List of Articles


    (Pers. kalam).Many medicinal properties and uses have been attributed in the Islamic period to the leaves and seeds of the karanb, most of which can be traced to the writings of the Greek masters Dioscorides, Galen, and others.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)

  • ČĀČ

    (Ar. Šāš), the name of a district and of a town in medieval Transoxania; the name of the town was gradually supplanted by that of Tashkent from late Saljuq and Mongol times onwards.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)


    Persian translation of an early anonymous Arabic history of Sind compiled at Arōr in the 3rd/9th century.

    (D. N. MacLean)


    Director and later chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) during the reign of Reżā Shah (b. Silverdale, Staffordshire, England, 7 September 1877, d. Bletchley, Buckingham, 31 May 1941).

    (Kamran Eqbal)

  • ČĀDOR (1)

    A portable dwelling characteristic of certain nomad groups. It consists of a canopy of cloth or skin supported by upright posts and anchored to the ground by means of pegs and ropes. See TENTS.


  • ČĀDOR (2)

    A loose female garment covering the body, sometimes also the face.

    (Bijan Gheiby, James R. Russell, Hamid Algar)


    an Iranian tribe settled between the Caspian and the Black sea.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (or Dāityā), lit. “summit of the law," a peak of the mythical mountain Harburz, located in Ērānwēǰ in the middle of the world.

    (Aḥmad Tafażżolī)


    second son of Čengīz Khan. See CHAGHATAYID DYNASTY.



    the name given to four types of musical instruments. This spelling is found in most dictionaries. Sachs’ Real-Lexikon has čaqāna, and other forms are also found: čaḡān, čaḡana, and čaḡba; in Arabic jaḡāna or jafāna.

    (Ḥosayn ʿAlī Mallāḥ)


    b. Abi’l-ʿAbbās Fażl b. Abī Bakr Moḥammad b. Abī Saʿd Moẓaffar b. Moḥtāj, prince and poet of the ancient Iranian Āl-e Moḥtāj, ruler of Čaḡānīān (Čaḡān Ḵodāt).

    (Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi)

  • ČAḠĀNĪĀN, Chaghanids

    See ĀL-E MOḤTĀJ.



    Middle Pers. form Čagīnīgān, Arabic rendering Ṣaḡānīān, with the common rendering of Iranian č as ṣ.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)


    Čaḡānīrūd in Farroḵī, the seventh and last right-bank tributary of the Oxus or Amu Darya.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)





    Principal town and administrative capital of the province of Ḡōr, in the mountains of central Afghanistan.

    (Daniel Balland)


    b. Mīḵāʾīl b. Saljūq, Abū Solaymān, a member of the Saljuqs, the leading family of the Oghuz Turks, who with his brother Ṭoḡrel (Ṭoḡrïl) Beg founded the Great Saljuq dynasty in Persia in the 5th/11th century.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)




  • ČĀH

    “well”; together with qanāt (subterranean water canals), wells play a great part in the mobilization of the groundwater resources of Persia.

    (Marcel Bazin)


    See MOQANNAʿ.



    See AYMĀQ.






    (Davālī), or ČĀR DOWLĪ, a tribe of western Iran.

    (Pierre Oberling)





    second smallest province (ostān) of Persia in area, located in the Zagros mountains of southwestern Persia.

    (Eckart Ehlers and Hūšang Kešāvarz)


    persian prose work written in the 6th/12th century by Abu’l-Ḥasan Neẓām-al-­Dīn (or Najm-al-Dīn) Aḥmad b. ʿOmar b. ʿAlī Neẓāmī ʿArūżī Samarqandī, originally entitled Majmaʿ al-nawāder.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    (Four elements), an autobiographical work in prose by the poet and Sufi Abu’l-Maʿānī Mīrzā ʿAbd-al-Qāder Bīdel.

    (Sharif Husain Qasemi)


    lit. “four gardens,” a rectangular garden divided by paths or waterways into four symmetrical sections.

    (David Stronach)


    the name of a broad avenue which was a key feature of the city of Isfahan as replanned by Shah ʿAbbās I after he had designated the city the new capital of the Safavid state in 1006/1597-98.

    (Roger M. Savory)


    (ČĀRBĀḠ-E GARRŪS), a park no longer in existence in the south of the town of Bījār, center of Garrūs šahrestān in Persian Kurdistan.

    (Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi)


    name of a royal garden and palace at Mašhad; under the Qajars and up to the present time it has been the name of an old quarter in the city.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    See DO-BAYTI.



    the fourteen inerrant or immaculate personages venerated by Twelver Shiʿites, i.e., the Prophet Moḥammad, his daughter Fāṭema, and the twelve imams.

    (Hamid Algar)


    the name of one of the twelve dastgāhs (modes) of traditional Persian music in the 14th/20th century.

    (Bruno Nettl)


    See ĀMOL.



    a genre of traditional rhythmic instrumental music.

    (Jean During)


    (usually pronounced Čāršamba-sūrī), the last Wednesday of the Persian solar year, the eve of which is marked by special customs and rituals, most notably jumping over fire.

    (Manouchehr Kasheff and ʿAlī-Akbar Saʿīdī Sīrjānī)


    literally “four arches,” a modern term for an equilateral architectural unit consisting of four arches or short barrel vaults between four corner piers, with a dome on squinches over the central square. this unit became the most prominent element in traditional Iranian architecture after the ayvān.

    (Dietrich Huff, Bernard O’Kane)


    (lit. four-strings), a musical instrument belonging to the family of long-necked lutes.

    (Jean During)


    Name of a town and bay on the Makrān coast of Persian Baluchistan facing the coast of Oman.

    (Eckart Ehlers)


    a dehestān, village, and fortress in Salmās (Šāhpūr in the Pahlavi period) šahrestān in Azerbaijan between Ḵᵛoy and Urmia.

    (Amir Hassanpour, Juan R. I. Cole)


    See ČIŠPIŠ.



    lit. “the song (Skt. gāthā) about circumambulating (Skt. pradakṣiṇā) a holy place (Skt. caitya),” the title of a Buddhist text, a Khotanese version of which is extant.

    (Ronald E. Emmerick)

  • ČAK

    legal document, testament, money draft, check.

    (Willem Floor)


    principal town of the large Ḵāšrūd delta oasis in northeastern Sīstān.

    (Daniel Balland)


    personal soldier-retainer of the nobility in pre-Islamic Central Asia.

    (Etienne de la Vaissiere)


    a Middle Persian legal term denoting a widow who at the death of her “authorized” (pādixšāyīhā) husband without issue was obliged to enter into a levirate marriage (čakarīh) in order to provide him with male offspring (frazand).

    (Mansour Shaki)


    (Mid. Pers. čakōk). i. The lark. ii. A melody in Persian music.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam, Hūšang Aʿlam)


    See ACƎKZĪ.


  • ČĀL

    Like most Persian villages, Čāl had several quarters (maḥallas), but the major division was between Upper and Lower Čāl (locally Gali-kiá; and Jarina-ma:la, respectively), with some local variation between the dialects, for instance, Upper Čāli berbinden “to cut,” veškenja “sparrow,” nāngun “pinch” versus Lower Čāli bervinden, meškenja, and nāngur.

    (Ehsan Yarshater)


    (Čāl Tarḵān-ʿEšqābād), a site about 20 km southeast of Ray with remains from the late Sasanian and early Islamic periods.

    (Jens Kröger)


    See ČELEBĪ, ʿĀREF.



    a Turkicized tribe dwelling, for the most part, in the dehestān of Garmādūz in Aras­bārān region of northern Azerbaijan.

    (Pierre Oberling)


    battle of, an engagement fought near Ḵᵛoy in northwestern Azerbaijan on 23 August 1514, resulting in a decisive victory for the Ottoman forces under Sultan Salīm I over the Safavids led by Shah Esmāʿīl I. No single event prompted Salīm’s decision to wage war. It was the direct and inevitable result of the establishment of the Safavid state.

    (Michael J. McCaffrey)


    i. Pre-Islamic calendars. ii. In the Islamic period. iii. Afghan calendars. iv. Other modern calendars. Although evidence of calendrical traditions in Iran can be traced back to the 2nd millennium B.C., before the lifetime of Zoroaster, the earliest calendar that is fully preserved dates from the Achaemenid period.

    (Antonio Panaino, Reza Abdollahy, Daniel Balland)

  • ČĀLI

    See ČĀL.



    as viewed by the Shiʿites of Persia.

    (Hamid Algar)


    peace made by Xerxes and/or Artaxerxes I with Athens and her confederacy in the 5th century B.C.

    (Ernst Badian)


    (ḵaṭṭāṭī, ḵᵛošnevīsī), the writing system in use in Persia since early Islamic times, which grew out of the Arabic alphabet. Comparison of some of the scripts that developed on Persian ground, particularly Persian-style Kufic, with the Pahlavi and Avestan scripts reveals a number of similarities between them.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)

  • CALLIGRAPHY (continued)

    In the handwriting of the various Muslim peoples, three distinct styles are recognizable: Turco-Arab, Persian, and Indo-Afghan. In the style once current in Turkey and the similar styles now prevalent in the Arab countries, most scripts are written with sharp outlines and a downward slope.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    the name of a 4th-century BCE Greek historian of the period of Alexander the Great. On Aristotle’s recom­mendation Alexander engaged Callisthenes to write the history of his planned expedition against Persia. The existing History of Alexander is now commonly referred to as “Pseudo Callisthenes” or the Alexander Romance.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)

  • CALMEYER, Peter

    German archaeologist and Iranologist (b. 5 September 1930 in Halle, d. 22 November 1995 in Berlin).

    (Wolfram Kleiss and A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    a small town in western Māzandarān (šahrestān of Nowšahr, baḵš of Čālūs) located about 8 km from the Caspian coast at an elevation of 7 m.

    (Bernard Hourcade)


    (1831-1909), Parsi Zoroastrian scholar and community leader. Cama worked for the organization of Parsi madres­sas (madrasas), and his consultation was sought also in the establishment of Hindu and Muslim schools. He was associated with the University of Bombay.

    (James R. Russell)


    (K. R. Cama Oriental Institute), a research institute in Bombay established in memory of the Parsi orientalist, teacher, and social reformer Kharshedji Rustomji Cama, inaugurated 18 December 1916.

    (M. F. Kanga, Kaikhusroo M. JamaspAsa)


    the name of a region (dahyāuš) in ancient Media and present Persian Kurdistan.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    a survey of the history and historical geography of the land which is present-day Iran, as well as other territories inhabited by peoples of Iranian descent, from prehistoric times up to the present in seven volumes (vol. III being a double volume), published 1968 to 1989.

    (Hubert S. G. Darke)


    Whether or not Cambysene was part of the Achaemenid Empire is unknown. When the Artaxid dynasty of Armenia was at the peak of its power this region was one of its provinces or districts; it remained so until it was conquered by the Albanians, probably after the defeat of Tigranes the Great in 69 b.c.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    (OPers. Kambūǰiya-, Elamite Kanbuziya, Akkadian Kambuziya, Aram. Knbwzy), the name of two kings of the Achaemenid dynasty.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)


    (Kurdish čam “river” and Čamāl/Jamāl, personal name; in the sources also writ­ten Jamjamāl), a fertile dehestān of Ṣaḥna baḵš in Kermānšāhān (Bāḵtarān) province located to the south and west of Ṣaḥna on the Kermānšāh-Hamadān road and watered by Gāmāsb and Dīnavar rivers.

    (Abdollah Mardukh)


    (šotor). Artifacts from ancient Iran indicate that only the Bactrian camel was part of the native fauna of greater Iran, though it was probably not numerous. Possibly the earliest evidence is a painted image on a ceramic shard from Tepe Sialk, probably datable between 3000 and 2500 B.C.

    (Richard W. Bulliet, Moḥammad-Nāṣer Ḡolāmreżaʾī, Eqbāl Yaḡmāʾī, Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    (Alhagi Adans. spp.), common name for wild thorny suffrutescent plants of the Papilionaceae family, called šotor-ḵār and ḵār-e šotor (lit. “camel’s thorn”) in Persian.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    philologist and his­torian, b. 30 July 1905 in Washington, Pennsylvania, d. 14 September 1979 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    (Gernot L. Windfuhr)


    (1799-1870), British envoy to Persia, 1830-35.

    (Kamran Ekbal)


    (1799-1870), British envoy to Iran from 1831 to 1835. The archives left behind by Campbell provide scholars with a comprehensive first-hand account of British and foreign involvement in Iran and Central Asia in the 1800s.

    (Roya Arab)


    a strong-smelling volatile white solid essential oil obtained from two genera of the camphor tree and used from ancient times in Persia as an aromatic with antiseptic and insect-repelling properties.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    a mythical bird that in the Pahlavi books, of all birds of land and sky, is second only to the Sēn bird in worth.

    (Alan V. Williams)

  • CANADA i. Iranian Studies in

    several factors in the last half-century have led to a rapid expansion of Iranian studies in Canada in the fields of history, literature, language, philosophy, religion, art history, and archaeology.

    (Colin Paul Mitchell)

  • CANADA v. Iranian Community in Canada

    v. Iranian Community in Canada The immigration records of the organization Statistics Canada for the period between 1896 and 1915 date the arrival of the first Iranian immigrants to between 1901 and 1902. Although the following year saw a steep rise to forty immigrants from Iran, the numbers fluctuate considerably over the next sixty years, reaching an average of around 100 annual immigrants by 1961. By 1970, the average had risen to 660, a change that, according to the publications of the Government of Canada, was due to the “massive flow of students to North American Universities that began after 1965,” and the fact that many of these students chose to remain in Canada after having completed their studies and having obtained immigrant status.

    (M. Mannani, N. Rahimieh, K. Sheibani)





    (Pers.-Ar. šamʿ); the Arabic word literally means “beeswax."

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar, J. T. P. de Bruijn)


    from the late 6th/12th through the early 10th/16th century one of the most common types of implement produced as a luxury metalware in Iran. Their form, decoration, and epigraphic program reflect contemporary trends in Iranian metalwork.

    (Linda Komaroff)


    (or Čandarbhān Barahman), Indian poet and writer in Persian (b. Lahore, date unknown, d. Lahore 1073/1662-63).

    (Sharif Husain Qāsemī)


    Maharaja, states­man and poet in Persian and Urdu (b. 1175/1761-62, d. 7 Rabīʿ II 1261/15 April 1845 at Hyderabad).

    (Sharif Husain Qasemi)


    name probably of Iranian origin used by Greek authors for a Persian garment.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)

  • ČANG

    In Persian literature, particularly in poetry, the harp kept an important place. In the Pahlavi text on King Ḵosrow and his page the čang player is listed among the finest of musicians. The harp was also one of the instruments played by the inmates of the harem.

    (Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Mallāḥ)


    a narrative work in Persian verse by Zartošt or Zarātošt, son of Bahrām-e Paždū, a poet of the 7th/13th century.

    (Žāla Āmūzgār)


    (b. Messina, 13 July 1867; d. Rome, 24 April 1914), Italian autodidact of Oriental languages and translator of the Vidēvdād.

    (Antonio Panaino)

  • ČĀP

    “print, printing,” a Persian word probably derived from Hindi chāpnā, “to print.”

    (Willem Floor)


    (or čapar < Turk. čapmak “to gallop”), post rider.

    (Willem Floor)


    these centers played important diplomatic and administrative roles in Iranian history, closely linked to the fortunes of the ruling families.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi, C. Edmund Bosworth)


    in architectural terminology, tran­sitional elements between weight-bearing supports (see COLUMNS) and the roofs or vaults supported. The development of the capital began in Assyria, when a tree trunk was inserted in the earth with another trunk or branch laid in the fork to carry the roof construction.

    (Wolfram Kleiss)


    Anatolian Achaemenid satrapy, Hellenistic-era Iranian kingdom, and imperial Roman province. A rolling plateau cut by mountains, Cappadocia in the east contains bare central highlands, in the west a nearly treeless land­scape, and in the north mountainous tracts marked by fertile valleys, especially on the lower Halys river.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    From 1626 onward the French Capuchins established a number of missionary posts in the Near East. Capuchin monks lived solely on the alms that were given to them. The first Capuchins at Isfahan assiduously learned Persian and Turkish.

    (Francis Richard)


    (lit. “four Bakrs”), family necropolis of the powerful Jūybāri shaikhs near the village of Sumitan.

    (G. A. Pugachenkova)


    (Felis caracal Schreber = Lynx caracal, Caracal caracal), also called “desert lynx” or “Persian lynx”; in Persian, sīāhgūš, lit. “black-eared.”

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, known as Caracalla because of his hooded robe (b. 188, d. 217), who conducted a campaign against the Parthians.

    (Erich Kettenhofen)


    the name of an Indian physician associated with one of the major works on Indian medicine (the Carakasaṃhitā), as well as the name of King Kaniṣka’s physician.

