Table of Contents

  • ṢABĀ, ABU’l-ḤASAN

    Hormoz Farhat

    Born into an aristocratic and affluent family, Abu’l-Ḥasan had the exceptional good fortune of being raised in an environment fostering love of music and arts.  His father, Abu’l-Qāsem Kamāl-al-Salṭana, a medical doctor, was an amateur musician and poet.  He descended from a long line of court physicians, all of whom were known for their artistic talents.

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  • SABALĀN MOUNTAIN

    Eckart Ehlers

    Kuh-e-Sabalān; 4,740 m), the highest and spatially most extended volcano in northwestern Iran.

  • ṢĀBER

    Hasan Javadi

    , MIRZĀ ʿALI-AKBAR ṬĀHERZĀDA (b. Šamāḵi [Shemakha], 30 May 1862; d. Šamāḵi, 12 July 1911), famous Azerbaijani satirist and poet.

  • SABKŠENĀSI

    Matthew Smith

    the title of a book by Malek al-Šoʿarā Moḥammad Taqi Bahār first published in 1942.

  • ŠĀBUHRAGĀN

    Christiane Reck

    (Šāpurāḵān, Šāburāḵān, Šāburḵān), one of the books written by Mani (216-274/7 CE), founder of the Manichean religion, in which he summarized his teaching systematically.

  • ṢĀBUN

    Cross-Reference

    "soap." See SOAP.

  • SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST

    Carlo G. Cereti

    general title of a set of 50 volumes published between 1879 and 1910, all translated into English by some of the leading scholars of the time under the supervision of Friederich Max Müller.

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  • SACRIFICE i. IN ZOROASTRIANISM

    William W. Malandra

    At least since the publication of the seminal essay by Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss much of the discussion has been devoted to a search for what essentially defines sacrifice.

  • SADA FESTIVAL

    Anna Krasnowolska

    the most important Iranian winter festival, celebrated by kindling fires.

  • ṢADĀ-YE EṢFAHĀN

    Nassereddin Parvin

    weekly newspaper published in Isfahan (6 March 1921 to April/May 1944, with lengthy interruptions). 

  • SADEQI, BAHRAM

    Saeed Honarmand

    Sadeqi started writing poetry and prose at a young age and was still in high school when his poems, under the pseudonym “Ṣahbā Meqdāri,” appeared in literary journals of the period. Although well-versed in classical Persian literature and familiar with Persian prosody, he adhered to a free and independent mode of expression.

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  • SAʿDI

    Paul Losensky

    Persian poet and prose writer (b. Shiraz, ca. 1210; d. Shiraz, d. 1291 or 1292), widely recognized as one of the greatest masters of the classical literary tradition.

  • ṢADR

    Willem Floor

    Arabic term used in the Iranian lands mainly to denote an outstanding person (scholar or otherwise); hence it was also applied as a personal title.

  • SADR, BEHJAT

    Hengameh Fouladvand

    pioneer modernist painter and educator, notable in the development of Iranian modern art movement.

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  • ṢĀʾEB TABRIZI

    Paul E. Losensky

    , MIRZĀ M0ḤAMMAD ʿALI (b. Tabriz, ca. 1000/1592; d. Isfahan, 1086-87/1676), celebrated Persian poet of the later Safavid period.

  • SA'EDI, Gholam-Hosayn

    Faridoun Farrokh and Houra Yavari

    (1936-1985), writer, editor, and dramatist; an influential figure in popularizing the theater as an art form, as well as a medium of political and social expression in contemporary Iran.

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  • ŠAFAQ

    Nasserddin Parvin

    a newspaper published in Tabriz, 3 October 1910 to 18 December 1911. It was an organ of the Democrat Party (Ḥezb-e demokrāt), with a strong nationalist orientation.

  • SAFAVID DYNASTY

    Rudi Matthee

    Originating from a mystical order at the turn of the 14th century, the Safavids ruled Persia from 1501 to 1722. 

  • SAFAVID DYNASTY (cont.)

    Rudi Matthee

    Annotated bibliography.

  • SAFFARIDS

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    a dynasty of medieval Islamic eastern Iran which ruled from 247/861 to 393/1003.  From a base in their home province of Sistān, the first Saffarids built up a vast if transient military empire, at one point invading Iraq and threatening Baghdad.  

  • SAFIDRUD

    Eckart Ehlers

    With a length of 670 km the Safidrud is the second largest river of Iran.  Its headwaters are located in the Zagros ranges of northwestern Iran in the province of Kordestān.  Originating in the mountain range of the Kuh-e Čehel Čašma, the headwater region is moist and rainy.

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  • SAFINA-YE ḴOŠGU

    Stefano Pello

    An important Indo-Persian taḏkera (collection of biographical notices of poets with anthologies of their verse) of the 18th century, by Bindrāban Dās Ḵošgu.

  • SAFINE-YE SOLAYMANI

    M. Ismail Marcinkowski

    (“Ship of Solayman”), a Persian travel account of an embassy sent by the Safavid ruler Shah Solayman (r. 1666-94) to Siam in the year 1685.

  • ṢAFJĀHĪ DYNASTY

    Cross-Reference

    See DECCAN.

