The Shahnameh, transliterated as Shahnama, is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 CE and is the national epic of Greater Iran. Consisting of some 50,000 distichs or couplets, the Shahnameh is the worlds longest epic poem written by a single poet. It tells mainly the mythical and to some extent the historical past of the Persian Empire from the creation of the world until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century. Modern Iran, Azerbaijan and the region influenced by the Persian culture celebrate this national epic. The work is of importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece. Ferdowsi started writing the Shahnameh in 977 A. D and completed it on 8 March 1010, the Shahnameh is a monument of poetry and historiography, being mainly the poetical recast of what Ferdowsi, his contemporaries, and his predecessors regarded as the account of Irans ancient history. Many such accounts already existed in prose, an example being the Abu-Mansuri Shahnameh, a small portion of Ferdowsis work, in passages scattered throughout the Shahnameh, is entirely of his own conception.
The Shahnameh is a poem of over 50,000 couplets. It is based mainly on a work of the same name compiled in Ferdowsis earlier life in his native Tus. The Xwadāynāmag contained historical information on the Sassanid period, Ferdowsi added material continuing the story to the overthrow of the Sassanids by the Arabs in the middle of the 7th century. These verses, which deal with the rise of the prophet Zoroaster, were incorporated by Ferdowsi, with acknowledgment. The style of the Shahnameh shows characteristics of written and oral literature. Some claim that Ferdowsi used Zoroastrian nasks, such as the now-lost Chihrdad, the text is written in the late Middle Persian, which was the immediate ancestor of Modern Persian. According to one account of the sources, a Persian named Dehqan in the court of King Anushehrawan Dadgar had composed a book in prose form. After the fall of the Iranian Empire, Khoday Nameh came into the possession of King Yaqub Lais and the Samani king Nuh ordered the poet Daqiqi to complete it, Ferdowsi obtained the book through a friend.
The work is not precisely chronological, but there is a movement through time. Some of the characters live for hundreds of years but most have normal life spans, there are many shāhs who come and go, as well as heroes and villains, who come and go. The only lasting images are those of Greater Persia itself, and of a succession of sunrises and sunsets, the work is divided into three successive parts, the mythical and historical ages
Full translation of the Behistun Inscription
The following translation of the Behistun Inscription was made by L. W. King and R. C. Thompson Where names are rendered by the Greek or Biblical form, the letter x in Persian transcription represents the kh sound, like German ch as pronounced after a, o or u in German. I am Darius, the king, king of kings, the king of Persia, the king of countries, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames. King Darius says, My father is Hystaspes, the father of Hystaspes was Arsames, the father of Arsames was Ariaramnes, the father of Ariaramnes was Teispes, the father of Teispes was Achaemenes. King Darius says, That is why we are called Achaemenids, from antiquity we have been noble, king Darius says, Eight of my dynasty were kings before me, I am the ninth. Nine in succession we have been kings, king Darius says, By the grace of Ahuramazda am I king, Ahuramazda has granted me the kingdom. King Darius says, These are the countries which are subject to me, by the grace of Ahuramazda they became subject to me, whatsoever commands have been laid on them by me, by night or by day, have been performed by them.
King Darius says, Within these lands, whosoever was a friend, him have I surely protected, whosoever was hostile, by the grace of Ahuramazda these lands have conformed to my decrees, as it was commanded unto them by me, so was it done. King Darius says, Ahuramazda has granted unto me this empire, Ahuramazda brought me help, until I gained this empire, by the grace of Ahuramazda do I hold this empire. King Darius says, The following is what was done by me after I became king, a son of Cyrus, named Cambyses, one of our dynasty, was king here before me. That Cambyses had a brother, Smerdis by name, of the same mother, when Cambyses slew Smerdis, it was not known unto the people that Smerdis was slain. When Cambyses had departed into Egypt, the people became hostile, and the lie multiplied in the land, even in Persia and Media, and in the other provinces. King Darius says, there was a man, a Magian, Gaumâta by name. On the fourteenth day of the month Viyaxana did he rebel and he lied to the people, saying, I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, the brother of Cambyses.
