Local kingdoms ruled by kings eventually became provinces ruled by governors. These words would evolve to Iran-shahr. The terms “Persian” and “Iranian” don’t necessarily mean the same thing. Achaemenid dynasty of Persian kings - the first recorded Persian dynasty - as well as subsequent Achaemenian kings including Cyrus, referred to themselves as kings of Anshan. The Achaemenid Persian Empire came to a close at the hands of Alexander of Macedonia in 330 BCE. However, Persian people within their country have long called it Iran (often spelled Eran). Some Euro-centric map-makers and authors ignored this formal request and continued to use Persia as the name instead of Iran. benoitb / Getty Images "Persia" was the official name of Iran in the Western world prior to 1935 when the country and vast surrounding lands were known as Persia (derived from the ancient kingdom of Parsa and the Persian empire). In 1935, the name Iran came into existence internationally and The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the boundaries in existence today, was founded in 1979 following the revolution which ousted the government of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980). As we had mentioned earlier, this region at one time included 240 kingdoms. Today, in the north-western Afghan province of Herat, anciently called Aria (Arya), we find a people called the Parsiban (Parsi-ban could be a Parsua was a precursor to the name Parsa (Persia). The names Iran and Persia are often used interchangeably to mean the same country. If so, the lack of mention of Parsa/Pars in both the Vendidad list of nations and the early Shahnameh, and well as the predominance of pre-Parsa Elamite artefacts in the Pars area beg a reasonable explanation. The king sought to expand his kingdom by conquering the non-Aryan territories especially west of Persia. Five dynasties ruled the Persian Empire before it collapsed in 1925. In 2015, the CIA World Factbook provided the following percentage breakdown of languages in Iran:.

Similarly as with Pars, the word 'Parsi' meaning 'of Pars' or 'Persian' was mispronounced by the Arabs as 'Farsi' [As with the names 'English' or 'German', Parsi can mean the language of Pars, or a person from Pars (it is used as a last name), or for that matter, anything from Pars]. The West, influenced as it was by Greek and Latin literature, continued to call Eran 'Persia', presumably out of habit or because the rulers of Iran were Persians. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Arabs took over the control of the empire by establishing the Safavid dynasty, and Afsharid dynasties.

The word “Persia” was derived from “Pers” which is a western version of "Pars". As we had noted at the outset of this article, the name of the original Aryan homeland, Airyana Vaeja, evolved into Airan-Vej, then Eran-Vej or Airan-Vej (the Parthians and Sassanians had a slightly different pronunciation), then Eran or Airan, and finally Iran. Later, in 1795 CE, the subsequent Qajar dynasty kings formally made Tehran Iran's capital, a position Tehran has held since then. "Persia" was the official name of Iran in the Western world prior to 1935 when the country and vast surrounding lands were known as Persia (derived from the ancient kingdom of Parsa and the Persian empire). Note: In 2018, The CIA World Factbook stated that Iran's ethnic groups are Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes. The CIA World Factbook no longer provides percentage breakdowns of Iran's ethnic groups. Since the Vendidad's list of nations does not include two Aryan kingdoms, Parsa (Pars/Pers/Persia) or Mada (Media), we are left to conclude that these nations had not been formed - at least as autonomous kingdoms or nations in the fashion of the other sixteen lands - at the time the list was assembled. By the time Cyrus had finished putting together the Persian Empire, it had become the largest empire the world had ever known to that point in history. There are those who believe that the Persians were autochthonous or aboriginal to the region of Pars. We therefore call these kingdoms the Vendidad Nations. The use of the term Persia to refer to modern-day Iran was popularized by the west due to the ancient Greek authors. Modern Iranian culture owes itself in …

Some people draw a distinction in that Persian relates to a particular ethnicity, and being Iranian is a claim to a certain nationality.

Mada (Media), Parsa (Persia), Parthava (Parthia) and then Persia again. Throughout the centuries, the territorial boundaries of the empire changed severally, but the political and economic center remained in present-day Iran. Herodotus (485 - 420 BCE ) says that the Median (and Persian) association as Aryans was already 'ancient' in relation to the mid-first millennium BCE, the time when he lived. The Greeks (who had previously tended to use names related to "Median") began to use adjectives such as Pérsēs (Πέρσης), Persikḗ (Περσική) or Persís (Περσίς) in the fifth century BC to refer to Cyrus the Great's empire (a word understood to mean "country").

Iran, a mountainous, arid, and ethnically diverse country of southwestern Asia. Pars is one of the provinces of Iran and the seat of the ancient Persian Empire. This resulted in an ethnic disparity between these nations. In 248 BCE the Aryan Parthians overthrew the Seleucids and established the Parthian Empire. The king brought together the Aryan empires and established the Achaemenid Persian Empire. That Western tradition continued into the last century until the reign of Iranian king, Reza Shah, founder of the Pahlavi dynasty. Thus, Iran is used in the context of political discussion, while both Iran and Persia are used in cultural context.

