrus the Great reflected his political insight into the administration of his newly-formed empire, as the Persian empire was the first to try to govern many different ethnic groups on the principle of equal responsibility and rights for all people as long as issues Paid their taxes and kept peace. In addition, the king would agree not to interfere with the local customs, religions and unions of his subjects states, a unique quality that eventually won Cyrus's support to the Babylonians.

This management system would ultimately become a problem for the Persians, as the need for order and control arose with a larger empire, which resulted in the expense of resources and the mobilization of troops to suppress local rebellions and weaken the central power of the king . At the time of Darius III, this disorganization had almost led to a ruined empire.
The Persians, of whom Cyrus was called, were originally nomadic pastoralists on the western Iranian plateau and called themselves 850 BC. The Parsa and its continually changing territory Parsua for the most part around Persis (Pars). When Persians came to power, they developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence, including the creation of a capital called Pasargadae and an opulent city called Persepolis.
Started during the reign of Darius the Great (Darius I), and accomplished about 100 years later, Persepolis was a symbol of the empire serving both as a ceremonial center and a center for the government. It had a special set of gradually progressing stairs called "All Countries," depicting the carved relief decoration scenes of heroism, hunting, natural themes, and the presentation of gifts to the Achaemenid kings by their subjects during the Spring Festival, Nowruz.
The core structure consisted of a large number of square rooms or halls, the largest of which was Apadana. Tall, erected, decorated columns would often welcome visitors and impress them with the size of the structure. Later, Darius the Great (Darius I) used Susa and Ecbatana as government centers and developed them into a similar metropolitan status.The account of the ancestral lineage of the Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty can be derived either from documented Greek or Roman accounts or from existing documented Persian accounts as listed in the Behistun inscription. However, since most of the existing reports of this vast empire are in the works of the Greek philosophers and historians, and since a great deal of the original Persian documents are lost, not to mention different learned views on their origin and possible motivations behind them,It is difficult to create a final and complete objective list. Nevertheless, it is clear that Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) and Darius the Great (Darius I of Persia) were critical for the expansion of the empire. Cyrus the Great is often believed to be the son of Cambyses I, grandson of Cyrus I, the father of Cambyses II and a relative of Darius the Great, by a common ancestor, Teispes.Cyrus the Great is also believed to have been a family member (possibly grandchild) of the Median King Astyages by his mother, Mandana of Media. A minority of scholars argue that perhaps Achaemenes was a retrograde creation of Darius the Great to reconcile his connection with Cyrus the Great after gaining power.

Ancient Greek writers give some legendary information about Achaemenes by calling his tribe the Pasargadae and declared that he was "raised by an eagle". Plato, when he wrote about the Persians, identified Achaeans with Perses, the ancestor of the Persians in Greek mythology. According to Plato, Achaemenes was the same person as Perses, a son of the Ethiopian queen Andromeda, and the Greek hero Perseus and a grandson of Zeus.Later writers believed that Achaemenes and Perses were different people, and that Perses was an ancestor of the king. This account further confirms that Achaemenesen might well be a significant Anshan leader and ancestor of Cyrus the Great. Independently, both Cyrus the Great and Darius were the great relatives, prominent kings of Persia, under whose rule the empire expanded to encompass much of the ancient world.

Formation and expansion
The empire took its united form with a central administration around Pasargadae erected by Cyrus the Great. The empire ended the conquest and enlargement of the Median empire to include Egypt and Asia Minor. During the reign of Darius I and his son Xerxes I, he engaged with military clashes with some of the great cities of ancient Greece, and although he came close to defeating the Greek army, this war eventually led to the overthrow of the empire.
In 559 BC, Cambyses I the Elder was succeeded as King of An??n by his son Cyrus II the Great, who also succeeded Arsames as King of Persia, reuniting the two kingdoms. Cyrus is the first true king of the Persian empire, since his predecessors were subject to the Medes. Cyrus the Great captured media, Lydia and Babylon. Cyrus was politically wise and modeled himself as a "savior" of the conquered nations, which often enabled the return of expellees and gave his subjects the freedom to practice local customs.In order to strengthen this image, he introduced policies of freedom of religion and restored temples and other infrastructure in the newly acquired cities (especially the Jewish inhabitants of Babylon, as recorded in the Cyrus cylinder and the Tanakh). As a result of his tolerant policy, he was known as "the anointed of the Lord" by those of the Jewish faith.

His immediate successors were less successful. Cyrus 'son Cambyses II conquered Egypt 525 BC, but died in July 522 BC during a revolt led by a sacerdotal clan who had lost his power after Cyrus' conquest of the media. The cause of his death remains uncertain, although it may have been the result of an accident.

According to Herodotus, Cambyses II had originally dared to take Egypt's revenge for the imagination of Amasas when he sent a fake Egyptian bride whose family Amasis had murdered instead of his own daughter to marry Cambyses II. In addition, negative reports of the abuse of Amasis, given by Phanes of Halicarnassus, a wise counselor, Amasis, force the determination of Cambyses to move to Egypt.Amasis died before Cambyses II could face him, but his successor Psamtik III was defeated by Cambyses II in the Battle of Pelusium.
While Cambyses II was in Egypt, the Zoroastrian priests who called Herodotus Magi used the throne for one of their own Gaumata, who then claimed to be Cambyses II Younger Bardiya (Greek Smerdis or Tanaoxares / Tanyoxarkes) three years before Murdered Because of the strict rule of Cambyses II, especially his attitude to taxation and his long absence in Egypt, "the whole people, Perses, Medes, and all other peoples," the usurper recognized, especially as he gave a surrender of taxes three years (Herodotus III, 68)Cambyses II himself would not be able to quell the imposters, as he died on the way back from Egypt.
The assertion that Gaumata had embodied Bardiya (Smerdis) is derived from Darius the Great and the notes of the Behistun inscription. Historians are divided on the possibility that the story of the deceiver of Darius was invented as justification for his coup. Darius made a similar claim when he later captured Babylon and proclaimed that the Babylonian king was not actually Nebuchadnezzar III, but a deceiver named Nidintu-bel.

According to the Behistun inscription, Gaumata dominated for seven months before being overthrown by Darius the Great (Darius I) in 522 BC. The ancient Persian D?ryavu?, "who holds the good", also called Darayarahush or Darius the Great). The magicians, though persecuted, persisted, and a year after the death of the first pseudo-Smerdis (Gaumata), saw a second pseudo-Smerdis (called Vahyazd?ta) try a coup. The coup, though initially successful, failed.
Herodotus writes that the local leadership is discussing the best form of government for the empire. It was agreed that an oligarchy would divide them against each other, and democracy would bring power to power, leading to a charismatic leader who would resume the monarchy. They therefore decided to appoint a new monarch, especially as they were able to choose him. Darius I was chosen from the leaders. He was a cousin to Cambyses II and Bardiya (Smerdis) and claimed Ariaramnes as his ancestor.
The Achaemenids thereafter consolidated areas firmly under their control. It was Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great who, by a solid and far-sighted administration planning, a brilliant military maneuvering and a humanist outlook on the world, founded the Achaemenids and turned them into a world power in less than thirty years from an obscure tribe. It was during the reign of Darius the Great (Darius I) that Persepolis was built (518-516 BC) which would serve as capital for several generations of the Achaemenid kings. Ecbatana (Hagmat?na "City of Assemblies", modern: Hamadan) in the media was greatly expanded during this time and served as a summer capital.
Darius the Great (Darius I) finally attacked the Greek mainland, which had supported rebellious Greek colonies under his aegis; But as a result of his defeat at the Battle of Marathon, he was forced to draw the boundaries of his empire back to Kleinasien. Some scholars argue that Alexander can be regarded as the "Last of the Achaemenids" within the framework of the history of the Near and Middle East in the first millennium. This is partly because Alexander retained more or less the same political structure, and borders on the former Achaemenid kings.

Until the 5th century BC, the kings of Persia ruled over or subordinate territories, which included not only the entire Persian plateau and all the territories formerly owned by the Assyrian empire (Mesopotamia, Levant, Cyprus and Egypt) But also all Anatolia and the Armenian plateau as well as a large part of the southern Caucasus, Macedonia and parts of Greece and Thrace in the north and west, parts from Central Asia to the Aral Sea, Oxus and Jaxartes in the north and north, east, Hindukusch and the Western Indian basin (corresponding to modern Afghanistan and Pakistan) to the east, parts of northern Arabia to the south and parts of northern Libya to the southwest.

The Ionian Rebellion in 499 BC. And the uprisings in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus, and Caria were military revolts of several small Asian regions against the Persian rule from 499 to 493 BC. At the center of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants ruled by Persia, who, together with the individual treaties of two Mixtian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras, ruled.In 499 BC the then tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, began a joint expedition with the Persian satrap of Artaphernes to conquer Naxos in order to strengthen his position in Miletus (financially and prestigiously). The mission was a debacle and felt his imminent distance as a tyrant, Aristagoras decided to arouse the entire Ionia in turmoil against the Persian king Darius the Great.
The Persians continued to reduce the cities along the west coast which were still against them before finally setting up a peace settlement in 493 BCE on Ionia, which was generally considered fair and just. The Ionian Uprising represented the first great conflict between Greece and the Achaemenid empire, making it the first phase of the Greek-Persian wars. Little Asia had been returned to the Persian fold, but Darius had vowed to punish Athens and Eretria for their support of the revolt.As the political situation in Greece constituted a continuing threat to the stability of his empire, he decided to begin the conquest of Greece. However, the Persian forces were defeated at the Battle of Marathon and Darius would die before they had the chance to launch an invasion of Greece.

Xerxes I (485–465 BCE, Old Persian Xšayārša "Hero Among Kings"), son of Darius I, vowed to complete the job. He organized a massive invasion aiming toconquer Greece.
Thessaly, but was delayed by a small Greek contest for three days at Thermopylae. A simultaneous sea battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive, as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was ended prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and withdrew. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, leaving them undisputed control over Artemisium and the Aegean Sea.
After his victory in the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes got rid of the evacuated city of Athens and ready to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In the year 480 bc. When the Greeks gained a decisive victory over the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis, they forced Xerxes to retreat to Sardis. The land army, which he left in Greece under Mardonius, conquered Athens, but was finally destroyed in 479 BC In the Battle of Plataea. The final defeat of the Persians in Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt and marked the end of Persian expansion to Europe.

Fall of the empire
After Plutarch, Artaxerxes succeeded Artaxerxes III (358-338 BC) with bloody means to the throne and secured his place on the throne by the assassination of eight of his half-brothers. 343 BC Defeated Artaxerxes III Nectanebo II, drove him out of Egypt and made Egypt again a Persian satrapy.In 338 BC, Artaxerxes III died under obscure circumstances (natural causes after wedge-shaped sources, but Diodorus, a Greek historian, reports that Artaxerxes was murdered by Bagoas, his minister). While Philip of Macedonia united the Greek states by force, and began to plan an invasion of the empire.
Artaxerxes III followed Artaxerxes IV Asses, who, before he could act, was also poisoned by Bagoas. Bagoas is said to have killed not only all the children of the donkeys, but many other princes of the country. Bagoas then put Darius III (336-330 BCE), a nephew of Artaxerxes IV, on the throne. Darius III, previously satrap of Armenia, personally forced Bagoas to swallow poison. In 334 BCE, when Darius succeeded in subduing Egypt, Alexander and his combat-hardened troops fell into Kleinasien.
At two different times, the Achaemenids ruled Egypt, although the Egyptians twice regained the temporary independence of Persia. According to the practice of Manetho Egyptian historians refer to the periods in Egypt when the Achaemenid dynasty ruled as the twenty-seventh dynasty of Egypt, from 525-404 BC to the death of Darius II. And the thirty-first dynasty of Egypt 343-332 BC. Who began after the defeat Nectanebo II by the Persian king Artaxerxes III.
Alexander the Great defeated the Persian armies at Granicus (334 BC), followed by Issus (333 BC) and lastly at Gaugamela (331 BC). After that he marched on Susa and Persepolis, which began in 330 BC. From Persepolis Alexander went north to Pasargadae, where he visited the tomb of Cyrus, the funeral of the man whom he had heard from Cyropedia.

In the ensuing chaos created by the invasion of Alexander the Great in Persia, the tomb of the Cyrus of the Great was broken and most of his luxury plundered. When Alexander the Great reached the grave, he was horrified at the way the grave was treated, and asked the magicians and put them to justice. On some reports, Alexander's decision to bring the magicians to justice is more about his attempt to undermine his influence and power in his newly conquered empire than a concern for the grave of Cyrus. No matter, Alexander the Great ordered Aristobulus to improve the condition of the tomb and restore its inner being, which shows respect for Cyrus. From there he went to Ecbatana, where Darius III. Had sought shelter.
Darius III. Was captured by Bessus, his bacric satraps, and his relative. When Alexander approached, Bessus had murdered his men Darius III. And then Darius succeeded himself as Artaxerxes V, before he left Central Asia to delay Darius's body on the way to Alexander, who brought it to Persepolis for an honorable burial. Bessus would then create a coalition of his forces to create an army to defend against Alexander. Before Bessus was able to unite completely with his confederates in the eastern part of the empire, Alexander, who feared the danger for Bessus to find him, to bring him before a court controlled by him, and to execute his execution in a "barbaric manner" .
Despite the successful conquest of the entire Persian empire, Alexander the Great was still unable to offer a stable alternative. After his death, Alexander's once-massive Hellenistic empire was crushed by his ambitious generals (Diadochi), followed by a few minor empires, the largest of which was the Seleucid empire ruled by the generals of Alexander and their descendants. They followed the Parthian empire.
Part of the cause of the decline of the empire was the heavy tax burden on the state, which ultimately led to an economic decline. An estimate of the tribute that was imposed on the subject of nations was up to US $ 180M per year. This does not include the physical goods and supplies supplied as taxes. After the great effort of the government - the military, the bureaucracy, whatever the satraps could safely enter the coffers - this money went to the royal treasure chamber. In Persepolis, Alexander III. 180,000 talents, in addition to the additional treasure that the Macedonians already had seized in Damascus by Parmenio.
This amounted to US $ 2.7 B. In addition, Darius III. In his flight to the north 8000 talents. Alexander put this static hoard back into the economy, and after his death, about 130,000 talents were spent on the construction of cities, dockyards, temples, and the payment of the troops. In addition, one of the satraps, Harpalus, had been to Greece with about 6,000 talents, which Athens used to rebuild its economy after having it during the battles with the Corinthian League. Because of the flood of Alexander 's hoard, which entered Greece, however, there was a disturbance in the economy, in agriculture, banking, rents, the great increase of mercenaries, which allowed money to the rich, and an increase in Piracy.Another factor contributing to the decline of the Empire after Xerxes was its failure of ever molding the many subject nations into a whole; no national identity was ever attempted at. This looseness eventually affected the efficiency of the military.

Descendants in later Iranian dynasties
Istakhr, one of the Vassal kingdoms of the Parthian Empire, would be overthrown by Papak, a priest of the temple there. Papa's son, Ardašir I, who called himself in memory of Artaxerxes II, would revolt against the Parthians, finally defeat them and make the Sassanid empire or the second Persian empire known.Both the later dynasties of the Parthians and Sassanids and Gabaris would occasionally assert Achaemenid descent. Recently, it has shown some affirmation for the Parthian claim to Achaemenid descent about the possibility of a hereditary disease (neurofibromatosis) caused by the physical descriptions of rulers and evidence of familial disease on ancient coins.

Cyrus the Great founds the empire as a multi-state empire ruled by four capital states; Pasargadae, Babylon, Susa and Ekbatana. The Achaemenids allowed a certain regional autonomy in the form of the Satrapiesystem. A satrapie was an administrative unit, usually organized on a geographical basis. A "satrap" (governor) was the vassal kings who administered the region, a "general" military recruiting, ensuring order, and a "secretary of state" kept the official records. The Secretary General and the State Secretary reported directly to the Satrap as well as to the Central Government. At different times, there were between 20 and 30 satrapies.
Cyrus the Great created an organized army including the Immortals unit, consisting of 10,000 highly trained soldiers Cyrus also formed an innovative postal system throughout the empire, based on several relay stations called Chapar Khaneh.

Cyrus der Großen schuf eine organisierte Armee, inklusive der Unsterblichen Einheit, bestehend aus 10.000 hoch ausgebildeten Soldaten Cyrus auch ein innovatives Post-System im ganzen Reich, auf mehreren Relais-Stationen namens Chapar Khaneh.Darius the Great moved the capital from Pasargadae to Persepolis; He revolutionized the economy by placing it on a silver and gold coin, introducing a regulated and sustainable tax system that was tailored to each satrap, based on its alleged productivity and economic potential. For example, Babylon was judged for the highest amount and for a frightening mixture of goods - 1000 silver talents, four months supply of food for the army.
Under the Achaemenids, the trade was extensive and there was an efficient infrastructure that facilitated the exchange of commodities in the far reaches of the empire. Tariffs on trade were one of the empire's main sources of revenue, along with agriculture and tribute.

The satrapies were connected by a 2500-kilometer-long highway, the most impressive stretch was the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis, built by Darius I. The relays of the assembled couriers could reach the most remote areas in 15 days. Despite the relative local independence afforded by the satrapy system, royal inspectors, the "eyes and ears of the king" visited the empire and reported on the local conditions. The king also retained a personal bodyguard of the elite at 10,000 immortals when he was not in war.
The practice of slavery in Achaemenid Persia was generally prohibited, although there is evidence that captured and / or rebellious armies were sold in captivity. Zoroastrianism, the de facto religion of the empire, expressly forbids slavery, and the kings of Achaemenid Persia, especially the founder Cyrus the Great, followed this prohibition to varying degrees as evidenced by the liberation of the Jews in Babylon and the construction of Persepolis By paid workers.

Seleucid Empire

The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty founded by Seleucus I Nicator following the division of the empire created by Alexander the Great. Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near eastern territories. At the height of it’s power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Kuwait, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and northwest parts of India.

Read more ▸

Hellenistic Period (323-141 B.C.)
In his world-conquering campaign, Alexander hoped for a fruitful union of the Europeans with the peoples of the Middle East. In the effort to reach this goal, Alexander married Roxana, daughter of the most powerful of the Bactrian chiefs, and commanded 80 of his top officers and 10,000 of his soldiers to marry Persian women in a mass wedding at Susa. However, his plans to consummate the union of the Greek and Iranian peoples ended when Alexander was struck with fever and died in Babylon. His generals began squabbling over rights to his extensive empire. They assassinated Alexander's widow and son, and all but one rejected their wives. Then they divided the empire among three of them. Iran passed on to Seleucus, the only officer under Alexander who had kept his Iranian wife whom he genuinely loved. He eventually became known as Seleucus I Nicator, or the "Conqueror': Under Seleucuss son, Antiochus I, many Greek colonists entered Iran. By establishing mixed Greek-Iranian colonies, the Seleucids tried to strengthen their power.
A strong Seleucid monarch, Antiochus III, the sixth in the Seleucid line of kings, was successful in suppressing the threat of constant insurrection by local rulers, but in general he could not stem a tide of rebellion that arose in the Iranian provinces. Despite Selucid's strenuous efforts to introduce Greek culture in Iran, the Greeks remained strangers to the Iranian people. After approximately a century and a half of Greek rule in Iran, the Seleucids were completely overthrown by the Parthians.

Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire (Σελεύκεια, Seleukeia) was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid Dynasty founded by Seleucus I Nicator after the division of the Empire created by Alexander the Great. Seleucus obtained Babylonia, and from there he extended his dominions to encompass much of Alexander's near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included Central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Kuwait, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and northwestern parts of India.

The Seleucid Empire was an important center of Hellenistic culture which maintained the predominance of Greek morals, where a Greek-Macedonian political elite predominantly dominated urban areas. The Greek population of the cities, which formed the dominant elite, was reinforced by the emigration from Greece. Seleucid expansion in Anatolia and Greece was abruptly stopped after decisive defeats in the hands of the Roman army. Their attempts to defeat their ancient enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were thwarted by the Roman demands. A large part of the eastern part of the empire was occupied by the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthien in the middle of the 2nd century BC. Conquered, but the Seleucid kings continued to dominate a rump state from Syria to the invasion of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great and their final fall by the Roman general Pompey.

Partition of Alexander's empire

Alexander conquered the Persian Empire under his last Achaemenid dynasty, Darius III, within a short period of time, and died young, leaving an expansive realm of partially Hellenized culture without an adult heir. The empire was founded in 323 BC. Under the rule of a regent set in the person of Perdiccas, and the territories were divided between the generals of Alexander, who thus became satraps, at the division of Babylon 323 bc.

Rise of Seleucus
Alexander's generals (the Diadochi) pressed for supremacy over parts of his empire. Ptolemy, a former general and the Satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system; This led to the perishing of Perdiccas. Ptolemy insurrection led to a new subdivision of the empire with the division of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus, who had been under Perdica's "commander-in-chief of the camp" since 323 BC, but later exhorted him to assassinate him later, received Babylonia, and from then on rebuilt his rule ruthlessly. Seleucus established itself in Babylon in 312 BC, the year that was used as the founding date of the Seleucid empire. He ruled not only Babylonia, but the whole immense eastern part of the empire of Alexander:

Alexander's generals (the Diadochi) pressed for supremacy over parts of his empire. Ptolemy, a former general and the Satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system; This led to the perishing of Perdiccas. Ptolemy insurrection led to a new subdivision of the empire with the division of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus, who had been under Perdica's "commander-in-chief of the camp" since 323 BC, but later exhorted him to assassinate him later, received Babylonia, and from then on rebuilt his rule ruthlessly. Seleucus established itself in Babylon in 312 BC, the year that was used as the founding date of the Seleucid empire. He ruled not only Babylonia, but the whole immense eastern part of the empire of Alexander:
"Seleukus" erwarb Mesopotamien, Armenien, Seleukid, Kappadokien, Persis, Parthien, Baktrien, Arabien, Tapourien, Sogdien, Arachosien, Hyrkania und andere, die in den angrenzenden, kräftigen und überzeugenden Gemeinden lagen Die von Alexander bis zum Fluß Indus unterworfen waren, Die so genannte Region von Phrygien bis zum Indus war Seleukos unterworfen. "
Seleucus ging nach Indien, nach zwei Kriegsjahren eine Vereinbarung mit Chandragupta Maurya erreichte, in der er seine östlichen Territorien für eine bedeutende Macht von 500 Kriegselefanten auswechselte, sterben in Ipsus eine entscheidende Rolle spielten (301 v.Chr)."The Indians occupy some of the Persian countries which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander took the Ariani from them and established their own settlements there, but Seleucus Nicator gave them Sandrocottus as a result of a marriage contract and received five hundred elephants. "

Westward expansion
After the victory of Lysimachos over Antigonos Monophthalmus at the decisive battle of Ipsus in the year 301 BC took over Seleukos the control over Ostanatolien and Nordsyrien.In this area he founded a new capital in Antioch on the Orontes, a city he named after his father. An alternative capital was established in Seleucia on the Tigris, north of Babylon. Seleucus empire reached its greatest extent after his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, in Corupedion in 281 BC, to which Seleucus extends his control, to include West Anatolia. He hopes to take control of Lysimacho's countries in Europe, especially Thrace and even Macedonia himself, but was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus on landing in Europe.
His son and successor, Antiochos I Soter, remained with an enormous empire that consisted of almost all Asian parts of the empire but faced with Antigonos II Gonatas in Macedonia and Ptolemy II Philadelphos in Egypt, Where his father had given up the conquest of the European parts of the empire of Alexander.

An overexpanded domain
Nevertheless, even before Seleucus' death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded Punjab region region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya (Sandrokottos), founder of the Maurya empire. It is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants.
Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory, sealed in a treaty, west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern day Afghanistan, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan.Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
"He (Seleucus) crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus [Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship."  

It is generally believed that Chandragupta married Seleuko's daughter or a Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, a military fortune, which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. In addition to this treaty, Seleucus sent an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta and later Deimakos to his son Bindusara at the Mauryan court in Pataliputra (today Patna in the Bihar state). Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandragupta's rule which have been preserved to us in part by Diodorus Siculus. Later Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, the ruler of Ptolemy Egypt and contemporary of Ashoka the Great, is also written by Pliny the Elder when he sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court.

Other territories lost before Seleuko's death were Gedrosia in the south-east of the Iranian High Plain and north of Arachosia on the west bank of the Indus.
Antiochus I (reigned 281-261 BC) And his son and successor Antiochos II Theos (reigned 261-246 BC) Faced with challenges in the West, including repeated wars with Ptolemy II. And a Celtic invasion Kleinasiens The eastern parts of the empire together. Toward the end of the reign of Antioch II, different provinces simultaneously maintain their independence, such as Bactria under Diodotus, parthias under Arsaces and Cappadocia under Ariarathes III.
Diodot, governor of the Bactrian area, claimed independence around 245 BC, although the exact date is by no means sufficient to form the Greek-Bactrian kingdom. This kingdom was characterized by a rich Hellenistic culture and was to continue until 125 BC. His rule over Bactria continued when it was overrun by the invasion of the northern nomads. One of the Greek-Bactrian kings, Demetrius I of Bactria, conquered India around 180 BC To form the Greek-Indian kingdom, which lasts until about AD 20.
The Seleucid Satrap of Parthia, called Andragoras, initially maintained independence, parallel to the separation of its bactrian neighbor. Soon, however, a Parthian tribal leader called Arsaces entered the Parthian territory around 238 BC to form the Arsakid dynasty, the starting point of the mighty Parthian empire.
At the time when Antiochus II Son Seleucus II. Callinicus came to the throne around 246 BC, the Seleucids seemed to be in a low tide. Seleucus II was soon defeated dramatically in the third Syrian war against Ptolemy III of Egypt and then had to fight against a civil war against his own brother Antiochus Hierax. Bactria and Parthia used this distraction from the empire. The Seleucid dynasty also seemed to be losing control in Kleinasien - the Gauls had fully established themselves in Galatia, half-Hellenized kingdoms had sprung up in Bithynia, Pontus and Cappadocia, and Pergamon in the west maintained its independence under the Attalid dynasty.

Revival (223–191 BC)
A revival would begin when Seleucus II. Younger Son, Antiochus III. The Great, the throne 223 BC conquered. Although he was unsuccessful in the fourth Syrian war against Egypt, which led to a defeat in the battle of Raphia (217 BC), Antioch, according to Seleucus I, proved himself the greatest Seleucid ruler. He spent the next ten years on his anabasis through the eastern parts of his territory and restored rebellious vassals like Parthia and Greco-Bactria to at least nominal obedience. He won the battle of Arius and laid siege to the Bactrian capital, and even emulated Alexander with an expedition to India, where he met with King Sophagasenus received Kriegslefanten:
"He (Antiochus) crossed the Caucasus and ascended to India, renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus, the king of the Indians, received more elephants, until he had a hundred and fifty whole, and again supplied his troops, his army, Androsthenes of Cyzicus Treasure which this king had given him to take home with him. " Polybius 11.39
When, in 205 BC, Having returned to the west, Antioch found that with the death of Ptolemy IV the situation was now favorable for another Western campaign. Antiochus and Philip V of Macedonia then made a pact to divide the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, and in the fifth Syrian war the Seleucids drove Ptolemy V from the control of Coele-Syria. The Battle of Panium (198 BC) finally transferred these stocks from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids. Antiochus at least appeared to restore the Seleucid kingdom to glory.

The Parthian conquest of Persia
Persis, the heartland of the Persian kings, had begun its way back to independence in the late 3rd century, when the first indigenous Seleukid satraps were appointed. The earliest is Bagadates, whose coin is shown here. The opposite shows a king standing in front of a Zoroastrian sacred building or a fire tale. With the weakening of the Seleucid empire, the satraps became kings, some of which used names such as Darius and Artaxerxes as a sign of their nationalist spirit. Several other small kings emerged as mushrooms in the temporary power vacuum.
It was, however, Parthia under his king Mithradates I, who now rose as the chief power in Persia after defeating the Medians and the Greeks of Bactria in the middle of the 2nd century BC. The latter disappeared soon after, battered by civil wars and the pressure of the nomadic tribes, who were probably allies of the Parthians. The other kingdoms of Iran were now transformed into parthian vassals.

In the year 140 BC, The Seleucid king Demetrius II withdrew, That enough was enough, and demanded all the means which he required for the Parthian advance. He was initially victorious and several vassals from Mithradates II. The Parthians, however, were known for their defensive strength in their own country and soon succeeded in attacking the Seleucid army and capturing Demetrious II. Babylon was now a Parthian province.
The last round of the war came after the able Antiochus VII, Brother of Demetrius II, had finally won the civil war in the remaining Seleucid dominions. He called a large army of mercenaries and attacked the Parthians with great force. After three victories, he had liberated Babylonia and western Iran, and was already compared to Antioch the Great.The inhabitants had been happy to shake off the strict party rule, but when the gigantic Seleucid army was divided into winter quarters, this proved equally bad for the host cities. Parthian spies could revolt against the Seleucids, and when Antiochus VII attempted to assemble his troops, he was led and killed by Parthian King Phraates II in a battle in front of Hamadan. The rest of the leaderless army was smashed or put into the Parthians. This was the end of the Hellenistic period in Iran.

The last remaining Seleucid kings maintained only decreasing parts of Syria. Their last half century was plagued by endless civil wars until the Romans made a Roman province in 64 BC. The Greek influence in the East survived its rulers for a while, although few of the Hellenistic cities were found east of Babylonia. The Parthian rulers continued their rule to beat coins in Greek, and several of them gave themselves the epitaph of Philhellenos (friend of the Greeks). This was probably the support of the Greek companies, which were still important (and strongly fortified) trading centers. But finally the Greek influence faded. The Roman campaigns in Parthia in the 2nd century BC seem to have swept away the last Greek colonists.
It is strange to note that Bactria, the hinterland on the eastern Iranian plateau, despite its distance to Greece boasted a numerous and prospering Greek colony. The Greeks here also seemed to have been better integrated and managed over the former Achaemenids boundaries beyond Punjab and Kashmir, as well as becoming always masters of today's Pakistan in the early 2nd century BC. Although the empire soon collapsed, the Greeks left a pronounced cultural heritage, the so-called Gandhara culture.

•  Seleucus I Nicator (Satrap 311–305 BC, King 305 BC–281 BC)
•  Antiochus I Soter (co-ruler from 291, ruled 281–261 BC)
•  Antiochus II Theos (261–246 BC)
•  Seleucus II Callinicus ( 246–225 BC)
•  Seleucus III Ceraunus (or Soter) ( 225–223 BC)
•  Antiochus III the Great (223–187 BC)
•  Seleucus IV Philopator (187–175 BC)
•  Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 BC)
•  Antiochus V Eupator (164–162 BC)
•  Demetrius I Soter (161–150 BC)
•  Alexander I Balas (154–145 BC)
•  Demetrius II Nicator (first reign, 145–138 BC)
•  Antiochus VI Dionysus (or Epiphanes) (145–140 BC?)
•  Diodotus Tryphon (140?–138 BC)
•  Antiochus VII Sidetes (or Euergetes) ( 138–129 BC)
•  Demetrius II Nicator (second reign, 129–126 BC)
•  Alexander II Zabinas (129–123 BC)
•  Cleopatra Thea (126–123 BC)
•  Seleucus V Philometor (126/125 BC)
•  Antiochus VIII Grypus (125–96 BC)
•  Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (114–96 BC)
•  Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator (96–95 BC)
•  Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator (95–92 BC or 83 BC)
•  Demetrius III Eucaerus (or Philopator) (95–87 BC)
•  Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus (95–92 BC)
•  Philip I Philadelphus (95–84/83 BC)
•  Antiochus XII Dionysus (87–84 BC)
•  (Tigranes I of Armenia) (83–69 BC)
•  Antiochus XIII Asiaticus (69–64 BC)
•  Philip II Philoromaeus (65–63 BC)
•  Seleucus VII Kybiosaktes or Philometor (70s BC–60s BC?)

Parthian Empire

The Parthian Empire(247 BC – 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire /ˈɑrsəsɪd/, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran, also known as ancient Persia. It’s latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid 3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

Read more ▸

Parthian Empire (247 B.C.-224 A.D.)
Under the Achaemenians, a satrapy named Parthava was annexed to the empire during Cyrus the Great's campaign south and east of the Caspian Sea. The Parthians were among the first to revolt against the Seleucids and were led by two brothers, Arsaces and Tiridates. Arsaces was proclaimed the first king, and his name became the honorific title used by all subsequent Parthian kings, who were generally known as the Arsacids.
Mithradates I is considered the founder of the Parthian empire. He is believed to have established his capital in Nysa, near modern Ashkhabad, the present-day capital of Turkmenistan. The reign of Mithradates II was the most glorious chapter in the Parthian history. Under him, Parthian realm stretched from Armenia to India. Mithradates H moved his capital from Ashkhabad to Hecatompylos (modern Damghan in Iran), almost in the centre of Parthava. Trade between East and West thrived, and Iran provided the most convenient route that later came to be known as the Silk Road. The Parthians were great fighters and wonderful horsemen. Their famous maneuver that became legendary as the "Parthian shot" was to pretend to gallop away from an enemy as if in retreat, and then turn in the saddles and shoot arrows at their pursuers, often defeating them by this ruse. The Parthians had no strict hierarchy or strong centralized power. Although mainly followers of the Zoroastrian religion, they contributed to the dissemination of Buddhism in China, where a Parthian prince spread the word of Buddha near the middle of the 2nd century A.D. The Parthians spoke a language similar to that of the Achaemenians, used the Pahlavi script, and established an administrative system based on Achaemenid precedents. Talented architects, they invented the eivan, a feature later characteristic of Iranian Islamic architecture. Despite its long history of existence, following Mithradates's death, the empire fell into a state of chaos, with a short interlude only during the reign of Orodes II. Constantly menaced by the Roman Empire, the Parthians acted as a barrier to the eastern nomad hordes, I and had it not been for the Parthians, these hordes would probably have overrun the Near East and even parts of Europe. Weakened by the internal dissension and exterior enemies, the Parthians were unable to resist a new power, the Sasanians. Still, they managed to rule for almost five centuries, and it was one of the most fascinating periods in Iranian history.

The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire / ərsɪsɪd /, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran, also known as ancient Persia. His last name comes from Arsace I of Parthien, who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded him in the middle of the 3rd century BC, when he conquered the region of Parthia in northeastern Iran, then a satrapie in the insurrection against the Seleucid kingdom. Mithridates I of Parthia (r., 171-138 BC) Expands the empire considerably by seizing media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern regions of the Euphrates, in today's south-eastern Turkey to the east of Iran. The Empire, which is on the trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean and the Han Empire, became a trading and trading center.
The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and the royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, including Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid took court elements of Greek culture, although it finally saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions. The Arsacid rulers were named king of the kings, as claim to the heirs of the Achaemenid empire; In fact, they took many local kings as vassals, where the Achaemenids should have had middle, though largely autonomous, satraps. The court ordered a small number of satraps, mostly outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of the Arsakidian power, the seat of the central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon on the Tigris (south of modern Baghdad, Iraq), although several other places also served as capital cities.
The first enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west and the Scythians in the east. However, when Parthia expanded to the west, they came into conflict with the kingdom of Armenia, and finally the late Roman republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus in the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. And 40-39 BC, the Parthian troops occupied the entire Levante with the exception of Tire from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counter-attack against Parthia, though his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant, Ventidius.
Also various Roman emperors or their appointed generals in Mesopotamia, during the course of several Roman-parthian wars, which followed in the next centuries. The Romans conquered the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon several times in these conflicts, but could not hold them. Frequent civil war between Parthian competitors to the throne proved to be more dangerous than the invasion abroad, and evaporated Parthia's power when Ardaschir I, ruler of Estakhr in the Fars, rebelled against the Arsacids, and her last ruler, Artabanus IV, Killed Ardashir built the Sassanid empire that dominated Iran and a major part of the Middle East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia.

Native parthian sources written in Parthian, Greek and other language are scarce compared to Sassanid and even former Achaemenid sources. Apart from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostracs, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, and the chance survival of some parchment documents, a large part of Parthian history is known only from external sources. These include, in particular, Greek and Roman stories, as well as Chinese stories prompted by the Chinese goods market. Parthian works of art are regarded by historians as a valid source for the understanding of aspects of society and culture, which are otherwise lacking in text sources.

History of the Parthian Empire
Origins and establishment

Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid dynasty, he was chief of the Parni, an ancient Central Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes in the Confederation of the Dahae. The Parni most likely spoke an Eastern Iranian language contrast to the north-western Iranian language, which was then spoken in Parthia. The latter was a north-eastern province, first under the Achaemenid, and then the Seleucid kingdoms. After the conquest of the region, the Parni Parthian adopted as an official language, speaking alongside the Middle Aphaic, Aramaic, Greek, Babylonian, Slavic and other languages in the multilingual areas they were to conquer.
Why the Arsacid Court chose retrospectively 247 BC When the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain. A.D.H. Bivar concludes that this was the year when the Seleucids lost control over Parthians at Andragoras, the Satrap, who rebelled against them. Therefore, Arsaces I saved his regnal years "until the moment when Seleukid's rule over Parthien ceased, but Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis claimed that this was simply the year Arsaces became head of the Parni tribe When Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, Curtis and Maria Brosius declared that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC.
Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid dynasty, he was chief of the Parni, an ancient Central Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes in the Confederation of the Dahae. The Parni most likely spoke an Eastern Iranian language contrary to the north-western Iranian language, which was then spoken in Parthia. The latter was a north-eastern province, first under the Achaemenid, and then the Seleucid kingdoms. After the conquest of the region, the Parni Parthian adopted as an official language, speaking alongside the Middle Aphaic, Aramaic, Greek, Babylonian, Slavic and other languages in the multilingual areas they were to conquer.

Why the Arsacid Court chose retrospectively 247 BC When the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain. A.D.H. Bivar concludes that this was the year when the Seleucids lost control over Parthians at Andragoras, the Satrap, who rebelled against them. Therefore, Arsaces I saved his regnal years "until the moment when Seleukid's rule over Parthien ceased, but Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis claimed that this was simply the year Arsaces became head of the Parni tribe When Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, Curtis and Maria Brosius declared that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC.
It is unclear who immediately came to Arsaces I. Bivar and Katouzian confirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, to whom his son Arsaces II of Parthia was succeeded in 211 BC. However, Curtis and Brosius argue that Arsaces II was the immediate successor to Arsaces I. Curtis claimed that the succession of 211 BC and Brosius 217 BC. Bivar insists that 138 BC, The Last Season of Mithridates I, "is the first precisely fixed regnal date of Parthian history". Because of this and other discrepancies, Bivar sketched two different royal chronologies accepted by the historians. Later some of the Parthian kings would claim Achaemenid descent. The claim has recently received support from numismatic and other written evidence suggesting that both Achaemenid and Parthian kings suffered from hereditary neurofibromatosis.
For a time, Arsas strengthened his position in Parthia and Hyrkania, exploiting the invasion of the Seleucid region in the west by Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BC). This conflict with Ptolemy, the Third Syrian War (246-241 BC), allowed Diodotus I. to rebel the Greek-Bactrian kingdom in Central Asia. The successor of Diodotos II formed an alliance with Arsaces against the Seleucids, but Arsaces was temporarily expelled from Parthia by the forces of Seleucus II Callinicus (246-225 BC). After spending some time in the exile of the nomadic tribe of the Apasiacae, Arsaces led a counter-attack and captured Parthia again. Seleucus II. Successor, Antiochus III. The Great (rd 222-187 BC), was unable to retaliate immediately because his troops were engaged in the defeat of the rebellion of Molon in Media.
Antioch III launched a massive campaign to recapture Parthia and Bactria in 210 or 209 BC. He was unsuccessful, but negotiated with Arsaces II. A peace settlement. The latter received the title of the king (Greek: Basileus) in return for his submission to Antiochus III. As his superiors. The Seleucids could no longer interfere with the Parthian affairs after the increasing intervention of the Roman Republic and the Seleucid defeat in Magnesia in 190 BC. Phriapatius of Parthia (right, 191-176 BC) Following the passage of Arsaces II and Phraates I of Parthia (BC 176-171 BC), the throne rose. Phraates I ruled Parthien without further Seleucid disturbance.

