Iranian peoples: Wikis


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Iranian peoples

Geographic distribution of modern Iranian languages: Persian (green), Pashto (purple) and Kurdish (turquoise), Lurish (red), Baloch (Yellow), as well as smaller communities of other Iranian languages.

Total population
150-200 million[1]

Indigenous ethnicities and emigrant communities living in: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Oman, China (Xinjiang), Hungary, United Kingdom, Germany and United States.

Regions with significant populations
Iranian plateau and the Middle East, Anatolia, the Caucasus and as immigrant communities in North America, and Western Europe.

Iranian Languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family.


Predominantly Shi'a Islam and Sunni Islam. There are also some adherents of Orthodox Christianity[2], Georgian Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Bahá'í Faith, Zoroastrianism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Nestorians.

The Iranian peoples[3] are an ethnic and linguistic branch of Indo-European peoples, living mainly on the Iranian plateau and beyond in central, southern, and southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe. As a group of people, they are predominantly defined along linguistic lines as speaking the Iranian languages,[4] a major branch of the Indo-European language family. They are spread across the Iranian plateau, stretching from the Hindu Kush to central Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf - a region that is sometimes termed Greater Iran.[5] Speakers of Iranian languages, however, were once found throughout Eurasia, from the Balkans to western China.[6][7] As Iranian people are not confined to the borders of the current state of Iran, the term Iranic peoples is sometimes used to avoid confusion with the citizens of Iran.

The series of ethnic groups which make up the Iranian people are traced to a branch of the ancient Indo-European Aryans known as the Iranians or Proto-Iranians. Archaeological finds in Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East have elucidated some scant information about the way of life of these early people. The Iranian people have played an important role throughout history: the Achaemenid Persians established one of the world's first multi-national states and the Scythian-Sarmatian nomads dominated the vast expanses of the Eurasian steppe for centuries with a group of Sarmatian warrior women possibly being the inspiration for the Greek legend of the Amazons.[8][9] In addition, the various religions of the Iranian people, including Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, are believed by some scholars to be important early philosophical influences on Judeo-Christianity.[10] Early Iranian tribes are the ancestors of many modern Iranian peoples.


Etymology and usage

The term Iranian is derived from the Old Iranian ethnical adjective Aryana which is itself a synonym and a derivative of the IE word Arya.[11] The name Iran is from Aryānām; lit: "[Land] of the Aryans".[12][13] The old Proto-Indo-Iranian term Arya, per Thieme meaning "hospitable", is believed to have been one of the self-referential terms used by the Aryans, at least in the areas populated by Aryans who migrated south from Central Asia. Another meaning for Aryan is noble. In the late part of the Avesta (Vendidad 1) one of their homelands was referred to as Airyanem Vaejah. The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat (Pliny's view) and even the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau (Strabo's designation).[13]

From a linguistic standpoint, the term Iranian people is similar in its usage to the term Germanic people, which includes various people who speak Germanic languages such as German, English and Dutch, Norwegian, or the term Slavic people, which includes various speakers of Slavic languages including Russians, Poles, Croats or Serbs.[14] Thus, along similar lines, the Iranian people include not only the Persians and Tajiks (or eastern Persians) of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, but also the Pashtuns, Baloch, of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kurds, Lurs, Zazas, Ossetians and others. The academic usage of the term Iranian people or Iranic people is distinct from the state of Iran and its various citizens (who are all Iranian by nationality and thus popularly referred to as Iranians) in the same way that Germanic people is distinct from Germans. Many citizens of Iran are not necessarily "Iranian people" by virtue of not being speakers of Iranian languages and may not have discernible ties to ancient Iranian tribes.

History and settlement



The extent of the BMAC (according to the EIEC).

Having descended from the Proto-Indo-Iranians, it is widely believed that the Proto-Iranians separated from the Indo-Aryans, Dards (variously considered as Indo-Iranian or within the Indo-Aryan branch),[15] and the Nuristanis in the early 2nd millennium BCE, in Central Asia. The area between northern Afghanistan, the Aral Sea and the Urals is hypothesized to have been the region where the Proto-Iranians first emerged, following the separation of the Indo-Iranians,[16] in the area of the previous, non-Indo-European Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex, a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia.