Today, some consider “Persian” to be an old term that hearkens back to the former days of monarchy, but the term still has cultural value and relevance. The terms Iranian and Persian are often used interchangeably to describe people from Iran, and some people think they mean the same thing, but is one term correct? People who identify as Persian account for the majority, but there are also large numbers of Azeri, Gilaki and Kurdish people, too. A ninth century (844) BCE inscription that recorded a successful military expedition by Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (859-824 BCE) in the north-central Zagros ranges south of Lake Urmia (in the northwest corner of today's Iran), states that Shalmaneser exacted tribute from twenty-seven 'kings' or chieftains of Parsua. To call all of Iran 'Persia', would be like calling all of Britain 'England'.The name 'Persia' comes from 'Pers' which is in turn the European version of 'P…

She is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center.

Achaemenid Persians. It was usual that when such a coup took place, for the various Aryan nations or kingdoms to assert independence from central authority and for the rebellion to be met with a strong response from the coup leader to consolidate power. In some ways the concept is similar to the umbrella Hellenic nation where when the In doing so, they formed fifteen additional kingdoms listed in the Avesta, the Zoroastrian scriptures, in a book called the Vendidad. mid-eastern Aryana) to the Medes (in north-west Aryana) and now to the Persians (in south-western Aryana). In 1935 CE, Reza Shah asked those countries with whom Iran had diplomatic relations, to stop using the name Persia and to formally refer to his country as Iran.
The king of the dominant kingdom was called king-of-kings (shah-en-shah in modern terms) - an emperor.]. Several authors feel that the name The Iranians have never referred to themselves as Persians or to their country as Persia. It continues to live, however, in many hearts. Despite its lateral size, Feridoon's ancient Iranian Empire does not appear to have extended its western borders in width to include the later southwest land where Parsa would eventually be located, for we do not find mention in the Shahnameh of lands south of what is today Kurdistan and perhaps Lorestan (Narwan?).

The Persian migration theory is not universally accepted. Generally, “Persia” today refers to Iran because the country formed over the center of the ancient Persian empire and the majority of its original citizens inhabited that land. Persians allied with the Elamites, attacked the Assyrian city of Halule. Note: In 2018, The CIA World Factbook stated that Iran's languages are Persian Farsi, Azeri and other Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, and Arabic. The CIA World Factbook no longer provides percentage breakdowns of Iran's languages. To call all of Iran 'Persia', would be like calling all of Britain 'England'.

» Top, •  © Author: K. E. Eduljee, Zoroastrian Heritage, 2005-17 (researched from 1979 onwards)   •  Contact   •  Page validated by W3C.org, Jashan / Jashne - Thanksgiving Ceremonies, Location of the Aryan Homeland, Airyana Vaeja, Click here for a map of the sixteen Aryan nations, Map showing Iran and Central Asia and the possible movement of the Persian-Aryans culminating in the formation of Persia. In the 1930s, Reza Shah Pahlavi, the then ruler of Iran sought to formalize the use of the name Iran in the West and therefore issued an international circular requesting foreign diplomatic missions in the country to address the state as Iran and not Persia. Persepolis in Pars. The name 'Persia' comes from 'Pers' which is in turn the European version of 'Pars' - an area that is today a province of Iran (see the map at the bottom of this page). Thus, the term Persian is an exonym “The World Factbook: Iran.” Central Intelligence Agency, 2015. However, most mentions of Iran in the news focus on some of the many problems the country is facing, such as its controversial nuclear program, undemocratic government, and harsh gender divide. In the early Iranian history phase, the Shahnameh makes first mention of a greater Iranian nation, an empire, during the reign of King Feridoon. Even Iranian legends such as those contained in the poet Ferdowsi's epic, the Shahnameh or Book of Kings, do not mention Persia or Media during the early legendary phase. For a more detailed discussion on the possible location of Airyana Vaeja, please see our page on the

The use of the term Persia to refer to modern-day Iran was popularized by the west due to the ancient Greek authors. The word “Persia” was derived from “Pers” which is a western version of "Pars". About 2,500 years ago, the Parsa (Persians) rose to power to became the dominant Aryan kingdom.

While the Shahnameh does not mention Persia during the reign of King Feridoon, his sons married the daughters of the King of Yemen (we presume this is the same Yemen as the one in the south of the Arabian peninsula) thereby forming an alliance between ancient Iran and Yemen. [*Note: According to the Middle Persian (Pahlavi) Kârnâmak-i Ardeshir-i Pâpakân / Kârnâmag-î Ardashîr-î Babagân, Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak / Babag, the Book of Deeds, "there were in the territory of Iran two hundred and forty princes" at the beginning of Parthian rule of Iran/Airan. Elam is some hundred kilometres south of Kermanshah and is, together with Lorestan, in the mid-western border region of Iran today. In 330 BCE, Alexander of Macedonia took over the territory and established the Seleucid Empire. This was when the Persian Sassanian dynasty displaced the Parthian Ashkanian kings as the Aryan king-of-kings. derivative of the older Parsa-van, meaning 'people of the Parsa/Parsi'. The words Eran-shahr meaning 'place of the Aryans' was also used by the Sassanians in describing the Iranian nation. Thus, a person could be one without being the other. Pars was no longer the seat of the Iran's capital anyway, since in the years following the Arab invasion of Iran, a 17th century CE Safavid dynasty king made his residence in the north-central Iranian town of Tehran.

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