Table of Contents


    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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