    (Ronald E. Emmerick)


    (Čarand o parand), literally “fiddle-faddle,” the title of satirical pieces of social and political criticism in the form of short narratives, brief announcements, telegrams, news reports, etc., by ʿAlī-Akbar Dehḵodā.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    a form of collective transport of men and goods.

    (Bert G. Fragner)


    a building that served as the inn of the Orient, providing accommodation for commercial, pilgrim, postal, and especially official travelers. The term kārvān-sarā was commonly used in Iran and is preserved in several place names. The normal caravansary consisted of a square or rectangular plan centered around a courtyard.

    (Moḥammad-Yūsuf Kīānī and Wolfram Kleiss)


    (ganjafa-bāzī, waraq-bāzī), card games were invented in China in the 7th-8th centuries and via India were brought to Persia, whence they reached the Arab world and Europe.

    (Mahdi Roschanzamir)


    hel in modern Persian (from Skt. elā), the aromatic seeds of several plants of the family Zingiberaceae.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    See BĀḴTAR.



    warlike tribes that in antiquity occupied the hilly country along the upper Tigris near the Assyrian and Median borders, in present-day western Kurdistan.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)

  • ČARḠ

    See BĀZ.



    in the area of southwestern Turkey, under Achaemenid rule first as a part of the satrapy of Sparda (Lydia; 540s-390s B.C.), then as a separate satrapy (390s-30s B.C.) under the Hecatomnid family, whose prominence and self-promotion created a number of mostly Greek epigraphic documents detailing the development of 4th-century Caria.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    main town of Kōhdāman and the administrative capital of the Afghan province of Parwān, located about 63 km north of Kabul. Throughout history there has been an important urban center at the northern end of the long Kōhdāman depression.

    (Daniel Balland)


    See ĀMOL.


  • ČARḴ

    a common toponym all over the Iranian world.

    (Daniel Balland)


    (lit. “well wheel”), a device for drawing water from a well or river or for removing soil during the excavation of a well. It is a type of windlass, consisting of a hollow horizontal cylinder around which a rope is coiled or uncoiled to raise or lower a bucket attached to the end. Formerly they were common.

    (Nāṣer Ḡolām-Reżāʾī)


    (Cherkes), term used in Persian, Arabic, and Turkic for the Circassian people of the northwest Caucasus who call themselves Adygeĭ and speak a language of the Abazgo-Circassian branch of Caucasian (see caucasian languages).

    (Beatrice Manz, Masashi Haneda)

  • ČARḴĪ, Mawlānā Yaʿqūb

    an early shaikh of the Naqšbandī order and author of several works in Persian (d. 851/1447).

    (Hamid Algar)

  • ČARM

    (Av. čarəman-, OPers. čarman-, Khot. tcārman-, etc.), skin, hide, and leather, which have had a variety of uses in Persia.

    (Willem Floor)


    ancient region east of Fārs province, approximately equivalent to modern Kermān. The Old Persian form is attested only once in inscriptions.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (Ar. Qarāmeṭa; sing. Qarmaṭī), the name given to the adherents of a branch of the Ismaʿili movement during the 3rd/9th century.

    (Farhad Daftary)


    In 1604 Pope Clement VIII dispatched a mission of Discalced Carmelite fathers to Persia; the embassy represented the culmination of a policy of seeking alliances against the Ottoman empire that had been initiated by Pius V.

    (Francis Richard)


    or čāroq, etc. See CLOTHING xx, xxv, xxviii.



    (qālī; Ar. and Pers. farš), heavy textiles used as coverings for floors, walls, and other large surfaces, as well as for various kinds of furnishing.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CARPETS i. Introductory survey

    the history of Persian carpet manufacture.

    (Roger Savory)

  • CARPETS ii. Raw materials and dyes

    for centuries Persian carpet weaving has depended primarily on local materials processed by traditional traditional techniques. Such materials include sheep wool, camel hair, goat hair, and natural dyes. This article discusses use and preparation of dyes and materials used to make carpets.

    (Jasleen Dhamija)

  • CARPETS iii. Knotted-pile carpets: Techniques and structures

    The techniques of carpet making are the processes of weaving, knotting, and finishing; structure is the complex of interrelations among the elements of the finished carpet.

    (Annette Ittig)

  • CARPETS iv. Knotted-pile carpets: Designs, motifs, and patterns

    In this discussion “design” refers to the overall composition of decorative elements on a carpet; the simplest elements in designs are single motifs, which are most frequently combined in more complex units; these units in turn may be arranged in various combinations and sequences to form patterns.

    (Annette Ittig)

  • CARPETS v. Flat-woven carpets: Techniques and structures

    Most of the structures in Persian flat-woven carpets belong to the category called “interlacing” by textile specialists; the term designates the most straightforward way in which each thread of a fabric passes under or over threads that cross its path.

    (Sarah B. Sherrill)

  • CARPETS vi. Pre-Islamic Carpets

    Evidence for textiles of all kinds in pre-Islamic Iran is very sparse. It is necessary to supplement the few remains of actual textiles with examination of representations in art and other kinds of indirect evidence of production, for example preserved impressions and pseudomorphs from excavations.

    (Karen S. Rubinson)

  • CARPETS vii. Islamic Persia to the Mongols

    Because of the scarcity of surviving materials it is difficult to separate the history of carpet making in Iran from that of the rest of the Islamic world before the Mongol invasion (656/1258). Furthermore, the kind of rigid distinction between carpet and other textile designs that characterizes later production probably did not exist in the early Islamic period.

    (Barbara Schimtz)

  • CARPETS viii. The Il-khanid and Timurid Periods

    Carpet production in Persia in the 14th-15th centuries has been inferred from written sources. Carpets and weavings from contemporary Anatolia and the Turkman tribal confederations, and possibly also from Egypt and even Spain, also permits the inference.

    (Eleanor Sims)

  • CARPETS ix. Safavid Period

    The high point in Persian carpet design and manufacture was attained under the Safavid dynasty (1501-1739). It was the result of a unique conjunction of historical factors, such as royal patronage and influence of court designers at all levels of artistic production.

    (Daniel Walker)

  • CARPETS x. Afsharid and Zand Periods

    Although it is probable that magnificent silk-and-brocade rugs in the style of the Safavid court manufactories were no longer produced in significant quantities, it seems reasonable to assume that production of less luxurious wool rugs continued in many traditional centers, even though on a smaller scale and mainly for domestic consumption.

    (Layla S. Diba)

  • CARPETS xi. Qajar Period

    There were dramatic alterations in the traditional organization and orientation of the Persian carpet industry and, consequently, in the carpets themselves. Particularly significant was the increase in the number of looms and volume of carpet exports from the 1870s to World War I.

    (Annette Ittig)

  • CARPETS xii. Pahlavi Period

    Throughout the 14th/20th century carpet manufacturing has been, from the point of view of both employment and domestic and foreign market demand, by far the most important Persian industry after oil refining.

    (Willem Floor)

  • CARPETS xiii. Post-Pahlavi Period

    In the period immediately following the shah’s flight from the country in 1358 Š./1979 the prices for Persian carpets reached record highs on Western markets.

    (P. R. Ford)

  • CARPETS xiv. Tribal Carpets

    In Persia rural carpets have been made in nearly every possible technical variation and for a wide range of uses. Yet there are many nomadic groups whose works are absolutely unknown, and the weavings of other groups have been only very imperfectly studied and described.

    (Siawosch Azadi)

  • CARPETS xv. Caucasian Carpets

    The oldest surviving rugs produced in the Caucasus may be a group with representations of dragons and phoenixes in combat. There is, however, no evidence to permit attribution to the Caucasus.

    (Richard E. Wright)

  • CARPETS xvi. Central Asian Carpets

    These include those woven in the former Turkmen, Uzbek, Tajik, Karakalpak Autonomous, Kirgiz, and Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republics; extreme northern and northeastern Persia; Afghanistan; and the Turkic (Uighur) areas of Sinkiang (Xinjiang) in western China.

    (Walter Denny)


    (Ḥarrān), town in Mesopotamia where in May 53 B.C. a decisive battle was fought between the Parthians commanded by a member of the Sūrēn family and the Romans under the triumvir M. Licinius Crassus.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    the taproot of Daucus L. subspp., etc. (family Umbelliferae), traditionally called gazar (arabicized as jazar) or zardak (lit. “the little yellow one”), and later also havīj in Persian.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)

  • ČARS

    See BANG.



    (1977-81): POLICY TOWARD PERSIA. When the administration of President Jimmy Carter took office in January 1977, United States foreign relations overall were remarkably stable. A modus vivendi had been established with the Soviet Union.

    (Richard W. Cottam)


    Imperator Caesar MARCUS AURELIUS (Augustus), Roman emperor (r. 282-83).

    (Fridrik Thordarson)


    village in the mountainous area of the Upper Ṭārom district (baḵš) in the šahrestān of Zanjān, at 49°1′ E, 36°52′ N, 42 km north of the district center, Sīrdān. It is one of the few villages in Ṭārom where Iranian Tati dialects have not yet given way to Turkish.

    (Ehsan Yarshater)


    (1852-1925), scholar of ancient Iranian languages and religions and particularly of Pahlavi literature.

    (Antonio Panaino)


    term "case" used on at least three linguistic levels: 1. semantic role of a noun (phrase), such as agent, patient, experiencer, and possessor; 2. syntactic function, such as subject, direct object, and indirect object; 3. morphological means, such as nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive.

    (Gernot L. Windfuhr)


    “spring.” Iran and Afghanistan, as well as wide parts of Central Asia, have a great variety of natural springs. A very general classification divides all springs into (1) those produced by gravity acting on the groundwater, (2) those that have their origins in tectonic volcanic forces within the earth’s crust.

    (Eckart Ehlers)


    lit. “fountain of ʿAlī,” the name for various natural springs in Iran, the two best-known of which are located near Dāmḡān and Ray respectively.

    (Abbas Alizadeh)


    (1952; tr. by John O’Kane as Her Eyes , 1989), a novel considered by many critics as the most important contribution of the noted Persian novelist Bozorg Alavi.

    (Mohammad R. Ghanoonparvar)



    (Ṣādeq Sajjādī)


    (lit. “a blow by the eye”), the evil eye: the supposed power of an individual to cause harm, even illness or death, to another person (or animals and other possessions) merely by looking at him or complimenting him.

    (Ebrāhīm Šakūrzāda and Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    literally “taster” (Pers. čāšnī “taste”), the official who at the court of Turkish dynasties in Iran and elsewhere, from the Saljuq period onwards, had the responsibility of tasting the ruler’s food and drink in order to ensure that it was not poisoned.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)


    actually a lake, the largest in the world (estimated surface area in 1986: 378,400 km², volume 78,600 km³; approx. between lat 37° and 47° N, long 46° and 54° E); it is bounded on the south by Persia.

    (Multiple Authors)


    The Caspian “sea” consists of three distinct basins, each characterized by different features. hese differences are reflected in the levels of salinity.

    (Xavier de Planhol)


    A new area of sub-systemic studies in international relations, which encompasses the Caspian basin and its immediate surroundings, emerged in the post-Soviet Union era.

    (Guive Mirfendereski)


    Iranian dialects spoken along the Caspian littoral, including Ṭāleši, Gīlakī, Māzandarāni, and related subdialects, and the extinct dialect of Ṭabarestān. See individual entries.



    an ancient toponym identifying a ground-level pass that runs east and west through a southern spur of the Alborz Mountains in north central Iran.

    (John F. Hansman)


    (Phoca caspica), the only mammal in the Caspian Sea. It is a relict species, endemic to the Caspian Sea and the deltas of rivers that discharge into it—the region where its ancestors lived when the sea was still connected to the oceans.

    (Eskandar Firouz)


    name of an ancient people dwelling along the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea, whether north or south of the river Kura is not clear.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    wife of Cyrus II, an Achaemenian, sister of Otanes and daughter of Pharnaspes.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)


    a genus of shrubs and trees of the family Leguminosae (or Caesalpiniaceae in some classifications).

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)

  • CASSIODORUS, Magnus Aurelius

    (b. ca. 485, d. after A.D. 580), Latin author of three historical works containing material on Iran.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    primarily fortified country manors but also permanently inhabited defensive installations, maintained by the authorities along important land routes, and urban citadels, which functioned as administrative centers and places of refuge for inhabitants under siege, particularly in prehistoric and early historic times.

    (Wolfram Kleiss)


    a plain east of Sardis, site of the mustering of troops from the satrapy of Sparda (Lydia) during Achaemenid times.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    See BEAVER.



    (of men; ḵaṣī kardan, ḵāya kešīdan, ḵᵛāja kardan), discussion of castration in Islamic medical literature, on its legal status, and on its historical attestation in Islamic Persia.

    (Lutz Richter-Bernburg)

  • CAT I. In Mythology and Folklore

    Cats are not mentioned in literary Persian sources until late Sasanian times. In Zoroastrian mythology the cat (gurbag) is said to have been created by the Evil Spirit, and in the Pahlavi texts it is classed in the much despised “wolf species.”

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)

  • CAT II. Persian Cat

    In western Europe and in North America, what are called “Persian cats” are a breed of longhaired domestic cats with a massive body, measuring 40 to 50 cm in length, and up to 30 cm in the height of their withers. According to the standards, these cats must present a strong bone structure, important muscular masses, and short, straight paws.

    (Jean-Pierre Digard)





    treatises for instruction in the fundamental tenets of a religious faith, cast in the form of questions and answers.

    (Philip G. Kreyenbroek)


    Manichaeism is said to have been passed via the Paulicians and the Bogomils to re-emerge in the European Cathars but this supposed historical transmission is difficult to demonstrate.

    (J. L M. van Schaik)

  • ČATR

    parasol or umbrella, an attribute of royalty in Iran.

    (Eleanor Sims)


    the word “cattle” has no precise equivalent in Iranian languages, in which bovines are commonly designated by the words for “cow,” “bull,” and “calf."

    (Jean-Pierre Digard, Mary Boyce)


    The Iranian world is bordered in the northwest by the high mountain barrier of the Caucasus, which separates it from the vast Russian plains beyond. In relief, structure, and ecology the Caucasus constitutes a clear frontier between eastern Europe and western Asia, though it is more closely related to the latter.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CAUCASUS i. Physical Geography, Population, and Economy.

    The northern side of the range consists of a series of monoclinal folds, in the form of cuestas, with escarpments facing toward the main chain and the more gradual back slopes fanning out into plateaus of varying sizes, all inclining toward the north.

    (Pierre Thorez)

  • CAUCASUS ii. Language contact

    Languages of the Caucasus. Including Caucasian (or Ibero-Caucasian), Turkic, Indo-European, Iranian languages, Kurdish, Tati, Ṭāleši, Ossetic, and others.

    (Fridrik Thordarson)


    Achaemenid rule in the Caucasus region was established, at the latest, in the course of the Scythian campaign of Darius I in 513-12 BCE.

    (Bruno Jacobs)


    the two dadophoroi or torch bearers who often flank Mithras in the bull-slaying scene and who are sometimes shown in the birth scenes of Mithras.

    (William W. Malandra)

  • ČĀV

    paper currency issued in Mongol Iran in 693/1294.

    (Peter Jackson)





    Ch’ien Fo Tung (Qianfodong), a large group of grottoes and cave temples carved out of Ming-sha hill in the southeastern Tun-huang (Dunhuang) district of Kansu (Gansu) province, China.

    (Xin-jiang Rong)


    ḵāvīar in Persian, the processed non-fertilized roe of sturgeons and some other large fishes, highly valued as a gourmet delicacy. In Iran the roe for caviar is obtained mainly from three species of sturgeon (family Acipenseridae) caught in the southern littoral or fluvial waters of the Caspian Sea.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    or ČĀVŪŠ, used in classical Persian texts with the meanings of 1. army commander; 2. master of ceremony or person in charge of the servants; 3. caravan leader; or, more specifically, 4. a guide on the road to Mecca or holy shrines.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    town mentioned in the Avesta. See ČARḴ.


  • ČĀY

    shrub of the genus Camellia and beverage made from its leaves, probably the most popular drink throughout the Iranian world. It is not known when Persians first became acquainted with the beverage. Bīrūnī, in his Ketāb al-ṣaydana, written in the first half of the 11th century, gave some details about the plant čāy and its use as a beverage in China and Tibet.

    (Daniel Balland and Marcel Bazin)


    a mythical lake in eastern Iran, later identified in the Pahlavi and Persian sources with Lake Urmia in Azerbaijan.

    (Aḥmad Tafażżolī)


    twelfth-century Byzantine historian who edited the Synopsis Historiōn of John Skylitzēs.

