PERSIA

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PERSIA (Iran, Chakistan) ; a countiy of Asia, between 25° and 40° N. lat., and 44° and 64° E. Ion.; bounded N. by Russia, the Caspian sea and Independent Tartary, W. by Turkey, S. by the Persian gulf, and E. by Beloochistan and Afghanistan; comprising about 390,000 square miles, with a population of about 6,500,000. The centre of Persia is an elevated plain, containing several deserts of sand. The northern provinces, in which rises the chain of the Ararat, and the western parts of the countiy, are mountainous. To the east of the Tigris, and nearly parallel with it, is a granitic ridge, called by the ancients Zagfos; and also parallel with the same is the Orontes (now Elwind), which separates into two branches, one of which, to the west of the Caspian sea, is connected with the Eibour, or the Caspian chain, a prolongation of the Taurus. The country on the Caspian is lower than the coasts on the ocean, and is surrounded by a semicircular barrier of mountains, which are a continuation of the Taurus and Caucasus, and present a much steeper descent towards the Caspian than on the land side. In the southern part of PERSIA, the elevation of the country is more gradual than in the north and West; and along the Persian gulf, there is a narrow strip of low land, which is uninhabitable in summer on account of the heat. As we recede from the sea, and approach the mountains, the climate becomes cooler. The elevated northern and western regions are temperate, and, in winter, cold. Earthquakes are not uncommon: in 1824, a shock, which continued six days and six nights, destroyed the city of Shiraz (50,000 inhabitants) and Kazroun ; mountains disappeared without leaving a trace behind. It is remarkable that so extensive a country has no considerable river, although it contains many high mountains. There are a few small rivers, that lose themselves in the sand, or are consumed by canals, which serve the purpose of irrigation. Persia, however, contains several lakes, among which are that of Erivan and Bakteghian or Salt lake. All the water is impregnated with salt; the lakes are all saline, and wherever water has stood in winter, the soil is found to have become salt. The extensive plains are, many of them, covered with water in winter, and in summer present a bare, hot surface, coated with saline matter. The mountains are naked; the hills dry and barren On account of the scarcity of water, but a small portion of the plains is cultivated the remainder is either naked or merely bears some succulent plants, which soon wither. There are, however, some fertile tracts. The countiy supplies excellent horses and asses, dromedaries, cattle, broadtailed sheep, silk, grain, rice, pulse, melons, sesame, saffron, madder, hemp, flax, tobacco, poppies, liquorice, sugarcane, datepalms, cassia, mastic, rich wines, cotton, manna, gum tragacanth, senna, galbanum, assafoetida, rhubarb, all the fruits of the temperate zone, and fine tropical fruits, gallnuts, copper, iron, lead, saltpetre, sulphur, salt, &c. The inhabitants are partly Tadshiks, consisting of a mixed race of Parsee, Arabic, &c, origin, Parsees, or fireworshippers and Armenians; and partly nomads, among whom the Curds are the principal nation. Th e Tadshiks (modern Persians) are superior to the Ottomans in civilization, and manifest a strong passion for the arts and sciences. They are Mohammedans, of the sect of Ali, or Shiites. A peculiar Mohammedan sect, the Sabians (q. v.), worship the cross, have a sort of baptism, and call themselves disciples ofSt. John. The Ishmaelites (q. v.) also form a distinct sect. The. Parsees are Guebers (q. v.), of the philosophical sect of Sophis. (See Sophis.) Jews and Christians are tolerated in PERSIA. The Persians are distinguished for their skill in dyeing, and in silk and wool* len manufactures. They manufacture shagreen, morocco* work in gold and silver to great perfection, and make excellent sword blades, and a great number of articles of copper ware. In agriculture they make great use of artificial irrigation, which ib at present, a monopoly of the government. The commerce, which is considerable, is chiefly carried on by caravans to India, Turkey and Arabia. The navigation of the Persian gulf is mostly in the hands of foreigners. The navigation of the Caspian sea is open to the Russians and Persians ; but the latter, by the terms of the treaty of 1828, are excluded from maintaining ships of war in its waters. Arts and sciences are held in esteem, but are by no means in a flourishing condition. The study of the Koran, divination, astrology, a sort of ethics, medicine and poetry, are the chief departments of education. The style of architecture is simple, sculpture almost unknown, the music detestable. The government is an absolute despotism; at the head of it is the shah, with unlimited power. Jaubert estimated his income at $10,000,000. The twelve provinces into which the kingdom is divided are governed by khans. The nomadic tribes enjoy a sort of independence under their chiefs, and form the main body of the military force. Abbas Mirza, the heir apparent, has endeavored to form troops with the European discipline. Persia has no naval force, owing partly to a want of ship timber. The largest town is Ispahan (q. v.), formerly one of the principal cities of Asia, now much reduced. The capital is Teheran (50,000 inhabitants in winter; 10,000 in summer.) History. The history of Persia first emerges from the obscurity of antiquity with Cyrus. The dynasty of the Mahabads is mentioned by Oriental writers as the first. It was followed by that of