Domestication of the horse
Painted Grey Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware
Peoples and societies
Religion and mythology
Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European
Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture
The Horse, the Wheel and Language
Journal of Indo-European Studies
Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch
Indo-European Etymological Dictionary
The Iranian peoples, or Iranic peoples, are a diverse
Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the
Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of
Central Asia in the mid 2nd millennium BC.
At their peak of expansion in the mid 1st millennium BC, the territory
Iranian peoples stretched across the
Iranian Plateau and the
Eurasian Steppe from the
Great Hungarian Plain
Great Hungarian Plain in the west to
Ordos Plateau in the east. The
Western Iranian Persian Empires
came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BC,
leaving an important cultural legacy, while the
Eastern Iranian nomads
of the steppe played a decisive role in the development of Eurasian
nomadism and the Silk Route.
Iranian peoples who emerged after 1000 BC include the
Persians, Parthians, Medes, Scythians, Alans, Bactrians, Dahae,
Massagetae, Khwarezmians, Saka, Sarmatians, Sogdians, Sagartians,
Cimmerians and other peoples of Central Asia, the Caucasus,
Eastern Europe and the Iranian Plateau.
In the 1st millennium AD, their area of settlement was reduced as a
result of Slavic, Germanic, Turkic and Mongol expansions and many
being subjected to Slavicisation. Modern Iranian
peoples include the Baloch, Gilaks, Kurds, Lurs, Mazanderanis,
Ossetians, Pashtuns, Pamiris, Persians, Tajiks, the Talysh, Wakhis and
Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian
Plateau and stretches from the
Caucasus in the north to the Persian
Gulf in the south and from
Xinjiang in the east to eastern
the west—a region that is sometimes called the Iranian cultural
continent—and represents the extent of the
Iranian languages and
significant influence of the
Iranian peoples through the geopolitical
reach of Greater Iran.
2 History and settlement
2.1 Indo-European roots
2.1.2 Sintashta-Petrovka culture
Scythians and Persians
2.3 Western and Eastern Iranians
Western Iranian peoples
Eastern Iranian peoples
2.4 Later developments
4.2 Cultural assimilation
5.1 Internal diversity and distant affinities
6 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Iran derives directly from
Middle Persian Ērān
(𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭) and Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian
terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- (in
Middle Persian) and ary- (in Parthian), both deriving from Old Persian
Avestan airiia- (𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬌𐬀)
and Proto-Iranian *arya-.
There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old
Iranian arya-. The following are according to 1957 and later
Emmanuel Laroche (1957): ara- "to fit" ("fitting", "proper").
Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-,
meaning "(skillfully) assembler".
Georges Dumézil (1958): ar- "to share" (as a union).
Harold Walter Bailey (1959): ar- "to beget" ("born", "nurturing").
Émil Benveniste (1969): ar- "to fit" ("companionable").
Sanskrit ā́rya- (Aryan), the Old Iranian term has solely
an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in
ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, and
The Bistun Inscription of
Darius the Great
Darius the Great describes itself to have
been composed in Arya [language or script].
In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a
self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of
Avesta.[a] The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the
word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BC. The
inscription of Bistun (or Behistun; Old Persian: Bagastana) describes
itself to have been composed in Arya [language or script]. As is also
the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the
inscription does not signify anything but Iranian.
Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three
As the name of the language of the
Old Persian version of the
Darius I in the Bistun Inscription.
As the ethnic background of
Darius the Great
Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam
Susa (Dna, Dse) and the ethnic background of
Xerxes I in
the inscription from
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite
version of the Bistun Inscription.
In the Dna and Dse, Darius and Xerxes describe themselves as "an
Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, and an Aryan, of Aryan
Darius the Great
Darius the Great called his language arya-
("Iranian"), modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian
because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language.
The trilingual inscription erected by the command of
Shapur I gives a
more clear description. The languages used are Parthian, Middle
Persian, and Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego ... tou Arianon
ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the
kingdom (nation) of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says
"ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr
Avesta clearly uses airiia- as an ethnic name (Videvdat 1; Yasht
13.143–44, etc.), where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi
daiŋˊhāvō ("Iranian lands"), airyō šayanəm ("land inhabited by
Iranians"), and airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi ("Iranian
stretch of the good Dāityā"). In the late part of the Avesta
(Videvdat 1), one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as
Airyan'əm Vaējah which approximately means "expanse of the
Iranians". The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area
Herat (Pliny's view) and even the entire expanse of the Iranian
plateau (Strabo's designation).
Old Persian and
Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek
sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian
Medes that "
Medes were called anciently by all people Arians"
(7.62). In Armenian sources, the Parthians,
Medes and Persians
are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes
(Dubitationes et Solutiones de Primis Principiis, in Platonis
Parmenidem) refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian (áreion)
Diodorus Siculus (1.94.2) considers
as one of the Arianoi.
Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions the unity of Medes, Persians,
Bactrians and Sogdians:
The name of
Ariana is further extended to a part of
Persia and of
Media, as also to the
Sogdians on the north; for these
speak approximately the same language, with but slight variations.
— Geography, 15.8
The Bactrian (a Middle Iranian language) inscription of
founder of the
Kushan Empire) at Rabatak, which was discovered in 1993
in an unexcavated site in the Afghan province of Baghlan, clearly
refers to this
Eastern Iranian language as Arya.
All this evidence shows that the name Arya was a collective
definition, denoting peoples who were aware of belonging to the one
ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and having a religious
tradition that centered on the cult of Ohrmazd.
The academic usage of the term Iranian is distinct from the state of
Iran and its various citizens (who are all Iranian by nationality), in
the same way that the term
Germanic peoples is distinct from Germans.
Some inhabitants of
Iran are not necessarily ethnic Iranians by virtue
of not being speakers of Iranian languages.
History and settlement
Main article: Indo-Iranians
BMAC and Yaz cultures have been associated with
Indo-Iranians are commonly identified with the Sintashta
culture and the subsequent
Andronovo culture within the broader
Andronovo horizon, and their homeland with an area of the Eurasian
steppe that borders the
Ural River on the west, the
Tian Shan on the
Indo-Iranians interacted with the Bactria-Magiana Culture, also
called "Bactria-Magiana Archaeological Complex". Proto-Indo-Iranian
arose due to this influence. The
Indo-Iranians also borrowed their
distinctive religious beliefs and practices from this culture.
The Indo-Iranian migrations took place in two waves. The first
wave consisted of the Indo-
Aryan migration into the Levant, founding
Mittani kingdom, and a migration south-eastward of the Vedic
people, over the Hindu Kush into northern India. The Indo-Aryans
split-off around 1800–1600
BCE from the Iranians, where-after
they were defeated and split into two groups by the Iranians, who
dominated the Central
Eurasian steppe zone and "chased [the
Indo-Aryans] to the extremities of Central Eurasia." One group
Indo-Aryans who founded the
Mitanni kingdom in northern
Syria; (c. 1500–1300 BCE) the other group were the Vedic
Christopher I. Beckwith suggests that the Wusun, an
Indo-European Caucasian people of
Inner Asia in antiquity, were also
The second wave is interpreted as the Iranian wave, and took place
in the third stage of the Indo-European migrations from 800 BCE
According to Allentoft (2015), the
Sintashta culture probably derived
Corded Ware Culture.
Sintashta culture, also known as the Sintashta-Petrovka
culture or Sintashta-
Arkaim culture, is a
archaeological culture of the northern
Eurasian steppe on the borders
Eastern Europe and Central Asia, dated to the period 2100–1800
BCE. It is probably the archaeological manifestation of the
Indo-Iranian language group.