By the early 1st millennium, Ancient Iranian peoples such as Medes, Persians, Bactrians and Parthians populated the Iranian plateau, while others such as the Scythians, Cimmerians, Sarmatians and Alans populated the steppes north of the Black Sea. The Saka, Scythian, tribes spread as far west as the Balkans and as far east as Xinjiang. The Kushan Empire, with Bactrian roots/connections, once controlled much of Pakistan, some of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The Kushan elite (who the Chinese called the Yuezhi) were either a Tocharian-speaking (another Indo-European branch) people or an Eastern Iranian language-speaking people.

The division into an "Eastern" and a "Western" group by the early 1st millennium is visible in Avestan vs. Old Persian, the two oldest known Iranian languages. The Old Avestan texts known as the Gathas are believed to have been composed by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism, with the Yaz culture (ca. 1500–1100 BCE) as a candidate for the development of Eastern Iranian culture.

Old Persian appears to have been established in written form by 519 BCE, following the creation of the Old Persian script, inspired by the cuneiform script of the Assyrians.[17]

Western Iranians

Geographical extent of Iranian influence in the 1st century BCE. The Parthian Empire (mostly Western Iranian) is shown in red, other areas, dominated by Scythia (Eastern Iranian), in orange.
Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent
Bronze Statue of General Surena Hero of carrhae, National Museum of Iran.

During the first centuries of the first millennium BCE, the ancient Persians established themselves in the western portion of the Iranian plateau and appear to have interacted considerably with the Elamites and Babylonians, while the Medes also entered in contact with the Assyrians.[18] Remnants of the Median language and Old Persian show their common Proto-Iranian roots, emphasized in Strabo and Herodotus' description of their languages as very similar to the languages spoken by the Bactrians and Soghdians in the east.[13][19] Following the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire, the Persian language (referred to as "Farsi" in Persian) spread from Pars or Fars Province to various regions of the Empire, with the modern dialects of Iran, Afghanistan (also known as Dari) and Central-Asia (known as Tajiki) descending from Old Persian.

Old Persian is attested in the Behistun Inscription (ca. 519 BCE), recording a proclamation by Darius the Great. In southwestern Iran, the Achaemenid kings usually wrote their inscriptions in trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian)[20] while elsewhere other languages were used. The administrative languages were Elamite in the early period, and later Imperial Aramaic.[21]

The early inhabitants of the Achaemenid Empire appear to have adopted the religion of Zoroastrianism. ].[22] The Baloch who speak a west Iranian language relate an oral tradition regarding their migration from Aleppo, Syria around the year 1000 AD, whereas linguistic evidence links Balochi to Kurdish and Zazaki.[23]

Eastern Iranians

While the Iranian tribes of the south are better known through their texts and modern counterparts, the tribes which remained largely in the vast Eurasian expanse are known through the references made to them by the ancient Greeks, Persians, Indo-Aryans as well as by archaeological finds. Many ancient Sanskrit texts make references to tribes like Sakas, Paradas, Kambojas, Bahlikas, Uttaramadras, Madras, Lohas, Parama Kambojas, Rishikas, Tukharas or Tusharas etc and locate them in the (Uttarapatha) (north-west) division, in Central Asia, around Hindukush range in northern Pakistan. The Greek chronicler, Herodotus (5th century BCE) makes references to a nomadic people, the Scythians; he describes as having dwelt in what is today southern Russia.

It is believed that these Scythians were conquered by their eastern cousins, the Sarmatians, who are mentioned by Strabo as the dominant tribe which controlled the southern Russian steppe in the 1st millennium AD. These Sarmatians were also known to the Romans, who conquered the western tribes in the Balkans and sent Sarmatian conscripts, as part of Roman legions, as far west as Roman Britain.

