Table of Contents

  • IRONSIDE, WILLIAM EDMUND

    Denis Wright

    , Field Marshall, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and Ironside (1880-1959), noted for his important role as commander of British forces in Persia in 1920-21.

  • ʿISĀ B. ṢAHĀRBOḴT

    L. Richter-Bernburg

    medical author of the third/ninth century, from Gondēšāpur. descendant of an apparently Nestorian Christian Syro-Persian family.

  • ʿISĀ B. YAḤYĀ MASIḤI JORJĀNI

    David Pingree

    , Abu Sahl, physician, philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer (d. after 925). Little is securely known about the life of this Christian scholar.

  • ISAAC

    Sebastian Brock

    bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and Catholicos of the Church of the East (399-410). Isaac is said to have come from Kashgar.

  • ISAIAH, BOOK OF

    Shaul Shaked

    one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, traditionally arranged among those of the latter Prophets.

  • ISARDĀS NĀGAR

    Mario Casari

    (or Išwar Das, 1655-1749),  Hindu historian writing in Persian, author of  Fotuḥāt-e ʿālamgiri, a contemporary account of the reign of Awrangzēb.

  • ISFAHAN

    Multiple Authors

    ancient province and old city in central Iran. Isfahan city has served as one of the most important urban centers on the Iranian Plateau since ancient times.

  • ISFAHAN i. GEOGRAPHY

    EIr, Xavier de Planhol

    The province consists of 52 hydrological units belonging to 9 basins and 27 sub-basins. Rivers are small and temporary, with the exception of the Zāyandarud, which totals 405 km in length, with an average annual discharge of 1,053 mcm, average annual precipitation of 450 mm, and a basin area of 27,100 km.2.

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  • ISFAHAN ii. HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY

    Xavier de Planhol

    For Isfahan to become the capital of Iran, it was necessary that the country be delimited more or less as it is at present and that it be powerful and confident of its might, indifferent to relatively weak external threats. These two conditions were only met occasionally during the country’s history.

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  • ISFAHAN iii. POPULATION

    Heidi Walcher, Habibollah Zanjani

    Isfahan’s population size from the Safavid through the Qajar periods, as reported by European travelers and diplomats, remained largely a matter of speculation.

  • ISFAHAN iii. POPULATION (1) The Qajar Period

    Heidi Walcher

    Moḥammad-Mahdi Arbāb, a native of Isfahan, maintained that, at the time of Nāṣer-al-Din Shah’s accession in 1848, there were 200,000 city inhabitants, with that number decreasing to about 80,000 for a period before growing again to nearly 120,000 during the governorship of Ẓell-al-Solṭān.

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  • ISFAHAN iii. POPULATION (2) Isfahan Province

    Habibollah Zanjani

    In terms of population distribution, the sub-provinces of Isfahan (with more than 1.6 million), Kāšān, and Najafabād (with more than 300,000) were the most populated, while the sub-provinces of Naṭanz, Fereydunšahr, and Ardestān were the least populated with populations of less than 50,000 persons.

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  • ISFAHAN iii. POPULATION (3) Isfahan City

    Habibollah Zanjani

    The city of Isfahan, as the capital of Isfahan Province, accounted, in 1996, for about 32.2 percent of the total population of the province and 43.4 percent of its urban population. Isfahan is also the third most populated city in the country, behind Tehran and Mashad.

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  • ISFAHAN iv. PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD

    J. Hansman and EIr

    The Arab geographers  report that the Sasanian city of Isfahan comprised two adjoining towns: Jayy, the fortified town and province center and, two miles (mil) away, Yahudiya, a Jewish settlement.

  • ISFAHAN v. LOCAL HISTORIOGRAPHY

    JÜRGEN PAUL

    Isfahan is exceptional in the number and variety of works of local historiography; no other Persian city has attracted nearly as many such works.

  • ISFAHAN vi. MEDIEVAL PERIOD

    Hossein Kamaly

    The history of Isfahan prior to the city’s efflorescence in the 17th century often traced alternating cycles of urbanization and de-urbanization.

  • ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD

    Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee

    Isfahan came under Safavid rule in 1503 following Shah Esmāʿil’s defeat of Solṭān Morād, the Āq Qoyunlu ruler of Erāq-e ʿAjam, near Hamadān.

  • ISFAHAN viii. QAJAR PERIOD

    Heidi Walcher

    The historical changes affecting the Isfahan of this period included loss of its status as the royal capital and its transformation into a major provincial city.