Expansion and consolidation
Phraates I is recorded as expanding Parthia's control past the Gates of Alexander and occupied Apamea Ragiana, the locations of which are unknown. Yet the greatest expansion of Parthian power and territory took place during the reign of his brother and successor Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138), whom Katouzian compares to Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BC), founder of the Achaemenid Empire.
he relations between Parthia and Greco-Bactria worsened after the death of Diodotus II. When Mithridates's forces conquered two eparchies of the latter kingdom, then under Eucratides I (around 170-145 BC). When he turned his view of the Seleucid empire, Mithridates conquered the media and occupied Ecbatana in 148 or 147 BC The region was destabilized by a new Seleucid repression of a rebellion led by Timarchus. This victory was followed by the Parthian conquest of Babylonia in Mesopotamia, where Mithridates had minted coins in Seleucia in 141 BC and held an official investment ceremony. While Mithridates retreated to Hyrkania, his forces subdued the kingdoms of Elymais and Characene, and occupied Susa. At this time Parthia's authority expanded far east as the Indus River.
While Hecatompylos served as the first Parthian capital, Mithridates built royal residences in Seleucia, Ecbatana, Ctesiphon and its newly founded city of Mithradatkert (Nisa, Turkmenistan), where the tombs of the Arsacid kings were built and preserved. Ecbatana became the main residence of the Arsakids. Ctesiphon must not have become the official capital until the rule of Gotarzes I of Parthia (c. 90-80 BC). It became the site of the royal coronation ceremony and the representative city of Arsacids, according to Brosius.
The Seleucids were unable to repay immediately, when General Diodotus Tryphon led a rebellion at the capital of Antioch in 142 BC. But around 140 BC Demetrius II. Nicator was able to initiate a counter-invasion against the Parthians in Mesopotamia. Despite the early successes, the Seleucids were defeated and Demetrius himself captured by Parthian troops and taken to Hyrkania. There Mithridates treated his prisoners with great hospitality; He even married his daughter Rhodogune of Parthien to Demetrius.
Antiochus VII. Sidenes (r. 138-129 BC), a brother of Demetrius, took the Seleucid throne and married his wife Cleopatra Thea. After defeating Diodotus Tryphon, Antioch initiated a campaign in 130 BC to recapture Mesopotamia, now under the rule of Phraates II of Parthia (circa 138-128 BC). The Parthian General Indates was defeated at the Great Zab, followed by a local insurrection in which the Parthian governor of Babylonia was killed. Antioch conquered Babylonia and occupied Susa, where he coined coins. After advancing his army into the media, the Parthians pushed for the peace that Antioch refused to accept when the Arsacids duly dumped all the lands to him but Parthia, paid heavy tribute, and published Demetrius from captivity.

Arsaces released Demetrius and sent him to Syria, but refused the other demands. By Spring 129 BC, the Medes were in open revolt against Antiochus, whose army had exhausted the resources of the countryside during winter.
While attempting to put down the revolts, the main Parthian force swept into the region and killed Antiochus in battle. His body was sent back to Syria in a silver coffin; his son Seleucus was made a Parthian prince and a daughter joined Phraates' harem.
While the Parthians recaptured the lost territories in the West, another threat arose in the East. In the year 177-176 BC The Nomad confederation of the Xiongnu displaced the nomadic Yuezhi from their home in today's province Gansu in North-West China; The Yuezhi then migrated westwards into Bactria and expelled the sacred tribes. The Saka were forced to move further west, where they penetrated into the northeastern borders of the Parthian Empire. Mithridates was therefore compelled to retreat from Mesopotamia to Hyrkania after his conquest.
Some of the Saka were recruited in the fighting of the Phracies against Antiochus. However, they came too late to engage in the conflict. When Phraates refused to pay their wages, the Saka, who he tried with the help of former Seleucid soldiers, fell, but they left Phraates and joined the Saka. Phraates II marched against this combined force, but he was killed in the battle. The Roman historian Justin reports that his successor, Artabanus I of Parthia (about 128-124 BC), shared similar fate-fighting denominations in the East. He claims that Artabanus was killed by the Tocharians (identified as the Yuezhi), although Bivar believes that Justin will bring her into conflict with the Saka. Mithridates II of Parthien (right: 124-90 BC) Later the country Saka had lost in Sistan.
After the Seleucid withdrawal from Mesopotamia, the Parthian governor of Babylonia, Himerus, was ordered from the Arsacid court to conquer Characene, who was then governed by Hyspaosines of Charax Spasinu. When this failed, Hyspaosine forced Babylonia in 127 BC and occupied Seleucia. But around 122 BC, Mithridates II forced the Hyspaosine from Babylonia and made the kings of Charakken vassals under parthian supremacy. After Mithridates expanded Parthian control further west, occupied Dura-Europos 113 BC, He was involved in conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia. His troops defeated Artavasdes I of Armenia in 97 BC and took his son Tigranes as hostage, which later became Tigranes II "the great" of Armenia (around 95-55 BC).
The Indo-Parthian kingdom in today's Afghanistan and Pakistan has in the 1st century BC. An alliance with the Parthian Empire closed. Bivar argues that these two states have viewed each other as politically equal. After the visit of the Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana in 42 AD. Visited the court of Vardanes I of Parthien (about 40-47 AD) when Vardanes led the protection of a caravan to Indo-Parthien. When Apollonius reached the capital of Taxila of Indo-Parthia, the caravan leader read Vardane's official letter, which was perhaps written in parthia, to an Indian official who treated Apollonius with great hospitality.
After the diplomatic project of Zhang Qian in Central Asia during the reign of the emperor Wu of Han (141-87 BC) Sent the Han Empire of China 121 BC A delegation to the court of Mithridates II The Han- Embassy opened official trade relations with Parthia on the Silk Road has not yet reached a desired military alliance against the Xiongnu confederation. The Parthian empire was enriched by the taxation of the Eurasian caravan trade in silk, the highest-priced luxury goods imported by the Romans. Pearls were also a highly regarded import from China, while the Chinese Parthian bought spices, perfumes and fruits. Exotic animals were also given as gifts from the Arsacid to Han dishes; In 87 AD Sandte Pacorus II. Of Parthien Lions and Persian gazelles to Emperor Zhang of Han (75-88 AD). In addition to silk, parthian goods purchased from Roman merchants from India also contain spices and fine leather. Caravans traveling through the Parthian Empire brought West Asian and sometimes Roman luxury glass to China.

Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian Empire also known as (Sassanian, Sasanid, or Sassanid) or Neo Persian Empire, known to it’s inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran, was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam, ruled by the Sasanian dynasty from 224 CE to 651 CE. The Sassanid Empire, which succeeded the Parthian Empire, was recognized as one of the main powers in Western and Central Asia, alongside the Roman Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.

Read more ▸

Sasanid Empire (224-651 A.D.)
Tang -e- Chogan.Bishapour.King ShapourII.
Tang -e- Chogan.Bishapour.King ShapourII.
The last Parthian king, Artabanus V, lost the final battle to the Sasanians around 224 A.D. A legend has it that Ardashir Babakan, a vassal of Artabanus V, provoked the encounter when he founded a city called Gur, or the "Glory of Ardashir" near Firuzabad. Ardashir traced his ancestry to Sasan, a Zoroastrian priest, who gave his name to the last native dynasty in Persia before the Arab conquest. A strong central-ized government, a strict principle of dynastic legitimacy, and an official religion, which were quite contrary to the Parthian confederation and freedom of religious practices, characterized the Sasanid domain, which rapidly rose to rank among the world's largest empires.
Under Ardashir's successor, Shapur I, the Sasanid Empire extended from the Indian Punjab to the eastern border of Capadocia in Anatolia. The level of prosperity had risen so much that Shapur I was able to wage a war against Rome and even to take the Roman Emperor Valerian prisoner. In contrast to Ardashir, who claimed to be "king of kings of Iran", Shapur I assumed the title "king of kings of Iran and non-Iran", a title that was retained by his successors.
The Sasanians chose the Zoroastrian religion as the main means of unifying the diverse peoples of their expanded country. Shapur I, however, did not oppose Manichaeism, a teaching combining the beliefs of Zoroaster, Jesus, and Buddha. However, his successors suppressed other faiths severely, and the high priest. Kartir, was the most infamous instigator of this intolerance. Kartir certainly had a hand in killing Mani, and this was the first manifestation of religious strife in Iranian history.
Christians were also persecuted, particularly after the Roman Em¬pire, the archenemy of the Sasanid Empire, had become Christian.
Shapur II, the next important ruler after Shapur I, is credited with the longest reign in Iranian history - 70 years. His period was darkened only by perennial wars with Byzantium over the newly Christianized Armenia. Shapur had several unsuccessful successors until Yazdgerd I initiated a relatively peaceful era. Yazdgerd I left the country to his son, Bahram V. Surnamed Gur (Wild Ass), Bahram became the favorite of Persian popular tradition, which exuberantly celebrated his prowess in hunting and love.

Bahram's descendant, Qobad, was an unusual king in Iranian history in the sense that he actually cared more about the opinions of the common people than of the highly-placed courtiers. He moved away from official religion and greatly welcomed Mazdak and his teaching. His son Khosrow I (Chosroes), an orthodox Zoroastrian, however, destroyed the Mazdakites in a great massacre. Nonetheless, this act has not prevented him from being entitled "the lust" Khosrow's grandson, Khosrow II, was surnamed Parviz ("the Victorious"). He was immortalized in Persian literature for his devotion to his wife, an Armenian Christian called Shirin, who kept her husband entranced during her whole lifetime, a remarkable fact in Oriental history. During Khosrow's rule, the Persian Empire was marked by the highest level of civilization. At this time, a message was brought to the king from Medina, bidding him acknowledge Mohammad as the Prophet of God. The king treated the missive with contempt, little thinking that before many years had passed the followers of the Prophet would have swept away the Sasanidline. Instead, he ordered hisagent in Yemen called Bazan to capture the Prophet and bring him before the king. However, this mission was never accomplished because of Bazan's conversion to Islam.

At Khosrows death, eleven rulers succeeded one another to the vacant throne, two queens among their number - the first women who had ever held the scepter in Persia - but their united reigns amounted to only five years. After a succession of short-time rulers, Khosrows grandson, Yazdgerd III, took the throne. His story is reminiscent of the story of Darius III Achaemenid. Like Darius, Yazdgerdwas not destined to rule. A new for cewas coming from the Arabian deserts, a force that changed both the state and the religion. In 650, only a few years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad, the Muslim armies led by Khalid ibn Walid attacked the southern provinces of the Sasanid Empire. Soon afterwards, Ctesiphon, the Sasanid glorious capital and the largest city in the world, was invaded and sacked by the Muslim armies. At the battle of Nehavand, the Arabs utterly defeated the Persians and gained possession of their national standard, the blacksmith Kavehs leather apron. Yazdgerd sought refuge in one province after another, until he was assassinated near Merv.

Das Sasanische Reich, das auch als Sassanier, Sasanid oder Sassanid bekannt ist oder das Neo-Persische Reich, das sein Bewohnern als Ērānshahr und Ērān auf Mittelpersisch bekannt ist und zu den neuen persischen Begriffen Iranshahr und Iran führt, Krieg das letzte iranische Reich vor Dem Aufstieg des Islam, regiert von der sasanischen Dynastie von 224 CE bis 651 CE. Das Sassanid-Reich, das dem Partherischen Reich folgte, wurde als eine der Hauptmächte in West- und Zentralasien neben dem römisch-byzantinischen Reich für einen Zeitraum von mehr als 400 Jahren anerkannt.
The Sassanian empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Arsakid empire and the defeat of the last Arsakid king Artabanus V. The Sassanid empire covered most of today's Iran, Iraq, Levant, Palestine, Jordan, Israel) , The Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, parts of Turkey, Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), the Persian Gulf, Yemen, Oman and Pakistan. According to a legend, the Vexilloid of the Sassanid empire was Derafsh Kaviani. It was also assumed that the transition to the Sassanian empire represented the end of the struggle of the ethnic proto-Persians with their closely neighboring ethnic relatives, the Parthians, their original homeland, in today's Central Asia.
The Sasan Empire, during Late Antiquity, is one of the most important and influential historical epochs of Iran and formed the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the acceptance of Islam. In many ways, the Sassanian period was the culmination of ancient Iranian civilization. Persia influenced Roman civilization considerably during the Sassanid period. The cultural influence of the Sassanids extended far beyond the borders of the country and extended to Western Europe, Africa, China and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of European and Asian medieval art. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in architecture, poetry and other subjects were transmitted by the Sassanids throughout the Muslim world. Even after the fall of the Sasan Empire, it remained the ideal model of organization, splendor and justice in the Perso-Arab tradition; And his bureaucracy and his royal ideology were imitated by successor states, especially by the Abbasids, Ottomans, and Safavids.

Origins and early history (205–310)

Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanid Empire in mystery. The Sassanid Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I.
Babak was originally the ruler of a region called Kheir. But until the year 200 he managed to overthrow Gocihr and to appoint himself as the new ruler of the Bazrangids. His mother Rodhagh was the daughter of the governor of Persis. Babak and his eldest son Shapur managed to extend their power over Persis. The subsequent events are unclear due to the elusive nature of the sources. However, it is certain that Ardashir, who was then the governor of Darabgerd, was involved in a power struggle with his older brother Shapur after the death of Babak. Sources show that Shapur, abandoned for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, about the protests of his other brothers who were killed, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Persis.

Once Ardashir was appointed Shahanshah, he moved his capital further south of Persis and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah (formerly Gur, now Firouzabad). The city, well supported by high mountains and easily defended by narrow passports, became the center of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. The city was surrounded by a high, circular wall, probably copied from the Darabgird, and on the north side a large palace, which has been preserved to this day. After establishing his rule over Persis, Ardashir I expanded his territory rapidly, and demanded fidelity from the local princes of the Fars, gaining control over the neighboring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, Susiana, and Mesene.
This expansion attracted Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who first commanded the governor of Khuzestan to lead the war against Ardashir in 224, but the battles were victories for Ardashir. In a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus V met Ardashir in battle in Hormozgan, where Artabanus V met his death. After the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir continued to penetrate into the western provinces of the Parthian Empire, now deceased.
Factors supporting the rise to the supremacy of the Sassanids were the dynastic struggle of Artabanus V -Vologases VI for the Parthian throne, which probably enabled Ardaschir to strengthen its authority in the south with little or no interference from the Parthians; And the geography of the Fars province, which separated him from the rest of Iran. Crowned in 224 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, Ardashir took the title of Shahanshah or "King of Kings" (the inscriptions mention Adhur-Anahid as his "Queen of Queens," but their relationship with Ardashir is not established) Year Parthian empire to the end and early four centuries of Sassanid rule.

Over the next few years local revolts around the empire would develop. Nevertheless, Ardashir I extended his new empire to the east and north-west, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Margiana (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh and Chorasmia. He also added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid's possessions. Later Sassanid inscriptions also claim that the kings of Kushan, Turan, and Mekran are subordinate to Ardashir, although they are based on numismatic evidence, it is more likely that these were presented to the son of Ardashir, the future Shapur I. In the west attacks against Hatra, Armenia and Adiabene have been less successful. In 230 he rode deeply into the Roman territory, and a Roman counteroffensive ended two years later unclear, although the Roman emperor Alexander Severus celebrated a triumph in Rome.
Ardashir's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire and conquered Bactria and the western part of the Kushan empire, while he led several campaigns against Rome. Penetrating the Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur took Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman General Timesitheus defeated the Persians in Rhesaina and won the lost territories. The later Euphrates descent of the Emperor Gordian III (238-244) was defeated at Meshike (244), which led to Gordian's assassination by his own troops, and enabled Shapur to conclude a very favorable peace treaty with the new Emperor Philip the Arab Payment of 500,000 denarii and other annual payments.
Ardashir's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire and conquered Bactria and the western part of the Kushan empire, while he led several campaigns against Rome. Penetrating the Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur took Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman General Timesitheus defeated the Persians in Rhesaina and won the lost territories. The later Euphrates descent of the Emperor Gordian III (238-244) was defeated at Meshike (244), which led to Gordian's assassination by his own troops, and enabled Shapur to conclude a very favorable peace treaty with the new Emperor Philip the Arab Payment of 500,000 denarii and other annual payments ..
Shapur soon resumed the war, defeated the Romans at Barbalissos (253), and then probably took and plundered Antioch.
Roman counter-attacks under Emperor Valerian ended in disaster when the Roman army was defeated and encamped in Edessa, and Valerian was captured by Shapur and remained his prisoner for the rest of his life. Shapur celebrated his victory by carving the impressive rock reliefs in Naqsh-e Rostam and Bishapur, as well as a monumental inscription in Persian and Greek near Persepolis. He exploited his success by advancing in Anatolia (260) but, after the defeats in the hands of the Romans and their Palmyren ally Odaenathus, fell into disorder, suffered the capture of his harem, and the loss of all Roman territories occupied by him .
Shapur had intensive development plans. He ordered the construction of the first dam bridge in Iran and established many cities, some of which were partly settled by emigrants from the Roman territories, among them Christians who could freely exercise their faith under Sassanide. Two cities, Bishapur and Nishapur, are named after him. He particularly favored Manichaeism, protected Mani (who gave him one of his books, the Shabuhragan) and sent many Manichaean missionaries abroad. He also befriends a Babylonian rabbi named Shmuel.

Sasanian Belts
After Bahram III (who reigned briefly in 293) Narseh went to another war with the Romans. After an early success against the Emperor Galerius at Callinicum on the Euphrates in 296, Narseh was decisively defeated. Galerius, probably in the spring of 298, was reinforced by a new contingent, which had been collected from the empire's Donaubet enterprises. Narseh did not rise from Armenia and Mesopotamia, so Galerius launched the offensive in 298 with an attack on North Mesopotamia over Armenia. Narseh withdrew to Armenia to fight Galerius' violence, to Narseh's disadvantage: the rugged Armenian terrain was favorable to the Roman infantry, but not to the Sassanian cavalry. Local help gave Galerius the advantage of surprise over the Persian forces, and in two consecutive battles Galerius secured victories over Narseh.
During the second encounter, Roman forces carried the camp of Narseh, his treasury, his harem and his wife. Galerius advanced in the media and Adiabene and won successive victories, especially near Erzurum, and secured Nisibis (Nusaybin, Turkey) before October 1, 298. He drew down the Tigris and took the Ctesiphon.
Narseh had previously sent an ambassador to Galerius to plead for the return of his wives and children.Peace negotiations began in the spring of 299, with both Diocletian and Galerius presiding.
The conditions of peace were difficult: Persia would give up territory to Rome and make the Tigris the border between the two rich. Further expressions specified that Armenia was returned to Roman domination, with the fort of Ziatha as its border; The Caucasian Iberia would pay Rome under a Roman appeal; Nisibis, now under Roman rule, would become the sole guidance for the trade between Persia and Rome; And Rome would exercise control over the five satrapies between Tigris and Armenia: Ingilene, Sophanene (Sophene), Arzanene (Aghdznik), Corduene and Zabdicene (near modern Hakkâri, Turkey).
The Sassanids ceded five provinces west of the Tigris, and agreed not to interfere in the affairs of Armenia and Georgia. In the aftermath of this defeat, Narseh gave up the throne and died a year later, leaving the Sassanid throne to his son, Hormizd II. Unrest spread throughout the land, and while Hormizd II suppressed revolts in Sistan and Kushan, he was unable to control the nobles and was subsequently killed by Bedouins in a hunting trip in 309.

First Golden Era (309–379)
After the death of Hormizd II, Arabs from the north began to devastate and plunder the eastern cities of the Empire, even the province of Fars, the birthplace of the Sassanian kings. Meanwhile, Persian nobles killed the oldest son of Hormizd II, blinded the second and arrested the third (who later escaped the Roman territory). The throne was reserved for Shapur II, the unborn child of a woman of Hormizd II who was crowned in utero: the crown was placed on the belly of his mother. During his youth, the empire was controlled by his mother and the nobles. When Shapur II acquired, he took over the power and quickly proved to be an active and effective ruler.

Shapur II first led his small but disciplined army south against the Arabs, which he had defeated to secure the southern territories of the Empire. He then launched his first campaign against the Romans in the West, where the Persian forces had won a series of battles but were unable, due to the failure of the repeated sieges of the most important frontier town of Nisibi and the Roman success in the re-conquest of the cities To make profits From Singara and Amida, after they had fallen to the Persians.
Shapur II. His small but disciplined army south against the Arabs, which he had defeated to secure the southern territories of the Empire. He then launched his first campaign against the Romans in the West, where the Persian forces had a series of battles that were able to destroy the territories of Singara and Amida.
Kulturelle Erweiterung folgte diesen Sieg, und Sassanid Kunst durchdrang Turkestan, so weit wie China. Shapur, zusammen mit dem Nomaden König Grumbates, begann seine zweite Kampagne gegen die Römer in 359 und bald gelang es, Singara und Amida wieder zu nehmen. Als Reaktion, schlug der römische Kaiser Julian tief in persisches Territorium und besiegte Shapurs Kräfte am Ktesiphon. Er versäumte, die Hauptstadt zu nehmen, und wurde getötet, als er versuchte, sich auf das römische Territorium zurückzuziehen. Sein Nachfolger Jovian, der am Ostufer des Tigris gefangen Krieg, musste alle Provinzen, die die Perser im Alter von 298 nach Rom abgetreten hatten, sowie Nisibis und Singara übergeben, um sicherzustellen, dass seine Armee aus Persien sichere Passagen erhalten konnte.
Shapur II pursued a hard religious policy. Under his rule, the Avesta collection, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, was closed, heresy and apostasy punished and Christians persecuted. The latter was a reaction against the Christianization of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. Shapur II. Was kind, like Shapur I, against the Jews who lived in relative freedom and gained many advantages in their time (see also Raba). At the time of the death of Shapur, the Persian empire was stronger than ever, pacifying its enemies in the east, and Armenia under Persian control.

The society and clvilization of the Sasanians
Intermediate Era (379–498)
From Shapur II's death to the first coronation of Kavadh I, there was a largely peaceful period with the Romans (at this time the Eastern or Byzantine Empire) interrupted only by two short wars, the first in 421-422 and the second In 440. During this time, the religious policy of the Sassanids differed dramatically from king to king. Despite a series of weak leaders, the administrative system established during the Shapur II reign remained strong, and the empire continued to function effectively.
After Shapur II died in 379, he left a powerful empire to his half-brother Ardashir II (379–383; son of Vahram of Kushan) and his son Shapur III (383–388), neither of whom demonstrated his predecessor's talent.

Ardashir II, who had grown up as the "half-brother" of the Emperor, failed to fill his brother's shoes, and Shapur III. Was too melancholic to achieve anything. Bahram IV (388-399), although not as inactive as his father, still managed to achieve nothing important for the empire. During this time, Armenia was divided by a treaty between the Roman and the Sassanian empires. The Sassanids reestablished their rule over large armies, while the Byzantine Empire held a small part of western Armenia.
Bahram IV's son Yazdegerd I (399-421) is often compared with Constantine I. He was like him physically and diplomatically powerful. Similar to his Roman counterpart, Yazdegerd was opportunistic. Like Constantine the Great, Yazdegerd I practiced religious tolerance and freedom for the rise of religious minorities. He stopped the persecution against Christians, and even punished nobles and priests who persecuted them. Its reign marked a relatively peaceful era. He made lasting peace with the Romans and even took the young Theodosius II (408-450) under his guardianship. He also married a Jewish princess, who bore him a son named Narsi.
Yazdegerd I. His successor was his son Bahram V (421-438), one of the most famous Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. These myths also persisted after the destruction of the Sassanid Empire by the Arabs. Bahram V, better known as Bahram-e Gur, won the crown after the sudden death of Yazdegerd I (or assassination) against the opposition of the Great with the help of al-Mundhir, the Arab dynasty of al-Hirah. Bahram Vs mother was Soshandukht, the daughter of the Jewish exilearch. In 427, he crashed an invasion in the east through the nomadic hephalites and extended his influence into Central Asia, where his portrait survived centuries of the imprinting of Bukhara (in Uzbekistan today). Bahram V dismissed the vassal kings of the Persian part of Armenia and made him a province.
Bahram V is a great favorite in the Persian tradition which tells many stories about his bravery and beauty, his victories over the Romans, Turkic peoples, Indians and Africans and his adventures in hunting and love; He is called Bahram-e Gur, Gur meaning onager, because of his love for hunting and especially hunting onager. He symbolized a king at the height of a golden age. He had won his crown by competing with his brother, spending time fighting foreign enemies, but most amused by hunting and court parties with his famous gang of ladies and courtiers. He embodied royal prosperity. During his time, the best pieces of Sassanid literature were written, remarkable pieces of Sassanid music were composed, and sports such as polo became regal pastimes, a tradition which continues to this day in many kingdoms.
Bahram V's son Yazdegerd II (438–457) was a just, moderate ruler, but in contrast to Yazdegerd I, practiced a harsh policy towards minority religions, particularly Christianity.
At the beginning of his reign, Yazdegerd II collected a mixed army from different nations, including his Indian allies, and attacked the Eastern Roman Empire in 441, but peace was soon restored after minor struggles. Then he gathered his forces in Nishapur in 443 and launched a long campaign against the Kidarites. Finally, after a series of battles, he crushed the Kidarites and drove them out over the Oxus in the year 450.

During his eastern campaign, Yazdegerd II became suspicious of the Christians in the army and expelled them all from the commander-in-chief and the army. Then he followed the Christians and, to a much lesser degree, the Jews. In order to restore Zoroastrianism in Armenia, he crushed an insurrection of the Armenian Christians in the battle of Vartanantz in 451. The Armenians, however, remained predominantly Christian. In his later years, he was still engaged to Kidarites until his death in 457. Hormizd III (457-459), younger son of Yazdegerd II, rose to the throne. During his short reign, he constantly struggled with his older brother Peroz, who had the support of the nobility, and with the hephthalites in Bactria. He was killed by his brother Peroz in 459.
At the beginning of the 5th century, the Hephalites (White Huns), together with other nomadic groups, attacked Persia. First, Bahram V and Yazdegerd II brought decisive defeats against them and drove them back east. The Huns returned at the end of the fifth century and defeated Peroz I (457-484) in 483. After this victory the Huns invaded and plundered parts of East Persia for two years. After a few years of hard work you have practiced hard.
These attacks caused instability and chaos for the kingdom. Peroz I once again tried to expel the hephthalites, but on the way to Herat he and his army were captured by the Huns in the desert; Peroz was killed, and his army was extinguished. After this victory, the Hephalites advanced to the city of Herat and cast the Empire into chaos. Finally, a noble Persian from the old family of Karen, Zarmihr (or Sokhra) restored a certain order. He raised Balash, one of Peroz's brothers, although the Hunnian threat existed until the reign of Khosrau I. Balash (484-488) was a mild and generous monarch who made concessions to Christians; However, he has no action against the enemies of the Empire, especially the White Huns. Balash, after a reign of four years, was blinded and dismissed (attributed to the magnates), and his nephew, Kavadh I, was raised to the throne.
Kavadh I (488-531) was an energetic and reformist ruler. Kavadh I supported the sect founded by Mazdak, son of Bamdad, who demanded that the rich should share their wives and wealth with the poor. His intention was evidently to be broken by the acceptance of the doctrine of the Mazdakites, the influence of the magnates and the growing aristocracy. These reforms led him to be deposed and imprisoned in Susa, and his younger brother Jamasp (Zamaspes) was elevated to the throne in 496. Kavadh I, however, escaped 498 and was crowned by the White Hun King.
Djamasp (496-498) was installed on the Sassanid throne after the deposition of Kavadh I by the members of the nobility. Djamasp was a good and good king, and he reduced taxes to relieve the peasants and the poor. He was also a follower of the Greek Zoroastrian religion, distractions, of which Kavadh I had lost his throne and freedom. His reign ended soon, when Kavadh I returned to the imperial capital at the head of a great army granted him by the Hephalitic king. Djamasp stepped back from his position and restored the throne to his brother. No further mention of Djamasp is made after the restoration of Kavadh I, but it is generally believed that he was favorably treated at his brother's court.

Second Golden Era (498–622)
The second golden age began after the second reign of Kavadh I. With the support of the Hephtalites, Kavadh I launched a campaign against the Romans. In 502 he took Theodosiopolis in Armenia but lost it soon after. In 503 he took Amida on the Tigris. In 504, an invasion of Armenia by the Western Huns from the Caucasus led to an armistice, the return of Amida to Roman rule and a peace treaty in 506. In 521/522, Kavadh lost control of Lazica whose rulers were loyal to the Romans ; An attempt by the Iberians in 524-525 to also cause a war between Rome and Persia.
In 527, a Roman offensive against Nisibis was rejected and Roman efforts to consolidate positions near the border were thwarted. In 530, Kavadh sent an army under Firouz the Mirranes to attack the important Roman border town of Dara. The army was met by the Roman General Belisarius, and although superior in figures, was defeated in the battle of Dara. In the same year a second Persian army under Mihr-Mihroe in Satala was defeated by Roman troops under Sittas and Dorotheus, but in 531 a Persian army, accompanied by a Lakhmid contingent under Al-Mundhir III, defeated the Belisarius in the battle of Callinicum In 532 an "eternal" peace was concluded. Although he was not able to free himself from the yoke of the Ephtites, Kavadh succeeded in restoring order within himself, and fought with general success against the Eastern Romans, founded several cities, some of which were named after him, and began to regulate internal taxation Administration.

After Kavadh I, his son Khosrau I, also known as Anushirvan ("with the immortal soul," reigned 531-579), rose to the throne. He is the most famous of the Sassanid rulers. Khosrau I is famous for his reforms in the aging government body of the Sassanids. He introduced a rational system of taxation based on a survey of landowned by his father, and he tried in every way to increase the welfare and revenues of his empire. Previous large feudal lords filed their own military equipment, trailers and holders. Khosrau I developed a new power of the Dehkans or "knights", paid and equipped by the central government and the bureaucracy, linking the army and the bureaucracy more closely to the central government than to local masters.
Emperor Justinian I (527-565) paid Khosrau I 440,000 pieces of gold as part of the "eternal peace" Treaty of 532. In 540, Khosrau broke the treaty and invaded Syria, dismissed Antioch and extorted large sums of money from a number of other cities . Further successes followed: in 541 Lazica on the Persian side, and in 542 a large Byzantine offensive in Armenia was defeated at Anglon. A five-year armistice, approved in 545, was interrupted in 547, when Lazica changed sides again, and finally expelled his Persian occupation with Byzantine aid; When the war was resumed, it was confined to Lazica, which was maintained by the Byzantines when the peace was closed in 562.
In 565 Justinian I died and was persecuted by Justin II (565-578), who decided to stop subsidies for Arab chiefs to prevent them from invading Byzantine territory in Syria. A year earlier, the Sassanian governor of Armenia, the Suren family, set up a modern fire strike near Dover near Yerevan today, killing an influential member of the Mamikon family by touching a revolt leading to the Persian massacre His guard in 571, while rebellion also broke out in Iberia. Justin II used the Armenian revolt to stop his annual payments to Khosrau I for the defense of the Caucasus passports.
The Armenians were received as allies, and an army was sent to the territory of Sassanid, which Nisibis laid siege in 573. However, the dissension among the Byzantine generals not only led to a siege, but they were again beset in the city of Dara, which were devastated by the Persians who then devastated Syria and caused Justin II to make annual payments in exchange for a five-year Armistice on the Mesopotamian front, although the war was continued elsewhere. In 576 Khosrau I led his last campaign, an offensive in Anatolia, which dismissed Sebasteia and Melitene, but ended in disaster: defeated outside Melite, the Persians suffered heavy losses as they fled over the Euphrates under the Byzantine attack. The Byzantines used the Persian disorder and attacked deeply into the Khosrau area, leading even amphibious attacks across the Caspian Sea. Khosrau sued for peace, but he decided to continue the war after a victory through his general Tamkhosrau in Armenia in 577 and fought back in Mesopotamia. The Armenian revolt ended with a general amnesty which brought Armenia back to the Sassanian Empire.
Around 570, "Ma'd-Karib," the brother of the King of Yemen, demanded the intervention of Khosrau I. Khosrau I sent a fleet and a small army under a commander named Vahriz to the area near today's Aden, and they marched Against the capital San'a'l, which was occupied. Saif, the son of Mard-Karib, who had accompanied the expedition, became king between 575 and 577. Thus the Sassanids could create a base in South Arabia to control maritime trade with the East. Later, the South Arabian kingdom renounced the Sassanid supremacy, and another Persian expedition was sent in 598, which successfully annexed South Arabia as a Sassanid province which lasted until the time of the unrest after Khosrau II.
The reign of Khosrau I witnessed the rise of the Dihqans (literally the village lords), the petty nobility who were the backbone of the later Sassanian provincial administration and the tax recovery system. Khosrau I was a great builder, decorated his capital, founded new cities and built new buildings. He rebuilt the canals and restored the farms destroyed in the wars. He built strong fortifications on the passports and placed subjects in carefully selected cities on the borders to serve as guardians against intruders. He was tolerant of all religions, although he ordered that Zoroastrianism should be the official state religion, and was not overly disturbed when one of his sons became a Christian.

According to Khosrau I, Hormizd IV (579-590) took the throne. The war with the Byzantines continued to grow intensively, but unclearly, until General Bahram Chobin, who had been dismissed and humiliated by Hormizd, rose in rebellion in 589. In the following year, Hormizd was overthrown by a palace coup and his son Khosrau II (590-628). However, this change of the ruler failed to force Bahram, who defeated Khosrau, to flee to the Byzantine territory and conquer the throne for himself as Bahram VI. Khosrau asked the Byzantine Emperor Maurice (582-602) for support against Bahram and offered to cede the Western Caucasus to the Byzantines.To cement the alliance, Khosrau also married Maurice's daughter Miriam. Under the command of Khosrau and the Byzantine generals Narses and John Mystacon the new united Byzantine-Persian army raised a rebellion against Bahram who defeated him in the Battle of Blarathon in 591st When Khosrau was later returned to power, he kept his promise About the control of Western Armenia and Caucasian Iberia. The new order of peace enabled the two empires, to concentrate on other military issues: Khosrau extended the eastern frontier of the Sassanid Empire, while Maurice Byzantine control over the Balkan restored.
After being overthrown and killed by Phocas (602-610) in 602, Khosrau II used the murder of his benefactor as a pretext to begin a new invasion that benefited from the ongoing civil war in the Byzantine Empire and did not provide any effective resistance . The generals of Khosrau systematically subjected the strongly fortified border towns of the Byzantine Mesopotamia and Armenia, laying the foundations for an unprecedented expansion. The Persians overrun Syria and conquered Antioch in 611.
In 613, outside of Antioch, the Persian generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin occupied a decisive counter-attack, personally led by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. Persian progress remained unchecked. Jerusalem fell 614, Alexandria 619, and the rest of Egypt by 621. The Sassanid dream of restoring the Achaemenid boundaries was almost complete while the Byzantine Empire was on the brink of collapse. This remarkable peak of the expansion was marked by a flower of Persian art, music and architecture.

Decline and fall (622–651)
While initially seemed to be successful at first glance, Khosrau II's campaign had actually exhausted the Persian army and the Persian treasures. In an attempt to rebuild the national treasury, Khosrau overwhelmed the population. Thus Heraclius (610-641) saw the remaining resources of the impoverished and devastated empire, reorganized his armies, and brought a remarkable counteroffensive. Between 622 and 627 he fought against the Persians in Anatolia and the Caucasus and won a series of victories against Persian troops under Khosrau, Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan, abducting the great Zoroastrian temple in Ganzak and supporting the Khazars and the West Turkic Supported Khaganat.
In 626, Constantinople was besieged by Slavic and Avarian armed forces supported by a Persian army under Shahrbaraz on the other side of the Bosporus, but attempts to cross the Persians were blocked by the Byzantine fleet and the siege failed. In 627-628, Heraclius mounted a winter invasion of Mesopotamia and, despite the departure of his Khazar ally, defeated a Persian army commanded by Rhahzadh in the Battle of Nineveh. Then he marched down the Tigris, devastated the country and dismissed Khosrau's palace in Dastagerd. He was prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by destroying the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal, leading further attacks before retreating Diyala to northwest Iran.
The effects of the Heraclius victories, the devastation of the richest areas of the Sassanian empire, and the humiliating destruction of high-profile targets such as Ganzak and Dastagerd have mortally undermined Khosra's reputation and his support under the Persian aristocracy. At the beginning of 628 he was overthrown and murdered by his son Kavadh II (628), who had immediately ended the war and declared himself ready to withdraw from all occupied territories. In 629 Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony. Kavadh died within months, and chaos and civil war followed. Over a period of four years and five consecutive kings, including two daughters of Khosrau II and Spahbod Shahrbaraz, the Sassanid empire weakened considerably. The power of the central power passed into the hands of the generals. It would take several years for a strong king to emerge from a series of coups, and the Sassanids never had time to recover completely.
In the spring of 632 a grandson of Khosrau I, who in Estakhr, Yazdegerd III. Hidden, had ascended the throne. In the same year the first Arabs of the Arabic tribes, reunited by Islam, came to Persian territory. According to Howard-Johnston, the years of the war had exhausted both the Byzantines and the Persians. The Sassanids were further weakened by the economic decline, the heavy taxation, the religious unrest, the rigid social stratification, the growing power of the landowners, and the rapid change of the rulers and the Islamic conquest of Persia.

The Sassanids never bore a real resistance to the pressure exerted by the first Arab armies. Yazdegerd was a boy who was merciful by his advisors and was unable to break a large country into small feudal kingdoms, although the Byzantines had not threatened the newly exposed Arabs under similar pressure. The caliph Abu Bakr's commander, Khalid ibn Walid, moved to capture Iraq in a series of lightning battles. In June 634, the successor of Khalid in Iraq was thrown back from the Syrian front against the Byzantines, and the Muslims were defeated at the Battle of the Bridge in 634, resulting in a victory of the Sassanids. But the Arab threat did not stop and appeared briefly from the disciplined armies of Khalid ibn Walid, once Muhammad's chosen companion of the Arab army.
In 637, a Muslim army under the caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab defeated a greater Persian power led by General Rostam Farrokhzad in the plains of al-Qādisiyyah and advanced over the Ctesiphon, which fell after a long siege. Yazdegerd fled east of Ctesiphon and left him the bulk of the Empire's huge treasury. The Arabs conquered Ctesiphon shortly thereafter, gained a powerful financial resource, and left the Sassanid government. Several Sassanid governors tried to unite their forces to throw back invaders, but effort was crippled by the lack of a strong central authority, and the governors were defeated at the Battle of Nihawānd. The empire, with its military command structure, did not exist, its non-noble troops were decimated, its financial resources effectively destroyed, and the Asawarian (Azatan) chivalrous caste destroyed, was now completely helpless in face of the intruders.
Upon hearing of the defeat in Nihawānd, Yazdegerd along with most of Persian nobilities fled further inland to the eastern province of Khorasan. He was assassinated by a miller in Merv in late 651, while the rest of the nobles settled in Central Asia where they contributed greatly to spreading Persian culture and language in those regions and to the establishment of the first native Iranian Islamic dynasty, the Samanid dynasty, which sought to revive Sassanid traditions.
The sudden fall of the Sassanid empire was completed over a period of five years, and most of its territory was incorporated into the Islamic caliphate; But many Iranian cities resisted and fought several times against the invaders. Islamic caliphates repeatedly suppressed revolts in cities like Rey, Isfahan and Hamadan. The local population was initially under low pressure to move to Islam and remain as Dhimmi subjects of the Muslim state and pay a Jizya. Jizya virtually replaced duties imposed by the Sassanids. In addition, the old Sassanid "land tax" (known in Arabic as Kharaj) was adopted. Caliph Umar is said to have occasionally set up a commission to collect taxes to assess whether they were more than the country could bear. The transformation of the Persian population into Islam would gradually occur, especially as the Persian-speaking elites tried to gain prestige positions under the Abbasid caliphate.

