Table of Contents


    Guity Etemad

    ʿAliqoli Khan learned English and French at the Dār al-Fonun School and, with his older brother, Ḥosaynqoli Khan Kalāntar, frequented traditional Persian gymnasia, where the latter was converted to the Bahai faith by a wrestler called Ostād Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Kāši, and he in turn led ʿAliqoli Khan into the new faith in about 1895.

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    Minou Foadi

    title of Āqā Moḥammad Qāʾeni, a prominent Bahai author and apologist (1829-92).


    Ernest Tucker

    ruler of Iran, 1736-47. He rose from obscurity to control an empire that briefly stretched across Iran, northern India, and parts of Central Asia, with a reputation as a skilled military commander and with  success in battle against numerous opponents, including the Ottomans and the Mughals.

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    Evelin Grassi

    (1792-1842), Transoxianan poetess of Ḵᵛoqand, who wrote in both Persian–with the pen name Maknuna–and Čaḡatāy under the pseudonyms of Nādera and Kāmela.


    Houra Yavari

    Naderpour received his primary education in Tehran and in 1942 was enrolled at Irānšahr high school. As was the case with a good number of his peers, he developed an interest in politics, and joined the nationalist Pan-Iranist Party for a short period of time. He later joined the Youth Organization of the Tudeh Party.

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    Pierre Oberling

    a tribe of Fārs and the Tehran region. Although of Turkic origin, the Nafar of Fārs have become a mixture of Turkic, Arab, and Lor elements.


    Rose Aslan

    also known as al-Najaf al-Ašraf, a town in southern Iraq and one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for the Shiʿites. The city is tied to the death of ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb and his burial site, and has been home to many illustrious religious scholars over the past thousand years, rivaling Qom as a center of Shiʿite scholarship.


    Mansoureh Ettehadieh

    a Qajar princess whose life spanned the late Qajar and early Pahlavi eras (b. 1231-32 Š./1853; d. 1311 Š./1932).


    Michel M. Mazzaoui

    (d. 918/1512), the third holder of the office of wakil-e nafs-e nafis-e Homāyun under Shah Esmāʿil Ṣafawi, the representative of the Shah both in his religious and in his political capacity.


    C. Edmund Bosworth

    the administrative center of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) with its own elected representative assembly, within the Republic of Azerbaijan but separated from it by Armenia.


    Hushang Ettehad and EIr

    (1880-1962), businessman, scholar, and collector of manuscripts.

  • NAḴL

    Peter Chelkowski

    As ritual objects for the ʿĀšurāʾ, naḵls are built from wood in various sizes, from simple constructions that can be carried by two persons to colossal structures about three stories high that have to be supported by hundreds of men.

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    Mohammad Karimi Zanjani Asl

    14th-century Češti mystic and author. Though originally from Naḵšab (or Nasaf, in Transoxiana), his family emigrated to India at the time of Mongol incursions.

  • NALÎ

    Keith Hitchins

    Through his extensive travels and continuous studies Nali acquired a solid knowledge of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, which allowed him to draw on three rich literary traditions for his own work. His work, and his patriotic sentiments, were much affected, too, by the Ottoman government’s campaign to eliminate the autonomous Kurdish principalities.

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    Nassereddin Parvin

    (Women’s journal), a biweekly paper published in Tehran between 1 Mordād 1299 and 24 Khordād 1300 Š. (23 July 1920-14 June 1921).


    Nassereddin Parvin

    (The journal of the women of Iran), a weekly paper published in Tehran from Farvard in 1317 until Tir 1319 Š. (March 1938-June 1940).


    Hubertus von Gall

    a perpendicular cliff wall in Fārs, about 6 km northwest of Persepolis, a site unusually rich in Achaemenid and Sasanian monuments.

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    Hermann Landolt

     b. Moḥammad, 7th/13th-century mystical thinker and scholar from Nasaf (Naḵšab) in Transoxania (present Qarshi or Karshi in Uzbekistan), author of many works in Persian.


    Shaul Bakhash

    (1856-1927), Qajar era courtier and statesman, prime minister during the early constitutional period, and the regent during the minority of Aḥmad Shah.

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    Nassereddin Parvin

    (in popular parlance, Nasim-e šomāl; Breeze of the North), one of the best-known and most popular periodicals in the history of Iranian journalism.


    C. Edmund Bosworth

    ruler of the Samanid dynasty in Transoxiana and Khorasan between 301/914 and 331/943.



    See KHANLARI, Parviz.


    Eskandar Firouz

    including national nature monuments, wildlife refuges, and protected areas.

  • NAVY i. Nāder Shah and the Iranian Navy

    Michael Axworthy

    earliest moves toward establishing a navy arose out of the consequences of his military campaigns in the interior of Persia.


    Sean W. Anthony

    a notable Shiʿite family of Persian descent, many of whose members, like their eponymous ancestor Nawbaḵt and his son Abu Sahl Fażl, ranked among the local illuminati of Baghdad.