Sintashta culture emerged from the interaction of two antecedent
cultures. Its immediate predecessor in the Ural-Tobol steppe was the
Poltavka culture, an offshoot of the cattle-herding Yamnaya horizon
that moved east into the region between 2800 and 2600 BCE. Several
Sintashta towns were built over older Poltovka settlements or close to
Poltovka cemeteries, and Poltovka motifs are common on Sintashta
Sintashta material culture also shows the influence of the
late Abashevo culture, a collection of
Corded Ware settlements in the
forest steppe zone north of the
Sintashta region that were also
predominantly pastoralist. Allentoft et al. (2015) also found
close autosomal genetic relationship between peoples of Corded Ware
The earliest known chariots have been found in
Sintashta burials, and
the culture is considered a strong candidate for the origin of the
technology, which spread throughout the
Old World and played an
important role in ancient warfare.
Sintashta settlements are also
remarkable for the intensity of copper mining and bronze metallurgy
carried out there, which is unusual for a steppe culture.
Because of the difficulty of identifying the remains of Sintashta
sites beneath those of later settlements, the culture was only
recently distinguished from the
Andronovo culture. It is now
recognised as a separate entity forming part of the 'Andronovo
Map of the approximate maximal extent of the
Andronovo culture. The
formative Sintashta-Petrovka culture is shown in darker red. The
location of the earliest spoke-wheeled chariot finds is indicated in
purple. Adjacent and overlapping cultures (Afanasevo culture, Srubna
culture, BMAC) are shown in green.
Andronovo culture is a collection of similar local
Indo-Iranian cultures that flourished c. 1800–900
BCE in western
Siberia and the west Asiatic steppe. It is probably better termed
an archaeological complex or archaeological horizon. The name derives
from the village of
Andronovo (55°53′N 55°42′E / 55.883°N
55.700°E / 55.883; 55.700), where in 1914, several graves were
discovered, with skeletons in crouched positions, buried with richly
decorated pottery. The older
Sintashta culture (2100–1800), formerly
included within the
Andronovo culture, is now considered separately,
but regarded as its predecessor, and accepted as part of the wider
Andronovo horizon. At least four sub-cultures of the
have been distinguished, during which the culture expands towards the
south and the east:
Arkaim (Southern Urals, northern Kazakhstan,
Sintashta fortification of ca. 1800
BCE in Chelyabinsk Oblast
Petrovka settlement fortified settlement in Kazakhstan
Arkaim settlement dated to the 17th century
Alakul (2100–1400 BCE) between
Oxus and Jaxartes, Kyzylkum desert
BCE "final Bronze") in eastern Kazakhstan,
Namazga VI in Turkmenia
Ingala Valley in the south of the Tyumen Oblast
Fedorovo (1500–1300 BCE) in southern
Siberia (earliest evidence of
cremation and fire cult)
Beshkent-Vakhsh (1000–800 BCE)
The geographical extent of the culture is vast and difficult to
delineate exactly. On its western fringes, it overlaps with the
approximately contemporaneous, but distinct,
Srubna culture in the
Volga-Ural interfluvial. To the east, it reaches into the Minusinsk
depression, with some sites as far west as the southern Ural
Mountains, overlapping with the area of the earlier Afanasevo
culture. Additional sites are scattered as far south as the Koppet
Dag (Turkmenistan), the Pamir (Tajikistan) and the Tian Shan
(Kyrgyzstan). The northern boundary vaguely corresponds to the
beginning of the Taiga. In the
Volga basin, interaction with the
Srubna culture was the most intense and prolonged, and Federovo style
pottery is found as far west as Volgograd.
Most researchers associate the
Andronovo horizon with early
Indo-Iranian languages, though it may have overlapped the early
Uralic-speaking area at its northern fringe.
Scythians and Persians
From the late 2nd millennium
BCE to early 1st millennium
Iranians had expanded from the Eurasian Steppe, and Iranian peoples
such as Medes, Persians, Bactrians, and
Parthians populated the
Scythian tribes, along with Cimmerians,
the steppes north of the Black Sea. The Scythian and Sarmatian tribes
would quickly spread as far west as the Great Hungarian Plain, while
mainly settling in
South-Eastern Ukraine , in Russias Siberian,
Southern and Uralic regions, and the Balkans, while other
Scythian tribes, such as the Saka, spread as far east as Xinjiang,
Scythians as well formed the
Indo-Scythian Empire, and
Bactrians formed a Greco-Bactrian Kingdom founded by Diodotus I, the
satrap of Bactria. The
Kushan Empire, with Bactrian roots/connections,
once controlled much of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. The
Kushan elite (who the Chinese called the Yuezhi) were either a
Tocharian-speaking (another Indo-European branch) people or an Eastern
Iranian language-speaking people.
Western and Eastern Iranians
The division into an "Eastern" and a "Western" group by the early 1st
millennium is visible in
Avestan vs. Old Persian, the two oldest known
Iranian languages. The Old
Avestan texts known as the
believed to have been composed by Zoroaster, the founder of
Zoroastrianism, with the
Yaz culture (c. 1500
BCE – 1100 BCE) as a
candidate for the development of
Eastern Iranian culture.
Western Iranian peoples
Geographical extent of Iranian influence in the 1st century BCE. The
Parthian Empire (mostly Western Iranian) is shown in red, other areas,
Scythia (Eastern Iranian), in orange.
Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under the rule of Darius I
BCE to 486 BCE)
Geographic distribution of modern Iranian languages
Bronze Statue of a Parthian nobleman, National Museum of Iran
Eastern Iranian dialect continuum shown in
Eastern Europe right
next to the area of the
Balto-Slavic dialect continuum (purple); the
latter with proposed material cultures correlating to speakers of
Balto-Slavic in the
Bronze Age (white). Red dots = archaic Slavic
Archaeological cultures in Eastern-Central
Europe at the beginning of
the Iron Age, showing the location of the "Proto-Scythian culture",
Balto-Slavic cultures (Lusatian, Milograd and
Chernoles), c. 750 BCE
Scythian and related archaeological groups in circum- Pontic region,
c. 7th to 3rd centuries BCE
During the 1st centuries of the 1st millennium BCE, the ancient
Persians established themselves in the western portion of the Iranian
plateau and appear to have interacted considerably with the Elamites
and Babylonians, while the
Medes also entered in contact with the
Assyrians. Remnants of the
Median language and
Old Persian show
their common Proto-Iranian roots, emphasized in
Strabo and Herodotus'
description of their languages as very similar to the languages spoken
Sogdians in the east. Following the
establishment of the
Achaemenid Empire, the Persian language (referred
to as "Farsi" in Persian) spread from Pars or
Fars Province to various
regions of the Empire, with the modern dialects of Iran, Afghanistan
(also known as Dari) and Central-Asia (known as Tajiki) descending
from Old Persian.
At first, the
Western Iranian peoples in the
Near East were dominated
by the various Assyrian empires. An alliance with the Medes, Persians,
and rebelling Babylonians, Scythians, Chaldeans, and Cimmerians,
Medes to capture
Nineveh in 612 BCE, which resulted in the
eventual collapse of the
Neo-Assyrian Empire by 605 BC. The Medes
were subsequently able to establish their Median kingdom (with
Ecbatana as their royal centre) beyond their original homeland and had
eventually a territory stretching roughly from northeastern
Halys River in Anatolia. After the fall of the Assyrian Empire,
BCE and 605 BCE, a unified Median state was formed, which,
together with Babylonia, Lydia, and Egypt, became one of the four
major powers of the ancient Near East
Later on, in 550 BC, Cyrus the Great, would overthrow the leading
Median rule, and conquer Kingdom of
Lydia and the Babylonian Empire
after which he established the
Achaemenid Empire (or the First Persian
Empire), while his successors would dramatically extend its borders.
At its greatest extent, the
Achaemenid Empire would encompass swaths
of territory across three continents, namely Europe, Africa and Asia,
stretching from the
Eastern Europe proper in the west, to
Indus Valley in the east. The largest empire of ancient history,
with their base in
Persis (although the main capital was located in
Babylon) the Achaemenids would rule much of the known ancient world
for centuries. This First
Persian Empire was equally notable for its
successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration
(through satraps under a king) and a government working to the profit
of its subjects, for building infrastructure such as a postal system
and road systems and the use of an official language across its
territories and a large professional army and civil services
(inspiring similar systems in later empires), and for emancipation
of slaves including the Jewish exiles in Babylon, and is noted in
Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city states during the
Greco-Persian Wars. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven
Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in the empire as well.