the Pishdadians (coeval with our Assyrian empire). After the Pishdadians, the Kajanides ruled for 718 years. Gustasp (Hystaspes), the Median Cyaxares, or his contemporary, under whom Zerdusht (Zoroaster) lived, belongs to the uncertain time before Cyrus. With Cyrus (q. v.), 559 529 B. C., began the period of Persian power in the West. By uniting the Persians and Medes under his sceptre, he made them the ruling nation in Western Asia; he conquered Croesus, took Babylon, and reduced Asia Minor. He was succeeded by his son Cambyses (529 522), who conquered Tyre, Cyprus and Egypt. After him, a Magian ruled for a short time, who gave himself out as Smerdis, brother of Cambyses. He was dethroned, and Darius Hystaspes (q. v.) obtained the crown by lot or the choice of his colleagues {521-487 B. C). He reduced the revolted kingdom of Babylon, and subdued Thrace, Macedonia, (512 B. C), and a small part of India ; but his attempt to conquer the Scythians beyond the Danube was unsuccessful. He reduced the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, which had attempted to shake off the Persian yoke (501 B. C.); but he was unfortunate in his war against the European Greeks, and Egypt revolted from him. His son Xerxes (487 to 467 B. C.) effected the submission of Egypt, but was defeated by the Greeks on the field of Marathon and at Salamis, and was obliged to defend himself against their attacks in a disastrous war. Under Artaxerxes Longimanus, the Ahasuerus of the Scriptures (until 425 B. C), the first symptoms of decline became visible. Egypt again revolted, and was again conquered, after a bloody struggle. The Greek war terminated disadvantageously, in449B.C. (See Cimon.) Megabyzus excited a dangerous insurrection. The weak king was governed by his mother and wife. The next changes of government were rapid and violent. Xerxes II, his only legitimate son, was murdered, after a reign of forty five days, by his natural brother Sogdianus, who suffered the same fate, six months afterwards, by the hands of another illegitimate son of Artaxerxes, Ochus, who assumed the name of Darius II, and reigned until 404 B. C, under the influence of his wife Parysatis. The revolts of his satraps hastened the decline of the empire, and the Persians were obliged to acknowledge independent kings in Egypt. But the internal troubles in Greece, of which the Persians artfully took advantage, saved them, for a time, from a united attack by the Greeks. Artaxerxes II, Memnon, or Mnemon (until 361 B. C), was entirely under the influence of his mother, Parysatis. His brother Cyrus, supported by 10,000 Greeks under Xenophon (q. v.), attempted to dethrone him (400 B. C), but was defeated and killed. Domestic dissensions obliged the Lacedaemonians to abandon their advantages in Asia Minor, and to conclude the disadvantageous peace of Antalcidas (387 B. C). Artaxerxes III, Ochus (until 338 B. C), son of Mnemon, secured his throne by putting to death his numerous brothers. He recovered Egypt (350 B. C.); but his eunuch, Bagoas, poisoned him on account of his cruelty, successively murdered all his sons, and gave the crown to Darius Codomannus (q. v.), a prince of the blood, who was conquered by Alexander in three decisive actions, on the Granicus, at [ssus arid Gaugamela, and lost his life (330 B. C.); after which Alexander made himself master of the whole empire (329 B. C). On the dissolution of the Macedonian empire, after the death of Alexander (323), the Seleucides (see Seleucus) ruled over Persia until 246 B. C. They were succeeded by the Arsacides, who founded the empire of the Parthians, which existed until 229 A. D. Ardshir Babekan (Artaxerxes) then obtained the sovereignty of Central Asia, and left it to his descendants, the Sassanides, who ruled 407 years. With them begins, according to Hammer (q. v.), the romantic character of Persian chivalry; and the six most renowned rulers of this dynasty, among whom are Behramgur, Chosroes, Parwis, and Nushirvan, are the subjects of Persian romances. Ardshir, son of Sassan, ruled from 218 to 241. The wars which he carried on with the Romans were continued under his successor, Shapur (Sapor I, until 271), against Gordian and Valerian (the latter of whom fell into the hands of Sapor, and was treated in a most revolting manner), and were not terminated until the peace of king Narses with Diocletian (303). When Sapor the Great (from 309 to 380) had become of full age, the empire again recovered strength. He punished the Arabs for their incursions,and took the king of Yemen prisoner, and demanded from the emperor of Constantinople the cession of all the country to the Strymon, as Ardshir had once done. Constantine the Great, Constantine II and Julian resisted his demands; but Jovian purchased peace by a cession of the five provinces in question and the fortress of Nisibis. Sapor also extended his conquests into Tartary and India. War and peace successively followed, without any important events, after the death of Sapor. Under Artaxerxes II (until 383), Sapor III (until 388), and Vararanes IV (until 399), the empire flourished. Arabs, Huns and Turks successively appear on the field, as allies or enemies of PERSIA. Yezdegerd I (until 420), a friend of the Christians, conquered Armenia in 412. In the year 420, Vararanes V ascended the throne by the aid of the Arabs. He was victorious against Theodosius II, defeated the Huns who invaded his empire, and conquered the kingdom of Yemen. He was succeeded by Vararanes VI (until 457) and Hormisdas III. In the year 457, Firus (Pheroses) ascended the throne by the assistance of the Huns, but afterwards made war against