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SHAH (/ˈʃɑː/ ; Persian : شاه‎, translit. _Šāh_‎, pronounced , "king") is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran (historically also known as Persia). It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan (a historical Iranian region in Transcaucasia ) namely the Shirvanshahs , the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire (in that context spelled as _Şah_ and _Şeh_), Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent , the Bengal Sultanate , as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran (Persia and Greater Persia ) the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the _Šāhanšāh_ ( King of Kings) or Emperor of the Persian Empire.

The word descends from Old Persian _xšāyaθiya_ "king", which (for reasons of historical phonology) must be a borrowing from Median , and is derived from the same root as Avestan _xšaϑra-_, "power" and "command", corresponding to Sanskrit (Old Indic) _kṣatra-_ (same meaning), from which _kṣatriya- _, "warrior", is derived. The full, Old Persian title of the Achaemenid rulers of the First Persian Empire was _Xšāyathiya Xšāyathiyānām_ or _Šāhe Šāhān_, " King of Kings" or "Emperor". This word is commonly confused with the unrelated and distinct Indian surname _Shah_ , which is derived from the Sanskrit _Sadhu_ or _Sahu_, meaning "gentleman".


* 1 History * 2 Ruler styles * 3 Shahzadeh * 4 Other styles * 5 Related terms * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links


_ Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , Shahanshah_ of Iran from 1941 to 1979, was the last ruler to hold the title of shah.

_Šāh_, or _Šāhanšāh_ ( King of Kings ) to use the full-length term, was the title of the Persian emperors . It includes rulers of the first Persian Empire, the Achaemenid dynasty , who unified Persia in the sixth century BC, and created a vast intercontinental empire, as well as rulers of succeeding dynasties throughout history until the twentieth century and the Imperial House of Pahlavi .

While the Ottoman Sultans never styled themselves as _Shah_, but rather Sultan , their male offspring received the title of _Şehzade _, or prince (literally, "offspring of the Shah", from Persian _shahzadeh_).

The full title of the Achaemenid rulers was _Xšāyaθiya Xšāyaθiyānām_, literally " King of Kings" in Old Persian, corresponding to Middle Persian _Šāhān Šāh_, and Modern Persian شاهنشاه (_Šāhanšāh_). In Greek , this phrase was translated as βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλέων (_basileus tōn basiléōn_), " King of Kings", equivalent to "Emperor". Both terms were often shortened to their roots _shah_ and _basileus_.

In Western languages, _Shah_ is often used as an imprecise rendering of _Šāhanšāh_. The term was first recorded in English in 1564 as a title for the King of Persia and with the spelling _Shaw_. For a long time, Europeans thought of _Shah_ as a particular royal title rather than an imperial one, although the monarchs of Persia regarded themselves as emperors of the Persian Empire (later the Empire of Iran ). The European opinion changed in the Napoleonic era, when Persia was an ally of the Western powers eager to make the Ottoman Sultan release his hold on various (mainly Christian) European parts of the Ottoman Empire , and western (Christian) emperors had obtained the Ottoman acknowledgement that their western imperial styles were to be rendered in Turkish as _padishah _.

In the twentieth century, the Shah of Persia , Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , officially adopted the title شاهنشاه _Šāhanšāh_ and, in western languages, the rendering _Emperor_. He also styled his wife شهبانو _Shahbānu _ ("Empress"). Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the last Shah, as the Iranian monarchy was abolished after the 1979 Iranian Revolution .


* From the reign of Ashot III (952/53-77), the Bagratid kings of Armenia used the title _shahanshah_, meaning "king of kings". * The title _padishah _ (Great King ) was adopted from the Iranians by the Ottomans and by various other monarchs claiming imperial rank, such as the Mughals that established their dynasty in the Indian subcontinent. * Another subsidiary style of the Ottoman and Mughal rulers was _Shah-i-Alam Panah_, meaning "King, refuge of the world". * The Shah-Armens ("Kings of Armenia", sometimes known as Ahlahshahs), used the title _Shāh-i Arman_ (lit. " Shah of Armenia"). * Some monarchs were known by a contraction of the kingdom's name with _shah_, such as Khwarezmshah , ruler of the short-lived Muslim realm of Khwarezmia , or the Shirvanshah of the historical Iranian region of Shirvan (present-day Republic of Azerbaijan ) * The kings of Georgia called themselves _shahanshah_ alongside their other titles. Georgian title _mepetmepe_ (also meaning King of Kings ) was also inspired by the _shahanshah_ title.


_Shahzadeh_ (Persian شاهزاده _Šāhzādeh_ or _ Şehzade _). In the realm of a shah (or a more lofty derived ruler style), a prince or princess of the blood was logically called _shahzada_ as the term is derived from shah using the Persian patronymic suffix _-zādeh _ or _-zāda _, "born from" or "descendant of". However the precise full styles can differ in the court traditions of each shah's kingdom. This title was given to the princes of the Ottoman Empire (_ Şehzade _, Ottoman Turkish : شاهزاده) and was used by the princes of the Mughal Empire in India. It is to be noted, however, that the Mughal royalty were not of Indian origin but of Mongol-Turkic origin and were heavily influenced by Persian culture, a continuation of traditions and habits ever since Persian language was first introduced into the region by Persianised Turkic and Afghan dynasties centuries earlier.

