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(2,074 words)

Author(s): Nölle, Christine
In pre-Islamic times, Iran was a center of → Zoroastrianism. Since the early sixteenth century, it has a special place from a religious viewpoint, since here, unlike the Turkish, Uzbekish, and Indian neighboring states, the Shia has become the religion of the state. Iran's recent history offers an interesting example of Islam's political potential. The 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the subsequent state systems that were formed, reflect the influential role of the clergy (→ Khomeini) as opponent or representative of state power. Pre-Islamic Times and Islamization 1. Iran's topograp…

Silk Road

(1,789 words)

Author(s): Nölle, Christine
The Region 1. The silk Road was a network of trade routes, reaching from → China, through Turkistan and → Iran, to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and first peaked in the first century CE. Chinese silk-ware and ironware, as well as Indian ivory, were merchandise much sought after in Rome. The silk route served not only as a trade connection, but also as a cultural bridge. Although in the easterly direction woolen goods, Alexandrian glass, coral, silver, and gold were transported, more important was…