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(6,018 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(in Persian Lor with o short), an Iranian people living in the mountains in southwestern Persia. As in the case of the Kurds, the principal link among the four branches of the Lurs (Mamāsanī, Kūhgīlūʾī, Bak̲h̲tiyārī and Lurs proper) is that of language. The special character of the Lur dialects suggests that the country was Iranicised from Persia and not from Media. On the ancient peoples, who have disappeared, become Iranicised or absorbed in different parts of Luristān, see luristān . The name. Local tradition ( Taʾrīk̲h̲-i guzīda ) connects the name of the …


(1,093 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a dynasty of princes of Marāg̲h̲a. Distinction must be made between the eponym Aḥmadīl and his successors. Aḥmadīl b. Ibrāhīm b. Wahsūdān al-Rawwādī al-Kurdī was a descendant of the local branch of the originally Arab family of Rawwād (of Azd) established in Tabrīz (see rawwādids ). In the course of time the family became Kurdicized, and even the name Aḥmadīl is apparently formed with an Iranian (Kurdish) diminutive suffix -īl . Aḥmadīl took part in the anti-Crusade of 505/1111. During the siege of Tell Bās̲h̲ir, Jocelyn made an arrangement …


(5,425 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, geographically speaking, the highlands of Gīlān [ q.v.]. In the south, the lowlands of Gīlān proper are bounded by the Alburz range; the latter forms here a crescent, the eastern horn of which comes close to the Caspian coast (between Lāhīd̲j̲ān and Čālūs). In the centre of the crescent there is a gap through which the Safīd-rūd, formed on the central Iranian plateau, breaks through ¶ towards the Caspian Sea. Before entering the gorge at Mand̲j̲īl the river, flowing here from west to east, receives a considerable tributary, the S̲h̲āh-rūd, which, rising in t…


(400 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, “celestial sphere”, nom-de-plume ( tak̲h̲alluṣ ) of the Persian historian and man of letters, Mīrzā Muḥammad Taḳī of Kās̲h̲ān (d. Rabīʿ II 1297/March 1880). After a studious youth spent in his native town, he settied definitely in Tehran, where he found a patron in the poet-laureate ( malik al-s̲h̲uʿarāʾ ) of Fatḥ ʿAlī S̲h̲āh. On his accession (1250/1834), Muḥammad S̲h̲āh appointed him his private panegyrist ( maddāḥ-i k̲h̲āṣṣa ) and secretary and accountant in the treasury ( muns̲h̲ī wa-mustawfī-i dīwān ). The same S̲h̲āh entrusted him with the compo…


(109 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(in Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam : Awhar), a small town owing its importance to the fact that it lies half-way between Ḳazwīn (86 km) and Zand̲j̲ān (88 km.) and that from it a road branched off southwards to Dīnawar. It was conquered in 24/645 by Barāʾ b. ʿĀzib, governor of Rayy. Between 386/996 and 409/1029 it formed the fief of a Musāfirid [ q.v.] prince. The stronghold of Sar-d̲j̲ahān (in Rāḥat al-ṣudūr : Sar-čāhān), lying some 25 km. N.W. of Abhar near a pass leading into Tārom [ q.v.] played an important rôle under the Sald̲j̲ūkids. (V. Minorsky) Bibliography Le Strange, 221 Schwarz, Iran, 726-8 Minorsky,…


(803 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(Us̲h̲nuh, Us̲h̲nūya), a district and small town of Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. The modern town, known as Ushnuwiyya (Oshnoviyeh), situated in lat. 37° 03ʹ N., long. 45° 05ʹ E., is some 56 km/35 miles south of Urmiya [ q.v.], on which it has usually been administratively dependent. It is at present the cheflieu of a bak̲h̲s̲h̲ in the s̲h̲ahrastān of Urmiya. The present population (1991 census results) is 23,875. The district of Us̲h̲nū is watered by the upper course of the river Gādir (Gader) which, after traversing the district of Sulduz [ q.v.], flows into Lake Urmiya on the south-west. To …


(760 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, Süldüz , a Mongol tribe which played a considerable role in mediaeval Islamic history of the Mongol and II K̲h̲ānid periods. According to Berezin, the correct Mongol form would be Süldes (pl. of sülde “good fortune”; Vladimirtsov interpreted sülde as “le génie-protecteur habitant le drapeau”). L. Ligeti, Die Herkunft des Volksnamens Kirgis , in Körösi Csoma Archivum , i (1925), saw in the ending of Suld-uz, as in Ḳi̊rḳ-i̊z, the remains of an ancient Turkish plural suffix (cf. biz “we”, siz “you”, etc.) and as a hypothetical singular quoted the name of a Ḳi̊rg̲h̲i̊z clan Su…


