Table of Contents

  • PADERY, ETIENNE

    Anne-Marie Touzard

    (b. 1674; fl 1714-1725), Ottoman Greek who served as a translator to the French embassy at Istanbul, and as a French consul at Shiraz.

  • PĀDYĀB

    Ramiyar P. Karanjia

    a Pahlavi word meaning “ritually clean,”.

  • PAHLAVI PAPYRI

    Dieter Weber

    documents written exclusively in Egypt during the Persian (Sasanian) occupation under Ḵosrow II between 619 and 629 CE.

  • PAHLAVI PSALTER

    Philippe Gignoux

    name given to a fragment, consisting of twelve pages written on both sides, of a Middle Persian translation of the Syriac Psalter.

  • PAIRIKĀ

    Siamak Adhami

    a class of female demonic beings in the Avesta, often translated “sorceress, witch, or enchantress.”

  • PALACE ARCHITECTURE

    Dietrich Huff

    The abundant variety of styles in Iranian domestic architecture conceals a basic functional system that has remained unchanged since the Achaemenid period.

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  • PALEOLITHIC AGE IN IRAN

    Frank Hole

    The Paleolithic or ‘Old Stone Age’ begins with the first stone tools some 2.5million years ago in Africa, and it ends with the Neolithic or ‘New Stone Age,’ essentially at the beginnings of agriculture.

  • PALM READING

    Mahmoud Omidsalar

    (chiromancy or palmistry; Pers. Kaf-bini), a form of physiognomy that deduces personal characteristics from the form of the lines on the subject’s palm.

  • PANJIKANT

    Boris I. Marshak

    (Sogd. Pancyknδ), a Sogdian city, the ruins of which are located in the southern periphery of the present-day city of Panjakent in western Tajikistan. The systematic archeological excavations show that this city, situated on the rim of a high terrace overlooking a fertile, well-irrigated valley, was founded in the 5th century C.E. and was inhabited until the 770s.

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  • PAPER AND PAPERMAKING

    Willem Floor

    Such was the fame of Samarqand paper that the 10th-century text Ḥodud al-ʿālam records rather matter-of-factly that “Samarqand produces paper which is exported all over the world.” This fame lasted throughout the centuries. Samarqand was not the only town in the eastern Iranian lands to become a center of paper production.

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  • PARIḴĀN ḴĀNOM

    Manučehr Pārsādust

    (1548-1578), the second daughter of Shah Ṭahmāsp I, a politically influential and colorful figure at the Safavid court.

  • PARMENIO

    Ernst Badian

    (b. ca. 400 BCE, d. 330 BCE); probably from mountainous Upper Macedonia, he became Philip II’s most successful general.

  • PARSI COMMUNITIES i. EARLY HISTORY

    John R. Hinnells

    The creation of a Parsi settlement in India was the outcome of the migration of Zoroastrian refugees from their original homeland in medieval Islamic Persia.

  • PARSI COMMUNITIES ii. IN CALCUTTA

    Jesse S. Palsetia

    Calcutta became a center of Parsi settlement from the 18th century. Dadabhoy Behramji Banaji is recorded as the first Parsi to have come to Calcutta from Surat in western India in 1767.

  • PASARGADAE

    David Stronach and Hilary Gopnik

    capital city and last resting place of Cyrus the Great (r. 559-530 BCE), located in northern Fārs in the fertile and well-watered Dasht-i Murghab (Dašt-e morḡāb), the site stands 1,900 m above sea level at 30°15’ N and 53°14’ E.

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  • PAUL THE PERSIAN

    Byard Bennett

    writer at the time of the Nestorian Patriarch Ezekiel (567-580 C.E.), well versed in ecclesiastical and philosophical matters.

  • PAYĀM-E MAŠREQ

    David Matthews

    Title of a collection of Persian verse by Muhammad Iqbal.

  • PAYANDEH, ABU’L-QASEM

    Ṣafdar Taqizāda

    (1908/1911-1984), journalist, translator, and fiction writer.

  • PEARL i. PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD

    Brigitte Musche

    i. PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD The oldest find of pearls in Persia comes from Tepe Giyan in Luristan, from levels dated to the mid-second millennium BCE.

  • PEARL ii. ISLAMIC PERIOD

    Daniel T. Potts

    ii. ISLAMIC PERIOD In the Islamic era pearls have been widely used—strung to make necklaces or sewn onto textiles, used to decorate hats, crowns, daggers, and scabbards.

  • PELLIOT, PAUL

    Samuel Lieu

    (1878-1945), French orientalist who particularly contributed to the study of the languages and  history of the diverse religions and cultures of Central Asia.

  • PEPPER

    Cross-Reference

    See FELFEL.

  • PERICLES

    Ernst Badian

    (ca. 495-429 BCE), Athenian politician and commander in the period after the major victories over the forces of Xerxes I.

  • PERIKHANIAN, ANAHIT

    Arthur Ambartsumian

    (1928-2012), scholar of Iranian studies, specializing in Sasanian jurisprudence, history, and society. 


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  • PERSEPOLIS

    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    Ruined monuments of the acropolis of the city of Pārsa, the dynastic center of the Achaemenid Persian kings, located in the plain of Marvdašt, some 57 km northwest of Shiraz.