Greco-Persian Wars resulted in the
Persians being forced to
withdraw from their European territories, setting the direct further
course of history of
Greece and the rest of Europe. More than a
century later, a prince of Macedon (which itself was a subject to
Persia from the late 6th century BC up to the First Persian invasion
of Greece) later known by the name of Alexander the Great, overthrew
the incumbent Persian king, by which the
Achaemenid Empire was ended.
Old Persian is attested in the
Behistun Inscription (c. 519 BCE),
recording a proclamation by Darius the Great. In southwestern
Achaemenid kings usually wrote their inscriptions in
trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian) while
elsewhere other languages were used. The administrative languages were
Elamite in the early period, and later Imperial Aramaic, as well
as Greek, making it a widely used bureaucratic language. Even
though the Achaemenids had extensive contacts with the
Greeks and vice
versa, and had conquered many of the Greek-speaking area's both in
Asia Minor during different periods of the empire, the
native Old Iranian sources provide no indication of Greek linguistic
evidence. However, there is plenty of evidence (in addition to the
accounts of Herodotus) that Greeks, apart from being deployed and
employed in the core regions of the empire, also evidently lived and
worked in the heartland of the
Achaemenid Empire, namely Iran. For
Greeks were part of the various ethnicities that constructed
Darius' palace in Susa, apart from the Greek inscriptions found nearby
there, and one short
Persepolis tablet written in Greek.
The early inhabitants of the
Achaemenid Empire appear to have adopted
the religion of Zoroastrianism. The Baloch who speak a west
Iranian language relate an oral tradition regarding their migration
Syria around the year 1000 CE, whereas linguistic
evidence links Balochi to Kurmanji, Soranî, Gorani and Zazaki
Eastern Iranian peoples
Hormizd I, Sassanian coin
While the Iranian tribes of the south are better known through their
texts and modern counterparts, the tribes which remained largely in
the vast Eurasian expanse are known through the references made to
them by the ancient Greeks, Persians, Chinese, and
Indo-Aryans as well
as by archaeological finds. The Greek chronicler,
century BCE) makes references to a nomadic people, the Scythians; he
describes them as having dwelt in what is today southern European
Russia and Ukraine. He was the first to make a reference to them. Many
Sanskrit texts from a later period make references to such
tribes they were witness of pointing them towards the
southeastern-most edges of Central Asia, around the
Hindukush range in
It is believed that these
Scythians were conquered by their eastern
cousins, the Sarmatians, who are mentioned by
Strabo as the dominant
tribe which controlled the southern Russian steppe in the 1st
millennium CE. These
Sarmatians were also known to the Romans, who
conquered the western tribes in the
Balkans and sent Sarmatian
conscripts, as part of Roman legions, as far west as Roman Britain.
Sarmatians dominated large parts
Eastern Europe for a millennium, and were eventually absorbed and
assimilated (e.g. Slavicisation) by the
Proto-Slavic population of the
Sarmatians differed from the
Scythians in their veneration of the
god of fire rather than god of nature, and women's prominent role in
warfare, which possibly served as the inspiration for the Amazons.
At their greatest reported extent, around the 1st century AD, these
tribes ranged from the
Vistula River to the mouth of the
eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian
Seas as well as the
Caucasus to the south. Their territory, which
was known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, corresponded to
the western part of greater
Scythia (mostly modern
Southern Russia, also to a smaller extent north eastern
Moldova). According to authors Arrowsmith, Fellowes and Graves Hansard
in their book A Grammar of Ancient Geography published in 1832,
Sarmatia had two parts, Sarmatia Europea and Sarmatia Asiatica
covering a combined area of 503,000 sq mi or 1,302,764 km2.
Throughout the first millennium AD, the large presence of the
Sarmatians who once dominated Ukraine, Southern European Russia, and
swaths of the Balkans, gradually started to diminish mainly due to
assimilation and absorption by the Germanic Goths, especially from the
areas near the Roman frontier, but only completely and climactically
by the (
Proto-Slavic peoples. The abundant East Iranian-derived
Eastern Europe proper (e.g. some of the largest rivers;
Dniestr and Dniepr) and the Balkans, as well as loanwords adopted
predominantly through the Eastern
Slavic languages and adopted aspects
of Iranian culture amongst the early Slavs, are all a remnant of this.
A connection between
Iranian languages is also
furthermore proven by the earliest layer of loanwords in the
former. For instance, the
Proto-Slavonic words for god (*bogъ),
demon (*divъ), house (*xata), axe (*toporъ) and dog (*sobaka) are of
A further point on behalf of the extensive contact between these
Scytho-Sarmatian Iranian tribes in
Eastern Europe and the (Early)
Slavs is to be shown in matters regarding religion. After Slavic and
Baltic languages diverged –- also evidenced by etymology –- the
Early Slavs interacted with
Iranian peoples and merged elements of
Iranian spirituality into their beliefs. For example, both Early
Iranian and Slavic supreme gods were considered givers of wealth,
unlike the supreme thunder gods in many other European religions.
Slavs and Iranians had demons –- given names from similar
linguistic roots, Daêva (Iranian) and Divŭ (Slavic) –- and a
concept of dualism, of good and evil.
Sarmatians of the east, based in the North Caucasus, became the
Alans, who also ventured far and wide, with a branch ending up in
Western Europe and North Africa, as they accompanied the Germanic
Vandals during their migrations. The modern
Ossetians are believed to
be the sole direct descendants of the Alans, as other remnants of the
Alans disappeared following Germanic, Hunnic and ultimately Slavic
migrations and invasions. Another group of
Alans allied with Goths
to defeat the Romans and ultimately settled in what is now called
Silver coin of the
Azes II (reigned c. 35–12
BCE). Buddhist triratna symbol in the left field on the reverse
Scythian horseman, Pazyryk, detail from a carpet, c. 300 BCE
Some of the Saka-Scythian tribes in
Central Asia would later move
further southeast and invade the Iranian plateau, large sections of
Afghanistan and finally deep into present day Pakistan
(see Indo-Scythians). Another Iranian tribe related to the
Scythians were the
Parni in Central Asia, and who later become
indistinguishable from the Parthians, speakers of a northwest-Iranian
language. Many Iranian tribes, including the Khwarazmians, Massagetae
and Sogdians, were assimilated and/or displaced in
Central Asia by the
migrations of Turkic tribes emanating out of
Xinjiang and Siberia.
The most dominant surviving
Eastern Iranian peoples are represented by
the Pashtuns, whose origins are generally believed to be from the
province of Ghor, from which they began to spread
until they reached as far west as Herat, north to areas of southern
and eastern Afghanistan; and as eastward towards the
Pashto language shows affinities to the
The modern Sarikoli in southern
Xinjiang and the
Ossetians of the
Caucasus (mainly South
Ossetia and North Ossetia) are remnants of the
various Scythian-derived tribes from the vast far and wide territory
they once dwelled in. The modern
Ossetians are the descendants of the
Alano-Sarmatians, and their claims are supported by their
Northeast Iranian language, while culturally the
their North Caucasian neighbors, the Kabardians and
Circassians. Various extinct
Iranian peoples existed in the
eastern Caucasus, including the Azaris, while some Iranian peoples
remain in the region, including the Talysh and the Tats
(including the Judeo-Tats, who have relocated to Israel), found in
Azerbaijan and as far north as the Russian republic of Dagestan. A
remnant of the
Sogdians is found in the Yaghnobi-speaking population
in parts of the Zeravshan valley in Tajikistan.
