Table of Contents

  • COPPER i. In Islamic Persia

    James W. Allan and Willem Floor

    the metallic element Cu.

  • Copper ii. Copper resources in Iran

    Manṣur Qorbāni and Anuširavān Kani

    With the advancement of the knowledge of metallurgy in the Achaemenid era, finely crafted copper and bronze objects were created, continuing on through ancient times. The medieval Arab traveler Abu Dolaf wrote about the Nišāpur copper mine, but the extent of the deposits in Iran became known only from accounts of European travelers from the Safavid period onwards.

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    See ĀB-E DEZ.


    Aloïs van Tongerloo

    primary source text fragments, written in previously undeciphered or little-known languages and scripts which considerably changed the interpretation and apprecia­tion of Manicheism.


    Karīm Emāmī

    (ḥaqq-e moʾallef), a direct translatof the French droit d'auteur; the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, and sell the matter or form of a created work, for example, a novel or musical compo­sition.


    Hūšang Aʿlam

    the skeletal deposit of marine polyps, often treated as a gem material.


    Robert D. McChesney

    b. Mīrzā Fāżel, historian of the 17th-century Chaghatay khanate in Moḡūlestān and hagiographer and staunch supporter of the “Black Mountain” khojas.


    Daryush Shayegan

    (b. Paris 14 April 1903, d. Paris 7 October 1978), French philosopher and orientalist best known as a major interpreter of the Persian role in the development of Islamic thought.


    Hūšang Aʿlam

    an herb indigenous to the Mediterranean area, the Caucasus, and Persia and valued for its aromatic leaves and seeds.


    Peter Jackson

    Mongol general and military gov­ernor in Persia, d. ca. 639/1242.


    Kamran Ekbal and Lutz Richter-Bernburg

    one of the first English surgeons to work in Persia and personal physician to the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā.


    Moojan Momen

    (b. Tabrīz 1822, d. Tabrīz 25 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1294/30 December 1877), a British physician in Tabrīz.

  • CORN


    See ḎORRAT.


    Hūšang Aʿlam

    the male cornel tree, a dogwood shrub with edible berries.


    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    in ancient Iran, the ceremonial act of investing a ruler with a crown.


    Mary Boyce

    disposal of, in Zoroastrianism; in Zoroastrianism the corpse of a righteous believer was held to be the greatest source of pollution in the world, as the death of such a one represented a triumph for evil, whose forces were thought to be gathered there in strength.


    Nicholas Sims-Williams

    (C.I.I.), an association devoted to the col­lection and publication of Iranian inscriptions and documents.


    Multiple Authors

    Correspondence i. In pre-Islamic Persia, ii. In Islamic Persia, iii. Forms of opening and closing, address, and signature, and iv. On the subcontinent of India.

  • CORRESPONDENCE i. In pre-Islamic Persia

    Aḥmad Tafażżolī

    There is no information about correspondence in Median times, except for a fictitiously paraphrased letter from Cyrus to Cyaxares that began “Cyrus to Cyaxares, greeting!” 

  • CORRESPONDENCE ii. In Islamic Persia

    Fatḥ-Allāh Mojtabāʾī

    In Islamic Persia letter writing (Ar.-Pers. tarassol < Ar. r-s-l “to send”) developed into a genre of great literary, historical, and social importance. 

  • CORRESPONDENCE iii. Forms of opening and closing, address, and signature

    Hashem Rajabzadeh

    In this article the parts of the Persian letter are surveyed section by section, with comments on the general features, style, and stock formulas characteris­tic of each from early Islamic times to the present.

  • CORRESPONDENCE iv. On the subcontinent of India

    Momin Mohiuddin

    The chancellery of official and diplomatic correspondence was an organ of Indian Muslim political organization. At various times it was known as dīvān-­e resālat,dīvānal-enšāʾdīvānal-rasāʾel, or dār al-­enšāʾ


    Yaḥyā Ḏokāʾ

    (or čortaka, čotka < Russ. schëty “abacus”), an ancient calculation device, a rectangle strung with parallel metal wires along which clay, metal, or wooden beads can be moved.



    See ČERĀM.



    See BĪGĀR.



    See CROW.


    This article is based on information provided by Žāla Mottaḥedīn and Eqbāl Yaḡmāʾī.

    prepara­tions for personal beautification, in Persian tradition used mainly by women on special occasions.


    Multiple Authors

    theories of the origins and structure of the universe.

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY i. In Zoroastrianism/Mazdaism

    Philip G. Kreyenbroek

    The “orthodox” myth. The extant Avesta contains no systematic exposition of the cosmological beliefs of the people among whom it was composed and who eventually brought Zoroastrianism to western Iran.


    Roger Beck

    That Mithraism had an elaborate cosmology, central to its doctrines, is proven first by the structure of its cult shrines (mithraea), which took the form of caves (real or artificial). As Porphyry (6) stated, the cave is an “image of the cosmos.” 

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  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY iii. In Manicheism

    Werner Sundermann

    Manicheism, like contemporary Zoroastrianism and various gnostic sects, offered a detailed cosmogonic myth, or cosmology.