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  • PERSEPOLIS ELAMITE TABLETS

    Muhammad Dandamayev

    administrative records in Elamite inscribed on clay tablets. Parts of two archives of such tablets were discovered in Persepolis in 1933-34 and 1936-38.

  • PERSIAN AUTHORS OF ASIA MINOR PART 1

    Tahsin Yazıcı (prep. Osman G. Özgüdenlı)

    Several Saljuqs of Rum (Anatolia) chose Iranian names such as Kaykāvus and Kayḵosrov and even made Persian the official language of state and court.

  • PERSIAN AUTHORS OF ASIA MINOR PART 2

    Tahsin Yazıcı (prep. Osman G. Özgüdenlı)

    bibliography of major Persian authors of Asia Minor.

  • PERSIAN GULF i. IN ANTIQUITY

    Daniel T. Potts

    a shallow, epi-continental sea approximately 1,000 km long and 200-350 km wide, narrowing to about 60 km across at the Straits of Hormuz.

  • PERSIAN LANGUAGE i. Early New Persian

    Ludwig Paul

    Early New Persian is the first phase (8th-12th centuries CE) of the Persian language after the Islamic conquest of Iran.

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  • PERSIAN MANUSCRIPTS i. IN OTTOMAN AND MODERN TURKISH LIBRARIES

    OSMAN G. ÖZGÜDENLI

    The Persian manuscripts in the libraries of Istanbul and Anatolia today were collected from four sources: (1) Persian manuscripts written, translated, and copied in Anatolia; (2) those brought into Anatolia by immigrant scholars; (3) those brought by traders; 4) those brought as booty of the wars and conquests of the 16th and 18th centuries.

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  • PERSIS, KINGS OF

    Joseph Wiesehöfer

    the Persian dynasts who between the 2nd century BCE and 3rd century CE ruled as Parthian representatives in Persis, southwestern Iran.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN i. PRE-ISLAMIC NAMES: GENERAL

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    The system of formation of personal names attested in the Iranian languages to a great extent agrees with that known from most of the other Indo-European languages.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN ii. AVESTAN NAMES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    In the Avesta at least 400 personal names are attested. The bulk of these names is found in the second part of the Fravardīn Yašt in a litany-like enumeration.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN iii. ACHAEMENID PERIOD

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Evidence from the Achaemenid period is considerable, but in authentic sources, the inscriptions of the kings themselves, fewer than fifty names are documented in their Old Persian form.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN iv. PARTHIAN PERIOD

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    For the Parthian period there is no super-abundance of primary sources written in the official (Middle) Parthian administrative language.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN v. SASANIAN PERiOD

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    For Sasanian times, priority treatment must be given to the names attested in non-literary, that is, epigraphic sources (in the broadest sense of the word).

  • PERSONAL NAMES, IRANIAN vi. ARMENIAN NAMES OF IRANIAN ORIGIN

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Linguistic research has documented that the majority of Iranian lexical and other borrowings in Armenian originated in the Parthian language.

  • PERSONAL NAMES, SOGDIAN i. IN CHINESE SOURCES

    Y. Yoshida

    Especially during some hundred years before the An Lushan’s rebellion (755-63 C.E.), when Tang controlled Central Asia, a great many Sogdians were encountered in northern China.

  • PESTS, AGRICULTURAL

    Cyrus Abivardi

    “Pest” refers to any animal or plant causing harm or damage to people or their animals, crops, or possessions, even if it only causes annoyance.

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  • PEUCESTAS

    Ernst Badian

    officer under Alexander the Great on his campaign in Asia.

  • PEYK-E SAʿĀDAT-E NESWĀN

    Nassereddin Parvin

    women's magazine published in Rašt , 1927-30.

  • PEYMĀN

    Nassereddin Parvin

    periodical published (1933-42) in Tehran by Aḥmad Kasravi, historian of the Constitutional Revolution.

  • PHILATELY i. The Postage Stamps of Iran

    Roman Siebertz

    Postage stamps, which were introduced to Iran in 1868, have from the outset served as an object of utility as well as an instrument of official self-representation.

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  • PHILATELY vi. POSTAL HISTORY

    Mano Amarloui

    To stop the spread of certain information, postal matter were, at times, strictly controlled. Not all mail was opened, but special attention was paid to particular senders and addressees. To legitimize censorship, special censor marks were applied on envelopes.

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  • PHILOSOPHY

    Cross-Reference

    see under FALSAFA.

  • PHOENIX MOSQUE

    George Lane

    Over the centuries, the mosque has been mentioned by a variety of very different names.  It is referred to as the Li Bai Ssŭ on some steles and as Wu-lin Gardens on a 13th-century street map.  The name Li Bai Temple is thought to be the oldest designation. 

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  • PHRAORTES

    I. Medvedskaya

    the second king of the Median dynasty. All information about him is from Herodotus.

  • PIANO IN PERSIAN MUSIC

    Hormoz Farhat

    The first piano is known to have arrived in Persia as a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to Fatḥ ʿAli Shah.