Islamic Conquest

The Islamic conquest of Persia (637–651) led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity. Islam has been the official religion of Iran since then, except short duration after Mongol raid and establishment of Ilkhanate. Iran became an Islamic republic after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Read more ▸

Arab Conquest
Arab Conquest and the Early Iranian Islamic Dynasties (636 - c. 1100)
The Muslim Arabs who toppled the Sasanid Empire were insprred by a new religion Islam. Although the Koran, the holy b k f h religion, considered people equal regardless their race and social status, the conquerors, especially the Umayyads (the Muslim rulers who succeeded the Prophet Mohammad), tended to stress the primacy of Arabs. Despite this, the Iranians rapidly integrated into the new Islamic community. They began to contribute Significantly to all branches of Islamic learning and to play an important role in the economic and even political life of the new Muslim Empire. The new caliph came to power due to the Iranian military leader called Abu Moslem, who led the armies of Saffah against the last of the Umayyad caliphs. Saffah was a great-grandson of Abbas, Prophet Mohammad's uncle, so he called his dynasty the Abbasids. The Abbasid dynasty was the most famous in the Islamic world. Abbasid caliphs were the generous patrons of Islamic culture and arts. However, despite the outstanding progress achieved in the cultural field, the military problems of the empire and its administrative organization were left unsolved. Moreover, Iranians who gladly accepted Islam, which freed them from the dictates of the taboo-ridden and excessively ritualized Zoroastrianism, could not bear invaders in their homeland. Numerous rebellions took the form of peasant revolts in Azerbaijan and Khorasan. Soon the first Iranian dynasties threatened the Abbasid empire with dreams of Iranian independence. Purely Iranian states were formed in the main part of Iranian territory (Tahirids in Khorasan with Nishapur as the capital, Saffarids in Sistan, Samanids in wealthy Tran-soxanian and east Khorasanian cities, Ziarids in Tabarestan, and Gorgans and Buyids all over Iran excluding the Samanid properties). The Buyids shared with the Samanids the fame for having brought to fruition the Iranian renaissance. Although the caliphate held no appeal for the Buyids, who were Shiites, they retained it as a stabilizing factor for the Muslims. Until its final days, the caliphate remained under Iranian influence. Within two centuries after the advent of Islam in Iran, Iranian civilization had completely revived, and managed to produce I new patterns of art and thought.

Islamic Conquest
The Bedouin Arabs who crashed the Sassanid empire were driven not only by the desire for conquest, but also by a new religion, Islam. Prophet Mohammad, a member of the Hashimite clan of the mighty tribe of Quraysh, proclaimed his prophetic mission in Arabia in 612, and finally won the city of his birth, Mecca, for the new faith. Within a year after Muhammad's death in 632, Arabia was self-assured enough to allow his secular successor, Abu Bakr, the first caliph, to fight the Byzantine and Sassan empires.
Abu Bakr defeated the Byzantine army in Damascus in 635 and then began his conquest of Iran. In 637, the Arab forces occupied the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon (which they renamed Madain), and in 641-42 they defeated the Sassanian army in Nahavand. After that, Iran was open to the attackers. The Islamic conquest was supported by the material and social bankruptcy of the Sassanids; The indigenous peoples had little to lose by cooperating with the conquering power. In addition, the Muslims offered a relative religious tolerance and a fair treatment of the population, which accepted Islamic rule without resistance.
It was only around 650 that resistance in Iran was lifted. The transformation to Islam, which offers certain advantages, was fairly rapid in the urban population, but slower among the peasants and the Dihqans [farmers]. The majority of Iranians became Muslim only in the ninth century.
Although the conquerors, especially the Umayyads (the Muslim rulers who followed Mohammad from 661-750) tended to emphasize the primacy of Arabs among Muslims, the Iranians were gradually integrated into the new community. The Muslim conquistadors passed the Sassanid coin system and many Sassanid administrative practices, including the Office of the Vizier or Minister, and the Diwan, an office or register to control government revenues and expenses that were characteristic of the administration in all Muslim countries. The later caliphs adopted the Iranian ceremonies and the dress of the Sassanian monarchy. Men of Iranian origin served as administrators after the conquest, and Iranians contributed significantly to all branches of Islamic learning, including philology, literature, history, geography, jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine and sciences.

The Arabs, however, were under control. The new state religion, Islam, imposed its own system of beliefs, laws, and social morals. In regions that peacefully subjugated Muslim rule, the landowners retained their land. But Kronland, land abandoned by fleeing owners, and land taken by conquest, came into the hands of the new state. These included the rich countries of the Sawad, a rich, alluvial plain in central and southern Iraq. Arabic became the official language of the court in 696, although Persian continues to be widely used as the spoken language. The shuubiyya literary controversy of the ninth to the eleventh century, in which Arabs and Iranians each praise their own and denigrate the other cultural features, suggests the survival of a certain sense of their own Iranian identity. In the ninth century, the emergence of purely Iranian ruling dynasties showed the revival of the Persian language, enriched by Arabic loan words and the use of the Arabic script, as well as Persian literature.
Another legacy of the Arab conquest was Shia Islam, which, although closely identified with Iran, was not an Iranian religious movement at first. It came about with the Arab Muslims. In the great schism of Islam, a group among the community of believers claimed that the leadership of the community after the death of the Prophet Mohammad belonged to Muhammad's father-in-law, Ali, and his descendants. This group was known as the Shiat Ali, the partisans of Ali or the Shiites. Another group, Muawiya's supporters (a rival candidate for the Caliphate after the murder of Uthman), demanded Ali's election to the Caliphate 656. After Ali was murdered in a mosque in Kufa in 661, Muawiya was designated by the majority as the Caliph The Islamic community. He became the first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty, which had its capital in Damascus.
Ali's youngest son, Hossain, refused to pay the homage offered by Muawiyas son and successor Yazid I, and fled to Mecca where he was prayed to lead the Shiites - mostly living in today's Iraq - in a revolt In Karbala, in Iraq, Hossain's 200 men and women, who were not ready to surrender, were finally killed by about 4,000 Umayyads. The leader of the Umayyads received Hossain's head and Hossain's death in 680 on the tenth of Moharram is also observed as a day of grief for all Shiites.
The largest concentration of Shias in the first century of Islam was in southern Iraq. It was not until the sixteenth century, under the Safavids, that a majority of Iranians became Shias. Shia Islam became then, as it is now, the state religion.

The Abbasids, who crashed the Umayyads in 750, while they were sympathetic with the Iranian Shiites, were clearly an Arabian dynasty. They were rebelled in the name of the descendants of Mohammed, Abbas, and Hashim. Hashim was an ancestor of the Shia and the Abbas or the Sunnite line, and the Abbasid movement enjoyed the support of both the Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The Abkhazian army consisted mainly of Khorasan [Khorasan, a region in the north-east of Iran] and was led by an Iranian general Abu Moslim Khorasani. It contained both Iranian and Arabic elements, and the Abbasids enjoyed both Iranian and Arabic support.
The Abbasids, although sympathetic with the Shiites, whose support they wanted to keep, did not encourage the Abbasids, not the extremist Shia aspirations. The Abbasids founded their capital in Baghdad. Al Mamon, who took the power of his brother Amin and worked for the caliph in 811, had an Iranian mother and thus had a base in Khorasan. The Abbasids continued the centralization policy of their predecessors. Under her rule, the Islamic world experienced a cultural flourishing and expansion of trade and economic prosperity. These were developments in which Iran shared.
Iran's next ruling dynasties came from nomadic, Turkish-speaking warriors, who had moved from Central Asia to Transoxiana for more than a thousand years. The abbasidal caliphs began to win these people as slaves in the 9th century. Shortly thereafter the real power of the Abbasid caliphs began to fade; Finally, they became religious figures while the warriors ruled slaves. When the power of the Abbasid caliphs decreased, a number of independent and indigenous dynasties rose in different parts of Iran, some with considerable influence and power. Among the most important of these overlapping dynasties were the Tahirides in Khorasan (820-72); The Saffarids in Sistan (867-903); And the Samanids (875-1005), originally in Bokhara. The Samanids eventually dominated an area from central Iran to India. In 962, a Turkish slave governor of the Samanids, Alptigin, Ghasna (in today's Afghanistan), conquered the Ghaznavid dynasty, which lasted in 1186.

Several Samanid cities had been lost to another Turkish group, the Seljoks, a clan of the Oghoz (or Ghozz) Turks, who lived north of the Oxus River (today's Amu Darya). Their leader, Toghril Beg, turned his warriors against the Ghasnavids in Khorasan. He moved south and then west, but did not conquer the cities in his way. In 1055, the caliph in Baghdad gave Toghril Beg robes, gifts and the title King of the East. Under Toghril Beg's successor, Malik Shah (1072-92), Iran enjoyed a cultural and scientific renaissance, which was attributed above all to its brilliant Iranian Vizier Nezam al Molk. These leaders founded the Observatory, where Omar Khayyam has much of his experimenting for a new calendar, and they built religious schools in all major cities. They brought Abu Hamid Ghazali, one of the greatest Islamic theologians, and other distinguished scholars to the capital of Seljok in Baghdad and encouraged and supported their work.
A serious inner threat to the Seljoks, however, came from Ismailis, a secret sect headquartered in Alamot, between Rasht and Tehran. They controlled the immediate environment for more than 150 years and sporadically sent supporters to strengthen their rule by killing important officials. They were called Assassins and hashishiyya since people believed that they had smoked Hashish before their missions.

Umayyad Caliphate in Persia

It would be impossible in a history of Persia, to ignore the importance of the Omayyad dynasty, which ruled the vast Moslem empire for nearly a century. Muavia began his reign in Syria in A.H. 35 (656), and he became Caliph of the entire Moslem world upon the abdication of Hasan in A.h. 40 (661), but it was not until two years later that he entered into possession of all the lands of the Caliphate.

Read more ▸

It would be impossible in a history of Persia to ignore the importance of the Omayyad dynasty, which ruled the vast Muslim empire for almost a century. Muavia began his rule in Syria in A.h. 35 (656), and he became the caliph of the entire Muslim world after the abdication of Hasan in A.h. 40 (661), but only two years later he came into the possession of all the countries of the caliphate.
It was at this time that Ziad, Ali's governor of Pars, reconciled with him and presented himself under a safe leadership in Damascus, bringing all the arrears of revenue and an additional one million pieces as a gift. His remarkable ability secured the public recognition of his relationship with himself to the Caliph, and he was appointed governor of Basra, where he ruled the turbulent Arabs with an iron rod. Later, Kufa was added to his administration, and there he introduced a fright to crush conspiracies that remained ill for the future of the Omayyad dynasty. The Arab chroniclers say that no Viceroy ever enjoyed such powers as Ziad, who ruled from the Euphrates to the Indus and Jaxartes, and clothed a court similar to that of the Great King.
During the caliphate of Muavia the yoke of the Arabs was securely fixed in the east. Herat, published in A.h. Had rebelled. 41 (662), was stormed, and so Kabul was two years later. Ghazni, Balkh and Kandahar were visited by Muslim armies. In A.h. 54 (674) the Oxus was crossed and Bokhara captured, and in A.h. 56 (676) Samarcand fell upon the Muslims who strengthened their position to the Jaxartes in the north and the Indus in the south. In short, they succeeded Alexander the Great.

From Basra and Kufa, Ziad ruled Persia through his sons. The province of Khorasan, which at that time included the Muslim empire east of the Lut to the borders of India, was divided into four large districts with their centers in Nishapur, Merv, Herat and Balkh. Of these cities lies only the former in the borders of modern Iran. It was also at this time that Arab colonies were planted in Khorasan, whose traces still survive, although the Mongol invasions have destroyed their power. I myself often have small tribes of Arab tribes, and a regiment called the Arab Va Ajam is still being recruited in the Shahrud district.
In AH 65, the Kharijites, whose dark activity persistently invaded Persia, visited the tomb of Husayn at Kerbela, and lamented their desolation over his cause. They then fell into Syria, but were defeated and returned to Kufa. The following year, there were tribulations in Kufa, which ended in a massacre of all those who opposed Husayn. The Persians rejoice at the just retribution which fell upon Shimr, Amr, and other citizens, many of whom were put to death with torture; And because of the vigilance of Mukhtar, but few escaped. The heads of Amr and his son were sent to the Hanifite, which seemed to be only a tool of a clever intruder.
In a period of universal tyranny and oppression, when tyrants like Hajjaj represented the caliph, it is certain that the Persian people were treated worse than among the first four Caliphs who have consistently tried to secure justice and oppress tyranny and corruption. The inhabitants of Khorasan were decisively involved in the overthrow of the Omayyad dynasty. Among them, the abbasid agents found their most loyal followers, with the remarkable spectacle of a man who risked life and property to serve a man of a foreign race whom they had never seen and served with rare fidelity and devotion. It was this spirit that inspired the followers of the Black Standard, which enabled them to overcome the Arabs of Syria, who were so lukewarm for the caliph, thinking only their personal or at most their tribal interests. Consequently, in a certain sense, the victory won by the men of Khorasan can be seen as a sign of national awakening on the part of the oppressed Persians, who must have been aware that in all those who were made for civilization, they were their Arab masters Were superior.

Abbasids in Persia

The revolution that established the Abbāsids represented a triumph of the Islamic Hejazi elements within the empire; the Iranian revival was yet to come. Nevertheless, Abbāsid concern with fostering eastern Islam made the new caliphs willing to borrow the methods and procedures of statecraft employed by their Iranian predecessors. At Damascus the Umayyads had imitated Sasanian court etiquette, but at Baghdad Persianizing influences went deeper and aroused some resentment among the Arabs, who were nostalgic for the legendary simplicity of human relations among the desert Arabs of yore.

Read more ▸

Abbasids in Persia (754-820)
The Omayyad dynasty and the empire of Islam were interchangeable terms, but this is not true of the Abbasid dynasty, which was never acknowledged in Spain and from the first but intermittently in Africa. In Persia, as will be seen, independent dynasties arose as the Caliph grew weak, until the appalling cataclysm of the Mongol invasion, sweeping across Iran, ended the degenerate house of Abbas and with it the Caliphate. A second fact of special importance, so far as Persia is concerned, is that the Abbasids owed their success to armies raised in Khorasan, on which they relied to maintain the dynasty against the Arabs. The martial vigour of the latter had naturally deteriorated, owing to the luxury which their extraordinary successes had induced and the system whereby they were maintained, without working, at the expense of the Moslem empire, just as in later days the Manchus were maintained in China.
The ascendancy of the Persians over the Arabs, that is to say of the conquered over the victors, had already for a long while been in course of preparation ; it became complete when the Abbasids, who owed their elevation to liie Persians, ascended the throne. These princes made it a rule to be on their purd against the Arabs, and to put their trust only in foreigners, Persians, opecially those of Khorasan, with whom, therefore, they had to make friends.
A much more serious danger than the rebellions in Persia threatened Mansur when Medina and Basra rose to support the claims of the house of Ali. The rebellious cities were dealt with one after the other, and at Medina the Pretender was deserted and fell fighting. His brother Ibrahim took possession of Basra and then of Kufa, but he, too, fell in battle after almost winning the day, and his army broke up and dispersed.

Harun ar Rashid, the caliph of the Arabian Nights, actively supported intellectual pursuits, but the great flowering of Arabic culture that is credited to the Abbasids reached its apogee during the reign of his son, Al Mamun (813-33). After the death of Harun ar Rashid, his sons, Amin and Al Mamun, quarreled over the succession to the caliphate. Their dispute soon erupted into civil war. Amin was backed by the Iraqis, while Al Mamun had the support of the Iranians. Al Mamun also had the support of the garrison at Khorasan and thus was able to take Baghdad in 813. Although Sunni Muslims, the Abbasids had hoped that by astute and stern rule they would be able to contain Shia resentment at yet another Sunni dynasty. The Iranians, many of whom were Shias, had hoped that Al Mamun would make his capital in their own country, possibly at Merv. Al Mamun, however, eventually realized that the Iraqi Shias would never countenance the loss of prestige and economic power if they no longer had the capital. He decided to center his rule in Baghdad.
Disappointed, the Iranians began to break away from Abbasid control. A series of local dynasties appeared: the Tahirids (821- 873), the Suffarids (867-ca. 1495), and the Samanids (819-1005). The same process was repeated in the West: Spain broke away in 756, Morocco in 788, Tunisia in 800, and Egypt in 868. In Iraq there was trouble in the south. In 869, Ali ibn Muhammad (Ali the Abominable) founded a state of black slaves known as Zanj. The Zanj brought a large part of southern Iraq and southwestern Iran under their control and in the process enslaved many of their former masters. The Zanj Rebellion was finally put down in 883, but not before it had caused great suffering.
The Sunni-Shia split had weakened the effectiveness of Islam as a single unifying force and as a sanction for a single political authority. Although the intermingling of various linguistic and cultural groups contributed greatly to the enrichment of Islamic civilization, it also was a source of great tension and contributed to the decay of Abbasid power. 

Tahirid dynasty

The Tahirid Dynasty, was an Iranian Persian dynasty that ruled from 820 to 872 over the northeastern part of Greater Iran, in the region of Khorasan (parts that are presently in Iran (Persia), Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). The Tahirid capital was Merv and was then moved to Nishapur. The Tahirid dynasty is considered to be the first independent dynasty from the Abbasid caliphate established in Khorasan. Although nominally subject to the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad, the Tahirid rulers were effectively independent.

Read more ▸

The Tahirid dynasty (Persian: سلسله ی طاهریان) was a dynasty of the Persian Dihqan origin who governed the abbasidian province of Khorasan from 821 to 873, and the city of Baghdad from 820 to 891. The dynasty was made by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general In the service of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun. Their capital in Khorasan was originally located at Merv, but later moved to Nishapur. The Tahirids enjoyed a high degree of autonomy in their governance of Khorasan, although they were subject to the Abbasid caliphate and were not independent rulers.

Governors of Khorasan Rise
The founder of the Tahirid dynasty was Tahir ibn Husayn, a general who had played an important role in the civil war between the rivals Caliph al-Amin and al-Ma'mun. He and his ancestors had previously been subordinated to the eastern Khorasan for their services to the Abbasids. In 821, Tahir became governor of Khorasan, but he died soon after. Then the Caliph appointed Tahir's son Talha, whose reign lasted from 822-828. Tahir's other son, Abdullah, was named as the wali of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, and when Talha died, in 828 he was given the governorship office of Khorasan. Abdullah is considered to be one of the greatest Tahirid rulers since his rule has experienced a flourishing agriculture in his home country Khorasan, the popularity among the populations of the eastern lands of the Abbasid caliphate and the expansion of influence through his experience with the western parts of the caliphate.

Abdullah died in 845 and was known by his son Tahir II. Of Tahir's rule is not much known, but the administrative dependency of Sistan was lost during his governor's office to the rebels. Tahirid rule began to deteriorate seriously after Tahir's son Muhammad ibn Tahir became governor because of his negligence with affairs of state and lack of experience with politics. Oppressed politics in Tabaristan, another dependency on Khorasan, led the people of this province to rebel and declare their assertion to the independent Zaydi ruler Hasan ibn Zayd in 864. In Khorasan itself, the rule of Muhammad grew increasingly weak, and in the year 873, finally overthrown by the Saffarid dynasty, which Khorasan annexed to its own empire in East Persia.

Governors of Baghdad
In addition to their invasion of Khorasan, the Tahirides also served as military governors (ashab al-shurta) from Baghdad, beginning with Tahir's appointment to this position in 820. After going to Khorasan, the Governor's Office of Baghdad became a member of the collateral branch of the family , Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, who controls the city for twenty-five years. While Ishaq's term as governor, he was responsible for the implementation of the Mihna (Inquisition) in Baghdad. His administration was also witnessing the departure of the Caliphs from Baghdad as they made the recently established city of Samarra their new capital. When Ishaq died in 849, he was first followed by two of his sons and then 851 by Tahir's grandson Muhammad ibn Abdallah.
Abdallah played an important role in the events of the Anarchy in Samarra in the 1960s, giving the Caliph al-Musta'in refuge and command of the defense of Baghdad, as beset by the forces of the rival Caliph al-Mu, Tazz In 865. I am very happy and happy. I am very happy and happy. Violent riots plagued Baghdad during the last years of Abdallah's life, and conditions in the city remained stormy after he died and was succeeded by his brothers, first Ubaydallah and then Sulayman. Finally, the order in Baghdad was restored and the Tahirids also served as governors of the city for another two decades. In 891, however, Badr al-Mu'tadidi was blamed for the security of Baghdad instead of the Tahirides, and the family soon lost its lead in the caliphate.

Saffarid dynasty

Iranian dynasty of lower class origins that ruled a large area in eastern Iran (flourished 9th century AD). The dynasty’s founder, Yaqubb ebn Leys as Saffar "the coppersmith", took control of his native province, Seistan, around 866. By 869 he had extended his control into northeastern India, adding the Kabul Valley, Sind, Tocharistan, Makran (Baluchistan), Kerman, and Fars to his possessions. With the overthrow of the Tahirids and the annexation of Khorasan in 873 the Saffarid Empire reached it’s greatest extent.

Read more ▸

The Saffarids (Persian: سلسله صفاریان) were a Muslim Persian dynasty from Sistan, which ruled from parts of eastern Iran, Khorasan, Afghanistan and Balochistan from 861 to 1003. The dynasty of Persian origin was founded by Ya'qub bin Laith -Saffar, a native Sistan and a local Ayyar who worked as a copper fief (ṣaffār) before becoming a warlord. He took control of the Sistan region and began to conquer the bulk of today's Afghanistan.
The Saffarids used their capital Zaranj, a city in today's Afghanistan, as the basis for an aggressive expansion to the east and west. They first captured the lands south of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan and then crashed the Persian Tahirid dynasty, which Khorasan annexed in 873. During the death of Ya'qub he had the Kabul Valley, Sindh, Tocharistan, Makran, Kerman, Fars, Khorasan, and almost reached Baghdad, but then suffered a defeat by the Abbasids.
The Saffarid empire did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor, Amr bin Laith, was defeated in the Battle of Balkh against Ismail Samani in the year 900. Amr bin Laith had to surrender most of his territories to the new rulers. The Saffarids were later confined to their heartland by Sistan, their role being reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.

The dynasty began with Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (Ya'qub, son of Layth, the copper fitter), a copper smith who moved to the city of Zaranj. He left the work to become an ayyar and finally got the power to act as an independent ruler. From his capital Zaranj he moved east in al-Rukhkhadj and Zamindawar, followed by Zunbil and Kabul from 865. Then he fell in Bamyan, Balkh, Badghis and Ghor. In the name of Islam, he conquered these areas, which were mainly governed by Buddhist tribal chiefs. He took large amounts of looting and slaves from this campaign.

"Arab armies carrying the banner of Islam came from the West to defeat the Sasanians in 642, and then they marched faithfully to the east. On the western edge of the Afghan territory, the princes of Herat and Sistan entered the rule of the Arab Governors But in the east, in the mountains, the cities were allowed to rise only in insurrection, and the hastily converted men returned to their old faiths as soon as the armies passed, and the harshness and covetousness of Arab rule produced such unrest The Saffarids of Sistan briefly saw the Afghan territory, and the fanatical founder of this dynasty, Yaqub ibn Layth Saffari, a copperworkmaker, came from his capital in Zaranj and marched through Bost, Kandahar, Ghazni, Kabul, Bamyan, Balkh and Herat Of Islam.Nancy Dupree, 1971
The Tahirid city of Herat was captured in 870 and its campaign in the Badghis region led to the capture of Kharidjites, who later formed the Djash al-Shurat contingent in his army. Ya'qub then turned his focus on the West and began attacks on Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman and Fars. These attacks forced the Abbasid caliphate to recognize him as Kerman's governor.
In 901, Amr Saffari was defeated at the battle of Balkh by the Persian Samanids, which reduced the Saffarid dynasty to a minor tributary in Sistan.
In 1002, Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Sistan, dethroned Khalaf I and finally ended the Saffarid dynasty.

Samanid Empire

The Samani dynasty also known as the Samanid Empire, or simply Samanids (819 - 999), was a Sunni Persian Empire in Central Asia, named after it’s founder Saman Khuda, who converted to Islam despite being from Zoroastrian theocratic nobility. It was a native Persian dynasty in Greater Iran and Central Asia after the collapse of the Sassanid Persian empire caused by the Arab conquest.
The Samanid Empire was the first native dynasty to arise in Iran after the Muslim Arab conquest. It was renowned for the impulse that it gave to Iranian national sentiment and learning. For the first time after the Arab Invasion, Persian becomes the official langue of the court and replaces Arabic.

Read more ▸

The Samani Dynasty (Persian: سامانیان, Tajik: Сомониён - Sāmāniyān), also known as the Samanid Empire or simply Samanid (819-999), was a Sunni Persian empire in Central Asia, named after its founder Saman Khuda From the Zoroastrian theocratic nobility. It was a native Persian dynasty in Greater Iran and Central Asia after the collapse of the Sassanian Persian Empire caused by the Arab conquest.

The Samanids, a dynasty of the Persian Dehqan origin, ruled for 180 years, covering an area that encompassed Khorasan (including Kabul), Ray, Transoxiania, Tabaristan, Kerman, Gorgan and west of these provinces as far as Isfahan. At the height of their power, the area controlled by Samanides stretched as far south as the Sulaiman mountains in Quetta, Ghazni and Kandahar, and to Qazvin in the west. The Samanids were descendants of Bahram Chobin, and so rose from the house of Mihrān, one of the seven Great Houses of Iran. In the administration of their territory the Samanids modeled their state organization after the Abbasids and reflected the court and the organization of the caliph. They were rewarded for the support of the Abbasids in Transoxania and Khorasan, and with their established capital cities located in Bukhara, Balkh, Samarkand and Herat, they created their kingdom after defeating the Saffarids.
With their roots from the city of Balkh (then part of Greater Khorasan), the Samanids promoted the arts, which led to the advancement of science and literature and thus attracted scholars like Rudaki, Ferdowsi and Avicenna. While under Samanid control Bukhara was a rival to Baghdad in his glory. Scholars note that the Samanids have revived Persian more than the buyids and saffarides, while they continue to patronize Arabic to a significant degree. Nevertheless, the Samanid authorities declared in a famous edict that "here in this region the language is Persian, and the kings of that empire are Persian kings.

The Samanid Empire was the first Persian dynasty to emerge after the Muslim Arab conquest. The four grandchildren of the founder of the dynasty, Saman Khuda, had been rewarded with provinces to serve faithfully to the Abbasid caliph al-Mamun: Nuh obtained Samarkand; Ahmad, Fergana; Yahya, shadow; And Elyas, Herat. Ahmad's son, Nasr, was Governor of Transoxania in 875, but his brother and successor Ismail Samani, who overthrew the Saffarids and the Tabayan Zaydites, established a semi-autonomous rule over Transoxania and Khorasan with Bukhara as its capital. In the year 893 Ismail entered and defeated the Karluk-Turk, took Talas and transformed the Nestorian church into a mosque. Ismail's son Ahmad sent two military excursions (911 & 912-913) to Sistan to restore control over the Caspian provinces.
The Samanids defeated the Saffarids and the Zaydids Samanid rule in Bukhara was not formally recognized by the Caliph until the beginning of the 900s, when the Saffarid ruler Amr-i Laith had asked the Caliph for the investment of Transoxiana. The Caliph, Al-Mu'tadid, however, sent the Samanid Amir, Ismail Samani, a letter urging him to fight Amr-i Laith and the Saffarids, whom the Caliph regarded as usurpers. After the letter, the Caliph found that he was praying for Ismail, whom the Caliph regarded as the lawful ruler of Khorasan. The letter had a profound effect on Ismail, as he was determined to contradict the Saffariden.
Both sides fought in Balkh (today in Afghanistan) in the spring of 900. During the battle Ismail was significantly defeated when he came out with 20,000 riders against the 70,000 strong cavalry of Amr. Ismail's riders were badly equipped with most of them with wooden braces, while some had no shields or lances. Amr-i Laith's cavalry, on the other hand, was full of weapons and armor. Despite fierce fighting, Amr was captured as some of his troops switched sides and joined Ismail. D. G. Tor suggests that the Samanide defeats caused him the reputation of being a successful holy warrior because of Ismail's raids in Central Asia.Isma'il thereafter sent an army to Tabaristan in accordance with the caliph's directive. The area at that time was then controlled by the Zaydids. The Samanid army defeated the Zaydid ruler Muhammad ibn Zayd and the Samanids gained control of the region.

Cultural and religious efforts
The Samanids revived the Persian culture by patrolling Rudaki, Bal'ami and Daqiqi. They have also decisively propagated Sunni Islam. However, the Samanids suppressed Ismaili-Shiism, but were more tolerant of the Twelfth Shi'ism. Islamic architecture and Islamic-Persian culture spread deep into the heart of Central Asia through the Samanids. After the first complete translation of the Koran into Persian, during the 9th century the populations under the Samanid Empire began to accept Islam in significant numbers.
Through zealous missionary work came as many as 30,000 tents of the Turks to acknowledge Islam and later among the Ghasnavids more than 55,000 under the Hanafi school of thought. The mass transformation of the Turks to Islam finally led to a growing influence of the Ghaznavids, who later ruled the region.
Agriculture and trade were the economic basis of the state Samanid. The Samanids were heavily engaged in trade, also with Europe, for thousands of samanid coins found in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries testify.

The Samanid epigraphic ware is also a lasting contribution of the Samanids to the history of Islamic art: plates, bowls and jugs, fired in a white piece of paper, decorated with calligraphy, often elegantly and rhythmically. The Arabic phrases used in this calligraphy are usually more or less generic benevolence, or Islamic exhortations to good table manners.

Decline and fall
The power of the Samanids began to crumble in the second half of the tenth century. In 962, one of the Ghulams, Alp Tigin, Commander of the Army in Khurasan, captured Ghasna and established itself there. His successors, also Sebük Tigin, continued to govern as Samanid "governors". With the weakened Samanids, which oppose the growing challenges of the Karakhans, Seuttek later took over all the provinces south of the Oxus and founded the Ghasnavid Empire.
In 992 a Karakhanid, Harun Bughra Khan, grandson of the chief chief of the Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan, Bukhara, captured the Samanid capital. Harun died shortly thereafter, and the Samanids returned to Bukhara. In 999, Nasr b. Ali, a nephew of Harun, returned and took possession of Bukhara, meeting little resistance. The Samanids dominated the Ghasnavids, which gained Khorasan and Afghanistan, and the Karakhanids who received Transoxania; The Oxus River thus became the border between the two competitors. The Samanid Isma'il II Al-Muntasir escaped from the Karakhanid captivity and tried to restore the Samanid dynasty, but he was killed by an Arab Bedouin chief in 1005.

Ziyarids dynasty

The Ziyarids, also spelled Zeyarids were a Dailamite dynasty that ruled in the Caspian sea provinces of Gorgan and Mazandaran from 931-1090 (also known as Tabarestan). The founder of the dynasty was Mardavij (from 927 to 935), who took advantage of a rebellion in the Samanid army of Iran to seize power in northern Iran. He soon expanded his domains and captured the cities of Hamadan, Isfahan, and half of the Kermanshah province, and by 934 his troops even penetrated into Ahvaz. His goal was to conquer Baghdad, remove the caliphate, be crowned in Ctesiphon and restore the Sassanid Empire.

Read more ▸

ZIYARIDS (Āl-e Ziār), a minor Islamic dynasty of the Caspian coastlands (931-ca. 1090). They ruled first in northern Iran, and then in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān.
The Ziyarids belonged to the submerged mountain peoples, especially the Deylamites, Gilites and Kurds, whose rise to power is the "Daylami intermezzo" of Iranian history (Minorsky). After the decline of the direct Caliphal authority in northwestern Iran and the decline of local powers such as the Sājid governors of Azerbaijan, many mountain leaders became soldiers of happiness and contenders for authority in this power vacuum; The most successful of all were the three Deylamite Buyids.
The founder of the Ziyarid Dynasty Mardāvij b. Ziār (rr 931-35) claimed to be from the pre-Islamic royal family Gilān. He served first the Ḥasanides of Ṭabarestān and then the Gilite commander Asfār b. Širuya. In 931 Asfār's excesses in northern Iran enabled Mardāvij to defeat and kill him.Mardāvij gained control over a vast dominion that included Ray and Qazvin, which extended to Hamadan, Dinavar, and Isfahan, and until 934 invaded his troops even in Ahvāz. The brothers Buyid began their career as a condottieri in Mardāvij's ministry. Mardāvij seems to have had grandiose dreams of marching on Baghdad, overthrowing the Abbasids (qv) and reconstructing the ancient Persian empire and faith, but these ambitions were interrupted by his death in the hands of his Turkish military slaves in 935 .
His brother Ẓahir al-Dowla Vošmgir was celebrated as his successor at Ray, and his dexterity and prudence allowed a long reign, despite constant conflicts. At first, he was able to capture Mardāvij's conquests in northern and western Iran, but by 940 the powerful expanding buyids demanded his rule. Vošmgir joined forces with Mākān b. Kāki (940), another Deylamite candidate for power.Mākān had renounced his loyalty to the Samanids of Transoxania, the other great power that hoped to extend westward to the north of Iran under their commander (amir) Naṣr b. Aadmad In 940, in a battle near Dāmḡān, the Samanid commander Abu'Ali Aḥmad Moḥtāji defeated the troops of Mākān and Vošmgir. Mākān was killed and Vošmgir left Ray to retreat to Āmol in Ṭabarestān. After this defeat, the political and military power of the Ziyarids was limited to the Caspian coastal regions, and Vošmgir became a vassal of the Samanids. He was involved in complex battles to retain his power against such enemies as Ḥasan b. Firuzan, the deylamit governor of Sāri, and the buyid Rokn al-Dowla Ḥasan (r 947-77), while Ṭabarestān and Gorgān, with the support of the Samanids, are anxiously securing themselves as a buffer between themselves and the buyids.
But these two provinces changed their hands several times, until in the year 955 Rokn al-Dowla and the Samanid'Abd al-Malek b. Nuḥ (rt 954-61) reached a general peace agreement, according to which Vošmgir's control over Ṭ˘abarestān was no longer challenged by the buyid. In 958 Vošmgir briefly occupied Ray, the capital of Rokn al-Dowla, and in the last years of his life he took part in various Samanid attempts to recapture Ray. But the city remained the capital of the northern Buyid emirate until the conquest of the Ghasnavid Sultan Maḥmud in 1029. Rokn al-Dowla again occupied Ṭabarestān and Gorgān in the next two or three years, after 958, on one, possibly two occasions. At the end of 967 Vošmgir was killed by a wild boar when he was about to command a joint attack with a Samanid army under Moḥammad. Ebrāhim Simjuri on Rokn al-Dowla.After the death of Vošmgir, his eldest son, Bisotun, who had been governor of Ṭabarestān, succeeded in the throne, although his brother Qābus (978-81 and 997-1012), who demanded the support of the Samanid, challenged his succession. But Bisotun was supported by the Buyids and established itself in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān. This alliance was founded by his marriage with a daughter of'Ażod al-Dowla Fanā-Ḵosrow b. Rokn al-Dowla (r. 949-83, q.v.), and in 971, the Abbasid caliph al-Moṭi (r 946-74) granted Bisotun the honor (laqab) of Ẓahir al-Dowla. With this buyid support Bisotun retained its power until his death in 978.

Qâbus won the throne by elbow aside Bisotun's young son, the candidate of Gilite Dobāj b. Bāni, the father-in-law of Bisotun. This seems to have been a temporal reversal of alliances since Qābus had won the support of'Ażod al-Dowla ', which he recognized on his first coins.
Between 978 and 979 the 'Abbasid al-Ṭā'e' (974-991) Qābus granted the title of Šams al-Ma'āli. But Qābus took care of Fa al-Dowla'Ali (983-97), the brother of the Buyid emir, and Qābus's brother-in-law. The Buyid ruler in Jebāl was at odds with his brother, and Qābus' relations with Aodod al-Dowla deteriorated very soon. In 980 and 981 Qābus first lost Ṭabarestān to'Ażod al-Dowla and then Gorgān to'Azod al-Dowla's brother Mo'ayyed al-Dowla (984).
After their defeat in Astarābād, Qābus and Faḵr al-Dowla sought refuge with Ḥosām al-Dowla Tāš, the Samanid governor in Nishapur, and the two exiles had no hope to return to their countries of origin, as long as Aodod al-Dowla and Mo' Ayyed al -Dowla lived. In 984 ḥāḥeb Ebn'Abbād (d. 995), the great Buyid-Vizir, supported that Fa al-Dowla resumed power in Ray and Jebāl, but he did not allow Qābus to return to the Caspian provinces. It was not until 997, when Fa al-Dowla, the son of Majd al-Dowla Rostam (born 1029), claimed the throne under the care of his mother Sayyeda, that Qābus was able to return from Gorgān after the seventeen-year absence.The events of the second part of the Qābus rule are less well documented in the sources. In these years he had proper and friendly relations with Maḥmud. In 999, the Ghaznavid Sultan Maḥmud had cleared the control of Khorasan from the Samanids and promised Qābus assistance in the re-conquest of his principality, but the terms for the Ziyarid ruler were not acceptable.
No doubt, Qābus clung to his power without recognizing any external voices. The historians say that Qābus's cruelty and bloodthirsty rule, coupled with a particular animosity toward those who did not share his strong Sunni teachings, aroused much resentment among his subjects. His arbitrary government culminated in the execution of the governor of Astarābād for his alleged Mo'tazelite convictions. A rebellion of his troops cost him control over his capital, Gorgān City, and the rebels raised his son Manučehr (1012-29), while Qābus was persecuted to Besṭām on Ray-Khorasan Street. Although Qābus abdicated his power, the insurgents feared him, and in 1012 they tried to kill him by being exposed to the icy winter conditions.