them, and lost his life in battle in 483. Valens, or Balash (from 488 to 491) was stripped of a part of his territories by the Huns, and obliged to pay them a tribute for two years. The Sassanides, however, soon regained their greatness and power. Cobad (until 531) subdued the Huns; and, though he had recovered his throne, in 498, by their assistance, yet, at a later period, he waged a successful war against them, against Athanasius, the Indians, and Justinian I. His youngest son and successor, Chosrou Anushirvan (from 531 to 579) was distinguished for his uncommon wisdom and valor. Under him the Persian empire extended from the Mediterranean to the Indus, from the Iaxartes to Arabia and the confines of Egypt. He waged successful wars with the Indians and Turks, with Justinian and Tiberius, and the Arabs, whom he delivered from the oppression of petty tyrants, and suppressed the rebellions of his brother and his son. The Lazians in Colchis, wearied with the Greek oppression, submitted themselves to him; but, when he attempted to transfer them into the interior of Persia, they again placed themselves under the dominion of Justinian, whose arms were now victorious. Anushirvan died of grief during the negotiations for peace. War continued under Hormuz (Hormisdas IV, from 579 to 591) until the reign of Chosrou II (until 628), under whom the Persian power reached its highest pitch. By successfid wars he extended his conquests, on the one side to Chalcedon (616), on the other over Egypt to Lybia and ^Ethiopia, and finally to Yemen. But the fortune of war was suddenly changed by the victori* ous arms of the emperor Heraclius. Chosrou lost all his conquests, and his own son Sirhes made him prisoner, and put him to death (628). The decline of Persia was hastened by continued domestic feuds. Sirhes, or Kabad Shirujeh, was murdered in the same year. His son Ardshir (Artaxerxes) III, but seven years old, succeeded him, and was murdered, in 629, by his general Serbas (Sheheriar). The chief Persians prevented Serbas from ascending the throne; and, after numerous revolutions, succeeding each other so rapidly that the historians have confounded the names, Yezdegerd III, a nephew of Chosrou, ascended the throne in 632, at the age of sixteen. He was attacked by caliph Omar, in 636, and Persia became a prey to the. Arabs and Turks. Yezdegerd lost his life in 651.With the conquest of Persia by the caliphs begins the history of the modern Persian empire. The dominion of the Arabs (see Caliph) lasted 585 years, from 636 to 1220. As some of the Arab governors made themselves independent, and Persian and Turkish princes possessed themselves of single provinces, Persia continued to be divided into numerous petty states. Among the principal dynasties were, in the north and northeast, 1. the Turkish house of the Thaheridis in Kliorasan, from 820 to 872; 2. the Persian dynasty of the Soffarides, which dethroned the one last named, and ruled over Khorasan and Farsistan until 902; 3. the Samanide dynasty, which established its independence on Khorasan in 874, under Ahmed, in the province Mavaralnar, and lasted to 999. Ishmael, Ahmed's son, dethroned the Soffarides, and became powerful ; and under his descendants originated, 4. the Gaznavides, in 977, when Sebektechin, a Turkish slave and governor of the Samanides at Gazna and Khorasan, made himself independent at Gazna. His son Mahmood subdued, in 999, Khorasan, and, in 1012, Farsistan, and thus put an end to the dominion of the Samanides. He subsequently conquered Irak Agemi (1017) from the Bouides, and even extended his conquests into India. But his son Masud was stripped of Irak Agemi and Khorasan by the Seljooks (from 1037 to 1044); and the Gaznavides, weakened by domestic divisions, became, under Malek Shah (1182), a prey to the Gourides. 5. The sultans of Gour (Gourides) became powerful, in 1150, by means of Aladdin Hosain, but lost their ascendency, after several great reigns, partly by the encroachments of the princes of Khowaresm, and partly by domestic dissensions. 6. The dynasty of the Khowaresmian shahs (from 1097 to 1230) was founded by Aziz, governor of the Seljoeks in Khowaresm, or Karasm, where he rendered himself independent. Tagash (1192) destroyed the empire of the Seljooks, and took Khorasan from the Gourides. His son Mohammed conquered Mavaralnar, subdued the Gourides and Gazna, and occupied the greater part of Persia. But, in 1220, the great khan of the Monguls (q. v.), Gengis Khan (q.v.), and his heroic son Gelaleddin Mankbern, deprived him of his dominions ; and he died in 1230, after a struggle of ten years, in a lonely hut in the mountains of Curdistan. In western and northeastern Persia reigned, 7. Mardawig, a Persian warrior, who founded a kingdom at Dilem, in 928, which soon extended over Ispahan, but was destroyed by the Bouides. 8. The Bouides (sons of Bouia, a poor fisherman, who derived his origin from the Sassanides), by their valor and prudence, extended their sway over the greater part of Persia, and, in 945, even over Bagdad. They were chiefly distinguished for their virtues and love of science, and maintained themselves until 1056, when Malek Rahjm was obliged to yield to the Seljooks. 