The Sarmatians of the east became the Alans, who also ventured far and wide, with a branch ending up in Western Europe and North Africa, as they accompanied the Germanic Vandals during their migrations. The modern Ossetians are believed to be the sole direct descendants of the Alans, as other remnants of the Alans disappeared following Germanic, Hunnic and ultimately Slavic migrations and invasions.[24] Another group of Alans allied with Goths to defeat the Romans and ultimately settled in what is now called Catalonia (Goth-Alania).[25]

Silver coin of the Indo-Scythian king Azes II (r.c. 35–12 BCE). Buddhist triratna symbol in the left field on the reverse.
Scythian Horseman, Pazyryk felt artifact, c. 300 BCE

Some of the Saka-Scythian tribes in Central Asia would later move further southeast and invade the Iranian plateau, large sections of present day Pakistan/Afghanistan and finally deep into the northwestern portion of the Indian subcontinent; i.e. present day Punjab (Persian for land of five rivers) (see Indo-Scythians). Another Iranian tribe related to the Saka-Scythians were the Parni in Central Asia, and who later become indistinguishable from the Parthians, speakers of a northwest-Iranian language. Many Iranian tribes, including the Khwarazmians, Massagetae and Sogdians, were assimilated and/or displaced in Central Asia by the migrations of Turkic tribes emanating out of Xinjiang and Siberia.[26]

The most dominant surviving Eastern Iranians are represented by the Pashtuns, whose origins are generally believed to be from the Suleiman mountains in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, from which they began to spread until they reached as far west as Herat, north to areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan; and as eastward towards the Indus as well as adjacent areas of the Panjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. The Pashto language shows affinities to the Avestan and Bactrian.

The modern Sarikoli in southern Xinjiang and the Ossetians of the Caucasus are remnants of the various Saka tribes. The modern Ossetians claim[citation needed] to be the descendants of the Alano-Sarmatians and their claims are supported by their Northeast Iranian language, while culturally the Ossetians resemble their Caucasian neighbors, the Kabardians, Circassians and Georgians.[24] Various extinct Iranian people existed in the eastern Caucasus, including the Azaris, while some Iranian people remain in the region, including the Talysh[27] and the Tats[28] (including the Judeo-Tats,[29] who have relocated to Israel), found in Azerbaijan and as far north as the Russian republic of Dagestan. A remnant of the Sogdians is found in the Yaghnobi speaking population in parts of the Zeravshan valley in Tajikistan.

Later developments

Statue of Saladin "king of Egypt" near the Citadel of Damascus

Starting with the reign of Omar in 634 CE, Muslim Arabs began a conquest of the Iranian plateau. The Arabs conquered the Sassanid Empire of the Persians and seized much of the Byzantine Empire populated by the Kurds and others. Ultimately, the various Iranian people, including the Persians, Azaries, Kurds and Pashtuns, converted to Islam. The Iranian people would later split along sectarian lines as the Persians (and later the Hazara) adopted the Shi'a sect. As ancient tribes and identities changed, so did the Iranian people, many of whom assimilated foreign cultures and people.[30]

Later, during the 2nd millennium CE, the Iranian people would play a prominent role during the age of Islamic expansion and empire. Saladin, a noted adversary of the Crusaders, was an ethnic Kurd, while various empires centered in Iran (including the Safavids) re-established a modern dialect of Persian as the official language spoken throughout much of what is today Iran and adjacent parts of Central Asia. Iranian influence spread to the Ottoman Empire, where Persian was often spoken at court, as well as in the Mughal Empire, a Mongol-Turkic (Uzbek) peoples, which began in Afghanistan and shifted to South Asia encompassing various regions which now make up parts of Pakistan. All of the major Iranian people reasserted their use of Iranian languages following the decline of Arab rule, but would not begin to form modern national identities until the 19th and early 20th centuries (just as Germans and Italians were beginning to formulate national identities of their own).