Qābus is the most famous Ziyarid ruler because of its cultural and literary importance (Bosworth, 1978). His military achievements were mediocre, while his reign was indeed tyrannical. But Qābus was a fine scholar in both Arabic and Persian, a clever poet in both languages, and famous for his leadership of the epistle; A collection of his Arabic writings (rasā'el) is preserved. He also had a reputation as an expert calligraph and as an authority for astrology. His extended exile among the Samanids brought him into contact with some of the brightest luminaries of Bukhara and Nishapur, and the Samanid context ensured Qābus's glory. Ṯa'ālebi (d. 1037-8) praises him as an excellent littérateur and scholar as well as Maecenas. Biruni (973-after 1050) visited the Ziyarid court soon after Qābus' re-establishment of the throne in 998 and composed around 1000 the Al-Āṯār al-bāqiya, which he dedicated to his patron.When, in 1013, Ebn Sinā (980-1037) left his native Khwarazm for Gorgān, he sought the Ziyarid patronage, but Qābus had just died. Outside Gorgān city stands his Mausoleum, the Gonbad-e Qābus. Qābus itself supervised its construction between 1006 and 1007, and the high cylindrical brick tower is one of the most famous monuments of Iranian architecture.
Qābus successor Manučehr received the tribute of Falak al-Ma'āli from the Abbasid Caliph Qāder (r. 991-1031). But Ghaznavids controlled Khorasan, and their power now expanded into the Caspian region. Sultan Maḥmud represented the cause of the brother Dārā b of Manučehr. Qābus (1035-49), who had been at the refugee court Ḡazni during her father's life. Ma'mud threatened to support Dārās throne claim and send him an army. Manučehr bought himself by promising the Ghaznavids an annual tribute of 50,000 dinars, and sealed the agreement with the marriage of a ma'mud's daughters.

After that, the Ziyarid ruler was no longer an independent ruler. Manučehr had indeed become a Ghasnavid governor (wali), and occasionally sent troop contingents to Ma'mud's military campaigns. But in 1029, shortly before the death of Manučehr and Maḥmud, the Ziyarid felt threatened again when the Ghasnavids conquered the merchant Majd al-Dowla, and he paid a heavy compensation to the Sultan for a possible Ghasnavid invasion (Nāẓim, pp. 78-79). It is unknown whether Manučehr shared the cultural interests of his father and continued with the patronage of scholarship and the arts. However, there is no proof that the Ghaznavid poet Manučehri (fl. 1031-1041) derived his Penname (taḵallos) from a stay at the Ziyarid Court.
Manučehr's young son, Anušervān (1029-35), was confirmed in 1029 by Maḥmud as successor of his father, with the determination of the continuous recognition of the Ghaznavids. But from 1032 to 1040 these youths were excluded from a maternal relative, Abu Kālijār b. Vayhān. When Abu Kālijār in 1035 with his tribal payments, Mas'ud b. Maḥmud (r. 1031-1040) mounted a large-scale invasion of Gorgān and Ṭabarestān and wild sacked Āmol. Abu Kālijār agreed to resume tribute payments. While Anušervān seems to have conquered his princely power, even though the end of the Ghaznavid was near. Between 1041 and 1042, the Saljuq Sultan Ṭoghril Beg (r. 1043-63) first invaded Khorasan from Mas'ud and then penetrated into the Caspian countries, so that the Ziyarids became the tributaries of the great Saljuqs.
The last decades of the Ziyarid rule are very dark, and apparently Manučehr was the last Ziyarid to spend his own coin. Both Anušervān and Abu Kālijār seem to have died between 1049 and 1050. The last confirmed Ziyarid is'Onṣor al-Ma'āli Kaykāvus b. Eskandar b. Qābus (around 1087, see KAYKĀVUS), the famous author of the Qābus-nāma, named after his famous grandfather. Statements in the Qābus-nāma suggest that Kaykāvus has spent much of his early life away from the Caspian region, first in Ḡazni in the service of the Ghaznavid Mawdud b. Mas'ud (1041-48), and then Arrān in the Shaddadid Abu'l-Aswār Šāvor b. Fażl (R 1049-67). Kaykāvus is said to be successful after his son Gilānšāh (about 1080 - ca. 1090). But he is a completely shadowy figure and may have been overthrown by the Isma'ilis of the Alborz region, which brought the Ziyarid dynasty to it’s end. 1090.

Buyid dynasty

Buyid, Shiite Islamic dynasty of N Persian descent that controlled Iraq and Persia from c.945 to 1060; founded by the sons of Buyeh. In the 930s, Buyeh's sons (Ali, Hasan, and Ahmad) seized such cities as Isfahan, Kerman, Rayy, and Baghdad. With the capture of the Abbasid capital, Baghdad, in 945, the Buyids assumed control of the Abassid Empire. Under their dynasty the Sunni caliphs were reduced to administrative figureheads, while Ahmed ruled under the title of amir al-umara, or chief commander. Buyid control peaked during the reign (949–83) of Adud ad-Dawlah, who increased the dynasty's territorial domain, adding Oman, Tabaristan, and Jorjan.

Read more ▸

The Buyid dynasty or the Buyid dynasty of Daylaman in Gilan was a Shī'ah dynasty of Daylimite or Kurdish origin of Daylaman, known as Buwaihids, Bowayhids, Buyahids, or Buyyids. They founded a confederation that controlled most of today's Iran and Iraq in the tenth and eleventh centuries. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, shortly before the invasion of the Seljuq Turks, the Buyids were the most influential dynasty in the Middle East.

The founders of the Būyidenbundes were "Alī ibn Būyah and his two younger brothers al-Hassan and Aḥmad, the sons of Buya, a fisherman from Lahjan in Tabaristan." Originally a soldier in the service of the Ziyārīds of Ṭabaristān, Alī was able to create an army To defeat a Turkish general from Baghdad, named Yaqut, in 934. Over the next nine years, the three brothers took control of the rest of the Abbas Abbot, while accepting the titular authority of the Caliph in Baghdad, the Būyid -Herrscher an effective control of the state.
The first decades of the Būyid League were characterized by great territorial gains. In addition to the Peace and Jibal conquered in the 930s and central Iraq, which were submitted in 945, the Būyids Ray (943), Kermān (967), Oman (967), Jazīra (979), Ṭabaristān (980) And Gorgan (981). After that, the Būyids went into a slow decline, with pieces of the Confederation gradually breaking apart, and local dynasties under their rule which became de facto independent.
The approximate century of the Būyid rule, coupled with the rise of other Iranian dynasties in the region, represents a period in Iranian history, sometimes referred to as the "Iranian Intermezzo," as it is an interlude between the rule of "Abbayid- Arabia, and the Seljuq Turks, in fact, as Dailamite Iranians, the Būyids deliberately restored symbols and practices of the Persian Sassānid dynasty, in fact, beginning with 'Adud al-Dawla, they used the ancient Sassanid title Shāhanshāh (Persian: شاهنشاه), literally "king of kings".

The Buyid League was divided and ruled by several members of the dynasty. In 945, Amir Mu'izz al-Dawla captured Baghdad and gained the nominal control over the Caliphs. The title used by the Buyid rulers was amīr, which means "governor" or "prince".As a rule, one of the Amirs would be recognized as having the other; This person would use the title of amīr al-umarā or senior amīr. Although the older amīr was the formal head of the Būyids, he usually had no significant control outside his own amirate; Each Amir enjoyed a high degree of autonomy in his own territories. As mentioned above, some of the stronger amīrs used the Sassanid title of Shāhanshāh. Succession of power was hereditary, with fathers divide their land among their sons.

Iranian Būyid Daylamite soldier
The Būyid army consisted of their Dawamite Iranians, who served as foot soldiers, and the Turkish cavalry, which had played a prominent role in the Abbasid military. The Dailamites and the Turks often argued in an attempt to be the dominant force within the army. In order to compensate their soldiers, the Būyids often distributed the iqtā or the rights to a percentage of the tax revenues from a province, although the practice of the services was often used.
Like most Daylamites, the Būyids were originally Zaydī or Fiver Shī'as. After the takeover of power in Iran and Iraq, they began to lean closer to the Twelver Shī'ism, possibly due to political considerations. In fact, the Būyids rarely tried to force a certain religious point of view on their subjects, except in matters where it was politically useful. The Sunnī 'Abbāsids kept the caliphate, although all secular power was withdrawn from them. In order to prevent the tensions between the Shī'a and the Sunnis from turning to government, the Būyid Amirs have occasionally appointed Christians to high offices instead of Muslims from every sect.

The Fall
During the middle of the 11th century the Buyid amirates gradually fell to the Ghasnavid and Seljuq Turks. In 1029, Majd al-Dawla, before a rebellion of his Dailami troops in Ray, asked for support from Mahmud of Ghazna. When Sultan Mahmud arrived, he dismissed Majd al-Dawla, replaced him with a Ghaznavid governor, and ended the Buyid dynasty in Ray.In 1055, Tughrul captured Baghdad, the seat of the Caliphate, and expelled the last of the Buyid rulers. Like the Buyids, the Seljuks held the Abbasid caliphate as a titular ruler.

Buyids were Shia and were called Twelver Shia. However, it is more likely that she began as Zaydi Shia. As the reason for this reversal of Zaydis to Twelver Moojen Momen suggests that since the buyids were no descendants of Ali, the first Shia Imam Zaydis Shi'ism doctrine would have called them to an Imam of Ali's family to install. For this reason, buyids bought in the direction of Twelver Shia ', which slandered her imam was more politically attractive to her.

Buyid rulers
Major rulers

Generally, the three most powerful Buyid amirs at any given time were those in control of Fars, Jibal and Iraq. Sometimes a ruler would come to rule more than one region, but no Buyid rulers ever exercised direct control of all three regions.
Daylamids of Fars
• Ali b. Buya (Imad al-Dawla) 934–949
• Fana Khusraw ('Adud al-Dawla) 949–983
• Shirzil b. Fana Khusraw (Sharaf al-Dawla) 983–989
• Marzuban b. Fana Khusraw (Samsam al-Dawla) 989–998
• Firuz b. Fana Khusraw (Baha' al-Dawla) 998–1012
• Abu Shuja' b. Firuz (Sultan al-Dawla) 1012–1024
• Abu Kalijar Marzuban b. Abu Shuja' (Imad al-Din) 1024–1048
• Abu Mansur Fulad Sutun 1048–1062

Ghaznavid dynasty

Turkish dynasty (977–1186) that ruled in Khorasan (northeastern Iran), Afghanistan, and northern India. It was founded by Sebüktigin (r. 977 - 997), a former slave. His son Mahmud (998–1030) enlarged the empire to it’s greatest extent. During his reign, Ferdowsi wrote the epic Shah-nameh “Book of Kings”. Mahmud's grandson Mas'ud I (1031–41) lost the western half of the empire to the Seljuq dynasty. The Ghaznavids continued to rule their eastern provinces until they were defeated by the Ghurid dynasty in 1186. They are noted for their architecture and for their patronage of the arts and sciences.

Read more ▸

Ghaznavid Dynasty (962-1186)
The Ghaznavid dynasty was of Turkish origin. It was founded by Saboktekin, a former Turkish slave who was recognized by the Samanids as governor of Ghazna (modern Ghazni, in Afghanistan). As the Samanid dynasty weakened, Saboktekjn consolidated his position and expanded his domains as far as the Indian border. His son Mahmud continued the expansionist policy, and during his reign, Ghaznavid power reached its zenith. Mahmud created an empire that stretched from the Oxus to the Indian Ocean. In the west he captured (from the Buyids) the Iranian cities of Rey, Esfahan, and Hamadan. Mahmud went to great pains to spread Islam in India, tille Muslims were found all over this country. Although the Ghaznavids were proud of their Turkic descent, Mahmud encou raged the use of Persian, and the greatest Persian epic, Shah, Nameh, was completed by Ferdowsi at his Court. Among the other great Persians at Mahmud's court were Biruni, an outstanding scholar of encyclopedic knowledge, and Abolfazl Beyhaqi, the writer of a remarkable history of the Ghaznavids, the first major prose work in New Persian. Mahmud's son, Masud I, could not keep the integrity of the empire. Challenged by Seljuk Turks, he lost most of his territories, but retained possession of eastern Afghanistan and northern India, where the Ghaznavids continued to rule until 1186.

Iran under Seljuk Rulers (1037-1200) The Seljuks were a clan of the Oghuz Turks, who traced their ancestry to a chieftain named Seljuk. Seljuk's two grandsons, Chaghri Beik and Toghrol Beik, enlisted Persian support to win realms from the Buyid and Ghaznavid rulers. After "petitioning" the Abbasid caliph for permission, Toghrol Beik was also able to occupy Baghdad. At his death in 1063, Toghrol Beik headed an empire that included Iran and Mesopotamia and held the title King of the East. In 1071, a Seljuk army led by Alp Arslan defeated the Byzantines. The way was open for Turk tribesmen to settle in Asia Minor. Under Alp Arslan and his successor, Malek Shah, the Seljuk Empire included all of Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine. The Seljuks were great architectural patrons and in addition to constructing numerous mosques, madresehs, orphanages, caravanserais, and bridges, they were particularly known for their tomb-towers. Their buildings are notable for their decorative masonry, elaborately ornamented portals, and the use of Kufic script as an architectural decorative device. The Seljuks also attained a high standard in decorative arts, especially in metalwork, wood carving, and pottery. Because the Turkish Seljuks had no Islamic tradition or strong literary heritage of their own, they adopted the cultural language of their Persian instructors in Islam. Literary Persian thus spread throughout Iran, and Arabic was reduced from the status of official language to the l language of religious scholarship. Under Malek Shah, Iran enjoyed a cultural and scientific renaissance, largely attributed to his brilliant Iranian vizier, Nezam al-Molk. The Seljuk Empire was greatly threatened by the Ismailites, who finally murdered Nezam al-Molk and Malek Shah. The state was also undermined by the Seljuk practice of dividing provinces among a deceased ruler's sons. thus creating numerous independent and unstable principalities. A war that was instigated in. 1230 by Sultan Ala al-Din Key-Qobad I of the Kharazm-Shahs dynasty led to the elimination of Seljuk power. The last Iranian Seljuk king was killed on the battlefield in 1194, and by 1200 Seljuk power was at an end everywhere except in Anatolia. The Kharazm-Shahs created an imposing but very fragile empire, which was a victim of Mongol invasion.

The Ghaznavid dynasty (Persian: غزنویان) was a Muslim dynasty of Muslim dynasty, who ruled from Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent from 975 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sebuktigin Ghazna (today's Ghazni province in Afghanistan) after the death of his sister-in-law Alp Tigin, who was a renegade former general of the Samanids from Balkh north of the Hindukush in Khorasan.
Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkish origin, it was quite persianized in terms of language, culture, literature and customs and is therefore considered by some to be "Persian dynasty" rather than Turkish.
The son of Sebuktigin, Mahmud of Ghazni, extended the Ghaznavid empire to the Oxus River (Amu Darya), the Indus Valley and the Indian Ocean to the east, and to Rey and Hamadan in modern Iran in the west. Under the rule of Mas'ud I, the Ghaznavid dynasty began to lose control of its western territories after the battle of Dandanaqan to the Seljuqs, resulting in a restriction of its holdings to today's Afghanistan, western Punjab and the Balochistan region . In 1151 Sultan Bahram Shah Ghazni lost to Ala'uddin Hussain of Ghor.

Rise to power
Two military families emerged from the Turkish slaves' guards of the Samanids, the Simjuriden and Ghasnavids, who ultimately became catastrophic to the Samanids. The Simjurids received an appanage in the Kohistan region in eastern Khorasan (northern Afghanistan). Samanid Generals Alp Tigin and Abu al-Hasan Simjuri competed for the domination of Khorasan and the control over the Samanid empire by placing on the throne which they could dominate after the death of Abd al-Malik I.

When 'Abd al-Malik died in 961, it created a subsequent crisis between his brothers. A tribunal, initiated by Scribal class men-civilian ministers and Turkish generals-rejected the candidacy of Alp Tigin for the throne of the Samanids.Mansur I was instead installed, and Alp Tigin carefully returned to the south of the Hindu Kush, where he founded the Ghaznavid dynasty in Ghazna in 962. The Simjurids enjoyed control over Khorasan south of the Oxus River (Amu Darya) were heavily afflicted by a third major Iranian dynasty, the Buwayhide, and could not survive the collapse of the Samanids and the rise of the Ghasnavids.
The fighting of the Turkish slave generals to dominate the throne with the help of the relocation of loyalty from the ministerial leaders of the court demonstrated and accelerated the Samanid decline. Samanid weakness drew in Transoxania the Qarluq Turks, which had recently converted to Islam. They occupied Bukhara in 992 and founded in Transoxania the Qarakhanid, or Ilek Khanid, dynasty. After the death of Alp Tigin in 993, Ishaq ibn Alptigin, followed by Sebuktigin, took the throne. Sabuktigin's son Mahmud agreed with the Qarakhanids, recognizing the Oxus River as their mutual limit.


Sebuktigin, the son-in-law of Alp Tigin, began the expansion of the new kingdom by capturing Samanid and Shahi territories, including most of today's Afghanistan and a part of Pakistan. The Persian historian Ferishta from the 16th century registers the genealogy of Sebuktigin as it is from the Sassanid emperors: "Subooktu-geen, the son of Jookan, the son of Kuzil-Hukum, the son of Kusil-Arslan, the son of Ferooz Yezdijird , King of Persia. "Modern historians believe, however, that this is an attempt to connect with the history of ancient Persia. After the death of Sebuktigin, his son Ismail claimed the throne for a temporary period, but was defeated and captured by Mahmud in the battle of Ghazni in 998.

Mahmud son Sebuktigin
In 997, Mahmud, another son of Sebuktigin, succeeded the throne, and Ghazni and the Ghaznavid dynasty are unbroken. He ended the conquest of the Samanid and Shahi territories, including the Ismaili Kingdom of Multan, Sindh, as well as some Buwayhid territory. After all, the reign of Mahmud was the golden age and the height of the Ghaznavid empire. Mahmud carried out seventeen expeditions through North India to establish his control and establish tributary conditions, and his attacks also led to the plundering of plunder. He founded his authority from the borders of Ray to Samarkand, from the Caspian Sea to the Yamuna.

During the reign of Mahmud (997-1030) the Ghasnavids settled 4,000 Turkmen families near Farana in Khorasan. In the year 1027, the governor of Tus, Abu l'Alarith Arslan Jadhib, led military strikes against neighboring settlements because of the Turkmen settlements. The Turkmen were defeated and dispersed to neighboring countries. [10] Although up to 1033 Ghaznavid governor Tash Farrash has devoted 50 Turkmen chieftains to attacks in Khorasan. The wealth brought back from the Indian expeditions to Ghazni was enormous, and contemporary historians (eg, Abolfazl Beyhaghi, Ferdowsi) give glowing descriptions of the grandeur of the capital and the generous support of the conqueror's literature. Mahmud died in 1030.

Twin sons of Mahmud

Mahmud left the kingdom to his son Mohammed, who was mild, tender, and soft. His brother Mas'ud asked for three provinces, which he had won with his sword, but his brother did not agree. Mas'ud had to fight against his brother, and he became king, dazzling and imprisoned Muhammad as a punishment. Mas'ud was not able to preserve the empire and after a catastrophic defeat in the battle of Dandanaqan in 1040, he lost all the Ghaznavid countries in Iran and Central Asia to the Seljuks, plunge the realm into a "time of sorrow" . His last act was to gather all his treasures from his forts, hoping to bring together an army and a regiment of India, but his own forces plundered the wealth, and he re-declared his blind brother as king.The two brothers exchanged their positions: Muhammad was lifted out of jail, and Mas'ud was taken to a dungeon, where he was murdered in 1040 after a ten-year reign. The son of Mas'ud, Madood, was governor of Balkh, and in 1040, after hearing his father's death, came to Ghazni to claim his kingdom. He fought with the sons of the blind Muhammad and prevailed. However, the empire collapsed soon and most kings did not submit to Madood. In a span of nine years, four other kings claimed the throne of Ghazni.

In 1058, Mas'ud's son Ibrahim, a great calligraph who wrote the Koran with his own pen, became king. Ibrahim restored a cut-off empire on a firmer foundation by establishing a peace agreement with the Seljuks and restoring cultural and political ties. Under Ibrahim and his successors the empire enjoyed a period of lasting peace. Deadened by its western country, it was increasingly supported by riches originating from raids in North India, where there was stiff resistance from Indian rulers such as the Paramara of Malwa and the Gahadvala of Kannauj. He reigned until 1098.

Masud III became king for sixteen years, without a great event in his lifetime. When he died in 1115, the signs of weakness in the state showed, with the inner conflict between his sons ending with the rise of Sultan Bahram Shah as a Seljuk vassal. Bahram shah defeated his brother Arslan for the throne in the Battle of Ghazni in 1117.

Sultan Bahram Shah
Coin of Mas'ud I of Ghazni, derived from Shahi Designs, with the name of Mas'ud in Arabic.
Sultan Bahram Shah was the last Ghaznavid king who ruled Ghazni, the first and chief Ghaznavid capital, ruled thirty-five years. In 1148 he was defeated by Saif-ud-din of Ghor, but he conquered Ghazni again next year. Ala'uddin Hussain, a Ghorid king, conquered the city of Ghazni in 1151 for the revenge of his brother Kutubbuddin's death, who was King's son-in-law, but was publicly punished and killed for a minor crime. Allauddin Ghor then broke the whole town and burned it for 7 days, after which he became famous as "Jahânsoz" (world burner).Ghazni was restored to the Ghasnavids by the intervention of the Seljuks, who came to Bahram's aid. Ghaznavid battles with the Ghurids continued in the following years as they nibbled on Ghaznavid territory and Ghazni and Zabulistan lost a group of Oghuz Turks before they were captured by the Gurids. Ghaznavid power continued in northwest India until the conquest of Lahore by Khusrau Malik in 1186.

Military and tactics
The core of the Ghasnavid army was mainly Turks, as well as thousands of native Afghans who were trained and assembled from the area south of the Hindus in what is now Afghanistan. During the reign of the Sultan Mahmud, a new major military training center was set up in Bost (now Lashkar Gah). This area was known for smithies, where war weapons were established. After the capture and conquest of the Punjab region, the Ghaznavids began to employ Hindu Indians in his army.

Like the other dynasties that rose from the remains of the Abbasid caliphate, the Ghaznavid administrative traditions and the military practice came from the Abbasids. However, there were unique changes that met the requirements of the geographic situation of the Ghaznavid dynasty. Because of their access to the Indus Ganges Plains, the Ghaznavids developed the first Muslim army during the 11th and 12th centuries to use battle sailors in the battle. The elephants were protected by armor on the fronts. The use of these elephants in other regions that the Ghaznavids fought, especially in Central Asia, to which the elephant was a strange weapon.

State and culture
According to Clifford Edmund Bosworth:
"The Ghaznavid Sultans were ethnic Turkish, but the sources, all in Arabic or Persian, do not allow us to estimate the persistence of Turkish practices and ways of thinking among them, but the fact that the essential basis of the Ghaznavid military support has always been theirs Turkish soldiers, there was always a need to be adapted to the needs and aspirations of their troops. There is also evidence of the perseverance of a Turkish literature culture among the early Ghaznavids (Köprülüzade, pp. 56-57).The sources, however, illustrate that the exercise of the political power and the administrative apparatus of the Sultans, who formed it, very quickly entered into the Perso-Islamic tradition of statehood and monarchy, the ruler as a distant figure, accompanied by divine favor Over a mass of merchants, craftsmen, peasants, etc., whose supreme commandment was obedience in all respects, but above all in the payment of taxes. The fact that the bureaucracy's staff, who was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Sultan and who had raised the income to support the Sultan's way of life, and the financing of the professional army, were Persians who led the country's administrative traditions.
"The persianization of the state apparatus was accompanied by the Persianization of High Culture at the Ghaznavid Court ... The level of literary creativity was as high among Ebrāhīm as among his followers to Bahrāmšāh, with such poets as Abu'l-Faraj Rūnī, Sana'i, We know from the biographical dictionaries of poets (taḏkera-ye šo'arā) that the court in Lahore of Ḵosrow Malek had a number of fine poets, None of his Diwan has unfortunately survived, and the translator, in the elegant Persian prose of Ebn Moqaffa, of KALILA wa Demna, Abul-Ma'ali Nasr-Allāh bh mohammad, served the Sultan for a time as his chief secretary, the Ghaznavids The phenomenon of a dynasty of Turkish slaves origin, which became Persianised to a much greater extent than other contemporary dynasties of Turkish origin such as Seljuks and Qarakhanids. "
The Persian literature culture experienced a renaissance among the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. The Ghaznavid court was so famous for its support of Persian literature that the poet traveled Farrukhi from his home region to work for them. The poet Unsuri's short collection of poems was devoted to Sultan Mahmud and his brothers Nasr and Yaqub. Another poet of the Ghaznavid court, Manuchehri, wrote numerous poems on the advantages and advantages of drinking wine.
Sultan Mahmud, modeled the Samanid Bukhara as a cultural center, made Ghazni into a center of learning, the invitation of Ferdowsi and al-Biruni. He even tried to persuade Avicenna, but was rejected. Mahmud preferred to publish his fame and glory in Persia and hundreds of poets gathered at his court. He brought entire libraries from Rayy and Isfahan to Ghazni and even demanded that the Khwarizmshah court send his men of learning to Ghazni. Because of his invasion of Rayy and Isfahan, Persian literary production was inaugurated in Azerbaijan and Iraq.
The Ghaznavids continued to develop Persian historiography, initiated by their predecessors, the Samanids. An example of this is the historian Abul-Fazl Bayhaqis Tarikh-e Beyhaqi, who was written in the second half of the 11th century.

Although the Ghaznavids were of Turkish origin and their military leaders were generally of the same stock, as a result of the original participation of Sebuktigin and Mahmud in the Samanid affairs and in the Samanid cultural environment, the dynasty was completely persianized, so that in practice a can not Their rule over Iran is a foreign rule. They also copied their administration system from the Samanids. Regarding the cultural mastery and support of the Persian poets, they were far more Persian than the ethnically Iranian Buyid rivals, whose support for the Arabic letters is widely known to the Persian.
The historian Bosworth explains: "In fact, the Ghaznavids, with the adoption of Persian administrative and cultural paths, rejected their original Turkish steppes and largely integrated them into the Perso-Islamic tradition." As a result, Ghazni developed into a major center of Arabic learning.
With Sultan Mahmud's invasions of North India, the Persian culture was founded in Lahore, which later produced the famous poet Masud Sa'd Salman. Lahore, under the Ghasnavid rule in the 11th century, attracted Persian scholars from Khorasan, India and Central Asia and became a major Persian cultural center.
The Persian culture, founded by the Ghasnavids in Ghazna and East Afghanistan, survived the Ghurid invasion in the 12th century and lasted until the invasion of the Mongols.

The Ghaznavid Empire grew to cover much of today's Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northwest India. The Ghaznavid rulers are generally credited with the spread of Islam to the Indian subcontinent. The Ghaznavids not only benefited from the wealth gained through the raids of the Indian cities, but also the demanding tribute from the Indian Rajas. The Ghaznavids benefited from their position as an intermediary in the trade routes between China and the Mediterranean. They were not, however, able to hold power for long, and the Seljuks had taken their Persian territories by 1040, and a century later the Ghurids took over their remaining subcontinent lands.

Sultanate of Rum

During the 10th century migrations of the Turkish peoples from Central Asia and southeast Russia, one group of nomadic tribes, led by a chief named Seljuq, settled in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya (Jaxartes) River and later converted to the Sunnite form of Islam. They played a part in the frontier defense forces of the Sāmānids and later of Mahmud of Ghanza. Seljuq’s two grandsons, Chaghri (Chagri) Beg and Toghrïl Beg, enlisted Persian support to win realms of their own, Chaghri controlling the greater part of Khorāsān and Toghrïl, at his death in 1063, heading an empire that included western Iran and Mesopotamia.

Read more ▸

The Turkish Dynasties
The Seljuqs

This period of successive Iranian dynasties ended with the emergence of the political scene of the Sunni Turks, who until then served as soldiers or military heads at the Persian courts. In 976, one of these military leaders used the weakening of the Samanid power to proclaim its independence and found the Ghasnavid dynasty (962-1186) in today's Afghanistan. His son Mahmud (998-1030) took Sistan and Baluchestan in the west and the Punjab in the east.
But the Ghasnavids were not able to prevent the arrival of another powerful force, the Eljuqs, a clan of the Oghuzz Turks, who first settled in Transoxiana and later in Bukhara. Under the leadership of Toghrul Beg, who settled in Neishabur in 1038, the Seljuq army overthrew the last Buyid ruler, conquering Isfahan (1051) and Baghdad (1055). The three great Seljuq rulers Toghrul Beg (1038-1063), Alp-Arslan (1063-1072) and Malik Shah (1072-1092) managed to create a centralized state with an efficient administration and a powerful army Nizam-al-Mulk (10201092). This brilliant administrator and author of a treatise on the government, written for the use of princes, was also the founder of Nizamiyeh or Madresseh, institutions for higher religious doctrine that established the Sunni orthodoxy throughout the empire.
After the death of Malik Shah, the empire and local dynasties were broken by provincial governors, mainly in Azerbaijan, Luristan, Pars and Yazd. Khorassan recognized the sovereignty of the princes of Khwarezm (1153), a Turkish state in Central Asia, who quickly occupied all of eastern Iran. In 1217 the Khwarezmi armies even reached the Zagros Mountains, but they could never consolidate their conquests when a new threat arose in Central Asia.

The Sultanate of Rum or Seljuk Sultanate of Rum (Persian: سلجوقیان روم, Saljūqiyān-i Rūm, Modern Turkish: Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti or Rum Sultanlığı) was a medieval Turkoman-Sunni Muslim state in Anatolia. It existed from 1077 to 1307, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. Since the Sultanate Court was very mobile, cities such as Kayseri and Sivas sometimes also worked as capital cities. At its peak, the Sultanate stretched over Central Anatolia, from the coast line of Antalya and Alanya on the Mediterranean coast to the area of Sinop on the Black Sea. In the east, the Sultanate absorbed other Turkish states and reached Lake Van. Its most western frontier was near Denizli and the gates of the Aegean Basin.
The term "Rûm" comes from the Arabic word for the Roman Empire. The Seljuks called the countries of their Sultanate Rum, because they had long been founded on territory for "Roman", Byzantine, by Muslim armies. The state is occasionally called the Sultanate of Konya (or Sultanate of Iconium) in older Western sources and became known as Turkey by its contemporaries.
The Sultanate flourished, especially during the late 12th and early 13th century, when it took off from the Byzantine key ports on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coast. In Anatolia, the Seljuqs promoted trade through a program of the caravanserai, which facilitated the flow of goods from Iran and Central Asia to the ports. Particularly strong trade relations with the Genoese developed during this time. The increased wealth enabled the Sultanate to absorb other Turkish states established in Eastern Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert: the Danish Mendel, the Mengücek, the Saltukids and the Artuqids. Seljuq-Sultane successfully carried the main burden of the crusades, but in 1243 succumbed to the advancing Mongols. The Seljuqs became vassals of the Mongols, after the battle of Kose Dag, and despite the efforts of clever administrators to preserve the integrity of the state, the power of the Sultanate decayed in the second half of the 13th century and was complete from the first decade Disappeared from the 14th century.

In its final decades, the territory of the Sultanate of Rûm saw the emergence of a number of small principalities or beyliks, among which that of the Osmanoğlu, known later as the Ottomans, rose to dominance.

In the 1070s, after the Battle of Manzikert, Seljuq commandant Suleyman bin Kutalmish, a distant cousin of Malik Shah and a former candidate for the throne of the Great Seljuq Empire, came to power in western Anatolia. In 1075 he conquered the Byzantine cities of Nicaea (İznik) and Nicomedia (İzmit). Two years later he declared himself Sultan of an independent Seljuq state and founded his capital in Iznik.
Suleyman was slain in Antioch in 1086 by Tutush I, the Seldschuq ruler of Syria, and Suleyman's son, Kilij Arslan I, was imprisoned. When Malik Shah died in 1092, Kilij Arslan was released and immediately established himself in his father's territories. He was eventually defeated by soldiers of the First Crusade and returned to South-Central Anatolia, where he established his state with capital in Konya. In 1107 he ventured eastwards and conquered Mosul, but died in the same year against Malik Shah's son Mehmed Tapar.
Meanwhile, another Rûm Seljuq, Melikshah (not to be confused with the great Seljuq Sultan of the same name) conquered Konya. In 1116 Kilij Arslan son, Mesud I, took the city with the help of the Danish Mends. After Mesud's death in 1156, the Sultanate controlled almost all of Central Anatolia. Mesuds son Kilij Arslan II conquered the remaining areas around Sivas and Malatya from the last of the Danish Mendel. At the Battle of Myriokephalon in 1176, Kilij Arslan also defeated a Byzantine army under the leadership of Manuel I Comnenus, an important blow to the Byzantine power in the region. Despite a temporary occupation of Konya in 1190 by German forces of the Third Crusade, the Sultanate quickly recovered and consolidated its power.

After the death of the last Sultan of Great Seljuq, Tuğrul III, in 1194, the Seljuqs of Rum became the only ruling representatives of the dynasty. Kaykhusraw I seized Konya from the crusaders in 1205. Under his reign and those of his two successors, Kaykaus I and Kayqubad I, Seljuq reached power in Anatolia. Kaykhusrav's most important achievement was the capture of the port of Attalia (Antalya) on the Mediterranean coast in 1207. His son Kaykaus conquered Sinop and made the empire of Trebizond his vassal in 1214. He also subjugated the Croatian Armenia but was forced in 1218 To surrender The city of Aleppo acquired by al-Kamil. Kayqubad continued to acquire countries along the Mediterranean coast from 1221 to 1225. In the twenties, he sent an expedition force across the Black Sea to the Crimea. In the East, he defeated the Mengüceks and began to press on the Artuqids.

Kaykhusraw II (1237-1246) began his domination by capturing the region around Diyarbekir, but in 1239 he had a rebellion led by a popular preacher named Baba Ishak. After three years, when he had finally crushed the insurrection, the state of the Crimea was lost, and the state and army of the Sultan had weakened. Under these circumstances he had to face a far more dangerous threat to the growing Mongols. Mongol forces took Erzurum in 1242 and in 1243 the Sultan of Bayju was crushed in the battle of Köse Dag (a mountain between the cities of Sivas and Erzincan), and the Seljuq Turks were forced to swear allegiance to the Mongols and became their vassals . The Sultan himself had escaped to Antalya after the battle of 1243, where he died in 1246; his death began a three-pronged and then a double rule, which lasted until 1260.
The Seljuq empire was divided among the three sons of Kaykhusraw. The oldest, Kaykaus II (1246-1260), took the rule in the area west of the river Kızılırmak. His younger brothers Kilij Arslan IV (1248-1265) and Kayqubad II (1249-1257) were to determine the areas east of the river under Mongolian administration. In October 1256, Bayju defeated Kaykaus II at Aksaray and all Anatolia were officially subjugated to Möngke Khan. In 1260 Kaykaus II fled from Konya to Crimea, where he died in 1279. Kilij Arslan IV was executed in 1265, and Kaykhusraw III (1265-1284) became the nominal ruler of all Anatolia, with the tangible power of either the Mongols or the Sultan's influential rulers.
The sinking sultanate of Rûm, vassal of the Mongols and the emerging Beyliks, c. 1300.
The Seljuq state had begun to divide itself into small emirates (Beyliks), which were increasingly controlled by Mongols and Seljuq. In 1277, responded to a call from Anatolia, the Mameluk Sultan Baybars attacked Anatolia and defeated the Mongols, temporarily replacing them as an administrator of the Seljuq empire. But as the natives who had called him to Anatolia were not to defend the country, he had to return to his home in Egypt, and the Mongol administration was officially and strictly resumed.

At the end of his reign, Kaykhusraw III was able to conquer a direct sovereignty over Konya. Some of the Beyliks (including the Ottomans in their beginnings) and Seljuq governors of Anatolia continued to recognize, though nominally, the supremacy of the Sultan in Konya, delivering the Khutba in the name of the sultans in Konya in recognition of their sovereignty, and called the Sultans Fahreddin, the pride of Islam. When Kaykhusraw III was executed in 1284, the Seljuq dynasty suffered a further blow from internal fighting, which lasted until 1303, when the son of Kaykaus II Mesud II established himself as Sultan in Kayseri. He was murdered in 1307 and his son Mesud III soon after. A distant relative of the Seljuq Dynasty temporarily installed himself as Emir of Konya, but he was defeated and conquered his lands by the Karamanids in 1328. The monetary influence of the sultanate lasted somewhat longer and the coins of Seljuq mint, which are generally regarded as reliable value, continue to be reused throughout the 14th century, also by the Ottomans.

Culture and society
The Seljuk Dynasty of Rum, the successor of the Great Seljuqs, founded their political, religious and cultural heritage from the Perso-Islamic tradition to the naming of their sons with Persian names. Despite the Turkish origins, Rum Seljuks protected Persian art, architecture and literature, while using Persian as the administrative language. In addition, the Byzantine influence in the Sultanate was also significant because the Greek aristocracy was a part of the Seljuk aristocracy and the local Greek population was numerous in the region.
In their construction of caravanserai, medses and mosques, Rum Seljuks translated the Iranian Seljuk architecture from bricks and plaster into stone use. Particularly noteworthy are the caravanserais (or hans), used as stops, trading posts and defense for caravans, of which about one hundred structures were built during the Anatolian Seljuqs. Together with Persian influences, which had an undeniable effect, the Seljuk architecture was inspired by Christian and Muslim Armenians. Anatolian architecture, for example, is one of the most striking and impressive buildings in the history of Islamic architecture. Later this anatolian architecture was to be transferred to the Sultanate of India.

The largest caravanserai is the 1229 built Sultan Han on the road between the cities of Konya and Aksaray, in the municipality of Sultanhanı depending on the latter city, with 3,900 square meters. There are two caravanserries bearing the name "Sultan Han", the other between Kayseri and Sivas. In addition, apart from Sultanhanı, five other cities in Turkey owe their names to Caravanserais built there. These are Alacahan in Kangal, Durağan, Hekimhan and Kadınhanı, as well as the municipality of Akhan within Denizli metropolitan area.
The caravanseras of Hekimhan are unique because, under the usual Arabic inscription with information about the building, they had two more inscriptions in Armenian and Syrian as they were built by the Sultan Kayqubad I (Hekim) Christian by their origin, and have converted to Islam . There are other special cases such as the settlement in Kalehisar (adjacent to an ancient Hittite area) near Alaca, founded by the Seljuq commander Hüsameddin Temurlu, who found refuge in the region after the defeat at the Battle of Köse Dağ Had a church, consisting of a castle, a medrese, a residential zone and a caravanserai, which were later abandoned around the 16th century.All but the undiscovered caravanserai were explored in the sixties by the art historian Oktay Aslanapa, and the finds and a series of documents do not confirm the existence of a living settlement on the site, as a 1435 Ottoman Firman, who directs the Headmaster of the Medrese In the school, but in the caravanserai.
The Seljuk Palaces and their armies were occupied with ghulams, young people from non-Muslim communities, especially Greeks from former Byzantine territories, although such practice violated Muslim law. The Ghulam practice might have offered a model for the latter devshirme during the times of the Ottoman Empire.

Khwarazmian dynasty

The Khwarazmian dynasty also known as the Khwarezmid dynasty, dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs, and other spelling variants; was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin. The dynasty ruled Greater Iran during the High Middle Ages, in the approximate period of 1077 to 1231 AD, first as vassals of the Seljuqs and Kara Khitan, and later as independent rulers, up until the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
Khwarezm is a large oasis region on the Amu Darya river delta in western Central Asia which borders to the north the (former) Aral Sea, to the east the Kyzylkum desert, to the south the Karakum desert and to the west the Ustyurt Plateau.

Read more ▸

Khwarezm / kwɛrəzəm / or Chorasmia / kəræzmiə / (Persian: خوارزم) is a large oasis region on the river delta Amu Darya in western Central Asia, bordering the Aral Sea to the north, the Kyzylkum desert to the east And in the west the Ustyurt plateau. It was the center of (native) Khwarezmian civilization and a number of kingdoms, whose main cities were Kath, Gurganj (the modern Köneürgenç) and from the 16th century Khiva. Today Khwarezm belongs partly to Uzbekistan, partly to Kazakhstan and partly to Turkmenistan.