Starting with the reign of Omar in 634 CE,
Muslim Arabs began a
conquest of the Iranian plateau. The Arabs conquered the Sassanid
Empire of the
Persians and seized much of the Byzantine Empire
populated by the
Kurds and others. Ultimately, the various Iranian
peoples, including the Persians, Pashtuns,
Kurds and Balochis,
converted to Islam, while the
Alans converted to Christianity, thus
laying the foundation for the fact that the modern-day
Iranian peoples would later split along sectarian lines
Persians (and later the Hazara) adopted the
Shi'a sect. As
ancient tribes and identities changed, so did the Iranian peoples,
many of whom assimilated foreign cultures and peoples.
Later, during the 2nd millennium CE, the
Iranian peoples would play a
prominent role during the age of Islamic expansion and empire.
Saladin, a noted adversary of the Crusaders, was an ethnic Kurd, while
various empires centered in
Iran (including the Safavids)
re-established a modern dialect of Persian as the official language
spoken throughout much of what is today
Iran and the Caucasus. Iranian
influence spread to the neighbouring Ottoman Empire, where Persian was
often spoken at court (though a heavy Turko-Persian basis there was
set already by the predecessors of the Ottomans in Anatolia, namely
the Seljuks and the
Sultanate of Rum
Sultanate of Rum amongst others) as well to the
court of the Mughal Empire. All of the major Iranian peoples
reasserted their use of
Iranian languages following the decline of
Arab rule, but would not begin to form modern national identities
until the 19th and early 20th centuries (just as
Germans and Italians
were beginning to formulate national identities of their own).
See also: Iranian plateau, Demographics of Iran, Ethnic minorities in
Iran, Ethnic groups in West Asia, Demographics of Afghanistan,
Demographics of Turkey, Demographics of Tajikistan, Kurdistan,
Ossetia, Demographics of Pakistan, Demographics of Syria, Demographics
of Iraq, and Peoples of the Caucasus
Iranian citizens abroad and Kurdish diaspora
There are an estimated 150 to 200 million native speakers of Iranian
languages, the six major groups of Persians, Lurs, Kurds, Tajiks,
Pashtuns accounting for about 90% of this number.
Currently, most of these
Iranian peoples live in Iran, Afghanistan,
Caucasus (mainly Ossetia, other parts of Georgia, Dagestan, and
Kurdistan and Kurdish majority populated areas of
Iran and Syria, Tajikistan,
Pakistan and Uzbekistan. There are
Iranian peoples living in
Eastern Arabia such as northern Oman
Due to recent migrations, there are also large communities of speakers
Iranian languages in Europe, the Americas, and Israel.
The following is a list of peoples that speak
Iranian languages with
the respective groups's core areas of settlements and their estimated
Ajam of Bahrain
Ajam of Iraq
Tats of the Caucasus
Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, the Caucasus, Uzbekistan, Bahrain,
Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan
Durrani or Abdali)
Ghilji and Lodi)
Kurmanj or Kermanj
Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, Israel, Lebanon
Pakistan, Iran, Oman, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, UAE
Gilakis and Mazanderanis
Lurs and Bakhtiaris
Iran, Kuwait, and Oman
Tajiks of China
Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China (Xinjiang), Pakistan
South Ossetia, Georgia,
Russia (North Ossetia), Hungary
Tajikistan (Zerafshan region)
Zoroastrian groups in India
Haft Seen in
Toopkhaneh Sq. of Tehran, Nouruz 2013
See also: Proto-Indo-European society, Indo-Iranian mythology, and
With numerous artistic, scientific, architectural and philosophical
achievements and numerous kingdoms and empires that bridged much of
the civilized world in antiquity, the
Iranian peoples were often in
close contact with the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Indians, Armenians,
Caucasians, Chinese, Turks and Arabs. The various religions of the
Iranian people, including Zoroastrianism,
Mithraism and Manichaeism,
are believed by some scholars to have been significant early
philosophical influences on
Christianity and Judaism.
Like other Indo-Europeans, the early Iranians practiced ritual
sacrifice, had a social hierarchy consisting of warriors, clerics and
farmers and poetic hymns and sagas to recount their deeds.
Kurds celebrating. Fire is the symbol of Nowruz.
Traditional costume for
Nowruz in Kazakhstan
Following the Iranian split from the Indo-Iranians, the Iranians
developed an increasingly distinct culture. Various common traits can
be discerned among the Iranian peoples. For example, the social event
Norouz is an Iranian festival that is practiced by nearly all of the
Iranian peoples as well as others in the region. Its origins are
Zoroastrianism and pre-historic times.
Some Iranian cultures exhibit traits that are unique unto themselves.
Pashtuns adhere to a code of honor and culture known as
Pashtunwali, which has a similar counterpart among the Baloch, called
Mayar, that is more hierarchical.
Main article: Iranian religions
Islam in Iran, Zoroastrians in Iran,
Christianity in Iran,
Islam in Tajikistan,
Islam in Afghanistan, Yazidis, and Yarsanism
Iranian peoples worshipped various deities of found
Proto-Indo-Iranian religion where Indo-European immigrants
established themselves. The earliest major religion of the
Iranian peoples was Zoroastrianism, which spread to nearly all of the
Iranian peoples living in the Iranian plateau. Other religions that
had their origins in the Iranian world were Mithraism, Manichaeism,
and Mazdakism, among others.
Mazari Sharif's Blue Mosque in
Afghanistan is a structure of cobalt
blue and turquoise minarets, attracting visitors and pilgrims from all
over the world. Many such
Muslim architectural monuments can be
attributed to the efforts of the
Iranian peoples who are predominantly
Modern speakers of
Iranian languages mainly follow Islam. Some follow
Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and the
Bahá'í Faith, with an
unknown number showing no religious affiliation. Overall the numbers
Sunni and Shia among the
Iranian peoples are equally distributed.
Most Kurds, Tajiks, Pashtuns, and Baloch are
Sunni Muslims, while the
remainder are mainly
Twelver Shi'a, comprising mostly
Hazaras in Afghanistan.
Turkey are largely Alevi,
while the Pamiri peoples in
Tajikistan and China are nearly all
Ismaili. The Christian community is mainly represented by the Armenian
Apostolic Church, followed by the
Russian Orthodox and Georgian
Ossetians followed by Nestorians.
Judaism is followed mainly
by Persian Jews, Kurdish Jews,
Bukharian Jews (of Central Asia) and
Mountain Jews (of the Caucasus), most of whom are now found in
Israel. The historical religion of the
Persian Empire was
Zoroastrianism and it still has a few thousand followers, mostly in
Yazd and Kerman. They are known as the Parsis in the Indian
subcontinent, where many of them fled in historic times following the
Arab conquest of Persia, or Zoroastrians in Iran. Another ancient
religion is the
Yezidi faith of the ethno-religious group of the
Yazidi people, followed by
Yazidi people in northern Iraq, Syria,
Turkey and in Armenia.
Elements of pre-Islamic
Zoroastrian and Paganistic beliefs persist
among some Islamized groups today, such as the Tajiks, Pashtuns,
Pamiri peoples and Ossetians.
See also: Persianization, Persianate society, Turko-Persian tradition,
Turco-Persian, Turkification, Islamic conquest of Persia, Persian
Arab, Arabization, Turkification, Slavicisation, and Sarmatism
In matters relating to culture, the various Turkic-speaking ethnic
Iran (notably the Azerbaijani people) and Afghanistan
Uzbeks and Turkmen) are often conversant in Iranian languages, in
addition to their own
Turkic languages and also have Iranian culture
to the extent that the term Turko-Iranian can be applied. The
usage applies to various circumstances that involve historic
interaction, intermarriage, cultural assimilation, bilingualism and
cultural overlap or commonalities.
Notable among this synthesis of Turko-Iranian culture are the Azeris,
whose culture, religion and significant periods of history are linked
to the Persians. Certain theories and genetic tests suggest
that the Azeris are genetically more Iranian than Turkic.
