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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 o…

Mag̲h̲nisa

(1,477 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Faroqhi, Suraiya
, modern Turkish form Manisa, classical Magnesia, a town of western Anatolia, in the ancient province of Lydia, lying to the south of the Gediz river on the northeastern slopes of the Manisa Daği, which separates it from Izmir or Smyrna (lat. 38° 36′ N., long 27° 27′ E.). In Greek and then Roman times, Magnesia ad Sipylum was a flourishing town, noted amongst other things for the victory won in its vicinity by the two Scipios over Antiochus the Great of Syria in 190 B.C., and continued to flourish under the Byzantines (see Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie , xxvii, 472-…

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…

Lūlī

(2,957 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Elwell-Sutton, L.P.
, one of the names for gipsies in Persia; parallel forms are: in Persian, lūrī , lōrī ( Farhang-i D̲j̲ahāngīrī ); in Balūčī, lōṛī (Denys Bray, Census of Baluchistan , 1911, iv, 143, gives the popular etymology from lōṛ = “lot, share”). The name lūlī is first found in a legend relating to the reign of Bahrām Gūr (420-38 A.D.). At the request of this Sāsānid King, who wished to amuse his subjects, the Indian king S̲h̲angal (?) sent to Persia 4,000 (12,000) Indian musicians. Ḥamza (350/961), ed. Berlin-Kaviani, 38, calls them al-Zuṭṭ [ q.v.], Firdawsī (Mohl, vi, 76-7), Lūriyān; T̲h̲aʿālibī, G̲h̲ur…

Sulaymāniyya

(1,807 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Ed.
, a town and district in southern Kurdistān, since the Ottoman reconquest of ʿIrāḳ from the Ṣafawids in the 11th/17th ¶ century under nominal Ottoman suzerainty, and since the aftermath of the First World War in the kingdom and then republic of ʿIrāḳ. The town lies in lat. 35° 32′ E. and long. 45° 27′ N. at an altitude of 838 m/2,750 feet, and is 90 km/54 miles east of Kirkūk [ q.v.], to which it is connected by road. The historical region of Sulaymāniyya lies between what is now the ʿIrāḳ-Persia frontier, the Diyāla [ q.v.] and its upper affluents the Tand̲j̲aru and Sīrwān, the region of …

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…

Lām

(1,447 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Burrell, R.M.
, Banū , a numerous and formerly powerful Arab tribe living on the borders of Iran and ʿIrāḳ, principally on the plain between the foothills of the Pus̲h̲t-i Kūh mountains and the river Tigris. The easterly limit of the main tribal territory follows the course of the Rūd-i Kark̲h̲a southwards from Pā-yi Pul to the area north of Ḥawīza where the river peters out into salt flats. The course of the Tigris between S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Saʿd and ʿAmāra forms the westerly limit of that territ…

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…

Nasā

(583 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Bosworth, C.E.
, Nisā , the name of several places in Persia. Yāḳūt enumerates Nasās in K̲h̲urāsān. Fārs, Kirmān and the district of Hamad̲h̲ān in D̲j̲ibāl, but W. Eilers has assembled a much larger number of Persian place names containing the element nasā ( r) or containing linguistic elements apparently connected with it. Scholars like Bartholomae and Marquart sought an etymology in Old Iranian śai- “to lie” (Grk. Κεῖσθαι), with the ideas of “settlement” or “low-lying place”; Eilers however explains it as from NP nasā, nasa ( r), nisā , “place lying in the shade (e.g. of a mountain)” ( Iranische Ortsname…

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 …

Musāfirids

(2,340 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
( Kangarids or Sallārids ), a dynasty of Daylamī origin which came from Ṭārum [ q.v.] and reigned in the 4th-5th/10th-11th centuries of the Hid̲j̲ra in Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān, Arrān and Armenia. Its coming to power was one of the manifestations of the great movement of Iranian liberation which formed a kind of interlude between the end of Arab domination and the first Turkish invasions. While in K̲h̲urāsān and Transoxania this movement culminated in the rule of the Sāmānids [ q.v.], in western Persia and Mesopotamia its standard-bearers were the Daylamīs and to a smaller extent…

Wak̲h̲ān

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Bosworth, C.E.
, a region in the heart of Inner Asia, to the south of the Pamir [ q.v.] range, essentially a long and narrow valley running east-west and watered by the upper Oxus or Pand̲j̲a and the Wak̲h̲ān Daryā, its southernmost source. The length of Wak̲h̲ān along the Oxus is 67 miles and of the Wak̲h̲ān Daryā (from Langar-kis̲h̲ to the Wak̲h̲d̲j̲īr pass) 113 miles. Afg̲h̲an sources put the distance from Is̲h̲kās̲h̲im to Sarḥadd at 66 kurōh (=22 farsak̲h̲s ). ¶ To the south of Wak̲h̲ān rises the wall of the Hindū Kus̲h̲, through which several passes lead to the lands of the upper In…

Nak̲h̲čiwān

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | Bosworth, C.E.
, Nak̲h̲čuwān , the name of a town in Transcaucasia which is also the chief town of a region of the same name, until the early 19th century a largely independent khanate and in former Soviet Russian administrative geography part of the Azerbaijan SSR but an enclave within the Armenian Republic. Both town and region lie to the northwest of the great southern bend of the Araxes river, since 1834 here the frontier between Persia and Russian territory. The town of Nak̲h̲čiwān is …
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