Names and etymology
Khwarezm was also known as Chorasmia, Khwarezmia, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, Khorezm, Choresm, Khorasam, Harezm, Horezm and Chorezm.
In Avestisch, the name is Xvairizem, in the ancient Persian Huwarazmish, in the modern Persian خوارزم, in Arabic خوارزم Khwarizm, in Old Chinese * qʰaljɯʔmriɡ (似 密 密), modern Chinese Huālázǐmó (花剌子模), in Kazakh Хорезм, in the Uzbek Xorazm, in Turkish Harezm, in the Greek Χορασμία and Χορασίμα, of Herodot in Turkmen Horezm.
The Arabic geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi wrote in his Mu'ǧam al-buldan that the name was a link (in Persian) from khwar (خوار) and razm (رزم), referring to the abundance of boiled fish as the chief diet of the peoples From this area.
CE Bosworth, however, believes that the Persian name consists of (خور), which means "the sun" and (زم) means "earth" and denotes "the land from which the sun rises", although the same etymology is also given to Khurasan Is. Another view is that the Iranian link for "lowland" stands for kh (w) ar "low" and zam "earth, land". Khwarezm is indeed the lowest region in Central Asia (except for the Caspian Sea in the west), on the delta of Amu Darya on the southern bank of the Aral Sea. Various forms of khwar / khar / khor / hor are also commonly used in the Persian Gulf to stand for watt, marsh, or tidal bay locations (eg Khor-Abdallah, Horal-Azim, Hor al-Himar, etc.). ) "
The name also appears in Achaemenid inscriptions as Huvarazmish, which is declared to be part of the Persian Empire.
The early scholars believed me to be Khwarezm, which means ancient Avestic texts as Airyanem Vaejah ("Ariyaneh Waeje", later Middle Persian Iran vij). These sources argue that ancient Urgench, which was the capital of ancient Khwarezm for many years, was indeed Ourva, the eighth land of Ahura Mazda mentioned in the Pahlavi text of Vendidad. However, Michael Witzel, a researcher in early Indo-European history, believes that Airyanem Vaejah was located in today's Afghanistan, whose northern territories were part of the ancient Khwarezm and Greater Khorasan. Others, however, disagree. University of Hawaii historian Elton L. Daniel believes Khwarezm, the "most likely locale" according to the original home of the Avestan people, and Dehkhoda Khwarezm "مهد قوم یریا" ("the cradle of the Aryan tribe"),

Early people
Like Soghdiana, Khwarzem was an expansion of the BMAC culture during the Bronze Age, which later merged with Indo-Iranians during their migrations around 1000 BC. Early states of the Iron Age emerged from this cultural exchange. List of successive cultures in the Khwarzem region 3000-500 BC:
• Keltiminar Culture c. 3000 BC
• Suyargan Culture c 2000 BC
• Tazabag’yab Culture c. 1500 BC
• Amirabad Culture c 1000 BC
• Saka c. 500 BC
During the last Saka phase there were about 400 settlements in Khwararzem. Regulated by the native Afighid dynasty. It was at this time that Khwarzem's historical record with the Acheminide extension (see also: Kyuzeli-gyr).
An Eastern Iranian language, known as the Khwarezmian language, was spoken in Khwarezm right (the Lower Amu Darya region) until soon after the Mongol invasion, when it was replaced by Turkish languages. It was closely related to Sogdian. Unlike the astronomical terms used by the native Iranian Chorasmian spokesman Biruni, our other sources of Khwarezmian include the Arabic-Persian Khwarezmian dictionary of Zamakhshari and some of the texts using Khwarezmian terms to explain certain legal concepts.

Khwarezmid Empire
In the 12th century, the Khwarezmid empire was founded, which ruled over all Persia under the Shah al-Dīn Muhammad II (1200-1220) in the early 13th century. In 1141, Yelü Dashi won the battle of Qatwan commanded against a Seljuk army of Sanjar, as a result, Khwarezm became a vassal of the Kara-Khitan Khanate. From 1218 to 1220, Genghis Khan and his Mongols started the invasion of Central Asia, destroying the Kara Khitan Khanat and the Khwarezmid Empire, including the magnificent capital of the latter, Gurganj.

"The Korasmine (ie, Khwarezmid), a violent uncivilized race driven out of their homes, spread with the fire and the sword in search of a retreat over the South Asian region to Egypt, whose Sultan was not able, The swarm which had thrown his longing eyes upon the fertile valleys of the Nile ... sent ambassadors to Barbaquan, their leader, and invited them to settle down in Palestine and were killed on the walls of Jerusalem ... they tore Every trace of the Christian faith ... "
"The sultans of Syria drew the Christians before this savage horde for their neighbors; even the Sultan of Egypt regretted the aid which he had given to such barbaric enemies, and united with those of Emissa and Damascus to root them out of the land Korasmine amounted to twenty thousand men and was unable to resist the determined enmity ... The Sultans thwarted them in several commitments, and the peasantry rose in masses to take revenge on them, no grace showed them in the defeat Barbaquan Was killed.

Khwarezm in Persian literature
Khwarezm and her cities appear in Persian literature in abundance, in both prose and poetry. Dehkhoda for example defines the name Bukhara itself as "full of knowledge", referring to the fact that in antiquity, Bukhara was a scientific and scholarship powerhouse. Rumi verifies this when he praises the city as such:
Other examples illustrate the eminent status of Khwarezmid and Transoxianian cities in Persian literature in the past 1500 years:
عالم جانها بر او هست مقرر چنانک
"The world of hearts is under his power in the same manner that
دولت خوارزمشاه داد جهان را قرار
The Khwarazmshahs have brought peace to the world."

Khaqani Shirvani
یکی پر طمع پیش خوارزمشاه
"A greedy one went to Khwarezm-shah"
شنیدم که شد بامدادی پگاه
"early one morning, so I have heard

Yaqut al-Hamawi, who visited Khwarezm and its capital in 1219, wrote: "I have never seen a city more wealthy and beautiful than Gurganj". The city, however, was destroyed during several invasions, in particular when the Mongol army broke the dams of the Amu Darya which flooded the city. He reports that for every Mongol soldier, four inhabitants of Gurganj were killed. Najmeddin Kubra, the great Sufi master, was among the casualties. The Mongol army that devastated Gurganj was estimated to have been near 80,000 soldiers. The verse below refers to an early previous calamity that fell upon the region:
آخر ای خاک خراسان داد یزدانت نجات
"Oh land of Khorasan! God has saved you,
از بلای غیرت خاک ره گرگانج و کات
from the disaster that befell the land of Gurganj and Kath
---Divan of Anvari
Nevertheless the beauty and fame of Bukhara and Samarqand are well known in Persian literature. The following famous cosmopolitan ode perhaps best provides a notable example of this:
اگر آن ترک شیرازی به دست آرد دل ما را
"If that Shirazi Turk can win my heart,
به خال هندویش بخشم سمرقند و بخارا را
I would sell even the jewel cities of Samarqand and Bukhara for the Indian mole on her cheek."

Legend has it that Tamerlane sent for Hafiz regarding this verse and asked angrily: "Are you he who was so bold as to offer my two great cities Samarkand and Bukhara for the mole on thy mistress's cheek?" Hafiz then replied, "Yes, sire, and it is by such acts of generosity that I have brought myself to such a state of destitution that I have now to solicit your bounty." Tamerlane is written to have been so pleased at his ready wit that he dismissed the poet with a handsome present.
Notables of Khwarezm
The following either hail from Khwarezm, or lived and are buried there:
• Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, outstanding scholar
• Ma'mun II., Khwarezm Shah and founder of an academy
• Najm al-Din Kubra, Sufi mystic
• Rashid al-Din Vatvat, panegyrist and epistolographer
• Tura Beg Khanum, wife of Kutlug Temur
• Fakhr al-Din Razi
• Ala al-Din Atsiz, Khwarezm Shah
• Ala al-Din Tekish, Khwarezm Shah
• Ala al-Din Muhammad, Khwarezm Shah
• Jalal ad-Din Menguberdi, Khwarezm Shah
• Abu l-Hasan Sa'eedeh ibn Sa'deh, commentary writer on the writings of Sibawayh.
• Abaaq al-Khwarazmi
• Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, mathematician (for whom the term algorithm is named.)
• Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi, 10th century encyclopedist who wrote Mafatih al-'Ulum (“Key to the Sciences”).
• Abu Bakr al-Khwarizmi, scholar
• Zamakhshari, scholar
• Qutb al-zaman Muhammad ibn Abu-Tahir Marvazi, philosopher
• Al-Marwazi, astronomer
• Mahmud Yalavach, ambassador and governor of Mavaraunnahr (1224–1238)
• Abu l-Ghazi Bahadur, Khan and historian
• Ras Tarkhan, a mercenary leader of the Khazars
• Agakhi, poet and historian
• Shermuhammad Munis, poet and historian

Mughal Empire

In 1221 the Mongols invaded Iran, leaving death and destruction in the wake of their armies. Once again, as six hundred years before, events moved with startling rapidity. Between 1219 and 1227, Mongol hordes had overrun and largely destroyed Bokhara, Samarqand, Marv, Neishabur, and all of northern Iran. The loot, murder, rapes and destruction, which attended these conquests, was without parallel in history; the loss to art and learning in northern Iran was incalculable. Fortunately the south escaped, and this greatly assisted eventual recovery.

Read more ▸

The Mongols
Mongol Rulers of Iran (1219-1353)

Mongolian occupation was catastrophic for Iran. Numerous cities were mined, and a large number of people (especially men) were killed. The Kharazrn Shahs could not resist the Mongolian hordes led by Genghis Khan. The last Kharazn-Shah's prince al-Din tried to restore the empire, but failed to unite the Iranian territories, although at that time Genghis Khan, who had retreated to Mongolia, was dead. Iran was divided between Mongolian agents and local adventurers, both of whom benefited from the lack of order.A second Mongol invasion began when Gengis Khan's grandson Hulagu Khan destroyed the Ismailite fortress at Alamut. Then he laid siege to Baghdad, where he ordered the execution of the last Abbasid caliph. Hulagu hoped to consolidate Mongol rule over West Asia and expand the Mongol empire to the Mediterranean. He made Iran its base, but the Mamluks of Egypt (1250-1517) prevented him and his successors from reaching their imperial goal.Instead, a Mongolian dynasty, the Il-Khanid or "deputy khan", was established in Iran to repair the damage of the first Mongolian invasion to the Great Khan in China. They made Azerbaijan their center and chose Maragheh as the first capital until Sultaniyeh was built at the beginning of the 14th century.
A later Mongolian ruler, Ghazan Khan. And his famous Iranian vizier of Jewish descent, Rashid al-Din Fazlollah, gave Iran a partial revival. Ghazan Khan was the first Mongolian ruler to adopt Islam. His successor to the throne was Oljeitu. Oljeitu changed his religious affinities several times. A great-grandson of Hulagu, founder of the I1 Khanid dynasty, Oljeitu was a Christian baptized and given the name Nicholas by his mother. As a youth, he maintained shamanism, but later, apparently under the influence of one of his wives, was converted to Sunni Islam and adopted the name of Mohammad Khodabandeh ("Lord's Slave").
During the winter of 1307-1308, a bitter religious feud between the followers of the Hanafi and Shafii schools of Sunni Islamic law. Oljeitu was so disappointed that he considered the return to shamanism, but this course turned out to be politically impossible. The Shiite theologian, Ibn al-Mutahhar al-Hilli, greatly influenced the Shiite religion. On his return from a visit to the tomb of Iamam Ali in Iraq. He proclaimed Shi'ite Islam as a state religion. Oljeitu's transformation led to great unrest, and civil war was imminent, when he died in 1316. His son and successor, Abu Said, returned to Sunni Islam and turned to war, but during his reign, factional struggles and internal unrest became rampant. The Il Khanid line was interrupted by the death of Abu Said, who had passed away without leaving an heir, and Iran again returned to petty dynasties - the Jalayirids, Injuids and Mozaffarids.

The Mughal Empire (Persian: شاهان مغول‎, Shāhān-e Moġul; Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, Mug̱ẖliyah Salṭanat), self-designated as Gurkani (Persian: گُورکانِیان‎, Gūrkāniyān), was an empire extending over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and ruled by a dynasty of Chagatai-Turkic origin.
In the early 16th century North India, which was then predominantly Muslim rulers, fell on the superior mobility and fire power of the Mughals. The resulting Mughal empire did not trigger the local societies that brought it to power, but was balanced and satisfied by new administrative practices and various and integrative governmental organizations that led to a more systematic, centralized and more uniform rule. The Mogulschen, especially under Akbar the tribal band and the Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, united their widespread empires by fidelity expressed by a Persian culture to an emperor who had almost divine status.The economic policy of the Mogul state, which gave the most income from agriculture and paid taxes in the well-regulated silver currency, allowed farmers and artisans to open up larger markets. The relative peace sustained by the empire during much of the seventeenth century was a factor in the economic expansion of India, which led to a greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. New coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and ambitious goals during the Mughal rule, which gave them recognition and military experience through co-operation or restlessness. The spread of trade during the Mughal rule led to new Indian trade and political elites on the coasts of South and East India. When the empire dissolved, many of these elites were able to seek and control their own affairs.

The beginning of the empire is usually dated in the first battle of Panipat (1526) to the founder Babur victory over Ibrahim Lodi. It reached its peak level under Aurangzeb and sank quickly after his death (1707) under a series of ineffective rulers. The collapse of the empire followed heavily through the smaller army of the Maratha Empire added losses in the Deccan wars which encouraged the Nawabs of Bengal, Bhopal, Oudh, Carnatic, Rampur, Nizam of Hyderabad and the Shah of Afghanistan to declare their independence from that Moguln. After the third Anglo-Maratha war in 1818, the Emperor became a retiree of the Raj, and the empire, now confining his power to Delhi, remained until 1857 when it was effectively dissolved after the fall of Delhi during the Indian rebellion, That same year.
The Mogulkais were Central Asian Turko-Mongols from today's Uzbekistan who demanded direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled a large part of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul & Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri Basin in the south. Its population at this time was estimated to be between 110 and 150 million, over an area of more than 3.2 million square kilometers (1.2 million square miles).
The "classical period" of the empire began in 1556 with the rise from Akbar the Great to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, India enjoyed both economic progress and religious harmony, and the monarchs were interested in local religious and cultural traditions. Akbar was a successful warrior; His reign also brought Persian cultural influence to its zenith in India, and the resulting Indian-Persian synthesis surpassed the Mughals. He also created alliances with several Hindu-Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kings continued to make a major threat to the Mughal predominance of Northwest India, but they were subjected by Akbar. Most Mogulkais were Muslims. However, Akbar in the latter part of his life, and Jahangir, were followers of a new religion called Deen-i-Ilahi, as recorded in historical books such as Ain-e-Akbari & Dabestan-e Mazaheb.
The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He built several great monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Delhi and Fort Lahore. The Mughal reached the zenith of its territorial expansion during the reign of Aurangzeb and also began its final decline in its reign by Maratha's military resurrection under Shivaji Bhosale. During his life, victories in the South expanded the Mughal empire to more than 1.25 million square miles, which ruled over 150 million people, nearly one-fourth of the world's population with a combined GDP of over 90 billion dollars.
Around the middle of the 18th century, the Marathas had moved Moghul armies and won several Mogul provinces from the Dean to Bengal, and the inner dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the administrative and economic systems of the Mughal empire, which led to the declaration of independence from The Nawabs of Bengal, Bhopal, Oudh, Carnatic, Rampur, the Nizam of Hyderabad and Shah of Afghanistan. In 1739 the Mughals were defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah. The Mogulmacht was strictly limited and the last Emperor Bahadur Shah II had only the city of Shahjahanabad. He gave a firman, which supported the Indian rebellion of 1857 and was therefore taken over by the British for betrayal, arrest, exile to Rangoon and the last remnants of the Empire by the British Raj.

Early history
The name Mughal comes from the original homelands of the Timurids, the Central Asian steppes, which were once conquered by Genghis Khan and are therefore known as Moghulistan, "land of the Mongols". Although early Mughals spoke the Chagatai language and maintained some Turko-Mongol practices, they were essentially Persianized and surrendered Persian literature and high culture to India, forming the basis for Indo-Persian culture and the spread of Islam in South Asia .
Zahir ud-din Muhammad Babur purchased Kabulistan in 1504 and decided to recapture the areas in Hindustan, which were once held by Turks. He began his exploratory raids in September 1519, when he visited the Indo-Afghan borders to suppress the uprising of the Yusufzai tribes. He undertook similar similar raids until 1524 and had established his base camp in Peshawar. Finally, in 1526, in his fifth attempt, Babur defeated the last of the Delhi Sultans, Ibrahim Shah Lodi, at the first battle of Panipat. To secure his newly established kingdom, Babur had to face the mighty Indian King Rana Sanga of Chittor in the Battle of Khanwa. Rana Sanga offered stiff resistance, but was defeated.
Babur son Humayun followed him in 1530, but suffered reversals in the hands of Pashtun Sher Shah Suri and lost most of the young kingdom before it could grow beyond a small regional state. Humayun crossed the rough terrain of the Makran with his wife until her son Akbar was born in the fortress Umarkot in Sind. From 1540, Humayun became ruler in exile and reached the court of Safavid rule in 1554, while his power still controlled some fortresses and small regions. During the 1553-1556, the Hindu King, Hemu Vikramaditya came to the throne of Delhi, defeating forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar in Agra and Delhi. After the battle of Sirhind, where Sikandar Sur was beaten, Humayun was able to regain his throne, but could not rule him long, as in January 1556, he died by hatching from the famous building Din Panah. However, the Mughals regain their rule after Akbar's army defeated Hemu during the Second Battle of Panipat.
Akbar followed his father on February 14, 1556. He was known as Akbar, because he was a wise ruler and established high but fair taxes. He was more comprehensive in his approach to the non-Muslim themes of the empire. He examined production in a given area and taxed one fifth of its agricultural products. He also set up an efficient bureaucracy and was tolerant of religious differences that soften the resistance of the locals. He made alliances with Rajputs and appointed native generals and administrators. Later he developed his own, tolerance-based, syncretistic philosophy.
Jahangir, son of the Emperor Akbar, ruled the kingdom from 1605-1627. In October 1627 Shah Jahan, son of the Emperor Jahangir, succeeded to the throne, where he inherited a large and rich empire. In the middle of the century this was perhaps the largest empire in the world. Shah Jahan commissioned the famous Taj Mahal (1630-1653) in Agra, which was born by the Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri as a tomb for the wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, who died the birth of her 14th child. At the end of the 17th century, the empire, led by Aurangzeb Alamgir, reached its climax when most of today's India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and most of Afghanistan included parts of today's Tajikistan and Nepal.

Mughal dynasty
The Mughal empire was the dominant force on the Indian subcontinent between the middle of the 16th century and the beginning of the 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1857, when it was ousted by the British Raj. The dynasty is sometimes referred to as the Timurid dynasty, as Babur descended from Timur.
The Mogul Dynasty was founded when Babur, hailing from Fergana (Modern Uzbekistan), attacked parts of North India and defeated Ibrahim Shah Lodhi, the ruler of Delhi, in the first battle of Panipat in 1526. The Mughal empire replaced the Sultanate of Delhi as ruler From North India. Over the course of time, the state thus crossed by the Babur established far beyond the borders of the Sultanate of Delhi, eventually encompassing a large portion of India and deserving the designation of the Empire. A brief interregnum (1540-1555) during the reign of Babur's son Humayun, saw the rise of the Afghan Suri Dynasty under Sher Shah Suri, a competent and efficient ruler in his own right. Sher Shah's early death, however, and the military inability of his successor Humayun to activate his throne, however, in 1555 again regained, Humayun died a few months later, and was by his son, the 13-year-old Akbar the Great.
Most of the Mogul expansion was achieved during the rule of Akbar (1556-1605). The empire, as the dominant force of the present Indian subcontinent, was maintained for a hundred years by its successors Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. The first six emperors, who enjoyed power both de jure and de facto, were usually designated by a name, a title accepted by each emperor after his accession. The corresponding title is printed in bold in the following list.
Akbar the Great initiated certain important politics, such as religious liberalism (abolition of the jizya tax), inclusion of the natives in the affairs of the empire, and political alliance / marriage with the Indian rulers of North India, who were innovative to his milieu; He also took some policies of Sher Shah Suri, like the division of the empire in sarkar raj, in his administration of the empire. This policy, which undoubtedly served to maintain the power and stability of the empire, was preserved by its two immediate successors, but rejected by Emperor Aurangzeb, who spread almost his entire career, which extended his empire beyond the Urdu belt into the Deccan and South India, and in Assam in the east; This venture provoked opposition from the Marathas, Sikhs, Jats, and Ahoms.

The most important external force that contributed to the destruction of the Moghul empire was the Hindu-Maratha empire. Chatrapati Shivaji declared "Hindu Swarajya" (independence for Hindus) and raised an army that could trigger the larger Mogul armies. Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav, one by one, eliminated most Mughal generals. Mountstart Elphinstone call this time a demolition period for "Mussalmans" with many of them losing spirit fighting against the Maratha army. Aurangzeb lead Mughals in the war of 27 years with Marathas, in which Mughal defeat suffered with heavy losses. In 1706, just a few months before Aurangzeb's death, his son Prince Bakht was transferred from Maratha General Dhanaji to Gujarat. Defeats of the imperial army brought shame to the throne, and his helplessness was evident after Aurangzeb's death. Maratha Prime Minister Peshwa made deep cuts that ravaged Mughal outposts in much of the Indian subcontinent in the following years. After the death of Aurangzeb, Shivaji's grandson Shahu was released from the Mughals who brought peace between the Marathas and the Mughals. But the Marathas continued to expand their empire. Peshwa Vishwanath Balaji Rao devastated Mughal Deccan territory and forced the Mughal emperor to make "Chatrapati Shahu" the Viceroy of Deccan. It was, however, Vishwanath's son Baji Rao I credited with the overthrowing Mughal control of Deccan to Punjab and Bengal to Sindh; Sir Jadunath Sarka calls him the "Second Shivaji".Taking Peshwa's post at the age of 19, he began to penetrate northern Mughal fortresses. In 1728, he defeated Nizam in the Battle of Palkhed, and in 1729, defeated Muhammad Khan Bangash at Bundelakhand. None of the Muslim generals could stop him, and in 1735 he had annexed Rajasthan and Bundelkhand. In 1737, he invaded and plundered Delhi himself. Under Amir Khan Umrao Al Udat he sent 8,000 soldiers to expel the 5,000 Maratha cavalry soldiers. Baji Rao, however slightly routed the beginner Mughal General and the rest of the Imperial Mogul army fled. In 1737, in the final defeat of the Mughal empire, the chief commander of the Moghul army, Nizam-ul-mulk, was headed by the Maratha army in Bhopal. This has put an end to the Mughal empire. The last blow came from Nadir Shah in 1739.

For the next century the Mogulkaiser had authority only over Delhi. In 1857 Emperor Bahadur Shah-II a mystic who led a Renaissance poetry-supported the Indian rebellion of 1857. He was overthrown by the British, his sons were killed, and the last rest of the Mughal empire was absorbed in the British Raj.

Historians have offered numerous explanations for the rapid collapse of the Mughal empire between 1690 and 1720 after a century of growth and prosperity. From a fiscal point of view, the throne lost the revenue it needed to pay its main officers, the emirates, and their entourage. The Emperor lost his authority, as the widely dispersed imperial officers had lost confidence in the central authorities, and had made their own business with the natives. The warlike army, sank in long, futile wars against the more aggressive Marathas, lost its fighting spirit. Finally, a series of violent political feuds came about the control of the throne. After the completion of the Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1719 local Mughal successor states gained power in the region after the region.
Contemporary chroniclers bewailed the decay they witnessed, a theme picked up by the first British historians who wanted to underscore the need for a British-led rejuvenation.
Since the 1970s, historians have taken several approaches to the decline, with little consensus on what factor prevailed. The psychological interpretations emphasize corruption in high places, excessive luxury, and increasingly narrow views that left the rulers unprepared for an external challenge. A Marxist school (led by Irfan Habib and Aligarh Muslim University) underscores the over-exploitation of the peasantry by the rich who are stripping away the will and means of supporting the regime. Karen Leonard focused on the failure of the regime to work with Hindu bankers, whose financial support was increasingly needed; The bankers then helped the Maratha and the British. In a religious interpretation, some scholars argue that the Hindu Rajputs rebelled against Muslim rule. Finally, other scholars argue that the prosperity of the empire inspired the provinces to achieve a high degree of independence, thus weakening the imperial court.

Mughal Ilkhanate

The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate (Ilkhanan), was a breakaway state of the Mongol Empire, which was ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was established in the 13th century and was based primarily in Persia as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan, and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey. The Ilkhanate was based, originally, on Genghis Khan's campaigns in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219 - 1224, and was founded by Genghis's grandson, Hulagu Khan.

Read more ▸

Mughal Ilkhanate
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate (Persian: ایلخانان‎, Ilkhanan; Mongolian: Хүлэгийн улс, Hulagu-yn Ulus), was a breakaway state of the Mongol Empire, which was ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was established in the 13th century and was based primarily in Persia as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan, and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey. The Ilkhanate was based, originally, on Genghis Khan's campaigns in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–1224, and was founded by Genghis's grandson, Hulagu Khan. In its fullest extent, the state expanded into territories which today comprise most of Iran, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, western Afghanistan and southwestern Pakistan. The Ilkhanate initially embraced many religions, but was particularly sympathetic to Buddhism and Christianity. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, embraced Islam.

According to the historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Kublai granted Hulagu (Hulegu) the title of Ilkhan after his defeat of Ariq Böke. The term il-Khan means "subordinate khan" and refers to their initial deference to Möngke Khan and his successor Great Khans of the entire empire. The title "Ilkhan", borne by the descendants of Hulagu and later another Borjigin princes in Persia, does not materialize in the sources until after 1260.

Early Mongol rule in Persia
When Muhammad II of Khwarezm executed the merchants dispatched by the Mongols, Genghis Khan declared war on Khwārazm-Shāh dynasty in 1219. The Mongols overran the whole empire, occupying all major cities and population centers between 1219 to 1221. Persian Iraq was ravaged by the Mongol detachment under Jebe and Subedei, and they left the area in ruin. Transoxiana also came under Mongol control after the invasion. The undivided area west of the Transoxiana was the inheritance of Genghis Khan's Borjigin family. Thus, the families of the latter's four sons appointed their officials under the Great Khan's governors, Chin-Temür, Nussal and Korguz, in that region.
Muhammad's son Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu returned to Iran in c. 1224 after his exile in India. The rival Turkic states that were all that remained of his father's empire quickly declared their allegiance to him. He repulsed the first Mongol attempt to take Central Persia. However, Jalal ad-Din was overwhelmed and crushed by Chormaqan's army sent by the Great Khan Ögedei in 1231. During the Mongol expedition, Azerbaijan and the southern Persian dynasties in Fars and Kerman voluntarily submitted to the Mongols and agreed to pay tribute. To the west, Hamadan and the rest of Persia was secured by Chormaqan. The Mongols turned their attention to Armenia and Georgia in 1234 or 1236. They completed the conquest of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1238; however, the Mongol Empire began to attack the western parts of Greater Armenia which was under the Seljuks in the next year.

In 1236 Ögedei was commanded to raise up Khorassan and proceeded to populate Herat. The Mongol military governors mostly made camp in the Mughan plain in what is now Azerbaijan. Realizing the danger posed by the Mongols, the rulers of Mosul and Cilician Armenia submitted to the Great Khan. Chormaqan divided the Transcaucasia region into three districts based on the Mongols' military hierarchy. In Georgia, the population were temporarily divided into eight tumens. By 1237 the Mongol Empire had subjugated most of Persia, excluding Abbasid Iraq and Ismaili strongholds, and all of Afghanistan and Kashmir.
After the battle of Köse Dağ in 1243, the Mongols under Baiju occupied Anatolia, while the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and the Empire of Trebizond became vassals of the Mongols.
Güyük Khan abolished decrees issued by the Mongol princes that had ordered the raising of revenue from districts in Persia as well as offering tax exemptions to others in c. 1244.
In accordance with the governor Arghun the Elder's (Arghun agha) complaint, Möngke Khan prohibited ortog-merchants and nobles to abuse relay stations, yam (route), and civilians in 1251. He ordered a new census and decreed that each man in the Mongol ruled-Middle East must pay in proportion to his property. Persia was divided between four districts under Arghun. Möngke Khan granted the Kartids authority over Herat, Jam, Bushanj, Ghor, Khaysar, Firuz-Kuh, Gharjistan, Farah, Sistan, Kabul, Tirah, and Afghanistan.

First Ilkhan
The actual founder of the Ilkhanate dynasty was Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan and brother of both Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan. Möngke dispatched him to establish a firm Toluid control over the Middle East, and ordered him return to Mongolia when his task was accomplished. Taking over from Baiju in 1255 or 1256, he had been charged with subduing the Muslim kingdoms to the west "as far as the borders of Egypt." This occupation led the Turkmens to move west into Anatolia to escape from the Mongolian tribes. He established his dynasty over the southwestern part of the Mongol Empire that stretched from Transoxiana to Syria. He destroyed the Ismaili Nizari Hashshashins and the Abbasid Caliphate in 1256 and 1258 respectively. After that he advanced as far as Gaza, briefly conquering Ayyubid Syria.
Möngke's death forced Hulagu to return from the Persian heartland for the preparation of Khuriltai (selection of a new leader). He left a small force behind to continue the Mongol advance, but it was halted in Palestine in 1260 by a major defeat at the battle of Ain Jalut at the hands of the Mamluks of Egypt. Due to geo-political and religious issues and deaths of three Jochid princes in Hulagu's service, Berke declared open war on Hulagu in 1262 and possibly called his troops back in Iran. According to Mamluk historians, Hulagu might have massacred Berke's troops and refused to share his war booty with Berke.
Hulagu's descendants ruled Persia for the next eighty years, tolerating multiple religions including Shamanism, Buddhism, and Christianity, ultimately adopting Islam as a state religion in 1295. However, despite this conversion, the Ilkhans remained opposed to the Mamluks (who had defeated both Mongol invaders and Crusaders). The Ilkhans launched several invasions of Syria, but were never able to gain and keep significant ground against the Mamluks, eventually being forced to give up their plans to conquer Syria, along with their stranglehold over their vassals the Sultanate of Rum and the Armenian kingdom in Cilicia. This was in large part due to civil war in the Mongol Empire, and the hostility of the khanates to the north and east. The Chagatai Khanate in Moghulistan and the Golden Horde threatened the Ilkhanate in the Caucasus and Transoxiana, preventing expansion westward. Even under Hulagu's reign, the Ilkhanate was engaged in open warfare in the Caucasus with the Mongols in the Russian steppes. On the other hand, the China-based Yuan Dynasty was an ally of the Ikhanate and also held nominal suzerainty over the latter for many decades. Hulagu took with him many Chinese scholars, astronomers, and the famous Persian astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi learned about the mode of the Chinese calculating tables from the scholars brought to Persia by the Mongols.The observatory was built on a hill of Maragheh.

Conversion to Islam
In the period after Hulagu, the Ilkhans increasingly adopted Tibetan Buddhism. Christian powers were encouraged by what appeared to be a favoring of Nestorian Christianity by the Ilkhanate's rulers but this probably went no deeper than the Mongols' traditional even-handedness towards competing religions. Thus the Ilkhans were markedly out of step with the Muslim majority they ruled. Ghazan, shortly before he overthrew Baydu, converted to Islam and his official favoring of Islam as a state religion coincided with a marked attempt to bring the regime closer to the non-Mongol majority of the regions they ruled. Christian and Jewish subjects lost their equal status with Muslims and again had to pay the poll tax. Buddhists had the starker choice of conversion or expulsion.
In foreign relations, the Ilkhanate's conversion to Islam had little to no effect on the regime's hostility towards the other Muslim states and Ghazan continued to fight the Mamluks for control of Syria. But the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, which was the Mongols' only major victory over the Mamluks, ended his control over Syria, though this lasted but a few months. For the most part, Ghazan's policies continued under his brother Öljeitü despite suggestions that he might begin to favor the Shi'a brand of Islam after he came under the influence of Shi'a theologians Al-Hilli and Maitham Al Bahrani. Öljeitü succeeded in conquering Gilan on the Caspian coast and his magnificent tomb in Soltaniyeh remains the best known monument of Ilkhanid rule in Persia.

After Abu Sa'id's death in 1335, the Ilkhanate began to disintegrate rapidly, and split up into several rival successor states, most prominently the Jalayirids. Hasar's descendant Togha Temür, who was the last of the obscure Ilkhan pretenders, was assassinated by Sarbadars in 1353. Timur later carved a state from the Jalayirids, ostensibly to restore the old khanate. The historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani wrote a universal history for the khans around 1315 which provides much material for their history.

The emergence of the Ilkhanate had an important historical impact in the Middle Eastern region. The establishment of the unified Mongol Empire had significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia. The communications between the Ilkhanate and the Yuan Dynasty headquartered in China encouraged this development.
The Ilkhanate also helped to pave the way for the later Persian Safavid dynastic state, and ultimately the modern country of Iran. Hulagu's conquests had also opened Iran to Chinese influence from the east. This, combined with patronage from his successors, would develop Iran's distinctive excellence in architecture. Under the Ilkhans, Iranian historians also moved from writing in Arabic, to writing in their native Persian tongue.
The rudiments of double-entry accounting were practiced in the Ilkhanate; merdiban was then adopted by the Ottoman Empire. These developments were independent from the accounting practices used in Europe. This accounting system was adopted primarily as the result of socio-economic necessities created by the agricultural and fiscal reforms of Ghazan Khan in 1295-1304.

House of Hulagu (1256-1335; Ilkhanate Mongol kings)
• Hulagu Khan (1256–1265)
• Abaqa Khan (1265–1282)
• Ahmad Tegüder (1282–1284)
• Arghun (1284–1291)
• Gaykhatu (1291–1295)
• Baydu (1295)
• Mahmud Ghazan (1295–1304)
• Muhammad Khodabandeh (Oljeitu) (1304–1316)
• Abu Sa'id Bahadur (1316–1335)
After the Ilkhanate, the regional states established during the disintegration of the Ilkhanate raised their own candidates as claimants.
House of Ariq Böke
• Arpa Ke'ün (1335–1336)
House of Hulagu (1336-1357)
• Musa (1336–1337) (puppet of 'Ali Padshah of Baghdad)
• Muhammad (1336–1338) (Jalayirid puppet)
• Sati Beg (1338–1339) (Chobanid puppet)
• Sulayman (1339–1343) (Chobanid puppet, recognized by the Sarbadars 1341–1343)
• Jahan Temür (1339–1340) (Jalayirid puppet)
• Anushirwan (1343–1356) (Chobanid puppet)
• Ghazan II (1356–1357) (known only from coinage)

Timurid dynasty

Timurid dynasty, (fl. 15th - 16th century ce), dynasty of Turkic-Mongol origin descended from the conqueror Timur (Tamerlane). The period of Timurid rule was renowned for it’s brilliant revival of artistic and intellectual life in Iran and Central Asia.
After Timur’s death (1405), his conquests were divided between two of his sons: Miranshah (died 1407) received Iraq, Azerbaijan, Moghan, Shirvan, and Georgia, while Shāh Rokh was left with Khorasan.

Read more ▸

Timurid and Turkman Rulers (1389-1508)
Tamerlane (Timur), who claimed descent from Genghis Khan's family, was the next ruler to achieve the status of emperor. He did not have the huge forces of earlier Mongol leaders, so his conquests were slower than those of Genghis Khan or Hulagu Khan. Ironically, this ruthless warrior and appalling killer was a great patron of arts and initiated a true civilization with a center in Samarqand. Timur was famed for his great interest in unorthodox religious beliefs, among them Sufism, which developed considerably in his time.
Under Timur's son Shahrokh and grandson Ulugh Beik the Iranian culture began to flourish. Their capital, Herat, was turned into the seat of splendid culture, the atelier of great miniature painters, and the home for a revival of Persian sciences and arts. The Timurid Empire, however, disintegrated rapidly after Ulugh Beiks death.
After the Timurid princes, Iran was dominated, particularly in its northern part, by the Qara-Quyunlu, the "Black Sheep" Turkman tribe. On Shahrokhs death, their leader, Iahan Shah, extended his rule deep into Iran. Their rival was another Turkman tribe of Aq-Quyunlu, the "White Sheep", who were concentrated around Diyarbakir in Turkey. The White Sheep, led by Uzun Hasan, destroyed Jahan Shah's troops by the end of 1467. Uzun Hasan established a short-lived empire but was confronted by a new power in Asia Minor - the Ottoman Turks. Minor Mongol tribes, Uzbeks, and Turkman clans ruled over [ran until the rise of the Safavid dynasty.

The Timurid dynasty (Persian: تیموریان‎), self-designated Gurkānī (Persian: گوركانى‎), was a Persianate, Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turco-Mongol lineage which ruled over modern-day Iran, Afghanistan, much of Central Asia, as well as parts of contemporary Pakistan, India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Caucasus. The dynasty was founded by Timur (Tamerlane) in the 14th century.
The Timurids lost control of most of Persia to the Safavid dynasty in 1501, but members of the dynasty continued to rule parts of Central Asia and parts of India, sometimes known as the Timurid Emirates. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid prince from Ferghana (modern Uzbekistan), invaded Kabulistan (modern Afghanistan) and established a small kingdom there, and from there 20 years later he invaded Hindustan to establish the Mughal Empire.

The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongol tribe known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan. After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in what is today southern Kazakhstan, from Shymkent to Taraz and Almaty, which then came to be known for a time as Moghulistan – "Land of Mongols" in Persian – and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking population, so that at the time of Timur's reign the Barlas had become thoroughly Turkicized in terms of language and habits.
Additionally, by adopting Islam, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture which had dominated Central Asia since the early days of Islamic influence. Persian literature was instrumental in the assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture.

Timur conquered large parts of Central Asia, primarily Transoxiana and Khorasan, from 1363 onwards with various alliances (Samarkand in 1366, and Balkh in 1369), and was recognized as ruler over them in 1370. Acting officially in the name of Suurgatmish, the Chagatai khan, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed. Already in the 1360s had he gained control of the western Chagatai Khanate and while as emir he was nominally subordinate to the khan, in reality it was now Timur that picked the khans who became mere puppet rulers. The western Chagatai khans were continually dominated by Timurid princes in the 15th and 16th centuries and their figurehead importance was eventually reduced into total insignificance.