The following either partially descend from
Iranian peoples or are
sometimes regarded as possible descendants of ancient Iranian peoples:
Azeris: Although Azeris speak a Turkic language (modern Azerbaijani
language), they are believed to be primarily descendants of ancient
Iranians. Thus, due to their historical ties
with various ancient Iranians, as well as their cultural ties to
Persians, the Azeris are often associated with the Iranian
peoples (see Origin of
Azerbaijani people and the Iranian theory
regarding the origin of the Azerbaijanis for more details).
Turkmen people are believed to be a mix of Iranian and
Turkic ancestry. Genetic studies on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
restriction polymorphism confirmed that Turkmen were characterized by
the presence of local Iranian mtDNA lineages, similar to the Eastern
Iranian populations, but high male Mongoloid genetic component
observed in Turkmens and Hazara in east
Afghanistan with the
frequencies of about 20%. This most likely indicates an ancestral
combination of Iranian groups and Mongol that the modern Turkmen have
inherited and which appears to correspond to the historical record
which indicates that various Iranian tribes existed in the region
prior to the migration of Turkic tribes who are believed to have
merged with the local population and imparted their language and
created something of a hybrid Turko-Iranian culture.
Uzbeks: The modern Uzbek people are believed to have both Iranian and
Turkic ancestry. "Uzbek" and "Tajik" are modern designations given to
the culturally homogeneous, sedentary population of Central Asia. The
local ancestors of both groups – the Turkic-speaking
Uzbeks and the
Tajiks – were known as "Sarts" ("sedentary
merchants") prior to the Russian conquest of Central Asia, while
"Uzbek" or "Turk" were the names given to the nomadic and semi-nomadic
populations of the area. Still today, modern
known as "Sarts" to their Turkic neighbours, the
Kazakhs and the
Kyrgyz. The ancient
Bactrians are among their ancestors.
Uzbeks are closer to their sedentary Iranian-speaking
neighbours rather than to their nomadic and semi-nomadic Turkic
neighbours. Some Uzbek scholars, i.e. Ahmadov and Askarov, favour the
Iranian origin theory.
Uyghurs are descendants of the
Saka people in Buddhist
Kingdom of Khotan.
Linguists suggest that the names of the South Slavic peoples, the
Serbs and Croats, are of Iranian origin. Those who entertain such a
connection propose that the Sarmatian
Serboi and alleged Horoathos
tribes might have migrated from the
Eurasian steppe lands to Eastern
and Central Europe, and assimilated with the numerically superior
Slavs, passing on their name. Iranian-speaking peoples did inhabit
parts of the
Balkans in late classical times, and would have been
encountered by the Slavs. However, direct linguistic, historical or
archaeological proof for such a theory is lacking. (See also: Origin
hypotheses of the
Serbs and Origin hypotheses of the Croats)
Indo-Aryan languages share linguistic affinities with
speakers of Iranian languages, which suggests a degree of historical
interaction between these two groups.
Shirazis: The Shirazi are a sub-group of the
Swahili people living on
Swahili Coast of East Africa, especially on the islands of
Zanzibar, Pemba and Comoros. Local traditions about their origin
claim they are descended from merchant princes from
Shiraz in Persia
who settled along the Swahili Coast.
A Tajik woman holding her child
Pamiri girl in Afghanistan
Regueiro et al (2006) and Grugni et al (2012) have performed
large-scale sampling of different ethnic groups within Iran. They
found that the most common Haplogroups were:
Three Kurdish children from
Bismil Province, Turkey
J1-M267; typical of Semitic-speaking people, was rarely over 10% in
Iranian groups, but as high as 30% in Assyrian minorities of Iran..
J2-M172: is the most common Hg in
Iran (~23%); almost exclusively
represented by J2a-M410 subclade (93%), the other major sub-clade
being J2b-M12. Apart from Iranians, J2 is common in Mediterranean and
Balkan peoples (Croatians, Serbs, Greeks, Bosnians, Albanians,
Italians, Bulgarians, Turks), in the
Caucasus (Armenians, Georgia,
northeastern Turkey, north/northwestern Iran, Kurds, Persians); whilst
its frequency drops suddenly beyond Afghanistan,
Pakistan and northern
India. In Europe, J2a is more common in the southern
southern Italy; whilst J2b (J2-M12) is more common in Thessaly,
Macedonia and central – northern Italy. Thus J2a and its subgroups
within it have a wide distribution from Italy to India, whilst J2b is
mostly confined to the
Balkans and Italy, being rare even in
Turkey. Whilst closely linked with
Anatolia and the Levant; and
putative agricultural expansions, the distribution of the various
sub-clades of J2 likely represents a number of migrational histories
which require further elucidation.
R1a-M198: is common in Iran, more so in the east and south rather than
the west and north; suggesting a migration toward the south to India
then a secondary westward spread across Iran. Whilst the Grongi
and Regueiro studies did not define exactly which sub-clades Iranian
R1a haplogrouops belong to, private genealogy tests suggest that they
virtually all belong to "Eurasian" R1a-Z93. Indeed, population
studies of neighbouring Indian groups found that they all were in
R1a-Z93. This implies that R1a in
Iran did not descend from
"European" R1a, or vice versa. Rather, both groups are collateral,
sister branches which descend from a parental group hypothesized to
have initially lived somewhere between central Asia and Eastern
R1b – M269: is widespread from Ireland to Iran, and is common in
highland West Asian populations such as Armenians, Turks and Iranians
– with an average frequency of 8.5%. Iranian R1b belongs to the L-23
subclade, which is an older than the derivative subclade
(R1b-M412) which is most common in western Europe.
Haplogroup G and subclades: most concentrated in the southern
Caucasus, it is present in 10% of Iranians.
Haplogroup E and various subclades are markers of various northern and
eastern African populations. They are present in less than 10% of
Iranians (see Afro-Iranians).
Two large – scale papers by Haber (2012) and Di Cristofaro
(2013) analyzed populations from Afghanistan, where several
Iranian-speaking groups are native. They found that different groups
(e.g. Baluch, Hazara, Pashtun) were quite diverse, yet overall:
R1a (subclade not further analyzed) was the predominant haplogroup,
especially amongst Pashtuns, Balochi and Tajiks.
The presence of "east Eurasian" haplogroup C3, especially in Hazaras
(33–40%), in part linked to Mongol expansions into the region.
The presence of haplogroup J2, like in Iran, of 5–20%.
A relative paucity of "Indian" haplgroup H (< 10%).
Internal diversity and distant affinities
Overall, Iranian-speaking populations are characterized by high
internal diversity. For Afghanistan, "It is possibly due to the
strategic location of this region and its unique harsh geography of
mountains, deserts and steppes, which could have facilitated the
establishment of social organizations within expanding populations,
and helped maintaining genetic boundaries among groups that have
developed over time into distinct ethnicities" as well as the "high
level of endogamy practiced by these groups". The data ultimately
suggests that Afghanistan, like other northern-central Asian regions,
has continually been the recipient rather than a source of gene flow.
Although, populations from
Iran proper are also diverse, J2a-M530
likely spread out of Iran, and constitutes a common genetic substratum
for all Iranian populations, which was then modified by further
differential gene flows. In Iran, language was a greater
determinant of genetic similarity between different groups,
Afghanistan and other areas of northern central Asia, this
was not the case.
Overall in Iran, native population groups do not form tight clusters
either according to language or region. Rather, they occupy
intermediate positions among Near Eastern and Caucasus
clusters. Some of the Iranian groups lie within the Near
Eastern group (often with such as the Turks and Georgians), but none
fell into the
Arab or Asian groups. Some Iranian groups in Iran, such
as the Gilakis and Mazandaranis, have paternal genetics (Y-DNA)
virtually identical to South
Caucasus ethnic groups.
In Afghanistan, Iranian population groups such as the
Tajiks occupy intermediate positions amongst northwestern South Asian
ethnic groups, such as along the Baloch, Brahui, Kashmiris and
Sindhis, with a small minor pull towards West Asia.
