Table of Contents


    Mahdi Roschanzamir

    (ganjafa-bāzī, waraq-bāzī), card games were invented in China in the 7th-8th centuries and via India were brought to Persia, whence they reached the Arab world and Europe.


    Hūšang Aʿlam

    hel in modern Persian (from Skt. elā), the aromatic seeds of several plants of the family Zingiberaceae.



    See BĀḴTAR.


    Muhammad Dandamayev

    warlike tribes that in antiquity occupied the hilly country along the upper Tigris near the Assyrian and Median borders, in present-day western Kurdistan.

  • ČARḠ


    See BĀZ.


    Michael Weiskopf

    in the area of southwestern Turkey, under Achaemenid rule first as a part of the satrapy of Sparda (Lydia; 540s-390s B.C.), then as a separate satrapy (390s-30s B.C.) under the Hecatomnid family, whose prominence and self-promotion created a number of mostly Greek epigraphic documents detailing the development of 4th-century Caria.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Daniel Balland

    main town of Kōhdāman and the administrative capital of the Afghan province of Parwān, located about 63 km north of Kabul. Throughout history there has been an important urban center at the northern end of the long Kōhdāman depression.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.


    See ĀMOL.

  • ČARḴ

    Daniel Balland

    a common toponym all over the Iranian world.


    Nāṣer Ḡolām-Reżāʾī

    (lit. “well wheel”),  a device for drawing water from a well or river or for removing soil during the excavation of a well. It is a type of windlass, consisting of a hollow horizontal cylinder around which a rope is coiled or uncoiled to raise or lower a bucket attached to the end. Formerly they were common.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Beatrice Manz, Masashi Haneda

    (Cherkes), term used in Persian, Arabic, and Turkic for the Circassian people of the northwest Caucasus who call themselves Adygeĭ and speak a language of the Abazgo-Circassian branch of Caucasian (see caucasian languages).

  • ČARḴĪ, Mawlānā Yaʿqūb

    Hamid Algar

    an early shaikh of the Naqšbandī order and author of several works in Persian (d. 851/1447).

  • ČARM

    Willem M. Floor

    (Av. čarəman-, OPers. čarman-, Khot. tcārman-, etc.), skin, hide, and leather, which have had a variety of uses in Persia.


    Rüdiger Schmitt

    ancient region east of Fārs province, approximately equivalent to modern Kermān. The Old Persian form is attested only once in inscriptions.


    Farhad Daftary

    (Ar. Qarāmeṭa; sing. Qarmaṭī), the name given to the adherents of a branch of the Ismaʿili movement during the 3rd/9th century.


    Francis Richard

    In 1604 Pope Clement VIII dispatched a mission of Discalced Carmelite fathers to Persia; the embassy represented the culmination of a policy of seeking alliances against the Ottoman empire that had been initiated by Pius V.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.


    or čāroq, etc. See CLOTHING xx, xxv, xxviii.


    Multiple Authors

    (qālī; Ar. and Pers. farš), heavy textiles used as coverings for floors, walls, and other large surfaces, as well as for various kinds of furnishing.

  • CARPETS i. Introductory survey

    Roger Savory

    the history of Persian carpet manufacture.

  • CARPETS ii. Raw materials and dyes

    Jasleen Dhamija

    for centuries Persian carpet weaving has depended primarily on local materials processed by traditional traditional techniques. Such materials include sheep wool, camel hair, goat hair, and natural dyes. This article discusses use and preparation of dyes and materials used to make carpets.

  • CARPETS iii. Knotted-pile carpets: Techniques and structures

    Annette Ittig

    The techniques of carpet making are the processes of weaving, knotting, and finishing; structure is the complex of interrelations among the elements of the finished carpet. 

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS iv. Knotted-pile carpets: Designs, motifs, and patterns

    Annette Ittig

    In this discussion “design” refers to the overall composition of decorative elements on a carpet; the simplest elements in designs are single motifs, which are most frequently combined in more complex units; these units in turn may be arranged in various combinations and sequences to form patterns.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS v. Flat-woven carpets: Techniques and structures

    Sarah B. Sherrill

    Most of the structures in Persian flat-woven carpets belong to the category called “interlacing” by textile specialists; the term designates the most straightforward way in which each thread of a fabric passes under or over threads that cross its path.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS vi. Pre-Islamic Carpets

    Karen S. Rubinson

    Evidence for textiles of all kinds in pre-Islamic Iran is very sparse. It is necessary to supplement the few remains of actual textiles with examination of representations in art and other kinds of indirect evidence of production, for example preserved impressions and pseudomorphs from excavations.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS vii. Islamic Persia to the Mongols

    Barbara Schimtz

    Because of the scarcity of surviving materials it is difficult to separate the history of carpet making in Iran from that of the rest of the Islamic world before the Mongol invasion (656/1258). Furthermore, the kind of rigid distinction between carpet and other textile designs that characterizes later production probably did not exist in the early Islamic period.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS viii. The Il-khanid and Timurid Periods

    Eleanor Sims

    Carpet production in Persia in the 14th-15th centuries has  been inferred from written sources. Carpets and weavings from contemporary Anatolia and the Turkman tribal confederations, and possibly also from Egypt and even Spain, also permits the inference.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS ix. Safavid Period

