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History of Iran

Iran officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and formerly known internationally as Persia, is a country in Central Eurasia and/or Western Asia, located on the northern shore of the Persian Gulf and the southern shore of the Caspian Sea.

The name Iran has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was widely known as Persia. Both Persia and Iran are used interchangeably in cultural contexts; however, Iran is the name used officially in political contexts. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan, and means "Land of the Aryans". 

 

Iran is the eighteenth largest country in the world, with an area of 1,648,000 km2 . The population of Iran is 74,196,000. Tehran, with a population of 10,000,000, is the largest city in Iran and is the Capital




City Province
Rank City Province

1
Tehran Tehran
10 Urmia West Azerbaijan
2
Mashhad Razavi Khorasan
11 Zahedan Sistan and Baluchestan
3 Isfahan Isfahan
12 Rasht Gilan
4 Tabriz East Azerbaijan
13 Kerman Kerman
5 Karaj Tehran
14 Hamedan Hamedan
6 Shiraz Fars
15 Arak Markazi
7 Ahvaz Khuzestan
16 Yazd Yazd
8 Qom Qom
17 Ardabil Ardabil
9 Kermanshah Kermanshah
18 Bandar Abbas Hormozgan

History of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, Greater Iran, which consists of the area from the Euphrates in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.

The southwestern part of the Iranian plateau participated in the wider Ancient Near East with Elam, from the Early Bronze Age. The Persian Empire proper begins in the Iron Age, following the influx of Iranian peoples which gave rise to the Median, Achaemenid, the Parthians, the Sassanid dynasties during classical antiquity.

Once a major empire of superpower proportions, Persia as it had long been called, has been overrun frequently and has had its territory altered throughout the centuries. Invaded and occupied by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and others—and often caught up in the affairs of larger powers—Persia has always reasserted its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

Iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC) was the first of the Iranian empires to rule in Middle east and central Asia. They were succeeded by the Seleucid Empire, Parthians and Sassanids which governed Iran for almost 1,000 years.

The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) and the end of the Sassanid Empire was a turning point in Iranian history. Islamicization in Iran took place during 8th to 10th century and led to the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity and civilization.

After centuries of foreign occupation and short-lived native dynasties, Iran was once again reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty who established Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam. Iran had been a monarchy ruled by a shah, or emperor, almost without interruption from 1501 until the 1979 Iranian revolution, when Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979.

The name Persia was the official name of Iran in the Western world before 1935, but the Iranian people inside their country since the time of Zoroaster (probably circa 1000 BC), or even before, have called their country "Aryānām" (the equivalent of "Iran" in the proto-Iranian language) or its equivalents. It is not exactly clear what the Iranian people called their country during the Median (728 BC-559 BC), Achaemenid (550 BC–330 BC) or Parthian (250 BC– 226 CE) empires, but evidently from the time of the Sassanids (226–651 CE) they have called it Iran, meaning "the land of Aryans". In Middle Persian sources, the name "Iran" is used for the pre-Sassanid Iranian empires as well as the Sassanid empire. As an example, the use of the name "Iran" for Achaemenids in the Middle Persian book of Arda Viraf refers to the invasion of Iran by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. The Proto-Iranian term for Iran is reconstructed as *Aryānām (the genitive plural of the word *Arya) and the Avestan equivalent is Airyanem (as in Airyanem Vaejah). The internal preference for "Iran" was noted in some Western reference books (e.g. the Harmsworth Encyclopaedia, circa 1907, entry for IRAN: "The name is now the official designation of Persia.") but for international purposes, "Persia" was the norm.

On 21 March 1935, the ruler of the country, Reza Shah Pahlavi, issued a decree asking foreign delegates to use the term "Iran" in formal correspondence.

 

What the Bible Says About Persia and Persians


"In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of The Lord spoken by Jeremiah, The Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "The Lord, The God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a Temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you - may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build The Temple of The Lord, The God of Israel, The God who is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1-3)

 


PERSIA:
  • An empire which extended from India to Ethiopia, comprising one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, (Daniel 6), Esth. 1:1;
  • Government of, restricted by constitutional limitations, Esth. 8:8; (Daniel 6:8-12).
  • Municipal governments in, provided with dual governors, Neh. 3:9, 12, 16-18.
  • The princes advisory in matters of administration, (Daniel 6:1-7).
  • Status of women in, queen sat on the throne with the king, Neh. 2:6.
  • Vashti divorced for refusing to appear before the king's courtiers, Esth. 1:10-22; 2:4.
  • Israel captive in, 2 Chr. 36:20;
  • captivity foretold, Hos. 13:16.
  • Men of, in the Tyrian army, Ezek. 27:10.
  • Rulers of: Ahasuerus, Esth. 1:3.
  • Darius, Dan. 5:31; 6; 9:1.
  • Artaxerxes I, Ezra 4:7-24 .
  • Artaxerxes II, Ezra 7; Neh. 2; 5:14.
  • Cyrus, (2 Chr. 36:22), (2 Chr. 36:23), Ezra 1; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13, 5:14, 5:17; 6:3; Isa. 41:2, 41:3; 44:28; (Isaiah 45:1-8), 13; 46:11; 48:14, 15.
  • Princes of, Esth. 1:14.
  • System of justice, Ezra 7:11-26.
  • Prophecies concerning, Isa. 13: 17; 21:1-10; Jer. 49:34-39; 51:11-64; Ezek. 32:24, 25; 38:5; Dan. 2:31-45; 5:28; 7; 8; 11:1-4.
  • Persian Kings in the Bible

    The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi were written during the time of the early Persian Kingdom. The following are some of the early Persian Kings according to listed books of Bible:

    NAMEDate B.C.Persian NameBible NameBible Background
    Cyrus 539-530 Koorush Cyrus Isaiah 45, Daniel, Ezra 1-3
    Cambysses 530-521 Cambujieh Ahasruerus Ezra 4-6
    Pseudo Smerdis 521 Berooyeh Doroughi Artaxerxes Ezra 4:7-23
    Darius the Great 521-486 Darryoosh Darius Ezra 5,6
    Xerxes 486-465 Khashayarshah Ahasurerus Esther 1-10
    Artaxerxes I 464-423 Ardeshier Deraz Dast Artaxerxes Nehemiah 1 - 13, Ezra 7-10
     
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