Iranians are only distantly related to Europeans as a whole,
predominantly with southern Europeans like Greeks, Albanians, Serbs,
Croatians, Italians, Bosniks, Spaniards, Macedonians, Portuguese, and
Bulgarians, rather than northern Europeans like Norwegians, Danes,
Swedes, Irish, Scottish, English, Finns, Estonians, Welsh, Latvians,
and Lithuanians. Nevertheless, Iranian-speaking Central
Asians do show closer affinity to Europeans than do Turkic-speaking
List of ancient Iranian peoples
List of Iranian dynasties and countries
^ In the
Avesta the airiia- are members of the ethnic group of the
Avesta-reciters themselves, in contradistinction to the anairiia-, the
"non-Aryas". The word also appears four times in Old Persian: One is
in the Behistun inscription, where ariya- is the name of a language or
script (DB 4.89). The other three instances occur in Darius I's
Naqsh-e Rustam (DNa 14–15), in Darius I's inscription
Susa (DSe 13–14), and in the inscription of
Xerxes I at
Persepolis (XPh 12–13). In these, the two
describe themselves as pārsa pārsahyā puça ariya ariyaciça "a
Persian, son of a Persian, an Ariya, of Ariya origin." "The phrase
with ciça, “origin, descendance”, assures that it [i.e. ariya] is
an ethnic name wider in meaning than pārsa and not a simple
Ossetians of the
Caucasus are Orthodox Christians
^ R.N Frye, "IRAN v. PEOPLE OF IRAN in Encyclopedia Iranica. "In the
following discussion of "Iranian peoples," the term "Iranian" may be
understood in two ways. It is, first of all, a linguistic
classification, intended to designate any society which inherited or
adopted, and transmitted, an Iranian language. The set of
Iranian-speaking peoples is thus considered a kind of unity, in spite
of their distinct lineage identities plus all the factors which may
have further differentiated any one group’s sense of self."
^ Mehrdad R. Izady (1992). The Kurds: A Concise Handbook. Taylor &
Francis. ISBN 978-0-8448-1727-9.
^ Michael M. Gunter (4 November 2010). Historical Dictionary of the
Kurds. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7507-4.
^ The Encyclopedia Americana: The International Reference Work, Volume
^ Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 692
^ "IRAN vi. IRANIAN LANGUAGES AND SCRIPTS". Encyclopædia Iranica.
Bibliotheca Persica Press. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 1 June
^ a b Beckwith 2009, pp. 58–77
^ Mallory 1997, pp. 308–311
^ Harmatta 1992, p. 348: "From the first millennium b.c., we have
abundant historical, archaeological and linguistic sources for the
location of the territory inhabited by the Iranian peoples. In this
period the territory of the northern Iranians, they being equestrian
nomads, extended over the whole zone of the steppes and the wooded
steppes and even the semi-deserts from the
Great Hungarian Plain
Great Hungarian Plain to
the Ordos in northern China."
^ Annamoradnejad, Rahimberdi; Lotfi, Sedigheh (2010). "Demographic
changes of nomadic communities in
Iran (1956–2008)". Asian
Population Studies. 6: 335–345.
^ a b Brzezinski, Richard; Mielczarek, Mariusz (2002). The Sarmatians,
600 BC-AD 450. Osprey Publishing. p. 39. (..) Indeed, it is now
accepted that the
Sarmatians merged in with pre-Slavic
^ a b Adams, Douglas Q. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture.
Taylor & Francis. p. 523. (..) In their Ukrainian and Polish
Slavs were intermixed and at times overlain by Germanic
speakers (the Goths) and by Iranian speakers (Scythians, Sarmatians,
Alans) in a shifting array of tribal and national
^ Women in Russia. Stanford University Press. 1977. p. 3. (..)
Ancient accounts link the
Amazons with the
Scythians and the
Sarmatians, who successively dominated the south of
Russia for a
millennium extending back to the seventh century B.C. The descendants
of these peoples were absorbed by the
Slavs who came to be known as
Russians. first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help)
^ a b Slovene Studies. 9–11. Society for Slovene Studies. 1987.
p. 36. (..) For example, the ancient Scythians, Sarmatians
(amongst others), and many other attested but now extinct peoples were
assimilated in the course of history by Proto-Slavs.
^ Emmerick, Ronald Eric. "Iranian languages". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
^ Frye, Richard Nelson, Greater Iran, ISBN 1-56859-177-2 p.xi:
Iran means all lands and people where
Iranian languages were and
are spoken, and where in the past, multi-faceted Iranian cultures
^ a b MacKenzie, David Niel (1998). "Ērān, Ērānšahr".
Encyclopedia Iranica. 8. Costa Mesa: Mazda.
^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (1987), "Aryans", Encyclopedia Iranica, vol. 2,
New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 684–687
^ Laroche. 1957. Proto-Iranian *arya- descends from
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *ar-yo-, a yo-adjective to a root *ar "to
assemble skillfully", present in Greek harma "chariot", Greek aristos,
(as in "aristocracy"), Latin ars "art", etc.
^ G. Gnoli, "Iranian Identity as a Historical Problem: the Beginnings
of a National Awareness under the Achaemenians," in The East and the
Meaning of History. International Conference (23–27 November 1992),
Roma, 1994, pp. 147–67. "?".
^ a b c d e f G. Gnoli, "Iranian Identity ii. Pre-Islamic Period" in
Encyclopedia Iranica. Online accessed in 2010 at "?".
^ a b c H. W. Bailey, "Arya" in Encyclopedia Iranica. Excerpt: "ARYA
an ethnic epithet in the
Achaemenid inscriptions and in the
Avestan tradition. "Arya an ethnic epithet in the
Achaemenid inscriptions and in the
Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Also accessed online
in May, 2010.
^ a b D. N. Mackenzie, "Ērān, Ērānšahr" in Encyclopedia Iranica.
"?". Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: access-date= (help)
^ Dalby, Andrew (2004), Dictionary of Languages, Bloomsbury,
^ G. Gnoli. "ēr, ēr mazdēsn". Encyclopedia Iranica.
^ a b Bailey, Harold Walter (1987). "Arya". Encyclopedia Iranica. 2.
New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul. pp. 681–683.
^ cf. Gershevitch, Ilya (1968). "Old Iranian Literature". Handbuch der
Orientalistik, Literatur I. Leiden: Brill. pp. 1–31. , p.
^ a b c R. G. Kent. Old Persian. Grammar, texts, lexicon. 2nd ed., New
^ Professor Gilbert Lazard: The language known as New Persian, which
usually is called at this period (early Islamic times) by the name of
Dari or Parsi-Dari, can be classified linguistically as a continuation
of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of
Sassanian Iran, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of
the Achaemenids. Unlike the other languages and dialects, ancient and
modern, of the Iranian group such as Avestan, Parthian, Soghdian,
Kurdish, Ossetian, Balochi, Pashto, Armenian etc., Old Middle and New
Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its
history. It had its origin in Fars (the true Persian country from the
historical point of view) and is differentiated by dialectical
features, still easily recognizable from the dialect prevailing in
north-western and eastern
Iran in Lazard, Gilbert 1975, "The Rise of
the New Persian Language" in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of
Iran, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
^ MacKenzie D.N. Corpus inscriptionum Iranicarum Part. 2., inscription
of the Seleucid and Parthian periods of Eastern
Iran and Central Asia.
Vol. 2. Parthian, London, P. Lund, Humphries 1976–2001
^ a b "Article in 1911 Britannica". 58.1911encyclopedia.org. Archived
from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
^ R.W. Thomson. History of
Armenians by Moses Khorenat’si. Harvard
University Press, 1978. Pg 118, pg 166
^ The "Aryan" Language, Gherardo Gnoli, Instituto Italiano per
l'Africa e l'Oriente, Roma, 2002
^ N. Sims-Williams, "Further notes on the Bactrian inscription of
Rabatak, with the Appendix on the name of Kujula Kadphises and
VimTatku in Chinese". Proceedings of the Third European Conference of
Iranian Studies (Cambridge, September 1995). Part 1: Old and Middle
Iranian<Studies, N. Sims-Williams, ed. Wiesbaden, pp 79-92
^ G. Gnoli. "Iranian Identity ii. Pre-Islamic Period". Encyclopedia
Iranica. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: access-date=
^ a b Beckwith 2009, p. 32.