    (James R. Russell)


    (Jekel), name of a Turkish people in Central Asia known in Persian poetry for the extraordinary beauty of their youths.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)


    or Čeganī, a tribe that originated in northwestern Persia but is now scattered in Luristan, the Qazvīn region, and Fārs.

    (Pierre Oberling)


    Safavid royal palace used for coronations and the reception of foreign embassies. It stands in the center of a large garden between the Meydān-e Šāh and the Čahārbāḡ. The layout of these gardens, with three walks shaded by plane trees, dates from the period of Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 1588-1629).

    (Ingeborg Luschey-Schmeisser)


    palace on a small, terraced hill rising at the southern end of a 30-acre walled garden about six miles south of the city center. According to a commemorative marble plaque at the base of the hill the cornerstone of the palace was laid in 1888, and the palace was completed as a seat for Prince Ḥabīb-Allāh three years later.

    (Nancy Hatch Dupree)


    a Safavid pavilion that stands amid gardens in the central meydān (square) of the old city and in which the Qazvīn museum is installed.

    (Wolfram Kleiss)


    (“the forty dervishes,” popularly called Čeltan), a minor takīya (monastery) situated in the northeastern section of Shiraz, a short distance north of the tomb of Ḥāfeẓ and south of Haft Tanān (“the seven dervishes”).

    (Kerāmat-Allāh Afsar)


    (forty parrot [stories]), the designation of collections of entertaining stories about the wife of a merchant and a pair of parrots, several versions of which are current in Persia and which are derived from older collections called ṭūṭī-nāmas (book of the parrots).

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)

  • ČEHR

    two homographic neuter substantives čiθra- in Avestan, one meaning “face, appearance,” which is translated in Pahlavi as paydāg, and another rendered in Pahlavi as tōhmag and denoting “origin, lineage,” as well as “seed,” although the latter sense is attested only in compounds.

    (Bruce Lincoln)


    (lit. “mirror”), the name of an illustrated Persian newspaper and periodical published in Egypt (1322-1338 Š./1904-59, with interruptions).

    (Nassereddin Parvin)


    (670-719/1272-1320), the son of Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Solṭān Walad and the grand­son of Mawlānā Jalāl-al-Dīn Moḥammad Rūmī.

    (Tahsin Yazıcı)


    10th/16th-century poet and author of a Šāh-nāma (Solaymān-nāma) extolling the Ottoman rulers.

    (Tahsin Yazıcı)


    term referring to any forty-day period. i. In Persian folklore. ii. In Sufism.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar, Hamid Algar)


    See BERENJ “rice” i. In Iran, sec. “Rice in the Iranian diet. ”



    a popular Persian dish which consists of cooked rice (čelow; see berenj) and a variety of broiled (kabāb, see below) mutton or veal (though less popular) and is served with butter, egg yolk, powdered sumac, raw onions, broiled tomatoes, and fresh sweet basil.

    (Ṣoḡrā Bāzargān)


    (qabrestān, gūrestān) in Persian folklore; cemeteries are found both inside and outside cities and villages, usually close to a holy shrine, or emāmzāda, in order to partake of its blessing.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    See ASFĪJĀB.



    “Oriental plane (tree),” indigenous from southeastern Europe to the Iranian plateau. In Persia proper, spontaneous planes have been observed by botanists. Cultivated planes are popular as ornamental or shade trees.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    (Mong. Chinggis), probably born in 1167 in northeastern Mongolia, d. 1227, founder of the Mongol empire, the most extensive land empire known to history. Čengīz’s achievement, though hardly positive from the point of view of Persia, was by no means wholly a military and a destructive one. In the 1250s, a relatively coherent Mongol kingdom, the Il-khanate, was set up under Čengīz’s grandson Hülegü.

    (David O. Morgan)


    the first novel published in English by noted modernist writer Shahriar Mandanipour.

    (Sara Khalili)


    (sānsūr) in Persia; censorship has been exercised in most societies, including Persia, by the religious establishment, by the political authority, and by unofficial groups.

    (Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak)


    (Pers. sar-šomārī). No census for the purpose of ascertaining the population and acquiring statistical data was taken in Persia until the present century.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CENSUS i. In Iran

    No census for the purpose of ascertaining the popu­lation and acquiring statistical data was taken in Persia until the present century, but information about num­bers of persons or families was sometimes collected for the purpose of fixing tax dues or conscript quotas.

    (Fīrūz Tawfīq)

  • CENSUS ii. In Afghanistan

    The first national census of Afghanistan was not conducted until 1979, but the idea of such a survey had already taken root during the reign of Šēr-ʿAlī Khan in the 19th century, due to new taxation regulations.

    (Daniel Balland)


    This series of articles covers Central Asia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CENTRAL ASIA i. Geographical Survey

    The central expanse of the Asian continent, the land mass situated approximately between 55° and 115° E and 25° and 50° N, comprises two geographically distinct areas.


  • CENTRAL ASIA ii. Demography

    The combined population of the Uzbek, Kirgiz, Tajik, and Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republics totals more than 30 million people, one tenth of the population of the Soviet Union.

    (Richard H. Rowland)

  • CENTRAL ASIA iii. In Pre-Islamic Times

    The main evidence for the history of Central Asia before the coming of Islam comes from archeological excavations, while written sources con­tain little information.

    (Richard N. Frye)

  • CENTRAL ASIA iv. In the Islamic Period up to the Mongols

    In early Islamic times Persians tended to identify all the lands to the northeast of Khorasan and lying beyond the Oxus with the region of Turan, which in the Šāh-nāma of Ferdowsī is regarded as the land allotted to Ferēdūn’s son Tūr.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)

  • CENTRAL ASIA v. In the Mongol and Timurid Periods

    At the death of Čengīz (Chinggis) Khan in 624/1227 the territory he had conquered was divided between his sons.

    (Bertold Spuler)

  • CENTRAL ASIA vi. In the 16th-18th Centuries

    In the 16th-17th centuries Central Asia, includ­ing Transoxania, Greater Balḵ, and Ḵᵛārazm, witnessed a neo-Chingizid (Jochid) political revival, spearheaded by the ʿArabshahid/Shibanid (Shaibanid) lineage in Ḵᵛārazm and the Abulkhairid/Shibanid and Toqay-Timurid lines in Transoxania and Greater Balḵ. In the main, political life was shaped by the neo-Chingizid appanage system of state and its internal dynamic.

    (Robert D. McChesney)

  • CENTRAL ASIA vii. In the 18th-19th Centuries

    By the beginning of the 12th/18th century Central Asia was in a state of a deepening political and economic crisis.

    (Yuri Bregel)

  • CENTRAL ASIA viii. Relations with Persia in the 19th Century

    The question of Central Asia in the 13th/19th century, from the Persian point of view, was a promi­nent one not only because of Persian territorial claims over Marv, Ḵīva, Saraḵs, and other peripheral regions, but also because of the threat of the Turkmen frontier tribes of Tekka, Yomūt, and Gūklān to the security of Khorasan, Astarābād, and Māzandarān.

    (Abbas Amanat)

  • CENTRAL ASIA ix. In the 20th Century

    Technology brought by the Russian military and the colonial administration from Europe included advanced arms and material, as well as railroad, telegraph/telephone, and printed com­munication.

    (Edward Allworth)

  • CENTRAL ASIA x. Economy Before the Timurids

    Climate and geography have, of course, in large measure determined economic pursuits in pre-industrial times.

    (Peter B. Golden)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xi. Economy from the Timurids until the 18th Century

    The economy of Central Asia after the fall of Central Asia to the descendants of Čengīz Khan and during their rule was centered on agriculture, but with important contributions from pastoralism, especially the breeding and export of horses.

    (Robert D. McChesney)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xii. Economy in the 19th-20th Centuries

    When the Russians arrived in Central Asia in the 1860s they found a predominantly agrarian economy. The main grain crops were wheat, barley, and sorghum.

    (Ian Matley)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xiii. Iranian Languages

    Central Asia was the ancient homeland of the Iranians and therefore also of the Iranian languages.

    (Ivan M. Steblin-Kamenskij)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xiv. Turkish-Iranian Language Contacts

    Three Turkish languages came together in Central Asia, the territory covered by the modern Turkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kirghiz, and Tajik SSRs, excluding Chinese Turkestan: 1. the Uighur or Eastern Turks, 2. the Oghuz, speaking Khorasani Turkish, 3. and the Kipchaks

    (Gerhard Doerfer)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xv. Modern Literature

    Central Asian literatures in the twentieth century have developed under diverse influences. Beside classical and modern Persian literature and the poetic traditions and folklore of the Central Asian peoples themselves, Rus­sian thought and letters have been predominant.

    (Keith Hitchins)

  • CENTRAL ASIA xvi. Music

    In modern times Central Asia as a musicological unit can be defined as the area extending from Afghanistan north of the Hindu Kush, all of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan in the west, Kirgizia and Chinese Turkestan in the east, and Kazakhstan in the north.

    (Walter Feldman)


    designation of a number of Iranian dialects spoken in the center of Persia, roughly between Hamadān, Isfahan, Yazd, and Tehran, that is, the area of ancient Media Major, which constitute the core of the western Iranian dialects.

    (Gernot L. Windfuhr)


    When the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established in September 1947, its predecessors had been operating in Persia for a number of years.

    (Mark J. Gasiorowski)


    (CENTO), a mutual defense and economic cooperation pact among Persia, Turkey, and Pakistan, with the participation of the United Kingdom and the United States as associate members.

    (Joseph A. Kechichian)


    lamps. Various kinds of lamps were used in Persia before the introduction of electric light. The simplest and cheapest was the čerāḡ-e mūšī “mouse lamp,” so called probably because of its small size and poor light.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    (b. at Avadh, ca. 675/1276-77; d. at Delhi, 18 Ramażān 757/14 September 1356), the title of Shaikh Naṣīr-al-Dīn Maḥmūd, the last of the five great early saints of the Indian Češtī order (see češtīya).

    (Sharif Husain Qasemi)


    (“lamp of guidance”), a monolingual Persian dictionary by the Indo-Muslim poet and scholar Serāj-al-Din ʿAli Khan Ārzu. Its title was taken from a verse by Neẓāmi (ed. Dabirsiāqi, p. 2), and also alludes to the author’s reputed ancestor, Naṣir-al-Din Čerāḡ-e Dehli.

    (John R. Perry)


    b. Shaikh Šarīf, a descendant of Shaikh Zāhed Gīlānī, the celebrated moršed (spiritual director) of Shaikh Ṣafī-al-Dīn, the eponymous founder of the Safavid order (Ṣafawīya); hence Čerāḡ Khan was also known as Pīrzāda.

    (Roger M. Savory)


    (d. after 1281/1864-65), a leading govern­ment official during the early reign of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah.

    (Denis M. MacEoin)


    (also čerāḡān, čerāḡbānī, čerāḡbārān), the decoration of buildings and open spaces with lights during festivals and on occasions like weddings, coronations, royal birthdays, circumcision ceremonies, and so on.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    (I turn off the lights, Tehran, 2001), the first and most acclaimed novel by Zoya Pirzad (Zoyā Pirzād, b. Abadan, 1952), and the second to be penned by an Iranian-Armenian writer, after Ālice Ārezumāniān’s Hama az yek (All from one, Tehran, 1963).

    (Elham Gheytanchi)


    or ČORŪM, a small tribal confederacy (īl) inhabiting the dehestān of Čerām, in the Kūhgīlūya region, in southwestern Persia.

    (Pierre Oberling)


    Ceramics in Persia from the Neolithic period to the 19th century.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CERAMICS i. The Neolithic Period through the Bronze Age in Northeastern and North-central Persia

    The ceramic tradition of northeastern Persia devel­oped in parallel but distinct sequences in the Gorgān lowlands and the Dāmḡān highlands, including the parts of the Atrak region adjacent to both.

    (Robert H. Dyson)

  • CERAMICS ii. The Neolithic Period in Northwestern Persia

    The initial occupation of Persian Azerbaijan by farming groups took place in the second half of the 7th millennium B.C.E. The best known site of this period is Hajji Firuz (Ḥājī Fīrūz) Tepe, located in the Ošnū-­Soldūz valley and approximately contemporary with Hasanlu X (ca. 6000-5000 B.C.E.).

    (Mary M. Voigt)

  • CERAMICS iii. The Neolithic Period in Central and Western Persia

    Present knowledge is based primarily on evidence from three excavated sites and from surveys carried out southwest of Harsīn, on the Māhī­dašt plain, and in the Holaylān valley.

    (Peder Mortensen)

  • CERAMICS iv. The Chalcolithic Period in the Zagros Highlands

    The Zagros Chalcolithic may be divided into Early, Middle, and Late subperiods. Within each several distinctive regional assemblages are known in varying arche­ological detail.

    (Elizabeth F. Henrickson)

  • CERAMICS v. The Chalcolithic Period in Southern Persia

    The most fully excavated corpus of ceramics from the Chalcolithic of southern Persia comes from Tal-i Iblis and Tepe Yahya. Ex­tensive surface collections by Sir Mark Aurel Stein in Baluchistan and more recently have provided important supplementary material.

    (Thomas W. Beale)

  • CERAMICS vi. Uruk, Proto-Elamite, and Early Bronze Age in Southern Persia

    Lapui common ware consists of a red paste tempered with rather coarse black grit. It is not as well fired as the fine ware, and frequently the sherds reveal an unoxidized gray core.

    (William M. Sumner)

  • CERAMICS vii. The Bronze Age in Northwestern, Western, and Southwestern Persia

    During the 3rd millennium BCE there were two major ceramic traditions in northwestern Persia, shifting ceramic traditions in central western Persia, and polychrome ware in northern Susiana.

    (Robert C. Henrickson)

  • CERAMICS viii. The Early Bronze Age in Southwestern and Southern Persia

    The ceramic repertoire of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. in Ḵūzestān is dominated by plain buff-ware forms, the development of which can be traced through approximately 1,000 years, with four major sub­divisions. The most common and long-lived forms are illustrated in this article.

    (Elizabeth Carter)

  • CERAMICS ix. The Bronze Age in Northeastern Persia

    Archeologists have traditionally linked the ap­pearance of burnished gray wares at Tepe Hissar (Ḥeṣār) and Tureng (Tūrang) Tepe in Gorgān during the second half of the 4th millennium b.c., and their possible diffusion westward in the first half of the 2nd millennium.

    (Serge Cleuziou)

  • CERAMICS x. The Iron Age

    The pottery of Iron Age Persia presents a vast array of problems, not least the huge area and long span of time that must be taken into consideration.

    (Robert C. Henrickson)

  • CERAMICS xi. The Achaemenid Period

    Although information on architecture and sculpture at major Achaemenid sites in Persia is plentiful, knowl­edge of the pottery of this period is almost totally lacking.

    (Rémy Boucharlat and Ernie Haerinck)

  • CERAMICS xii. The Parthian and Sasanian Periods

    the distribution pattern of pottery characterized by a wide range of different techniques and styles was quite complex, probably owing to diverse environments that have traditionally been reflected in major differences in the material culture of Persia.

    (Rémy Boucharlat and Ernie Haerinck)

  • CERAMICS xiii. The Early Islamic Period, 7th-11th Centuries

    Early Islamic pottery has been found in two main regions of Persia: Ḵūzestān and the Persian Gulf and the Persian plateau, including Khorasan. Study of all Islamic pottery of the first four hundred years has been dominated by the finds from Sāmarrā in Meso­potamia.

    (David Whitehouse)

  • CERAMICS xiv. The Islamic Period, 11th-15th centuries

    A large variety of pottery types from different parts of the country has been attributed to this general period, notably incised and slip-carved earthenwares, which have been published under a variety of labels, as proper attributions have so far been impossible.

    (Ernst J. Grube)

  • CERAMICS xv. The Islamic Period, 16th-19th centuries

    Although several European travelers to Persia in the 17th century reported active potteries at some cities, there are no detailed records that would assist in attributing specific pieces surviving from the rule of the Safavid dynasty (1501­-1732) to any one of them.

    (Yolande Crowe)


    See under individual cereals.



    (also jerīk, from Mongol tserig “warrior[s]”), originally troops sent by an individual or camp (yort) to serve in the royal army.

    (Willem Floor)


    See ČARKAS.


  • CERULLI, Enrico

    (born Naples, 15 February 1898; died 1988), Italian orientalist and diplomat.

    (Filippo Bertotti)


    See ĀHŪ.


  • CEŠT

    a small settlement on the north bank of the Harirud and to the south of the Paropamisus range in northwestern Afghanistan, lying approximately 100 miles upstream from Herat in the easternmost part of the modern Herat welāyat or province.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)


    the name of an influential Sufi order in India, derived from the name of the village of Češt.

    (Gerhard Böwering)


    (Gk. Chaarēnḗ), in Achaemenid times one of the easternmost Iranian provinces and the one closest to India.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    Of all the Turkic languages Chaghatay enjoyed by far the greatest prestige. For instance, the khans of the Golden Horde and of the Crimea, as well as the Kazan Tatars, wrote in Chaghatay much of the time.

