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SHIRVAN (from Persian : شروان‎, translit. Shirvān‎; Azerbaijani : Şirvan; Tat : Şirvan), also spelled as SHARVāN, SHIRWAN, SHERVAN, SHERWAN and ŠERVāN, is a historical region in the eastern Caucasus
Caucasus
, known by this name in both Islamic and modern times. Today, the region is an industrially and agriculturally developed part of the Azerbaijan Republic that stretches between the western shores of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
and the Kura River and is centered on the Shirvan
Shirvan
Plain.

CONTENTS

* 1 Medieval history and etymology

* 1.1 Shirvanshahs * 1.2 Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar eras

* 2 Modern history from Qajar Iran up to the Azerbaijan SSR

* 3 People and culture

* 3.1 Caucasian population * 3.2 Iranian influence and population * 3.3 Turkification of the region

* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links and references

MEDIEVAL HISTORY AND ETYMOLOGY

Main articles: Caucasian Albania
Caucasian Albania
, Shirvanshah , Safavid
Safavid
, Great Seljuq Empire , Afsharid dynasty
Afsharid dynasty
, Zand dynasty
Zand dynasty
, and Qajar dynasty
Qajar dynasty

Vladimir Minorsky believes that names such as Sharvān (Shirwān), Lāyzān and Baylaqān are Iranian names from the Iranian languages
Iranian languages
of the coast of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
.

There are several explanations about this name:

* Shirvan
Shirvan
or Sharvan are changed forms of the word "Shahrbān" (Persian : شهربان‎‎) which means "the governor". The word "Shahrban" has been used since Achaemenian Dynasty as "Xshathrapawn" to refer to different states of the kingdom. * Shervan in Persian means cypress tree (the same as 'sarv' in Middle Persian and in New Persian, as well as in Arabic ). It is also used as a male name. * It is connected popularly to Anushirvan , the Sasanian King. * Another meaning of 'Shirwan' according to the Dehkhoda Dictionary is protector of lion. This meaning is also shared in Kurdish, where the name is widely used for males; there is a castle near Kirkuk (south Kurdistan) called Qelay Shirwana/Shirvana. Also there is a famous tribe in the north of Erbil Province in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region by the name of Sherwani that is part of Barzani tribe union. Sherwan town is the Center of Sherwani tribe. According to Heptner and Sludskii (1972), the word Shī‎r (Persian : شیر‎‎) is in reference to the Asiatic lion , which occurred in the Trans-Caucasus and Persia
Persia
, before the end of the 10th and 20th centuries, respectively.

However, Said Nafisi
Said Nafisi
points out that according to Khaqani 's poems, where Khaqani contrasts his home town with kheyrvān (Persian : خیروان‎‎), the original and correct pronunciation of the name was Sharvān. So all etymologies relating this name to sher/shir (lion in Persian and Kurdish) or Anushiravan are most probably folk etymology and not based on historical facts. The form Shervān or Shirvān are from later centuries. According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, Shirwan proper comprised the easternmost spurs of the Caucasus range and the lands which sloped down from these mountains to the banks of the Kur river . But its rulers strove continuously to control also the western shores of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
from Ḳuba (the modern town of Quba ) in the district of Maskat in the north, to Baku
Baku
in the south. To the north of all these lands lay Bab al-Abwab or Derbend, and to the west, beyond the modern Goychay , the region of Shaki . In mediaeval Islamic times, and apparently in pre-Islamic Sāsānid ones also, Shirwan included the district of Layzan, which probably corresponds to modern Lahidj, often ruled as a separate fief by a collateral branch of the Yazidi Shirwan Shahs. Traditional pile carpet of Shirvan
Shirvan

The 19th century native historian and writer Abbasgulu Bakikhanov defines it as: "The country of Shirvan
Shirvan
to the east borders on the Caspian Sea, and to the south on the river Kur, which separates it from the provinces of Moghan and Armenia".

SHIRVANSHAHS

Main article: Shirvanshahs

Shirvanshah also spelled as Shīrwān Shāh or Sharwān Shāh, was the title in medieval Islamic times of a Persianized dynasty of Arabic origin. They ruled the area independently or as a vassal of larger empires from 800 A.D. up to 1607 A.D. when Safavid
Safavid
rule became firmly established.

SAFAVID, AFSHARID AND QAJAR ERAS

Main articles: Shirvanshahs , Safavids
Safavids
, Afsharid , and Qajar dynasty

When the Shirvanshah Shah dynasty was ended by the Safavid
Safavid
Shah Tahmasp I , Shirwan formed a province of the Safavids
Safavids
and was usually governed by a Khan, who is often called Beylerbey . Shirvan
Shirvan
was taken by the Ottomans in 1578; however, Safavid
Safavid
rule was restored by 1607. In 1722, during the Russo-Persian War (1722-1723) , the Khan of Quba, Husayn Ali, submitted to Peter the Great
Peter the Great
and was accepted as his dignitary. The Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1723) forced the Iranian king to recognise the Russian annexation. By the treaty between the Russian and Ottoman Empires in the year 1724, the coast of the territory of Baku
Baku
, which was occupied by the Russians, was separated from the rest of Shirvan, which was left to the Ottomans. It was only when Nader Shah defeated the Ottomans (1735) that the Russians ceded back the coastal land and the other areas in the North and South Caucasus
Caucasus
as conquered in 1722-1723 from Safavid
Safavid
Iran conform the Treaties of Resht and Ganja , and the area became part of the Afsharid Empire, by which century long Iranian rule was restored.

