The Buyid dynasty or the Buyids known as Buwaihids, Buyahids, or Buyyids, was a Shia Iranian dynasty of Daylamite origin. Coupled with the rise of other Iranian dynasties in the region, the approximate century of Buyid rule represents the period in Iranian history sometimes called the'Iranian Intermezzo' since, after the Muslim conquest of Persia, it was an interlude between the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate and the Seljuk Empire; the Buyid dynasty was founded by'Ali ibn Buya, who in 934 conquered Fars and made Shiraz his capital. His younger brother Hasan ibn Buya conquered parts of Jibal in the late 930s, by 943 managed to capture Ray, which he made his capital. In 945, the youngest brother, Ahmad ibn Buya, made Baghdad his capital, he received the honorific title of Mu'izz al-Dawla. The eldest,'Ali, was given the title of'Imad al-Dawla, Hasan was given the title of Rukn al-Dawla; as Daylamite Iranians, the Buyids consciously revived symbols and practices of Iran's Sasanian Empire. Beginning with'Adud al-Dawla, they used the ancient Sasanian title Shahanshah "king of kings".
At its greatest extent, the Buyid dynasty encompassed territory of most of today's Iran, Iraq and Syria, along with parts of Oman, the UAE, Turkey and Pakistan. During the 10th and 11th centuries, just prior to the invasion of the Seljuq Turks, the Buyids were the most influential dynasty in the Middle East. Under king'Adud al-Dawla, it became the most powerful dynasty in the Middle East; the word Būya is a Middle Persian name ending in the diminutive ـویه. The Buyids were descendants of a Zoroastrian from Daylam, he had a son named Buya, a fisherman from Lahijan, left Zoroastrianism and converted to Islam. Buya had three sons, named Ahmad,'Ali, Hasan, who would carve the Buyid kingdom together. Most historians agree; the Buyids claimed royal lineage from 15th king of the Sasanian Empire. The founder of the dynasty,'Ali ibn Buya, was a soldier in the service of the Daylamite warlord Makan ibn Kaki, but changed his adherence to the Iranian ruler Mardavij, who had established the Ziyarid dynasty, was himself related to the ruling dynasty of Gilan, a region bordering Dailam.'Ali was joined by his two younger brothers, Hasan ibn Buya and Ahmad ibn Buya.
In 932,'Ali was given Karaj as his fief, thus was able to enlist other Daylamites into his own army. However,'Ali's independent actions made Mardavij plan to have him killed,'Ali was informed of Mardavij's plan by the latter's own vizier; the Buyids brother, with 400 of their Daylamite supporters fled to Fars, where they managed to take control of Arrajan. However, the Buyids and the Abbasid general Yaqut shortly came into a struggle for the control of Fars, which the Buyids emerged victorious in; this victory opened the way for the conquest of the capital of Fars, Shiraz.'Ali made an alliance with the landowners of Fars, which included the Fasanjas family, which would produce many prominent statesmen for the Buyids. Furthermore,'Ali to enlist more soldiers, which included the Turks, who were made part of cavalry.'Ali sent his brother Ahmad on an expedition to Kirman, but was forced to withdraw from them after opposition from the Baloch people and the Qafs. However, who sought to depose the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad and recreate a Zoroastrian Iranian Empire, shortly wrested Khuzestan from the Abbasids and forced'Ali to recognize him as his suzerain.
Luckily for the Buyids, Mardavij was shortly assassinated in 935, which caused chaos in the Ziyarid territories, a perfect situation for the Buyid brothers. In 945, Ahmad entered Iraq and made the Abbasid Caliph his vassal, at the same receiving the laqab Mu'izz ad-Dawla, while'Ali was given the laqab Imād al-Dawla, Hasan was given the laqab Rukn al-Dawla. In addition to the other territories the Buyids had conquered, Kirman was conquered in 967, the Jazira and Gorgan. After this, the Buyids went into a slow decline, with pieces of the confederation breaking off and local dynasties under their rule becoming de facto independent; the death of Adud al-Dawla is considered the starting point of the decline of the Buyid dynasty. When he made the death of his father public, he was given the title of "Samsam al-Dawla". However, Adud's other son, Shirdil Abu'l-Fawaris, challenged the authority of Samsam al-Dawla, resulting in a civil war. Meanwhile, a Marwanid chieftain named Badh, seized Diyabakr and forced Samsam al-Dawla to recognize him as the vassal ruler of the region.
