FARĪDAN, a county (šahrestān) located at the foot of the Zagros mountains in the western part of Isfahan province, bordered on the north by Ḵᵛānsār, on the northwest by Alīgūdarz (in Lorestān province), on the west by the county of Farīdūn-æahr, on the east by Najafābād, and on the south by Šahr-e Kord and Fārsān (in Čahār Maḥāl wa Baḵtīārī province; Wezārat-e kešvar, p. 7). It comprises twelve rural districts (dehestān) and the districts (baḵš) of Mīāndašt, Čādagān, and Būʾīn. Its center is Dārān (Markaz-e āmār, 1988, p. 1). The roads Isfahan-Arāk and Isfahan-Ḵorramābād run through this county. Mount Dālān, with a peak of 3,915 m, is situated to its southeast, where the Zāyandarūd flows. Its lands are irrigated by river, well, qanāt, and spring waters. Farīdan’s principal products are wheat, barley, grains, potato, fodder, and fruits. Animal husbandry is also practiced. Its main handicrafts are carpet-, jājīm-, and mat-weaving, as well as cotton-spinning and felt-making (Wezārat-e jehād-e sāzandagī, p. 158). Its grazing lands are used by the Baḵtīārī tribe of Čahār Lang (Baḵtīārī, pp. 713-15). Some villages of Farīdan have been inhabited by Azeris, Lors, Armenians, and Georgians since the Safavid times (Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 188). In 1991 its population was about 146,351, of which 30,017 lived in urban and 116,334 in rural areas (Markaz-e āmār, 1993, p. 26).
Very little is known of Farīdan’s history. The name Farīdan apparently goes back to Old Persian *para-ita-ka “river bank” (Paraitakene of Classical sources), mentioned in Assyrian sources of the early 7th century B.C.E. to refer to the plain of Isfahan (Makwart, Ērānšahr, p. 28). According to Yāqūt (Boldān I, p. 294), the rural district (rostāq) of Farīdan included 360 villages in the 7th/13th century. In the Safavid period, Farīdan was considered a summer resort, where Shah ʿAbbās I (q.v.) spent the summers of 1016-17 /1607-08 (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 763, 788). In 1030/1620-21, at the “invitation” of Shah ʿAbbās I, a group of Armenians and other Christians who had been settled in Farīdan converted to Islam (ibid., p. 960). Farīdan was also the site of a battle between Āqā Moḥammad Khan Qājār and the Baḵtīārīs (Baḵtīārī, p. 160). In 1266/1849-50 some Baḵtīārī fortresses in Farīdan were destroyed by a military force despatched by Ḵānlar Mīrzā Eḥtešām-al-Dawla, governor of districts in ʿErāq (ibid., pp. 522-24).
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Markaz-e āmār-e Īrān, Sar-æomārī-e ʿomūmī-e nofūs wa maskan, 1365. Natāyej-e tafṣīlī: šahrestān-e Farīdan, Tehran, 1367 Š./1988.
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Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: December 15, 1999