The following either partially descend from Iranian people or are sometimes regarded as possible descendants of ancient Iranian people:

  • Turkic-speakers:
    • Azeris: Although Azeris speak a Turkic language (modern Azerbaijani language), they are believed to be primarily descendants of ancient Iranians[31] and Caucasians.[32] Thus, due to their historical ties with various ancient Iranians, as well as their cultural ties to Persians,[33] the Azeris are often associated with the Iranian people (see Origin of Azerbaijani people and the Iranian theory regarding the origin of the Azerbaijanis for more details).[34]
    • Uzbeks: The modern Uzbek people are believed to have both Iranian and Turkic ancestry. "Uzbek" and "Tajik" are modern designations given to the culturally homogeneous, sedentary population of Central Asia. The local ancestors of both groups - the Turkic-speaking Uzbeks and the Iranian-speaking Tajiks - were known as "Sarts" ("sedentary merchants") prior to the Russian conquest of Central Asia, while "Uzbek" or "Turk" were the names given to the nomadic and semi-nomadic populations of the area. Still today, modern Uzbeks and Tajiks are known as "Sarts" to their Turkic neighbours, the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz. The ancient Iranic Soghdians and Bactrians are among their ancestors. Culturally, the Uzbeks are closer to their sedentary Iranian-speaking neighbours rather than to their nomadic and semi-nomadic Turkic neighbours. Some Uzbek scholars, i.e. Ahmadov and Askarov, favour the Iranian origin theory.[35]
  • Slavic-speakers:
    • A few linguists suggest that the names of the South Slavic people, the Serbs and Croats, are not of Slavic origin, but rather Iranic. Those who entertain such a connection propose that the Sarmatian Serboi and Horouthos tribes might have migrated from the Eurasian steppe lands to eastern Europe, and assimilated with the numerically superior Slavs, passing on their name. Certainly, Iranic-speaking people did inhabit parts of the Balkans in late classical times, and would have been encountered by the Slavs. However, direct linguistic, historical or archaeological proof for such a theory is lacking. (See also: Theories on the origin of Serbs and Theories on the origin of Croats)


There are an estimated 150 to 200 million native speakers of Iranian languages, the five major groups of Persians, Lurs, Pashtuns, Kurds and Baloch accounting for about 90% of this number.[36] Currently, most of these Iranian people live in Iran, the Caucasus (mainly Ossetia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (especially Samarkand and Bukhara), Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Kurdish majority populated areas of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Due to recent migrations, there are also large communities of speakers of Iranian languages in Europe, the Americas, and Israel.

The following is a list of Iranian people with the respective groups's core areas of settlements and their estimated sizes (in million):

People region population
Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and other Persian states
60 to 70 M
Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Georgia,
Turkmenistan and Lebanon
32 to 37 M
Pashtuns Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
20 to 35 M
Baluchis Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan
10 M
Gilakis & Mazanderanis Iran
5 to 10 M
Lurs & Bakhtiaris Iran
6 M
Laks Iran
0.5 M
Pamiri people
Tajikistan, China (Xinjiang),
Pakistan, Afghanistan
0.9 M
Talysh Azerbaijan, Iran
0.5 M
Georgia (South Ossetia and Georgia proper),
Russia (North Ossetia), Hungary
0.7 M
Zazas Turkey
1 to 2 M
Parsis& Irani Pakistan and India
0.1 M
Yaghnobi Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (Zerafshan region)
0.025 M
Kumzari Oman (Musandam)
0.021 M


It is largely through linguistic similarities that the Iranian people have been linked, as many non-Iranian people have adopted Iranian languages and cultures. However, other common traits have been identified as well and a stream of common historical events have often linked the southern Iranian people, including Hellenistic conquests, the various empires based in Persia, Arab Caliphates and Turkic invasions.


Many of the cultural traits of the ancient Iranians were similar to other Proto-Indo-European societies. Like other Indo-Europeans, the early Iranians practiced ritual sacrifice, had a social hierarchy consisting of warriors, clerics and farmers and poetic hymns and sagas to recount their deeds.[14]

Following the Iranian split from the Indo-Iranians, the Iranians developed an increasingly distinct culture. Various common traits can be discerned among the Iranian people. For example, the social event Norouz is an Iranian festival that is practiced by nearly all of the Iranian people as well as others in the region. Its origins are traced to Zoroastrianism and pre-historic times.