Furthermore, Mu'ayyad al-Dawla died during this period, he was succeeded by Fakhr al-Dawla, who with the aid of Mu'ayyad al-Dawla's vizier Sahib ibn'Abbad became the ruler of Mu'ayyad al-Dawla's possessions. Another son of Adud al-Dawla, Abu Tahir Firuzshah, established himself as the ruler of Basra and took the title of "Diya' al-Dawla", while another son, Abu'l-Husain Ahmad, established himself as the ruler of Khuzistan, taking the title of "Taj al-Dawla". Shirdil Abu'l-Fawaris seize
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines, it has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.
Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626. St. Peter's is famous for its liturgical functions; the Pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the Basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists Michelangelo; as a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of Major Basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral. St. Peter's is a church built in the Renaissance style located in the Vatican City west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian's Mausoleum, its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome.
The basilica is approached via St. Peter's Square, a forecourt in two sections, both surrounded by tall colonnades; the first space is the second trapezoid. The façade of the basilica, with a giant order of columns, stretches across the end of the square and is approached by steps on which stand two 5.55 metres statues of the 1st-century apostles to Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. The basilica is cruciform in shape, with an elongated nave in the Latin cross form but the early designs were for a centrally planned structure and this is still in evidence in the architecture; the central space is dominated both externally and internally by one of the largest domes in the world. The entrance is through entrance hall, which stretches across the building. One of the decorated bronze doors leading from the narthex is the Holy Door, only opened during jubilees; the interior is of vast dimensions. One author wrote: "Only does it dawn upon us – as we watch people draw near to this or that monument, strangely they appear to shrink.
This in its turn overwhelms us."The nave which leads to the central dome is in three bays, with piers supporting a barrel-vault, the highest of any church. The nave is framed by wide aisles. There are chapels surrounding the dome. Moving around the basilica in a clockwise direction they are: The Baptistery, the Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin, the larger Choir Chapel, the altar of the Transfiguration, the Clementine Chapel with the altar of Saint Gregory, the Sacristy Entrance, the Altar of the Lie, the left transept with altars to the Crucifixion of Saint Peter, Saint Joseph and Saint Thomas, the altar of the Sacred Heart, the Chapel of the Madonna of Column, the altar of Saint Peter and the Paralytic, the apse with the Chair of Saint Peter, the altar of Saint Peter raising Tabitha, the altar of St. Petronilla, the altar of the Archangel Michael, the altar of the Navicella, the right transept with altars of Saint Erasmus, Saints Processo and Martiniano, Saint Wenceslas, the altar of St. Jerome, the altar of Saint Basil, the Gregorian Chapel with the altar of the Madonna of Succour, the larger Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel of Saint Sebastian and the Chapel of the Pietà.
At the heart of the basilica, beneath the high altar, is the Confessio or Chapel of the Confession, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom. Two curving marble staircases lead to this underground chapel at the level of the Constantinian church and above the purported burial place of Saint Peter; the entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, architectural sculpture and gilding; the basilica contains a large number of tombs of popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are a number of sculptures in niches and chapels, including Michelangelo's Pietà; the central feature is a baldachin, or canopy over the Papal Altar, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The apse culminates in a sculptural ensemble by Bernini, containing the symbolic Chair of Saint Peter. One observer wrote: "St Peter's Basilica is the reason why Rome is still the center of the civilized world. For religious and architectural reasons it by itself justifies a journey to Rome, its interior offers a palimpsest of artistic styles at the
Robert Byron was a British travel writer, best known for his travelogue The Road to Oxiana. He was a noted writer, art critic and historian. Byron was born in 1905, educated at Eton and Merton College, from which he was expelled for his hedonistic and rebellious manner. At Oxford he was part of the Hypocrites' Club, he died in 1941, during the Second World War, when the ship on which he was travelling was torpedoed by a U-Boat off Cape Wrath, Scotland, en route to Egypt. Byron travelled to different places; however it was in Persia and Afghanistan that he found the subject round which he forged his style of modern travel writing, when he came to write up his account of The Road to Oxiana in Peking, his temporary home. In his day, Byron's travel books were outsold by those of writers Peter Evelyn Waugh. An appreciation of architecture is a strong element in Byron's writings, he was a forceful advocate for the preservation of historic buildings and a founder member of the Georgian Group. A philhellene, he pioneered, in the English speaking world, a renewal of interest Byzantine History.
