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Ṣaḥna

(299 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a small town in the Zagros Mountains of western Persia on the highroad between Kangāwar and Bīsutūn at 61 km/38 miles from Kirmāns̲h̲āh [ q.v.]. The district of Ṣaḥna contains about 28 villages inhabited by settled Turks belonging to the tribe of K̲h̲odābandalū (of Hamadān). At Ṣaḥna there are a few Ahl-i-Ḥaḳḳ [ q.v.], who are in touch with their spiritual superiors in Dīnawar [ q.v.], a frontier district in the north. Ṣaḥna must not be confused with Sinna [ q.v.] or Sanandad̲j̲ [ q.v.], the capital of the Persian province of Kurdistān, the former residence of the Wālīs of Ardalān [ q.v.]. Quit…

Nirīz

(357 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a place in Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān on the road from Marāg̲h̲a [ q.v.] to Urmiya [ q.v.] south of the Lake of Urmiya. The stages on this route are still obscure. At about 15 farsak̲h̲ s south of Marāg̲h̲a was the station of Barza where the road bifurcated; the main road continued southward to Dīnawar, while the northwestern one went from Barza to Tiflīs (2 farsak̲h̲s), thence to D̲j̲ābarwān (6 farsak̲h̲s), thence to Nirīz (4 farsak̲h̲s), thence to Urmiya (14 farsak̲h̲s); cf. Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih. 121 (repeated by Ḳudāma with some variations); al-Muḳaddasī, 383. The distance from Urmiya indi…

Mūḳān

(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…

Nihāwand

(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…

Arūr

(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…

Sunḳur

(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…

Abaskūn

(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…

Bābā-Ṭāhir

(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…

Sīsar

(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 …

Marāg̲h̲a

(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 …

Ṭūsān

(62 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, according to Yāḳūt, a village 2 farsak̲h̲s from Marw al-S̲h̲āhid̲j̲ān [q.v.] In 130 the Umaiyad wālī Naṣr b. Saiyār, retiring under pressure from Abū Muslim, encamped on the river Nahr ʿIyāḍ and appointed Abu ’l-Dhaiyāl to Ṭūsān, the inhabitants of which were partisans of Abū Muslim. Abū ’l-Ḏh̲aiyāl was defeated at Ṭūsān (cf. Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, v. 282). (V. Minorsky)

Lur

(5,689 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(in Persian Lor with o short), an Īrānian people living in the mountains in S.W. Persia. As in the case of the Kurds, the principal link among the four branches of the Lurs (Mamāsani, 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 Luristan, cf. the latter article. The name. Local tradition ( Taʾrīk̲h̲-i Guzīda) connects the name of the Lurs with the place Lu…

Mārdīn

(3,446 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(written Māridīn in Arabic, in Syriac Marde), a town in upper Mesopotamia (Diyār Rabīʿa). Position. In Upper Mesopotamia, the watershed between the Tigris and Euphrates is formed by the heights which culminate in Ḳarad̲j̲a-dag̲h̲, (5,000 feet) S.W. of Diyār-bakr. This basalt massif is continued eastwards in the direction of Ḏj̲azīrat Ibn ʿOmar by the limestone chain known in ancient times as Masius and later as Izala (’ΙζαλαΣ). The eastern part of this ridge forms the district of Ḏj̲abal-Ṭūr or Tūr ʿAbdīn [q.…

Yag̲h̲mā Ḏj̲andaḳī

(814 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V
, pseudonym of the Persian poet Abu ’l-Ḥasan Raḥīm b. Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ibrāhīm Ḳulī. He was born about 1196 (1782) in the village of Ḵh̲ūr in the oasis of Ḏj̲andaḳ or Biyābānak in the middle of the central desert of Persia. He began his life as a camel-herd but by the age of 7 his natural gifts had been noticed by the owner of the oasis, Ismāʿīl Ḵh̲ān ʿArab-i ʿĀmirī whose secretary ( muns̲h̲ī-bās̲h̲ī) he ultimately became. His first nom de plume was Mad̲j̲nūn. In 1216 (1802) Ismāʿīl Ḵh̲ān after a rising against the government had to flee to Ḵh̲urāsān, while Ḏj̲andaḳ was …

Tūrān

(5,903 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, an Iranian term applied to the country to the north-east of Iran. The form of the name is not earlier than the Middle Persian period. The suffix - ān is used to form both patronymics (Pāpakān) and the names of countries (Gēlān, Dailamān) (cf. Grundr. d. iran. Phil., I/ii., p. 176; Salemann, ibid., I/i., p. 280 expresses doubts as to whether - ān is from the genitive plural - ānām). Three questions are raised by the name Tūrān: 1. its origin, 2. its later acceptation, which identifies Tūrān with “the land of the Turks”, 3. its modern geographical, linguistic and political applications. The Tūra.…

Türkmän-čai

(596 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(better T-čayi̊), a village in the district of Gärmärūd in the province of Ād̲h̲arbāid̲j̲ān. Türkmän-čai, “the river of the Turkomans”, is really the name of the stream on which the village stands; it comes down from the Čičäkli pass (between Türkmän-čai and Sarāb). It is one of the northern tributaries of the river of Miyāna (S̲h̲ähär-čayi̊) which flows into the Ḳi̊zi̊lüzän (cf. the article safīd-rūd). The village of Türkmän-čai marks a stage on the great Tabrīz-Zand̲j̲ān-Ḳazwīn-Tihrān-Ḵh̲urāsān road. The distances are Tabrīz-Türkmän-čai c. 60 miles; Türkmä…

Sulṭānābād

(993 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, 1. capital of the Persian province of ʿIrāḳ (popularly: ʿArāḳ). The town was founded in 1808 by Yūsuf Ḵh̲ān Gurd̲j̲ī in the S. W. corner of the plain of Farāhān. The town is built very regularly in the shape of a rectangle; its walls (2,000 × 2,666 feet) are each protected by 12 or 18 towers. The inhabitants number 25,000 (Stahl). The province now bearing the name of ʿIrāḳ (ʿArāḳ) must not be confused with the extensive area to which the geographers of the Mongol period gave the name of ʿIrāḳ ʿAd̲j̲amī (cf. Le Strange, The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, p. 185—186) which included Kirmāns̲h̲ā…

Ahl-I Ḥaḳḳ

(5,008 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, “men of God”, a secret religion found especially in Western Persia. If one wished to choose a name for the sect, Ahl-i Ḥaḳḳ would seem to lack precision for it was in use, for example, among the Ḥurūfīs (cf. Huart, Textes persons relatifs à la secte des Ḥurūfī, in G.M.S., 1909, p. 40), and it resembles Ṣūfī terms like Ahl-i Ḥaḳīḳat (this is also used by the Ahl-i Ḥaḳḳ). In the narrow sense however, Ahl-i Ḥaḳḳ is the name actually given themselves by the followers of the religion described in the present article. The name ʿAlī-Ilāhī [q. v.] given them by…
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