Then were all the people in revolt, and from Cambyses they went over unto him and he seized the kingdom, on the ninth day of the month Garmapada he seized the kingdom. Afterwards, Cambyses died of natural causes, king Darius says, The kingdom of which Gaumâta, the Magian, dispossessed Cambyses, had always belonged to our dynasty. After that Gaumâta, the Magian, had dispossessed Cambyses of Persia and Media, king Darius says, There was no man, either Persian or Mede or of our own dynasty, who took the kingdom from Gaumâta, the Magian. The people feared him exceedingly, for he slew many who had known the real Smerdis, for this reason did he slay them, that they may not know that I am not Smerdis, the son of Cyrus
Kermanshah Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran and is regarded as part of Iranian Kurdistan. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran, according to 2014 segmentation by Ministry of Interior it is center of Region 4, with the regions central secretariat located at the provinces capital city, Kermanshah. The provinces capital is Kermanshah, located in the middle of the part of Iran. The population of the city is 822,921, the city is built on the slopes of Mt. Sefid Kooh and extended toward south during last two decades. The builtup areas run alongside Sarab River and Valley, citys elevation average about 1350 meters above sea level. The distance between Kermanshah and Teheran is 525 km, the airport is located in north east of the city, and the distance from Tehran is 413 km by air. The province has a rich Paleolithic heritage, many caves with Paleolithic remains have been surveyed or excavated there. Some of these sites are located in Bisetun and north of Kermanshah.
The first known remains of Neanderthal man in Iran was discovered in Bisitun Cave. Do-Ashkaft, Kobeh and Mar Tarik are some of the Middle Paleolithic sites in the region, Kermanshah has many Neolithic sites, of which the most famous are Ganj Dareh and Asiab. At Ganj Dareh, the earliest evidence for goat domestication have been documented. C. was discovered in Sahneh, the monuments found in Kermanshah show two glorious periods, the Achaemenid and Sassanid eras. The mythical ruler of the Pishdadian is described as founding the city while Tahmores Divband built it, an alternative narrative is that the construction was by Bahram IV of the Sassanid dynasty during the 4th century CE. Kermanshah reached a peak during the reign of Hormizd IV and Khosrau I of Sassanids, the city suffered major damage during the Arab invasions but recovered in the Safavid period to make great progress. Concurrent with the Afghan attack and the fall of Isfahan, Kermanshah was almost completely destroyed by the Ottoman invasion, during the Iran–Iraq War the province suffered heavy fighting.
Most towns and cities were damaged and some like Sar-e Pol-e Zahab. As it is situated between two cold and warm regions enjoys a moderate climate, Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. It rains most in winter and is warm in summer. The annual rainfall is 500 mm, the average temperature in the hottest months is above 22 °C
The Zagros Mountains form the largest mountain range in Iran and southeastern Turkey. This mountain range has a length of 1,500 km. The highest point in the Zagros Mountains is Dena, the Zagros fold and thrust belt was formed by collision of two tectonic plates, the Eurasian Plate and the Arabian Plate. This collision primarily happened during the Miocene and folded the rocks that had been deposited from the Carboniferous to the Miocene in the geosyncline in front of the Iranian Plate. The process of collision continues to the present and as the Arabian Plate is being pushed against the Eurasian Plate, the Zagros Mountains, a relatively dense GPS network which covered the Iranian Zagros proves a high rate of deformation within the Zagros. The GPS results show that the current rate of shortening in the southeast Zagros is ~10 mm/yr, the north-south Kazerun strike-slip fault divides the Zagros into two distinct zones of deformation. The GPS results show different shortening directions along the belt, normal shortening in the southeast, the sedimentary cover in the SE Zagros is deforming above a layer of rock salt whereas in the NW Zagros the salt layer is missing or is very thin.
This different basal friction is partly responsible for the different topographies on either side of the Kazerun fault. Higher topography and narrower zone of deformation in the NW Zagros is observed whereas in the SE, deformation was spread more, stresses induced in the Earths crust by the collision caused extensive folding of the preexisting layered sedimentary rocks. Subsequent erosion removed softer rocks, such as mudstone and siltstone while leaving harder rocks, such as limestone and this differential erosion formed the linear ridges of the Zagros Mountains. The depositional environment and tectonic history of the rocks were conducive to the formation and trapping of petroleum, salt domes and salt glaciers are a common feature of the Zagros Mountains. Salt domes are an important target for exploration, as the impermeable salt frequently traps petroleum beneath other rock layers. The Zagros Mountains have a totally sedimentary origin and are primarily of limestone. In the Elevated Zagros or the Higher Zagros, the Paleozoic rocks could be found mainly in the upper and higher sections of the peaks of the Zagros Mountains along the Zagros main fault.
