Greater Iran

PersiaGreater PersiaIranPersianIranianPersian EmpirePersiansancient IranArianaeastern Iran
Greater Iran refers to the regions of the Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia where Iranian culture has had significant influence.wikipedia
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History of Iran

PersiaIranian historyPersian
The concept of Greater Iran has its source in the history of the Achaemenid Empire in Persis (modern day Pars region), and overlaps to a certain extent with the history of Iran.
The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west 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.

Iranian Plateau

Persian PlateauIranCentral Iranian Plateau
It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains.
As a historical region, it includes Parthia, Media, Persis, the heartlands of Iran and some of the previous territories of Greater Iran.

Richard Foltz

Foltz, RichardRichard C. Foltz
Richard Foltz notes that while "A general assumption is often made that the various Iranian peoples of 'greater Iran'—a cultural area that stretched from Mesopotamia and the Caucasus into Khwarizm, Transoxiana, Bactria, and the Pamirs and included Persians, Medes, Parthians and Sogdians among others—were all 'Zoroastrians' in pre-Islamic times... This view, even though common among serious scholars, is almost certainly overstated."
He is a specialist in the history of Iranian civilization—what is sometimes referred to as "Greater Iran".

Western Asia

West AsiaSouthwest AsiaWest Asian
Greater Iran refers to the regions of the Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia where Iranian culture has had significant influence.
Numerically, Western Asia is predominantly Arab, Persian, Turkish, and the dominating languages are correspondingly Arabic, Persian and Turkish, each with of the order of 70 million speakers, followed by smaller communities of Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Hebrew, Armenian and Eastern Aramaic.

Greater Khorasan

KhorasanKhurasanKhorassan
Merv and Tus in Khorasan, and Konya (Aqsara) in Rome (Anatolia).
Khorāsān, sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region which formed the northeast province of Greater Iran.

Encyclopædia Iranica

Encyclopaedia IranicaEncyclopedia IranicaIranica
The Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term Iranian Cultural Continent for this region.
The scope of the encyclopedia goes beyond modern Iran (also known as "Persia") and encompasses the entire Iranian cultural sphere, and far beyond.

Iranian peoples

IranianIraniansIranian people
Historically, these were regions long ruled by dynasties of the Iranian Empire, that incorporated considerable aspects of Persian culture through extensive contact with them, or where sufficient Iranian peoples settled to still maintain communities who patronize their respective cultures.
Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from Eastern Turkey in the west to Western Xinjiang in the east —a region that is sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran.

Zoroaster

ZarathustraZarathushtra(Pseudo‑)Zoroaster
The proto-Iranian term aryānām is present in the term Airyana Vaēǰah, the homeland of Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism, near the provinces of Sogdiana, Margiana, Bactria, etc., listed in the first chapter of the Vidēvdād.
There are many Greek accounts of Zarathustra, referred usually as Persian or Perso-Median Zoroaster; Ctesias located him in Bactria, Diodorus Siculus placed him among Ariaspai (in Sistan), Cephalion and Justin suggest east of greater Iran whereas Pliny and Origen suggest west of Iran as his birthplace.

Amu Darya

OxusOxus RiverAmu Darya River
The Russian armies occupied the Aral coast in 1849, Tashkent in 1864, Bukhara in 1867, Samarkand in 1868, and Khiva and Amudarya in 1873.
In ancient history, the river was regarded as the boundary between Greater Iran and Turan.

Zoroastrianism

ZoroastrianZoroastriansZoroastrian religion
The proto-Iranian term aryānām is present in the term Airyana Vaēǰah, the homeland of Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism, near the provinces of Sogdiana, Margiana, Bactria, etc., listed in the first chapter of the Vidēvdād.
Herodotus' The Histories (completed c. 440 BCE) includes a description of Greater Iranian society with what may be recognizably Zoroastrian features, including exposure of the dead.

Sogdia

SogdianaSogdianSogdians
The proto-Iranian term aryānām is present in the term Airyana Vaēǰah, the homeland of Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism, near the provinces of Sogdiana, Margiana, Bactria, etc., listed in the first chapter of the Vidēvdād.
The fact that these Eastern Roman coins were almost always found with Sasanian Persian silver coins and Eastern Roman gold coins were used more as ceremonial objects like talismans confirms the pre-eminent importance of Greater Iran in Chinese Silk Road commerce of Central Asia compared to Eastern Rome.

Seljuq dynasty

Seljuk TurksSeljukSeljuks
Especially the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their Empire to Iraqi and Khorasani regions.
After arriving in Persia, the Seljuqs adopted the Persian culture and used the Persian language as the official language of the government, Mehmed Fuad Koprulu, Early Mystics in Turkish Literature, Translated by Gary Leiser and Robert Dankoff, Routledge, 2006, pg 149: "If we wish to sketch, in broad outline, the civilization created by the Seljuks of Anatolia, we must recognize that the local, i.e. non-Muslim, element was fairly insignificant compared to the Turkish and Arab-Persian elements, and that the Persian element was paramount/The Seljuk rulers, to be sure, who were in contact with not only Muslim Persian civilization, but also with the Arab civilizations in al-jazīra and Syria – indeed, with all Muslim peoples as far as India – also had connections with {various} Byzantine courts. Some of these rulers, like the great 'Ala' al-Dīn Kai-Qubād I himself, who married Byzantine princesses and thus strengthened relations with their neighbors to the west, lived for many years in Byzantium and became very familiar with the customs and ceremonial at the Byzantine court.