^ Burrow 1973.
^ Parpola 1999.
^ a b Beckwith 2009.
^ Anthony 2007, p. 408.
^ Beckwith 2009, p. 33 note 20, p.35.
^ a b Beckwith 2009, p. 33.
^ Anthony 2007, p. 454.
^ Beckwith 2009, p. 33 note 20.
^ Beckwith 2009, p. 376-7.
^ Malory 1989, pp. 42–43.
^ a b Koryakova 1998b.
^ a b Koryakova 1998a.
^ Anthony 2009.
^ Anthony 2009, p. 390 (fig. 15.9), 405–411.
^ Anthony 2007, pp. 385–388.
^ Allentoft; Sikora; et al. (2015). "Population genomics of
Eurasia". Nature. 522: 167–172. doi:10.1038/nature14507.
^ Kuznetsov 2006.
^ Hanks & Linduff 2009.
^ Mallory 1997, pp. 20–21.
^ Diakonoff 1995, p. 473.
^ a b Okladnikov, A. P. (1994), "
Inner Asia at the dawn of history",
The Cambridge history of early Inner Asia, Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge
Univ. Press, p. 83, ISBN 0-521-24304-1
^ Mallory 1989:62
Amazons in the Scythia: new finds at the Middle Don, Southern
Russia". Taylorandfrancis.metapress.com. Retrieved
2009-06-21. [permanent dead link]
^ "Secrets of the Dead, Casefile: Amazon Warrior Women". Pbs.org.
^ Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason. "Encyclopedia of European Peoples"
Infobase Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1438129181 p 692
^ Prudence Jones. Nigel Pennick. "A History of Pagan Europe"
Routledge, 11 okt. 2. ISBN 1136141804 p 10
^ Ion Grumeza "Dacia: Land of Transylvania, Cornerstone of Ancient
Eastern Europe" University Press of America, 16 May 2009.
ISBN 076184466X pp 19–21
^ Liverani, M. (1995). "The
Medes at Esarhaddon's Court". Journal of
Cuneiform Studies. 47: 57–62. doi:10.2307/1359815.
^ "The Geography of Strabo" — University of Chicago. . Retrieved 4
^ A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 1964[full citation needed]
Achaemenid dynasty (i. The clan and dynasty)
Avestan xᵛarǝnah-, etymology and concept by Alexander Lubotsky"
Archived 7 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. — Sprache und
Kultur. Akten der X. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft,
22.-28. September 1996, ed. W. Meid, Innsbruck (IBS) 1998, 479–488.
. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ R. G. Kent, Old Persian: Grammar, texts and lexicon.
^ R. Hallock (1969),
Persepolis Fortification Tablets; A. L. Driver
(1954), Aramaic Documents of the V Century BC.
^ a b c d Greek and Iranian, E. Tucker, A History of Ancient Greek:
From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity, ed. Anastasios-Phoivos
Christidēs, Maria Arapopoulou, Maria Chritē, (Cambridge University
Press, 2001), 780.
^ "Kurdish: An Indo-European Language By Siamak Rezaei Durroei"
Archived 17 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine. — University of
Edinburgh, School of Informatics. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "The Iranian Language Family, Khodadad Rezakhani" Archived 9 October
2004 at the Wayback Machine. — Iranologie. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "Sarmatian". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 31 December
^ Apollonius (Argonautica, iii) envisaged the Sauromatai as the bitter
foe of King
Colchis (modern Georgia).
^ Arrowsmith, Fellowes, Hansard, A, B & G L (1832). A Grammar of
Ancient Geography,: Compiled for the Use of King's College School (3
April 2006 ed.). Hansard London. p. 9. Retrieved 20 August
2014. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Arrowsmith, Fellowes, Hansard, A, B & G L (1832). A Grammar of
Ancient Geography,: Compiled for the Use of King's College School (3
April 2006 ed.). Hansard London. p. 15. Retrieved 20 August
2014. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Schenker (2008, p. 109)
^ Sussex (2011, pp. 111–112)
^ Cross, 79.
^ a b A History of
Russia by Nicholas Riasanovsky, pp. 11–18, Russia
before the Russians, ISBN 0-19-515394-4 . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ The Sarmatians: 600 BC-AD 450 (Men-at-Arms) by Richard Brzezinski
and Gerry Embleton, 19 Aug 2002
^ "Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Archaeologist" — Thirteen WNET New York.
. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ James Minahan, "One Europe, Many Nations", Published by Greenwood
Publishing Group, 2000. pg 518: "The Ossetians, calling themselves
Iristi and their homeland Iryston are the most northerly Iranian
people. ... They are descended from a division of Sarmatians, the
Alans who were pushed out of the Terek River lowlands and in the
Caucasus foothills by invading
Huns in the 4th century AD.
^ "Ossetians". Encarta. Microsoft Corporation. 2008.
Scythia to Camelot by Littleton and Malcor, pp. 40–43,
ISBN 0-8153-3566-0 . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "Report for Talysh" — Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "Report for Tats" — Ethnologue. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "Report for Judeo-Tats" — Ethnologue. . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates by Hugh Kennedy,
ISBN 0-582-40525-4 (retrieved 4 June 2006), p. 135
^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Report for Iranian
languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Fifteenth ed.).
Dallas: SIL International. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list
^ a b Hamzehʼee, M. Reza. The Yaresan: a sociological, historical and
religio-historical study of a Kurdish community, 1990.
^ Nasidze, Ivan; Quinque, Dominique; Ozturk, Murat; Bendukidze, Nina;
Stoneking, Mark (1 July 2005). "MtDNA and Y-chromosome Variation in
Kurdish Groups". Ann. Hum. Genet. 69 (4): 401–412.
doi:10.1046/j.1529-8817.2005.00174.x. PMID 15996169 – via Wiley
^ Kaya, Mehmed S. (15 June 2011). "The Zaza
Kurds of Turkey: A Middle
Eastern Minority in a Globalised Society". I.B.Tauris – via
^ J.E. Peterson. "Oman's Diverse Society" (PDF). p. 4.
^ Runciman, Steven (1982). The Medieval Manichee: A Study of the
Christian Dualist Heresy. Cambridge University Press.
^ In Search of the Indo-Europeans, by J.P. Mallory, p. 112–127,
ISBN 0-500-27616-1 . Retrieved 10 June 2006.
Pakistan — Baloch" — Library of Congress Country Studies .
Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "History of Iran-Chapter 2 Indo-Europeans and Indo-Iranians"
Archived 25 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine. — Iranologie .
Retrieved 4 June 2006.
Persia in Historical Perspective, edited by Robert Canfield,
ISBN 0-521-52291-9 . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
Iran Relations: Challenges and Prospects" Archived 1
September 2006 at the Wayback Machine. — Harvard University, Belfer
Center, Caspian Studies Program . Retrieved 4 June 2006.
^ "Cambridge Genetic Study of Iran" Archived 12 March 2007 at the
Wayback Machine. — ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency), 06-12-2006,
news-code: 8503-06068 . Retrieved 9 June 2006.
^ Minorsky, V.; Minorsky, V. "(Azarbaijan). Encyclopaedia of Islam.
Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and
W. P. Heinrichs. Brill
^ R. N. Frye. "People of Iran". Encyclopedia Iranica.
^ X.D. Planhol. "Lands of Iran". Encyclopedia Iranica.
^ Roy, Olivier (2007). The new Central Asia. I.B. Tauris. p. 6.
ISBN 978-1-84511-552-4. The mass of the Oghuz who crossed the Amu
Darya towards the west left the Iranian plateaux, which remained
Persian, and established themselves more to the west, in Anatolia.
