The Islamic Republic of Iran

Persia, The Islamic Republic of Iran

Until the arrival of Islam, Persia was famed over the known world for it's modern and rich civilisation. Its roots can be traced back to 7000 BC but it's widely accepted that the region was first unified under proto-Elamite and Elamite kingdoms in 3200–2800 BCE.

Modern historians prefer to say that Medes unified the country in 625 BCE, after which it became the dominant cultural and political power in the region comprising the Anatolia, the Bosphorus, Egypt to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.

Iran reached the pinnacle of its power during the Achaemenid Empire (First Persian Empire) founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BCE, which at its greatest extent comprised major portions of the ancient world, stretching from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia) and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.

The empire collapsed in 330 BCE following the conquests of Alexander the Great. The area eventually regained influence under the Parthian Empire and rose to prominence once more after the establishment of the Sasanian dynasty (Neo-Persian empire) in 224 CE, under which Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world along with the Byzantine Empire for the next four centuries.

Persian folk music from Lurestan
(Lurs are aboriginal Persian natives)

*The artefacts, clothing, weapons, writing and culture have correlation with ancient Gandhara which was part of greater India, the mother of all civilisations.

The Lurs (or Lors, Lurish: لورَل, Persian:لُرها)

An Iranian people living mainly in western and south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at around five million. They occupy Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Fars (especially Lamerd, Mamasani and Rostam), Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Hamadan, Ilam and Isfahan provinces. The Lur people mostly speak the Lurish language (sometimes called "Luri"), a Southwestern Iranian language related to Persian and Kurdish.

Luri is one of the purest dialects of ancient Persian language. The main musical instrument of Luri music is Kamancheh which is the old form of violin. Lurs speak a form of Archaic Persian. According to the linguist Don Still, Lori-Bakhtiari alongside Persian is derived directly from Old Persian.
It contains Kamancheh and Daf. two ancient instruments. Daf is one of the most ancient instruments, and also there is another instrument named Tanbur that is more old than Kamancheh. Ancient Gandhara was the real root of Zoroastrianism and ancient Spiritual Faaras and its link with ancient Vedic India is hard to delete.

In North India specially Punjab which was once associated with ancient Gandhara and Persia they celebrated on 14th January an ancient festival called Lohri where they had Sacred fire worshipped. The Punjab area in Pakistan stopped celebrating it as it became an Islamic country but in Indian Punjab they do celebrate it despite modern urban landscape.. The festival has many local folk stories adhered to it. Originally it was associated with Luri of ancient Farsi.

Some Lurs still practice an ancient Iranian religion known as Yaresan which has roots in Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Manicheism. Traditionally the Lur people outwardly profess Shia Islam, and the religion of some is a mixture of Ahl-e Haqq [Greek Sophism or Persian Sufism & Vedic Hindu traditions of spirituality ] involving a belief in successive incarnations combined with ancient rites.

2:37 - Persian king Darius the Great (550--486 BC).
3:38 - Ancient Persepolis (Parsa) - capital of great persian Achaemenid empire (550-330 BC) is 70 km from modern Shiraz in Iran.

* By Dr Naila Hussain - more posts by Dr Naila


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