Table of Contents



    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. To the northwest, the Ṭāleš highlands stretch a continuous watershed separating Gīlān and Azerbaijan.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.