Some Iranian people exhibit distinct traits that are unique unto themselves. The Pashtuns adhere to a code of honor and culture known as Pashtunwali, which has a similar counterpart among the Baloch, called Mayar, that is more hierarchical.[37]


The early Iranian people worshipped various deities found throughout other cultures where Indo-European immigrants established themselves.[38] The earliest major religion of the Iranian people was Zoroastrianism, which spread to nearly all of the Iranian people living in the Iranian plateau. Other religions that had their origins in the Iranian world were Mithraism, Manichaeism, and Mazdakism, among others.

Mazari Sharif's Blue Mosque in Afghanistan is a structure of cobalt blue and turquoise minarets, attracting visitors and pilgrims from all over the world. Many such Muslim architectural monuments can be attributed to the efforts of the Iranian people who are predominantly followers of Islam today.

Modern speakers of Iranian languages mainly follow Islam. Some follow Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and the Bahá'í Faith, with an unknown number showing no religious affiliation. Overall the numbers of Sunni and Shia among the Iranian people are equally distributed. Most Kurds, Tajiks, Pashtuns, and Baluch are Sunni Muslims, while the remainder are mainly Twelver Shi'a, comprising mostly Persians in Iran, and Hazaras in Afghanistan. Zazas in Turkey are largely Alevi, while the Pamiri peoples in Tajikistan and China are nearly all Ismaili. The Christian community is largely represented by the Russian Orthodox and Georgian Orthodox Ossetians followed by Nestorians. Judaism is followed mainly by Persian Jews, Kurdish Jews and Mountain Jews (of the Caucasus), most of whom are now found in Israel. The historical religion of the Persian Empire was Zoroastrianism and it still has a few thousand followers, mostly in Yazd and Kerman. They are known as the Parsis in the Indian subcontinent, where many of them fled in historic times following the Arab conquest of Persia, or Zoroastrians in Iran. Another ancient religion is the Yazidi faith, followed by some Kurds in northern Iraq, as well as the majority of the Kurds in Armenia.

Elements of pre-Islamic Zoroastrian and shamanistic beliefs persist among some Islamized groups today, such as the Tajiks and Pamiri peoples.

Cultural assimilation

In matters relating to culture, the various Turkic-speaking minorities of Iran (notably the Azerbaijani people) and Afghanistan (Uzbeks and Turkmen) are often conversant in Iranian languages, in addition to their own Turkic languages and also have Iranian culture to the extent that the term Turko-Iranian can be applied.[39] The usage applies to various circumstances that involve historic interaction, intermarriage, cultural assimilation, bilingualism and cultural overlap or commonalities.

Notable among this synthesis of Turko-Iranian culture are the Azeris, whose culture, religion and significant periods of history are linked to the Persians.[40] Certain theories and genetic tests[41] suggest that the Azeris are descendants of ancient Iranian peoples who lost their Iranian language (see Ancient Azari language) following the Turkic invasions of Azerbaijan in the 11th century CE. In fact, throughout much of the expanse of Central Asia and the Middle East, Iranian and Turkic culture has merged in many cases to form various hybrid populations and cultures, as evident from various ruling dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Mughals.

Iranian cultural influences have also been significant in Central Asia, where Turkic invaders are believed to have largely mixed with native Iranian people of which only the Tajik remain, in terms of language usage. The areas of the former Soviet Union adjacent to Iran (such as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan) have gone through the prism of decades of Russian and Soviet rule that has reshaped the Turko-Iranian cultures there to some degree.


Pashtun children in Afghanistan
An Iranian girl

Some genetic testings of Iranian people have revealed many common genes for most of the Iranian people, but with numerous exceptions and regional variations. Other genetic scholars claim that the high-resolution Y-chromosome genotyping of their study allowed for an in-depth analysis unattained in previous studies of the area. The study reveals important migratory and demographic events that shaped the contemporary genetic landscape of the Iranians.