Timur began a campaign westwards in 1380, invading the various successor states of the Ilkhanate. By 1389, he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia where he enjoyed many successes. This included the capture of Isfahan in 1387, the removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and the expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad. In 1394–95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde, following his successful campaign in Georgia, after which he enforced his sovereignty in the Caucasus. Tokhtamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde, was a major rival to Timur in the region. He also subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern day Pakistan in 1398, and in modern day India left Delhi in such ruin that it is said for two months "not a bird moved wing in the city". Timur gave the north Indian territories to a non-family member, Khizr Khan, whose Sayyid dynasty replaced the defeated Tughlaq dynasty of the Sultanate of Dehli. Delhi became a vassal of the Timurids but obtained independence in the years following the death of Timur.
In 1400–1401 he conquered Aleppo, Damascus and eastern Anatolia, in 1401 he destroyed Baghdad and in 1402 defeated the Turks in the Battle of Ankara. This made Timur the most preeminent Muslim ruler of the time, as the Ottoman Empire plunged into civil war. Meanwhile he transformed Samarkand into a major capital and seat of his realm.
Timur appointed his sons and grandsons to the main governorships of the different parts of his empire, and outsiders to some others. After his death in 1405, the family quickly fell into disputes and civil wars, and many of the governorships became effectively independent. However, Timurid rulers continued to dominate Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and much of Central Asia, though the Anatolian and Caucasian territories were lost by the 1430s. Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by wars, the seat of Persian culture was now in Samarkand and Herat, cities that became the center of the Timurid renaissance. The cost of Timur's conquests amount to the deaths of possibly 17 million people, and the loss to culture from the destruction of libraries and historic sites is incalculable.

By 1500, the divided and wartorn Timurid Empire had lost control of most of its territory and within the following years were effectively pushed back on all fronts. Persia fell quickly to the Shiite Safavid dynasty, secured by Shah Ismail I in the following decade. Much of the Central Asian lands was overrun by the Uzbeks of Muhammad Shaybani who conquered the key cities of Samarkand and Herat in 1505 and 1507, and founded the Khanate of Bukhara. From Kabul, the Mughal Empire was established by Babur, a descendant of Timur through his father and possibly a descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother, in 1526. The dynasty he established is commonly known as the Mughal dynasty though it was directly inherited from the Timurids. By the 17th century, the Mughal Empire ruled most of India, but eventually declined during the following century. The Timurid dynasty finally came to an end as the remaining nominal rule of the Mughals was abolished by the British Empire following the 1857 rebellion.

Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin, they had embraced Persian culture, converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. Thus, the Timurid era had a dual character, which reflected both the Turco-Mongol origins and the Persian literary, artistic, and courtly high culture of the dynasty.

During the Timurid era, Central Asian society was bifurcated and had divided the responsibilities of government and rule into military and civilian along ethnic lines. At least in the early stages, the military was almost exclusively Turko-Mongolian, and the civilian and administrative element was almost exclusively Persian. The spoken language shared by all the Turko-Mongolians throughout the area was Chaghatay. The political organization hearkened back to the steppe-nomadic system of patronage introduced by Genghis Khan. The major language of the period, however, was Persian, the native language of the Tājīk (Persian) component of society and the language of learning acquired by all literate and/or urban people. Already Timur was steeped in Persian culture and in most of the territories which he incorporated, Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. Thus the language of the settled "diwan" was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin. Persian became the official state language of the Timurid Empire and served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry. The Chaghatay language was the native and "home language" of the Timurid family while Arabic served as the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences.


Persian literature, especially Persian poetry occupied a central place in the process of assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture. The Timurid sultans, especially Šāhrukh Mīrzā and his son Mohammad Taragai Oloğ Beg, patronized Persian culture. Among the most important literary works of the Timurid era is the Persian biography of Timur, known as "Zafarnāmeh" (Persian: ظفرنامه‎), written by Sharaf ud-Dīn Alī Yazdī, which itself is based on an older "Zafarnāmeh" by Nizām al-Dīn Shāmī, the official biographer of Timur during his lifetime. The most famous poet of the Timurid era was Nūr ud-Dīn Jāmī, the last great medieval Sufi mystic of Persia and one of the greatest in Persian poetry. In addition, some of the astronomical works of the Timurid sultan Ulugh Beg were written in Persian, although the bulk of it was published in Arabic. The Timurid ruler Baysunğur also commissioned a new edition of the Persian national epic Shāhnāmeh, known as Shāhnāmeh of Baysunğur, and wrote an introduction to it. According to T. Lenz:
“ It can be viewed as a specific reaction in the wake of Timur's death in 807/1405 to the new cultural demands facing Shahhrokh and his sons, a Turkic military elite no longer deriving their power and influence solely from a charismatic steppe leader with a carefully cultivated linkage to Mongol aristocracy. Now centered in Khorasan, the ruling house regarded the increased assimilation and patronage of Persian culture as an integral component of efforts to secure the legitimacy and authority of the dynasty within the context of the Islamic Iranian monarchical tradition, and the Baysanghur Shahnameh, as much a precious object as it is a manuscript to be read, powerfully symbolizes the Timurid conception of their own place in that tradition. A valuable documentary source for Timurid decorative arts that have all but disappeared for the period, the manuscript still awaits a comprehensive monographic study.

The Timurids also played a very important role in the history of Turkic literature. Based on the established Persian literary tradition, a national Turkic literature was developed in the Chagatay language. Chagatay poets such as Mīr Alī Sher Nawā'ī, Sultan Husayn Bāyqarā, and Zāher ud-Dīn Bābur encouraged other Turkic-speaking poets to write in their own vernacular in addition to Arabic and Persian. The Bāburnāma, the autobiography of Bābur (although being highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary), as well as Mīr Alī Sher Nawā'ī's Chagatay poetry are among the best-known Turkic literary works and have influenced many others.

During the reign of the Timurids, the golden age of Persian painting was ushered. During this period — and analogous to the developments in Safavid Persia  Chinese art and artists had a significant influence on Persian art. Timurid artists refined the Persian art of the book, which combines paper, calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding in a brilliant and colourful whole. It was the Mongol ethnicity of the Chaghatayid and Timurid Khans that is the source of the stylistic depiction Persian art during the Middle Ages. These same Mongols intermarried with the Persians and Turks of Central Asia, even adopting their religion and languages. Yet their simple control of the world at that time, particularly in the 13–15th centuries, reflected itself in the idealised appearance of Persians as Mongols. Though the ethnic make-up gradually blended into the Iranian and Mesopotamian local populations, the Mongol stylism continued well after, and crossed into Asia Minor and even North Africa.

Timurid architecture
In the realm of architecture, the Timurids drew on and developed many Seljuq traditions. Turquoise and blue tiles forming intricate linear and geometric patterns decorated the facades of buildings. Sometimes the interior was decorated similarly, with painting and stucco relief further enriching the effect. Timurid architecture is the pinnacle of Islamic art in Central Asia. Spectacular and stately edifices erected by Timur and his successors in Samarkand and Herat helped to disseminate the influence of the Ilkhanid school of art in India, thus giving rise to the celebrated Mughal (or Mongol) school of architecture. Timurid architecture started with the sanctuary of Ahmed Yasawi in present-day Kazakhstan and culminated in Timur's mausoleum Gur-e Amir in Samarkand.

Samarkand BibiKhanym mosque.
Samarkand BibiKhanym mosque.
Timur's Gur-I Mir, the 14th-century mausoleum of the conqueror is covered with ‘’turquoise Persian tiles’’ Nearby, in the center of the ancient town, a Persian style Madrassa (religious school) and a Persian style Mosque by Ulugh Beg is observed. The mausoleum of Timurid princes, with their turquoise and blue-tiled domes remain among the most refined and exquisite Persian architecture. Axial symmetry is a characteristic of all major Timurid structures, notably the Shāh-e Zenda in Samarkand, the Musallah complex in Herat, and the mosque of Gowhar Shād in Mashhad. Double domes of various shapes abound, and the outsides are perfused with brilliant colors. Timur's dominance of the region strengthened the influence of his capital and Persian architecture upon India

Safavid dynasty

Safavid Dynasty, (1502 - 1736), Iranian dynasty whose establishment of Shīʿite Islam as the state religion of Iran was a major factor in the emergence of a unified national consciousness among the various ethnic and linguistic elements of the country. The Safavids were descended from Sheykh Safī od-Dīn (1253–1334) of Ardabīl, head of the Sufi order of Safavīyeh (Safawiyah), but about 1399 exchanged their Sunnite affiliation for Shīʿism.

Read more ▸

Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736)
While the Turkrnan dynasties ruled in Azerbaijan, Sheikh Heydar headed a movement that had begun in the late 13th century as a Sufi order under his ancestor, Sheikh Safi al-Din of Ardabil, who claimed descent from the Seventh Shiite Imam, Musa al-Kazem. By the end of the 15th century, this Sufi order was turned into a militant movement with numerous followers, mainly from the Turkman tribesmen of Anatolia. They were called the Qizil-Bash ('Red Heads") because of the distinctive red headgear that they had adopted to mark their adherence to the Safavids. With their help, the Safavids conducted several successful military campaigns, especially in the Caucasus. By virtue of their descent from the Prophet's family, the Safavid movement was invested with a semi-sacred character, and the religious character of the new claimants to the, throne was particularly acceptable to the Persians.
When Sheikh Heydar was killed in one of his battles in the Caucasus, his son Ismail avenged his death by conquering Azerbaijan and then the whole of Iran. In 1501, Ismail was proclaimed Shah of Iran.
He became the founder of one of the most famous ruling dynasties in Iranian history the Safavids. The Safavids declared Shiite Islam the state religion and used proselytizing and force to convert the large majority of Muslims in Iran to the Shiite sect. Their main external enemies were the Uzbeks and the Ottomans. The Uzbeks were an unstable element along Iran's northeastern frontier, raiding Khorasan and blocking the Safavid advance northward into Transoxiana. The Ottomans, who were Sunnites, were rivals for the religious allegiance of Muslims in eastern Anatolia and Iraq and pressed territorial claims in both these areas and in the Caucasus.
A series of battles between Iran and the Ottoman Turkey lasted throughout the reign of the Safavids.
Tahmasb, the eldest son and successor of Shah Ismail. had none of his father's appeal or personal courage. For a long period after coming to the throne, he was a pawn of powerful tribal leaders. He is remembered for the unusual length of his reign (fifty-two years), his treachery in selling his guest Bayazid, son of the Ottoman Sultan Soleiman the Magnificent, to his father in exchange for 400,000 pieces of gold. and for a mention (as "Bactrian Sophi") in John Milton's Paradise Lost. The political history of his reign is characterized by petty intrigues. However, its art history, especially the arts of the book, is rich and compelling. During his reign, Qazvin was chosen a capital as being a less vulnerable city compared to Tabriz, the first capital of Safavics.
The decade after Tahmasb's death (he was poisoned by one of his wives) was characterized by political turbulence. After endless plotting and several assassinations, his fourth son ascended the throne as Ismail II. Ismail had been held in prison by his father for twenty-five years. Demented by incarceration and an eventually fatal drug addiction, he began his reign by extirpating his rivals. He ordered that his brother, the purblind and seemingly innocuous Mohammad Khodabandeh, and Mohammad's young son Abbas be assassinated. However, before this order could be carried out, Ismail suddenly died, perhaps of drink and an overdose of opium.

Some authorities, however, say that he was assassinated by a conspiracy of dissident feudal chiefs. His successor, the feeble Mohammad Khodabandeh, ruled only in name. For two years, his energetic wife tried to bring the shah's vassals under control. When she proved too threatening, the vassals murdered her, and for eight years Iran was dismembered in bitter, fratricidal feuds.
The Safavid state was saved by Mohammad's son, Shah Abbas I, who is better known in Iranian historical tradition as Shah Abbas the Great. Shah Abbas started his career by signing a largely disadvantageous treaty with the Ottomans. TI1is treaty, however, allowed him to gain breathing space to confront and defeat the Uzbeks. With the advice of Robert Shirley, an English adventurer versed in artillery tactics, he reorganized the army and equipped it on European lines. He then fought several successful battles with the Ottomans, reestablishing Iranian control over Iraq, Georgia, and parts of the Caucasus. He also strengthened the bureaucracy and further centralized the administration.
Shah Abbas transferred the capital from Qazvin to Esfahan, a centrally located city, from where he could control his vast territories more successfully. This monarch, a contemporary of King James I of England and King Henry IV of France, was not only great as a warrior and administrator, but he also fostered a renaissance of art. The period of his reign brought forth the golden age of Esfahan, which was turned into one of the world's most beautiful cities, worthy of it’s title "Half the World".
Under Abbas's patronage, carpet-weaving became a major industry, and fine Persian rugs appeared in the homes of wealthy Europeans. Another profitable export "vas texThes, including brocades and damasks of unparalleled richness. The production and sale of silk was made a monopoly of the crown.
In the illumination of manuscripts, bookbinding, and ceramics, the work of this period is outstanding. In painting, it is one of the most notable in Persian history. Shah Abbas was a patron of science and scientific achievements as well. Some of the greatest philosophers of Iran lived under his rule, among them Mullah Sadra, Mir Damad, and Moqaddas Ardabili.
Shah Abbas's enthusiasm for building was not confined to Esfahan. The extension and restoration of the famous shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad and the construction, along the swampy littoral of the Caspian Sea, of the celebrated stone causeway were among his other notable achievements. There is hardly a part of Iran where either Safavid buildings or major Safavid restorations cannot be found. The dynasty spent a great deal of money and effort on the building of bridges, roads, and caravansaries to encourage trade.

To facilitate commerce and find a way to southern seas, Shah Abbas expelled the Portuguese, who had previously occupied Bahrain and the island of Hormoz, trying to dominate the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf trade. He also freed and expanded the port that became known as Bandar Abbas, which is functioning even now.
After Shah Abbas, the centralized rule started to decline. It is hardly surprising that Chardin saw Shah Abbas's reign as the golden age of Iran. "When this great prince ceased to live", he wrote, "Persia ceased to prosper': And indeed, the Safavid state never achieved the degree of political and military power, economic prosperity, internal stability and security, and artistic distinction that it had under Shah Abbas.
Of Shah Abbas's successors, only Abbas II, the great -grandson of his namesake, interrupted the steady decline of the dynasty. He was crowned at a very early age and thus successfully escaped the seclusion of the harem, which may well be the reason why he developed more favorably than the other of Shah Abbas's successors. Although inclined to lose control under the influence of alcohol and narcotics, he was more gifted than any other descendant of Shah Abbas the Great, and history records him as a just ruler and an intelligent patron of arts. Abbas II died in 1667 at the age of thirty-three.
Abbas's eighteen-year-old son ascended the throne as Shah Safi. However, shortly after his accession, the shah fell ill. The doctors ascribed his illness to the miscasting of his horoscope at the time of his accession. Therefore on a day proclaimed by the astrologers as unlucky, a mock coronation of a Zoroastrian was performed. The following day, allegedly a lucky one, an effigy of the Zoroastrian was decapitated, and Shah Safi reassumed his throne as Shah Soleiman. Soleirnans harem upbringing had left him under the thumb of the eunuchs. Like most of the Safavid rulers, he cared more about women and wine than his country. Chardin reported that he could drink any Swiss or German under the table. The Soleiman's reign was for the most part peaceful, though it was not the ruler's merit but rather a fortunate culmination of circumstances.
The last ruling Safavid monarch was Shah Sultan Hossein. In character, he was pious, humane. and feeble. His piety earned him the nicknames of "Mullah Hossein" and "Yashki dir" (Turkish: "It is good"), the second deriving from
his invariable reply of assent to every proposal made by the clergy. His feebleness accelerated the decline of the country. Once again the eastern frontiers began to be breached, and a small body of Afghan tribesmen led by Mahmud, a former Safavid vassal in Afghanistan, won a series of easy victories before taking the capital. Although the Safavid dynasty claimed rule for many following years, bearing illustrious but hollow names like Tahmasb II and Abbas III. the glory of the Safavid reign was never reestablished.

The Safavid dynasty (Persian: سلسلهٔ صفويان‎; Azerbaijani: Səfəvilər imperiyası, صفویلر) was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Persia (modern Iran), and is often considered the beginning of modern Persian history. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires after 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 points in Muslim history. The Safavids ruled from 1501 to 1722 (experiencing a brief restoration from 1729 to 1736) and at their height, they controlled all of modern Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia, most of Iraq, Georgia, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus, as well as parts of Syria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey. Safavid Iran was one of the Islamic "gunpowder empires", along with its neighbours, the Ottoman and Mughal empires.
The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region. It was of mixed ancestry (Azerbaijani, Kurdish Persian and Turkmen, which included intermarriages with Georgian and Pontic Greek dignitaries). From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over all of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sassanid Empire to establish a unified Iranian state.
Despite their demise in 1736, the legacy that they left behind was the revival of Persia as an economic stronghold between East and West, the establishment of an efficient state and bureaucracy based upon "checks and balances", their architectural innovations and their patronage for fine arts. The Safavids have also left their mark down to the present era by spreading Shi'a Islam in Iran, as well as major parts of the Caucasus, South Asia, Central Asia, and Anatolia.

Genealogy—The Ancestors of The Safavids and its multi-cultural identity
The Safavid Kings themselves claimed to be Seyyeds, family descendants of the prophet Muhammad, although many scholars have cast doubt on this claim. There seems now to be a consensus among scholars that the Safavid family hailed from Persian Kurdistan, and later moved to Azerbaijan, finally settling in the 11th century CE at Ardabil. Traditional pre-1501 Safavid manuscripts trace the lineage of the Safavids to Kurdish dignitary, Firuz Shah Zarin-Kulah.
According to some historians, including Richard Frye, the Safavids were of Azeri (Turkish) origin:
The Turkish speakers of Azerbaijan are mainly descended from the earlier Iranian speakers, several pockets of whom still exist in the region. A massive migration of Oghuz Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries not only Turkified Azerbaijan but also Anatolia. Azeri Turks were the founders of Safavid dynasty.
Other historians, such as Vladimir Minorsky and Roger Savory, refute this idea:
From the evidence available at the present time, it is certain that the Safavid family was of indigineous Iranian stock, and not of Turkish ancestry as it is sometimes claimed. It is probable that the family originated in Persian Kurdistan, and later moved to Azerbaijan, where they adopted the Azari form of Turkish spoken there, and eventually settled in the small town of Ardabil sometimes during the eleventh century.
By the time of the establishment of the Safavid empire, the members of the family were native Turkish-speaking and Turkicized, and some of the Shahs composed poems in their native Turkish language. Concurrently, the Shahs themselves also supported Persian literature, poetry and art projects including the grand Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp, while members of the family and some Shahs composed Persian poetry as well. In terms of identity, it should be noted that the authority of the Safavids were religiously based and they based their legitimacy on being direct male descendants of the Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, and the first Shi'ite Imam.

Background—The Safavid Sufi Order
Safavid history begins with the establishment of the Safaviyya by its eponymous founder Safi-ad-din Ardabili (1252–1334). In 700/1301, Safi al-Din assumed the leadership of the Zahediyeh, a significant Sufi order in Gilan, from his spiritual master and father-in-law Zahed Gilani. Due to the great spiritual charisma of Safi al-Din, the order was later known as the Safaviyya. The Safavid order soon gained great influence in the city of Ardabil and Hamdullah Mustaufi noted that most of the people of Ardabil were followers of Safi al Din.
Extant religious poetry from him, written in the Old Azari language a now-extinct Northwestern Iranian language and accompanied by a paraphrase in Persian which helps their understanding, has survived to this day and has linguistic importance.
After Safī al-Dīn, the leadership of the Safaviyya passed onto Sadr al-Dīn Mūsā († 794/1391–92). The order at this time was transformed into a religious movement which conducted religious propaganda throughout Persia, Syria and Asia Minor, and most likely had maintained its Sunni Shafi’ite origin at that time. The leadership of the order passed on from Sadr ud-Dīn Mūsā to his son Khwādja Ali († 1429) and in turn to his son Ibrāhīm († 1429–47).
When Shaykh Junayd, the son of Ibrāhim, assumed the leadership of the Safaviyya in 1447, the history of the Safavid movement was radically changed. According to R.M. Savory, "'Sheikh Junayd was not content with spiritual authority and he sought material power'". At that time, the most powerful dynasty in Persia was that of the Kara Koyunlu, the "Black Sheep", whose ruler Jahan Shah ordered Junāyd to leave Ardabil or else he would bring destruction and ruin upon the city. Junayd sought refuge with the rival of Kara Koyunlu Jahan Shah, the Aq Qoyunlu (White Sheep Turkomans) Khan Uzun Hassan, and cemented his relationship by marrying Uzun Hassan's sister, Khadija Begum. Junayd was killed during an incursion into the territories of the Shirvanshah and was succeeded by his son Haydar Safavi. Haydar married Martha 'Alamshah Begom, Uzun Hassan's daughter, who gave birth to Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty. Martha's mother Theodora—better known as Despina Khatun—was a Pontic Greek princess, the daughter of the Grand Komnenos John IV of Trebizond. She had been married to Uzun Hassan in exchange for protection of the Grand Komnenos from the Ottomans.
After Uzun Hassan's death, his son Ya'qub felt threatened by the growing Safavid religious influence. Ya'qub allied himself with the Shirvanshah and killed Haydar in 1488. By this time, the bulk of the Safaviyya were nomadic Oghuz Turkic-speaking clans from Asia Minor and Azerbaijan and were known as Qizilbash "Red Heads" because of their distinct red headgear. The Qizilbash were warriors, spiritual followers of Haydar, and a source of the Safavid military and political power.
After the death of Haydar, the Safaviyya gathered around his son Ali Mirza Safavi, who was also pursued and subsequently killed by Ya'qub. According to official Safavid history, before passing away, Ali had designated his young brother Ismail as the spiritual leader of the Safaviyya

Founding of the dynasty by Shāh Ismāil I
Persia prior to Ismāil's rule

After the decline of the Timurid Empire (1370–1506), Persia was politically splintered, giving rise to a number of religious movements. The demise of Tamerlane's political authority created a space in which several religious communities, particularly Shi’i ones, could now come to the fore and gain prominence. Among these were a number of Sufi brotherhoods, the Hurufis, Nuqtawis and Musha‘sha‘. Of these various movements, the Safawid Qizilbash was the most politically resilient, and it was on account of its success that Shah Isma’il I gained political prominence in 1501 CE. There were many local states prior to the Iranian state established by Ismāil. The most important local rulers about 1500 were:
• Huṣayn Bāyqarā, the Timurid ruler of Herāt
• Alwand Mīrzā, the Aq Qoyunlu Khan of Tabrīz
• Murad Beg, Aq Qoyunlu ruler of Irāq al-Ajam
• Farrokh Yaṣar, the Shah of Širvan
• Badi Alzamān Mīrzā, local ruler of Balkh
• Huṣayn Kīā Chalavī, the local ruler of Semnān
• Murād Beg Bayandar, local ruler of Yazd

Rise of Shāh Ismāil I
The Safavid dynasty was founded about 1501 by Shāh Ismāil I. Shah Ismail's background is disputed: the language he used is not identical with that of his "race" or "nationality" and he was bilingual from birth. Some scholars argue that Ismāil was of mixed Azeri, Kurdish, and Pontic Greek descent, although others argue that he was non-Azeri and was a direct descendant of Kurdish mystic Sheikh Safi al-Din. As such, he was the last in the line of hereditary Grand Masters of the Safaviyeh order, prior to its ascent to a ruling dynasty. Ismāil was known as a brave and charismatic youth, zealous with regards to his Shi’a faith, and believed himself to be of divine descent—practically worshipped by his Qizilbāsh followers. In 1500, Ismāil invaded neighboring Shirvan to avenge the death of his father, Sheik Haydar, who had been murdered in 1488 by the ruling Shirvanshah, Farrukh Yassar. Afterwards, Ismail went on a conquest campaign, capturing Tabriz in July 1501, where he enthroned himself the Shāh of Azerbaijan, proclaimed himself Shahanshah of Iran and minted coins in his name, proclaiming Shi’ism the official religion of his domain. The establishment of Shi’ism as the state religion led to various Sufi orders openly declaring their Shi’i position, and others, to promptly assume Shi’ism. Among these, the founder of one of the most successful Sufi orders, Ni’matullah (d. 1431) traced his descent from the Ismaili Imam Muhammad b. Ismail, as evidenced in a poem as well as another unpublished literary composition. Though Nimatullah was apparently Sunni, the Ni’matullahi order soon declared his order to be Shi’I after the rise of the Safavid dynasty.

Although Ismail I initially gained mastery over Azerbaijan alone, the Safavids ultimately won the struggle for power in all of Persia which had been going on for nearly a century between various dynasties and political forces. A year after his victory in Tabriz, Ismāil claimed most of Persia as part of his territory, and within 10 years established a complete control over all of it. Ismail followed the line of Iranian and Turkmen rulers prior to him by assumption of the title "Padishah-i-Iran", previously held by Uzun Hasan and many other Iranian kings. The Ottoman sultans addressed him as the king of Persian lands and the heir to Jamshid and Kai Khosrow. Hamadan fell under his power in 1503, Shiraz and Kerman in 1504, Najaf and Karbala in 1507, Van in 1508, Baghdad in 1509, and Herat, as well as other parts of Khorasan, in 1510. By 1511, the Uzbeks in the north-east, led by their Khan Muhammad Shaybāni, were driven far to the north, across the Oxus River where they continued to attack the Safavids. Ismail's decisive victory over the Uzbeks, who had occupied most of Khorasan, ensured Iran's eastern borders, and the Uzbeks never since expanded beyond the Hindukush. Although the Uzbeks continued to make occasional raids to Khorasan, the Safavid empire was able to keep them at bay throughout its reign.

Clashes with the Ottomans
More problematic for the Safavids was the powerful Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans, a Sunni dynasty, considered the active recruitment of Turkmen tribes of Anatolia for the Safavid cause as a major threat. To counter the rising Safavid power, in 1502, Sultan Bayezid II forcefully deported many Shi'as from Anatolia to other parts of the Ottoman realm. In 1514, Bayezid's son, Sultan Selim I marched through Anatolia and reached the plain of Chaldiran near the city of Khoy, and a decisive battle was fought there (Battle of Chaldiran). Most sources agree that the Ottoman army was at least double the size of that of Ismāil; however, what gave the Ottomans the advantage was the artillery which the Safavid army lacked. According to R. M. Savory, "Salim's plan was to winter at Tabriz and complete the conquest of Persia the following spring. However, a mutiny among his officers who refused to spend the winter at Tabriz forced him to withdraw across territory laid waste by the Safavid forces, eight days later". Although Ismāil was defeated and his capital was captured, the Safavid empire survived. The war between the two powers continued under Ismāil's son, Shāh Tahmāsp I (q.v.), and the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, until Shāh Abbās (q.v.) retook the area lost to the Ottomans by 1602.
The consequences of the defeat at Chaldiran were also psychological for Ismāil: the defeat destroyed Ismāil's belief in his invincibility, based on his claimed divine status. His relationships with his Qizilbāsh followers were also fundamentally altered. The tribal rivalries between the Qizilbāsh, which temporarily ceased before the defeat at Chaldiran, resurfaced in intense form immediately after the death of Ismāil, and led to ten years of civil war (930-40/1524-33) until Shāh Tahmāsp regained control of the affairs of the state.
Early Safavid power in Iran was based on the military power of the Qizilbāsh. Ismāil exploited the first element to seize power in Iran. But eschewing politics after his defeat in Chaldiran, he left the affairs of the government to the office of the Wakīl (q.v.). Ismāil's successors, and most ostensibly Shāh Abbās I successfully diminished the Qizilbāsh's influence on the affairs of the state.

Shāh Tahmāsp
Shāh Tahmāsp, the young governor of Herat, succeeded his father Ismāil in 1524, when he was ten years and three months old. He was the ward of the powerful Qizilbash amir Ali Beg Rūmlū (titled "Div Soltān") who saw himself as the de facto ruler of the state. The qizilbash, which still suffered under the legacy of the battle of Chaldiran, was engulfed in internal rivalries. The low morale within the military, and the decentralized structure of the government, with much power in the hands of local governors, eventually led to 10 years of civil war. Rival Qizilbāsh factions fought amongst themselves for the control of the empire until Shāh Tahmāsp came of age and reasserted his authority. Tahmasp reigned for 52 years, the longest reign in Safavid history.
The Uzbeks, during the reign of Tahmāsp, attacked the eastern provinces of the kingdom five times and the Ottomans under Soleymān I initiated four invasions of Persia. Losing territory in Iraq and the north-west, Tahmāsp realized that his capital was not secure, and he was forced to move the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin. Tahmasp made the Peace of Amasya with the Ottomans in 1555, ending the war during his life.
Alliances to the East—The Mughal Emperor at the Shah's court
Almost simultaneously with the emergence of the Safavid Empire, another Muslim society was developing in South-Asia. The Mughal Empire, which ruled a largely Hindu population, adhered to Sunni Islam. But a common foe, in the Uzbeks, would eventually lead the two empires closer together. During the reign of Tahmasp, Shah Humayun of Mughal Hindustan found himself in a desperate situation, with devastating wars being fought against the Afghans and the Uzbeks and Humayuns brother, Kamran, attempting a coup d'état. Having to flee from city to city, Humayun eventually sought refuge at the court of Tahmasp. Tahmasp, who refused to hand him over to his brother, greeted Humayun at his court in Qazvin as the true emperor of the Mughal dynasty, despite the fact that Humayun had been living in exile for more than fifteen years. After converting to Shia Islam, Tahmasp offered him military assistans to fight off the revolts in return for Kandahar, which had for long been a battle ground between the two empires, and a combined Persian-Mughal force managed to seize Kandahar and occupy Kabul. This eventually led to strong ties between the Safavids and the Mughals, and they persisted, almost unabated, throughout the history of the Safavid dynasty.

Legacy of Shah Tahmasp
When Shah Tahmasp entered the throne at a young age, Persia was in a dire state. But despite of a weak economy, a civil war and wars being fought on two fronts, Tahmasp had managed to maintain his position as the shah. During the first 30 years of his long reign, he had managed to suppress the internal divisions, slowly elevate the strength of the military to a level that finally led to the retreat of the Ottomans during the fourth war in 1533, and, in 1553, even wage a campaign against the Ottomans. This resulted in the peace treaty of Amasya, a treaty that favoured the Persians and secured Tabriz and the North-Western borders. Some years before, in 1528, he had also converted an unfavorable war against the Uzbeks, at the battle of Jam, into a victory by the Persians. When Shah Tahmasp's throne was overtaken by his successor, Persia was in a calm state, with secure borders and cordial relations with the neighbours to both east and west. What remained unchanged, was the decentralized power structure of the government, and that would not change until the throne was overtaken by his grandson, Shah Abbas.

After the death of Tahmāsp in 984/1576, the struggle for a dominant position in the state flared up again and was complicated by rival groups and factions. Dominant political factions vied for power and support three different candidates. The mentally unstable Ismāil, the son of Tahmāsp and the purblind Muhammad Khudābanda were some of the candidates but did not get the support of all the Qizilbāsh chiefs. The Turkmen Ustājlū tribe, one of the most powerful tribes among the Qizilbāsh, threw its support behind Haydar, who was of a Georgian mother, but the majority of the Qizilbāsh chiefs saw this as a threat to their own, Turkmen-dominated power. Instead, they first placed Ismāil II. on the throne (1576–77) and after him Muhammad Shāh Khudābanda (1578–88).
In addition, Tahmasp must be credited for the revival of the fine arts, which flourished under his patronage and were brought to the pitch of perfection. Safavid culture is often admired for the large-scale city planning and architecture, achievements made during the reign of later shahs, but the arts of persian miniature, book-binding and calligraphy, in fact, never received as much attention as they did during his time.

Shah Abbas
The greatest of the Safavid monarchs, Shah Abbas I (1587–1629) came to power in 1587 aged 16 following the forced abdication of his father, Shah Muhammad Khudābanda, having survived Qizilbashi court intrigues and murders. He recognized the ineffectualness of his army which was consistently being defeated by the Ottomans who had captured Georgia and Armenia and by Uzbeks who had captured Mashhad and Sistan in the east. First he sued for peace in 1590 with the Ottomans giving away territory in the north-west. Then two Englishmen, Robert Sherley and his brother Anthony, helped Abbas I to reorganize the Shah's soldiers into an officer-paid and well-trained standing army similar to a European model (which the Ottomans had already adopted). He wholeheartedly adopted the use of gunpowder (See Military history of Iran). The army divisions were: Ghulams غلام (crown servants, usually conscripted from Georgians and Circassians), Tofangchis (تفگنچى, musketeers), and Topchis (Tupchis, توپچى, artillery-men).
Abbas moved the capital to Isfahan, deeper into central Iran. Abbas I built a new city next to the ancient Persian one. From this time the state began to take on a more Persian character. The Safavids ultimately succeeded in establishing a new Persian national monarchy.

Abbas I first fought the Uzbeks, recapturing Herat and Mashhad in 1598. Then he turned against the Ottomans recapturing Baghdad, eastern Iraq and the Caucasian provinces by 1622. He also used his new force to dislodge the Portuguese from Bahrain (1602) and, with English help, from Hormuz (1622), in the Persian Gulf (a vital link in Portuguese trade with India). He expanded commercial links with the English East India Company and the Dutch East India Company. Thus Abbas I was able to break the dependence on the Qizilbash for military might and therefore was able to centralize control.
The Ottoman Turks and Safavids fought over the fertile plains of Iraq for more than 150 years. The capture of Baghdad by Ismail I in 1509 was only followed by its loss to the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I in 1534. After subsequent campaigns, the Safavids recaptured Baghdad in 1623 yet lost it again to Murad IV in 1638. Henceforth a treaty, signed in Qasr-e Shirin, was established delineating a border between Iran and Turkey in 1639, a border which still stands in northwest Iran/southeast Turkey. The 150-year tug-of-war accentuated the Sunni and Shi'a rift in Iraq.
In 1609–10, a war broke out between Kurdish tribes and the Safavid Empire. After a long and bloody siege led by the Safavid grand vizier Hatem Beg, which lasted from November 1609 to the summer of 1610, the Kurdish stronghold of Dimdim was captured. Shah Abbas ordered a general massacre in Beradost and Mukriyan (Mahabad, reported by Eskandar Beg Monshi, Safavid Historian (1557–1642), in "Alam Ara Abbasi") and resettled the Turkic Afshar tribe in the region while deporting many Kurdish tribes to Khorasan. Nowadays, there is a community of nearly 1.7 million people who are descendants of the tribes deported from Kurdistan to Khurasan (Northeastern Iran) by the Safavids.
Due to his obsessive fear of assassination, Shah Abbas either put to death or blinded any member of his family who aroused his suspicion. One of his sons was executed and two blinded. Since two other sons had predeceased him, the result was personal tragedy for Shah Abbas. When he died on 19 January 1629, he had no son capable of succeeding him.
The beginning of the 17th century saw the power of the Qizilbash decline, the original militia that had helped Ismail I capture Tabriz and which had gained many administrative powers over the centuries. Power was shifting to a new class of merchants, many of the ethnic Armenians, Georgians and Indians.
At its zenith, during the long reign of Shah Abbas I the empire's reach comprised Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Contacts with Europe during Abbas' reign
Abbas' tolerance towards Christians was part of his policy of establishing diplomatic links with European powers to try to enlist their help in the fight against their common enemy, the Ottoman Empire. The idea of such an anti-Ottoman alliance was not a new one over a century before, Uzun Hassan, then ruler of part of Iran, had asked the Venetians for military aid but none of the Safavids had made diplomatic overtures to Europe and Abbas' attitude was in marked contrast to that of his grandfather, Tahmasp I, who had expelled the English traveller Anthony Jenkinson from his court on hearing he was a Christian. For his part, Abbas declared that he "preferred the dust from the shoe soles of the lowest Christian to the highest Ottoman personage."
In 1599, Abbas sent his first diplomatic mission to Europe. The group crossed the Caspian Sea and spent the winter in Moscow, before proceeding through Norway, Germany (where it was received by Emperor Rudolf II) to Rome where Pope Clement VIII gave the travellers a long audience. They finally arrived at the court of Philip III of Spain in 1602. Although the expedition never managed to return to Iran, being shipwrecked on the journey around Africa, it marked an important new step in contacts between Iran and Europe and Europeans began to be fascinated by the Iranians and their culture—Shakespeare's 1601–2 Twelfth Night, for example, makes two references (at II.5 and III.4) to 'the Sophy', then the English term for the Shahs of Iran. Henceforward, the number of diplomatic missions to and fro greatly increased.
The shah had set great store on an alliance with Spain, the chief opponent of the Ottomans in Europe. Abbas offered trading rights and the chance to preach Christianity in Iran in return for help against the Ottomans. But the stumbling block of Hormuz remained, a vassal kingdom which had fallen into Spanish Habsburgs hands when the King of Spain inherited the throne of Portugal in 1580. The Spanish demanded Abbas break off relations with the English East India Company before they would consider relinquishing the town. Abbas was unable to comply. Eventually Abbas became frustrated with Spain, as he did with the Holy Roman Empire, which wanted him to make his 170,000 Armenian subjects swear allegiance to the Pope but did not trouble to inform the shah when the Emperor Rudolf signed a peace treaty with the Ottomans. Contacts with the Pope, Poland and Moscow were no more fruitful.
More came of Abbas' contacts with the English, although England had little interest in fighting against the Ottomans. The Sherley brothers arrived in 1598 and helped reorganise the Iranian army. The English East India Company also began to take an interest in Iran and in 1622 four of its ships helped Abbas retake Hormuz from the Portuguese in the Capture of Ormuz (1622). It was the beginning of the East India Company's long-running interest in Iran.

Decline of the Safavid state
In addition to fighting its perennial enemies, the Ottomans and Uzbeks, as the 17th century progressed Iran had to contend with the rise of new neighbors. Russian Muscovy in the previous century had deposed two western Asian khanates of the Golden Horde and expanded its influence into the Caucasus Mountains and Central Asia. In the east, the Mughals of India had expanded into Khorasan (now Afghanistan) at the expense of Iranian control, taking Qandahar.
More importantly, the Dutch East India company and later English/British used their superior means of maritime violence to control trade routes in the western Indian ocean. As a result, Iran was cut off from overseas links to East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and South Asia. But overland trade between Iran and South Asia grew. Many Indian merchants established a permanent presence in Iran and moved into Russia from the mid-seventeenth century. Iran was also able to further develop its overland trade with North and Central Europe during the second half of the seventeenth century. In the late seventeenth century, Iranian merchants established a permanent presence as far north as Narva on the Baltic sea, in what now is Estonia.
The Dutch and English were still able to drain the Iranian government of much of its precious metal supplies. Except for Shah Abbas II, the Safavid rulers after Abbas I were therefore rendered ineffectual, and the Iranian government declined and finally collapsed when a serious military threat emerged on its eastern border in the early eighteenth century. The end of the reign of Abbas II, 1666, thus marked the beginning of the end of the Safavid dynasty. Despite falling revenues and military threats, later shahs had lavish lifestyles. Sultan Husayn (1694–1722) in particular was known for his love of wine and disinterest in governance
The country was repeatedly raided on its frontiers—Kerman by Baloch tribes in 1698, Khorasan by the Hotakis in 1717, constantly in Mesopotamia by peninsula Arabs. Sultan Hosein tried to forcibly convert his Afghan subjects in Qandahar from Sunni to the Shi'a sect of Islam. In response, a Ghilzai Afghan chieftain named Mir Wais Hotak revolted and killed Gurgin Khan, the Safavid governor of the region, along with his army. In 1722, an Afghan army led by Mir Wais' son Mahmud advanced on the heart of the empire and defeated the government forces at the Battle of Gulnabad. He then besieged the capital of Isfahan, until Shah Sultan Husayn abdicated and acknowledged him as the new king of Persia.
The tribal Afghans rode roughshod over their conquered territory for seven years but were prevented from making further gains by Nader Shah, a former slave who had risen to military leadership within the Afshar tribe in Khorasan, a vassal state of the Safavids. Nadir Shah defeated the Ghilzai Hotaki forces in the 1729 Battle of Damghan. He had removed them from power, and in 1738 conquered their last stronghold in Qandahar; in the same year he occupied Ghazni, Kabul, Lahore, and as far as Delhi in India. However, these cities were later inherited by his Abdali Afghan military commander, Ahmad Shah Durrani. Nadir had effective control under Shah Tahmasp II and then ruled as regent of the infant Abbas III until 1736 when he had himself crowned shah.
Immediately after Nadir Shah's assassination in 1747, the Safavids were re-appointed as shahs of Iran in order to lend legitimacy to the nascent Zand dynasty. However the brief puppet regime of Ismail III ended in 1760 when Karim Khan felt strong enough to take nominal power of the country as well and officially end the Safavid dynasty.