  • ŠAFT

    Marcel Bazin

    district and small town in southwestern Gilān.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA iv. Illustrations

    Marianna Shreve Simpson

    It is within the medieval arts of the object, and particularly on portable ceramic and metalwork vessels made in Persia and neighboring regions during the 12th and 13th centuries, that the early history and iconography of Šāh-nāma imagery can be most fully appreciated.

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  • ŠĀH-NĀMA v. ARABIC WORDS

    John Perry

    Moïnfar calculates that the Šāh-nāma contains 706 words of Arabic origin, occurring a total of 8,938 times. The 100 words occurring most frequently account for 60 percent of all occurrences.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA — EXCURSUS

    Amin Banani

    Essay: “Reflections on Re-reading the Iliad and the Shahnameh” by Amin Banani.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS i. INTO TURKISH

    Osman G. Özgüdenli

    Turks have been influenced by the Šāh-nāma since the advent of the Saljuqs in Persia. Their last prince in Persia, Ṭoḡrel III, recited verses from the Šāh-nāma while swinging his mace in battle.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS ii. INTO GEORGIAN

    Jamshid Sh. Giunshvili

    was translated, not only to satisfy the literary and aesthetic needs of readers and listeners, but also to inspire the young with the spirit of heroism and Georgian patriotism.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS iii. INTO ENGLISH

    Parvin Loloi

    Ferdowsi’s epic, the Šāh-nāma, was first introduced to English readers by Sir William Jones, who in his many essays on Oriental poetry, compared Ferdowsi to Homer.

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  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS xiii. INTO POLISH

    Anna Krasnowolska

    The first, brief mention of Ferdowsi in Polish was made by Ignacy Krasicki (1735-1801) in his work on poets and poetry, and he included in his collection of Oriental tales two passages originating from the Šāh-nāma.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS xiv. INTO RUSSIAN

    Natalia Chalisova

    The first translation of the Šāh-nāma into Russian dates from 1849, when V. Zhukovski (d. 1852) wrote his poem Rustem and Zorab.

  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS xv. INTO JAPANESE

    Hashem Rajabzadeh

    After ʿOmar Ḵayyām, whose Robāʿiyāt was introduced to Japanese readers around the turn of the 20th century, Ferdowsi was the first Persian poet to attract the attention of Japanese writers.

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  • ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS xvi. INTO SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES

    Claus V. Pedersen

    among the works of classical Persian literature, Ferdowsi’s Šāh-nāma is the one best known in the Scandinavian countries.

  • SAḤĀB, ʿAbbās

    Firouz Firooznia

    Saḥāb made about seven hundred maps and atlases, many hand-drafted, originals of which are kept in the SGDI’s library. He closely supervised every project from the start to the end. Saḥāb’s devotion to his work and his love for the field made him travel to hundreds of settlement of Iran, sometimes on foot, to collect data.

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  • ŠĀHIN

    Evelin Grassi

    Šams-al-Din Maḵdum (b. Bukhara, 1859; d. Qarši 1894), Bukharan Tajik poet and satirist.

  • ŠAHNĀZI, ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi

    (1905-1948) musician and performer of the tār (a plucked long-necked lute).

  • ŠAHNĀZI, ʿAli Akbar

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi

    (1897-1984), master musician, renowned teacher, and composer of Persian classical music.

  • ŠAHRBĀNU

    Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

    (lit. “Lady of the Land,” i.e., of Persia), said to be the daughter of Yazdegerd III (r. 632-51), the last Sasanian king.

  • ŠAHRESTĀNĪHĀ Ī ĒRĀNŠAHR

    Touraj Daryaee

    (The Provincial Capitals of Iran), the only major surviving Middle Persian text on geography.

  • ŠAHREWAR

    William W. Malandra

    name of one of the Amahraspandān in Zoroastrianism. This is the Middle Persian form of the name deriving from Av. Xšaθra Vairya, meaning literally “dominion to be chosen” and more freely “choice/desirable/best dominion.”

  • SAIFPOUR FATEMI

    Lotfali Khonji

    journalist, political figure, and university professor.

  • SAIIDO NASAFI, MIROBID

    Keith Hitchins

    (Mir ʿĀbed Sayyedā Nasafi), Tajik poet (d. Bukhara, between 1707 and 1711).

  • ŠAKKI

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    a district of eastern Transcaucasia, now within the northwesternmost part of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan, where the modern town of Sheki or Shaki.

  • SALAMIS

    Christopher Tuplin

    island west of Athens and site of a major naval battle in 480 BCE between the Greeks and the Persian fleet of Xerxes I. Salamis was the second of five battles of the Greco-Persian War of 480-79.

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  • SALEMANN, Carl Hermann

    D. Durkin-Meisterernst

    (in Russian: Zaleman, Karl Germanovitsh; 1849-1916, a leading Iranist scholar of his time, specializing in Middle and early Modern Persian. His tenacity and willingness to publish his results quickly contributed greatly to the advancement of the study of the newly found texts from Central Asia, thereby ensuring the very progress that would make some parts of his work obsolete.

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  • SALJUQS iii. SALJUQS OF RUM

    Andrew Peacock

    dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled much of Anatolia (Rum), ca. 1081-1308.

  • SALJUQS v. SALJUQID LITERATURE

    Daniela Meneghini

    The term ‘Saljuqid literature’is used here to refer to literary works in Persian produced between 432/1040 and 617/1220.