  • PIR-E ZAN

    Anna Krasnowolska

    a calendar-related legend about an Old Woman who personifies winter.  

  • PÎREMÊRD

    Keith Hitchins

    (1867-1950), pen-name of Tawfiq, son of Maḥmud, son of Ḥamza (in Kurdish: Tewfîq kurî MehmûdʿAḡa kurî Hemze ʿAḡa), Kurdish writer, journalist, and public intellectual.

  • PLANE TREE

    Cross-Reference

    See ČENĀR.

  • PLANTAIN

    Cross-Reference

    See BĀRHANG.

  • PLUM

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀLŪČA.

  • POLAK, Jakob Eduard

    Christoph Werner

    (1818-1891), Austrian physician and writer who was instrumental in establishing modern medicine in Iran. 

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  • POLAND ii. PERSIAN ART AND ARTIFACTS IN POLISH COLLECTIONS

    Beata Biedrońska-Słota, Dorota Malarczyk, and Barbara Mękarska

    Persian art has been present in Poland since medieval times. Among the objects—bought or brought back as war booty, like carpets, textiles, tents, richly ornamented weaponry, gold products—illuminated Persian manuscripts were also to be found. The majority of the collections were originally created by aristocratic and noble families of the former Polish Commonwealth.

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  • POLEMICS i. BETWEEN SHIʿITES AND JEWS

    Daniel Tsadik

    Twelver (Eṯnā ʿAšari Emāmi) Shiʿite polemics refer here to arguments gleaned from compositions written by Shiʿites.

  • POLO, MARCO

    Michele Bernardini

    (1254-1324), Venetian merchant and traveler (b. Venice or Curzola, 1254; d. Venice, 8 January 1324), whose travel accounts gained worldwide fame and whose description of the countries he visited between 1271 and 1298 represents a primary geographical and historical source concerning Asia during the Mongol domination.

  • PONTUS

    Brian McGing

    a Greek word meaning “sea,” generally taken in the ancient world to refer to the Black Sea— Pontos Euxeinos, or Axeinos (Strabo 1.2.10 C21).

  • POPE, ARTHUR UPHAM

    Noel Siver

    Pope was born on February 7, 1881 in Phenix, Rhode Island where his father Louis Pope was a minister in a local church. He was raised in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Descended from English Puritans who had settled in the Boston area in 1634 Pope remained proud of his New England roots throughout his life.

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  • PORTUGAL i. RELATIONS WITH PERSIA IN THE EARLY MODERN AGE (1500-1750)

    Joao Teles e Cunha

    Portuguese-Persian relations had some importance for both countries during the early Modern Age, coinciding with the rise and fall of the Safavids.

  • Poseidon: in Bactria

    Frank Holt

    Poseidon in Bactria presents the unusual pairing of an Hellenic sea-god with landlocked Central Asia.

  • POŠT-E KUH

    Ernie Haerinck and Bruno Overlaet

    The exploration of Pošt-e Kuh started relatively late in comparison with other regions of Persia and the Near East. Until about 1929, the quasi-autonomous governors (wāli) of Pošt-e Kuh ruled over this region. Major Henry C. Rawlinson was the first European to explore the region.

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  • PREHISTORY OF IRAN: ARTIFICIAL CRANIAL MODIFICATIONS

    Aurelie Daems and Karina Croucher

    Cranial modification is one of the most obvious examples we have from the archaeological record of the active manipulation of the body during life, demonstrating choices to treat the body in particular ways, with implications in terms of the reflection of identity and identity construction.

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  • PROCOPIUS

    Henning Börm

    of Caesarea, Greek historian (born ca. 500, died ca. 560). His description of Sasanian internal affairs and Persian-Roman relations is in part highly useful and reliable, and he is a primary source for the way the elite of the Later Roman Empire looked on the Persians.

  • PROSODY i. MIDDLE PERSIAN

    Gilbert Lazard

    There are remnants left of pre-Islamic poetry within western Middle Iranian languages: fragments of Manichean religious hymns, some poems preserved in the literature of Pahlavi, and poetical pieces in New Persian not following the rules of classical versification.

  • PROSODY ii. New Persian

    Cross-Reference

    The study of poetic metre and of the art of versification, including rhyme, stanzaic forms, and the quantity and stress of syllables. See ʿARUŻ

    See also BALUCHISTAN iiia. Baluchi Poetry.

  • PROTOTHYES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    according to Herodotus 1.103.3 the father of the Scythian king Madýēs, who is said to have gone into battle against the Medes.

  • PUNJABI

    Christopher Shackle

    Indo-Aryan language of the Punjab with about 26 million speakers in India and more than 60 million in Pakistan.

  • PUR BAHĀʾ JĀMI, TĀJ-AL-DIN

    George Lane

    poet, pun master, satirist, and often scathing social commentator.

  • PUYANDA, Moḥammad-Jaʿfar

    Jalil Doostkhah

    (1954-1998), scholar and translator of literary texts and sociological studies. He never joined any political organization or party, but was a diligent defender of democracy and freedom of speech and belief.

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  • P~ CAPTIONS OF ILLUSTRATIONS

    Cross-Reference

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