Genetic studies conducted by Cavalli-Sforza have revealed that Iranians cluster weakly with Near Eastern groups, and somewhat closer to surrounding IE peoples (such as Anatolians). Preliminary genetic tests suggest common origins for most of the Iranian people. [42] This study is partially supported by another one, based on Y-Chromosome haplogroups.[43]

The findings of this study reveal many common genetic markers found among the Iranian people from the Tigris to the areas west of the Indus. This correlates with the Iranian languages spoken from the Caucasus to Kurdish areas in the Zagros region and eastwards to western Pakistan and Tajikistan and parts of Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The extensive gene flow is perhaps an indication of the spread of Iranian-speaking people, whose languages are now spoken mainly on the Iranian plateau and adjacent regions. These results relate the relationships of Iranian people with each other, while other comparative testing reveals some varied origins for Iranian people such as the Kurds, who show genetic ties to the Caucasus at considerably higher levels than any other Iranian people except the Ossetians, as well as links to Europe and Semitic populations that live in close proximity such as the Arab and Jews.[44][45][46][47]

Another recent study of the genetic landscape of Iran was completed by a team of Cambridge geneticists led by Dr. Maziar Ashrafian Bonab (an Iranian Azarbaijani).[48] Bonab remarked that his group had done extensive DNA testing on different language groups, including Indo-European and non Indo-European speakers, in Iran.[41] The study found that the Azerbaijanis of Iran do not have a similar FSt and other genetic markers found in Anatolian and European Turks. However, the genetic Fst and other genetic traits like MRca and mtDNA of Iranian Azeris were identical to Persians in Iran.

Ultimately, genetic tests reveal that while the Iranian people show numerous common genetic markers overall, there are also indications of interaction with other groups, regional variations and cases of genetic drift. Further testing will ultimately be required and may further elucidate the relationship of the Iranian people with each other and various neighboring populations.

Genetic roots

Indo-European topics

Indo-European languages (list)
Albanian · Armenian · Baltic
Celtic · Germanic · Greek
Indo-Iranian (Indo-Aryan, Iranian)
Italic · Slavic  

extinct: Anatolian · Paleo-Balkans (Dacian,
Phrygian, Thracian) · Tocharian

Indo-European peoples
Europe: Balts · Slavs · Albanians · Italics · Celts · Germanic peoples · Greeks · Paleo-Balkans (Illyrians · Thracians · Dacians) ·

Asia: Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians)  · Armenians  · Indo-Iranians (Iranians · Indo-Aryans)  · Tocharians  

Language · Society · Religion
Urheimat hypotheses
Kurgan hypothesis
Anatolia · Armenia · India · PCT
Indo-European studies

A large-scale research by Cavalli-Sforza reveals genetical similarities between all Eurasian speakers of Indo-European languages, including speakers of European, Iranian and Indo-Aryan languages; but this does not necessarily prove a common Indo-European origin for these populations and may be due to common Non-Indo-European ancestors (see Paleolithic Continuity Theory) who were later linguistically Indo-Europeanized (q.v.).

The results of tests focused on Y-chromosome haplogroups give a more detailed picture of the events which may have taken place in Iranian-speaking lands in the past 7,000-5,000 years.

Haplogroup M17, also known as R1a1, has proven to be a diagnostic Indo-Iranian marker.[49] The highest R1a1 frequencies are detected in the Central Asian populations of Ishkashemi Tajiks (68%) and Pamiri Tajiks (64%) , both groups being remnants of the original Eastern Iranian population of the region.[49][50] Apart from these two groups, the eastern parts of the Iranian Highlands generally reveal the highest frequency of R1a1, up to 35%, similar to Northern India,[51], while Western Iran based on Iranians sampled (52 Samples from the western part of the country) appears to have had little genetic influence from the R1a1-carrying Indo-Iranians about 10%,to attributed to language replacement through the "elite-dominance" model in a similar manner which occurred in Europe and India. In this regard, it is likely that the Kavir and Lut deserts in the center of Iran have acted as significant barriers to gene flow.[49]