  • SALJUQS vi. ART AND ARCHITECTURE

    Lorenz Korn

    Saljuq rule covered neither all of Persia, the easternmost regions being independently ruled by Ḡaznavids and Ḡorids, nor did it constitute a unified state, able to enforce strict and direct control over towns and lands. Several principalities survived or originated under the suzerainty of the Saljuq sultans, while wide rural areas were left to nomadic control.

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  • SAMĀʿI, Ḥabib

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    (1905-1946), an outstanding player of the santur (a kind of dulcimer).

  • SAMAK-E ʿAYYĀR

    Marina Gaillard

    a prose narrative originating in the milieu of professional storytellers, transmitted orally and written down around the 12th century.

  • SAMARQAND i. HISTORY AND ARCHEOLOGY

    Frantz Grenet

    Since the publication of the entry Afrāsiāb in 1984 new information has been brought to light on this archeological site and, consequently, on the history of pre-Mongol Samarqand.

  • SAMFONI-e MORDAGĀN

    Houra Yavari

    first novel (1989) by Abbas Maroufi, fiction writer and the founder and editor of the periodical Gardun

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  • SANĀʾI

    J. T. P. de Bruijn

    (d. ca. 1130), Persian poet of the later Ghaznavid era, celebrated particularly for his homiletic poetry and his great influence on the development of mystical literature in general.

  • SANAI, MAHMOUD

    Ali Gheissari

    professor of psychology, psychoanalyst, educator, writer, translator, and government official.

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  • SAN‘ATIZADEH KERMANI, Homayun

    Cyrus Alinejad

    (1925-2009), entrepreneur, man of letters, publisher, and founding manager of Moʾassasa-ye entešārāt-e Ferānklin, who played an instrumental role in the introduction of modern publishing industries in Iran.

  • SANCISI-WEERDENBURG, HELEEN

    Amélie Kuhrt

    (1944-2000), Dutch ancient historian, specializing in classical Greek and Achaemenid history.

  • SAND GROUSE

    Eskandar Firouz

    a family (Pteroclididae) of game birds of which seven species are found in Persia, characteristic of Persia’s vast deserts and steppes. They have no affinity with true grouse and are included in the same order as pigeons (Columbiformes).

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  • ŠĀNDARMAN

    Cross-Reference

    one of the five traditional Ṭāleš khanates (Ḵamsa-ye Ṭavāleš) in western Gilān, between Ṭāleš Dulāb and Māsāl.

  • SANG-E CHAKHMAQ

    Christopher P. Thornton

    The Aceramic Neolithic phase spans Levels 2-5 of the Western Tepe. This period is notable for large mud-brick houses with plastered and red-painted floors and well-built fireplaces, some of which appear to have had ritual significance. Amongst these houses there is abundant evidence for lithic tools using both local flint/chert and imported obsidian.

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  • SANG-E ṢABUR

    Ali Ferdowsi

    (1966, tr. by Mohammad Reza Ghanoonparvar, as The Patient Stone, 1989), the last, and arguably, the most critically acclaimed work of fiction by Sadeq Chubak.

  • SANGLĀḴ, MOḤAMMAD-ʿALI

    Maryam Ekhtiar

    (b. Qučān, Khorasan, date unknown; d. Tabriz, 3 March 1877), celebrated calligrapher and stone carver, as well as poet and author. He lived as a dervish and spent much of his time traveling, with long sojourns in the Ottoman empire and Egypt.

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  • SANJANA, Darab Dastur Peshotan

    Michael Stausberg

    (1857-1931), Zoroastrian head-priest and scholar.

  • SANJAR, Aḥmad b. Malekšāh

    Deborah G. Tor

    Abu’l-Ḥārith, Moʿezz-al-donyā-wa’l-din, Borhān Amir-al-Moʾmenin, first subordinate sultan of Khorasan and then Great Sultan of the Great Saljuq empire.

  • SAOŠYANT

    William Malandra

    a term in Zoroastrianism sometimes rendered as “savior.” Since the term also occurs frequently in reference to contemporary individuals, a more neutral translation such as “benefactor” or “helper” (Lommel) may be preferred. 

  • SĀQI-NĀMA

    Paul Losensky

    (Book of the Cupbearer), a poetic genre in which the speaker, seeking relief from his hardships, losses, and disappointments, repeatedly summons the sāqi or cupbearer to bring him wine.

  • SAQQĀ-ḴĀNA i. HISTORY

    Willem Floor

    Saqqā-ḵāna is a term referring to public water dispensers, which were, and in some places still are, a feature of some large institutional buildings in Iran, typically mosques, shrines, and bazaars.

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  • SAQQĀ-ḴĀNA ii. SCHOOL OF ART

    Hamid Keshmirshekan

    The term saqqā-ḵāna was first used to refer to a contemporary art movement in Iran in 1962. It was initially applied to painting and sculpture which used existing elements from votive Shiʿite art. It gradually came to be applied more widely to art works that used traditional-decorative elements.

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  • ŠARAFĀBĀD

    Robert M. Schacht and Henry T. Wright III

    Tepe Šarāfabād was excavated in 1971 by the joint project of the University of Michigan and what was then the Archeological Service of Iran. The staff of the excavation was directed by Henry T. Wright III, and the official representative of the National Research Center for Archeology was Muhammed H.Ḵošābi.