9. The Seljooks, a Turkish dynasty, as is supposed, driven by the Chinese from Turkestan, first became powerful in Khorasan, with the Gaznavides. Togrulbeg Mahmood, a brave and prudent warrior, drove out the son of Mahmood, the Gaznavide sultan, in 1037; extended his dominion over Mavaralnar, Aderbijan, Armenia, Farsistan, Irak Agemi, and Irak Arabi, where he put an end to the rule of the Bouides at Bagdad, in 1055, and was invested with their dignity, as Emir el Omrah, by the caliphs. Some of his descendants were distinguished for great activity and humanity. The most powerful of them, Malek Shah, conquered also Georgia, Syria and Natolia (Roum), But the empire gradually declined, and was divided into four kingdoms, which were destroyed by the shahs of Khowaresm (1162 and 1195), the atabeks of Aleppo (1139), and the Monguls (1194). Gengis Khan established the power of the Tartars and Monguls in Persia (1220-1405). Those Persian provinces which had been acquired byGengis Khan fell to his youngest son, Tauli, in 1229, and then to the son of the latter, Hulaku, at first as governors of the Mongolian khans, Kajuk and Mangu. Hulaku extended his dominion over Syria, Natolia and Irak Arabi. He or his successor became independent of the great khan, and formed a separate Mongolian dynasty in those countries, which sat on the throne till the death of Abusaid, without heirs, in 1335. His successors, also descendants ofGengis Khan, had merely the title of khans of Persia. The empire was weak and divided. Then appeared (1387) Timurlenk (Tamerlane) at the head of a new horde of Monguls, who conquered Persia, and filled the world, from Hindoostan to Smyrna, with teiTor. But the death of this famous conqueror was followed by the downfall of the Mongul dominion in Persia, of which the Turkomans then remained masters for a hundred years. These nomadic tribes, who had plundered Persia for two centuries, wrested, under the reigns of Kara Jussuf and his successors, the greatest part of Persia from the Timurides, were subdued by other Turkoman tribes under Usong Hassan (1468), and incorporated with them. They sunk before Ishmael Sophi (1505), who artfully made use of fanaticism for his political purposes, an whose dynasty lasted from 1 505 to 1722. Ishrnael Sophi, whose ancestor Sheikh Sophi pretended to be descended from AH, took from the Turkomans of the white ram, Aderbijan (.1505 to 1508) and part of Armenia, slew both their princes, and founded upon the ruins of their empire, after having conquered Shirvan, Diarbeker, Georgia, Turkestan and Mavarahmr, an empire which comprised Aderbijan, Diarbeker, Irak, Farsistan and Kerman. He assumed the name of a shah, and introduced the sect of Ali into the conquered countries. His successors, Thamas (1523 to 1575), Ishrnael II (from 1576 to 1577), Mohammed (1577 to 1586), Hamzeh (1586), Ishrnael III (1587), carried on unsuccessful wars against the Turks and the Usbecks. But the great shah Abbas (1587 to 1629), reestablished the empire by his conquests. He took From the Turks Armenia, Irak Arabi, Mesopotamia, the cities of Tauris, Bagdad and Bassora; Khorasan from the Usbecks ; Ormuz from the Portuguese, and Kandahar from the Monguls ; and humbled Georgia, which had refused to pay tribute. He introduced absolute power into Persia, transferred his residence to Ispahan, and instituted the pilgrimage to Meshid, in order to abolish that to Mecca among the Persians. The following rulers, Shah Sesi (1629 to 1642) and Abbas II (1642 to 1666) had new wars with the Turks and Indians; with the former on account of Bagdad, which was lost; and with the latter on account of Kandahar, which was reconquered in 1660. Under shah Soliman, however, (1666 to 1694), the empire declined, and entirely sunk under his son Hussein. The Afghans in Kandahar revolted, in 1709, under Mirweis; and his son Mir Mahmud conquered the whole empire, in 1722. A state of anarchy followed. Mahmud, having become insane, was dethroned by Asharf, in 1725: the latter was subdued by Thamas Kuli Khan, who, with the assistance of the Russians and Turks, placed Thamas, son of Hussein, on the throne in 1729. But, when the latter ceded Georgia and Armenia to the Turks, Kuli Khan dethroned him, and placed his minor son, Abbas III, on the throne. He recovered, by conquest or treaties, the provinces ceded to the Russians and Turks, and ascended the throne under the title of Shah Nadir, Abbas III having died in 1736. He restored Persia to her former importance by successful wars and a strong government; conquered Bahareim (1735) and Balk (1736) from the khan of Bucharia, Kanda har (1738); invaded (1739) Hindoostan, and obliged the great mogul Mohammed to cede to him some provinces on the Indus and most of his treasures. But, in 1747, Nadir was murdered by the commanders of his guards, and his death threw the empire again into new confusion. Four kingdoms were now formed : 1. Khorasan and Segistan; 2. Kandahar, or the eastern provinces; 3. Farsistan, or the western provinces ; and, 4. Georgia. The latter, for the most part, retained its own princes, who, at length, submitted to Russia. In Kandahar and the East, Ahmed Abdallah founded the empire of Afghanistan, (q. v.) He was victorious at Panniput, and ruled with absolute sway in India. His residence was Kabul. He was succeeded, in 1753, by Timur; the latter by Zeman. In the two other kingdoms, the Curd Kerim Khan, wiio had served under Nadir, and was of low extraction, succeeded in establishing tranquillity, after long and bloody wars, by subduing Mohammed Khan, who fled, and perished at Mazanderan. His wisdom, justice and warlike skill gained him the love of his subjects and the esteem of his neighbors. He did not call himself khan, but vekil (regent). He fixed his residence at Shiraz in 1755, and died in 1779. New disturbances arose after his death. His brothers attempted to get possession of the throne, to the exclusion of his sons. A prince of the blood, Ali Murat, occupied it in 1784 ; but a eunuch, Aga Mohammed, a man of ancient family and uncommon qualities, had