Byron has been described as'one of the first and most brilliant of twentieth-century philhellenes'. He attended the last Nuremberg Rally, with Nazi sympathiser Unity Mitford. Byron knew her through his friendship with her sister Nancy Mitford, but he was an outspoken opponent of the Nazis. Nancy Mitford hoped at one stage that Byron would propose marriage to her, was astonished as well as shocked to discover his homosexual tastes, complaining: "This wretched pederasty falsifies all feelings and yet one is supposed to revere it." According to Paul Fussell in his introduction to the Oxford paperback edition of "The Road to Oxiana" Byron was a fervent and vocal critic of Hitler, "object in the most violent terms to the Nazification of Europe and abusing those in England who imagined that some sort of compromise with this new wickedness was possible". Byron's great, though unreciprocated, passion was for Desmond Parsons, younger brother of the 6th Earl of Rosse, regarded as one of the most magnetic men of his generation.
They lived together in Peking, in 1935, where Desmond developed Hodgkin's Disease, of which he died in Zurich, in 1937, when only 26 years old. Byron was left utterly devastated. Byron died aged 35 in 1941 after his ship, the SS Jonathan Holt, was torpedoed by U-97, a Type VIIC submarine, in the North Atlantic, his body was never found. An acquaintance from early days, Evelyn Waugh noted Byron's gumption. In 1929 he wrote to Henry Yorke "I hear Robert has beaten us all by going to India in an aeroplane, the sort of success which I call tangible." But writing in 1948, Waugh said of Byron in a letter to Harold Acton: "It is not yet the time to say so but I disliked Robert in his last years & think he was a dangerous lunatic better off dead." The passionately anti-communist Waugh believed that during the 1930s Byron had become pro-Soviet, though Byron's – and Waugh's – biographer Christopher Sykes denied any such sympathy on Byron's part. Prince Charles read Byron's prose All These I Learnt on BBC Radio 4 on National Poetry Day, 5 October 2006.
In February 2012, his book Europe in the Looking Glass was serialised by BBC's Radio 4 Book of the Week. The program included detailed passages of Germany and an eyewitness report of the 1922 Greek refugee exodus and massacres following the Great Fire of Smyrna. Europe in the Looking-Glass. Reflections of a Motor Drive from Grimsby to Athens The Station – visiting the Greek monasteries of Mount Athos with Mark Ogilvie-Grant and David Talbot Rice The Byzantine Achievement Birth of Western Painting. A History of colour and iconography. G. Routledge, 1930. An Essay on India The Appreciation of Architecture First Russia, Then Tibet The Road to Oxiana – visiting Persia and Afghanistan Imperial Pilgrimage – a small guide to London from the "London in your pocket series". London, London Passenger Transport Board, Letters Home edited by Lucy Butler. London, John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-4921-3 Fussell, Paul.. Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars. Oxford, OUP. ISBN 0-19-503068-0. Knox, James. Robert Byron: A Biography.
