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Persia

persian, ad, arab, shah, races, khan, dehli, turkoman, tribes and nadir

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PERSIA. — The regions through which the Euphrates and Indus rivers run, and the coun tries intervening, have, since remote ages, been occupied by races who have taken a prominent place in Indian history. When Chengiz Khan in the early part of the kith century overthrew Khar astn, and its ruler fled, only to die on an island in the Caspian, and his son, Jalal-u-Din, was defeated on the banks of the Indus, which he swam with seven followers (A.D. 1221) amidst a shower of arrows, but he conquered Sind and established his power in Persia, and was killed in Mesopotamia about A.D. 1233. After Shams-u-Din Altamsh had established himself firmlyat Dehli (A.D. 1211, April 1236), he received investiture from the khalif of Baghdad, and at his court dwelt the author of the Jama-ul-Hikayat, a collection of historical anecdotes in Persian. The grandson of Altamsh, Nasir - u - Din Muhammad, reigned at Dehli from A.D. 1246 to 1266. Ho was an eminent patron of Persian literature, and the Tabakat-i-Nasiri, a general history of Persia and India, was written at his court. In A.D. 1544, the Dehli emperor Humayun, driven from India, was received in Persia by Shah Tamasp, who sent an army to restore llumayun, and it took Kandahar. After the accession of the house of Timur, notwithstanding the hostile feelings felt towards the Persians from religious prejudices, the court of Dehli long continued to have two parties, one using Turki, the other Persian ; and although Aurangzeb treated the Persians (the original models of Indian Muhammadaus) as rude and barbarous, and never mentions their names without adding a rhyming dislike, to the present day (1883) the Persian continues to be the court language of Indian rulers, and used by the learned in their literary and epistolary writings. Till the middle of the 17th century (1648), Kan dahar was usually iu the power of Persia ; but early in the 18th century (1720-1722) Persia fell to the Ghilji. A few years later, Nadir Shah's victories in Herat (1731) led to his election as king. In 1738-39 he invaded India and sacked Dehli. During the first half of the 19th century, the British from India and the Persians have alternately been interchanging friendly embassies and been at war. British officers of rank and eminence have been lent to discipline the Persian army, and that army has been repulsed from lIerat by Lieutenant Eldred Pottinger, and been defeated at Mahammemh by British Indian forces. The region intervening between the Euphrates and the Indus is thinly peopled. It is now occupied by races who are subjects of the king of Persia, the bulk of whom are nomade and of varied origin ; also by the races known to Europe as Afghans ; by the Brahui mountaineers, and the Baluch races of Baluchistan, and by races on the sea-coast the period of whose arrival there is unknown, but who are largely Arab.

The Arab conquest (A.D. 632 - 38) permitted many of that race settling in Persia and to occupy prominent positions in it ; but there are consider able numbers of maritime -Arabs in its seaboard provinces, extending eastward as far as Sind, and who have probably been dwelling in their present localities long prior to the time of Mahomed. The

people of Karak are Arabs, as also the Tangistani tribes S. of Bushahr near the sea ; likewise the inhabitants of the Rohila district of the Fars province, who rear horses of mixed Persian and Arab breed, and export them to Bombay.

The population of Persia has been variously esti mated. Sir John Malcolm estimated six millions, mid latterly about five millions have been named. The people are partly settled in towns and partly pastoral nomades, and this joint occupation of the South-West Asian lands, from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to the Indus, by fixed civic nations and nomadic tribes of herdsmen, sometimes of the same and sometimes of different races, is a stand ing ethnic phenomenon.

The nonmade tribes are all predatory, and glory. in their pursuits. They are brave and hospitable, but rude, turbulent, and grasping. They move with the seasons to summer and winter quarters. The men of Kasvin, Tabreez, Hamadan, Shiraz, and Yezd are as remarkable for their courage as those of Kum, Kashan, and Isfahan are for their cowardice. From time immemorial, Persian or Pehlavi, Arab and Turkoman, have been con tending for mastery. But the Persian inhabitants of towns, and those engaged in cultivation, are not warlike, and the contest has been between time Persian nomade and the Turkoman nomade, —the two great martial classes of the population. The Persian nomades all belong to the Pehlavi stock, though their dialects are different. They inhabit Kirman, nearly all Fars, a part of Irak, and the whole of Kurdistan, a region stretching through the ranges of highlands from near the entrance of the Persian Gulf in a N.W. direction, along the left bank of the Tigris as far as Armenia. The Turkoman nomades entered Persia with con quering armies ; they had come from the banks of the Volga, from beyond the Oxus, and from the plains of Syria. Their habits are the same as the Persian pomades, but they speak a different language, and from the Arab conquest till the death of Nadir Shah, the rulers of Persia had either been Arab or Turkoman. No member of the Persian pomades had ascended the throne. It was this, probably, that gave rise to the bloody strife between the Zand and the Kajar. The Zand are the most illustrious of all the Persian tribes, and one of their chiefs, Karim Khan, after the death of Nadir Shah, succeeded in establish ing himself in Isfahan and the Southern Provinces. The Kajar was a Turkish tribe brought by Timur from Syria, A.D. 1398, A.H. 803, and settled between Elburz and the Caspian, where they rapidly in creased. After the death of Nadir Shah, 'a fierce war raged between Karim Khan, Zand, and Muhammad Hasan Khan, Kajar, which ended in Karim Khan's accession. The Kajar tribe is a Turkish II, and from the accession of Fatah All Shah (obiit 1834) they have been dominant. They have two sections, the Yokaribash and Ashagabash, each of which has six subdivisions or clans. The Ziadoglu were settled at Ganjah, in Russian Armenia, where they still remain. The Azdanlu clan were removed to Mery in the reign of Shah Tamasp 1., and held it until conquered and nearly annihilated by the Uzbak under the khan of Bokhara.

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