made himself independent in Mazanderan. Ali Murat, who marched against him, died in consequence of a fall from his horse, and left the sceptre to his son Yafar, who was defeated by Aga Mohammed at Jezd Kast, and fled to Shiraz, where he perished in an insurrection. His son Luthf Ali made several desperate eflbrts to recover his throne ; but Aga Mohammed was victorious, and appointed his nephew Baba Khan his successor, who has reigned since 1796, under the name of Feth Ali Shah. He fixed his residence at Teheran, in order to be nearer the Russians, who threatened him in Georgia and the neighboring provinces. By the peace of 1812, the Persians were obliged to cede to Russia the whole of Daghestan, the Khanats of Kuba, Shirvan, Baku, Salian, Talishah, Karaachb, and Gandsha, resigning all claims to Shularegi, Kharthli, Kachethi, Imeritia, Guria, Mingrelia and Abchasia, and were obliged to admit the Russian flag on the Caspian sea. (See Russia.) Feth Ali (born in 1768), a Turkoman of the tribe of Kadshar Shah, was induced by the heirapparent, Abbas Mirza, and his favorite Hussein Kuli Khan, who believed Russia to be involved in domestic troubles, to attack that power in 1826. The Persians invaded the Russian territories, without a declaration of war, instigated part of the Mohammedan population to insurrection, and advanced as far as Elisabethpol; but they were defeated in several battles, and the Russians under Paskewitch conquered the country to the Araxes, which, by the treaty of Tourkmantchai (1828) was ceded to Russia. (See Russia.) The cholera morbus made great ravages in the northwestern part of Persia in 1829 and 1830. According to the latest accounts, the country was disturbed by the contests of the royal princes The English always maintain an embassy at the capital, to counteract the influence of Russia.See Malcolm's History of Persia (2 vols., 2d ed., 1829), and his Sketches of Persia (1828). Respecting Western Persia, we owe the latest accounts since Chardin, Niebuhr, Olivier, to Kinneir, Morier, Ouseley, and particularly to Ker Porter, and Price's Journal of the British Embassy to Persia (London, 1825). Price was secretary to Ouseley's embassy. J. B. Fraser, in his Narrative of a Journey into Khorassan, 1821-1822 (London, 1825, 1 vol., 4to.), describes the general state of Persia. The Adventures of Haji Baba of Ispahan, by Morier, and J. B. Fraser's two worksKuzzilbash, and the Persian Adventurer, being the Sequel of Kuzzilbashare interesting delineations of Persian manners. The great influence of England in Persia appears from G. Keppel's Journey from India to England, by Bassorah, Babylon, Curdistan, Persia, &c, in 1824 (London, 1827, 4to.). Drouville's Voyage en Perse (2d edit., Paris, 1825, 2 vols.) contains valuable information: see also the Letters on the Caucasus and Georgia, by Freygang, Russian consulgeneral (in French, Hamburg, 1816). Bucet's and Balbe's New Map of Persia (Paris, 1826) is accompanied by a historical and statistical sketch of the monarchy. Persian Language, Literature and Ancient Religion,In the Persian provinces, which had previously formed the kingdom of Media, the Zend and Pehlvi, or Pehlevi, were the prevailing languages ; the former in the north, the latter in the south of Media. Zend is a Pehlvi word, signifying living. In the Zend, which is nowhere mentioned as a spoken, but only as a sacred language, Zoroaster (q. v.), or Zer dusht, wrote his religious books, with which Anquetil du Perron made us better acquainted, so far as they are extant, under the name of Zendavesta, or the living word. Sir W. Jones was informed by a learned disciple of Zoroaster, that Zend is the name of the character in which the books are written, and JLvesta the name of the language. It appears to have been extinct before the beginning of the vulgar era ; and among the Guebers, who adhere to the doctrines of Zoroaster, there are at present very few who are acquainted with it. The Zend, both in its grammatical construction, and its radical words, bears a great resemblance to the Sanscrit and Teutonic languages. (See Rash.) The Pehlvi, that is, the language of heroes, which was first spoken nearly contemporarily with the Zend, at first in Media or Parthia (in the language of the country, PeMo or Pehluwan), and seems to have been closely allied with the Georgian and Aramaean, attained to a high degree of perfection, and became, under the Parthian kings, the common language of the nobility and higher classes, but gave way to the Parsee when the seat of the empire was transferred to the southern provinces, and the Sassanides prohibited its use. According to some vague reports, it is still spoken by a wandering tribe of Shirvan (the Puddars). Among the Guebers there are only a few who understand it. The writings of Zoroaster were early translated into the Pehlvi: there are also some theological and historical writings extant in it, several of which Ouseley has brought to Europe. Under the Sassanides, the soft, rich and expressive language of Fars or Farsistan (the Parsee), became the prevailing language in Persia: from it sprung the modern Persian, and from the two was formed the rude Curd dialect. The Parsee, or the pure language of Farsistan, bears traces of a common origin with the Sanscrit; although we do not assume, with Schlegel, that the Sanscrit is the mother of the Parsee, nor with Frank, that the Parsee is the mother of the Sanscrit; the latter of which opinions, however, appears the more probable, on account of the greater simplicity of the Parsee. We find the Parsee tolerably pure in Ferdusi, and other authors of the first century of the Mohammedan