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Fars Province

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Pars attractions

A number of historical attractions in Fars province.

Fars Province[1] (Persian: استان فارس; Ostân e Fârs), is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran and is known as the cultural capital of the nation. It is in the south of the country, in Iran's Region 2,[2] and its administrative center is Shiraz. It has an area of 122,400 km². In 2006, this province had a population of 4.57 million people, of which 61.2% were registered as urban dwellers (urban/suburbs), 38.1% villagers (small town/rural), and 0.7% nomad tribes. The etymology of the word "Persian" (From Latin Persia, from Ancient Greek Περσίς (Persis)), found in many ancient names associated with Iran, is derived from the historical importance of this region.[3]

Fârs (known in Old Persian as Pârsâ) is the original homeland of the ancient Persians. The native name of the Persian language is Pârsi.[4] Persia and Persian both derive from the Hellenized form Περσίς Persis of the root word Pârs. The Old Persian word was Pârsâ.[5]

Etymology

The word Fârs is derived from Pârsâ, the Old Persian name for Persia and its capital, Persepolis. Fârs is the Arabized version of Pârs, as Arabic has no /p/ phoneme.

History

Persis

Takht-jamshid

The ruins of Persepolis.

The ancient Persians were present in the region from about the 10th century BCE, and became the rulers of the largest empire the world had yet seen under the Achaemenid dynasty which was established in the late 6th century BCE, at its peak stretching from Thrace and Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in its far east.[6]The ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire, are located in Fars.

The Achaemenid Empire was defeated by Alexander III of Macedon in 333 BCE, incorporating most of their vast empire. Shortly after this the Seleucid Empire was established. However it never extended its power beyond the main trade routes in Fars, and by reign of Antiochus I or possibly later Persis emerged as an independent state that minted its own coins.[7]

Bas relief nagsh-e-rostam couronnement

A Sassanid relief showing the investiture of Ardashir I.

The Seleucid Empire was subsequently defeated by the Parthians in 238 BCE. By 205 BCE, Antiochus III had extended his authority into Persis and it ceased to be an independent state.[8]

Babak was the ruler of a small town called Kheir. Babak's efforts in gaining local power at the time escaped the attention of Artabanus IV, the Arsacid Emperor of the time. Babak and his eldest son Shapur I managed to expand their power over all of Persis.

The subsequent events are unclear, due to the sketchy nature of the sources. It is however certain that following the death of Babak around 220, Ardashir who at the time was the governor of Darabgird, got involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur I|Shapur. The sources tell us that in 222, Shapur was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him.

At this point, Ardashir moved his capital further to the south of Persis and founded a capital at Ardashir-Khwarrah (formerly Gur, modern day Firouzabad).[9] After establishing his rule over Persis, Ardashir I rapidly extended the territory of his Sassanid Persian Empire, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, and gaining control over the neighboring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, Susiana, and Mesene.

00SarvestanQ80034

Sarvestan Palace in Sarvestan.‏

Artabanus marched a second time against Ardashir I in 224. Their armies clashed at Hormizdegan, where Artabanus IV was killed. Ardashir was crowned in 226 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end, and starting the virtually equally long rule of the Sassanian Empire, over an even larger territory, once again making Persia a leading power in the known world, only this time along its arch rival and successor of Persia's earlier opponents (the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire); the Byzantine Empire.

The Sassanids ruled for 425 years, until the Muslim armies conquered the empire. Afterward the Persians started to convert to Islam, this made it a lot easier for the new Muslim empire to continue the expansion of Islam.

Iran

Persis then passed hand to hand through numerous dynasties, leaving behind numerous historical and ancient monuments; each of which has its own values as a world heritage, reflecting the history of the province, Iran, and West Asia. The ruins of Bishapur, Persepolis, and Firouzabad are all reminders of this.

Demographics

The main ethnic group in the province constitutes of Persians (including Larestani people), while Lurs, Qashqai, Kurds, Arabs, Georgians, and Circassians constitute minorities.[10]

Due to the geographical characteristics of Fars and its proximity to the Persian Gulf, Fars has long been a residing area for various peoples and rulers of Iran. However, the tribes of Fars including Qashqai Turks, Mamasani Lurs, Khamseh and Kohkiluyeh have kept their native and unique cultures and lifestyles which constitute part of the cultural heritage of Iran attracting many tourists.

Among the hundreds of thousands of Georgians and Circassians that were transplanted to Persia under Shah Abbas II, his predecessors, and successors, a certain amount of them were to guard the main caravan routes; many were settled around Āspās and other villages along the old Isfahan-Shiraz road. By now these Caucasians have lost their cultural, linguistic, and religious identity, having mostly being assimilated into the population.[11]

The province has a population of 4.4 million approximately.

See also

  • Mansur Hallaj Persian mystic from Fars Province, killed in the 9th century CE.

References

  1. Coordinates: 29°37′N 52°32′E / 29.617°N 52.533°E / 29.617; 52.533
  2. "همشهری آنلاین-استان‌های کشور به ۵ منطقه تقسیم شدند (Provinces were divided into 5 regions)" (in Persian (Farsi)). Hamshahri Online. 22 June 2014 (1 Tir 1393, Jalaali). Archived from the original on 23 June 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140623191332/http://www.hamshahrionline.ir/details/263382/Iran/-provinces. 
  3. M. A. Dandamaev (1989). A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire. BRILL. pp. 4–6. http://books.google.com/books?id=ms30qA6nyMsC&pg=PA4&dq=Fars+or+Persis&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v-40U4Bm8cmxBMe_ghg&ved=0CFwQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Fars%20or%20Persis&f=false. 
  4. Sykes, Percy (1921). A History of Persia. London: Macmillan and Company. p. 43. http://www.wdl.org/en/item/7307/view/1/43/. 
  5. Richard Nelson Frye (1984). The History of Ancient Iran, Part 3, Volume 7. C.H.Beck. pp. 9–15. http://books.google.com/books?id=0y1jeSqbHLwC&pg=PR9&dq=Fars+cultural+capital+of+Iran&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pu80U9oI5siwBKDXgpAP&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Fars%20cultural%20capital%20of%20Iran&f=false. 
  6. David Sacks, Oswyn Murray, Lisa R. Brody; Oswyn Murray; Lisa R. Brody (2005). Encyclopedia of the ancient Greek world. Infobase Publishing. pp. 256 (at the right portion of the page). ISBN 978-0-8160-5722-1. http://books.google.com/?id=gsGmuQAACAAJ. 
  7. The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3 (1), p. 299
  8. The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3 (1), p. 302
  9. Kaveh Farrokh (2007). Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Osprey Publishing. pp. 176–9. http://books.google.com/books?id=p7kltwf9yrwC&pg=PA178&dq=ardashir+II+persis&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LPI0U97aN8y0sAStqoH4CA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=ardashir%20II%20persis&f=false. 
  10. "FĀRS vii. Ethnography". 31 May 2014. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/fars-vii. 
  11. "FĀRS vii. Ethnography". 31 May 2014. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/fars-vii. 

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