  • Isfahan ix. THE PAHLAVI PERIOD AND THE POST-REVOLUTION ERA

    Habib Borjian

    In the process of consolidating his power in Isfahan, Reza Shah managed to constrain two powerful social groups: the Shiʿite clergy and the Baḵtiāri tribesmen.

  • ISFAHAN x. MONUMENTS

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    According to the French traveler Jean Chardin, in the late 17th century Isfahan housed some 162 mosques, 48 theological colleges (madrasa), 1,802 caravansaries, and 273 bathhouses.

  • Isfahan x. MONUMENTS (1) A Historical Survey

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

     Isfahan’s monuments developed, in the Islamic era: first, in the early medieval period under the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate and Buyid patronage. Many of the extant monuments of Isfahan, however, date to two periods in history when the city served as the capital of the ruling dynasties of the Great Saljuqs (1040-1194) and the Safavids (1501-1722).

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (2) Palaces

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    European visitors to Safavid Persia, for example, found themselves increasingly bound by Isfahan, where they were able to gain a royal audience or conduct their business with the court and government bureaucracy without having to follow the itinerant monarchs.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (3) Mosques

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    Isfahan is known historically for its large number of mosques. According to Abu Noʿaym of Isfahan, the first large mosque in Isfahan was built during the Caliphate of Imam ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb (r. 656-61). The French traveler Jean Chardin counted 162 mosques during his travels to Isfahan in the middle of the 17th century.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (4) Madrasas

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    The earliest extant madrasa in Isfahan is the 1325 Emāmi Madrasa, which is also known as the Madrasa-ye Bābā Qāsem after the name of its first teacher, who is buried in a nearby tomb. As in Persian mosque type, this and most other madrasas in Persia follow the four-ayvān courtyard-centered plan.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (5) Bridges

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    On the southern edge of the city of Isfahan lies the Zāyandarud River, the unnavigable river that has been the major source of water in the region since the earliest settlements in its environs. Until the transfer of the Safavid capital to Isfahan in the late 16th century, the river was well outside the city walls.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (6) Bibliography

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

  • Isfahan xi. SCHOOL OF PAINTING AND CALLIGRAPHY

    Massumeh Farhad

    The “Isfahan” school of painting and calligraphy generally refers to works of art associated with the city from about 1597-98, when it was chosen as the Safavid capital, until the Afghan invasion of 1722. In the second half of the 17th century, many Isfahani artists  began experimenting with Europeanized pictorial concepts, such as modeling and shading—the second phase of the “Isfahan” school of painting.

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  • Isfahan xii. BAZAAR: PLAN AND FUNCTION

    Willem Floor

    The bazaar of Isfahan is one of the best-preserved examples of the kind of large, enclosed, and covered bazaar complex that was typical of most cities in the Muslim world prior to the 20th century. The oldest areas of the present-day bazaar date from the early 17th century; its first stone was laid in 1603.

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  • Isfahan xiii. CRAFTS

    Habib Borjian and EIr

    Isfahan has maintained its position as a major center for traditional crafts in Persia. The crafts of Isfahan encompass textiles, carpets, metalwork, woodwork, ceramics, painting, and inlay works of various kind. The work is carried out in different settings including small industrial and bazaar workshops, in the homes of craftsmen and women, and in rural cottage industries.

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  • Isfahan xiv. MODERN ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

    Habib Borjian

    This sub-section is divided into the following parts: (1) Modern Economy of the Province; (2) Industries of Isfahan City.

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  • Isfahan xiv. MODERN ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES (1) The Province

    Habib Borjian

    The distribution of economic activities within Isfahan, with an urbanism of 76 percent, is highly uneven. The oasis of Isfahan, watered by the Zāyandarud, is responsible for nearly half of rural activities, while the other half is spread out across the province.

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  • Isfahan xiv. MODERN ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES (2) Isfahan City

    Habib Borjian

    The stagnation experienced after the fall of the Safavids was even more marked in the 19th century, owing to European competition that had rendered many local industries practically extinct.

  • Isfahan xv. EDUCATION AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

    Maryam Borjian and Habib Borjian

    The Lazarists established themselves in Isfahan in the early 1860s. With the support of the prince-governor Masʿud Mirzā Ẓell-al-Solṭān, they founded in 1875 schools for both boys and girls and an infirmary. These appear to be the predecessors of the boys school L’Etoile du Matin and the girls school Rudāba.