era, though not entirely free from mixture with the Arabic. This mixture took place after the conquest of Per sia by the Arabs, when Mohammedanism became the prevailing religion of Persia, and Arabic the learned language of the country. The addition, not only of single words, but even of whole phrases, was owing partly to necessity,because words were wanting in Parsee to express many new ideas,and partly to an affectation of elegance. In this manner was formed the modern Persian. The Arabian words which it contains have, in some instances, remained unchanged, and have sometimes been changed and inflected in the Persian manner. The resemblance between the Persian and Teutonic is not so great, that a German could, as Leibnitz said, at once understand whole Persian verses, but it is certainly striking, and proves, without justifying us in adopting useless hypotheses, that the German, which came from Asia, sprung from the same source with the language of the early inhabitants of Persia. The same is true of the Celts, Sclavonians and Thracians, of whose languages traces are also to be found in the Persian. According to Hammer, the present Persian is, of all the Eastern languages, the most nearly allied to the German. In the country which, according to Mirchond, was anciently called Germania, and, according to Eddussi, Erman,the old Persian is the native dialect; so that the name Germani is not of Roman origin. In the simplicity of its grammatical construction, the Persian language resembles the English ; in its power of compounding words, the German. We pass over the dialects of the Persian language, merely mentioning that the most cultivated of them, the refined Parsee, which has become the language of the court and of literature, is called Deri (court language, from dar, door), and that the popular language is called Valaat. The written character of the Persian language is the Arabic, with the addition of four letters with three points, which are not in the Arabic. Their books are most frequently written in the character called Talik. The Persian literature, of which the Magi were in possession until the introduction of Mohammedanism, has nothing to show in its old dialects, the Zend and Pehlvi, but the works abovementioned, and the Persepolitan inscriptions, which are in part unintelligible. What esjbaped destruction in the time of Alexander, was destroyed under the caliphs, and a few fragments only were preserved among the fugitive Parsees or Guebers. Persian civilization declined during the first period of the Arajian dominion; even in the tenth century, no traces of any literature are to be found among the Persians. Learning first revived in Persia in the time of the AbasBides, and Arabian literature was alreadyon the decline, when the Persian, favored by the Bouides and Seljooks, revived. Among the princes who encouraged learned men and poets by personal favor and rewards, the Bouide Azad Eddaulet, in the middle of the tenth centuiy, the Gaznavide sultans Mahmood Sebektechin and Keder Ben Ibrahim, and the Seljook sultan Malek Shall, with his vizier Nazam el Maluk, and Keder Chan Chacan, deserve to be mentioned. The flourishing period of literature continued till the time of Gengis Khan, in the thirteenth century. Under Timur, in the fourteenth century, and the Turks, in the fifteenth, it continually declined, and in the sixteenth, was almost entirely extinct. The oppressions and disturbances to which Persia has since been continually subject, have prevented the revival of learning. The old Persian language is now almost superseded by the Turkish ; the Parsees alone speak it. But the Persians possess rich literary treasures of the earlier periods, particularly in poetry, history, geography, &c. We must limit ourselves chiefly to a notice of that portion which has been touched by Europeans. The most brilliant part of Persian literature is poetry. (See Hammer's History of Persian Polite Literature (in German, Vienna, 1818). Among the poets are the following: Ru digi, the father of modern Persian poetry, who translated in verse Pilpay's fables j the epic poet Ferdusi (q. v.), author of the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings (of which Gorres has given an abridgment), who lived at the beginning of the eleventh century ; and his contemporaries, the celebrated lyric poets, Ansari (the first king of poets) and Ahmed Essedi of Thus. Also distinguished as lyric poets are Anweri or Enweri, of Bednah, in Khorasan (died 1200), who was unsurpassed in the Ca* fide, and inferior only to Hafiz in the ode (two of his poems are contained in the Asiatic Miscellanies); Chakani, his contemporary and rival ; Chodscha Hafiz Schemseddin Mohammed, best known under the name of Hafiz (q. v.); Shahi, probably a pupil of Djami; Hatefi. Emir Chosrou, Senai, Shefali, and many other writers of the divan, who are mentioned in Hammer's work above referred to. To the lyric poets of Persia also belong the Turkish emperor Selim I, the unfortunate Shah Allum (see Franklin's Life of Shah Allum), and the Shah Feth Ali. As a lyric, mystic and moral poet, Sheik Sadi (q. v.) is the most celebrated, not only in the East, but also among us. Ferideddin Attar, a contemporary of Sadi's, was the author of a veiy valuable collection of proverbs, under the title of Pendnameh (Book of Counsel),of which Sylvestre de Sacy has published a complete edition, and of several other poetical works. Jelaleddin Roumi of Balk, in Khorasan, is esteemed the most perfect model of the mystic school: he formed a sect, and died 1262, a pious Sophi. His great work, Kilat el Metnavi (Collection of Distichs), is