    (Gerhard Doerfer)


    name given to the descendants of Čengīz Khan’s second son Čaḡatai, who reigned in Transoxania until ca. 771/1370 and in parts of Turkestan down to the 11th/17th century.

    (Peter Jackson)





    in Persia; chalcolithic is a term adopted for the Near East early in this century as part of an attempt to refine the framework of cultural developmental “stages” (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages) and used by students of western European prehistory.

    (Elizabeth F. Henrickson)


    (Kaldu), West Semitic tribes of southern Babylonia attested in Assyrian texts from the early 9th century B.C.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)


    a national federation of local chambers and syndicates created in Esfand 1348 Š./March 1970 through the merger of various local chambers of commerce and the national chamber of industries and mines of Iran.

    (Ahmad Ashraf)


    (Oṭāq-e aṣnāf), a federation of various guilds formed in 1350 Š./1971 under the “guild-organization act” (Qānūn-e neẓām-e ṣenfī) in most urban centers.

    (Ahmad Ashraf)


    See ḤĀJEB.



    (1750-ca. 1813), English poet and translator. His three books devoted to Persian litera­ture were all first published in India. The earliest contains English odes in imitation of the poems of Ḥāfeẓ, mostly on the theme of wine and drinking.

    (Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak and Estelle Whelan)


    an eminent Parsi layman who lived in the 15th-16th centuries A.D. at Navsari in Gujarat.

    (Mary Boyce and Firoze M. Kotwal)


    (Spasinou) in pre-Islamic times; Characene is the name Pliny gives for the later region of Mesene (called Mēšān or Mēšūn in Middle Persian, Maysān/Mayšān in Syriac, and Maysān in Arabic) in southernmost Mesopotamia, which formed a political district of that name in the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods.

    (John F. Hansman)


    town in the Seleucid and Parthian province of Rhagiana, the area around modern Ray.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    car­bonized wood and other vegetal material, an important household and industrial fuel in Persia and Afghanistan.

    (Willem Floor)


    (born Paris, 16 November 1643, died Chiswick, London? 5 January 1713), an Huguenot jeweler who traveled extensively in Asia and wrote the most detailed foreign account of the Persia of his time.

    (John Emerson)


    Greek historiographer, who participated in Alexander’s expedition and wrote “Stories about Alexander” (Perì Aléxandron historí;ai), of which fragments remain.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    chariots in ancient Iran were light horse-drawn, two-wheeled vehicles designed for speed and maneuverability in battle and races.

    (William W. Malandra)


    (MPers. ruwānagān lit. “relating to the soul”), pious endow­ments to benefit the souls of the dead, as specified by the individual founders. i. In the Sasanian period. ii. Among Zoroastrians in Islamic times.

    (Maria Macuch; John R. Hinnells, Mary Boyce, and Shahrokh Shahrokh)


    originally verbal formulas recited to prevent or ward off potential harm by magical power but now also denoting written and even talismanic magic.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    Greek historiographer, son of Pytho­cles or Pythes.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (Hellen Robert Toussaint; b. 17 December 1884, d. 5 July 1935), Swedish Indologist, Indo-Europeanist, and Iranist, born in Gothenburg as the son of an army officer.

    (Bo Utas)





    (b. Springfield, Mass., 22 February 1847), regarded by Bahais as the first Amer­ican Bahai and the first Bahai of the West.

    (Moojan Momen)


    (b. Lyons, France, 5 October 1865, d. Fontenay-aux-Roses, 29 January 1918), French sinologist who also contributed to the study of Iranian history and religions.

    (Werner Sundermann)


    In Persia and Afghanistan both nomadic pastoralists and sedentary peasants make the same basic kinds of domestic cheese. The only clear distinction is between acid and rennet cheeses, both made from mixed milks, except in Gīlān; there acid cheeses are usually prepared from cow’s and buffalo’s milk and rennet cheeses from ewe’s and goat’s milk.

    (Daniel Balland)


    See KĪMĪĀ.



    a board game.

    (Bo Utas,Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi)


    a collection of manuscripts, printed works, and artifacts, predominantly Oriental, assembled by Alfred Chester Beatty and opened to the public in Dublin in 1954.

    (Wilfrid Lockwood, J. T. P. de Bruijn, Michel Tardieu)


    (Qian Han shu) “History of the Former Han Dynasty,” a historical work which includes information on Iran.

    (Edwin G. Pulleyblank)


    township in the upper Indus valley in Pakistani-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, almost directly south of Gilgit and located on the new Karakorum high­way between Pakistan and China.

    (Karl Jettmar)


    This series of articles covers children and child-rearing in Iran and Iranian lands.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CHILDREN i. Childbirth in Zoroastrianism

    The Zoroastrian community has traditionally regarded marriage as having a threefold function: to propagate the human race, to spread the Zoroastrian faith, and to contribute to the victory of the good cause. The birth of a child furthers each of these objec­tives.

    (Jenny Rose)

  • CHILDREN ii. In Modern Persian Folklore

    Childbirth ( zāymān , formal ważʿ-e ḥaml ) in traditional Persian society, as in many other cultures, has generally been associated with magical practices and superstitions.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)

  • CHILDREN iii. Legal Rights of Children in the Sasanian Period

    Although the corpus of Sasanian civil law was designed primarily to regulate matters among the lower classes, that is, the common people and slaves, the portions on adop­tion, inheritance, guardianship, and the like were equally applicable to the upper classes.

    (Mansour Shaki)

  • CHILDREN iv. Legal Rights of Children in Modern Persia

    A person is consid­ered a minor ( ṣaḡīr ) until he or she has attained the physical and psychological growth necessary for full participation in society. When a child has reached the age of maturity ( bolūḡ ) determined by the law he ir she is consid­ered mature ( bāleḡ ).

    (Shirin Ebadi)

  • CHILDREN v. Child Rearing in Modern Persia

    The topic of child rearing (from birth to social adulthood in the mid-teens) is largely neglected in systematic research; there are no comparative studies of child-rearing practices among different ethnic and cultural groups in the country and only a few specialized studies.

    (Erika Friedl)

  • CHILDREN vi. Child Rearing Among Zoroastrians in Modern Persia

    In the first half of the 13th/20th century most children were born at home with the assistance of the midwife. Immediately after birth the infant was bathed to cleanse it of polluting substances and wrapped in pieces of cloth called landog .

    (Janet Kestenberg Amighi)

  • CHILDREN vii. Children's Literature

    Up to the Constitutional movement the standard curriculum of traditional Persian elementary schools (maktabs), which were pri­vately operated, included the alphabet, the Koran, selec­tions from popular Persian poetry and prose, and the traditional sciences.



    Greek title of one of the chief offices of state in Achaemenid Persia, presumably translated from Old Persian hazārapati-, attested in Greek as azarapateîs, explained as eisaggeleîs, that is, announcers or ushers.

    (Philippe Gignoux)


    This series of articles deals with Chinese-Iranian relations spanning from Pre-Islamic times to the Constitutional Revolution in Iran.

    (Multiple Authors)


    Contact between China and Iran was initiated toward the end of the 2nd century B.C.E. by the envoy Chang Ch’ien (Zhang Qian), who searched for the Yüeh-chih (Yue-zhi), a people that had migrated from the borders of China after having been defeated by the Hsiung-nu (Xiongnu).

    (Edwin G. Pulleyblank)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS ii. Islamic Period to the Mongols

    Ṣīn in Arabic sources referred not only to China but also to eastern Turkestan and the Far East as a whole, whereas Chinese texts rarely distinguished among Persian, Central Asian, and Arab Muslims.

    (John Michael Rogers)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS iii. In the Mongol Period

    The incorporation of Persia into a vast empire that extended as far as China, following the conquests of Čengīz (Chinggis) Khan (602-24/1206-27) and his grandson Hülegü (Hūlāgū; 654-63/1256-65), inaugurated an era of intense contact between Persia and China.

    (Liu Yingsheng and Peter Jackson)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS iv. The Safavid Period, 1501-1732

    In the Safavid period relations with China were, unsurprisingly, indirect. In eastern Khorasan the Uzbeks and their successors blocked the land route to northwest­ern China through Transoxania.

    (John Michael Rogers)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS v. Diplomatic and Commercial Relations, 1949-90

    There were three distinct periods in Chinese-Persian diplomatic relations: 1328-49 Š./1949-70, 1350-57 Š./ 1971-78, and 1358-69 Š./1979-90.

    (Parviz Mohajer)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS vi. Relations with Afghanistan in the Modern Period

    Throughout history China and Afghanistan shared a certain amount of trade, mostly tea and fruit, via the direct caravan route from Chinese Turkestan across the high passes of the Pamirs and the Wāḵān corridor to northern Afghanistan.

    (Daniel Balland)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS vii. Persian Settlements in Southeastern China during the T’ang, Sung, and Yuan Dynasties

    Chinese authorities granted the foreign merchant communities in the major port cities a certain amount of autonomy.

    (Chen Da-Sheng)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS viii. Persian Language and Literature in China

    The earliest Persian inscription in China is the tombstone of the Zoroastrian Ma (Pahl. *Māhnūš), wife of General Su-liang (Pahl. Farroxzād; Humbach), inscribed in both Pahlavi and Chinese and dated 874, has been discovered at Xi-an, the capital of Shan-xi province.


  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS ix. Persian Language Teaching in Modern China

    Persian has been taught in Muslim schools in China since the 1920s.


  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS x. China in Medieval Persian Literature

    In medieval writings Čīn may mean either China proper or eastern Turkestan; when it refers to the latter China proper is sometimes called Māčīn (contraction of Skt. Mahāčīna “great China”).

    (Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xi. Mutual Influence of Chinese and Persian Ceramics

    Chinese ceramics were the single most important stimulus to the development of fine pottery in the Islamic world, arriving first in the 3rd/9th century.

    (Oliver Watson)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xii. Mutual Influences in Painting

    In the Chinese cultural sphere Persian artistic influence was at its peak under the Tang dynasty (618-906 c.e.), contemporary with the end of the Sasanian period (30/651) and the first centuries after the Islamic conquest.

    (Toh Sugimura)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xiii. Eastern Iranian Migrations to China

    There are two different stages in the history of Eastern Iranian migrations to China: the first, still extremely obscure, is dominated by Bactrian immigrants, coming from Bactriana and the Kushan empire, and the second, from the fourth to the ninth century CE is dominated by Sogdians.

    (Étienne de la Vaissière)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xiv. The Influence of Eastern Iranian Art

    Aspects of the artistic taste in personal adornment of the nomadic tribal confederations of northeast Asia, can be seen in the late 1st-millennium Chinese decorative metalwork.

    (M. L. Carter)


    Information on those Sasanians who avoided the submission to the Arabs and lived in Central Asia or at the Tang court can be found in the works of Muslim authors and in Chinese sources.

    (Matteo Compareti)

  • CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xvi. Impact of the Constitutional Revolution in Iran

    The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-11 attracted the attention of the Chinese constitutionalists and revolutionaries immediately upon breaking out.

    (Yidan Wang)


    (Sinkiang, Xinjiang), IRANIAN ELEMENTS IN.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN i. Geographical Overview

    The eastern portion of the Central Asian land mass (see central asia i. geography), between 70° and 100° E and 25° and 45° N, encompasses Chinese Turkestan, now Sinkiang (Xin-jiang) Uighur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.


  • CHINESE TURKESTAN ii. In Pre-Islamic Times

    In antiquity the Tarim and Dzungar (Zungar, Jungar) basins lay at the crossroads of three main Eurasian routes including the Southern Silk Road, the Northern Silk Road, and a northern route passing between the Bogdo-ola (Bo-ko-tuo) range and the Tien Shans.

    (Victor Mair and Prods Oktor Skjærvø)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN iii. From the Advent of Islam to the Mongols

    Chinese influence in the Tarim basin began to wane after the battle of Talas (Ṭarāz) in 134/751, though Islam did not gain a permanent foothold there until much later.

    (Isenbike Togan)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN iv. In the Mongol Period

    On the eve of the Mongol conquests the eastern oases were inhabited by the Uighur Turks. T he eastern oases south of the Takla Makan were controlled by the Tangut. The western portion of the Tarim basin was inhabited by a mixture of Turkic and Iranian peoples, many of whom were Muslims.

    (Morris Rossabi)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN v. Under the Khojas

    Although an indigenous Muslim and non-Muslim Turkic literature is attested in eastern Turkestan from an early period, the earliest surviving works embodying the historical traditions of the Chaghatayids in the 16th century are in Persian.

    (Isenbike Togan)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN vi. Iranian Groups in Sinkiang since the 1750s

    Between the late 17th and 19th centuries many Iranian-speaking peoples from Šeḡnān (Shughnan) and Wāḵān (Wakhan) migrated to the region of the eastern Pamirs around Lake Zorkul, and mingled with the nomadic groups of Iranian descent already established there.

    (Kim Ho-Dong)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN vii. Manicheism in Chinese Turkestan and China

    Manicheism was probably introduced into Inner Asia by Sogdian (Hu) merchants, though the process of its diffusion there is entirely obscure.

    (Samuel Lieu)

  • CHINESE TURKESTAN viii. Turkish-Iranian Language Contacts

    Contacts between the Iranian peoples and the Turks occurred at least as early as 552 C.E., when the Turks spread from their northern settlements and established an empire extending from the Greater Khingan mountains to the Aral Sea and Sogdians farther west.

    (Gerhard Doerfer)





    or Chikara (Gazella bennetti, Indian gazelle), a small antelope of slender build; its tawny coat has poorly marked facial and body stripes.

    (Khushal Habibi)


    a tribe of probable Iranian origin that was prominent in Bactria and Transoxania in late antiquity.

    (Wolfgang Felix)


    See CLOTHING i. Median and Achaemenid periods, iii. Sasanian period.



    The Chitral river drains the eastern Hindu Kush in the north and a spur of the Hindu Raj on the south and east. With its deeply incised bed and braided stream channels it constitutes the upper tract of the Kunar (Konar), which debouches into the Kabul river, a tributary of the Indus.

    (Nigel J. R. Allan, Georg Buddruss)


    Chlorite ranges in color from light gray to deep green and darkens when exposed to fire; it was highly valued during certain prehistoric periods. Elaborate stone ves­sels carved with repeating designs, both geometric and naturalistic, in an easily recognizable “intercultural style,” were made primarily of chlorite.

    (Philip Kohl)


    name of an eastern Iranian tribe (perhaps located in western Bactria), mentioned only by Pomponius Mela in an enumeration of the inhabitants of the interior lands.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    the name of two Iranian towns mentioned by Ptolemy.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    or CHOARENE; a town or village in Parthia mentioned by Ptolemy (6.5.3) and called “the most attractive place of Parthia” by Pliny.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (or Coaspēs), ancient name of three rivers.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    Although at first the Chobanids maintained the fiction that they were vassals of the ruling house of Hülegü (Hūlāgū), after the collapse of Il-khanid authority they became effectively independent rulers of the areas that they were able to seize.

    (Charles Melville and ʿAbbās Zaryāb)


    (b. 30 August 1804, in Krzywicze, Poland in the Russian Empire [the city is now in Belarus] , d. Noisy-le-Sec, near Paris, 19 December 1891), Polish poet and diplomat, the first European scholar to work on Persian folklore.

    (Jean Calmard)


    It is possible to extrapolate some general conclusions about the routes by which cholera reached Persia. It arrived three times via Afghanistan, three times overland from the west, only twice through the Persian Gulf (the second time without spreading to the plateau), and perhaps once across the Caspian.

    (Xavier De Planhol, Daniel Balland)


    region on the lower reaches of the Oxus (Amu Darya) in western Central Asia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CHORASMIA i. Archeology and pre-Islamic history

    At the turn of the 3rd millennium b.c.e. the Neolithic Kel’teminar culture flourished in the Chorasmian oasis (Vinogradov, 1968; idem, 1981). Remains of the Bronze Age Suyargan.

    (Yuri Aleksandrovich Rapoport)

  • CHORASMIA ii. In Islamic times

    The Islamic history of Ḵᵛārazm begins with the two invasions of Arab troops under the governor of Khorasan Qotayba b. Moslem Bāhelī in 93/712, who intervened in the region on the pretext of internecine strife among members of the native Afrighid dynasty of ḵᵛārazmšāhs

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)

  • CHORASMIA iii. The Chorasmian Language

    Old Chorasmian was written in an indigenous script descended from the Aramaic, brought to the region by the administration of the Achaemenid empire and characterized by heter­ography, that is, the occasional writing of Aramaic words to represent the corresponding Chorasmian.