  • NAWʿI

    Sunil Sharma

    MOḤAMMAD-REŻĀ ḴABUŠĀNI (1563-1610),  Persian poet in India, best known for his long maṯnawi, Suz o godāza romance centered on a suttee (sati) heroine.

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    Orkhan Mir-Kasimov

    the dream journal of Fażl-Allāh Astarābādi (1339-1394), the founder of the Ḥorufi movement.


    N. Garsoian

    term given to the para-feudal, social pattern that early Armenia apparently shared with Parthian Iran, although it was preserved into the Sasanian period and beyond.



    title of the director of the Safavid royal secretariat.  See DAFTAR-ḴĀNA-YE HOMĀYŪN.


    Paul Losensky

    Indo-Persian poet of the late 16th and early 17th centuries (b. Nishapur, ca. 1560; d. Ahmadabad, between 1612 and 1614).


    Nassereddin Parvin

    (The voice of Islam), a pro-constitutional newspaper lithographed and published in Shiraz, 1907.


    Kamyar Abdi

    eminent Iranian archaeologist. Negahban carried out his first series of excavations in 1961 at the site of Mehrānābād about 25 km south of Tehran on the road to Sāveh.

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    C. Edmund Bosworth

    (Nehāvand), a town in western Iran, situated in the northern Zagros region.

  • NÉMETH, Gyula

    András Bodrogligeti

    Nemeth's scholarship was devoted almost entirely to various aspects of Ottoman-Turkish studies.  A few works of his, however, crossed over into Iranian studies and made lasting contributions to this field.  While he was working on a series of Ottoman Manuals for Sammlung Göschen, he paid special attention to the Persian-Arabic elements in the Turkish language. 

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    Bruno Jacobs

    The burial mound of Antiochus I is flanked by terraces in the east, north, and west. The settings of the sculptures on the east and west terraces are essentially identical: in each case, a row of five limestone statues (originally up to 8 m in height) overlook the terrace, their backs to the mound.

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    Frank Hole

    Originally the term “Neolithic” referred to the final Stone Age before the ages of metals.Today “Neolithic” usually refers to the period of the origins and early development of agricultural economies.

  • NETHERLANDS : Archives

    Willem Floor

    The main sources for Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Dutch-Persian relations are found in the Dutch National Archives (Nationaal Archief, NA).



    the Armenian settlement at Isfahan. See JULFA.

  • NEY-DĀWUD, Morteżā

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi

    (1900-1990), celebrated composer of music and performer and instructor of the tār (a plucked, long-necked lute).


    Frantz Grenet

    dynastic name appearing on a long series of silver coins issued by a local dynasty in Kāpisā (in the region of Kabul; Sk. Kāpiśī) ca. late 7th century C.E.


    Neguin Yavari

    (1018-1092), vizier of two Saljuq sultans, rose from a relatively lowly position in the bureaucracy of the provincial governor of Balḵ (Balkh) to become the de facto ruler over a vast empire, with a final apotheosis as the archetypal good vizier in the world of Islam.

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  • NEẒĀM-AL-SALṬANA MĀFI, Ḥosaynqoli Khan

    Mansoureh Ettehadieh

    (1832-1908), governor, minister, and prime minister of the Nāṣeri and Moẓaffarid era. 


    Osman G. Özgüdenlı

    (Neẓāmi of Konya; d. 1469-73?), poet in Persian, Arabic, and Turkish.


    Farhad Daftary

    (1045-1095), Fatimid crown prince and Nezāri Ismaʿili imam.  He was the eldest son of al-Mostanṣer Be’llāh, the eighth Fatimid caliph and the eighteenth Ismaʿili imam.


    Keith Hitchins

    (1914-1991), Tajik prose writer; began his literary career in the early 1930s as a writer of verse in Uzbek. As a fiction writer Niāzi began with short pieces, which he published in a collection entitled Intiqomi tojik. Niāzi’s reputation as a writer rests on three long novels, the writing of which spanned his entire career. All of them are concerned with the Second World War and are based upon his own experiences.


    Daryoush Ashouri

    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), the great German thinker, is best known as a philosopher of culture.



    See BOLBOL.


    Firoze M. Kotwal and Philip G. Kreyenbroek

    a Zoroastrian ritual to consecrate gōmēz, or bull’s urine; the consecrated liquid is known as nīrang or nīrangdīn.

  • NISA

    Antonio Invernizzi

    New Nisa, the capital of ancient Parthia, occupies a large area enclosed within stout mud-brick fortifications, which enclose a citadel. The excavations here have been sporadic, but have brought to light a monumental funerary building of the Parthian era with a flat, crenellated roof, a façade, and wall decoration with terracotta plates nailed to the wall.

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    David Pingree

     b. Moḥammad al-Aʿraj, Neẓām-al-Din Qommi, astronomer; d. after 1311.