Thus, in Oudh , only sons of the sovereign _shah bahadur_ (see above) were by birth-right styled "Shahzada Mirza Bahadur", though this style could also be extended to individual grandsons and even further relatives. Other male descendants of the sovereign in the male line were merely styled " Mirza " or " Mirza". This could even apply to non-Muslim dynasties. For example, the younger sons of the ruling Sikh maharaja of Punjab were styled "Shahzada Singh Bahadur".

The corruption _shahajada_, "Shah's son", taken from the Mughal title Shahzada, is the usual princely title borne by the grandsons and male descendants of a Nepalese sovereign, in the male line of the Shah dynasty .

For the heir to a "Persian-style" shah's royal throne, more specific titles were used, containing the key element _ Vali Ahad _, usually in addition to _shahzada_, where his junior siblings enjoyed this style.


* _ Shahbanu _ (Persian شهبانو, _Šahbānū_): Persian term using the word _shah_ and the Persian suffix _-banu_ ("lady"): Empress, in modern times, the official title of Empress Farah Pahlavi . * Shahmam (Persian شهمام, "Šahmām") : Empress mother. * _Shahdokht_ (Persian شاهدخت _Šāhdoxt_) is also another term derived from _shah_ using the Persian patronymic suffix _-dokht_ "daughter, female descendant", to address the Princess of the imperial households. * _Shahpur_ (Persian شاهپور _Šāhpu:r_) also been derived from _shah_ using the archaic Persian suffix _-pur_ "son, male descendant", to address the Prince. * _ Şehzade _ (Ottoman Turkish ), _(Persian شاهزاده): Ottoman Turkish termination for prince (lit;_ offspring of the Shah_) derived from Persian_ Shahzadeh_._


* Satrap , the term in Western languages for a governor of a Persian province, is a distortion of _xšaθrapāvan_, literally "guardian of the realm", which derives from the word _xšaθra_, an Old Persian word meaning "realm, province" and related etymologically to _shah_. * Maq'ad-i-Shah, (Persian مقعد شاه Maq'ad-i-Shah), the phrase from which the name of Mogadishu is believed to be derived, which means "seat of the Shah", a reflection of the city's early Persian influence. * The English word "check," in all senses, is in fact derived from "shah" (from Persian via Arabic, Latin and French). Related terms such as "checker" and "chess" and "exchequer" likewise originate from the Persian word, their modern senses having developed from the original meaning of the king piece.


* Shah is a widespread name in India unrelated to and distinct from the Persian title of Shah. See Shah (surname) .


* ^ Hasan, Perween (2007). _Sultans and Mosques: The Early Muslim Architecture of Bangladesh_. * ^ An introduction to Old Persian (p. 149). Prods Oktor Skjærvø. Harvard University. 2003. * ^ Old Persian. Appendices, Glossaries, Indices & Transcriptions. Prods Oktor Skjærvø. Harvard University. 2003. * ^ Shakespear, John. _A Dictionary, Hindustani and English: with a copious index, fitting the work to serve, also, as a dictionary of English, Nepali and Hindustani_. 3rd ed., much enlarged, London: Printed for the author by J. L. Cox and Son: Sold by Parbury, Allen, & Co., 1834, p. 1035 * ^ D. N. MacKenzie. _A Concise Pahlavi Dictionary_. Routledge Curzon, 2005. ISBN 0-19-713559-5 * ^ M. Mo’in. _An Intermediate Persian Dictionary. Six Volumes_. Amir Kabir Publications, Teheran, 1992. * ^ Tim Greenwood, _Emergence of the Bagratuni Kingdoms_, p52, in _Armenian Kars and Ani_, Richard Hovannisian, ed. * ^ Clifford Edmund Bosworth "The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual". "The Shāh-i Armanids", p. 197. * ^ Richards, John F. (1995), _The Mughal Empire_, Cambridge University Press, p. 6, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2 * ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (2004), _The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture_, Reaktion Books, p. 22, ISBN 978-1-86189-185-3 * ^ Balabanlilar, Lisa (15 January 2012), _Imperial Identity in Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic Politics in Early Modern Central Asia_, I.B.Tauris, p. 2, ISBN 978-1-84885-726-1 * ^ Sigfried J. de Laet. _History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century_ UNESCO, 1994. ISBN 9231028138 p 734 * ^ "South Asian Sufis: Devotion, Deviation, and Destiny". Retrieved 2 January 2015. * ^ Shahzada son of shah, Newsvine .com * ^ David D. Laitin, Said S. Samatar, _Somalia: Nation in Search of a State_, (Westview Press: 1987), p. 12.


_ Look up SHAH _ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* Last name: Shah at surnamedb.com * WorldStatesmen – here Iran; see each present country * Etymology OnLine