    (D. N. MacKenzie)


    In the mid-19th century, coins that had been found in Russia and showed certain similarities to Indo-Parthian and Kushan coinages were for the first time identified as Chorasmian. In 1938, Sergei P. Tolstov (1907-76), who had conducted preliminary archeological fieldwork in the lower basin of the Oxus river, accepted this interpretation.

    (B. I. Vainberg)


    Sogdian nobleman and opponent of Alexander.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    (b. Copenhagen 9 January 1875, d. Copenhagen 31 March 1945), Danish orientalist and scholar of Iranian philology and folklore.

    (Jes P. Asmussen)


    This entry treats Christianity in pre-Islamic Persia as seen through literary sources and material remains, in Central Asia, in Christian literature in Middle Iranian languages, in Manicheism, and in Persian literature. It also covers Christian influences in Persian poetry and Christian missions in Persia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CHRISTIANITY i. In Pre-Islamic Persia: Literary Sources

    In Middle Persian there are three terms used for Christians: KLSTYDʾN and NʾCLʾY in the inscription on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt of the 3rd-century Zoroastrian high priest Kartir; and tarsāq, Sogdian loan-word trsʾq, New Persian tarsā.

    (James R. Russell)

  • CHRISTIANITY ii. In Pre-Islamic Persia: Material Remains

    Although Christians may have been among the deportees from Roman Syria who worked on the monuments of Šāpūr I (240-70 c.e.) at Bīšāpūr (q.v.) and the dam at Šūštar, nothing identifiably Christian has been excavated in Persia itself.

    (Judith Lerner)

  • CHRISTIANITY iii. In Central Asia And Chinese Turkestan

    By the late 3rd century the Syrian church was strongly established in the western Persian empire. The Nestorian church of Persia (“Church of the East”) conducted the most significant and endur­ing missionary work in Transoxania and beyond.

    (Nicholas Sims-Williams)

  • CHRISTIANITY iv. Christian Literature in Middle Iranian Languages

    In Persia itself Syriac eventually regained its status as the sole literary and liturgical language of the church, with the result that none of this Christian Persian literature survived, apart from a few texts preserved in Syriac translation, such as two legal works by the metropolitans Išoʿbōḵt and Simon.

    (Nicholas Sims-Williams)

  • CHRISTIANITY v. Christ in Manicheism

    In Manicheism, as in earlier gnostic systems, the terms Christ (Gk. “the anointed”) and Jesus Christ were used in various ways, though less commonly than the name Jesus alone.

    (Werner Sundermann)

  • CHRISTIANITY vi. In Persian Literature

    Christian beliefs and institutions are frequently mentioned in various genres (lyric, epic, didactic, mystic), and many works contain allusions to legends of Christian saints, martyrs, and ascetics.

    (Qamar Āryān)

  • CHRISTIANITY vii. Christian Influences in Persian Poetry

    Persian poetry contains a good number of allusions to Jesus Christ (ʿĪsā Masīḥ), Mary (Maryam), and Christians (naṣārā, tarsā) in general. Most of the images and ideas expressed in poetry are elaborations of the Koranic data about Jesus and his virgin mother, though sometimes developed very ingeniously.

    (Annemarie Schimmel)

  • CHRISTIANITY viii. Christian Missions in Persia

    Christianity was introduced in Persia in the Parthian period, and several bishoprics were established there. The Persian church was itself active in proselytizing abroad at the end of the Sasanian period (224-651) and immediately after.

    (Yahya Armajani)


    Captain (d. 1812), of the Bombay Regiment, an Anglo-Indian officer under the command of Sir John Malcolm.

    (Kamran Ekbal)


    FeCr2O4, a dark-brown or black mineral from which chromium is refined.

    (Raḥmat-Allāh Ostovār)


    a Syriac church history of Adiabene, written in the 6th century by Mĕšīḥā-Zĕḵā. A remarkable account from the Parthian period is that of the Feast of the Magi in the month of Iyyār. Equally noteworthy is the account of the fall of the Arsacids and the beginning of the reign of the Sasanians in 224.

    (Peter Kawerau)


    a short local history of Edessa (modern Urfa), written in Syriac by an anonymous author and covering chiefly the period from 201-540 C.E. Events such as incursions by the Huns (403-04, 531) and relations be­tween the Byzantine and Sasanian empires are noted briefly.

    (Sebastian P. Brock)


    dates incorporated into Persian texts in disguised form, espe­cially those in which the letters of the alphabet have numerical value.

    (J. T. P. de Bruijn)





    (Quan-zhou, formerly Jin-jiang; in Islamic sources Zaytūn), Chinese city in southeastern Fu-jian (Fukien) province on the lower reaches of the Jin-jiang river. See CHINA VIII. PERSIAN SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHEASTERN CHINA.


  • CHUBAK, Sadeq

    (1916-1998), one of most acclaimed Persian short story writers and novelists of the 20th century.

    (Mohammad R, Ghanoonparvar)








    There are three distinct ways in which milk is normally processed. In the first it is heated, pressed, and squeezed dry to make cheese (panīr). Cheese making is uncommon in the Persian world. The other two methods begin with conversion of the milk into yogurt.

    (Marcel Bazin and Christian Bromberger)

  • CIA




    an Iranian personal name signifying “brave in lineage.”

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    See ČĒČAST.



    as a source for Parthian history; letters written by Roman statesman and political philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 b.c.e.) preserve a virtually unique con­temporary extra-Iranian source on Parthian military and diplomatic activities and the Roman response to them, particularly during the military-campaign season of 51­-50 b.c.e.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    (Selected precepts of the ancient sages), a post-Sasanian compendium of apothegms intended to instruct every Zoroastrian male, upon his attaining the age of fifteen years, in fundamental religious and ethical principles, as well as in the daily duties incumbent upon him.

    (Mansour Shaki)





    one of the lost nasks of the Avesta.

    (D. N. MacKenzie)


    the southeastern portion of the present Turkish coast, a satrapy of the Achaemenid empire (6th-4th centuries BCE, subsequently incorporated into the Macedonian and Roman empires.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    See DRŌN.



    See KUSTĪG.



    a nomadic people, most likely of Iranian origin, who flourished in the 8th-7th centuries B.C.

    (Sergei R. Tokhtas’ev)


    the first governor of Khorasan and Māzandarān on behalf of the Mongols.

    (Peter Jackson)


    This series of articles treats the history of cinema in Persia, Persian feature film, Persian documentary films, film censorship in Persia, and filmography in Persia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CINEMA i. History of Cinema in Persia

    Regularly scheduled film screenings were introduced in Tehran by Ārdāšes Batmāngarīān, known as Ardašīr Khan, who had worked at Pathé in Paris at the turn of the century.

    (Farrokh Gaffary)

  • CINEMA ii. Feature Films

    Feature-film production in Persia spans six decades and can be divided into four distinct periods, each reflecting contemporary social, cultural, and political realities.

    (Jamsheed Akrami)

  • CINEMA iii. Documentary Films

    Be­fore World War I most Persian documentaries were sponsored and viewed only by the Qajar ruling family and the upper classes. They were apparently technically primitive and in a simple narrative format, consisting of footage of news events, topics of current interest, and spectacles, usually filmed in long shot.

    (Hamid Naficy)

  • CINEMA iv. Film Censorship

    Persian cinema has been subject from its beginnings to official censorship responding to the concerns of the government, religious establishments, professional groups, and even film distributors.

    (Jamsheed Akrami)

  • CINEMA v. Filmography

    A list of films discussed in i-iv above, listed here by year of release and alphabetically within each year. When the information is available producers are listed after the translated titles.


  • ČĪNĪ

    (lit. “Chinese”; borrowed in Arabic as ṣīnī), generic term for Chinese ceramic wares, including porcelain, a translucent, white-bodied ware fired at very high temperatures.

    (John Carswell)


    See DĀRČĪNĪ.



    putative rival of Artabanus II (12-38) as king of the Arsacids.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    the “wish-fulfilling jewel,” a motif consisting of either a single globe with a pointed extension at the apex or three such globes; either version could be surrounded by a flaming halo.

    (Priscilla P. Soucek)


    traditionally thought to mean “the bridge of the separator” but recently shown to be “the bridge of the accumulator/collector,” the name of a bridge that, according to a Mazdayasnian/Zoroastrian eschatological myth, leads from this world to the next and must be crossed by the souls of the departed.

    (Aḥmad Tafażżolī)


    See ČARKAS.



    a Roman border fortress in Mesopotamia, on the spit of land formed where the Ḵābūr, the present-day al-Boṣayra, flows into the Euphrates (see maps in Kettenhofen).

    (Joseph Wieseh)


    Pers. ḵatna, sonnat (formally also taṭhīr or ḵetān), ḵatnakonān, and sonnatkonān; the last two terms also refer to the festivities associated with the circumcision ritual.

    (Ebrāhīm Šakūrzāda and Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    (ca. 675-640 BCE), the son of Achaemenes, legendary founder of the Achaemenid dynasty and father of Darius’s great-grandfather Ariaramnes.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    a name for the Susians, the Elamite inhabitants of Susiana.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    and Čisti; Avestan derivatives of the verb cit “to notice, to understand.”

    (Jean Kellens)


    See RIDDLE.



    See ĀB-ANBAR.


  • ČĪT

    cotton cloth decorated with block-printed or painted designs in multiple colors.

    (Jennifer M. Scarce)


    i. Geographical introduction. ii. City planning, construction, and architecture. See Supplement. iii. Administration and social organization. iv. Modern urbanization and modernization in Persia. v. Modern urbanization and modernization in Afghanistan. vi. Urban Informal Settlements in Modern Iran.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CITIES i. Geographical Introduction

    There is a long history of settlement on Persian territory, where urban life was firmly established in antiquity, and cities continued to proliferate, though, owing to fluctuations in the population, they were highly unstable.

    (Xavier De Planhol)




  • CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization

    This article on the administration and social organization of Persian cities in the Islamic period discusses the following terms and offices: aḥdāṯ, amīr, amīr al-sūq, beglarbegī, ʿasas, čerāḡčī, dārūḡa, dārūḡa-šāgerd, dārūḡačī, dīvānbegī, farrāš, gazma, goḏaṛčī, ḥākem, kadḵodā, kalāntar, mehmāndār-bāšī, mīr-šab, mīrāb, moḥaṣṣes, moḥtaseb, moqtaʿ, naqīb, naqīb al-ašrāf, raʾīs, ṣāḥeb al-šorṭa, šeḥna, wālī.

    (Ann K. S. Lambton)

  • CITIES iv. Modern Urbanization and Modernization in Persia

    Over a period of decades the rapidly growing popula­tion of Persia has simultaneously become increasingly urbanized. More and more people live in increasingly larger cities, and the largest cities tend to grow at a rate above the average.

    (Eckart Ehlers)

  • CITIES v. Modern Urbanization and Modernization in Afghanistan

    Since 1359 Š./1980 the flight of millions of Afghans, not only out of the country but also to relatively secure cities like Kabul and Mazār-e Šarīf, has been reflected in a sharp increase in the level of urbanization.

    (Erwin Grötzbach)

  • CITIES vi. Urban Informal Settlements in Modern Iran

    This article discusses the development of informal settlements in Iran and the evolution of government policies and programs dealing with them.

    (Pooya Alaedini)


    the legal, political, and social status of every person who belongs to a state.

    (Multiple Authors)


    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)


    (Mansour Shaki)


    (Naser Yeganeh)


    See ČEHR.



    Iranian personal name meaning “with shining splendor.”

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)





    in Persia, only the citrus trees and fruits of the genus Citrus L. (family Rutaceae, subfamily Aurantioideae) need be considered.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    (anjoman-e šahr) in Persia.

    (Ḥosayn Farhūdī)


    (qānūn-e madanī) of Persia, a series of regulations controlling all civic and social relations between individuals in the various circumstances of their lives.

    (Naser Yeganeh)


    (ṭabaqāt-e ejtemāʿī), a generic term referring to various types of social group, including castes, estates, status groups, and occupational categories.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CLASS SYSTEM i. In the Avesta

    The evidence for the existence of a highly developed class structure in the community in which the Avestan texts were composed is very slight, and the available information must be culled from sources chronologically as far apart as the Avesta itself and the Pahlavi texts.

    (Prods Oktor Skjærvø)

  • CLASS SYSTEM ii. In the Median and Achaemenid Periods

    There are strong grounds for supposing that, for some purposes at least, Persians still defined their class structure in terms of the ancient Iranian social divisions outlined in parts of the Avesta, where individuals are classified by basic function as priests, warriors, and farmers.

    (Pierre Briant)

  • CLASS SYSTEM iii. In the Parthian and Sasanian Periods

    The scant and fragmentary information available on the Parthian period does not permit a comprehensive descrip­tion of social structure; in fact, the vast but decentralized empire encompassed a variety of social structures.

    (Mansour Shaki)

  • CLASS SYSTEM iv. Classes In Medieval Islamic Persia

    A new social stratification and conception of inequality seems to have gradually emerged under the influence of: (1) Islamic ideals of equality and merit; (2) pre-Islamic Persian and Arabian ideals and practices of social inequality; and above all (3) rivalries among social groups over wealth, prestige, and power.

    (Ahmad Ashraf and Ali Banuazizi)

  • CLASS SYSTEM v. Classes in the Qajar Period

    During the Qajar period there continued to be a fundamental division between a narrow stratum of courtiers, state officials, tribal leaders, religious notables, landlords and great merchants at the top and the vast majority of peasants, tribespeople, and laborers in agriculture, traditional industries, and services at the bottom.

    (Ahmad Ashraf and Ali Banuazizi)

  • CLASS SYSTEM vi. Classes in the Pahlavi Period

    The major social classes leading to the revolution in 1979, consisted of professionals, bureaucrats, the bourgeoisie, the traditional middle and lower-middle classes, the heterogeneous working classes, and the agrarian classes.

    (Ahmad Ashraf and Ali Banuazizi)


    (d. 2 April 1412), ambassador from King Henry III of Castile and Leon to Tīmūr in the years 805-08/1403-06 and author of an important travel account.

    (Beatrice Forbes Manz and Margaret L. Dunaway)


    This article treats cleansing practices in Zoroastrianism and in Islamic Persia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CLEANSING i. In Zoroastrianism

    Cleansing is conceived as a cosmic and individual activity is an essential element in Zoroastrianism, which teaches that the assault of the Evil Spirit, Angra Mainyu, brings defilement on all the good creations of Ahura Mazdā and that they, in their struggle for salvation, must ceaselessly strive to rid themselves of it.

    (Mary Boyce)

  • CLEANSING ii. In Islamic Persia

    The identification of unclean objects (najāsāt) and of the factors or agents that, within certain limits, may cleanse them (moṭahherāt) depends more on the interpretation of prophetic tradition and on juristic deduc­tion than it does on clear Koranic injunctions.

    (Hamid Algar)


    (b. ca. 390 or 410 BCE, the latter date based on Memnon’s report of his age as fifty-eight years at his death in 352), tyrant of Pontic Heracleia (modern Ereğli) in 363-52 BCE.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (b. Sparta ca. 450 BCE, d. Babylon 401 BCE), son of Rhamphias, Greek general in the service of Cyrus the Younger.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (Gk. Kleí;tarchos), Greek histo­rian of the 4th century BCE, son of the historian Dinon of Colophon and author of a history of the exploits of Alexander the Great.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (1865-1940), Ger­man Protestant theologian and historian of religions who compiled the classical passages on Iranian reli­gion.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)

  • CLEMENT of Alexandria

    (Titus Flavius Clemens, probably b. Athens ca. 150 C.E., d. Cappadocia ca. 215), Greek convert to Christianity who became the leading theologian of his time, a polemicist particularly noted for his attempts to reconcile Greco-Roman thought with Christian teachings.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    the unknown author of a work of fiction falsely ascribed to Pope Clement I (88-­97 CE) and now generally known as the Pseudo­-Clementines, which contains passages reflecting myths and teachings of Persian origin.

    (Marie-Louise Chaumont)


    in Roman sources a designation for a Parthian armored cavalryman. See ASB; ASB-SAVĀRĪ.



    The Persian national weather service first began publishing its observations only in the year 1956, when a network of synoptic observation stations was first constructed in confor­mity with international standards; detailed data for many parts of the country are thus available for only about twenty-five or thirty years.

    (Eckart Ehlers)


    (kešvar), ancient division of the earth’s surface.

    (Aḥmad Tafażżolī)


    devices for measuring and registering time.

    (Willem Floor)


    (1818-1855), French anatomist and French minister to the court at Tehran 1846-55, serving as personal physician to Moḥammad Shah (r. 1834-48) and Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah Qājār (r. 1848-96).