London, John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-4841-1. Robert Byron Papers. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Yale University. Works by Robert Byron at Faded Page http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/search/results.html?_photographer=%22ULAN33812%22&display=+Robert+Byron Photographs of buildings taken by Byron. Http://www.courtauldimages.com Photographs of Central Asia by Byron. Http://www.blinkx.com/burl?blinkxreferrer=resultTitle&v=A9_zDoNdp4no_dJPgwQV1w His biographer James Knox talking of Robert Byron
The Sasanian Empire known as the Sassanian, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire, was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD; the Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years. The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Eastern Arabia, the Levant, the Caucasus, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani; the Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa and India, it played a prominent role in the formation of both Asian medieval art. Much of what became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world. Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanian Empire in mystery; the Sassanian Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I. Papak was the ruler of a region called Khir. However, by the year 200 he had managed to overthrow Gochihr and appoint himself the new ruler of the Bazrangids, his mother, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Pars; the subsequent events are due to the elusive nature of the sources.
It is certain, that following the death of Papak, who at the time was the governor of Darabgerd, became involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur. Sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, over the protests of his other brothers who were put to death, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Pars. Once Ardashir was appointed shah, he moved his capital further to the south of Pars and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah; the city, well protected by high mountains and defensible due to the narrow passes that approached it, became the centre of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. It was surrounded by a high, circular wall copied from that of Darabgird. Ardashir's palace was on the north side of the city. After establishing his rule over Pars, Ardashir extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, gaining control over the neighbouring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan and Mesene.
This expansion came to the attention of Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who ordered the governor of Khuzestan to wage war against Ardashir in 224, but Ardashir was victorious in the ensuing battles. In a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus himself met Ardashir in battle at Hormozgan, where the former met his death. Following the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir went on to invade the western provinces of the now defunct Parthian Empire. At that time the Arsacid dynasty was divided between supporters of Artabanus V and Vologases VI, which allowed Ardashir to consolidate his authority in the south with little or no interference from the Parthians. Ardashir was aided by the geography of the province of Fars, separated from the rest of Iran. Crowned in 224 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, Ardashir took the title shahanshah, or "King of Kings", bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end, beginning four centuries of Sassanid rule. In the next few years, local rebellions occurred throughout the empire.
Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Khorasan, Margiana and Chorasmia. He added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid's possessions. Sassanid inscriptions claim the submission of the Kings of Kushan and Mekran to Ardashir, although based on numismatic evidence it is more that these submitted to Ardashir's son, the future Shapur I. In the west, assaults against Hatra and Adiabene met with less success. In 230, Ardashir raided deep into Roman territory, a Roman counter-offensive two years ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome. Ardashir I's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria and the western portion of the Kushan Empire, while leading several campaigns against Rome. Invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories.
The emperor Gordian III's subsequent advance down the Euphrates was defea
Qal'eh Dokhtar, Ghale Dokhtar, Dezh Dokhtar, is a castle made by Ardashir I, in present-day Fars, Iran, in 209 AD. It is located on a mountain slope near the Firouzabad-Kavar road; the name of the castle implies it was dedicated to the Goddess Anahita, to whom the term "Maiden" refers. After capturing Isfahan and Kerman from the Parthians, Ardashir built the city of Gur near the castle in Pirouzabad, making it his capital. After defeating Ardavan V, the Parthian king in a great battle in 224 AD, he built the Palace of Ardashir nearby the Dezh Dokhtar structure. Ardashir's grandfather was a prominent priest of the Goddess Anahita at the nearby temple of Darabgird, "City of Darius." The castle is built on a high bluff which overlooks the roadway running south from Fars. The entrance to the castle is through a tall gateway within a rectangular tower. Inside, a broad stairway leads up to a rectangular hall, with blind niches on either side and two large buttresses at the east end; these supported stairways go up to the next level, with another large rectangular room, 14 x 23 m, with an iwan at the east end and arched blind windows on either side.
It was roofed by an arched vault. Beyond this there are steps to a third level and a large rectangular room with ¼ circle squinches at each corner supporting a domed roof; this was buttressed by thick walls on all sides to ensure its stability, the cupola could be reached by a spiral staircase on the south side. The fortified palace contains many of the recurring features of Sasanian palace and civic architecture: long halls, domes, recessed windows, stairways; the construction is uniform of shaped stone and mortar, but the surfaces were all finished with a thick coating of plaster or stucco, giving a smooth and elegant appearance, which could have been decorated with ornamentation or painting. The 1,800-year-old castle has lost some four meters of its original height over the last century and experts warn if urgent measures are not taken to enforce it, the castle may soon collapse. List of Iranian castles Iranian architecture Sassanid History of Persian domes "Photo: Maiden Castle - Firouzabad - Iran".