Here they divided into Ottomans, who were
Sunni and settled, and
Turkmens, who were nomads and in part Shiite (or, rather, Alevi). The
latter were to keep the name 'Turkmen' for a long time: from the 13th
century onwards they 'Turkised' the Iranian populations of Azerbaijan
(who spoke west
Iranian languages such as Tat, which is still found in
residual forms), thus creating a new identity based on Shiism and the
use of Turkish. These are the people today known as Azeris.
^ Yarshater, Ehsan (15 December 1988). "AZERBAIJAN vii. The Iranian
Language of Azerbaijan". Encyclopædia Iranica. Bibliotheca Persica
Press. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
^ The Columbia Encyclopedia:
Azerbaijan Archived 17 May 2006 at the
^ "Who are the Azeris? by Aylinah Jurabchi". The Iranian. Retrieved
^ ingentaconnect.com Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Askarov, A. & B.Ahmadov, O'zbek Xalqning Kilib Chiqishi Torixi.
O'zbekiston Ovozi, 20 January 1994.
^ Tanzania Ethnic Groups,
East Africa Living Encyclopedia, accessed 28
^ Regueiro; et al. (2006). "Iran: Tricontinental Nexus for
Y-Chromosome Driven Migration". Hum Hered. 61: 132–143.
doi:10.1159/000093774. PMID 16770078.
^ Grugni (2012). "Ancient Migratory Events in the Middle East: New
Clues from the Y-Chromosome Variation of Modern Iranians". PLOS ONE.
7: e41252. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041252. PMC 3399854 .
^ a b Sengupta et al. Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution
Y-Chromosome Distributions in
India Identify Both Indigenous and
Exogenous Expansions and Reveal Minor Genetic Influence of Central
Asian Pastoralists. AJHG 78; 2. 2006
^ Cinnioglu et al. Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in
Anatolia" Hum Genet 2004 Jan;114(2):127-48. Epub 2003 Oct 29.
^ Semino, Ornella; et al. (May 2004). "Origin, Diffusion, and
Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J: Inferences on the
Europe and Later Migratory Events in the
Mediterranean Area". American Journal of Human Genetics. 74 (5):
1023–1034. doi:10.1086/386295. PMC 1181965 .
^ Regueiro, 2006
^ "Family Tree DNA – Genetic Testing for Ancestry, Family History
^ New Y-chromosome binary markers improve phylogenetic resolution
within haplogroup R1a1. Horolma Pamjav et al. AJPA DOI:
^ Pamjav; 2012. "Inner and
Central Asia is an overlap zone for the
R1a1-Z280 and R1a1-Z93 lineages. This pattern implies that an early
differentiation zone of R1a1-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere
within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and
Caucasus region as
they lie between
South Asia and Eastern Europe"
^ Grugni, 2013.
^ Myres; et al. (2011). "A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene
era founder effect in Central and Western Europe". European Journal of
Human Genetics. 19: 95–101. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.146.
PMC 3039512 . PMID 20736979.
^ Rootsi; et al. (2012). "Distinguishing the co-ancestries of
haplogroup G Y-chromosomes in the populations of
Europe and the
Caucasus". European Journal of Human Genetics. 20: 1275–1282.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.86. PMC 3499744 .
^ a b Grugni, 2012
^ Afghanistan's Ethnic Groups Share a Y-Chromosomal Heritage
Structured by Historical Events. PLOS One mach 2012.
^ Afghan Hindu Kush: Where Eurasian Sub-Continent Gene Flows Converge.
PLOS One, Oct 2013. 10.1371/journal.pone.0076748
^ Haber, 2012
^ Grugni 2012
^ Haber 2012
^ "West Asian clusters compared with
Europe and Asia". Retrieved 19
^ "West Asian and European clusters, PCA plot". Retrieved 19 April
^ "Concomitant Replacement of Language and mtDNA in South Caspian
Populations of Iran". Retrieved 19 April 2014.
^ "PCA plot West Asian_European_South Asian populations". Retrieved 19
^ "Major admixture in
India took place ~4.2–1.9 thousand years ago
(Moorjani et al. 2013)". Retrieved 19 April 2014.
^ Grugni (2012)p="Iranian groups do not cluster all together,
occupying intermediate positions among Arab, Near Eastern and Asian
^ Grugni, Viola; Battaglia, Vincenza; Kashani, Baharak Hooshiar;
Parolo, Silvia; Al-Zahery, Nadia; Achilli, Alessandro; Olivieri, Anna;
Gandini, Francesca; Houshmand, Massoud; Sanati, Mohammad Hossein;
Torroni, Antonio; Semino, Ornella (18 July 2012). "Ancient Migratory
Events in the Middle East: New Clues from the Y-Chromosome Variation
of Modern Iranians". PLOS ONE. 7 (7): e41252.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041252. PMC 3399854 .
PMID 22815981 – via PLoS Journals.
^ Dr Cristofaro, 2013
Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse The Wheel And Language. How
Bronze-Age Riders From the Eurasian Steppes Shaped The Modern World.
Princeton University Press.
Banuazizi, Ali and Weiner, Myron (eds.). The State, Religion, and
Ethnic Politics: Afghanistan, Iran, and
Pakistan (Contemporary Issues
in the Middle East), Syracuse University Press (August, 1988).
Beckwith, Christopher I. (16 March 2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A
History of Central Eurasia from the
Bronze Age to the Present.
Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691135894. Retrieved 29 May
Canfield, Robert (ed.). Turko-
Persia in Historical Perspective,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2002). ISBN 0-521-52291-9
Curzon, R. The Iranian People of the Caucasus.
Derakhshani, Jahanshah. Die Arier in den nahöstlichen Quellen des 3.
und 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr., 2nd edition (1999).
Frye, Richard, Greater Iran, Mazda Publishers (2005).
Frye, Richard. Persia, Schocken Books, Zurich (1963). ASIN B0006BYXHY.
Harmatta, János (1992). "The Emergence of the Indo-Iranians: The
Indo-Iranian Languages". In Dani, A. H.; Masson, V. M. History of
Civilizations of Central Asia: The Dawn of Civilization: Earliest
Times to 700 B. C. (PDF). UNESCO. pp. 346–370.
ISBN 978-92-3-102719-2. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
Kennedy, Hugh. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates, Longman, New
York, NY (2004). ISBN 0-582-40525-4
Khoury, Philip S. & Kostiner, Joseph. Tribes and State Formation
in the Middle East, University of California Press (1991).
Littleton, C. & Malcor, L. From
Scythia to Camelot, Garland
Publishing, New York, NY, (2000). ISBN 0-8153-3566-0.
Mallory, J.P. In Search of the Indo-Europeans, Thames and Hudson,
London (1991). ISBN 0-500-27616-1.
Mallory, J. P. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor
& Francis. ISBN 1884964982. Retrieved February 15,
McDowall, David. A Modern History of the Kurds, I.B. Tauris, 3rd Rev
edition (2004). ISBN 1-85043-416-6.
Nassim, J. Afghanistan: A Nation of Minorities, Minority Rights Group,
London (1992). ISBN 0-946690-76-6.
Riasanovsky, Nicholas. A History of Russia, Oxford University Press,
Oxford (2004). ISBN 0-19-515394-4.
Sims-Williams, Nicholas. Indo-Iranian Languages and People, British
Academy (2003). ISBN 0-19-726285-6.
Iran Nama, (
Iran Travelogue in Urdu) by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman,
Tibbi Academy, Aligarh,
Chopra, R. M.,"Indo-Iranian Cultural Relations Through The Ages", Iran
Society, Kolkata, 2005.
Waldman, Carl; Mason, Catherine (2006). Encyclopedia of European
Peoples. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 1438129181. Retrieved January
Kuzʹmina, Elena Efimovna (2007), The Origin of the Indo-Iranians,
Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse The Wheel And Language. How
Bronze-Age Riders From the Eurasian Steppes Shaped The Modern World.
Princeton University Press.
Wikisource has the text of The New Student's Reference Work article
Tajiks of Xinjiang
Ancient Iranian peoples