Shia Islam as the state religion
Even though Safavids were not the first Shia rulers in Iran, they played a crucial role in making Shia Islam the official religion in the whole of Iran. There were large Shia communities in some cities like Qom and Sabzevar as early as the 8th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Buwayhids, who were of the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia, ruled in Fars, Isfahan and Baghdad. As a result of the Mongol conquest and the relative religious tolerance of the Ilkhanids, Shia dynasties were re-established in Iran, Sarbedaran in Khorasan being the most important. The Ilkhanid ruler Öljaitü converted to Twelver Shiism in the 13th century.
Following his conquest of Iran, Ismail I made conversion mandatory for the largely Sunni population. The Sunni Ulema or clergy were either killed or exiled. Ismail I, brought in mainstream Ithnā‘ashariyyah Shi'a religious leaders and granted them land and money in return for loyalty. Later, during the Safavid and especially Qajar period, the Shia Ulema's power increased and they were able to exercise a role, independent of or compatible with the government.
Iran became a feudal theocracy: the Shah was held to be the divinely ordained head of state and religion. In the following centuries, this religious stance cemented both Iran's internal cohesion and national feelings and provoked attacks by its Sunni neighbors.

Military and the role of Qizilbash
The Qizilbash were a wide variety of Shi'ite (ghulāt) and mostly Turcoman militant groups who helped found the Safavid Empire. Their military power was essential during the reign of the Shahs Ismail and Tahmasp. The Qizilbash tribes were essential to the military of Iran until the rule of Shah Abbas I- their leaders were able to exercise enormous influence and participate in court intrigues (assassinating Shah Ismail II for example).
A major problem faced by Ismail I after the establishment of the Safavid state was how to bridge the gap between the two major ethnic groups in that state: the Qizilbash ("Redhead") Turcomans, the "men of sword" of classical Islamic society whose military prowess had brought him to power, and the Persian elements, the "men of the pen", who filled the ranks of the bureaucracy and the religious establishment in the Safavid state as they had done for centuries under previous rulers of Persia, be they Arabs, Mongols, or Turkmens. As Vladimir Minorsky put it, friction between these two groups was inevitable, because the Qizilbash "were no party to the national Persian tradition".
Between 1508 and 1524, the year of Ismail's death, the shah appointed five successive Persians to the office of vakil. When the second Persian vakil was placed in command of a Safavid army in Transoxiana, the Qizilbash, considering it a dishonor to be obliged to serve under him, deserted him on the battlefield with the result that he was slain. The fourth vakil was murdered by the Qizilbash, and the fifth was put to death by them.

Reforms in the military
Shah Abbas realized that in order to retain absolute control over his empire without antagonizing the Qizilbash, he needed to create reforms that reduced the dependency that the shah had on their military support. Part of these reforms was the creation of the 3rd force within the aristocracy, but even more important in undermining the authority of the Qizilbash was the introduction of the Royal Corps into the military. This military force would serve the shah only and eventually consisted of four separate branches:
• Shahsevans: these were 12,000 strong and built up from the small group of qurchis that Shah Abbas had inherited from his predecessor. The Shahsevans, or "Friends of the King", were Qizilbash tribesmen who had forsaken their tribal allegiance for allegiance to the shah alone.
• Gulams: Tahmasp had started introducing Georgian, Armenian and Circassian slaves from the Caucasus, appointing them either in the harem or the royal household. Shah Abbas expanded this program significantly and eventually created a force of 15 000 ghulam cavalrymen.
• Musketers: realizing the advantages that the Ottomans had because of their firearms, Shah Abbas was at pains to equip both the qurchi and the ghulam soldiers with up-to-date weaponry. More importantly, for the first time in Iranian history, a substantial infantry corps of musketeers (tofang-chis), numbering 12 000, was created.
• Artillery Corps: with the help of Westerners, he also formed an artillery corps of 12 000 men, although this was the weakest element in his army. According to Sir Thomas Herbert, who accompanied the British embassy to Persia in 1628, the Persians relied heavily on support from the Europeans in manufacturing cannons. It wasn't until a century later, when Nadir Shah became the Commander in Chief of the military that sufficient effort was put into modernizing the artillery corps and the Persians managed to excel and become self-sufficient in the manufacturing of firearms.
Despite the reforms, the Qizilbash would remain the strongest and most effective element within the military, accounting for more than half of its total strength. But the creation of this large standing army, that, for the first time in Safavid history, was serving directly under the Shah, significantly reduced their influence, and perhaps any possibilities for the type of civil unrest that had caused havoc during the reign of the previous shahs.

A proper term for the Safavid society is what we today can call a meritocracy, meaning a society in which officials were appointed on the basis of worth and merit, and not on the basis of birth. It was certainly not an oligarchy, nor was it an aristocracy. Sons of nobles were considered for the succession of their fathers as a mark of respect, but they had to prove themselves worthy of the position. This system avoided an entrenched aristocracy or a cast society. There even are numerous recorded accounts of laymen that rose to high official posts, as a result of their merits.
Nevertheless, the Persian society during the Safavids was that of a hierarchy, with the Shah at the apex of the hierarchical pyramid, the common people, merchants and peasants at the base, and the aristocrats in between. The term dowlat, which in modern Persian means "government", was then an abstract term meaning "bliss" or "felicity", and it began to be used as concrete sense of the Safavid state, reflecting the view that the people had of their ruler, as someone elevated above humanity.

Also among the aristocracy, in the middle of the hierarchical pyramid, were the religious officials, who, mindful of the historic role of the religious classes as a buffer between the ruler and his subjects, usually did their best to shield the ordinary people from oppressive governments
The customs and culture of the people
Jean Chardin devoted a whole chapter in his book to describing the Persian character, which apparently fascinated him greatly. As he spent a large bulk of his life in Persia, he involved himself in, and took part in, their everyday rituals and habits, and eventually acquired intimate knowledge of their culture, customs and character. He admired their consideration towards foreigners, but he also stumbled upon characteristics that he found challenging. His descriptions of the public appearance, clothes and customs are corroborated by the miniatures, drawings and paintings from that time which have survived. As he describes them:
Their imagination is animated, quick and fruitful. Their memory is free and prolific. They are very favorably drawn to the sciences, the liberal and mechanical arts. Their temperament is open and leans towards sensual pleasure and self-indulgence, which makes them pay little attention to economy or business.
He then goes on:
They are very philosophical over the good and bad things in life and about expectations for the future. They are little tainted with avarice, desiring only to acquire in order to spend. They love to enjoy what is to hand and they refuse nothing which contributes to it, having no anxiety about the future which they leave to providence and fate.
But as he also experienced:
...the Persians are dissembling, shamelessly deceitful and the greatest flatterers in the world, using great deception and insolence. They lack good faith in business dealings, in which they cheat so adeptly that one is always taken in. Hypocrisy is the usual disguise in which they proceed. They say their prayers and perform their rituals in the most devout manner. They hold the wisest and most pious conversation of which they are capable. And although they are naturally inclined to humanity, hospitality, mercy and other worldly goods, nevertheless, they do not cease feigning in order to give the semblance of being much better than they really are.

It is however no question, from reading Chardin's descriptions of their manners, that he considered them to be a well educated and well behaved people, who certainly knew the strict etiquettes of social intercourse. As he describes them,
“ The Persians are the most civilized of the peoples of the East, and what the French are to Europe, they are to the Orient... Their bearing and countenance is the best-composed, mild, serious, impressive, genial and welcoming as far as possible. They never fail to perform at once the appropriate gestures of politeness when meeting each other... They are the most wheedling people in the world, with the most engaging manners, the most supple spirits and a language that is gentle and flattering, and devoid of unpleasant terms but rather full of circumlocutions. ”
Unlike Europeans, they much disliked physical activity, and were not in favor of exercise for its own sake, preferring the leisure of repose and luxuries that life could offer. Travelling was valued only for the specific purpose of getting from one place to another, not interesting them self in seeing new places and experiencing different cultures. It was perhaps this sort of attitude towards the rest of the world that accounted for the ignorance of Persians regarding other countries of the world. The exercises that they took part in were for keeping the body supple and sturdy and to acquire skills in handling of arms. Archery took first place. Second place was held by fencing, where the wrist had to be firm but flexible and movements agile. Thirdly there was horsemanship. A very strenuous form of exercise which the Persians greatly enjoyed was hunting.

Since pre-Islamic times, the sport of wrestling had been an integral part of the Iranian identity, and the professional wrestlers, who performed in Zurkhanehs, were considered important members of the society. Each town had their own troop of wrestlers, called Pahlavans. Their sport also provided the masses with entertainment and spectacle. Chardin described one such event:
“ The two wrestlers were covered in grease. They are present on the level ground, and a small drum is always playing during the contest for excitement. They swear to a good fight and shake hands. That done, they slap their thighs, buttocks and hips to the rhythm of the drum. That is for the women and to get themselves in good form. After that they join together in uttering a great cry and trying to overthrow each other. ”
As well as wrestling, what gathered the masses was fencing, tightrope dancers, puppet-players and acrobats, performing in large squares, such as the Royal square. A leisurely form of amusement was to be found in the cabarets, particularly in certain districts, like those near the mausoleum of Harun-e Velayat. People met there to drink liqueurs or coffee, to smoke tobacco or opium, and to chat or listen to poetry.

Clothes and Appearances
As noted before, a key aspect of the Persian character was its love of luxury, particularly on keeping up appearances. They would adorn their clothes, wearing stones and decorate the harness of their horses. Men wore many rings on their fingers, almost as many as their wives. They also placed jewels on their arms, such as on daggers and swords. Daggers were worn at the waist. In describing the lady's clothing, he noted that Persian dress revealed more of the figure than did the European, but that women appeared differently depending on whether they were at home in the presence of friends and family, or if they were in the public. In private they usually wore a veil that only covered the hair and the back, but upon leaving the home, they would put on a large sheet, that concealed the whole of the body except from the face. They would often dye their feet and hands with henna. Their hairstyle was simple, the hair gathered back in tresses, often adorning the ends with pearls and clusters of jewels. Women with slender waists were regarded as more attractive than those with larger figures. Women from the provinces and slaves pierced their left nostrils with rings, but well-born Persian women would not do this.
The most precious accessory for men was the turban. Although they lasted a long time it was necessary to have changes for different occasions like weddings and the Nowruz, while men of status never wore the same turban two days running. Clothes that became soiled in any way were changed immediately.

Turks and Tajiks
Although the Safavid rulers and citizens were of native stock and continuously reasserted their Iranian identity, the power structure of the Safavid state was mainly divided into two groups: the Turkic-speaking military/ruling elite—whose job was to maintain the territorial integrity and continuity of the Iranian empire through their leadership—and the Persian-speaking administrative/governing elite—whose job was to oversee the operation and development of the nation and its identity through their high positions. Thus came the term "Turk and Tajik", which was used by native Iranians for many generations to describe the Persianate, or Turko-Persian, nature of many dynasties which ruled over Greater Iran between the 12th and 20th centuries, in that these dynasties promoted and helped continue the dominant Persian linguistic and cultural identity of their states, although the dynasties themselves were of non-Persian (e.g. Turkic) linguistic origins. The relationship between the Turkic-speaking 'Turks' and Persian-speaking 'Tajiks' was symbiotic, yet some form of rivalry did exist between the two. As the former represented the "people of the sword" and the latter, "the people of the pen", high-level official posts would naturally be reserved for the Persians. Indeed, this had been the situation throughout Persian history, even before the Safavids, ever since the Arab conquest. Shah Tahmasp introduced a change to this, when he, and the other Safavid rulers who succeeded him, sought to blur the formerly defined lines between the two linguistic groups, by taking the sons of Turkic-speaking officers into the royal household for their education in the Persian language. Consequently, they were slowly able to take on administrative jobs in areas which had hitherto been the exclusive preserve of the ethnic Persians.

The third force
From 1540 and onwards, Shah Tahmasp initiated a transformation of the society by slowly constructing a new branch within the aristocracy. The campaigns that he waged against Georgia between 1540 and 1554 were primarily meant to uphold the morale and the fighting efficiency of the qizilbash military, but they brought home large numbers of Georgian, Armenian and Circassian slaves. The women came to occupy prominent positions in the harems of the Safavid elite, particularly the Shah's, while the men were given special training, on completion of which they were either enrolled in one of the newly created ghulam regiments, or employed in the royal household. Shah Abbas continued this program and greatly expanded the ghulam military corps from a few hundred to 15 000 highly trained cavalrymen. He then went on to reduce the number of qizilbash provincial governorships and systematicly moved qizilbash governors to other districts, thus disrupting their ties with the local community, and reducing their power. Many were replaced by a ghulam, and within short time, Georgians, Armenians and Circassians had been appointed to many of the highest offices of state. By 1595, Allahverdi Khan, a Georgian, became one of the most powerful men in the Safavid state, when he was appointed the Governor-General of Fars, one of the richest provinces in Persia. And his power reached its peak in 1598, when he became the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Thus, this new group eventually came to constitute a powerful "third force" within the state, alongside the Tajik Persians and the Qizilbash Turks, and it only goes to prove the meritocratic society of the Safavids.

Emergence of a clerical aristocracy
An important feature of the Safavid society was the alliance that emerged between the ulama (the religious class) and the merchant community. The latter included merchants trading in the bazaars, the trade and artisan guilds (asnāf) and members of the quasi-religious organizations run by dervishes (futuvva). Because of the relative insecurity of property ownership in Persia, many private landowners secured their lands by donating them to the clergy as so called vaqf. They would thus retain the official ownership and secure their land from being confiscated by royal commissioners or local governors, as long as a percentage of the revenues from the land went to the ulama. Increasingly, members of the religious class, particularly the mujtahids and the seyyeds, gained full ownership of these lands, and, according to contemporary historian Iskandar Munshi, Persia started to witness the emergence of a new and significant group of landowners.

Akhbaris versus Usulis
The Akhbari movement "crystalized" as a "separate movement" with the writings of Muhammad Amin al-Astarabadi (died 1627 AD). It rejected the use of reasoning in deriving verdicts and believed that only the Quran, hadith, (prophetic sayings and recorded opinions of the Imams) and consensus should be used as sources to derive verdicts (fatāwā). Unlike Usulis, Akhbari did and do not follow marjas who practice ijtihad.
It achieved its greatest influence in the late Safavid and early post-Safavid era, when it dominated Twelver Shia Islam. However, shortly thereafter Muhammad Baqir Behbahani (died 1792), along with other Usuli mujtahids, crushed the Akhbari movement. It remains only a small minority in the Shia Muslim world. One result of the resolution of this conflict was the rise in importance of the concept of ijtihad and the position of the mujtahid (as opposed to other ulama) in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was from this time that the division of the Shia world into mujtahid (those who could follow their own independent judgment) and muqallid (those who had to follow the rulings of a mujtahid) took place. According to author Moojan Momen, "up to the middle of the 19th century there were very few mujtahids (three or four) anywhere at any one time," but "several hundred existed by the end of the 19th century.

Allamah Majlisi
Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, commonly referenced to using the title Allamah, was a highly influential scholar during the 17th century (Safavid era). Majlisi's works emphasized his desire to purge Twelver Shi`ism of the influences of mysticism and philosophy, and to propagate an ideal of strict adherence to the Islamic law (sharia). Majlisi promoted specifically Shia rituals such as mourning for Hussein ibn Ali and visitation (ziyarat) of the tombs of the Imams and Imamzadas, stressing "the concept of the Imams as mediators and intercessors for man with God.

State and government
The Safavid state was one of checks and balance, both within the government and on a local level. At the apex of this system was the Shah, with total power over the state, legitimized by his bloodline as a seyyed, or descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. So absolute was his power, that the French merchant, and later ambassador to Persia, Jean Chardin thought the Safavid Shahs ruled their land with an iron fist and often in a despotic manner. To ensure transparency and avoid decisions being made that circumvented the Shah, a complex system of bureaucracy and departmental procedures had been put in place that prevented fraud. Every office had a deputy or superintendent, whose job was to keep records of all actions of the state officials and report directly to the Shah. The Shah himself exercised his own measures for keeping his ministers under control by fostering an atmosphere of rivalry and competitive surveillance. And since the Safavid society was meritocratic, and successions seldom were made on the basis of heritage, this meant that government offices constantly felt the pressure of being under surveillance and had to make sure they governed in the best interest of their leader, and not merely their own.

The Government
There probably did not exist any parliament, as we know them today. But the Portuguese ambassador to the Safavids, De Gouvea, still mentions the Council of State in his records, which perhaps was a term for governmental gatherings of the time.
The highest level in the government was that of the Prime Minister, or Grand Vizier (Etemad-e Dowlat), who was always chosen from among doctors of law. He enjoyed tremendous power and control over national affairs as he was the immediate deputy of the Shah. No act of the Shah was valid without the counter seal of the Prime Minister. But even he stood accountable to a deputy (vak’anevis), who kept records of his decision-makings and notified the Shah. Second to the Prime Minister post were the General of the Revenues (mostoufi-ye mamalek), or finance minister, and the Divanbegi, Minister of Justice. The latter was the final appeal in civil and criminal cases, and his office stood next to the main entrance to the Ali Qapu palace. In earlier times, the Shah had been closely involved in judicial proceedings, but this part of the royal duty was neglected by Shah Safi and the later kings.
Next in authority were the generals: the General of the Royal Troops (the Shahsevans), General of the Musketeers, General of the Ghulams and The Master of Artillery. A separate official, the Commander-in-Chief, was appointed to be the head of these officials.

The Royal Court
As for the royal household, the highest post was that of the Nazir, Court Minister. He was perhaps the closest advisor to the Shah, and, as such, functioned as his eyes and ears within the Court. His primary job was to appoint and supervise all the officials of the household and to be their contact with the Shah. But his responsibilities also included that of being the treasurer of the Shahs properties. This meant that even the Prime Minister, who held the highest office in the state, had to work in association with the Nazir when it came to managing those transactions that directly related to the Shah.
The second most senior appointment was the Grand Steward (Ichik Agasi bashi), who would always accompany the Shah and was easily recognizable because of the great baton that he carried with him. He was responsible for introducing all guests, receiving petitions presented to the Shah and reading them if required. Next in line were the Master of the Royal Stables (Mirakor bashi) and the Master of the Hunt (Mirshekar bashi). The Shah had stables in all the principal towns, and Shah Abbas was said to have about 30 000 horses in studs around the country. In addition to these, there were separate officials appointed for the caretaking of royal banquets and for entertainment.
Chardin specifically noticed the rank of doctors and astrologers and the respect that the Shahs had for them. The Shah had a dozen of each in his service and would usually be accompanied by three doctors and three astrologers, who were authorized to sit by his side on various occasions. The Chief Physician (Hakim-bashi) was a highly considered member of the Royal court, and the most revered astrologer of the court was given the title Munajjim-bashi (Chief Astrologer).
During the first century of the dynasty, the primary court language remained Azeri, although this increasingly changed after the capital was moved to Isfahan.

Local governments
On a local level, the government was divided into public land and royal possessions. The public land was under the rule of local governors, or Khans. Since the earliest days of the Safavid dynasty, the Qizilbash generals had been appointed to most of these posts. They ruled their provinces like petty shahs and spent all their revenues on their own province, only presenting the Shah with the balance. In return, they had to keep ready a standing army at all times and provide the Shah with military assistance upon his request. It was also requested from them that they appoint a lawyer (vakil) to the Court who would inform them on matters pertaining to the provincial affairs. Shah Abbas I intended to decrease the power of the Qizilbash by bringing some of these provinces into his direct control, creating so called Crown Provinces (Khassa). But it was Shah Safi, under influence by his Prime Minister, Saru Taqi, that initiated the program of trying to increase the royal revenues by buying land from the governors and putting in place local commissioners. In time, this proved to become a burden to the people that were under the direct rule of the Shah, as these commissioners, unlike the former governors, had little knowledge about the local communities that they controlled and were primarily interested in increasing the income of the Shah. And, while it was in the governors’ own interest to increase the productivity and prosperity of their provinces, the commissioners received their income directly from the royal treasury and, as such, did not care so much about investing in agriculture and local industries. Thus, the majority of the people suffered from rapacity and corruption carried out in the name of the Shah.
Democratic institutions in a totalitarian society
In 16th and 17th century Iran, there existed a considerable number of local democratic institutions. Examples of such were the trade and artisan guilds, which had started to appear in Persia from the 1500s. Also, there were the quazi-religious fraternities called futuvva, which were run by local dervishes. Another official selected by the consensus of the local community was the kadkhoda, who functioned as a common law administrator. The local sheriff (kalantar), who was not elected by the people but directly appointed by the Shah, and whose function was to protect the people against injustices on the part of the local governors, supervised the kadkhoda.

Legal system
In Safavid Persia there was little distinction between theology and jurisprudence, or between divine justice and human justice, and it all went under Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). The legal system was built up of two branches: civil law, which had its roots in sharia, received wisdom, and urf, meaning traditional experience and very similar to the Western form of common law. While the imams and judges of law applied civil law in their practice, urf was primarily exercised by the local commissioners, who inspected the villages on behalf of the Shah, and by the Minister of Justice (Divanbegi). The latter were all secular functionaries working on behalf of the Shah.
The highest level in the legal system was the Minister of Justice, and the law officers were divided into senior appointments, such as the magistrate (darughah), inspector (visir), and recorder (vak’anevis). The lesser officials were the qazi, corresponding a civil lieutenant, who ranked under the local governors and functioned as judges in the provinces.
According to Chardin:
There were no particular place assigned for the administration of justice. Each magistrate executes justice in his own house in a large room opening on to a courtyard or a garden which is raised two or three feet above the ground. The Judge is seated at one end of the room having a writer and a man of law by his side.
Chardin also noted that bringing cases into court in Persia was easier than in the West. The judge (qazi) was informed of relevant points involved and would decide whether or not to take up the case. Having agreed to do so, a sergeant would investigate and summon the defendant, who was then obliged to pay the fee of the sergeant. The two parties with their witnesses pleaded their respective cases, usually without any counsel, and the judge would pass his judgment after the first or second hearing.
Criminal justice was entirely separate from civil law and was judged upon common law administered through the Minister of Justice, local governors and the Court minister (the Nazir). Despite being based on urf, it relied upon certain sets of legal principles. Murder was punishable by death, and the penalty for bodily injuries was invariably the bastinado. Robbers had their right wrists amputated the first time, and sentenced to death on any subsequent occasion. State criminals were subjected to the karkan, a triangular wooden collar placed around the neck. On extraordinary occasions when the Shah took justice into his own hand, he would dress himself up in red for the importance of the event, according to ancient tradition.

What fueled the growth of Safavid economy was Iran's position between the burgeoning civilizations of Europe to its west and India and Islamic Central Asia to its east and north. The Silk Road which led through northern Iran to India revived in the 16th century. Abbas I also supported direct trade with Europe, particularly England and The Netherlands which sought Persian carpet, silk and textiles. Other exports were horses, goat hair, pearls and an inedible bitter almond hadam-talka used as a spice in India. The main imports were spice, textiles (woolens from Europe, cottons from Gujarat), metals, coffee, and sugar.

According to the historian Roger Savory, the twin bases of the domestic economy were pastoralism and agriculture. And, just as the higher levels of the social hierarchy was divided between the Turkish "men of the sword" and the Persian "men of the pen"; so were the lower level divided between the Turcoman tribes, who were cattle breeders and lived apart from the surrounding population, and the Persians, who were peasants and settled agriculturalists.
The Safavid economy was to a large extent based on agriculture and taxation of agricultural products. According to the French jeweller Jean Chardin, the variety in agricultural products in Persia was unrivaled in Europe and consisted of fruits and vegetables never even heard of in Europe. Chardin was present at some feasts in Isfahan were there were more than fifty different kinds of fruit. He thought that there was nothing like it in France or Italy:
“ Tobacco grew all over the country and was as strong as that grown in Brazil. Saffron was the best in the world... Melons were regarded as excellent fruit, and there were more than 50 different sorts, the finest of which came from Khorasan. And in spite of being transported for more than thirty days, they were fresh when they reached Isfahan... After melons the finest fruits were grapes and dates, and the best dates were grown in Jahrom.

Despite this, he was disappointed when travelling the country and witnessing the abundance of land that was not irrigated, or the fertile plains that were not cultivated, something he thought was in stark contrast to Europe. He blamed this on misgovernment, the sparse population of the country, and lack of appreciation of agriculture amongst the Persians.
In the period prior to Shah Abbas I, most of the land was assigned to officials (civil, military and religious). From the time of Shah Abbas onwards, more land was brought under the direct control of the shah. And since agriculture accounted to the by far largest share of tax revenue, he took measures to expand it. What remained unchanged, was the "crop-sharing agreement" between whom ever was the landlord, and the peasant. This agreement concisted of five elements: land, water, plough-animals, seed and labour. Each element constituted 20 per cent of the crop production, and if, for instance, the peasant provided the labour force and the animals, he would be entitled to 40 per cent of the earnings. According to contemporary historians, though, the landlord always had the worst of the bargain with the peasant in the crop-sharing agreements. In general, the peasants lived in comfort, and they were well paid and wore good clothes, although it was also notet that they were subject to forced labour and lived under heavy demands.

Travel and Caravanserais
Horses were the most important of all the domestic animals, and the best were brought in from Arabia and Central-Asia. They were costly because of the widespread trade in them, including to Turkey and India. The next most important mount, when traveling through Persia, was the mule. Also, the camel was a good investment for the merchant, as they cost nearly nothing to feed, carried a lot weight and could travel almost anywhere.
Under the governance of the strong shahs, especially during the first half of the 17th century, traveling through Persia was easy because of good roads and the caravanserais, that were strategically placed along the route. Thévenot and Tavernier commented that the Persian caravanserais were better built and cleaner than their Turkish counterparts. According to Chardin, they were also more abundant than in the Mughal or Ottoman Empires, where they were less frequent but larger. Caravanserais were designed especially to benefit poorer travelers, as they could stay there for as long as they wished, without payment for lodging. During the reign of Shah Abbas I, as he tried to upgrade the Silk route to improve the commercial prosperity of the Empire, an abundance of caravanserais, bridges, bazaars and roads were built, and this strategy was followed by wealthy merchants who also profited from the increase in trade. To uphold the standard, another source of revenue was needed, and road toll, that were collected by guards (rah-dars), were stationed along the trading routes. They in turn provided for the safety of the travelers, and both Thevenot and Tavernier stressed the safety of traveling in 17th century Persia, and the courtesy and refinement of the policing guards. The Italian traveler Pietro Della Valle was impressed by an encounter with one of these road guards:
“ He examined our baggage, but in the most obliging manner possible, not opening our trunks or packages, and was satisfied with a small tax, which was his due...

Foreign trade and the Silk Route
The Portuguese Empire and the discovery of the trading route around the Cape of Good Hope in 1487 not only hit a death blow to Venice as a trading nation, but it also hurt the trade that was going on along the Silk Route and especially the Persian Gulf. They correctly identified the three key points to control all seaborne trade between Asia and Europe: The Gulf of Aden, The Persian Gulf and the Straits of Malacca by cutting off and controlling these strategic locations with high taxation. In 1602, Shah Abbas I drove the Portuguese out of Bahrain, but he needed naval assistance from the newly arrived British East India Company to finally expel them from the Strait of Hormuz and regain control of this trading route. He convinced the British to assist him by allowing them to open factories in Shiraz, Isfahan and Jask. With the later end of the Portuguese Empire, the British, Dutch and French in particular gained easier access to Persian seaborne trade, although they, unlike the Portuguese, did not arrive as colonisers, but as merchant adventurers. The terms of trade were not imposed on the Safavid shahs, but rather negotiated. In the long term, however, the seaborne trade route was of less significance to the Persians than was the traditional Silk Route. Lack of investment in ship building and the navy provided the Europeans with the opportunity to monopolize this trading route. The land-borne trade would thus continue to provide the bulk of revenues to the Persian state. Much of the cash revenue came not so much from what could be sold abroad, as from the custom charges and transit dues levied on goods passing through the country. Shah Abbas was determined to greatly expand this trade, but faced the problem of having to deal with the Ottomans, who controlled the two most vital routes: the route across Arabia to the Mediterranean ports, and the route through Anatolia and Istanbul. A third route was therefore devised which circumvented Ottoman territory. By travelling across the Caspian sea to the north, they would reach Russia. And with the assistance of the Muscovy Company they could cross over to Moscow, reaching Europe via Poland. This trading route proved to be of vital importance, especially during times of war with the Ottomans.
By the end of the 17th century, the Dutch had become dominant in the trade that went via the Persian Gulf, having won most trade agreements, and managed to strike deals before the British or French were able to. They particularly established monopoly of the spice trade between the East Indies and Iran.

The Armenian merchants and the trade of silk
The one valuable item, sought for in Europe, which Iran possessed and which could bring in silver in sufficient quantities was silk, which was produced in the northern provinces, along the Caspian coastline. The trade of this product was done by Turks and Persians to begin with, but during the 17th century the Christian Armenians became increasingly vital in the trade of this merchandise, as middlemen.
Whereas domestic trade was largely in the hands of Persian and Jewish merchants, by late 17th century, almost all foreign trade was controlled by the Armenians. They were even hired by wealthy Persian merchants to travel to Europe when they wanted to create commercial bases there, and the Armenians eventually established themselves in cities like Bursa, Aleppo, Venice, Livorno, Marseilles and Amsterdam. Realizing this, Shah Abbas resettled large numbers of Armenians from the Caucasus to his capital city and provided them with loans. And as the shah realized the importance of doing trade with the Europeans, he assured that the Safavid society was one with religious tolerance.

Culture within the Safavid family

The Safavid family was a literate family from its early origin. There are extant Tati and Persian poetry from Shaykh Safi ad-din Ardabili as well as extant Persian poetry from Shaykh Sadr ad-din. Most of the extant poetry of Shah Ismail I is in Azerbaijani pen-name of Khatai. Sam Mirza, the son of Shah Esmail as well as some later authors assert that Ismail composed poems both in Turkish and Persian but only a few specimens of his Persian verse have survived. A collection of his poems in Azeri were published as a Divan. Shah Tahmasp who has composed poetry in Persian was also a painter, while Shah Abbas II was known as a poet, writing Azerbaijani verses. Sam Mirza, the son of Ismail I was himself a poet and composed his poetry in Persian. He also compiled an anthology of contemporary poetry
Culture within the empire
Shah Abbas I recognized the commercial benefit of promoting the arts—artisan products provided much of Iran's foreign trade. In this period, handicrafts such as tile making, pottery and textiles developed and great advances were made in miniature painting, bookbinding, decoration and calligraphy. In the 16th century, carpet weaving evolved from a nomadic and peasant craft to a well-executed industry with specialization of design and manufacturing. Tabriz was the center of this industry. The carpets of Ardabil were commissioned to commemorate the Safavid dynasty. The elegantly baroque yet famously 'Polonaise' carpets were made in Iran during the 17th century.
Using traditional forms and materials, Reza Abbasi (1565–1635) introduced new subjects to Persian painting—semi-nude women, youth, lovers. His painting and calligraphic style influenced Iranian artists for much of the Safavid period, which came to be known as the Isfahan school. Increased contact with distant cultures in the 17th century, especially Europe, provided a boost of inspiration to Iranian artists who adopted modeling, foreshortening, spatial recession, and the medium of oil painting (Shah Abbas II sent Zaman to study in Rome). The epic Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), a stellar example of manuscript illumination and calligraphy, was made during Shah Tahmasp's reign. (This book was written by Ferdousi in 1000 AD for Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi) Another manuscript is the Khamsa by Nizami executed 1539-43 by Aqa Mirak and his school in Isfahan.
Isfahan bears the most prominent samples of the Safavid architecture, all constructed in the years after Shah Abbas I permanently moved the capital there in 1598: the Imperial Mosque, Masjid-e Shah, completed in 1630, the Imam Mosque (Masjid-e Imami) the Lutfallah Mosque and the Royal Palace.
According to William Cleveland and Martin Bunton, the establishment of Isfahan as the Great capital of Persia and the material splendor of the city attracted intellecutal's from all corners of the world, which contributed to the cities rich cultural life. The impressive achievements of its 400 000 residents prompted the inhabitants to coin their famous boast, "Isfahan is half the world".
Poetry stagnated under the Safavids; the great medieval ghazal form languished in over-the-top lyricism. Poetry lacked the royal patronage of other arts and was hemmed in by religious prescriptions.
The arguably most renowned historian from this time was Iskandar Beg Munshi. His History of Shah Abbas the Great written a few years after its subject's death, achieved a nuanced depth of history and character.

The Isfahan School - Islamic philosophy revived
Islamic philosophy flourished in the Safavid era in what scholars commonly refer to the School of Isfahan. Mir Damad is considered the founder of this school. Among luminaries of this school of philosophy, the names of Iranian philosophers such as Mir Damad, Mir Fendereski, Shaykh Bahai and Mohsen Fayz Kashani standout. The school reached its apogee with that of the Iranian philosopher Mulla Sadra who is arguably the most significant Islamic philosopher after Avicenna. Mulla Sadra has become the dominant philosopher of the Islamic East, and his approach to the nature of philosophy has been exceptionally influential up to this day. He wrote the Al-Hikma al-muta‘aliya fi-l-asfar al-‘aqliyya al-arba‘a ("The Transcendent Philosophy of the Four Journeys of the Intellect"), a meditation on what he called 'meta philosophy' which brought to a synthesis the philosophical mysticism of Sufism, the theology of Shi'a Islam, and the Peripatetic and Illuminationist philosophies of Avicenna and Suhrawardi.
According to the Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye:
They were the continuers of the classical tradition of Islamic thought, which after Averroes died in the Arab west. The Persians schools of thought were the true heirs of the great Islamic thinkers of the golden age of Islam, whereas in the Ottoman empire there was an intellectual stagnation, as far as the traditions of Islamic philosophy were concerned.

The status of physicians during the Safavids stood as high as ever. Whereas neither the ancient Greeks nor the Romans accorded high social status to their doctors, Iranians had from ancient times honored their physicians, who were often appointed counselors of the Shahs. This would not change with the Arab conquest of Iran, and it was primarily the Persians that took upon them the works of philosophy, logic, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, music and alchemy.
By the sixteenth century, Islamic science, which to a large extent meant Persian science, was resting on its laurels. The works of al-Razi (865-92) (known to the West as Razes) were still used in European universities as standard textbooks of alchemy, pharmacology and pediatrics. The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna (c. 980–1037) was still regarded as one of the primary textbooks in medicine throughout most of the civilized world. As such, the status of medicine in the Safavid period did not change much, and relied as much on these works as ever before. Physiology was still based on the four humours of ancient and mediaeval medicine, and bleeding and purging were still the principal forms of therapy by surgeons, something even Thevenot experienced during his visit to Persia.
The only field within medicine where some progress were made was pharmacology, with the compilement of the "Tibb-e Shifa’i" in 1556. This book was translated into French in 1681 by Angulus de Saint, under the name "Pharmacopoea Persica.

Isfahan is Half the World
The architectural legacy of the Safavids
A new age in Iranian architecture began with the rise of the Safavid dynasty. Economically robust and politically stable, this period saw a flourishing growth of theological sciences. Traditional architecture evolved in its patterns and methods leaving its impact on the architecture of the following periods.
Indeed, one of the greatest legacies of the Safavids is the architecture. In 1598, when Shah Abbas decided to move the capital of his Persian empire from the north-western city of Qazvin to the central city of Isfahan, he initiated what would become one of the greatest programmes in Persian history; the complete remaking of the city. By choosing the central city of Isfahan, fertilized by the Zāyande roud ("The life-giving river"), lying as an oasis of intense cultivation in the midst of a vast area of arid landscape, he both distanced his capital from any future assaults by the Ottomans and the Uzbeks, and at the same time gained more control over the Persian Gulf, which had recently become an important trading route for the Dutch and British East India Companies.
The Chief architect of this colossal task of urban planning was Shaykh Bahai (Baha' ad-Din al-`Amili), who focused the programme on two key features of Shah Abbas's master plan: the Chahar Bagh avenue, flanked at either side by all the prominent institutions of the city, such as the residences of all foreign dignitaries. And the Naqsh-e Jahan Square ("Examplar of the World"). Prior to the Shah's ascent to power, Persia had a decentralized power-structure, in which different institutions battled for power, including both the military (the Qizilbash) and governors of the different provinces making up the empire. Shah Abbas wanted to undermine this political structure, and the recreation of Isfahan, as a Grand capital of Persia, was an important step in centralizing the power. The ingenuity of the square, or Maidān, was that, by building it, Shah Abbas would gather the three main components of power in Persia in his own backyard; the power of the clergy, represented by the Masjed-e Shah, the power of the merchants, represented by the Imperial Bazaar, and of course, the power of the Shah himself, residing in the Ali Qapu Palace.
Distinctive monuments like the Sheikh Lotfallah (1618), Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradise Palace) (1469) and the Chahar Bagh School(1714) appeared in Isfahan and other cities. This extensive development of architecture was rooted in Persian culture and took form in the design of schools, baths, houses, caravanserai and other urban spaces such as bazaars and squares. It continued until the end of the Qajar reign.

The languages of the court, military, administration and culture
The Safavids by the time of their rise were Azerbaijani-speaking although they also used Persian as a second language. The language chiefly used by the Safavid court and military establishment was Azerbaijani. But the official language of the empire as well as the administrative language, language of correspondence, literature and historiography was Persian. The inscriptions on Safavid currency were also in Persian.
Safavids also used Persian as a cultural and administrative language throughout the empire and were bilingual in Persian. According to Arnold J. Toynbee,
In the heyday of the Mughal, Safawi, and Ottoman regimes New Persian was being patronized as the language of litterae humaniores by the ruling element over the whole of this huge realm, while it was also being employed as the official language of administration in those two-thirds of its realm that lay within the Safawi and the Mughal frontiers
According to John R. Perry,
In the 16th century, the Turcophone Safavid family of Ardabil in Azerbaijan, probably of Turkicized Iranian, origin, conquered Iran and established Turkic, the language of the court and the military, as a high-status vernacular and a widespread contact language, influencing spoken Persian, while written Persian, the language of high literature and civil administration, remained virtually unaffected in status and content.
According to Zabiollah Safa,
In day-to-day affairs, the language chiefly used at the Safavid court and by the great military and political officers, as well as the religious dignitaries, was Turkish, not Persian; and the last class of persons wrote their religious works mainly in Arabic. Those who wrote in Persian were either lacking in proper tuition in this tongue, or wrote outside Iran and hence at a distance from centers where Persian was the accepted vernacular, endued with that vitality and susceptibility to skill in its use which a language can have only in places where it truly belongs.