    (Lutz Richter-Bernburg)


    (Ar. and Pers. lebās, Pers. pūšāk, jāma, raḵt). The articles in this series are devoted to clothing of the Iranian peoples in successive historical periods and of various regions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CLOTHING i. General remarks

    Of the twenty-seven subsequent articles in this series eleven are devoted to clothing of the Iranian peoples in successive historical periods and fourteen to modern clothing of various regions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Persia. The remaining two are compilations of terminology for various types of garment in these settings.


  • CLOTHING ii. In the Median and Achaemenid periods

    Several overgarments were associ­ated with court dress. The vest was worn by Darius the Great, the Persepolitan monster-slaying hero, and the Persian and Elamite throne bearers represented on the tombs. IBeing sleeveless, it left the wearer free to move quickly.

    (Shapur Shahbazi)

  • CLOTHING iii. In the Arsacid period

    The Parthian period, when the Arsacid dynasty ruled, or claimed to rule, Persia, was the period in which trousers and sleeved coats became common garb throughout the Near East. These garments, the direct ancestors of modern dress, crossed political and ethnic boundaries and were worn from northern India to Syria, continuing Achaemenid styles.

    (Trudi Kawami)

  • CLOTHING iv. In the Sasanian period

    Variation of the veiled tunic is seen on a series of silver-gilt vases and ewers depicting female dancers and generally dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. In these images the veil, instead of being worn over the shoulder, is draped below the hips, with its ends wrapped around the arms.

    (Elsie H. Peck)

  • CLOTHING v. In Pre-Islamic Eastern Iran

    Modern knowledge of the dress of the eastern Iranian peoples is derived from literary and archeological sources, which can be compared, though with caution. Although there were regional differences, as well as a broad change over time, on the whole the costume remained fairly uniform.

    (Gerd Gropp)

  • CLOTHING vi. Of the Sogdians

    The most common type of male outer garment was a caftan with long, tapered sleeves; a round neck; and slits on the sides of the skirt. The neckline, lapels, cuffs, hem, and side slits were trimmed with fabric of another pattern. The caftan was worn belted.

    (Aleksandr Naymark)

  • CLOTHING vii. Of the Iranian Tribes on the Pontic Steppes and in the Caucaus

    Both sexes wore caftans open in front, trou­sers, and a tunic with a round neck opening and long side slits, convenient for riding horses.

    (S. A. Yatsenko)

  • CLOTHING viii. In Persia from the Arab conquest to the Mongol invasion

    There is evidence that styles of the late Sasanian period in Persia continued to be worn for some time after the Islamic conquest. The costume worn by “Bahrām Gōr” in a relief from the same site probably reflects that of a man of high rank.

    (Elsie H. Peck)

  • CLOTHING ix. In the Mongol and Timurid periods

    The few Mongol and Timurid garments that survive almost all come from tombs; they reveal more about material and weaves, designs and colors, than about cut.

    (Eleanor Sims)

  • CLOTHING x. In the Safavid and Qajar periods

    Pictorial sources for both the Safavid and Qajar periods provide a comprehensive survey of costume types and are thus an important tool, as long as it is remembered that Persian painting is often idealized and standardized.

    (Layla S. Diba)

  • CLOTHING xi. In the Pahlavi and post-Pahlavi periods

    Office workers and other urban residents who favored modernity gradually adopted the sardārī (frock coat), trousers, and even on occasion Western suits. In 1928 the cabinet resolved that all male Persians dress uniformly in Western style.

    (ʿAlī-Akbar Saʿīdī Sīrjānī)

  • CLOTHING xiii. Clothing in Afghanistan

    The most diagnostic item of clothing is headgear; and even the ubiquitous turban (Pers. langōtā, dastār, Pashto paṭkay, pagṛi), which can vary in length from 3 to 6 m, takes on distinguishing characteristics, depending on the arrangement of folds.

    (Nancy Hatch Dupree)

  • CLOTHING xiv. Clothing of the Hazāra tribes

    In the 1950s Hazāra women made all the family clothing, and they also wove barrak on a horizontal loom of a type common in Afghanistan. Cotton is cultivated in the warmer southern part of Hazārajāt, for example, in Šahrestān (formerly Sepāy) in Dāy Zangī and farther south in Orūzgān and Jāḡūrī; profes­sional male weavers make the traditional cotton cloth called karbās on a loom of a type found extensively in southern and western Asia.

    (Klaus Ferdinand)

  • CLOTHING xv. Clothing of Tajikistan

    The most common traditional garment is a straight dress, widening at the bottom, worn over trousers. The long, full sleeves generally cover the hands, though in some mountain regions sleeves are closely fitted to the wrists. Another type of dress is cut straight, with a yoke and inset sleeves.

    (Guzel’ Maĭtdinova)

  • CLOTHING xvi. Kurdish clothing in Persia

    In western Azerbaijan Mahābād is the main urban center for the Kurds. Women there wear balloon-shaped trousers (darpe), 4-6 m wide, fitted at the ankles, and a long pleated dress (kerās), 4-5 m wide, with a round neck­line and long sleeves.

    (Shirin Mohseni and Peter Andrews)

  • CLOTHING xvii. Clothing of the Kurdish Jews

    Everyday men’s clothes were made from handwoven sheep’s wool. Suits for weddings and other festive occasions were of handwoven mohair. These suits were embellished with embroi­dery. According to infor­mants, expensive fabrics for women’s and children’s clothes were also handmade of wild silk, from worms that feed on oak trees in the region.

    (Ora Shwartz-Beeri)

  • CLOTHING xviii. Clothing of the Baluch in Persia

    The basic garments are variations of the traditional and tribal costume characteristic of Persia as a whole: a long, loose robe with a round neckline, a slit down the center of the bodice, and long, wide sleeves tapering toward the wrists, worn over a chemise and wide trousers narrowing at the ankles and with a drawstring at the waist.

    (Iran Ala Firouz and Mehremonīr Jahānbānī)

  • CLOTHING xix. Clothing of the Baluch in Pakistan and Afghanistan

    There is some variation in apparel among tribes, especially in specific embroidery designs and in the terminology applied to garments and embroidery patterns. The northern tribes wear heavier clothing as protection in the colder climate.

    (Pamela Hunte)

  • CLOTHING xx. Clothing of Khorasan

    The male costume includes either a tasseled black cap, around which a shawl is wrapped; a hood woven of black lamb’s wool, which covers the head from above the eyebrows to the neck; a traveling hood, which covers the face, with an opening for the eyes; or a hat made of lambskin.

    (Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Beyhaqī)

  • CLOTHING xxi. Turkic and Kurdish clothing of Azerbaijan

    Traditional costume, now worn largely in a tribal context, retains the form of garments as they were at the end of the 19th century; it is only among Kurdish, rather than Turkic, men that elements have survived the reforms of Reżā Shah in everyday wear.

    (P. A. Andrews And M. Andrews)

  • CLOTHING xxii. Clothing of the Caspian area

    In several aspects the traditional dress (Gīlaki lebās ; Ṭāleši ḵalā ) of Gīlān and Māzandarān bears a struc­tural resemblance to that of other rural regions of Persia. It is constructed in successive layers, often of similar pieces superimposed, like women’s skirts or men’s shirts in winter.

    (Christian Bromberger)

  • CLOTHING xxiii. Clothing of the Persian Gulf area

    Hormozgān is the main focus here. Women’s clothing consists of four basic parts: head covering, dress, trousers, and shoes. The normal head covering is a rectangular black scarf of thin silk (maknā) wrapped round the head and fastened on top with a metal pin (čollāba).

    (R. Shahnaz Nadjmabadi)

  • CLOTHING xxiv. Clothing of the Qašqāʾī tribes

    In the 19-20th centuries the Qašqāʾī constituted a tribal confederacy of people of ethnolinguistically diverse origin; they were predominantly nomadic pastoralists who migrated seasonally between the low­lands and the highlands in the southern Zagros mountains. They created their own distinctive dress from market-derived goods and the work of village and urban craft specialists.

    (Lois Beck)

  • CLOTHING xxv. Clothing of the Baḵtīārīs and other Lori speaking tribes

    Members of the Lori-speaking ethnic groups, including the Lors themselves, the Baḵtīārīs, and the Boīr-Aḥmadīs are characterized by similar styles of dress, with variations reflecting differences in tribe and social class of the wearer, variations that can have strong symbolic meaning, particularly among the Baḵtīārīs.

    (Jean-Pierre Digard)

  • CLOTHING xxvi. Clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen

    Until the 1970s the clothing and jewelry of the Turkmen formed the most elaborate tribal costume still used in Persia. The principal women’s garment is a shift (köynek), formerly of silk, now replaced by synthetic fibers.

    (P. A. Andrews)

  • CLOTHING xxvii. Historical lexicon of Persian clothing

    The lexicon has been compiled from personal observations, descriptions in Persian and other sources, and from old paintings, drawings, and photographs.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)

  • CLOTHING xxviii. Concordance of clothing terms among ethnic groups in modern Persia

    This concordance has been compiled from xiii-xxvi, above.



    Large tracts of central Persia and the adjacent arid plateaus of Afghanistan lie under cloudless skies for most of the year, which contributes to typical “conti­nental” climatic conditions.

    (Eckart Ehlers)


    See ŠABDAR.



    See DALQAK.


  • COAL

    Ordinary Per­sians claimed that, as they could not burn coal in their water pipes, they had no need of it. Only Europeans living in Tehran and Tabrīz used coal for heating; they collected it from the surface in bas­kets.

    (Willem Floor)





    a chemical element that imparts a blue color to glass and glazes and to certain pigments.

    (Elisabeth West FitzHugh and Willem M. Floor)


    eponymous founder of the Chobanid dynasty and the leading Mongol amir of the late Il-khanid period.

    (Charles Melville)




  • COCK

    the male of the subfamily Phasianinae (pheasants), usually having a long, often tectiform tail with fourteen to thirty-two feathers.

    (James R. Russell, Mahmoud Omidsalar)





    the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera L., which grows in the East Indies, as well as in most other humid tropical regions.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    It is likely that substitution ciphers were used by early Persian states, for nearly identical versions were still in use in Qajar Persia. During the reigns of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah and Moḥammad Shah (1834-48) the minister Abu’l-Qāsem Qāʾemmaqām devised a number of letter-substitution codes for communicating with different princes and viziers.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)


    a manuscript of eighty-two paper leaves, measuring approximately 20 x 14 cm, preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale of the cathe­dral of San Marco in Venice and comprising princi­pally vocabularies and texts of the Northwest Middle Turkic language of the Cumans, or Komans, recorded in Latin script.

    (D. N. MacKenzie)


    forty-three Avestan and Pahlavi codices acquired by Rasmus Kristian Rask (1787-1832) in Bombay, India, and Niels Ludvig Westergaard (1815-1878) in Persia, all originally de­posited in the library of the University of Copenhagen but later transferred to the Royal Library.

    (Jes P. Asmussen)





    a drink made by steeping in boiling water the dried, roasted, and ground berries of the coffee tree (Coffea arabica).

    (ʿAlī Āl-e Dāwūd)


    a shop and meeting place where coffee is prepared and served.

    (ʿAlī Āl-e Dawūd)





    Čoḡā Bonut is important because it has provided evidence of the earliest stages of settled agricultural life in Ḵuzestān. It is a small mound; in its truncated and artificially rounded state it has a diameter of about 50 m and rises just over 5 m above the surrounding plain.

    (Abbas Alizadeh)


    Čoḡā Mīš was occupied continuously, except for one or two presumably short breaks, from approximately the late 6th millennium to the late 4th millennium b.c.e. and must have played a key role in the cultural and social development of the region.

    (Helene J. Kantor)


    prehistoric site on the Dehlorān (Deh Luran) plain, dating back to the 8th millennium BCE. Excavation of a step trench in 1969 uncovered six archeological phases representing some 1,500 years of occupation, but there remain older deposits as yet unexcavated.

    (Frank Hole)


    or Chogha Zanbil, a city founded by the Elamite king Untaš Napiriša (ca. 1275-40 B.C.E.) about 40 km southeast of Susa at a strategic point on a main road leading to the highlands. After his death it remained a place of religious pilgrimage and a burial ground until about 1000 B.C.E.

    (Elizabeth Carter)


    See BEET.



    (also čoḡor, čogūr, more commonly called sāz in former Soviet Azerbaijan), is the typical pyriform lute of the ʿāšeq, the professional minstrel of Azerbaijan.

    (Jean During)


    During the reign of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (1797-1834) the first steps toward a modern currency were taken. At the Tabrīz and Isfahan mints well-executed silver and gold coins were struck along with the normal, less carefully minted products, with full, even pressure and reeded edges similar to those found on contemporary British Indian coins.

    (Stephen Album, Michael L. Bates, Willem Floor )


    ancient Greek name of the region at the eastern end of the Black Sea and south of the Caucasus mountains, corresponding to the Georgian provinces of Imeretia, Mingrelia (Samegrelo), Guria and Ač’ara and the Pontic regions of northeastern Turkey.

    (Fridrik Thordarson)

  • COLETTI, Alessandro

    (b. Trieste, 1928, d. Rome, 1985), Italian scholar of Iranian languages and general oriental subjects, co-author with his wife, Hanne Grünbaum, of the most comprehensive Persian-Italian dictionary (1978) published in modern times.

    (Adriano Rossi)


    term used to designate the American College, founded by Presbyterians and later renamed: see ALBORZ COLLEGE.



    For important individual colleges, see EDUCATION; FACULTIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN.



    or Codex Manichaicus Coloniensis, a lump of parchment fragments the size of a matchbox, containing a portion of the life and teachings of Mani, discovered in 1969 at an indeterminate spot in the area of Asyūṭ (ancient Lycopolis) in upper Egypt, the smallest ancient codex known to date.

    (Werner Sundermann)


    (Pers. rang). i. Color symbolism in Persian literature. ii. Use and importance of color in Persian art.

    (Annemarie Schimmel, Priscilla P. Soucek)


    one of several kinds of upright, load-bearing architectural members encompassed, along with piers, in the term sotūn. In the Achaemenid palaces at Persepolis and Susa columns, whether plain or fluted, reached a height of 19 m and a diameter up to 1.60 m; they were topped by double-protome capitals, themselves an additional 8 m high.

    (Wolfram Kleiss)


    See KŪMEŠ.



    the portion of southwestern Asia Minor bordered on the east by the Euphrates river, on the west by the Taurus mountains, and on the south by the plains of northern Syria. It was part of the Achaemenid empire and successor kingdoms and did not achieve status as an independent kingdom until the mid-2nd century BCE.

    (Michael Weiskopf)


    within Persia and between Persia and other regions.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • COMMERCE i. In the prehistoric period

    In this early period “commerce” is best defined as the movement or exchange of material or goods between cultures within the present boundaries of Persia and those in other regions.

    (Oscar White Muscarella)

  • COMMERCE ii. In the Achaemenid period

    The longest of many caravan routes was the Royal Road, which stretched for nearly 2,400 km from Sardis in Asia Minor through Mesopotamia and down the Tigris to Susa; stations with service facilities were located every 25-30 km along its length.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)

  • COMMERCE iii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods

    There are few contemporary sources on commerce in the Parthian period, and no archeological site on the Persian plateau has yielded finds that shed light on the subject.

    (Richard N. Frye)

  • COMMERCE iv. Before the Mongol Conquest

    There were no centers of trade of supraregional importance in either Persia or Central Asia during the Middle Ages. In the Islamic world Baghdad, the seat of the caliphate, was the primary center for the exchange of goods, which arrived overland or by sea through the port of Baṣra at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

    (Bertold Spuler)


    See Supplement.


  • COMMERCE vi. In the Safavid and Qajar periods

    The Dutch and English East Indies companies were the first well-capitalized trading partners established in Persia, initially providing a much-needed source of cash for the shahs. In return the companies demanded and obtained treaties (in 1617 and 1623) granting them freedom of trade.

    (Willem Floor)

  • COMMERCE vii. In the Pahlavi and post-Pahlavi periods

    A prominent feature of Persian export trade was the steady rise in both the value and volume of oil shipments through almost the entire Pahlavi period until the Revolution, when this trend was reversed. Because of the large increase in price in 1352 Š./1973 the value of Persian oil exports climbed substantially more than the volume in the 1970s. Other exports fared less well.

    (Vahid Nowshirvani)


    the growth of post, telegraph, and telephone service in Persia was closely linked with the growth of railway and highway networks and other modern transportation systems; it was thus a central element in the development of a modern infrastructure in Persia.

    (Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi and ʿAlī Mohammadi)


    Communism i. In Persia to 1941, ii. In Persia from 1941 to 1953, iii. In Persia after 1953, iv. In Afghanistan, v. In Tajikistan (see Supplement).

    (Multiple Authors)

  • COMMUNISM i. In Persia to 1941

    The Persian communist movement was born among Persian immigrant workers in the Baku oilfields. In the years 1323-25/1905-07 some of them had founded Ferqa-ye ejtemāʿīyūn-e ʿāmmīyūn-e Īrān.