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  • Isfahan xvi. FOLKLORE AND LEGEND

    Mahmoud Omidsalar

    Systematic collection of the folklore of Isfahan is mostly due to Amirqoli Amini, whose first publication was a collection of Persian dicta entitled hazār o yak soḵan.

  • Isfahan xvii. ARMENIAN COMMUNITY

    Cross-Reference

    See JULFA.

  • Isfahan xviii. JEWISH COMMUNITY

    Amnon Netzer

    According to Armenian sources, (Moses Khorenatsʿi, tr. Thomson, p. 293) the Sasanian Šāpūr II transferred many Jews from Armenia and settled them in Isfahan. According to the Middle Persian text Šahris-tānihā ī Ērān, the Sasanian king, Yazdegerd I, settled Jews in Jay (Gay) at the request of his Jewish wife Šōšan-doḵt.

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  • Isfahan xix. JEWISH DIALECT

    Donald Stilo

    The Jewish dialects of Isfahan, Kāshān, Hamadān, Borujerd, Yazd, Kermān and others belong to the Central dialect group of Northwestern Iranian. All of Northwestern Iranian languages, in turn, are descended from Median, whereas Persian (including Middle Persian or Pahlavi) belongs to the Southwestern Iranian (SWI) group and are descended from Old Persian.

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  • Isfahan xx. GEOGRAPHY OF THE MEDIAN DIALECTS OF ISFAHAN

    Habib Borjian

    The continuum of Central Plateau Dialects appears along a northwest-souteast axis traversing the modern provinces of Hamadān, Markazi, Isfahan, and Yazd, that is, the area of Ancient Media Major.

  • Isfahan xxi. PROVINCIAL DIALECTS

    Donald Stilo

    The Iranian languages of Isfahan Province are of three basic types: Northwest Iranian dialects belonging to the Central Plateau Dialect group, and two different types of Southwest Iranian  languages: slightly divergent dialects of Persian, but intelligible to the standard language, and  large pockets of Lori.

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  • Isfahan xxii. GAZI DIALECT

    Donald Stilo

    Gazi, spoken in the city of Gaz in the district of Borḵᵛār (dialect: bolxār), belongs to the Central Plateau Dialect group of Northwestern Iranian (NWI) languages. Gazi, the Jewish dialect of Isfahan, Sedehi, and probably other uninvestigated dialects of the Gaz-Isfahan area, for instance, Segzi, Jarquyaʾi, and others are grouped together as one subgroup of CPD.

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  • Isfahan Mode

    Cross-Reference

    a dastgāh in Persian music. See BAYĀT-E EṢFAHĀN.

  • ISFAHAN SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY

    Sajjad H. Rizvi

    term coined to describe a philosophical and mystical movement patronized by the court of Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 1588-1629), centered in the new Safavid capital of Isfahan.

  • ISIDORUS OF CHARAX

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    author of the Stathmoì Parthikoí (in Latin Mansiones Parthicae) “Parthian Stations,” which is the only Greek text preserved at all of the genre of the itinerary or route description.

  • IŠKATA

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    in the Avesta the name of a mountain and of the land (situated in the Hindu Kush region) which is dominated by this mountain.

  • ISLAM AKHUN

    Ursula Sims-Williams

    (Eslām-āḵūn), treasure-seeker and swindler active in Khotan and neighboring areas between 1894 and 1901, best known, however, as an adept forger of manuscripts and block prints. He was eventually unmasked by Sir Aurel Stein (1862-1943) in 1901.

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  • ISLAM IN IRAN i - iv

    Multiple Authors

    The following series of articles provide an overview of some historical, contemporary, and especially political aspects of the topic that are of special interest and relevance in the world today.

  • ISLAM IN IRAN v. MESSIANIC ISLAM IN IRAN

    Abbas Amanat

    Messianism is one of the most powerful, diverse and enduring expressions of Islam in Iran throughout its long history.

  • ISLAM IN IRAN vi. THE CONCEPT OF MAHDI IN SUNNI ISLAM

    Said Amir Arjomand

    The Savior is a descendant of the Prophet whose expected return to rule the world will restore justice, peace, and true religion.

  • ISLAM IN IRAN vii. THE CONCEPT OF MAHDI IN TWELVER SHIʿISM

    Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

    Mahdism in Twelver Shiʿism inherited many of its elements from previous religious trends.

  • ISLAM IN IRAN viii. THE OCCULTATION OF MAHDI

    cross-reference

    See ḠAYBA.