This section is a continuation of the articles on ancient Asian padlocks, which began with “Padlocks in China” and “Padlocks in India”.
Persia – Iran, a brief historyJomhoori-e-Islami-e-Iran is a republic with a very long, complex cultural history. The name Iran means the land of the Aryans, and the name Persia comes from Persis, the Greek name of the area where the Indo-Iranians settled. Nearly a third of the size of Europe, Iran borders on Iraq and Turkey to the west, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman – the Arabian Sea – in the south.
The Aryans were an Indo-European nomadic people from Central Asia who began immigrating to the area about 2000 years before the Common Era. Many royal families and dynasties succeeded one another through history. In the sixth century BC, Cyrus the Great united the Persians in a single kingdom. His son and grandson attempted to defeat the Greeks in the early fifth century BC, and the kingdom of Darius the Great was crushed by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. After brief interludes of rule by Macedonians and Hellenists, and finally the encounter with the Romans in the early second century BC, the Sassanians took over in the third century AD.
Just over 400 years later, the Muslim caliphate converted the country to Islam. In the 10th century, it was time for another shift of power, when the Buyids became the new rulers. In 1253 it was the Mongols’ turn; they ruled until the 14th century, when the Turks took over. From the start of the 16th century into the 18th century, Persia was ruled by the Safavid Dynasty.
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Published 24 May 2011
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