IRAN ii. IRANIAN HISTORY (3) Chronological Table


IRAN: A Chronological Table of Events

This chronological table of events records major happenings of Iranian pre-history and history from the most ancient times to 2005. Included are political figures as well as figures who have contributed to Persian culture such as poets, writers, and artists, with the mention of their major works, as well as scholars of Iranian studies. In fact, the table contains a history of the development of Iranian studies throughout the world.

It should be noted that some dates (e.g., the date of Zoroaster or that of the adoption of Zoroastrian calendar by the Achaemenids or the date of Mani’s death) are controversial. Furthermore, the attention of the reader is drawn to the fact that each Islamic date falls within two consecutive years of the Christian era, and vice versa. When the month is unknown, for ease of reference one of the two years are chosen, normally the first year, but if the month is known it is possible to calculate the exact converted date. Thus a difference of one year may be found in sources in some cases, depending on whether the first or the second year is chosen.

The orthography of proper names and titles of books follow the transcription system of the Encyclopaedia Iranica with full diacritics, except for well-known geographical or historical names that have been adopted in English without diacritics.

As the Table approaches the recent times, the events become more topical and the sources of information more frequent. Therefore, the list of events of the 20th century, from the Constitutional Movement onwards, become progressively more detailed.

No biographical notices of living personalities are included in the Chronology. The table will be periodically updated on the Encyclopaedia Iranica’s website at

I should like to thank some of my colleagues who have reviewed parts of the Table: Prof. R. Matthee reviewed the Safavid period and Prof. C. E. Bosworth, the pre-Mongol Islamic period. My colleagues at the Center for Iranian Studies, Prof. Ahmad Ashraf and Mr. Mohsen Ashtiany made valuable suggestions. Special thanks are due to Mr. Farshad Mamudi who worked with me on the Table for the several months it took to complete. Needless to say, none is responsible for any shortcomings or errors save myself.

An index of proper names, which facilitates reference to the Chronological Table, follows at the end of the Table. For names that occur more than once, the range of dates indicating the first and last occurence of the name are given. Please note that ‘B’ following a year in the index of proper names signifies B.C.E.

PART 1 (100,000 B.C.E to 1833)

PART 2 (1834-1932)

PART 3 (1933-1973)

PART 4 (1974-2005)

PART 5 (Index of Proper Names)

(Ehsan Yarshater)

Originally Published: December 15, 2004

Last Updated: March 29, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIII, Fasc. 3, pp. 247-299