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY iv. In the Mazdakite religion

    Werner Sundermann

    The most important source for modern knowledge of Mazdakite cosmogony is the description of the Mazdakite religion in Ketāb al-melal wa’l-neḥal, writ­ten by Abu’l-Fatḥ Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Karīm Šahrestānī, in 624/1227, several hundred years after the period in which the sect flourished. 

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY v. In Twelver Shiʿism

    Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

    Imami traditions contain a chaotic abundance of material portraying the origin and structure of the universe. Book XIV, “On the heavens and the earth,” of Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesī’s Beḥār al-anwār, fills ten volumes (LVII-LXVI) in the most recent edition and contains several thousand traditions.


    Wilferd Madelung

    The physical world consists of nine celestial spheres, the highest sphere, the sphere of the fixed stars, the seven spheres of the planets, as well as the sublunar world of generation and corruption.


    Denis M. MacEoin

    It is in some respects redundant to speak of a “Shaikhi cosmology” distinct from that of Imami Shiʿism as a whole. Shaikhi ideas never developed independently of ordinary Shiʿite thought but were either part of it or in dialogue or conflict with it.

  • COSMOGONY AND COSMOLOGY viii. In the Bahai faith

    Moojan Momen

    First, the human mind is strictly finite and limited in knowledge and understanding. Second, no absolute knowledge of God or reality or the cosmos is therefore available to man. Third, from the above it follows that all conceptualizations and attempts by men to portray cosmology are “but a reflection of what has been created within themselves.”


    Muriel Atkin

    a cavalry unit in the Persian army established in 1879 on the model of Cossack units in the Russian army. The formation of the Cossack Brigade was part of a larger process in which the Persian government, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, engaged various European soldiers to train units of the Persian armed forces.

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    Rüdiger Schmitt

    a tribe of mountain people settled in western Iran; their land was called Cossaea/Kossaîa.

  • COSTE, Pascal-Xavier


    (1787-1879), French architect, famous for the illustrated account of his travels in Persia. See FLANDIN AND COSTE.

  • COTTAM, Richard

    Susan Siavoshi

    Cottam was convinced of the moral superiority of U.S. and allied forces in their fight against fascism in Europe and the Far East. This belief lingered for some time after the end of the war, allowing him to form an idealistic view of the validity of U.S. values in its post-war struggle against communism.

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    Multiple Authors

    Cotton (panba < Mid. Pers. pambagkatān; in Isfahan kolūza; genus Gossypium), particularly the short-staple species Gossypium herbaceum, is cultivated in almost all parts of Persia, and is of great economic importance both for home consumption and for export.

  • COTTON i. Introduction

    Eckart Ehlers and Ahmad Parsa

    Cotton (panba < Mid. Pers. pambagkatān; in Isfa­han kolūza; genusGossypium), particularly the short-staple species Gossypium herbaceum, is cultivated in almost all parts of Persia, and is of great economic importance both for home consumption and for export.

  • COTTON ii. Production and Trade in Persia

    Hassan Hakimian

    Cotton was one of the first vegetable fibers used to make textiles, and, despite competition from synthetic fibers in recent times, it remains the most important nonfood agricultural commodity in the world.

  • COTTON iii. In Afghanistan

    Daniel Balland

    Two Iranian words, paḵta (< Tajik) and pomba (Pers. panba < Pahl. pambag), are currently used in Afghani­stan to designate raw cotton. Most people use them fairly indiscriminately, but specialists tend to confine the former to unginned, or seed, cotton and the latter to ginned, or fiber, cotton (Pashto mālūǰ/č).

  • COUP D’ETAT OF 1299/1921

    Niloofar Shambayati

    the military coup that eventually led to the founding of the Pahlavi dynasty.

  • COUP D’ETAT OF 1332 Š./1953

    Mark J. Gasiorowski

    the appointment of Moḥammad Moṣaddeq as prime minis­ter of Persia on 9 Ordībehešt 1330 Š./29 April 1951 and the nationalization two days later of Persia’s British-owned oil industry initiated a period of tense confrontation between the Persian and British govern­ments.


    Multiple Authors

    Courts and courtiers i. In the Median and Achaemenid periods, ii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods, iii. In the Islamic period to the Mongol conquest, iv. Under the Mongols, v. Under the Timurid and Turkman dynasties, vi. In the Safavid period, vii. In the Qajar period, viii. In the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavī, ix. In the reign of Moḥammad-Reżā Shah. See SUPPLEMENT, x. Court poetry

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS i. In the Median and Achaemenid periods

    Muhammad A. Dandamayev

    From Herodotus’ report of the child Cyrus’ playing at being king it seems that the Median court included bodyguards, messengers, the “king’s eye," and builders, for it is likely that the game was modeled on the existing court.

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS ii. In the Parthian and Sasanian periods

    Philippe Gignoux

    In the absence of records, a full picture of court life under the Parthians and Sasanians cannot be pieced together.

  • COURTS AND COURTIERS iii. In the Islamic period to the Mongol conquest

    C. E. Bosworth

    In Persia the organization of courts (Pers. bār, bādrgāh, dargāh, darbār; in Arabic, there exists no more precise designation than majles, lit. “session”), including the formation of a circle of courtiers in the early centuries after the Islamic conquest, was directly inspired by the court life of the ʿAbbasid caliphs at Baghdad and Sāmarrāʾ.