According to É. Á. Csató et al.,
A specific Turkic language was attested in Safavid Persia during the 16th and 17th centuries, a language that Europeans often called Persian Turkish ("Turc Agemi", "lingua turcica agemica"), which was a favourite language at the court and in the army because of the Turkic origins of the Safavid dynasty. The original name was just turki, and so a convenient name might be Turki-yi Acemi. This variety of Persian Turkish must have been also spoken in the Caucasian and Transcaucasian regions, which during the 16th century belonged to both the Ottomans and the Safavids, and were not fully integrated into the Safavid empire until 1606. Though that language might generally be identified as Middle Azerbaijanian, it's not yet possible to define exactly the limits of this language, both in linguistic and territorial respects. It was certainly not homogenous—maybe it was an Azerbaijanian-Ottoman mixed language, as Beltadze (1967:161) states for a translation of the gospels in Georgian script from the 18th century.
According to Rula Jurdi Abisaab, Although the Arabic language was still the medium for religious scholastic expression, it was precisely under the Safavids that hadith complications and doctrinal works of all sorts were being translated to Persian. The 'Amili (Lebanese scholars of Shi'i faith) operating through the Court-based religious posts, were forced to master the Persian language; their students translated their instructions into Persian. Persianization went hand in hand with the popularization of 'mainstream' Shi'i belief.
According to Cornelis Versteegh, The Safavid dynasty under Shah Ismail (961/1501) adopted Persian and the Shi'ite form of Islam as the national language and religion.

It was the Safavids who made Iran the spiritual bastion of Shi’ism against the onslaughts of Sunni Islam, and the repository of Persian cultural traditions and self-awareness of Iranianhood, acting as a bridge to modern Iran. The founder of the dynasty, Shah Isma'il, adopted the title of "Persian Emperor" Pādišah-ī Īrān, with its implicit notion of an Iranian state stretching from Khorasan as far as Euphrates, and from the Oxus to the southern Territories of the Persian Gulf. According to Professor Roger Savory:
In a number of ways the Safavids affected the development of the modern Iranian state: first, they ensured the continuance of various ancient and traditional Persian institutions, and transmitted these in a strengthened, or more 'national', form; second, by imposing Ithna 'Ashari Shi'a Islam on Iran as the official religion of the Safavid state, they enhanced the power of mujtahids. The Safavids thus set in train a struggle for power between the turban and the crown that is to say, between the proponents of secular government and the proponents of a theocratic government; third, they laid the foundation of alliance between the religious classes ('Ulama') and the bazaar which played an important role both in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905–1906, and again in the Islamic Revolution of 1979; fourth the policies introduced by Shah Abbas I conduced to a more centralized administrative system.

Afsharid dynasty

The Afsharids were members of an Iranian dynasty of Turcoman origin from Khorasan who ruled Persia in the 18th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander Nader Shah who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire. After his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands and the Durranis, and Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan.

Read more ▸

Nader Shah Dynasty (1794-1925)
Afsharid and Zand Dynasties (1736-1779)
After a disastrous but brief Afghan occupation, the country was united under the power of Tahmasb Qoli, a chief of the Afshar tribe. He expelled the Afghans in the name of surviving Safavid members, but soon dethroned them and was himself crowned as Nader Shah. He chose Mashhad as his capital. Nader's ultimate goal was to restore the glory and prestige of his country by regaining its former territories and wealth. He drove the Ottomans from Georgia and Armenia and the Russians from the Iranian coast on the Caspian Sea, and restored Iranian sovereignty over Afghanistan. He also took his army on several campaigns into India, bringing back fabulous treasures. Among them were two of the world's largest diamonds, the Mountain of Light (now part of .W the British Crown Jewels) and the Sea of Light (now in the , Jewelry Museum in Tehran). His Indian expedition solved the problem of how to make his empire financially viable. Too powerful and ambitious in the view of some of its neighbors, Nader Shah seemed to have posed a threat to their imperialistic plans. Perhaps a victim to their conspiracy, Nader died from the hands of his own tribesmen, assisted by some Qajar chiefs.
Almost immediately after Nader's murder, the country fell into anarchy. Afshar, Qajar, Afghan, and Zand chieftains struggled for supremacy, until finally Karim Khan Zand defeated his rivals and unified the country (except for Khorasan) under a loose form of central control. Karim Khan's geniality and common sense inaugurated a period of peace and popular contentment. He refused to assume the title of shah and ruled as Vakil al-Roaya ("Deputy of the Subjects"). Shiraz was made the capital city under his rule.

The Afsharids (Persian: افشاریان‎) were members of an Iranian dynasty of Turkic origin, specifically the Afshar tribe, from Khorasan, who ruled Persia in the 18th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire. After his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zand and the Durranis, and Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796.
The dynasty was named after the Turkic Afshar tribe to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan in the 13th century. In the early 17th century, Shah Abbas the Great moved many Afshars from Azerbaijan to Khorasan to defend the north-eastern borders of his state against the Uzbeks. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars.

Foundation of the dynasty
Nader Shah was born (as Nader Qoli) into a humble semi-nomadic family of an Afshar tribe of Khorasan, where he became a local warlord. His path to power began when the Ghilzai Shah Mahmud overthrew the weak Safavid shah Sultan Husayn in 1722. At the same time, Ottoman and Russian forces seized Persian land. Nader joined forces with Sultan Husayn's son Tahmasp II and led the resistance against the Ghilzai Afghans, driving their leader Ashraf Khan out of the capital in 1729 and establishing Tahmasp on the throne. Nader fought to regain the lands lost to the Ottomans and restore Persian control of the Afghans. While he was away in the east fighting the Ghilzais, Tahmasp allowed the Ottomans to retake territory in the west. Nader, disgusted, had Tahmasp deposed in favour of his baby son Abbas III in 1732. Four years later, after he had recaptured most of the lost Persian lands, Nader was confident enough to have himself proclaimed shah in his own right at a ceremony on the Moghan Plain.

Nader's conquests and the succession problem
Nader initiated a new religious policy aimed at reconciling Shia with Sunni Islam. The Safavid dynasty had relied heavily on the support of Shi'ites, but many soldiers in Nader's army were Sunnis. Nader also wanted to set himself up as a rival of the Ottoman sultan for supremacy within the Muslim world, which would have been impossible had he remained an orthodox Shi'ite.
Soon afterwards Nader waged a war against the Afghans and captured Kandahar. In 1738, he invaded Mughal India, massacred 30,000 of the inhabitants of Delhi and in a single campaign captured an incredible amount of wealth, including the legendary Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-Nor diamond.

After his return from India, Nader fell out with his eldest son Reza Qoli Mirza, who had ruled Persia during his father's absence. Having heard a rumour that Nader was dead, he had prepared to seize the throne by having the Safavid royal captives, Tahmasp and his son Abbas, executed. Nader was not pleased with the young man's behaviour and humiliated him by removing him from the post of viceroy. Nader became increasingly despotic, taxing his subjects heavily to pay for his military campaigns, and his health decayed. When there was an assassination attempt on him during an expedition to Daghestan, Nader blamed Reza and in 1742 had him blinded so he could not succeed to the throne Nader's despotism and excessive demands for tax provoked many revolts. In 1747 while on his way to crush one of them, he was assassinated by two of his own officers. Iran was soon to descend into civil war.
Civil war and downfall of the Afsharids
After Nader's death, his nephew Ali Qoli (who may have been involved in the assassination plot) seized the throne and proclaimed himself Adil Shah ("The Just Shah"). He ordered the execution of all Nader's sons and grandsons, with the exception of the 13-year old Shahrokh, the son of Reza Qoli. Meanwhile, Nadir's former treasurer, Ahmad Shah Abdali, had declared his independence by founding the Durrani Empire in Khorasan. In the process, the eastern territories were lost and in the following decades became part of Afghanistan, the successor-state to the Durrani Empire.
Adil made the mistake of sending his brother Ebrahim to secure the capital Isfahan. Ebrahim decided to set himself up as a rival, defeated Adil in battle, blinded him and took the throne. Adil had reigned for less than a year. Meanwhile a group of army officers freed Shahrokh from prison in Mashhad and proclaimed him shah in October 1748. Ebrahim was defeated and died in captivity in 1750 and Adil was also put to death at the request of Nader Shah's widow. Shahrokh was briefly deposed in favour of another puppet ruler Soleyman II but, although blinded, Shahrokh was restored to the throne by his supporters. He reigned in Mashhad and from the 1750s his territory was mostly confined to Khorasan. In 1796 Mohammad Khan Qajar, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, seized Mashhad and tortured Shahrokh to force him to reveal the whereabouts of Nader Shah's treasures. Shahrokh died of his injuries soon after and with him the Afsharid dynasty came to an end. Shahrokh's descendants continue into the 21st century under the Afshar Naderi surname.

Zand dynasty

Following the death of the Afshārid ruler Nāder Shāh (1747), Karīm Khān Zand became one of the major contenders for power. By 1750 he had sufficiently consolidated his power to proclaim himself as vakīl (regent) for the Ṣafavid Esmāʿīl III. Karīm Khān never claimed the title of shāhanshāh “king of kings”, instead he maintained Esmāʿīl as a figurehead. Karīm Khān, with 30 years of benevolent rule, gave southern Iran a much needed respite from continual warfare. He encouraged agriculture and entered into trade relations with Great Britain.

Read more ▸

The Zandiyeh dynasty ( Zand (help•info)) (Persian: سلسله زندیه‎), was a dynasty led by Karim Khan Zand that ruled southern and central Iran in the 18th century.

Karim Khan Zand
The dynasty was founded by Karim Khan, chief of the Zand tribe, which is a tribe of Laks,or Lurs (according to David Yerushalmi) a branch of Kurds. He became one of Nader Shah's generals. Nader Shah moved the Zand tribe from their home in Lakestan to the eastern steppes of Khorasan. After Nader’s death, the Zand tribe, under the guidance of Karim Khan, went back to their original land. After Adil Shah was made king Karim Khan and his soldiers defected from the army and along with Ali Morad Khan Bakhtiari and Abolfath Khan Haft Lang, two other local chiefs, became a major contender but was challenged by several adversaries. Abolfath Khan was the Prime Minister, Karim Khan became the army chief commander and Ali Morad Khan became the regent.

www.irangazette.com/en.Monument of Karim Khan in Shiraz
Monument of Karim Khan in Shiraz.
Karim Khan declared Shiraz his capital. He gained control of central and southern parts of Iran. In order to add legitimacy to his claim, Karim Khan placed the infant Shah Ismail III, the grandson of the last Safavid king, on the throne in 1757. Ismail was a figurehead king and real power was vested in Karim Khan. Karim Khan chose to be the military commander and Alimardan Khan was the civil administrator. Soon enough Karim Khan managed to eliminate his partner as well as the puppet king and in 1760, founded his own dynasty. He refused to accept the title of the king and instead named himself The Advocate of the People.
By 1760, Karim Khan had defeated all his rivals and controlled all of Iran except Khorasan, in the northeast, which was ruled by Shah Rukh. His foreign campaigns against Azad Khan in Azerbaijan and against the Ottomans in Mesopotamia brought Azerbaijan and the province of Basra into his control. But he never stopped his campaigns against his arch-enemy, Mohammad Hassan Khan Qajar, the chief of the Ghovanloo Qajars. The latter was finally defeated by Karim Khan and his sons, Agha Mohammad Khan and Hossein Quoli Khan, were brought to Shiraz as hostages.
Karim Khan's monuments in Shiraz include the famous Arg of Karim Khan, Vakil Bazaar, and several mosques and gardens. He is also responsible for building of a palace in the town of Tehran, the future capital of the Qajar dynasty.

Decline and Fall
Karim Khan's death in 1779 left his territory vulnerable to threats from his enemies. His son and successor Abu al-Fath was an incompetent ruler who was heavily influenced by his half uncle (and Karim Khan's commander), Zaki Khan. Other rulers such as Ali Morad and Jafar Khan also failed to follow the policies of Karim Khan and soon enough, the country was under attack from all sides.

www.irangazette.com/en.Mohammad Khan Qajar.jpg
Mohammad Khan Qajar
The biggest enemies of the Zands, the Qajar chiefs, led by the former hostage, Agha Mohammad Khan, were advancing fast against the declining kingdom. Finally, in 1789, Lotf Ali Khan, a grand-nephew of Karim Khan, declared himself the new king. His reign (until 1794) was spent mostly in war with the Qajar khan. He was finally captured and brutally killed in the fortress of Bam, putting an effective end to the Zand Dynasty.
Politically, it is also important that the Zands, especially Karim Khan, chose to call themselves Vakilol Ro'aya (Advocate of the People) instead of kings. Other than the obvious propaganda value of the title, it can be a reflection of the popular demands of the time, expecting rulers with popular leanings instead of absolute monarchs who were totally detached from the population, like the earlier Safavids.
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the Zand was the only dynasty whose names on public places and monuments were not removed by the new Republican government. Interestingly, a union was formed between the Zands and the Qajars in so far as Karim Khan's grand daughter, Bolour Khanum Zandieh married Mohammad Shah Qajar and bore him two daughters, Princess Ozra and Princess Effat ed-Dowleh.

The Zand era was an era of relative peace and economic growth for the country. Many territories that were once captured by the Ottomans in the late Safavid era were retaken, and Iran was once again a coherent and prosperous country. After Iranian painting reached its height at the end of the 17th century, a special school of painting took shape during the Zand era in the 17th and 18th centuries. The art of this era is remarkable and, despite the short length of the dynasty, a distinct Zand art had the time to emerge. Many Qajar artistic traits were copied from the Zand examples.
In foreign policy, Karim Khan attempted to revive the Safavid era trade by allowing the British to establish a trading post in the port of Bushehr. This opened the hands of the British East India company in Iran and increased their influence in the country. The taxation system was reorganized in a way that taxes were levied fairly. The judicial system was fair and generally humane. Capital punishment was rarely implemented. 

Zand Benevolent
Esteemed academic, John Perry the leading English authority on Karim Khan Zand's era—writes of a forward thinking and notably popular leader, Karim Khan Zand, who he described as a man "before his time" and who—by opening up international trade, employing a fair fiscal system and showing respect for existing religious institutions—succeeded in creating a peaceful and prosperous state in a particularly turbulent epoch of history.
The Zand Benevolent Trust (dedicated to humanitarism and charity) has been set up by a number of Karim Khan Zand's descendants, including Nazanin Khajeh-Noori and Michael-Mehrdod Khan-e Zand Khajeh-Noori (aka Michael Khajeh-Noori), both great grand children of Princess Bolour Khanum Zandieh, the grand daughter of Karim Khan Zand, who married the Qajar King, Mohammad Shah Qajar. The Zand Benevolent Trust is a global charity dedicated to bringing hope and relief to children and the vulnerable. 

Qajar dynasty

The Qajars were a Turkoman tribe that rose to prominence in Iran during the Safavi dynasty (1501 - 1722). In the turbulent civil wars that broke out after the Safavis were deposed by invading Afghans, the Qa jars gradually consolidated power until Agha Mohammad Shah Qajar crowned himself shah at Tehran in 1796. He was killed a year later, and his nephew succeeded him as Fath Ali Shah (r. 1797–1834).

Read more ▸

Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925)
After Karim Khan's death, Agha Mohammad Qajar, who was brought up at the Zand court, gathered a large force of his Qajar tribesmen and embarked upon a war of conquest. He defeated the last Zand ruler and in the same year took Mashhad, which was at the time the residence of the last Afsharid king. In this way, he made himself master of the country and founder of the Qajar dynasty. Under his successors - Fathali Shah, Mohammad Shah, and Naser al-Din Shah - a degree of order and stability returned to the country. However, from the early 19th century, the Qajars began to face pressure from two great world powers, Russia and Britain. Britain's interest in Iran arose from the need to protect trade routes to India, while Russia's came from a desire to expand into Iranian territory from the north. In two disastrous wars with Russia, which ended with the Treaty of Golestan and the Treaty of Turkmanchay, Iran lost all its territories in the Caucasus north of the Aras River. Then, in the second half of the 19th century, Russia forced the Qajars to give up all claims to territories in Central Asia. Meanwhile, Britain twice landed troops in Iran to prevent the Qajars from reasserting a claim to Herat, which had been lost after the fall of the Safavids. Under the Treaty of Paris, Iran surrendered to Britain all claims to the territories in present-day Afghanistan. The two great powers also controlled Iran's trade and its internal affairs.
Naser al-Din Shah was the most capable of Qajar kings. He had a long reign, characterized by peace, progress, and prosperity. Many of his reforms were carried out on the initiative of his efficient prime minister, Amir Kabir, Naser al-Din Shah was assassinated in 1896 by a religious fanatic. His son, Mozaffar al-Din Shah, amiable but afflicted by poor health, is famous for granting to his subjects the first Constitution in the Middle East. Upon Mozaffar al-Din's death, his son, Mohammad Ali Shah, ascended the throne of Persia. Displeased with the curtailment of his powers by the Majles (Parliament), he took the extreme step of bombing it out of existence. As a result, the important commercial city of Tabriz repudiated its allegiance to the shah and, under the leadership of Sattar Khan, initiated the Constitutional Revolution. TI1e Parliament was restored, and Mohammad Ali was dethroned. In 1909, his son Ahmad, a boy of 11, was crowned. Meanwhile, Reza Khan staged a coup d'etat and took control of all the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Qajar dynasty ( Qajar (help•info)) (Persian: سلسله قاجاریه‎ or دودمان قاجار; also romanised as Ghajar, Kadjar, Qachar etc.) is a Persianized Iranian royal family of Turkic origin, which ruled Persia (Iran) from 1785 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Persian sovereignty over parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad which was under Durrani suzerainty, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as shah. In Iran, the Qajar dynasty lost many of its controlled areas to the Russians.

The Qajar rulers were members of the Karagöz "Black-Eye" sept of the Qajars, who themselves were members of the Karapapak or "Black Hats" lineage of the Oghuz Turks. Qajars first settled during the Mongol period in the vicinity of Azerbaijan and were among the seven Qizilbash tribes that supported the Safavids. The Safavids "left Arran (present-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to local Turkic khans", and, "in 1554 Ganja was governed by Shahverdi Soltan Ziyadoglu Qajar, whose family came to govern Karabakh in southern Arran".
Qajars filled a number of diplomatic missions and governorships in the 16–17th centuries for the Safavids. The Qajars were resettled by Shah Abbas I throughout Iran. The great number of them also settled in Astarabad (present-day Gorgan, Iran) near the south-eastern corner of the Caspian Sea, and it would be this branch of Qajars that would rise to power. The immediate ancestor of the Qajar dynasty, Shah Qoli Khan of the Quvanlu of Ganja, married into the Quvanlu Qajars of Astarabad. His son, Fath Ali Khan (born c. 1685–1693) was a renowned military commander during the rule of the Safavid shahs Sultan Husayn and Tahmasp II. He was killed on the orders of Shah Nader Shah in 1726. Fath Ali Khan's son Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar (1722–1758) was the father of Mohammad Khan Qajar and Hossein Qoli Khan (Jahansouz Shah), father of "Baba Khan," the future Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. Mohammad Hasan Khan was killed on the orders of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty.
Within 126 years between the demise of the Safavid state and the rise of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the Qajars had evolved from a shepherd-warrior tribe with strongholds in northern Persia into a Persian dynasty with all the trappings of a Perso-Islamic monarchy.

Rise to power
"Like virtually every dynasty that ruled Persia since the 11th century, the Qajars came to power with the backing of Turkic tribal forces, while using educated Persians in their bureaucracy". In 1779 following the death of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty, Mohammad Khan Qajar, the leader of the Qajars, set out to reunify Iran. Mohammad Khan was known as one of the cruelest kings, even by the 18th century Iranian standards. In his quest for power, he razed cities, massacred entire populations, and blinded some 20,000 men in the city of Kerman because the local populace had chosen to defend the city against his siege.
The Qajar armies were composed of a small number of Turkoman bodyguards and Georgian slaves. By 1794, Mohammad Khan had eliminated all his rivals, including Lotf Ali Khan, the last of the Zand dynasty. He reestablished Persian control over the territories in the Caucasus. Agha Mohammad established his capital at Tehran, a village near the ruins of the ancient city of Rayy. In 1796 he was formally crowned as shah. In 1797, Mohammad Khan Qajar was assassinated in Shusha, the capital of Karabakh Khanate, and was succeeded by his nephew, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.

War with Russia
In 1803, under Fath Ali Shah, Qajars set out to fight against the Russian Empire, in what was known as Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813, due to concerns about the Russian expansion into Caucasus which was an Iranian domain, although some of the Khanates of the Caucasus were considered independent or semi-independent by the time of Russian expansion in 19th century, this period marked the first major economic and military encroachments on Iranian interests during the colonial era. Qajar army suffered a major military defeat in the war and under the terms of the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, Iran recognized Russian annexation of Georgia and most of the Caucasus region. The second Russo-Persian War of the late 1820s ended even more disastrously for Qajar Iran with temporary occupation of Tabriz and the signing of Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire South Caucasus, the area north of the Aras River.
Fath Ali Shah's reign saw increased diplomatic contacts with the West and the beginning of intense European diplomatic rivalries over Iran. His grandson Mohammad Shah, who fell under the Russian influence and made two unsuccessful attempts to capture Herat, succeeded him in 1834. When Mohammad Shah died in 1848 the succession passed to his son Nasser-e-Din, who proved to be the ablest and most successful of the Qajar sovereigns.

Development and decline
During Nasser-e-Din Shah's reign, Western science, technology, and educational methods were introduced into Persia and the country's modernization was begun. Nasser ed-Din Shah tried to exploit the mutual distrust between Great Britain and Russia to preserve Persia's independence, but foreign interference and territorial encroachment increased under his rule. He contracted foreign loans to finance expensive trips to Europe. These trips were part of a strategy to put Persia on the map as an independent, ancient but civilized state. Although the trips in this field were rather successful, he was not able to prevent Britain and Russia from encroaching into regions of traditional Persian influence. In 1856, during the Anglo-Persian War, Britain prevented Persia from reasserting control over Herat. The city had been part of Persia in Safavid times, but Herat had been under non-Persian rule since the mid-18th century. Britain also extended its control to other areas of the Persian Gulf during the 19th century. Meanwhile, by 1881, Russia had completed its conquest of present-day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, bringing Russia's frontier to Persia's northeastern borders and severing historic Persian ties to the cities of Bukhara and Samarqand. Several trade concessions by the Persian government put economic affairs largely under British control. By the late 19th century, many Persians believed that their rulers were beholden to foreign interests.

Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, was the young prince Nasser-e-Din's advisor and constable. With the death of Mohammad Shah in 1848, Mirza Taqi was largely responsible for ensuring the crown prince's succession to the throne. When Nasser ed-Din succeeded to the throne, Amir Nezam was awarded the position of prime minister and the title of Amir Kabir, the Great Ruler.
At that time, Persia was nearly bankrupt. During the next two and a half years Amir Kabir initiated important reforms in virtually all sectors of society. Government expenditure was slashed, and a distinction was made between the private and public purses. The instruments of central administration were overhauled, and Amir Kabir assumed responsibility for all areas of the bureaucracy. Foreign interference in Persia's domestic affairs was curtailed, and foreign trade was encouraged. Public works such as the bazaar in Tehran were undertaken. Amir Kabir issued an edict banning ornate and excessively formal writing in government documents; the beginning of a modern Persian prose style dates from this time.
One of the greatest achievements of Amir Kabir was the building of Dar ol Fonoon, the first modern university in Persia and the Middle East. Dar-ol-Fonoon was established for training a new cadre of administrators and acquainting them with Western techniques. Amir Kabir ordered the school to be built on the edge of the city so it could be expanded as needed. He hired French and Russian instructors as well as Persians to teach subjects as different as Language, Medicine, Law, Geography, History, Economics, and Engineering. Unfortunately, Amir Kabir did not live long enough to see his greatest monument completed, but it still stands in Tehran as a sign of a great man's ideas for the future of his country.

These reforms antagonized various notables who had been excluded from the government. They regarded the Amir Kabir as a social upstart and a threat to their interests, and they formed a coalition against him, in which the queen mother was active. She convinced the young shah that Amir Kabir wanted to usurp the throne. In October 1851 the shah dismissed him and exiled him to Kashan, where he was murdered on the shah's orders. Through his marriage to Ezzat od-Doleh, Amir Kabir had been the brother-in-law of the shah.

Constitutional Revolution
When Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar was assassinated by Mirza Reza Kermani in 1896, the crown passed to his son Mozaffar-e-din. Mozaffar-e-din Shah was a moderate, but relatively ineffective ruler. Royal extravagances coincided with an inadequate ability to secure state revenue which further exacerbated the financial woes of the Qajar. In response the Shah procured two large loans from Russia (in part to fund personal trips to Europe.) Public anger mounted as the Shah sold off concessions – such as road building monopolies, authority to collect duties on imports, etc. – to European interested in return for generous payments to the Shah and his officials. Popular demand to curb arbitrary royal authority in favor of rule of law increased as concern regarding growing foreign penetration and influence heightened.
The shah's failure to respond to protests by the religious establishment, the merchants, and other classes led the merchants and clerical leaders in January 1906 to take sanctuary from probable arrest in mosques in Tehran and outside the capital. When the shah reneged on a promise to permit the establishment of a "house of justice", or consultative assembly, 10,000 people, led by the merchants, took sanctuary in June in the compound of the British legation in Tehran. In August the shah, through the issue of a decree promised a constitution. In October an elected assembly convened and drew up a constitution that provided for strict limitations on royal power, an elected parliament, or Majles, with wide powers to represent the people, and a government with a cabinet subject to confirmation by the Majles. The shah signed the constitution on December 30, 1906, but refusing to forfeit all of his power to the Majles, attached a caveat that made his signature on all laws required for their enactment. He died five days later. The Supplementary Fundamental Laws approved in 1907 provided, within limits, for freedom of press, speech, and association, and for security of life and property. The hopes for constitutional rule were not realized, however.

Mozaffar-e-din Shah's son Mohammad Ali Shah (reigned 1907–1909), who, through his mother, was also the grandson of Prime-Minister Amir Kabir (see before), with the aid of Russia, attempted to rescind the constitution and abolish parliamentary government. After several disputes with the members of the Majlis, in June 1908 he used his Russian-officered Persian Cossacks Brigade to bomb the Majlis building, arrest many of the deputies, and close down the assembly. Resistance to the shah, however, coalesced in Tabriz, Isfahan, Rasht, and elsewhere. In July 1909, constitutional forces marched from Rasht to Tehran lead by Mohammad Vali Khan Sepahsalar Khalatbari Tonekaboni, deposed the Shah, and re-established the constitution. The ex-shah went into exile in Russia. Mohammad Ali Shah died in San Remo, Italy in April 1925. As fate would have it, every future Shah of Iran would also die in exile.
On 16 July 1909, the Majles voted to place Mohammad Ali Shah's 11 year old son, Ahmad Shah on the throne. Although the constitutional forces had triumphed, they faced serious difficulties. The upheavals of the Constitutional Revolution and civil war had undermined stability and trade. In addition, the ex-shah, with Russian support, attempted to regain his throne, landing troops in July 1910. Most serious of all, the hope that the Constitutional Revolution would inaugurate a new era of independence from the great powers ended when, under the Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907, Britain and Russia agreed to divide Persia into spheres of influence. The Russians were to enjoy exclusive right to pursue their interests in the northern sphere, the British in the south and east; both powers would be free to compete for economic and political advantage in a neutral sphere in the center. Matters came to a head when Morgan Shuster(also spelled Schuster), a United States administrator hired as treasurer general by the Persian government to reform its finances, sought to collect taxes from powerful officials who were Russian protégés and to send members of the treasury gendarmerie, a tax department police force, into the Russian zone. When in December 1911 the Majlis unanimously refused a Russian ultimatum demanding Shuster's dismissal, Russian troops, already in the country, moved to occupy the capital. To prevent this, on 20 December, Bakhtiari chiefs and their troops surrounded the Majles building, forced acceptance of the Russian ultimatum, and shut down the assembly, once again suspending the constitution.

Fall of the dynasty
Soltan Ahmad Shah was born 21 January 1898 in Tabriz, and succeeded to the throne at age 11. However, the occupation of Persia during World War I by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was a blow from which Ahmad Shah never effectively recovered.
In February 1921, Reza Khan, commander of the Persian Cossack Brigade, staged a coup d'état, becoming the effective ruler of Iran. In 1923, Ahmad Shah went into exile in Europe. Reza Khan induced the Majles to depose Ahmad Shah in October 1925, and to exclude the Qajar dynasty permanently. Reza Khan was subsequently proclaimed Shah as Reza Shah Pahlavi, reigning from 1925 to 1941.

Pahlavi dynasty

The Pahlavi dynasty, officially the Imperial State of Iran, was the reigning constitutional monarchy of Iran from 1925 until 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. The Imperial State was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925.The Pahlavis came to power after Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty.

Read more ▸

The Pahlavi Dynasty and the Fall of the Monarchy
At the end of the First World War, the British attempted to extend their control over southern Iran at a time when the Soviet troops were moving from the north. In February 1921, Sayyed Ziya od-Din and Reza Kban, a colonel of the Persian army, organized a coup to make Ziya od-Din Prime Minister. In October, Reza Khan took over the Premiership and in December 1925, Shah of Iran proclaimed himself and founded the Pahlavi dynasty.
Although Reza Shah reign (1925-1941) brought a certain economy development to the country and saw the repeal of the privileges granted to the foreign Powers, it was also marked by a tightening of police control of the people.
During the Second World War, Iran, which was officially adopted in 1934, declared itself neutral. After the Shah refusal to expel German nationals, British and Soviet troops entered the country in August 1941. A month later, Reza shah was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Mohammed Reza, but even at the end of the war, the problem of foreign intervention in Iran was far from solved. In 1951. Doctor Mossadegh, elected to the post of Prime Minister, decided to nationalize the oil industry The increasing popularity of his nationalist movement concerned not only the monarchists but also foreign powers with oil interests in Iran.In 1953 the government was overthrown by a coup d'etat. Nevertheless, the nationalization of oil became a symbol for the resumption of Iranian control over its own economy. In 1962, the Shah launched a series of reforms, called the White Revolution, mainly to the rural population, which formed the majority of the country, but the redistribution of land and the reforms in relation to the position of women aroused the rage of the great Owners and religious circles. The unrest broke out in 1963, and in November 1964 the Ayatollah Khomeini, who had become more and more critical of the government, was exiled to Turkey and then to Najaf in Iraq. The Savak, the political police, intensifies its activities, especially by clinging to the left, intellectuals and students.
The economic success shifted the domestic political problems facing the country to a secondary position: the huge revenues from the oil industry of 1973 allowed the Shah to carry out a huge program of industrial expansion, but this was criticized for being bad on extravagant and costly projects Concentrated on the immediate needs of the country Social issues were hardly addressed and the massive land runoff of the 19705 weakened the population in the poorer areas of large cities where unemployment was chronic.

Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and his wife Farah Diba upon his proclamation as the Shhanshh of Iran.
In 1977, Iran had to face a sudden deterioration in the economic situation. The cost of living was dramatic, while a drop in oil sales between 1975 and 1977 forced the government to finance further social spending to finance construction projects and the purchase of armaments Situation benefited the opposition and demonstrations were organized in large cities, openly calling for the return from the exile of Ayatollah Khomeini. 1978 was marked by violent riots, especially in Tabriz, Qom and Tehran.On 7 September, in the month of Ramadan, there were calls for the abolition of the monarchy at a demonstration in Tehran, in which over a million people participated. Starting in October, strikes broke out across the country, crippled the administration and industry, and even exported oil exports, which was essential for the country's economy as a whole. In December, the Shah tried to save the situation by calling Shapur Bakhtiari Prime Minister On January 16, 1979, he was forced to flee with his family to Egypt. His departure was taken as an abdication from the crowds in the streets and greeted with great rejoicing.

The Pahlavi Dynasty (Persian: دودمان پهلوی), officially the imperial state of Iran, was the reigning constitutional monarchy of Iran from 1925 to 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and abolished by the Iranian revolution. The empire was founded in 1925 by Reza Shah Pahlavi, whose rule lasted until 1941 when, after the Anglo-Soviet invasion, he was forced to abdicate the Allies. He was followed by his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
The Pahlavis came to power after Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty, was unable to stop the British and Soviet attacks on Iranian sovereignty and was consequently overthrown, ousted, and eventually sent to France Banished. The National Assembly, known as the Majlis, convened as a constituent assembly on December 12, 1925, put the young Ahmad Shah Qajar, and told Reza Shah the new monarch of the Imperial State of Persia. In 1935 Reza Shah commissioned foreign embassies to name Persia with the name, Iran.

In 1921, Reza Khan, an officer of the Iranian Persian Cossack Brigade, used his troops to support a successful coup against the government of the Qajar dynasty. Within four years, he had established himself as the most powerful person in the country by suppressing rebellion, ordering order, and expelling British and Soviet garrisons. In 1925, a specially convened assembly, Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty, and named Reza Khan, who had formerly adopted the family name Pahlavi as the new Shah.
Reza Shah had ambitious plans to modernize Iran. These plans included the development of large-scale industries, large-scale infrastructure projects, the establishment of a transnational rail system, the creation of a national public education system, reform of the judiciary and the improvement of health care. He believed that a strong, centralized government led by trained staff could carry out his plans.

He sent hundreds of Iranians, including his son, to Europe for training. During 16 years from 1925 to 1941, Reza Shahs transformed numerous development projects into an urbanized country. Public education developed rapidly and new social strata developed. A professional middle class and an industrial working class had emerged.
By the mid-1930s, Reza Shah's strong secular domination caused dissatisfaction among some groups, especially the clergy who opposed his reforms. In 1935, Reza Pahlavi issued a decree calling on foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence, since "Persia" was a term used by Western peoples for the country "Iran" in Persia. After some scholars protested, his successor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi announced in 1959 that both Persia and Iran were acceptable and could be used interchangeably.
Reza Shah tried to avoid involvement with Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Although many of his development projects required foreign technical expertise, he avoided the award of contracts to British and Soviet companies. Although Great Britain controlled all Iranian oil resources through its ownership of the Anglo-Iranian oil company, Reza Shah preferred to receive technical support from Germany, France, Italy and other European countries. This created problems for Iran after 1939, when Germany and the UK became enemies in the Second World War. Reza Shah proclaimed Iran as a neutral country, but Britain insisted that German engineers and technicians in Iran were spies with missions to sabotage British oil plants in the southwest of Iran. Britain demanded that Iran expel all German citizens, but Reza Shah declined and claimed that this would adversely affect its development projects.

World War II
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Great Britain and the Soviet Union became allies. Britain and the USSR saw the newly opened Trans-Iranian Railway as an attractive way of transporting supplies from the Persian Gulf to the Soviet Union. In August 1941, because Reza Shah refused to extinguish the German citizens, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union invaded Iran, arrested the Shah and sent him into exile, control of Iran's communications and railways.In 1942, the United States, an ally of Great Britain and the USSR during the war, sent a military armed force to Iran to maintain and operate the railways. In the coming months, the three nations took control of the oil reserves of the country and secured a supply corridor. Reza Shah's regime collapsed, and the American, British, and Soviet authorities restricted the power of the oar government, which remained. They allowed Reza Shahs son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to join the throne.
In January 1942, they signed an agreement with Iran to respect the independence of Iran and withdraw their troops within six months after the end of the war. In 1943, at the Tehran Conference, the United States reaffirmed this commitment, and on September 13 the Allies assured the Iranians that all foreign troops would leave on March 2, In 1945, the USSR refused to announce a timetable for the departure of the north-western Iranian provinces. From East Baijani and West Baijan, where Soviet-supported autonomous movements had developed. At this time, the Tudeh Party of Iran, an already influential and parliamentary representative, became increasingly milder, especially in the north.This encouraged government action, including attempts by the Iranian armed forces to restore order in the northern provinces. While the Tudh headquarters were occupied in Tehran and the Isfahan branch was shattered, the Soviet troops in the northern parts of the country prevented the Iranian forces from participating. Thus, until November 1945, Azerbaijan became an autonomous state, helped by the Tudeh party. This Marionette government of the Soviet Union lasted only until November 1946.
The USSR withdrew its troops in May 1946, but the tensions lasted for several months. This episode was one of the precipitous events of the emerging Cold War, the post-war rivalry between the United States and its allies, and the USSR and its allies.
Iran's political system became more and more open, and more political parties were formed. In 1944, the choice for the Majlis was the first truly competitive choice in more than twenty years. The foreign influence remained a very delicate issue for all parties involved. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), owned by the British government, continued to produce and market Iranian oil. At the beginning of the thirties, some Iranians started advocating the nationalization of the oil fields of the country. After 1946 this became an increasingly popular political movement.

Cold War
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced his father on September 16, 1941. He wanted to continue the reform policy of his father, but between him and an older professional politician, the nationalist Mohammad Mosaddegh, a government competition soon arose.Despite his vow to act as a constitutional monarch, who was to renounce the power of the parliamentary government, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi increasingly took part in government affairs. He concentrated on the revival of the army and ensured that it would remain under the royal control as the main power of the monarchy. In 1949, an assassination attempt on the Shah, which was attributed to the Soviet Tudeh party, led to the ban on this party and the expansion of the constitutional powers of the Shah.
In 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh named the Majlis Parliament (Mohammad Mossadegh) as a new prime minister with a vote of 79-12, which nationalized shortly after the nationalization of the British oil industry (see Abadan Crisis). Mossadegh was led by the Shah, who feared that a resulting barbarian ostracism imposed by the West would leave Iran in a state of economic ruin. The Shah fled Iran but returned when the United Kingdom and the United States staged a coup against Mossadegh in August 1953 (see Operation Ajax). Mossadegh was then arrested by pro-Shah Army forces.
In connection with the regional turmoil and the Cold War, the Shah established itself as an indispensable ally of the West. In domestic terms, he advocated the reform policy that culminated in the 1963 White Revolution program, which included land reform, the extension of women's right to vote, and the elimination of illiteracy. Great plans were made to build the infrastructure of Iran, a new middle class began to flourish, and in less than two decades, Iran became the undisputed great economic and military power of the Middle East.
However, these measures and the increasing arbitrariness of the reign of Mohammad Reza provoked religious leaders who feared their traditional authority and intellectuals who sought democratic reform. These opponents criticized the Shah for his reforms, or for a violation of the constitution, laying the limits of royal authority, and foreseen a representative government.
Mohammad Reza saw himself as heir to the kings of ancient Iran, and in 1971 he held a celebration of 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy. In 1976, he replaced the calendar (year 1355) with an "Imperial" calendar (year 2535) which began with the foundation of the Persian Empire over twenty-five centuries earlier. These actions were viewed as un-Islamic and resulted in more religious opposition by the clergy.

Collapse of the dynasty
The Shah's government suppressed its opponents with the help of Iran's security and intelligence secret police, SAVAK. Such opponents included members of the Communist Tudeh party.
In the mid-seventies the Shah, on the basis of increased oil revenues, launched a series of even more ambitious and courageous plans for the progress of his country and the march to the White Revolution. But his socioeconomic advances increasingly misled the clergy. Islamic leaders, especially the exiled clerics Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, could focus this dissatisfaction with an ideology linked to Islamic principles calling for the fall of the Shah and the return to Islamic traditions, and the Islamic Revolution.
The Shah's government collapsed after widespread revolts in 1978 and 1979. The Islamic revolution dissolved the SAVAKE and replaced it with SAVAMA. It was after the revolution after the American sources and the Iranian exile sources in the USA and in Paris by Gen. Hossein Fardoust, deputy SAVAK leader under the former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and a friend from the youthful period of the deposed monarch.
The Shah fled from the country, sought medical treatment in Egypt, Mexico, the United States and Panama, and finally resettled with his family in Egypt as a guest of Anwar Sadat. After his death, his son Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi followed in his absence as heir to the Pahlavi dynasty. Pahlavi and his wife live in the United States in Potomac, Maryland with three daughters.

Learn the 31 Provinces of Persia