On the both sides of this fault, there are Mesozoic rocks, a combination of Triassic and Jurassic rocks that are surrounded by Cretaceous rocks on the both sides. The Folded Zagros is formed mainly of Tertiary rocks, with the Paleogene rocks south of the Cretaceous rocks, the mountains are divided into many parallel sub-ranges, and orogenically have the same age as the Alps. Irans main oilfields lie in the central foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The southern ranges of the Fars Province have somewhat lower summits and they contain some limestone rocks showing abundant marine fossils
Khosrow II, entitled Aparvēz, Khusraw Parvēz, was the last great king of the Sasanian Empire, reigning from 590 to 628. He was the son of Hormizd IV and the grandson of Khosrow I and he was the last king of Persia to have a lengthy reign before the Muslim conquest of Iran, which began five years after his death by execution. The Byzantines regained the True Cross, which Khosrow had captured following his conquest of the Levant during the same 602–628 war. Khosrow and Shirin tells the story of his love for the Aramean or Roman princess Shirin, Khosrow is first mentioned in the 580s, when was at Partaw, the capital of Caucasian Albania. During his stay there, he served as the governor of the kingdom, Khosrow II served as the governor of Arbela around this period. According to a legend, Khosrow had a shabestan in which over 3,000 concubines resided, Khosrow was raised to the throne by his two uncles Vistahm and Vinduyih, who were the leaders of a palace coup that deposed and killed Hormizd IV.
Furthermore, Persia was required to cease intervening in the affairs of Iberia and Armenia, after some time, Khosrow along with the Byzantine commander of the south, invaded Mesopotamia. During this invasion and Martyropolis quickly defected to them, during the same period, feeling disrespected by Comentiolus, convinced Maurice to replace the latter with Narses as the commander of the south. Khosrow and Narses penetrated deeper into Bahrams territory, seizing Dara and Mardin on February, shortly after this, Khosrow sent one of his Iranian supporters, Mahbodh, to capture Ctesiphon, which he managed to accomplish. Meanwhile, Khosrows two uncles and John Mystacon, conquered northern Adurbadagan, and went further south in the region, where they defeated Bahram at Blarathon, Khosrow managed to deal with him by either having him assassinated or convince the Turks to execute him. Peace with the Byzantines was officially concluded, for his aid, Maurice received much of Persian Armenia and western Georgia, and received the abolition of the subsidies which had formerly been paid to the Sasanians.
Soon, Khosrow changed his intentions, trying to disassociate himself from his fathers murder, the Sasanian monarchs traditional mistrust of over-powerful magnates and Khosrows personal resentment of Vinduyihs patronising manner certainly contributed to this decision. Vinduyih was soon put to death, according to a Syriac source captured while trying to flee to his brother in the East, at the news of his brothers murder, Vistahm rose in open revolt. According to Dinawari, Vistahm sent a letter to Khosrow announcing his claim to the throne through his Parthian heritage, indeed, I am more deserving on account of my descent from Darius, son of Darius, who fought Alexander. You Sasanians deceitfully gained superiority over us and usurped our right and your ancestor Sasan was no more than a shepherd. Vistahms revolt, like Bahramss shortly before, found support and spread quickly, local magnates as well as the remnants of Bahram Chobins armies flocked to him, especially after he married Bahrams sister Gordiya.
He even campaigned in the east, where he subdued two Hephthalite princes of Transoxiana and Pariowk, the date of Vistahms uprising is uncertain. From his coinage, it is known that his rebellion lasted for seven years, the commonly accepted dates are ca
The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script, Darius the Great proclaimed himself victorious in all battles during the period of upheaval, attributing his success to the grace of Ahura Mazda. The inscription includes three versions of the text, written in three different cuneiform script languages, Old Persian and Babylonian. The inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs, the inscription is approximately 15 metres high by 25 metres wide and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media. The Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns, the Elamite text includes 593 lines in eight columns, and the Babylonian text is in 112 lines. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I, the supine figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata.
Darius is attended to the left by two servants, and nine one-meter figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, faravahar floats above, giving his blessing to the king. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was Dariuss beard, the inscription is mentioned by Ctesias of Cnidus, who noted its existence some time around 400 BC and mentioned a well and a garden beneath the inscription. He incorrectly concluded that the inscription had been dedicated by Queen Semiramis of Babylon to Zeus, tacitus mentions it and includes a description of some of the long-lost ancillary monuments at the base of the cliff, including an altar to Herakles. What has been recovered of them, including a dedicated in 148 BC, is consistent with Tacituss description. Diodorus writes of Bagistanon and claims it was inscribed by Semiramis. A legend began around Mount Behistun, as written about by the Persian poet and writer Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh c. 1000, about a man named Farhad, who was a lover of King Khosrows wife, Shirin.