MODERN HISTORY FROM QAJAR IRAN UP TO THE AZERBAIJAN SSR

Main articles: Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) , Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) , Treaty of Gulistan , and Treaty of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Turkmenchay

When the Qajars had succeeded in restoring the unity of Persia, the sons of the Khan were no more able to maintain their independence like the other Caucasian chiefs and had to choose between Russia and Persia. The Khan of Shirwan, Mustafa, who had already entered into negotiations with Zubov, submitted to the Russians in 1805, who occupied the Persian cities of Derbend and Baku
Baku
the next year (1806) during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) , but soon afterwards he made overtures to the Persians and sought help from them. By the Treaty of Gulistan (12/24 October 1813) following the end of the 1804-1813 war, Persia
Persia
was forced to cede its territories and regions comprising Darband , Quba , Shirwan and Baku
Baku
, while giving up all claims on them as well. Nevertheless, Mustafa continued to have secret dealings with Persia. It was not until 1820 that his territory was occupied by Russian troops; the Khan fled to Persia
Persia
and Shemakha
Shemakha
was irrevocably incorporated in Russian territory . Iranian anger while being dissatisfied with losing swaths of its integral territories in the North and South Caucasus
Caucasus
subsequently sparked the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) , which resulted in another Iranian loss, as well as the ceding of its last remaining territories in the Caucasus
Caucasus
comprising what is now Armenia , and southern parts of the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan. The Treaty of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Turkmenchay
of 1828 officially ratified the forced ceding of these Iranian territories to Imperial Russia, while it would also mark the official end of millennia long intertwined Iranian hegemony, rule, and influence over the Caucasus region, including Shirvan.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Main articles: Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
, Iranian Peoples , Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijanis
, Tat people (Caucasus) , Lezgins , and Caucasian languages Shirvan Tatar (i.e. Azeri). Engraving from book of Jean Baptiste Benoît Eyriès. Voyage pittoresque en Asie et en Afrique: résumé général des voyages anciens et modernes... T. I, 1839

The term Shirvani/Shirvanli is still in use in Azerbaijan to designate the people of Shirvan
Shirvan
region, as it was historically. Since ancient time, the bulk population of Shirvan
Shirvan
were Caucasian speaking groups. Later on Iranization of this native population and subsequent Turkification since the Seljuq era occurred. The bulk of the population today are Turkic-speaking Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijanis
, although there are also smaller Caucasian speaking and Iranian speaking minorities.

CAUCASIAN POPULATION

The original population were Paleo-Caucasians and spoke Caucasian languages, like the Caucasian Albanians . Today, other Daghestani Caucasian languages such as Udi , Lezgian and Avar are still spoken in the region.

IRANIAN INFLUENCE AND POPULATION

Iranian penetration started since the Achaemenid era and continued in the Parthian era. However it was during the Sassanid era that the influence really increased and Persian colonies were set up in the region. According to Vladimir Minorsky: The presence of Iranian settlers in Transcaucasia, and especially in the proximity of the passes, must have played an important role in absorbing and pushing back the aboriginal inhabitants. Such names as Sharvan, Layzan, Baylaqan, etc., suggest that the Iranian immigration proceeded chiefly from Gilan and other regions on the southern coast of the Caspian. Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn Al-Masudi (896–956), the Arab historian states Persian presence in Aran, Bayleqan, Darband, Shabaran, Masqat and Jorjan. From 9th century, the urban population of Shirwan increasingly moved to Persian language
Persian language
, while the rural population seems to mostly have retained their old Caucasian languages. Up to the nineteenth century, there was still a large number of Tat population (who claim to be descendants of Sassanid era Persian settlers), however due to similar culture and religion with Turkic-speaking Azerbaijanis, this population was partly assimilated.

TURKIFICATION OF THE REGION

Turkic penetration in the region started in the Khazar era, however there are no unambiguous references to settlements. The Turkification of the region started in the Seljuq era, although the area in parallel maintained its Persian culture under the Persianized Shirvanshah until the Safavid
Safavid
era. From the Safavid
Safavid
era onwards, the Turkification of the region accelerated with new wave of Turkoman settlements.

SEE ALSO

* Lernakert, Shirak * Shirvan (city) * Shirvan, Iran * Shirvan National Park * Shirvanshah * Shirvan steppe * Sherwani * Şirvan * Safavids
Safavids
* Aran * Caucasian Albania
Caucasian Albania
* Shirvan Khanate

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C D E F G H Barthold, W. "SHīrwān , Shirwān or Sharwān." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. * ^ Shirvan
Shirvan
Plain (plain, Azerbaijan) Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
* ^ Minorsky, Vladimir. “A History of Sharvan and Darband in the 10th-11th Centuries”, Cambridge, 1958. Excerpt: Such names as Sharvan, Layzan, Baylaqan, etc., suggest that the Iranian immigration proceeded chiefly from Gilan and other regions on the southern coast of the Caspian. * ^ A B Dehkhoda dictionary * ^ Heptner, V. G.; Sludskij, A. A. (1992) . "Lion". Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moskva: Vysšaia Škola . Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation. pp. 82–93. * ^ A B Barthold, W., C.E. Bosworth "Shirwan Shah, Sharwan Shah. "Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2nd edition * ^ Willem Floor, Hasan Javadi(2009), "The Heavenly Rose-Garden: A History of Shirvan
Shirvan
">Coordinates : 39°55′55″N 48°55′13″E / 39.93194°N 48.92028°E / 3

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