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  • ŠARḤ-e TAʿARROF

    Nasrollah Pourjavady

    an extensive commentary in Persian on Abu Bakr Moḥammad Kalābāḏi’s Sufi manual Ketāb al-Taʿarrof le-maḏhab ahl al-taṣawwuf.

  • ŠARIF KHAN, Moḥammad

    Fabrizio Speziale

    (d. ca. 1807), physician at the court of the Mughal emperor, Shah ʿĀlam II (r. 1760-1806), author, and the eponymous founder of the Šarifi family of physicians.

  • ŠARQ

    Nasserddin Parvin

    a literary journal published occasionally in Tehran between 1924 and 1932.

  • SASANIAN COINAGE

    Nikolaus Schindel

    The coinage of the Sasanian empire (ca. 224-651 CE) is not only the most important primary source for its monetary and economic history, but is also of greatest importance for history and art history.

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  • SASANIAN DYNASTY

    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    The Sasanian dynasty represented the last Persian lineage of rulers to achieve hegemony over much of Western Asia before Islam, ruled 224 CE–650 CE.

  • SASANIAN ROCK RELIEFS

    G. Herrmann and V. S. Curtis

    one of the primary sources for documentation of the Sasanian period.

  • SASANIAN TEXTILES

    Matteo Compareti

    Classical, Islamic, and Chinese sources celebrate Sasanian textiles as a very precious commodity, but no specific descriptions of them are given. Most studies of Sasanian textile art are originally based on these sources and on examining the reliefs of the larger grotto at Tāq-e Bostān.

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  • SASANIAN WALL PAINTING

    An De Waele

    Murals found on sites within the territory of the Sasanian empire (224- 650 CE) are considered Sasanian. While their main function is decorative, their secondary function can be derived from location, theme, and dimension, and is important because it reflects a world-view.

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  • SATASPES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    an Achaemenid, the son of a certain Teaspis and from his mother’s side a nephew of King Darius I.

  • SATTĀR KHAN

    Anja Pistor-Hatam

    (1868-1914), defender of Tabriz during the Qajar “Lesser Autocracy” in 1908-09—an example of a mythical personage, and as a long-lasting focal point of collective memory and identity, whose symbolic function has an impact until this very day.

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  • ṢAWMAʿA SARĀ

    Marcel Bazin

    city and district in western Gilān.  The city is located at lat 37°17′ N, long 29°19′ E, in the Fumanāt plain, at a distance of 25 km to the west of Rašt, the center of the province.

  • ŠĀYEST NĒ ŠĀYEST

    Fereydun Vahman

    (Proper and Improper), a work in the Middle Persian/Pahlavi language dealing with Zoroastrian jurisprudence and containing miscellaneous laws concerning sins, purity, and impurity.

  • SAYYED AJALL

    George Lane

    governor of the Dali province in China during the Mongol period.

  • SCERIMAN FAMILY

    Sebouh Aslanian and Houri Berberian

    a wealthy Persian-Armenian merchant family.

  • SCHEFER, Charles-Henri-Auguste

    Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam

    In 1833 Schefer entered the prestigious Collège Louis-le-Grand, where one of his classmates was Charles Baudelaire (1821-67). Schefer enrolled in his school's Arabic, Turkish, and Persian courses for prospective translators (jeunes de langues). In 1838 he was admitted to the Ecole des langues orientales vivantes, and his instructor of Persian became Etienne Quatremère.

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  • SCHEIL, Jean-Vincent

    Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam

    , Father (1858-1940), French philologist and archeologist.

  • SCHLIMMER, JOHANNES LODEWIK

    Willem Floor

    (1818-1876), Dutch physician who served in Iran as an instructor of medicine and became a leading pioneer in the promotion of modern medicine in Iran. His Terminologie Medico-Pharmaceutique (1874) helped standardize medical technical terms in Persian, thus guiding future generations of medical students in Iran.

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  • SE QAṬRA ḴUN

    SOHILA SAREMI

    short story by Ṣādeq Hedāyat in a collection with the same title.

  • SEALS AND SEALINGS

    Pierfrancesco Callieri

    IN THE EASTERN IRANIAN LANDS  The bulk of the material known at present is of antiquarian origin and was gathered between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries when European and Russian scholars and collectors turned their attention to these previously unexplored regions.

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  • SEBÜKTEGIN

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    a slave commander of the Samanids and the founder of the Ghaznavid dynasty in eastern Afghanistan.

  • SEFIDRUD

    Cross-Reference

    See Safidrud.

  • SEMINO, Barthélémy

    Shireen Mahdavi

    French general, engineer, and linguist in the service of the Qajars in Persia.

  • SEPEHRI, Sohrab

    Houman Sarshar

    (1928-1980), notable Iranian poet and painter.

  • SERĀJ AL-AḴBĀR-E AFḠĀNIYA

    May Schinasi

    “Torch of the news of Afghanistan,” bi-monthly Persian language newspaper published in Kabul during the second decade of the reign of Amir Ḥabib-Allāh (r. 1901-19).

  • ŠERVĀN

    C. E. Bosworth

    (ŠIRVĀN, ŠARVĀN), a region of Eastern Transcaucasia, known by this name in both early Islamic and more recent times, and now (since 1994) substantially within the independent Azerbaijan Republic.

  • ŠERVĀNŠAHS

    C. E. Bosworth

    (Šarvānšāhs), the various lines of rulers, originally Arab in ethnos but speedily Persianized within their culturally Persian environment, who ruled in the eastern Caucasian region of Šervān from mid-ʿAbbasid times until the age of the Safavids.

  • SEVRUGUIN, ANTOIN

    Aphrodite Désirée Navab

    Antoin decided to return to Tbilisi and continue his studies in painting and photography. There, he befriended the Russian photographer Dmitri Ivanovich Jermakov (1845-1916). From 1870 Jermakov traveled regularly throughout Persia, producing 127 albums and 24,556 negatives. Sevruguin decided to emulate Jermakov and crete his own survey of the people, landscape, and architecture of Persia.

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  • Šeydā

    Margaret Caton

    the pen name of Mirzā ʿAli-Akbar Širāzi (b. Shiraz, 1259/1843; d. Tehran at the Ṣafi ʿAlišāh ḵānaqāh, 1324/1906), a Persian musician regarded as the most important composer of the lyrical popular song (taṣnif) in the late Qajar period.

  • SHADDADIDS

    Andrew Peacock

    Caucasian dynasty of Kurdish origin reigning from about 950 until 1200, first in Dvin and Ganja, later in Ani.

  • SHADMAN, Sayyed Fakhr-al-Din

    Ali Gheissari

    (1907-1967), cultural critic and writer of fiction, professor of history, civil servant, and cabinet minister.

  • SHAH ABBAS I

    Cross-Reference

    Safavid king of Iran (996-1038/1588-1629). Styled "Shah ʿAbbās the Great," he was the third son and successor of Solṭān Moḥammad Shah. See ʿABBĀS I.

  • SHAHBAZ, Hasan

    Ḡafur Mirzāʾi

    From 1942 to 1948 Shahbaz wrote articles for newspapers and magazines, translated his first books, and worked as a translator for foreign companies, and as a contractor for Allied Forces in Iran. In 1949 he became an editor at the News Desk of the Embassy of Pakistan and later joined the American Embassy in Tehran.

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  • SHAHID SALESS, Sohrab

    Pardis Minuchehr

    Iranian cinematographer and award-winning filmmaker.

  • SHAHRZAD

    Mohammad Tolouei

    (Reżā Kamāl, 1898-1937), dramatist and translator who played a key role in introducing European Romanticism to Iran through his loose adaptations of French drama.

  • SHAHSEVAN

    Richard Tapper

    (Šāhsevan), name of a number of tribal groups in various parts of northwestern Iran, notably in the Moḡān and Ardabil districts of eastern Azerbaijan and in the Ḵaraqān and Ḵamsa districts between Zanjān and Qazvin.

  • SHAMANISM

    Philippe Gignoux

    AND ITS CONNECTION TO IRAN. Archeological and ethnological sources in Iran do not lead to confirmation of the existence of shamanic practices there, whether ancient or modern. Yet some scholars have tried to find traces of them.

  • SHAPUR

    Multiple Authors

    Three Sasanian king of kings and a number of notables of the Sasanian and later periods were called “Shapur.”

  • SHAPUR I i. History

    Shapur Shahbazi

    second Sasanian king of kings (r. 239-70), and author of several rock-reliefs and the trilingual inscription on the walls of the so-called Kaʿba-ye Zardošt.

  • SHAPUR I ii. The Great Statue

    G. R. GAROSI

    With a height of about 6.70 meters and a width across the shoulders of more than 2 meters, the monumental statue of Shapur I can be considered the most impressive extant sculpture dating from the Sasanian period. It is carved out of a huge stalagmite formed in situ.

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  • SHAPUR II

    Touraj Daryaee

    (r. 309-79 CE), longest reigning monarch of the Sasanian dynasty.

  • SHATT AL-ARAB

    D. T. Potts

    (ŠAṬṬ AL-ʿARAB), combined effluent of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

  • SHEEP

    Cross-Reference

    See GUSFAND.

  • SHEYBANI, MANUCHEHR

    Saeid Rezvani

    poet, painter, filmmaker, and dramatist.

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  • SHIELD in Eastern Iran

    Boris A. Litvinsky

    In Lurestan, a round bronze shield was found, which has a skirting along the edge, an umbo in the center, and relief depictions of fantastic creatures.

  • SHIʿITE DOCTRINE

    Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

    Shiʿite doctrine is usually considered to be based on five principles. However, to articulate matters of faith in such a manner seems reductionist and late.

  • SHIʿITE DOCTRINE ii. Hierarchy in the Imamiyya

    Rainer Brunner

    The distinction between believers and ulema (ʿolemāʾ “religious scholars”) is known to both Sunnites and Shiʿites, and forms the starting point for internal ranking systems among their ulema.

  • SHIʿITE DOCTRINE iii. Imamite-Sunnite Relations since the Late 19th Century

    Rainer Brunner

    Since the 20th century, sectarian relations have reflected a growing number of attempts to reach, at least to some degree, an understanding and a rapprochement of each other’s views (taqrib, rarely taqārob).

  • SHIʿITES IN ARABIA

    Werner Ende

    survey of the Arabian peninsula including Persian Gulf regions.

  • SHIʿITES IN LEBANON

    Sabrina Mervin

    Shiʿites, that is, Muslims adhering to the Twelver (eṯnāʿašari) or Imamite persuasion of Shiʿism, form the single largest denominational community of Lebanon. Their number is estimated at 1.5 million.

  • SHIR-E SHIAN

    Christopher P. Thornton

    Given the lack of architectural remains and the shallowness of the deposit, Schmidt argued that Shir-e Shian was a temporary campsite occupied for only one period. It is also plausible, given that burials were often placed below the floors of houses in prehistory, that the mounds of Shir-e Shian had simply been heavily eroded over time.

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  • SHIRAZ i. HISTORY TO 1940

    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    The city of Shiraz has been the capital of the province of Fārs since the Islamic conquest, succeeding Eṣṭaḵr of the Sasanian period and Persepolis of the Achaemenid days.

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  • SHIRVANLU, FIRUZ

    EIr

    (1938-1989), art critic, scholar, and artist, who played an instrumental role in the creation and management of several museums and cultural centers in the 1960s and 1970s.

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  • SHOGHI EFFENDI

    Moojan Momen

    Šawqi Rabbāni (1897-1957), eldest grandson and successor of ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ as leader of the Bahai Faith (1921-57). Iranian Bahais usually refer to him as Ḥażrat-e Waliy-e Amrallāh, the title given to him by ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ, usually translated as “the Guardian of the Cause of God, or simply “the Guardian.”

  • SIĀH-QALAM

    Bernard O'Kane

    “black pen” (1) the genre of paintings or drawings done in pen and ink; (2) the painters of such drawings.

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  • SIĀHKAL

    Marcel Bazin and Christian Bromberger

    small town and sub-provincial district (šahrestān) in the southeastern part of Gilān province.

  • SIBERIAN ELM

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀZĀD.

  • SĪH-RŌZAG

    Enrico G. Raffaelli

    a text of the Xorda Avesta comprising invocations to Zoroastrian divinities.

  • SILK

    Cross-Reference

    Originally from China, silk has been known in Iran since ancient times. See ABRĪŠAM.

  • SIMJURIDS

    Luke Treadwell

    a family of Turkish mamluks who over four generations, from the late 9th century to the Qarakhanid conquest (389/999), played a leading role in the Samanid state.

  • SIMORḠ

    Hanns-Peter Schmidt

    (Persian), Sēnmurw (Pahlavi), Sīna-Mrū (Pāzand), a fabulous, mythical bird. The name derives from Avestan mərəγō saēnō ‘the bird Saēna’, originally a raptor, either eagle or falcon, as can be deduced from the etymologically identical Sanskrit śyená.

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  • SINDHI

    Christopher Shackle

    A language of the Indo-Aryan family. Many of its numerous distinctive features may be attributed to the isolated position in the lower Indus valley of Sindh.

  • SINEMĀ WA NEMĀYEŠĀT

    Nassereddin Parvin

    the first Persian magazine entirely devoted to cinematography (1930).

  • SIRĀFI, ABU SAʿID ḤASAN

    David Pingree

    10th-century polymath known best for his work as a grammarian.

  • ŠIRĀZI, Nur-al-Din Moḥammad ʿAbd-Allāh

    Fabrizio Speziale

    Indo-Muslim physician and one of the main Persian authors of works on medical subjects in India in the 17th century.

  • SISTĀN ii. In the Islamic period

    C. E. Bosworth

    It was during the governorship in Khorasan of ʿAbdallāh b. ʿĀmer for the caliph ʿOṯmān that the Arabs first appeared in Sistān, when in 31/652 Zarang surrendered peacefully, although Bost resisted fiercely.

  • SLAVES and SLAVERY

    Cross-Reference

    See BARDA and BARDA-DĀRI.

  • SMBAT BAGRATUNI

    N. Garsoian

    distinguished Armenian prince and head of the Bagratid house at the turn of the 6th to the 7th century.

  • SMOKING IN IRAN

    Esfandyar Batmanghelidj

    Iran began producing finished cigarettes in order to meet growing domestic demand.  Russian investors established a series of manufacturing facilities in Rasht by 1890.  According to the accounts of the British consul in Gilan, the these produced cigarettes “too hot and coarse for European tastes,” but “well made and cheap enough.”

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  • SOAP

    Willem Floor

    (Ar. and Pers. ṣābun) was manufactured in Persia from antiquity. In the 10th century, various Persian towns produced soap, among them Bost, Balkh, and Arrajān.

  • SOCIETAS IRANOLOGICA EUROPAEA

    Gherardo Gnoli

    (SIE), important international association in the field of Iranian studies.

  • SODIQI MUNŠI, Mirzo

    Keith Hitchins

    Tajik poet (d. 1819). Little is known of his life and career.

  • SOFRA

    Mahmoud Omidslalar

    a piece of cloth that is spread on the floor, and on which dishes of food are placed at meal times.

  • SOGDIAN LANGUAGE i. Loanwords in Persian

    B. Gharib

    Loanwords from Sogdian into Persian were adopted through the cultural relations and commercial interactions which existed between Iran proper and Transoxiana, the birth place of Sogdian language.

  • SOGDIAN TRADE

    Etienne de la Vaissiere

    The people of Sogdiana were the main caravan merchants of Central Asia from the 5th to the 8th century.

  • SOGDIANA iii. HISTORY AND ARCHEOLOGY

    É. de La Vaissière

    an Iranian-speaking region in Central Asia that stretches from the rivers Āmu Daryā in the south to the Syr Daryā in the north, with its heart in the valleys of the Zarafšān and the Kaška Daryā.

  • SOGDIANA vi. SOGDIAN ART

    Markus Mode

    The development and apogee of Sogdian art was limited to four or five centuries before and during the Muslim conquest of Transoxania. Sogdian art of the heartlands flourished in the settled areas of the Zeravshan and Kashkadarya valleys, as well as in Ustrushana (Osrušana), north of the Turkestan mountain range.

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  • ŠOKUROV, MOḤAMMADJĀN

    Habib Borjian and Evelin Grassi

    (1925-2012), Tajik scholar and literary critic. From the late 1980s, in the milieu of glasnost, he cultivated an interest in the theory of modern Tajik culture, and he published copiously on the issues of the history and contemporary conditions of Tajik language, literature, and culture during the independence period after 1991.

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  • SOLAYMĀNI, Ātajān Peyrow

    Keith Hitchins

    (1899-1933), Tajik poet who blended the classical traditions of Tajik-Persian verse with the social themes of the new Soviet Central Asia of the 1920s and early 1930s.

  • SOLṬĀN WALAD

    Cross-Reference

    13th-14th-century Sufi shaikh and poet, son and eventual successor of Mawlānā Jalāl-al-Din Rumi(Mawlawi). See BAHĀʾ-AL-DĪN SOLṬĀN WALAD.

  • SORḴA

    Habib Borjian

    (locally: Sur), township and sub-province in Semnān Province.

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  • SORUSHIAN, Jamshid

    Carlo G. Cereti

    (1914-1999), a Zoroastrian community leader and author.

  • SOUR CHERRY

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀLBĀLŪ.

  • SOUR GRAPE jUICE

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀB-ḠŪRA.

  • SOUTH PERSIA RIFLES

    Floreeda Safiri

    (SPR), a locally recruited militia, commanded by British officers, and operating in the provinces of Fārs and Kermān from 1916 to 1921.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA i. PERSIAN PRESENCE IN

    M. Ismail Marcinkowski

    Attention will be given to some of the most striking features of the Persian influences on Southeast Asian Islamic culture.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA ii. SHIʿITES IN

    M. Ismail Marchinkowski

    Along with Sufism, Shiʿite elements too entered Malay-Indonesian Islam, certainly by way of southern India, where it was well represented.

  • SPĀHBED

    Rika Gyselen

     Sasanian title that denoted a high military rank and meant  ‘chief of an army, general.’

  • SPEAR

    Boris A. Litvinsky

    (Av. aršti- ‘spear,’ OPers. aršti ‘throwing weapon’ or ‘javelin’) is mentioned in the Avesta several times.

  • SPIEGEL, FRIEDRICH (VON)

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    (1820 -1905), German orientalist and scholar of Iranian studies.

  • SPULER, Bertold

    Werner Ende, Bert Fragner, Dagmar Riedel

    As a teenager Spuler lived through the economic and political turmoils of the 1920s following German defeat in World War I. He received a humanist education, with a focus on Latin and Greek, at the Bismarck Gymnasium in Karlsruhe. Spuler easily picked up languages, learning Russian, Polish, Hebrew, French, English, Italian, and Spanish.

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  • SRAOŠA

    William W. Malandra

    a major deity (yazata) in Zoroastrianism, whose great popularity reserved a place for him in Iranian Islam as the angel Surōš. In Avestan, the word occurs both as a noun and as a name. Its basic common meaning is “to hear and obey.”

  • STAMPS

    Cross-Reference

    see PHILATELY

  • STANZAIC POETRY

    Gabrielle van den Berg

    Stanzaic verse forms have been part of the corpus of classical Persian poetry from the early stage onwards and have continued to play a role until modern times.  Though the quantity of stanzaic poetry in Persian literature is modest in comparison to other verse forms, a few examples of this genre have obtained widespread fame and an iconic value in Persian culture and society.

  • STARK, FREYA Madeline

    Malise Ruthven

    British travel-writer.  Her 1934 book The Valley of the Assassins and Other Persian Travels belongs to the canon of English travel literature.

  • STEEL INDUSTRY IN IRAN

    Willem Floor

     In 1927, plans were drawn up to establish smelting works in the north of the country to produce rail tracks domestically.

  • STEIN, (Marc) Aurel

    Susan Whitfield

    , Sir, Hungarian–British archeologist and explorer (b. Pest, Hungary, 26 November 1862; d. Kabul, 28 October 1943).

  • STOREY, Charles Ambrose

    Yuri Bregel

    British orientalist, author of the bio-bibliographical survey of Persian literature (1888-1968).

  • STUCCO DECORATION

    Jens Kröger

    IN IRANIAN ARCHITECTURE. This entry focuses on the Parthian and Sasanian periods and hints at the continuity in the Islamic period.