(1,674 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(called in Nog̲h̲ay Turkish, Ḳuman , in Čerkes, Phs̲h̲iz ), one of the four great rivers of the Caucasus (Rion, Kura, Terek and Ḳuban). It is about 450 miles long. It rises near Mount Elburz at a height of 13,930 feet. Its three constituents (K̲h̲urzuḳ, Ulu-Ḳam, Uč-Ḳulan) join together before reaching the defile through which the Ḳuban enters the plains (at a height of 1,075 feet). The Ḳuban at first runs through the wooded outer spurs of the mountains and then, taking a westerly di…


(350 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, name of a Turkish tribe in Persia. In particular, the name refers to the ruling faroily of the Ḳarā-Ḳoyūnlū federation of Türkmen tribes (also called Bārānī). It is most probable that the name (“those of Bahār”) is connected with the village of Bahār (Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, x, 290: W. hān , read Vahār ) situated at 13 kms. north of Hamadān. According to Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī, Nuzha , 107 (Eng. transl. 106) the castle of Bahār served as residence to Sulaymān-s̲h̲āh b. Parčam Īwāʾī, who later became one of the three chief ministers of the caliph al…


(1,160 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a district of the Caspian coastlands region of Persia comprising the western half of Māzandarān [ q.v.]. Iranian tradition. According to Darmesteter, Avesta , ii, 416, Rūyān corresponds to the mountain called Raodita (“reddish”) in Yas̲h̲t , 19, 2, and Rōyis̲h̲nōmand in Bundahis̲h̲n , xii, 2, 27 (tr. West, 34). Al-Bīrūnī, Chronologie , ed. Sachau, 220, makes Rūyān the scene of the exploits of the archer Āris̲h̲ (cf. Ẓahīr al-Dīn Marʿas̲h̲ī, Taʾrīk̲h̲-i Ṭabaristān u Rūyān u Māzandarān , ed. Dorn, 18 [ Yas̲h̲t 8, 6, in this connection mentions the hill Aryō-xs̲h̲nθa]). In the …


(2,961 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, Mūg̲h̲ān . a steppe lying to the south of the lower course of the Araxes, the northern part of which (about 5,000 square km.) belongs to the Azerbaijan SSR and the other part (50-70 × ca. 50 km.) to Persia. The steppe which covers what was once the bottom of the sea has been formed by the alluvial deposits from the Kur (in Russian, Koura) and its tributary the Araxes. (The latter has several times changed its course and one of its arms flows directly into the gulf of Ki̊zi̊l-Aghač.) In the interior, the only water in Mūg̲h̲ān is…


(803 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town in the Zagros Mountains of western Persia, in the mediaeval Islamic province of D̲j̲ibāl [ q.v.], situated in lat. 34° 13’ N. and long. 48° 21’ E. and lying at an altitude of 1,786 m/5,860 feet. It is on the branch of the Gāmāsāb which comes from the south-east from the vicinity of Burūd̲j̲ird; the Gāmāsāb then runs westwards to Bisūtūn. Nihāwand lies on the southern road which, coming from Kirmāns̲h̲āh (Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih, 198), leads into central Persia (Iṣfahān) avoiding the massif of Alwand (’Οροω…

Sarpul-i D̲h̲uhāb

(575 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(“bridgehead of Zohāb”), a place on the way to the Zagros Mountains on the great Bag̲h̲dād-Kirmāns̲h̲āh road, taking its name from the stone bridge of two arches over the river Alwand, a tributary on the left bank of the Diyāla. Sarpul in the early 20th century consisted simply of a little fort ( ḳūr-k̲h̲āna = “arsenal”) in which the governor of Zohāb lived (the post was regularly filled by the chief of the tribe of Gūrān), a caravanserai, a garden of cypress and about 40 houses. The old town of Zohāb, about 4 hours to the no…


(204 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(aror) also written al-rūr , town in Sind; it is surmised to have been the capital of king Musicanus, defeated by Alexander the Great, and to be mentioned in the 7th century A.D. by Hiungtsang. The town was conquered by Muḥammad b. al-Ḳāsim before 95/714 (al-Balād̲h̲urī, Futūh , 439, 440, 445) and it is mentioned by al-Istak̲h̲rī, 172, 175, and al-Bīrunī, Hind (Sachau), 100, 130, according to whom it lay thirty farsak̲h̲s S-W of Multān and twenty farsak̲h̲s upstream from al-Manṣūra. The Indus used to flow near the town, but later it changed its course, destroying the pro…