The legend states that, exiled for his transgression, Farhad was given the task of cutting away the mountain to find water, if he succeeded, he would be given permission to marry Shirin. After many years and the removal of half the mountain, he did find water and he went mad, threw his axe down the hill, kissed the ground and died. It is told in the book of Khosrow and Shirin that his axe was made out of a tree, where he threw the axe. Shirin was not dead, according to the story, and mourned upon hearing the news, in 1598, the Englishman Robert Sherley saw the inscription during a diplomatic mission to Persia on behalf of Austria, and brought it to the attention of Western European scholars. His party incorrectly came to the conclusion that it was Christian in origin, french General Gardanne thought it showed Christ and his twelve apostles, and Sir Robert Ker Porter thought it represented the Lost Tribes of Israel and Shalmaneser of Assyria. Italian explorer Pietro della Valle visited the inscription in the course of a pilgrimage in around 1621, German surveyor Carsten Niebuhr visited in around 1764 for Frederick V of Denmark, publishing a copy of the inscription in the account of his journeys in 1778
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area, in the Classical era, part of the present-day city of Tehran was occupied by a Median city that in the Avesta occurs as Rhaga. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century, the capital has been moved several times throughout the history, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran. The city was the seat of the Qajars and Pahlavis, the two last imperial dynasties of Iran. It is home to historical collections, such as the royal complexes of Golestan, Sadabad. Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the 1920s, and Tehran has been a destination for the migrations from all over Iran since the 20th century. Tabiat Bridge, which was completed in 2014, is considered the third symbol of the city. There have been plans to relocate Irans capital from Tehran to another area, due mainly to air pollution, to date, no definitive plans have been approved. A2016 survey of 230 cities by consultant Mercer ranked Tehran 203rd for quality of living, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index in 2016, Tehran is among the top ten fastest growing destinations.
The origin of the name Tehran is uncertain, the settlement of Tehran dates back over 7,000 years. The present-day city of Tehran was a suburb of an important Median city that was known as Rhaga in Old Persian, in the Avestas Videvdat, Rhaga is mentioned as the twelfth sacred place created by the Ohrmazd. In Old Persian inscriptions, Rhaga appears as a province and it was a major area for the Iranian tribes of Medes and Achaemenids. From Rhaga, Darius the Great sent reinforcements to his father Hystaspes, in some Middle Persian texts, Rhaga is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster, although modern historians generally place the birth of Zoroaster in Khorasan. Derived into Modern Persian as Rey, it now as a city located towards the southern end of the modern-day city of Tehran. Mount Damavand, the highest peak of Iran, which is located near Tehran, is an important location in Ferdowsis Shahname, the long Iranian epic poem that is based on the ancient epics of Iran. It appears in the epics as the birthplace of Manuchehr, the residence of Keyumars, the place where Freydun binds the dragon fiend Aži Dahāka, during the Sassanid era, in 641, Yazdgerd III issued his last appeal to the nation from Rey, before fleeing to Khorasan.
Rey was dominated by the Parthian Mihran family, and Siyavakhsh—the son of Mihran the son of Bahram Chobin—who resisted the Muslim Invasion, because of this resistance, when the Arabs captured Rey, they ordered the town to be destroyed and ordered Farrukhzad to rebuild the town anew. In the 9th century, Tehran was a well known village, but less known than the city of Rey, the medieval writer Najm od Din Razi declared the population of Rey about 500,000 before the Mongol Invasion
The Achaemenid Empire, called the Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great. The empires successes inspired similar systems in empires and it is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in a Hellenistic style in the empire as well. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered the empire in its entirety by 330 BC. Upon his death, most of the former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire. The Persian population of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire, the historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well.
Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange. The impact of Cyruss edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire set the tone for the politics and history of modern Iran. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details Due to the duration of their reigns, Xerxes II. The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here, the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished, they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by 6th century BC another group of ancient Iranian peoples had established the short lived Median Empire. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region of what is today Iran c.1000 BC and had for a number of centuries fallen under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.
However, the Medes and Persians, Cimmerians and Chaldeans played a role in the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. The term Achaemenid means of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes, despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria. At some point in 550 BC, Cyrus rose in rebellion against the Medes, eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire