Table of Contents


    Jürgen Ehlers

    (1880-1943), German Iranologist and the author of Glossar zu Firdosis Schahname.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Marek Jan Olbrycht

    distinguished Polish historian, whose research has had an enduring effect on the study of ancient Iranian history.

  • WOMEN i. In Pre-Islamic Persia

    Maria Brosius

    To learn about women, we depend on the often hostile secondary sources of the Greek and Roman periods which, however, are of limited historical value, as they tend to focus on particular aspects of the lives of royal Persian women or use specific descriptions for historiographical purposes.

  • WOMEN ii. In the Avesta

    Leon Goldman

    The egalitarian ideals of Zoroastrianism—in particular, the recognition of women as “men’s partners in the common struggle against evil” have long served to protect the dignified status of women within the Mazdayasnian community.

  • WOMEN iii. In Shiʿism

    Moojan Momen

    In theory, Shiʿism has a more favorable attitude towards women than Sunni Islam. These favorable differences are largely annulled, however, by some specific Shiʿite practices as well as the social realities of women’s lives in Shiʿite communities. 

  • WOMEN iv. in the works of the Bab and in the Babi Movement

    Moojan Momen

    The Bab elevated the status of women in his writings and confirmed this in his actions. The Babi community reflected this change in the actions of the Babi women.

  • WOOL

    Willem Floor

    (Pers. pašm), the oldest fiber to have been used for the making of textiles in Persia. Archeological finds have shown that sheep wool and goat hair were already woven around 6500 BCE, although some doubt this data. Spinning whorls and warp weights dating from 5000 BCE have also been found.



    list of all the figure and plate images in the W entries