    (Cosroe Chaqueri)

  • COMMUNISM ii. In Persia from 1941 to 1953

    With the Anglo-Soviet occupation of Persia and the abdication of Reżā Shah on 25 Šahrīvar 1320 Š./16 September 1941, the climate for resumption of political activities was vastly improved.

    (Sepehr Zabih)

  • COMMUNISM iii. In Persia after 1953

    Whereas in the previous period Persian communism had been embodied primarily in the Tudeh party, which followed the ideological and political dicta of the Soviet Union, after the coup d’etat of 1332 Š./1953 it was characterized by ideological and organizational diversity.

    (Torāb Ḥaqšenās)

  • COMMUNISM iv. In Afghanistan

    The Afghan Communist party, Ḥezb-e demōkrātīk-e ḵalq-e Afḡānestān was officially founded in 1344 Š./1965, at a time when political parties were illegal in Afghanistan. Two other durable Afghan Marxist-Leninist groups were active in the same general period.

    (Anthony Arnold)


    See Supplement.





  • COMPUTERS in Persia

    electronic data-processing equipment, in Persia.

    (Moḥammad-Reżā Moḥammadīfar)


    (emtīāzāt), grants by a state to citizens, aliens, or other states of rights to carry out specific economic activities and of capitulatory rights on its territory.

    (Willem Floor, Mansoureh Ettehadieh [neẓām māfī])





    (Konfederāsīūn-e jahānī-e moḥaṣṣelīn wa dānešjūyān-e īrānī etteḥādīya-ye mellī), an organization purporting to be the political and corporate (ṣenfī) representative of Persian students abroad, as well as in Persia, during the 1960s and 1970s.

    (Afshin Matin-Asgari)


    tribal groups commonly comprise several levels of organization, from a nomad camp to (sometimes) a nation-state, with different criteria defining membership of groups at each level.

    (Richard Tapper)


    i. In the Zoroastrian faith. ii. In Manicheism.

    (Jes P. Asmussen)


    the custom of conveying congratulations on such happy occasions as the birth of a child, a birthday anniversary, a marriage, a coronation, or a national or religious festival.

    (Žāla Āmūzgār)


    See DERAḴT.



    See QERĀN.



    (b. before 444 BCE., d. after 392 BCE), a leading Athenian admiral during the Peloponnesian and Corinthian wars.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)





    in almost every historical period some restoration of Persian monuments has been undertaken either by state authorities or through the efforts of charitable individuals.

    (Eugenio Galdieri and Kerāmat-Allāh Afsar)


    a complex of beliefs attributing the course of Persian history and politics to the machinations of hostile foreign powers and secret organizations.

    (Ahmad Ashraf)


    See Šāpur II.



    The first and only two constellations to be named in Old Iranian sources are Ursa Major and the Pleiades, in the Younger Avesta. The next possible mentions of constellations are of two kinds, both dating from late Middle Persian times but only actually attested in works or manuscripts from the Islamic period.

    (D. N. MacKenzie)


    In 1979, Persia was declared an Islamic republic. Until then there had been little discussion, outside religious circles, of the conception of welāyat-e faqīh (lit. “mandate of the jurist”) propounded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    (Said Amir Arjomand)


    When Amir ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Khan (r. 1297-1319/1880-1901) acceded to power, he established a centralized monarchy in Afghanistan for the first time.

    (M. Ḥassan Kākaṛ)


    (Enqelāb-e mašrūṭa) of 1323-29/1905-11, during which a parliament and constitutional monarchy were established in Persia.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION i. Intellectual background

    The establishment of a constitutional regime in Persia was the chief objective of the Revolution of 1323-29/1905-11.

    (Abbas Amanat)


    After 1308/1890 the Persian government found itself in increasing financial difficulties, as inflation produced a sharp decline in the value of the land tax and the silver qerān lost value against the pound sterling with the rapid fall of international silver prices at the end of the 19th century.

    (Vanessa Martin)


    The term for “constitution” in Persia, qānūn-e asāsī (lit. “fundamental law”), was borrowed from the Ottoman empire in the 19th century.

    (Said Amir Arjomand)


    In the decade 1329-39/1911-21, from the Russian ultimatum and the dissolution of the Second Majles until the coup d’etat of 1299 Š./1921, the Constitution was put to a series of crucial tests.

    (Mansoureh Ettehadieh)

  • CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION v. Political parties of the constitutional period

    Political parties were first officially organized after Moḥammad-ʿAlī Shah was forced to abdicate in 1327/1909, at about the time elections for the Second Majles were beginning.

    (Mansoureh Ettehadieh)


    There are no statistics on literacy in Qajar Persia, but it can be conjectured that the literate population was very small. Until the beginning of the Pahlavi era there were people who could “read” the Koran and prayer books, for teaching in religious schools consisted of memorizing koranic passages.

    (ʿAlī-Akbar Saʿīdī Sīrjānī)

  • CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION vii. The constitutional movement in literature

    “constitutional literature” refers here to literature produced from the late 19th century until 1339=1300 Š./1921, under the impact of aspirations for reform and the constitutional movement.

    (Sorour Soroudi)


    The most frequent building material in Iranian cultural areas has always been mud, which is available everywhere. When wet, it can simply be plastered on walls without shaping. Alternatively, it can be tempered and formed into large blocks with more or less rectangular sides.

    (Wolfram Kleiss)


    In 1933, Iran’s first cement plant, the state-owned company Simān-e Ray (100 tons per day), became operational in Ray. It had only 360 workers in 1936, but after expansion in 1939 to a capacity of 300 tons per day it had 1,000 workers. Its output did not suffice to satisfy domestic demand.

    (Willem Floor)


    See ECONOMY.



    (1429-99), Venetian merchant and diplomat, author of a noteworthy report on Persia under the Āq Qoyunlū Uzun Ḥasan.

    (Filippo Bertotti)


    (1395-ca. 1469), Venetian merchant who traveled in the east from 1414 until 1438.

    (Paola Orsatti)


    See KEŠVAR.



    (usually ʿaqd), legally enforceable undertakings between two or more consenting parties.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev, Mansour Shaki, EIr)


    the act of adopting another religion.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CONVERSION i. Of Iranians to the Zoroastrian faith

    Although modern Zoroastrians question whether their religion even allows conversion, Zoroastrianism, as an ethical and essentially monotheistic religion based on a historical figure, originally had pronounced missionary characteristics, as is clear from the extent of its dissemination.

    (Gherardo Gnoli)

  • CONVERSION ii. Of Iranians to Islam

    Iranians were among the very earliest converts to Islam, and their conversion in significant numbers began as soon as the Arab armies reached and overran the Persian plateau.

    (Elton L. Daniel)

  • CONVERSION iii. To Imami Shiʿism in India

    South Asians adopted Imami, or Twelver, Shiʿism in great numbers, mostly after the Safavid conquest of Persia in the first decade of the 16th century.

    (Juan R. I. Cole)

  • CONVERSION iv. Of Persian Jews to other religions

    In the Achaemenid, Seleucid, and Parthian periods relations between the Jews and the Persian authorities were friendly, and there is no evidence of forced or voluntary conversion of Jews to Zoroastrianism.

    (Amnon Netzer)

  • CONVERSION v. To Babism and the Bahai faith

    In 1279/1863 the prominent Babi Bahāʾ-Allāh, while in exile in Baghdad, had declared himself to a very small group of close disciples and relatives as the messianic figure ( man yoẓheroho ʾllāh ) whose advent had been pre­dicted by Sayyed ʿAlī-Moḥammad Šīrāzī, the Bāb.

    (Juan R. I. Cole)

  • CONVERSION vi. To Protestant Christianity in Persia

    The conversion of Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, Muslims, and Zoroastrians in Persia to Protestantism as the result of missionary activity by foreign societies and national churches is discussed here.

    (Paul S. Seto)

  • CONVERSION vii. To the Zoroastrian faith in the modern period

    Modern Zoroastrians disagree on whether it is permissible for outsiders to enter their religion. Now scattered in small minority communities in Persia, India, Europe, and North America and without a reli­gious hierarchy, the Zoroastrians are governed by councils and high priests whose authority is only local.

    (Pargol Saati)


    classical, in Persian; relatively few books in Persian exclusively devoted to the prepa­ration of food are known, even though references to a highly developed cuisine in Persia in premodern times are found in medical, religious, historical, and poetic texts.

    (Mohammad R. Ghanoonparvar)


    (kolūča, nān-e kolūča, kolīča) in Persia; in this article the cookies most frequently made in major Persian cities today, both traditional types and those reflecting foreign influence, will be described.

    (Ṣoḡrā Bāzargān)


    i. In ancient Iran. ii. In Pahlavi literature. iii. Principles and ingredients of modern Persian cooking. iv. In Afghanistan.

    (Multiple Authors)


    (b. Wakefield, Massa­chusetts, 23 June 1904, d. Gloucester, Massachusetts, 4 June 1981), American anthropologist and educator.

    (Robert H. Dyson, Jr.)


    (šerkat-e taʿāwonī), economic organizations owned jointly by and operated for the benefit of groups of individuals. Such cooperatives were first introduced and recognized in Persia under the Commercial code (Qānūn-e tejārat) of 1303 Š./1924, which provided for both production (tawlīd) and consumer (maṣraf) cooperatives.

    (Amir I. Ajami)


    or ČEPOQ, a long-stemmed pipe with a small bowl for smoking tobacco, distinct from the ḡ/qalyān, or water pipe.

    (Willem Floor)

  • COPPER i. In Islamic Persia

    the metallic element Cu.

    (James W. Allan and Willem Floor)

  • Copper ii. Copper resources in Iran

    With the advancement of the knowledge of metallurgy in the Achaemenid era, finely crafted copper and bronze objects were created, continuing on through ancient times. The medieval Arab traveler Abu Dolaf wrote about the Nišāpur copper mine, but the extent of the deposits in Iran became known only from accounts of European travelers from the Safavid period onwards.

    (Manṣur Qorbāni and Anuširavān Kani)


    See ĀB-E DEZ.



    primary source text fragments, written in previously undeciphered or little-known languages and scripts which considerably changed the interpretation and apprecia­tion of Manicheism.

    (Aloïs van Tongerloo)


    (ḥaqq-e moʾallef), a direct translatof the French droit d'auteur; the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, and sell the matter or form of a created work, for example, a novel or musical compo­sition.

    (Karīm Emāmī)


    the skeletal deposit of marine polyps, often treated as a gem material.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    b. Mīrzā Fāżel, historian of the 17th-century Chaghatay khanate in Moḡūlestān and hagiographer and staunch supporter of the “Black Mountain” khojas.

    (Robert D. McChesney)


    (b. Paris 14 April 1903, d. Paris 7 October 1978), French philosopher and orientalist best known as a major interpreter of the Persian role in the development of Islamic thought.

    (Daryush Shayegan)


    an herb indigenous to the Mediterranean area, the Caucasus, and Persia and valued for its aromatic leaves and seeds.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    Mongol general and military gov­ernor in Persia, d. ca. 639/1242.

    (Peter Jackson)


    one of the first English surgeons to work in Persia and personal physician to the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā.

    (Kamran Ekbal and Lutz Richter-Bernburg)


    (b. Tabrīz 1822, d. Tabrīz 25 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1294/30 December 1877), a British physician in Tabrīz.

    (Moojan Momen)

  • CORN

    See ḎORRAT.



    the male cornel tree, a dogwood shrub with edible berries.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    in ancient Iran, the ceremonial act of investing a ruler with a crown.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    disposal of, in Zoroastrianism; in Zoroastrianism the corpse of a righteous believer was held to be the greatest source of pollution in the world, as the death of such a one represented a triumph for evil, whose forces were thought to be gathered there in strength.

    (Mary Boyce)


    (C.I.I.), an association devoted to the col­lection and publication of Iranian inscriptions and documents.

    (Nicholas Sims-Williams)


    Correspondence i. In pre-Islamic Persia, ii. In Islamic Persia, iii. Forms of opening and closing, address, and signature, and iv. On the subcontinent of India.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CORRESPONDENCE i. In pre-Islamic Persia

    There is no information about correspondence in Median times, except for a fictitiously paraphrased letter from Cyrus to Cyaxares that began “Cyrus to Cyaxares, greeting!”

    (Aḥmad Tafażżolī)

  • CORRESPONDENCE ii. In Islamic Persia

    In Islamic Persia letter writing (Ar.-Pers. tarassol < Ar. r-s-l “to send”) developed into a genre of great literary, historical, and social importance.

    (Fatḥ-Allāh Mojtabāʾī)

  • CORRESPONDENCE iii. Forms of opening and closing, address, and signature

    In this article the parts of the Persian letter are surveyed section by section, with comments on the general features, style, and stock formulas characteris­tic of each from early Islamic times to the present.

    (Hashem Rajabzadeh)

  • CORRESPONDENCE iv. On the subcontinent of India

    The chancellery of official and diplomatic correspondence was an organ of Indian Muslim political organization. At various times it was known as dīvān-­e resālat , dīvānal-enšāʾ , dīvānal-rasāʾel , or dār al-­enšāʾ .

    (Momin Mohiuddin)


    (or čortaka, čotka < Russ. schëty “abacus”), an ancient calculation device, a rectangle strung with parallel metal wires along which clay, metal, or wooden beads can be moved.

    (Yaḥyā Ḏokāʾ)


    See ČERĀM.



    See BĪGĀR.



    See CROW.



    prepara­tions for personal beautification, in Persian tradition used mainly by women on special occasions.

    (This article is based on information provided by Žāla Mottaḥedīn and Eqbāl Yaḡmāʾī.)


    theories of the origins and structure of the universe.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY i. In Zoroastrianism/Mazdaism

    The “orthodox” myth . The extant Avesta contains no systematic exposition of the cosmological beliefs of the people among whom it was composed and who eventually brought Zoroastrianism to western Iran.

    (Philip G. Kreyenbroek)


    That Mithraism had an elaborate cosmology, central to its doctrines, is proven first by the structure of its cult shrines (mithraea), which took the form of caves (real or artificial). As Porphyry (6) stated, the cave is an “image of the cosmos.”

    (Roger Beck)

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY iii. In Manicheism

    Manicheism, like contemporary Zoroastrianism and various gnostic sects, offered a detailed cosmogonic myth, or cosmology.

    (Werner Sundermann)

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY iv. In the Mazdakite religion

    The most important source for modern knowledge of Mazdakite cosmogony is the description of the Mazdakite religion in Ketāb al-melal wa’l-neḥal , writ­ten by Abu’l-Fatḥ Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Karīm Šahrestānī, in 624/1227, several hundred years after the period in which the sect flourished.

    (Werner Sundermann)

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY v. In Twelver Shiʿism

    Imami traditions contain a chaotic abundance of material portraying the origin and structure of the universe. Book XIV, “On the heavens and the earth,” of Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesī’s Beḥār al-anwār , fills ten volumes (LVII-LXVI) in the most recent edition and contains several thousand traditions.

    (Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi)


    The physical world consists of nine celestial spheres, the highest sphere, the sphere of the fixed stars, the seven spheres of the planets, as well as the sublunar world of generation and corruption.

    (Wilferd Madelung)


    It is in some respects redundant to speak of a “Shaikhi cosmology” distinct from that of Imami Shiʿism as a whole. Shaikhi ideas never developed independently of ordinary Shiʿite thought but were either part of it or in dialogue or conflict with it.

    (Denis M. MacEoin)

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY viii. In the Bahai faith

    First, the human mind is strictly finite and limited in knowledge and understanding. Second, no absolute knowledge of God or reality or the cosmos is therefore available to man. Third, from the above it follows that all conceptualizations and attempts by men to portray cosmology are “but a reflection of what has been created within themselves.”

    (Moojan Momen)


    a cavalry unit in the Persian army established in 1879 on the model of Cossack units in the Russian army. The formation of the Cossack Brigade was part of a larger process in which the Persian government, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, engaged various European soldiers to train units of the Persian armed forces.

    (Muriel Atkin)


    a tribe of mountain people settled in western Iran; their land was called Cossaea/Kossaîa.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)

  • COSTE, Pascal-Xavier

    (1787-1879), French architect, famous for the illustrated account of his travels in Persia. See FLANDIN AND COSTE.


  • COTTAM, Richard

    Cottam was convinced of the moral superiority of U.S. and allied forces in their fight against fascism in Europe and the Far East. This belief lingered for some time after the end of the war, allowing him to form an idealistic view of the validity of U.S. values in its post-war struggle against communism.