See also

Literature and further reading

  • Banuazizi, Ali and Weiner, Myron (eds.). The State, Religion, and Ethnic Politics: Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East), Syracuse University Press (August, 1988). ISBN 0-8156-2448-4.
  • Canfield, Robert (ed.). Turko-Persia in Historical Perspective, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2002). ISBN 0-521-52291-9
  • Curzon, R. The Iranian People of the Caucasus. ISBN 0-7007-0649-6.
  • Derakhshani, Jahanshah. Die Arier in den nahöstlichen Quellen des 3. und 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr., 2nd edition (1999). ISBN 964-90368-6-5.
  • Frye, Richard, Greater Iran, Mazda Publishers (2005). ISBN 1-56859-177-2.
  • Frye, Richard. Persia, Schocken Books, Zurich (1963). ASIN B0006BYXHY.
  • Kennedy, Hugh. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates, Longman, New York, NY (2004). ISBN 0-582-40525-4
  • Khoury, Philip S. & Kostiner, Joseph. Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East, University of California Press (1991). ISBN 0-520-07080-1.
  • Littleton, C. & Malcor, L. From Scythia to Camelot, Garland Publishing, New York, NY, (2000). ISBN 0-8153-3566-0.
  • Mallory, J.P. In Search of the Indo-Europeans, Thames and Hudson, London (1991). ISBN 0-500-27616-1.
  • McDowall, David. A Modern History of the Kurds, I.B. Tauris, 3rd Rev edition (2004). ISBN 1-85043-416-6.
  • Nassim, J. Afghanistan: A Nation of Minorities, Minority Rights Group, London (1992). ISBN 0-946690-76-6.
  • Riasanovsky, Nicholas. A History of Russia, Oxford University Press, Oxford (2004). ISBN 0-19-515394-4.
  • Sims-Williams, Nicholas. Indo-Iranian Languages and People, British Academy (2003). ISBN 0-19-726285-6.


  1. ^ Tore Kjeilen, "Iranian languages", Looklex Encyclopedia, 2009
  2. ^ The Ossetians of the Caucasus are Orthodox Christians
  3. ^ local names - Old Iranian: Arya, Middle Iranian: Eran, Modern Iranian languages: Persian: Iraniyan or Irani-ha, Kurdish: Êraniyekan or gelên Êranî, Ossetian: Irynoau Adem, Mazandarani: Iranijş Benevarün or Heranaysi Adəmün, Zazaki: Iryanıco mılletê
  4. ^ J. Harmatta in "History of Civilizations of Central Asia", Chapter 14, The Emergence of Indo-Iranians: The Indo-Iranian Languages, ed. by A.H. Dani & V.N. Masson, 1999, p. 357
  5. ^ Frye, Richard Nelson, Greater Iran, ISBN 1-56859-177-2 p.xi: "... Iran means all lands and people where Iranian languages were and are spoken, and where in the past, multi-faceted Iranian cultures existed. ..."
  6. ^ "Iranian languages" — Encyclopedia Britannica . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  7. ^ "Scope of Iranian languages" — Encyclopedia Iranica . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
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  12. ^ "Farsi-Persian language" — . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  13. ^ a b c "Article in 1911 Britannica". Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  14. ^ a b In Search of the Indo-Europeans, by J.P. Mallory, p. 22–23, ISBN 0-500-27616-1 . Retrieved 10 June 2006.
  15. ^ "Dardic languages" Students' Britannica India . Retrieved 26 February 2008.
  16. ^ "The Paleolithic Indo-Europeans" — . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  17. ^ "Avestan xᵛarǝnah-, etymology and concept by Alexander Lubotsky" — Sprache und Kultur. Akten der X. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, 22.-28. September 1996, ed. W. Meid, Innsbruck (IBS) 1998, 479–488. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  18. ^ M. Liverani, "The Medes at Esarhaddon's Court", in Journal of Cuneiform Studies 47 (1995), pp. 57-62.
  19. ^ "The Geography of Strabo" — University of Chicago. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  20. ^ R. G. Kent, Old Persian: Grammar, texts and lexicon.
  21. ^ R. Hallock (1969), Persepolis Fortification Tablets; A. L. Driver (1954), Aramaic Documents of the V Century BC.
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