Culture of Iran

Iranian culturePersianPersian culture
Greater Iran refers to the regions of the Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia where Iranian culture has had significant influence. Historically, these were regions long ruled by dynasties of the Iranian Empire, that incorporated considerable aspects of Persian culture through extensive contact with them, or where sufficient Iranian peoples settled to still maintain communities who patronize their respective cultures.
But historically, the peoples of what are now Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, are related to one another as part of the larger group of peoples of the Greater Iranian cultural and historical sphere.

Persian language

PersianNew PersianFarsi
The name "Irān", meaning "land of the Aryans", is the New Persian continuation of the old genitive plural aryānām (proto-Iranian, meaning "of the Aryans"), first attested in the Avesta as airyānąm (the text of which is composed in Avestan, an old Iranian language spoken in northeastern Greater Iran, or in what are now Turkmenistan and Tajikistan).
It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran.

Abbasid Caliphate

AbbasidAbbasidsAbbasid dynasty
In the 8th century, Iran was conquered by the Abbassids who ruled from Baghdad, and the territory of Iran at that time was known to be composed of two portions: Persian Iraq (western portion) and Khorasan (eastern portion).
The Abbasid period was marked by reliance on Persian bureaucrats (notably the Barmakid family) for governing the territories as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the ummah (national community).

Safavid dynasty

SafavidSafavid EmpireSafavids
In recent centuries, Iran lost many of the territories conquered under the Safavid and Qajar dynasties, including Iraq to the Ottomans (via the Treaty of Amasya in 1555 and the Treaty of Zuhab in 1639), western Afghanistan to the British (via the Treaty of Paris in 1857 and the MacMahon Arbitration in 1905), and Caucasus territories to Russia during the Russo-Persian Wars of the 19th century.
From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over parts of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sasanian Empire to establish a national state officially known as Iran.

Iran

PersiaIslamic Republic of IranIranian
On the Nowruz of 1935, the endonym Iran was adopted as the official international name of Persia by its ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi.
"Greater Iran" (Irānzamīn or Irān e Bozorg) refers to territories of the Iranian cultural and linguistic zones.

Samarkand

SamarqandSamarkand, UzbekistanSamarcand
The Russian armies occupied the Aral coast in 1849, Tashkent in 1864, Bukhara in 1867, Samarkand in 1868, and Khiva and Amudarya in 1873.
At that time, the majority of the population of Samarkand were Zoroastrians, but since Samarkand was the crossroads of caravans between China, Persia and Europe, this city was religiously tolerant.

Simurgh

SimorghSimurgSamruk
Many aspects of Kurdish culture are related to the other peoples of Greater Iran, examples include Newroz and Simurgh.
The figure can be found in all periods of Iranian art and literature and is also evident in the iconography of Georgia, medieval Armenia, the Byzantine Empire, and other regions that were within the realm of Persian cultural influence.

Demographics of Iran

IranianIranIranians
Iraqis share religious and certain cultural ties with Iranians.
Note that this differs from the other Iranian peoples living in other areas of Greater Iran, who are of related ethnolinguistical family, speaking languages belonging to the Iranian languages which is a branch of Indo-European languages.

Newroz as celebrated by Kurds

NewrozNewroz celebrationscelebrating the Kurdish New Year
Many aspects of Kurdish culture are related to the other peoples of Greater Iran, examples include Newroz and Simurgh.
Zahak, who is named Zuhak by the Kurds, was an evil Assyrian king who conquered Iran and had serpents growing from his shoulders.

Sasanian Empire

SassanidSasanianSassanid Empire
The idea of an "Iranian" empire or kingdom in a political sense is a purely Sasanian one.
In modern Iran and the regions of the Iranosphere, the Sasanian period is regarded as one of the high points of Iranian civilization.

Iranian studies

IranologistIranologyIranist
According to Iranologist Richard N. Frye:

Medes

MediaMedianMedian Empire
Some historians and linguists, such as Vladimir Minorsky, have suggested that the Medes, an Iranian people who inhabited much of western Iran, including Azerbaijan and Kurdistan, might have been forefathers of modern Kurds.

Treaty of Paris (1857)

Treaty of Paris1857 Paris TreatyParis Treaty
In recent centuries, Iran lost many of the territories conquered under the Safavid and Qajar dynasties, including Iraq to the Ottomans (via the Treaty of Amasya in 1555 and the Treaty of Zuhab in 1639), western Afghanistan to the British (via the Treaty of Paris in 1857 and the MacMahon Arbitration in 1905), and Caucasus territories to Russia during the Russo-Persian Wars of the 19th century.