    Daniel Walker

    The high point in Persian carpet design and manufacture was attained under the Safavid dynasty (1501-1739). It was the result of a unique conjunction of historical factors, such as royal patronage and influence of court designers at all levels of artistic production.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS x. Afsharid and Zand Periods

    Layla S. Diba

    Although it is probable that magnificent silk-and-brocade rugs in the style of the Safavid court manufactories were no longer produced in significant quantities, it seems reasonable to assume that production of less luxurious wool rugs continued in many traditional centers, even though on a smaller scale and mainly for domestic consumption.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xi. Qajar Period

    Annette Ittig

    There were dramatic alterations in the traditional organization and orientation of the Persian carpet industry and, consequently, in the carpets themselves. Particularly significant was the increase in the number of looms and volume of carpet exports from the 1870s to World War I.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xii. Pahlavi Period

    Willem Floor

    Throughout the 14th/20th century carpet manufacturing has been, from the point of view of both employment and domestic and foreign market demand, by far the most important Persian industry after oil refining.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xiii. Post-Pahlavi Period

    P. R. Ford

    In the period immediately following the shah’s flight from the country in 1358 Š./1979 the prices for Persian carpets reached record highs on Western markets.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xiv. Tribal Carpets

    Siawosch Azadi

    In Persia rural carpets have been made in nearly every possible technical variation and for a wide range of uses. Yet there are many nomadic groups whose works are absolutely unknown, and the weavings of other groups have been only very imperfectly studied and described.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xv. Caucasian Carpets

    Richard E. Wright

    The oldest surviving rugs produced in the Caucasus may be a group with representations of dragons and phoenixes in combat. There is, however, no evidence to permit attribution to the Caucasus. 

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • CARPETS xvi. Central Asian Carpets

    Walter Denny

    These include those woven in the former Turkmen, Uzbek, Tajik, Karakalpak Autonomous, Kirgiz, and Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republics; extreme northern and northeastern Persia; Afghanistan; and the Turkic (Uighur) areas of Sinkiang (Xinjiang) in western China.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    A. Shapur Shahbazi

    (Ḥarrān), town in Mesopotamia where in May 53 B.C. a decisive battle was fought between the Parthians commanded by a member of the Sūrēn family and the Romans under the triumvir M. Licinius Crassus.


    Hūšang Aʿlam

    the taproot of Daucus L. subspp., etc. (family Umbelliferae), traditionally called gazar (arabicized as jazar) or zardak (lit. “the little yellow one”), and later also havīj in Persian.

  • ČARS


    See BANG.


    Richard W. Cottam

    (1977-81): POLICY TOWARD PERSIA. When the administration of President Jimmy Carter took office in January 1977, United States foreign relations overall were remarkably stable. A modus vivendi had been established with the Soviet Union.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Fridrik Thordarson

    Imperator Caesar MARCUS AURELIUS (Augustus), Roman emperor (r. 282-83).


    Ehsan Yarshater

    village in the mountainous area of the Upper Ṭārom district (baḵš) in the šahrestān of Zanjān, at 49°1′ E, 36°52′ N, 42 km north of the district center, Sīrdān. It is one of the few villages in Ṭārom where Iranian Tati dialects have not yet given way to Turkish.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Antonio Panaino

    (1852-1925), scholar of ancient Iranian languages and religions and particularly of Pahlavi literature.


    Gernot L. Windfuhr

    term "case" used on at least three linguistic levels: 1. semantic role of a noun (phrase), such as agent, patient, experiencer, and possessor; 2. syntactic function, such as subject, direct object, and indirect object; 3. morphological means, such as nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Ṣādeq Sajjādī



    Ebrāhīm Šakūrzāda and Mahmoud Omidsalar

    (lit. “a blow by the eye”), the evil eye: the supposed power of an individual to cause harm, even illness or death, to another person (or animals and other possessions) merely by looking at him or complimenting him.


    Eckart Ehlers

    “spring.”  Iran and Afghanistan, as well as wide parts of Central Asia, have a great variety of natural springs. A very general classification divides all springs into (1) those produced by gravity acting on the groundwater, (2) those that have their origins in tectonic volcanic forces within the earth’s crust.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Abbas Alizadeh

    lit. “fountain of ʿAlī,” the name for various natural springs in Iran, the two best-known of which are located near Dāmḡān and Ray respectively.


    Mohammad Reza Ghanoonparvar

    (1952; tr. by John O’Kane as Her Eyes, 1989), a novel considered by many critics as the most important contribution of the noted Persian novelist Bozorg Alavi.


    C. Edmund Bosworth

    literally “taster” (Pers. čāšnī “taste”), the official who at the court of Turkish dynasties in Iran and elsewhere, from the Saljuq period onwards, had the responsibility of tasting the ruler’s food and drink in order to ensure that it was not poisoned.



    Iranian dialects spoken along the Caspian littoral, including Ṭāleši, Gīlakī, Māzandarāni, and related subdialects, and the extinct dialect of Ṭabarestān. See individual entries.


    John H. Hansman

    an ancient toponym identifying a ground-level pass that runs east and west through a southern spur of the Alborz Mountains in north central Iran.