so difficult to be understood, that a glossary is necessary. One of the most prolific and pleasing poets of Persia is Abdalrahman, or Abdurrahman Ebn Achmed, more known under his surname of Molla Djamy. (See Jamy.) To the poets of the first class belongs Nizam, or Nisami, at the end of the sixteenth century, author of five poems, three of which, Chosrou and Shirin, Leila and Mejnoun, and the History of Alexander, Iskandernameh, are epics. Some tales and fables selected from his Book of Fortune, have appeared in the original and in translations. If we were willing to enumerate merely names, we might mention Khosru, or Chosrou, of Delhi, Abubatha of Kerman, and Nani, each of whom wrote five long poems; Mir Ali of Shirvan, Achmed of Kirvan, and Emir Soliman, each celebrated as the writer of a history of Alexander; and many others. Instead of drawing up such a mere catalogue, we refer to Hammer's valuable work. Sources of information concerning the Persian poets, are the Beharistan of Jamy, the works of Haji Chalfa, the lives by the Persian Dauletfehah, continued by Sam Mirza, under the title Ttskiretelchoara (of which some extracts may be found in the Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, &c, by Sylvestre de Sacy), and the Ateshkede (Fire Temple), by Haji Lotfali Beg, surnamed Azir. The most celebrated recent Persian poet, Blab Phelair, died in 1825, at the age of 96. He left astronomical, moral, political and literary works. He is called the Persian Voltaire. Not less numerous are the prose fables, tales and narratives. Among these are the Anwar Soheili, a Persian translation of the fables of Pilpay; the Bahar Danuch of Einajut Doollah (translated by John Scott, under the title of Garden of Knowledge, 1799,3 vols.); the Tootinameh, or Tales of a Parrot (Persian and English, by Hadley); the Tales of Bakhtyar and the Ten Viziers, &c, translated by Ouseley (q. v.). Other similar works have been given us by Scott, in his Tales, Anecdotes and Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian (1800) ; by Langles, in his Contes, SenUnces et Fables, tirees d'Auteurs Arabes et Persans (1788), and in other collections of this kind. In the departments of history, geography and statistics, the Persians have some large and valuable works. Abu Said, or Abdallah BenAbulkasin Beidavi, wrote a universal history, from Adam to his own time (1276), under the title of Historical Pearl Necklace. Andrew Miiller has published, in Persian and Latin, the eighth part of this work, which contains the history of China. Turan Shah, who died at Ormuz, 1377, wrote a Shahnameh, of which an abstract is given in Pedro Texeira's Relaciones del Origen Descendancia y Siiccesion de los Reyes de Persia y de Hormuz (Antwerp, 1610). Mirchond or Mohammed Ebn Emir Chowand Shah, who flourished in 1741, wrote the voluminous historical wons entitled Hortus Puritatis in Historia Prophetarum, Regumet Chalifarum (Garden of Purity in the History of the Prophets, Kings and Caliphs), of which, besides the fragment in Wilkins's Persian Grammar, four extracts have been publishedin the History of the Persian Kings, by Jenisch (Vienna, Persian and Latin) ; the History of the Sassanides,in French only, by De Sacy, in his Memoircs sur diverses Antiquites de la Perse; the History of the Samanidse, by Wilken (Persian and Latin, Gottingen, 4to.); and the History of the Dynasty of the Ishmaelites, by Jourdain, in his Notice de VHistoire universelle de Mirkond, &c. (Paris, 1814, Persian and French). Mirchond's son, Khondemir, or Gayyetheddin Ben Hamadeddin, wrote a Compendium Historic universalis Mohammedance (Abridgment of Mohammedan History), still in manuscript. The Tarik el Tabari (a History of Nations and Kings) was originally written in Arabic, by Mohammed Ebn Giaffir Mahomed Ben Gerir, but is now extant only in a Turkish translation, and in the Persian translation of Balami. The Lebtarik (Marrow of History) of Al Emir Yahia Ebn Abdollatif al Kazwini (who died 1351) has been translated into Latin by Gaulmin and Galland. Of Mohammed Kazim Ferishta, we have two valuable works, one of which has been translated into English by Dow, under the title History of Hindoostan (London, 1768,3 vols., 4to.), and the other by John Scott, under the title of History of Dekkan (1794, 2 vols., 4to.). The Tuzuki Jehan Chiir, written by the emperor Jehan Guir, is very valuable in regard to the history and geography of Hindoostan ; of which Gladwin has given extracts in the Asiatic Miscellany: but the most important work is the Akbarnameh of the vizier Abul Fazl (put to death 1604), the most elegant writer of Hindoostan, written by command of the emperor Akbar. The two first parts of this work contain a history of Akbar and his predecessors; the third, entitled Ayeen Akbari, contains a geographical, statistical and historical description of Hindoostan, with much other information. Of this third part, Gladwin has published extracts, under the title Ayeen Akbery, or Institutes of the Emperor Akbar. Abul Fazl also translated the fables attributed to Vishnu Sarma from the Sanscrit into the Persian. Of the Annals of Asem of Kufa, Ouseley has given some extracts in his Oriental Collections, which make us desirous of the whole. We are indebted to the same learned Orientalist for an Epitome of the ancient History of Persia, extracted and translated from Jehan Am, a Persian Manuscript (London, 1799). The History of the Persian Empire, by Alomri, from original sources, has not yet been edited. There are numerous works, comprising short periods of time, as single dynasties and single reigns. The Tarik AH Mosaffer contains a history of