    (Susan Siavoshi)


    Cotton (panba < Mid. Pers. pambag; katān; in Isfahan kolūza; genus Gossypium), particularly the short-staple species Gossypium herbaceum, is cultivated in almost all parts of Persia, and is of great economic importance both for home consumption and for export.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • COTTON i. Introduction

    Cotton ( panba < Mid. Pers. pambag ; katān ; in Isfa­han kolūza ; genus Gossypium ), particularly the short-staple species Gossypium herbaceum , is cultivated in almost all parts of Persia, and is of great economic importance both for home consumption and for export.

    (Eckart Ehlers and Ahmad Parsa)

  • COTTON ii. Production and Trade in Persia

    Cotton was one of the first vegetable fibers used to make textiles, and, despite competition from synthetic fibers in recent times, it remains the most important nonfood agricultural commodity in the world.

    (Hassan Hakimian)

  • COTTON iii. In Afghanistan

    Two Iranian words, paḵta (< Tajik) and pomba (Pers. panba < Pahl. pambag), are currently used in Afghani­stan to designate raw cotton. Most people use them fairly indiscriminately, but specialists tend to confine the former to unginned, or seed, cotton and the latter to ginned, or fiber, cotton (Pashto mālūǰ/č).

    (Daniel Balland)

  • COUP D’ETAT OF 1299/1921

    the military coup that eventually led to the founding of the Pahlavi dynasty.

    (Niloofar Shambayati)

  • COUP D’ETAT OF 1332 Š./1953

    the appointment of Moḥammad Moṣaddeq as prime minis­ter of Persia on 9 Ordībehešt 1330 Š./29 April 1951 and the nationalization two days later of Persia’s British-owned oil industry initiated a period of tense confrontation between the Persian and British govern­ments.

    (Mark J. Gasiorowski)


    Courts and courtiers i. In the Median and Achaemenid periods, ii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods, iii. In the Islamic period to the Mongol conquest, iv. Under the Mongols, v. Under the Timurid and Turkman dynasties, vi. In the Safavid period, vii. In the Qajar period, viii. In the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavī, ix. In the reign of Moḥammad-Reżā Shah. See SUPPLEMENT, x. Court poetry

    (Multiple Authors)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS i. In the Median and Achaemenid periods

    From Herodotus’ report of the child Cyrus’ playing at being king it seems that the Median court included bodyguards, messengers, the “king’s eye," and builders, for it is likely that the game was modeled on the existing court.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS ii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods

    In the absence of records, a full picture of court life under the Parthians and Sasanians cannot be pieced together.

    (Philippe Gignoux)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS iii. In the Islamic period to the Mongol conquest

    In Persia the organization of courts (Pers. bār, bādrgāh, dargāh, darbār; in Arabic, there exists no more precise designation than majles, lit. “session”), including the formation of a circle of courtiers in the early centuries after the Islamic conquest, was directly inspired by the court life of the ʿAbbasid caliphs at Baghdad and Sāmarrāʾ.

    (C. Edmund Bosworth)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS iv. Under the Mongols

    During the early stages of the Mongol presence Persia was ruled, on behalf of the great khan (qaḡan, qaʾan/qāʾān) in Mongolia, by military governors based in Azerbaijan and in Khorasan, but, with the coming of Hülegü (Hūlāgū) in 654/1256 and the establishment of the Il-khanid state, the country was once again the seat of a resident sovereign.

    (Peter Jackson)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS v. Under the Timurid and Turkman dynasties

    Timurid and Turkman rulers and princes established outside of Samarquand and built them into important political and especially religious and cultural centers.

    (Monika Gronke)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS vi. In the Safavid period

    The organization of the court and its administration.

    (Roger M. Savory)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS vii. In the Qajar period

    The court (darbār, darbār-e aʿẓam, dar(b)-e ḵāna) in the Qajar period was essentially organized on the ancient Perso-Turkish model inherited from the Safavid and Zand courts but with modifications in practice and function largely designed to accommo­date the Qajars’ nomadic habits.

    (Abbas Amanat)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS viii. In the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavī

    When Reżā Shah (r. 1304-20 Š./1925-1941) acceded to the throne he retained a number of lower officials from the royal court of the Qajars, specifically those who had not been vocal in support of republicanism.

    (A. Reza Sheikholeslami)

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS x. Court poetry

    Until modern times there were strong incentives to patronize poets and other writers wherever the seat of power was renowned as a center of culture.

    (J. T. P. de Bruijn)


    See JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SYSTEMS v. Judicial System in the 20th Century.





  • COW

    See CATTLE.



    EDWARD BYLES (1826-1903), polymath, scholar, and translator from Indian languages and Persian.

    (Parvin Loloi)


    See POLO. Article Pending.



    (1864-1937), Sir, officer of the political service in the British Indian government who held several diplomatic posts in the Persian Gulf re­gion in 1893-1923 and played a leading role in nego­tiating the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919.

    (Floreeda Safiri)


    (1875-1943), Sir, Parsi economist and student of ancient Iranian mythology.

    (Kaikhusroo M. JamaspAsa)


    Although crafts have always played a predominant role in the artistic history of Persia, in this century new market forces and social currents have interacted with deeply rooted traditions to produce new types of objects, as well as variations on more familiar ones.

    (compiled from personal observations and reports by Carole Bier, Mehdī Ebrāhīmīān, Iran Ala Firouz, and Jay Gluck.)


    (kolang), any of the large migratory wading birds of the family Gruidae. The kolang is mentioned in the Bundahišn as one of 110 species of birds. In classi­cal Persian poetry the crane’s ability to fly high and far; its order, discipline, and characteristic whooping sounds in flight are mentioned.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    See CARRHAE.






    See BURIAL.



    (Krim-Tatar, Qırım-Tatar), name for various Turkic peoples who moved to the Crimean peninsula in the past and are now in other areas as well.

    (Dan Shapira)


    See JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SYSTEMS v. Judicial System in the 20th Century.



    the study of the causation, prevention, and correction of crime.

    (Parviz Saney)


    (nahang, Baluchi gandū), Croco­dylus palustris, the marsh crocodile. It inhabits fresh-water marshes, pools, and rivers, and probably the only suitable croco­dile habitat in Persian Baluchistan is along the Sarbāz river. The present intermittent distribution of this species in Pakistan and Persian Baluchistan represents a fragmentation of a once more continuous range during moister climatic regimes in the recent past.

    (Steven C. Anderson)


    generic name of a large number of hardy bulbous flowering plants of the family Iridaceae.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    last king of Lydia (r. ca. 560-546 B.C.E.) who pioneered the coining of gold and silver money, was defeated and captured by Cyrus in the plain beside Sardis.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    (born Ponchatoula, Loui­siana, 21 April 1861, d. Warrenton, Virginia, 2 Janu­ary 1947), collector of an important group of Khotanese texts.

    (Ronald E. Emmerick)

  • CROW

    a bird of the family Corvidae, represented in Persia and Afghanistan by six genera. Several of their features are more or less reflected in Persian literature and folklore. In poetry the blackness of the feathers (par[r]-e zāḡ) has often been used in similes to emphasize the blackness or darkness of a lock of hair, a certain night, clouds, and the like.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    (Pers. and Ar. tāj), royal and divine headdress.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CROWN i. In the Median and Achaemenid periods

    In the Achaemenid period rulers were represented wearing two different kinds of crown. Most common was a rigid cylinder with crenellated decoration, which had a long tradition in Persia; crenellations appeared on the Elamite rock relief at Kūrāngūn in Fārs and were revived again for the crown of the Pahlavi dynasty.

    (Peter Calmeyer)

  • CROWN ii. From the Seleucids to the Islamic conquest

    It was under the Sasanian mon­archs that the crown, quintessential symbol of royal power, received its most elaborate and varied forms. From the earliest representations it is clear that new shapes were not adopted immediately; rather, the royal headgear of the conquered enemy was at first contin­ued.

    (Elsie H. Peck)

  • CROWN iii. On monuments from the Islamic conquest to the Mongol invasion

    One of the most durable types of royal headgear was the winged crown, first observed on coins and reliefs of the Sasanian Bahrām II.

    (Elsie H. Peck)

  • CROWN iv. Of Persian rulers from the Arab conquerors

    Despite abhorrence of imperial titles and regalia in early Islamic traditions, Omayyad and ʿAbbasid governors, and the rulers of Ṭabarestān, continued to employ on their coins the iconography of the coins of the Sasanian rulers Ḵosrow II and Yazdegerd III.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)

  • CROWN v. In the Qajar and Pahlavi periods

    Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (r. 1797-1834) ordered the cre­ation of a tall, jeweled crown with eight peaks on a red velvet cap, the Kayānī crown. From that time on all Qajar kings wore this crown, which is now kept in the Bānk-e markazī-e Īrān (Central bank of Iran).

    (Yaḥyā Ḏokāʾ)

  • CROWN JEWELS of Persia

    the assemblage of jewels collected by the kings of Persia, kept now in the Bānk-e markazī-e Īrān (Central bank of Iran) in Tehran.

    (Patricia Jellicoe)


    See ḴĀṢṢA.



    the officially recognized heir apparent to the throne.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    by the French orientalist Henri Massé (b. Lunéville, France, 2 March 1886, d. Paris, 9 November 1969), published in 1938, one of the most compre­hensive and reliable texts on general Persian folklore in a Western language.

    (Mahmoud Omidsalar)


    in relation to Persia; the term “crusade” refers to a series of Christian holy wars fought in the Middle Ages against the Muslims in Syria and Palestine and subsequently elsewhere in the Near East and, by extension, to wars against other enemies, both within and outside Christendom, that were put on the same spiritual footing by the popes.

    (Peter Jackson)


    originally a type of fine glass developed in England in the 17th century and owing its special clarity and brilliance to the high refractive index of lead oxide in the metal; the term is often applied to fine glass in general.

    (Layla S. Diba)


    a pure, transparent variety of quartz, usually called “rock crystal” to distinguish it from crystal glass.

    (Brigitte Musche, Jens Kröger)


    (Gk. Ktēsí;as), Greek physician at the Achaemenid court and author of Persiká; (b. perhaps ca. 441 BCE).

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    (Ṭīsfūn), ancient city on the Tigris adjacent to the Hellenistic city of Seleucia, ca. 35 km south of the later site of Baghdad.

    (Jens Kröger)


    a category of folk dance found all over Persia (Hamada) and distinguished from other types of folk dance by the fact that the dancers carry sticks, which they strike together.

    (Robyn C. Friend)


    a stick 20-30 cm long formerly used by neighborhood shopkeepers, especially butchers and bakers, to keep accounts.

    (Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yusofi)

  • Čub-bāzi

    (music sample)


    Cucumis sativus L. (of the family Cucurbitaceae), in Persia generally called ḵīār (with occasional slight variants), a term that is also em­ployed to designate the fruit of certain other plants.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)





    See FARHANG.



    an umbelliferous plant of the Old World and its aromatic seeds.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    classical philologist and historian of religions, whose research resulted in a substantial contribution to the understanding of Mithraism and other oriental reli­gions in the Roman empire.

    (Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin)


    the Greek form of the name of a village located some 50 miles north of Babylon, where a decisive battle was fought on 3 September 401 B.C.E. between Cyrus the Younger and his brother Artaxerxes II.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)


    the conventional name for a system of writing ultimately derived from the pictographic script developed by the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia (Uruk) around 3000 B.C.E. Cuneiform was written with a reed stylus, which left wedge-shaped impressions on soft clay tablets.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)

  • ČŪPA

    See DANCE.



    or čōbān “shepherd” (Mid. Pers. and NPers. šobān); even today the shepherd remains a central figure, in both the technological life and consequently the symbolic life, of all systems of animal husbandry.

    (Jean-Pierre Digard)





    one who fills and distributes cups of wine, as in a royal household.

    (James R. Russell)





    (probably fl. 1st century CE), author of the only extant Latin mono­graph on Alexander the Great, usually called Historiae Alexandri Magni, in many respects the most complete and liveliest account of Alexander’s exploits in Asia.

    (Philip Huyse)


    (1859-1925), 1st Marquess of Kedleston, British statesman, traveler, and writer.

    (Denis Wright)


    a tax levied on the movement of trade. A new law ensuring Persian autonomy in establishing tariffs (ḥoqūq-e gomrokī) was enacted on 1 May 1928; it provided for an ad valorem tariff on most goods, with special rates for certain luxuries like gold, silver, and tobacco.

    (Willem Floor)


    (qeṭʿa “decoupage,” also monabbat-kārī “filigree work”), a type of applied ornament documented in Persian manuscripts and sometimes on bookbindings from the approximate period 895-1060/1490-1650.

    (Barbara Schmitz)


    (Gk. Kyaxá;rēs) king of Media in the 6th century B.C.E.

    (I. M. Diakonoff)


    CYLINDER SEALS. The seals of ancient Persia correspond in their types and use to those of Mesopotamia, beginning with amuletic pendants, which could also be used as seals, and developing into elaborately engraved seal stones, with a change in the Uruk period from stamp to cylinder seals.

    (Edith Porada)


    (sarv), Cupressus (Tourn.) L. The genus Cupressus is represented in Persia by one spe­cies (sempervirens L.), with three varieties: the cereiform (cereiformis Rehd.), called sarv-e nāz in Shiraz; the more common pyramidal or fastigiate, variously called sarv-e šīrāzī (Shiraz cypress) and sarv-e kāšī (Kāšān cypress); and the horizontal, known popularly by several names but usually referred to as zarbīn by modern Persian botanists.

    (Hūšang Aʿlam)


    The historical tradition, preserved for the most part by Diodorys Siculus, was much influenced by Isocrates’ erroneous perception of the Achaemenid empire as in a state of decline, seething with discontent and secret disloyalty to the great king.

    (Michael Weiskopf)

  • CYPRUS in the Achaemenid Period

    in the Achaemenid period. The kings of the southeastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus reportedly submitted willingly to Cyrus II and offered military assistance to the Persians in their campaigns against Caria and Babylon (539 BCE).

    (Antigone Zournatzi)


    Chris­tian martyrological text.

    (Nicholas Sims-Williams)


    (Gr. Kú;rou paideí;a, The educa­tion of Cyrus), a partly fictional biography of Cyrus the Great (559-29 b.c.e.), founder of the Achaemenid empire.

    (Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg)


    (Latin form of Gr. Kuroú;polis), ancient town in Central Asia probably founded by Cyrus the Great (559-30 B.C.E.).

    (Igor V. P’yankov)


    a tribe dwell­ing mainly in the mountains of Atropatenian Media together with the Cadusii, Amardi (or “Mardi”), Tapyri, and others.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    a Persian name, most notably of the founder of the Achaemenid empire, Cyrus the Great.

    (Multiple Authors)

  • CYRUS i. The Name

    Cyrus is a Persian name, most notably of the founder of the Achaemenid empire, Cyrus the Great and of the second son of Darius II.

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)

  • CYRUS ii. Cyrus I

    The evidence on the early Achaemenid king Cyrus I is as follows. Herodotus attested that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses and grandson of Cyrus.

    (A. Shapur Shahbazi)

  • CYRUS iii. Cyrus II The Great

    Cyrus II the Great (also known to the Greeks as Cyrus the Elder; b. ca. 600 B.C.E., d. 530 B.C.E.) was the founder of the Achaemenid empire.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)

  • CYRUS iiia. Cyrus II as Portrayed by Xenophon and Herodotus

    Xenophon, in his work The Education of Cyrus, makes Cyrus’s imperial founding the theme of a biography; for Herodotus, that founding dominates only Book 1 of nine parts apparently devoted to the Persian-Greek wars decades later.

    (Robert Faulkner)

  • CYRUS iv. The Cyrus cylinder

    The Cyrus cylinder is a fragmentary clay cylinder with an Akkadian inscription of thirty-five lines discovered in a foundation deposit by A. H. Rassam during his excavations at the site of the Marduk temple in Babylon in 1879.

    (Muhammad A. Dandamayev)

  • CYRUS v. The Tomb of Cyrus

    The tomb of Cyrus is generally identified with a small stone monument approximately 1 km southwest of the palaces of Pasargadae, in the center of the Morḡāb plain. According to Greek sources, the tomb of Cyrus II 559-29 B.C.E.) was located in the royal park at Pasargadae.

    (Antigone Zournatzi)

  • CYRUS vi. Cyrus the Younger

    (ca. 423-01 b.c.e.), the second of the four sons of Darius II (ca. 424-05) and Parysatis and a younger brother of Arsaces/Arsicas, later Artaxerxes II (405/4-359/8).

    (Rüdiger Schmitt)


    River in Fārs. See KOR.



    River in Central Asia. See KURA.


  • Čahār pāra

    (music sample)

  • Čahārmezrāb-e Homāyun

    (music sample)

  • Čahāršamba-suri

    (music sample)

  • Čakāvak

    (music sample)

  • Chahārgāh

    (music sample)

  • Čol Iroq

    (music sample)


    list of all the figure and plate images in the letter C entries