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Persian people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Regions with significant populations
Iran 49,312,834 (6165% of the total population)[1][2]
Persian, and closely related languages.
Primarily Shia Islam, as well as Irreligion, Christianity, the Bah' faith, Sunni
Islam, Sufism, and Zoroastrianism.
Related ethnic groups
Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Lurs, Mazanderanis
This article contains Persian text. Without proper rendering support, you may
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The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of
Iran.[3][2] They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the
Persian language,[4][5][6] as well as closely related languages.[7][8]

The ancient Persians were a nomadic branch of the ancient Iranian population that
entered modern-day Iran by the early 10th century BC.[9][10] Together with their
compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world's most powerful
empires,[11][12] well-recognized for their massive cultural, political, and social
influence covering much of the territory and population of the ancient world.[13]

Throughout history, the Persians have contributed greatly to various forms of art,
[15][16][17][18] owning one of the world's most prominent literary traditions,[19]
and have made contributions in numerous other fields, including mathematics,
theology, medicine, and various other sciences.[15]

In contemporary terminology, people of Persian heritage native specifically to

present-day Afghanistan and Tajikistan are referred to as Tajiks, whereas those in
the eastern Caucasus (primarily the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan), albeit
heavily assimilated, are referred to as Tats.[20][21] However, it is to be noted
that the terms Tajik, Tat, and Persian were historically synonyms that were used
interchangeably,[22] and many of the most influential Persian figures hailed from
outside of Iran's present-day borders to the northeast in Central Asia and
Afghanistan and to a lesser extent to the northwest in the Caucasus proper.[23][24]

Contents [hide]
1 ?thnonym
1.1 Etymology
1.2 History of usage
2 History
3 Anthropology
3.1 Persian language
3.2 Related groups
4 Culture
4.1 Art
4.2 Literature
4.3 Architecture
4.4 Gardens
4.5 Music
4.6 Carpets
4.7 Observances
5 References
6 Sources
7 External links
See also Perseus
The English term Persian derives from Latin Persia, itself deriving from Greek
Perss (?e?s??),[25] a Hellenized form of Old Persian Parsa (????????).[26] In the
Bible, it is given as Pars (Hebrew ????????)sometimes Paras uMadai (??? ????;
Persia and Media)within the books of Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemya.

A Greek folk etymology connected the name to Perseus, a legendary character in

Greek mythology. Herodotus recounts this story,[27] devising a foreign son, Perses,
from whom the Persians took the name. Apparently, the Persians themselves knew the
story,[28] as Xerxes I tried to use it to suborn the Argives during his invasion of
Greece, but ultimately failed to do so.

History of usage[edit]
Although Persis was originally one of the provinces of ancient Iran,[29] varieties
of this term (e.g. Persia) were adopted through Greek sources and used as an
official name for all of Iran for many years.[30] Thus, in the Western world, the
term Persian came to refer to all inhabitants of the country.[30]

Some medieval and early modern Islamic sources also used cognates of the term
Persian to refer to various Iranian peoples, including the speakers of the
Khwarezmian language,[31] the Mazanderani language,[32] and the Old Azeri language.
[33] 10th-century Iraqi historian Al-Masudi refers to Pahlavi, Dari and Azari as
dialects of the Persian language.[34] In 1333, medieval Moroccan traveler and
scholar Ibn Battuta referred to the people of Kabul as a specific sub-tribe of
Persians.[35] Lady Mary (Leonora Woulfe) Sheil, in her observation of Iran during
the Qajar era, describes Persians, Kurds, and Leks to identify themselves as
descendants of the ancient Persians.[20]

On March 21, 1935, the former king of Iran, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty,
issued a decree asking the international community to use the term Iran, the native
name of the country, in formal correspondence. However, the term Persian is still
historically used to designate the predominant population of the Iranian peoples
living in the Iranian cultural continent.[36][37][38][39]