the seven kings of the Mosaffer family. Shah Babur left valuable commentaries concerning Hindoostan, translated into Persian by Abdul Rahim (English by doctor Ley den and Mr. Erskine). Abul Rizak wrote a life of the Shah Rokh and his successors, and the history of his embassy to China and Hindoostan, the latter of which has been translated by Langles in his Collection portative des Voyages, Mevana Abdallah Ibn Faziellah, surnamed al Wafi, wrote, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a history of Gengis Khan and his successors till 1336. Sheritbddin, or Molla Sherifoddin Ali Yezdi (died 1446), wrote a biography of Timur, full of fables, translated into French, by Petit de la Croix (Paris, 1724), whose son also wrote, from Persian sources, a Histoire du grand Genghiz Chan. Sir W. Jones translated into French a history of Nadir Shah, by Mirza Mohammed Mahadi Chan of Masandaran. Gladwin translated another history of the same prince, by Abdul Kurreem of Cashmere, entitled Beyoni Uaki (Necessary Information); a lid Langles has given an abstract of this author's Pilgrimage to Mecca, in his Collection. Lastly, James Eraser has also written a history of Nadir Shah (London, 1742). Here w7e may mention the Tuzukati Timur, translated by Davy, and edited by White, under the title, Institutes political and military, written originally in the Mogul language, by the great Timur, trans lated into Persian by Abn Talib Alhus* seini, and thence into English (Oxford, 1783,4to.). As to the geographical works in the Persian language, Ouseley has published a fragment of the Cleimat (the seven climates), in his Oriental Collections, and an abstract of the Persian translation of the geography, written in Arabic, by Ibn Haukal. Upon chronology, Gravius (Greaves) published a valuable Persian work, Epochs Celebriores (Persian and Latin, London, 1650). No work of the Persian physicians has been translated ; but we may mention the valuable work of Abulmansur Mowafin Ben Ali, which is in Vienna. Geometry and astronomy were also cultivated with ardor by the Persians. Nasereddin of Thus translated, and Maimon Raschid commented upon Euclid. Omar Chehan (in 1072), in the reign of Malek Shah, calculated the solar year at 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 48 seconds ; and among the astronomical tables, computed by Persians, the most valuable are those prepared by Nasereddin, at the command of Hulaku IIekan,and called by his name, but not completed till five years after Ilekan's death (1269), and those drawn up in the first half of the fifteenth century, under the superintendence of Ulug Beigh, by a large number of astronomers, and which wrere published by Greaves and Hyde. Hulaku Ilekan (1259) established an astronomical academy at Maragha, and erected an observatory, of which Nasereddin had the superintendence. Ulug Beigh also erected one at Samarcand A Persian calendar, under the title Iluznameh nauruz, has likewise been printed. (See Epoch, p. 552.) We must also mention Beck's Ephemerides Persarum per to turn Annum (Vienna, 1695, folio), and Welsh's Tabula Mquinoctiales (Augsburg, 1676, 4to.). The works upon Mohammed, the Mohammedan religion, the legends of the saints, &c, are numerous, but for us of little interest. The Persian abridgment of the Vedas, entitled Oupnetfhat, although almost unintelligible by us (translated into Latin by Anquetil du Perron, 1804, 2 vols., 4to.), and the Desatir (q. v.), are important monuments. The Pentateuch of Moses in the Persian language, translated by a Jew of Thus, is in Walton's Polyglot. Of the Gospels there are two translations ; one in the Polyglot abovenamed, and the other published by Wlieelock (London, 1657, fol.). Their value has been indicated by Rosenmiiller. The Persians have paid great attention to their own language: of this, the number of lexicographical and grammat ical works extant affords abundant proof. The small PersianTurkish dictionary of Shahidi is only for beginners. That of Ardeshir is more celebrated, and also the Naemet Allah (Delight of God), adopted by Castellus as the basis of his ; but the two most celebrated are the Ferhangi Jehan Guir, and the Ferhangi Schuari. The latter was published in 1742, and another by Seid Ahmed, in 1804, at Constantinople. This view is sufficient to show the importance of the Persian language, since, besides being in the East, especially in India, what the French is in Europe, it possesses valuable treasures, not only of native literature, but also of translations from the Arabic, different Indian and other languages, the originals of some of which are lost, and of others, are inaccessible to us. We are also copiously supplied with aids in this study. The grammars of Jones and Richardson (not to mention earlier ones) are now surpassed by Gladwin's Persian Moonshee, and especially by Lumsden's Persian Grammar (2 vols., fol.). In Germany, Wilken has published the best Persian grammar. Of the dictionaries the most complete are Meninski Lexicon ArabicoPersicoTurcicum (2d edit., 4 vols., folio). Richardson's Dictionary, Persian, English and Arabic, &c, a new edition, with additions and improvements, by Wilkins (London, 1806, 2 vols., 4to.); Oarretto's Persian and Arabic Dictionary (2 vols.); and Hopkins's Abridgment of Richardson (in 1 vol., 1810), are the best. Much valuable information is contained in Jones's Commentaries ; Ouseley's Oriental Collections, and Persian Miscellanies ; Gladwin's Dissertations on the Rhetoric, Prosody and Rhyme of the Persians ; in the Fundgruben des Orients (Mines of the East); in the valuable works of J. von Hammer, &c. (See Oriental Literature.)