Gīlān
(1,424 words)

, a historic region around the delta of the river Safīd-rūd [q.v.], was the homeland of the Gēl people (Gelae, Γῆλαι; = Καδούϭιοι) in antiquity. The present Persian inhabitants, who speak a special dialect (cf. G. Melgunoff, Essai sur les dialectes ... du Ghîlân ..., in ZDMG, xvii (1868), 195-224, and the article iran: Languages) bear the name Gīlak (at an earlier period also Gīl). The derivation of the name from gil “clay”, in allusion to the marshes of the region, is a piece of folk etymology.

In the middle ages Gīlān first extended as far as the Čālūs in the south east; later i…

Cite this page
Spuler, B., “Gīlān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 21 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2527>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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