  • STŪM

    Firoze M. Kotwal and Jamsheed K. Choksy

    Essentially a soliloquy of remembrance, the stūm ritual links living Zoroastrians to deceased coreligionists by reminding them that righteousness during life ensures salvation after death.

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  • SŪDGAR NASK and WARŠTMĀNSR NASK

    Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina

    the first and second of three commentaries on the Old Avesta, extant in a Pahlavi resume in book nine of the Dēnkard, the third being the Bag nask.

  • SUGAR

    Willem Floor

    Cultivation, manufacturing, and processing in Iran. Sugar was already known in Sasanian Persia around 460 CE.

  • SUSA i. EXCAVATIONS

    Hermann Gasche

    In 1836, Major Rawlinson visited the site briefly and discovered fragments of columns, as well as an inscription by a “king of Susra.” Layard stayed in Khuzestan between 1840 and 1842. He, too, was interested in the famous “black stone” of the Tomb of Daniel, which had already disappeared before Rawlinson’s visit.

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  • SUSA ii. HISTORY DURING THE ELAMITE PERIOD

    François Vallat

    This span of almost two thousand years has been divided into three clearly defined phases called paleo-, meso-, and neo-Elamite, each of which presents peculiarities of its own.

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  • SUSA iii. THE ACHAEMENID PERIOD

    Remy Boucharlat

    The history of Persia before Cyrus and at the beginning of his reign indicate that Persian elements were present in the plain not far from Susa in the first decades of the 6th century.

  • SUSA iv. THE SASANIAN PERIOD

    G. Gropp

    The satrap of Susa (Šuš) had been loyal to the Parthian king Artabanus V, and the city was forcibly conquered by Ardašir (qq.v.) in 224 after his victory over King Šād-Šāpur of Isfahan.

  • SUVASHUN

    Masʿud Jaʿfari Jazi

    The story is narrated through the eyes of Zari, a happily married woman whose behavior, as she struggles to protect her family, runs counter to that of the traditionally marginalized Persian woman. Other details are recounted through accounts of social visits and other encounters between Zari and her friends and relatives.

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  • SUYĀB

    Gregory Semenov

    now called Ak-Beshim, the site of an important city on the Silk Road, located 60 km to the east of the city of Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

  • SWEDEN

    Multiple Authors

    i. Persian Art Collections, ii. Swedish Officers in Persia, 1911-15, iii. Swedish Archeological Mission to Iran, iv. Iranian Community

  • SWEDEN i. PERSIAN ART COLLECTIONS

    Karin Еdahl

    Persian art collections in Sweden contain items from the prehistoric period (3600 BCE) to the 19th century. The first artifacts of possibly Iranian origin were brought by Vikings (or Rus), who traveled to the shores of the Caspian and there met with merchants from Iran. Notably a 9th-century glass beaker and two bronze jugs, finds from Viking burial sites, bear witness to these contacts.

  • SWEDEN ii. SWEDISH OFFICERS IN PERSIA, 1911-15

    Mohammad Fazlhashemi

    In October 1910, increasing unrest in southern Persia led the British government to demand that the Persian central government restore order. The Persian government decided to create a highway gendarmerie with the aid of European instructors.

  • SWEDEN iii. SWEDISH ARCHEOLOGICAL MISSIONS TO IRAN

    Carl Nylander

    This article provides an overview of Swedish archeological missions to Iran from the beginning of contact between Swedish and Persian culture in the 17th century to present times.

  • SWEDEN iv. Iranian Community

    Hassan Hosseini-Kaladjahi and Melissa Kelly

    1984 was a turning point for the influx of Iranians to Sweden. In that year 1,074 Iranians immigrated to Sweden. From this date the rate of Iranians moving to Sweden increased exponentially, reaching its peak in 1988 with 6,203 immigrants. The number of Iranian citizens in Sweden grew from 7,317 to 32,171.

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  • SYKES, Ella Constance

    Denis Wright

    (1863-1939), traveler and writer about Iran, sister of Percy M. Sykes.

  • SYKES, Percy Molesworth

    Denis Wright

    , Sir (1867-1945), soldier, diplomat, traveler, and writer who wrote extensively on Iran. 

  • SYNGUÉ SABUR: PIERRE DE PATIENCE

    FARANGUIS HABIBI

    Atiq Rahimi was educated at the Franco-Afghan lycée in Kabul, and received a doctorate in audio-visual sciences from the Sorbonne. He has lived in Paris as a political refugee since 1985. Ḵāk o ḵākestar, his first novel in Persian, was published in Paris in 1996.

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  • SYRIAC LANGUAGE i. IRANIAN LOANWORDS IN SYRIAC

    Claudia A. Ciancaglini

    Syriac, originally the eastern Aramaic dialect of the city of Edessa, became the most important language spoken and written by Christian communities during the Sasanian era from Egypt and Asia Minor to Syria, Iran, and Mesopotamia.

  • SYRIAC LANGUAGE ii. SYRIAC WRITINGS ON PRE-ISLAMIC IRAN

    Phillipe Gignoux

    The Syriac works which provide information about pre-Islamic Iran can be divided into several groups, excluding literary works as such.

  • S~ CAPTIONS OF ILLUSTRATIONS

    Cross-Reference

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