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
Iranian architecture or Persian architecture is the architecture of Iran and parts of the rest of West Asia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Its history dates back to at least 5,000 BC with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Turkey and Iraq to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses and garden, pavilions to "some of the most majestic structures the world has seen". In addition to historic gates and mosques, the rapid growth of cities such as the capital, Tehran has brought about a wave of demolition and new construction. Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, from a variety of traditions and experience. Without sudden innovations, despite the repeated trauma of invasions and cultural shocks, it has achieved "an individuality distinct from that of other Muslim countries", its paramount virtues are: "a marked feeling for scale. Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".
This theme has not only given unity and continuity to the architecture of Persia, but has been a primary source of its emotional character as well. According to Persian historian and archaeologist Arthur Pope, the supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture; the supremacy of architecture applies to both pre- and post-Islamic periods. Traditional Persian architecture has maintained a continuity that, although temporarily distracted by internal political conflicts or foreign invasion, nonetheless has achieved an unmistakable style. In this architecture, "there are no trivial buildings. In expressiveness and communicativity, most Persian buildings are lucid - eloquent; the combination of intensity and simplicity of form provides immediacy, while ornament and subtle proportions reward sustained observation." Overall, the traditional architecture of the Iranian lands throughout the ages can be categorized into the six following classes or styles: Zoroastrian: The Parsian style including: Pre-Parsian style e.g. Chogha Zanbil, Median style, Achaemenid style manifesting in construction of spectacular cities used for governance and inhabitation, temples made for worship and social gatherings, mausoleums erected in honor of fallen kings, The Parthian style includes designs from the following eras: Seleucid era e.g. Anahita Temple, Parthian era e.g. Hatra, the royal compounds at Nysa, Sassanid era e.g. Ghal'eh Dokhtar, the Taq-i Kisra, Darband.
Islamic: The Khorasani style, e.g. Jameh Mosque of Nain and Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, The Razi style which includes the methods and devices of the following periods: Samanid period, e.g. Samanid Mausoleum, Ziyarid period, e.g. Gonbad-e Qabus, Seljukid period, e.g. Kharraqan towers, The Azari style, e.g. Soltaniyeh, Arg-i Alishah, Jameh Mosque of Varamin, Goharshad Mosque, Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarqand, tomb of Abdas-Samad, Gur-e Amir, Jameh mosque of Yazd The Isfahani style spanning through the Safavid, Afsharid and Qajarid dynasties starting from the 16th century onward, e.g. Chehelsotoon, Ali Qapu, Agha Bozorg Mosque, Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque in Naqsh-i Jahan Square. Available building materials dictate major forms in traditional Iranian architecture. Heavy clays available at various places throughout the plateau, have encouraged the development of the most primitive of all building techniques, molded mud, compressed as solidly as possible, allowed to dry; this technique, used in Iran from ancient times, has never been abandoned.
The abundance of heavy plastic earth, in conjunction with a tenacious lime mortar facilitated the development and use of brick. Iranian architecture makes use of abundant symbolic geometry, using pure forms such as circles and squares, plans are based on symmetrical layouts featuring rectangular courtyards and halls. Certain design elements of Persian architecture have persisted throughout the history of Iran; the most striking are a discerning use of simple and massive forms. The consistency of decorative preferences, the high-arched portal set within a recess, columns with bracket capitals, recurrent types of plan and elevation can be mentioned. Through the ages these elements have recurred in different types of buildings, constructed for various programs and under the patronage of a long succession of rulers; the columned porch, or talar, seen in the rock-cut tombs near Persepolis, reappear in Sassanid temples, in late Islamic times it was used as the portico of a palace or mosque, adapted to the architecture of roadside tea-houses.
The dome on four arches, so characteristic of Sassanid times, is a still to be found in many cemeteries and Imamzadehs across Iran today. The notion of earthly towers reaching up toward the sky to mingle with the divine towers of heaven las