Table of Contents

  • GIFT GIVING iv. In The Safavid Period

    Rudi P. Matthee

    Virtually all available information on the practice of gift giving in pre-modern Persia is limited to the political elite; It is clear, though, that offering gifts was a conspicuous part of traditional social and political life in Persia.

  • GIFT GIVING v. In the Qajar Period

    Willem Floor

    This habit of gift giving was part of the fabric of Persian life and held for all classes and ranks or social and ethnic groups.



    See GĪLĀN x. Languages


    Multiple Authors

    or Ḡelān; province at the southwestern coast of the Caspian Sea. 


    Marcel Bazin

    Gīlān includes the northwestern end of the Alborz chain and the western part of the Caspian lowlands of Persia. The mountainous belt is cut through by the deep transversal valley of the Safīdrūd between Manjīl and Emāmzāda Hāšem near Rašt. 

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GĪLĀN ii. Population

    Habibollah Zanjani

    The first general census was carried out in 1956 and the sixth in 1996. The geographical boundaries and area have varied from one census to another; at the present time it is 14,819 square kilometers and includes 99 districts, 30 counties and 12 townships. In 1996, there were 2,700 settlements and 35 cities.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GĪLĀN iii. Archeology

    Ezat O. Negahban

    The archeology of Gīlān, particularly in the pre-Islamic period, is usually studied in the wider context of the entire south Caspian region, including Mazandarān and Gorgān. Articles on three important locations, Marlik Tepe, Amlaš, and Deylamān, illustrate the perennial difficulties faced by archeological research in Persia.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GĪLĀN iv. History in the Early Islamic Period

    Wilferd Madelung

    The Gelae (Gilites) seem to have entered the region south of the Caspian coast and west of the Amardos River (later Safīdrūd) in the second or first century B.C.E.

  • GĪLĀN v. History under the Safavids

    Manouchehr Kasheff

    Gīlān has traditionally been considered by its local population as a land of two distinct regions divided by the course of Safīdrūd River.

  • GĪLĀN vi. History in the 18th century

    EIr and Reza Rezazadeh Langaroudi

    The rapid decline of the Safavids in the first decades of the 18th century, leading to their ultimate demise in 1722, created a general state of chaos in the country.

  • GĪLĀN vii. History in the 19th century

    EIr and Reza Rezazadeh Langaroudi

    Sealed off by mountains from the rest of the country, political and social life in Gīlān had always been highly influenced, if not determined, by its geographical position. The history of 19th-century Gīlān began with the continuation of the binary division of Bīa-pas and Bīa-pīš and the rule of local families.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GILĀN viiia. In the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-11

    Pezhmann Dailami

    Two classes featured prominently in Gilān as the driving forces of the revolution, and the alliance of these two, the peasantry and the urban petty-bourgeoisie of artisans, shopkeepers, and petty traders, was the hallmark of a radical movement on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.

  • GĪLĀN ix. Monuments

    Manouchehr Sotoudeh

    Most buildings of historical interest in Gilān have been repeatedly repaired and rebuilt. Some have clear records of their history, but most lack reliable, primary documents, and one has to rely on a variety of indirect evidence, such as the dates engraved on entrance doors or tombstones to reconstruct part of the past of a given edifice.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Donald Stilo

    In Gīlān there are three major Iranian language groups, namely Gīlakī, Rūdbārī, and Ṭālešī, and pockets of two other groups, Tātī and Kurdish. The non-Iranian languages include Azeri Turkish and some speakers of Gypsy (Romany, of Indic origin).

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GILĀN xi. Irrigation

    Christian Bromberger

    In the rice-growing regions of the Caspian hinterland, water requirements are considerable and irrigation requires careful organization. It is estimated that one hectare of rice, on average,  requires 12,400 cubic meters of water. To meet this demand various techniques are used.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GILĀN xii. Rural Housing

    Christian Bromberger

    In the north of the province, these minimal constructions (wells and rice barns) are traditionally complemented by a covered area for rice threshing, and, in Rašt district, by a separate building for drying paddy, known as a dudḵāna, garmḵāna, or bujḵāna. In the silkworm growing areas, the silkworm nursery occupies a place of honor.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GILĀN xiii. Kinship and Marriage

    Christian Bromberger

    according to a 1991 sample survey, in Iran, the plain of Gilān has the lowest proportion of marriages whether with paternal or maternal cousins or with a near or distant (non-consanguineous) relation. 

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • GILĀN xiv. Ethnic Groups

    Christian Bromberger

    Each group living in the province is characterized by one or several specific production activities, so that an ethnonym refers as much to territorial, linguistic, and cultural roots as to any dominant professional specialization.

  • GILĀN xv. Popular and Literary Perceptions of Identity

    Christian Bromberger

    In Afghanistan, Uzbeks are called “noodle eaters” by their neighbors and in Persia the Arabs from Khuzestan are stigmatized as susmārḵor “lizard eaters”.


    Christian Bromberger

    Even today, old women believe that cutting down an āzād tree is an act of sacrilege. Whether they are themselves objects of worship or simply grow near the tombs of saints, near cemeteries or inside mosques, these trees are places of devotion, each one dedicated to a specific type of wish (naẕr).

    This Article Has Images/Tables.