(533 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
or Sonḳor , the name of a district and of a present-day small town in western Persia (town: lat. 34° 45′ N., long 47° 39′ E.). It lies in the Zagros Mountains between modern Kangāwar [see kinkiwar ] and Sanandad̲j̲ [ q.v.] or Sinna, within the modern province of Kirmāns̲h̲āh. In mediaeval Islamic times, it lay on the road between Dīnawar [ q.v.] and Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān, and must correspond approximately to the first marḥala on the stretch from Dīnawar to Sīsar, the name of which is read al-D̲j̲ārbā (al-Muḳaddasī, 382), K̲h̲arbārd̲j̲ān (Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih, 119; Ḳudāma, 212), etc. which was 7 f…


(203 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(or Ābaskūn ), a harbour in the south-eastern corner of the Caspian. It is described as a dependency of Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ān/Gurgān (Yāḳūt, i, 55: 3 days’ distance from Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ān; i, 91: 24 farsak̲h̲s). It might be located near the estuary of the Gurgān river (at Ḵh̲od̲j̲a-Nefes?). Al-Istak̲h̲rī, 214 (Ibn Ḥawḳal, 273) calls Abaskūn the greatest of the (Caspian) harbours. The Caspian itself was sometimes called Baḥr Abaskūn . Abaskūn possibly corresponds to Ptolemy’s Σωκανάα in Hyrcania (Gurgān). Several times Abaskūn ¶ was raided by Rūs pirates (some time between 250-70/864-84, a…


(3,476 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a mystic and poet who wrote in a Persian dialect. According to Riḍā Ḳulī Ḵh̲ān (19th century), who does not give his source, Bābā-Ṭāhir lived in the period of Daylamī rule and died in 401/1010. Among his quatrains there is an enigmatical one: “I am that sea ( baḥr ) which entered into a vase; that point which entered into the letter. In each alf (“thousand”, i.e. of years?) arises an alif-ḳadd (a man upright in stature like the letter alif ). I am the alif-ḳadd who has corne in this alf” . Mahdī Ḵh̲ān in the JASB has given an extremely curious interpretation of this quatrain: the letters alf-ḳd

Yag̲h̲mā D̲j̲andaḳī

(693 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, the tak̲h̲alluṣ or pen-name of the Persian poet Mīrzā Abu ’l-Ḥasan Raḥīm ( ca. 1196-1276/ ca. 1782-1859), often called by his fellow-poets Ḳaḥba-zan “whore” from the expression repeated monotonously in his obscene verse. He was born at K̲h̲ūr in the D̲j̲andaḳ oasis in the central desert of the Das̲h̲t-i Kawīr, roughly half-way between Yazd and Simnān. He began his life as a camel-herd but by the age of seven his natural gifts had been noticed by the owner of the oasis, Ismāʿīl K̲h̲ān ʿArab-i ʿĀmirī, whose secretary ( muns̲h̲ī-bās̲h̲ī ) he ultimately became. Hi…


(742 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town of mediaeval Islamic Persian Kurdistān, in the region bounded by Hamadān, Dīnawar and Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. The Arab geographers ¶ place Sīsar on the Dīnawar-Marāg̲h̲a road 20-22 farsak̲h̲s (3 stages) north of Dīnawar (Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih, 119-21; Ḳudāma, 212; al-Muḳaddasī, 382). According to al-Balād̲h̲urī, Futūḥ , 310, Sīsar occupied a depression ( ink̲h̲ifāḍ ) surrounded by 30 mounds, whence its Persian name “30 summits”. For greater accuracy it was called Sīsar of Ṣadk̲h̲āniya ( wakāna Sīsar tudʿā Sīsar Ṣadk̲h̲āniya ), which al-Balād̲h̲urī …


(5,725 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, the old capital of Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. Position. The town lies in lat. 37° 23′ N. and long 46° 15′ E. at a height of 5,500 feet above sea-level on the southern slope of Mount Sahand (11,800 feet high) which separates it from Tabrīz [ q.v.]. This explains the very considerable difference in climate ¶ between the two towns, which are only 50 miles apart as the crow flies (by the high road 80 miles). The climate of Marāg̲h̲a is mild and rather moist (H̲amd Allāh and Mecquenem, 1904). The plentiful water supply makes the vegetation rich. The fruit of …
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