    Rüdiger Schmitt

    the Old Iranian name of several Iranian regions and places, which cannot easily be distinguished from one another.

  • NISHAPUR i. Historical Geography and History to the Beginning of the 20th Century

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    Nishapur (Nišāpur) was, with Balḵ, Marv and Herat, one of the four great cities of the province of Khorasan.  It flourished in Sasanid and early Islamic times, but after the devastations of the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, subsided into a more modest role until it revived in the 20th century.

  • NISHAPUR vii. Excavations by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Marika Sardar

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art started expeditions in Iran in 1935, after the antiquities law ended the French monopoly there. The excavations began in Qaṣr-e Abu Naṣr, continued to Nishapur, and ended in 1948 after six seasons.

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    Samuel Lieu

    city in northern Mesopotamia, a major focus of military confrontations between the Roman and Sasanian empires an center of theological studies for the Church of the East. Once in Sasanian hands, the city’s role was reversed to that of advanced Persian base of operations against Roman and Byzantine frontier defenses.

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    Rüdiger Schmitt

    A most decisive contribution was that Nöldeke could now convincingly prove the thesis already proposed by Niels Ludvig Westergaard (1815-1878) that Middle Persian was not an Irano-Semitic hybrid language, but an authentic Iranian dialect, the phonetic forms of which were “obscured by a partly cryptographic, partly extremely historicizing spelling.”

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    Eckart Ehlers

    Pastoral nomadism is a livelihood form that is ecologically adjusted at a particular level to the utilization of marginal resources. These resources occur in areas too dry, too elevated, or too steep for agriculture to be a viable mode of livelihood, and the nomadic pastoralist thus makes use of resources that otherwise would be neglected.

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    Meir M. Bar-Asher

    followers of Nusayrism, a syncretistic religion with close affinity to Shiʿism, whose adherents live mostly in Syria and southeastern Turkey.


    David Pingree

    b. Musā Abu Moḥammad, 4th/10th century theologian and philosopher in Baghdad, d. between 300/912-3 and 310/922-3.


    Multiple Authors

    Nowruz, “New Day”, is a traditional ancient festival which celebrates the starts of the Persian New Year. It is the holiest and most joyful festival of the Zoroastrian year.

  • NOWRUZ i. In the Pre-Islamic Period

    Mary Boyce

    Nowruz, “New Day”, is the holiest and most joyful festival of the Zoroastrian year. It is also its focal point, to which all other high holy days relate.

  • NOWRUZ ii. In the Islamic Period

    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    Nowruz survived while less significant festivals were eclipsed by their Islamic rivals and gradually became abandoned by indifferent Mongol and Turkish rulers or hostile clerical authorities.

  • NOWRUZ iii. In the Iranian Calendar

    Simone Cristoforetti

    The day Hormoz (the first day of any Persian month) of the month of Farvardin is the New Year day in the Persian calendar; at present it coincides with the day of the vernal equinox.


    Habib Borjian

    port city and sub-province in western Māzandarān Province.

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    Moḥammad Amin Riāḥi

    an anthology of over 4,000 quatrains (robāʾi) by some 300 poets of the 5th to 7th/11th-13th centuries, compiled around the middle of the 7th/13th century.

  • NUḤ (II) B. MANṢUR (I)

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    , ABU’L-QĀSEM, Samanid Amir (r. 365-87/976-97), initially in both Transoxania and Khorasan, latterly in Transoxania only.


    Farhad Daftary

    (March 1148 - September 1210), an Ismaʿili imam; the fifth lord of Alamut who succeeded to the leadership of the Nezāri Ismaʿili state and daʿwa at the age of seventeen. He reigned for forty-four years, managing the affairs of the Nezāris, especially in Persia.


    Richard F. Strand

    five languages constituting the Nurestâni (Pers. “Nurestāni,” Engl. “Nuristani”) subgroup of the Indo-Iranian language family.  The approximately 130,000 speakers of these languages inhabit Nurestān Province in northeastern Afghanistan and a few adjacent valleys in Pakistan's Chitral District.

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    Vanessa Martin

    (1843-1909), a prominent jurist who campaigned in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1909 for constitutionalism according to the šariʿa (canonical laws of Islam)and in its default, preferred absolutism to secularism.

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    Max Klimburg

    (Nurestān), the “Land of Light,” a region to the northeast of Afghanistan, imbedded in the Hindu Kush valleys to the south of its main ridge.

  • NUTS


    See ĀJĪL.

  • NYBERG, Henrik Samuel

    Carlo G. Cereti

    (1889-1974),  Swedish scholar of extremely broad interests, competent in a number of different fields, in both Semitic and Iranian studies.

  • Nakisā va Bārbad

    music sample

  • Newroz

    music sample

  • Nowhe of Men's Mourning

    music sample

  • Nowhe Zeynab

    music sample

  • Nowruze-ḵuni

    music sample

  • Neydāwud – Māhur

    music sample



    list of all the figure and plate images in the letter N entries.