Etymology The name Persia, long used in the West to refer to the nation of Iran, its people, or its ancient empires, comes from the ancient greek name of Iran, Persis, which in turn derives from the name of the clan's main Cyrus the Great, Pars or Parsa who gave his name even in a province of southern Iran Fārs that in modern Persian language. According to Herodotus, however, the name Persia comes from Perseus, the mythological hero. On 21 March 1935, the Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asked the international community to refer to the country with its original name, Iran. Achimenidi The Persians belong together with the Medes to the group of Indo-European-speaking populations, who, during the third and second millennium BC invade and occupy the plateau iranico.Il their name appears for the first time in Assyrian records dated to the ninth century. BC, where they are appointed by the Medes. In the following centuries, the Persians abandon the nomadic lifestyle and settle permanently in southern Iran, giving birth to their first been arranged. The region still bears the name of Farsistan, which the Greeks translate into Persis. The people, divided into 10 tribes, whose noblest is that of Pasargadi, practice agriculture and pastoralism. Towards the middle of the seventh century. BC, Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid family, obtains as a vassal to the government of a province Elamite Anshan and later he became king. In the first half of the sixth century. BC Cambyses, king of Anshan Mandane bride, daughter of Astyages, king of the Medes. The marriage was born Cyrus becomes king of Anshan in 537 BC and in 549 BC axle maternal grandfather Astyages depriving him of the kingdom. Disappears as the Empire and the Medo Iranian hegemony in the region passed to the Persians. The capital of the Medes, Ecbatana, became the summer seat of the court of the Achaemenid, which appear in the Babylonian documents from 546 BC as the kings of Persia. The Persian Empire assumes a leading position in the history not only of Asia, but all over the ancient world and is characterized by the spirit of clemency hitherto unknown to the people. The main losers do not perish in torment, but are kept alive, and not infrequently receive assignments in the imperial administration. Cyrus the Great, one of the most majestic of antiquity, stands on each other to have tempered the value and resourcefulness in war with the wisdom of the organization and with a rare sense of tolerance and humanity, the conquered peoples retain their religion , laws and customs. The ancient capital of Pasargadae, which had taken its name from the most powerful of the ten tribes, became the sacred place of memories ee of the glories of the Achaemenid, Cyrus makes you build his tomb. The capital is placed at Persepolis, a city built by Cyrus himself, in the north-west of Pasargadae. Throughout Asia Minor became a province of the Persians, even the Hellenic cities are forced to declare tax of the king of Persia. In short, even the kingdom of Babylon is subdued and Ciro is also recognized as king by the people of Syria, and Palestine Fenica. All of Asia earlier, from Bactria to the Aegean Sea and the Caucasus to Palestine becomes Persian rule. Cyrus was killed in battle in Central Asia in 529 BC, before you can complete the conquest of Egypt, which was completed by his son Cambyses (525), who died in 522 while returning to Persia. He is succeeded by the Achaemenid, Darius I, son of saptrapo Istapse, whose exploits are known to us from Greek sources, from the inscriptions of the same king, especially those of Persepolis. With Darius The Achaemenid Empire reaches its maximum extension, which goes as far as the Indus River to the east and to the west of Thrace. The Persians are tolerant to local cultures, following the precedent established by Cyrus the Great, an attitude that greatly reduces the revolts of subject peoples, the central government respects religious freedom and ensure the economic prosperity of the individual subject peoples, drawing at the same time, with the taxes and benefits in kind, the means for a sumptuous court life and an imposing building activity. The immense empire was divided into twenty satrapies (or provinces), each administered by a satrap (governor), connected by an admirable road network. The performance of the administration is supervised by inspectors said eyes and ears of the king. The authority of the Great King is of course absolute, his will is law, but to him sits an assembly of citizens notables, which contributes to the development of the deliberations. The imperial subjects of all nationalities are welcomed. Darius establishing a system of taxes to tax each satrapy, adopts and improves the already advanced Assyrian postal system, builds the famous Royal Road, 24,000 km long, that connected Susa to Sardis, the extremes of the empire. Move the central administration from Susa to Persepolis, Babylon and closer to the center of the kingdom. The expansion port Persian Darius I to clash with the Greeks, against whom he is defeated at the Battle of Marathon (490 BC). In 486 BC, the year of the death of Darius, Egypt try the rebellion. The successor of Darius, the son of Xerxes, after having reduced the Egyptians to obedience, must work along the western borders in the Aegean in order to restore the prestige and power of the empire. In 480 BC Athens is conquered, but soon after the fleet is overtaken by Athenian ships (battles of Salamis and Plataea, 479 BC). The attempt of Xerxes, to restore imperial control over the Aegean and to open the way for a possible expansion to the West reducing Greece fails. In 464 BC Xerxes dies. His successor, Artaxerxes I, was forced to suppress an uprising in Egypt. In 424 BC, after the short reign of Xerxes II, Darius II happens, you have an opportunity to force the Greek cities of Asia to recognize the imperial authority as Athens has weakened during the long war with Sparta. On the death of Darius II, Artaxerxes II ascends to the throne, soon threatened by his brother Cyrus, who claims the kingdom. The Battle of Cunassa (401 BC) resolves the conflict in favor of Artaxerxes, as Ciro falls in battle. The last years of the reign of Artaxerxes II saw numerous revolts of the satraps, while Egypt once again finds the energy to fend off a punitive expedition. The conception of the duty of the king appears at the Achaemenids inspired by the religious doctrine of the Medo Zarathustra lived around 600 BC, the reorganization of the traditional pantheon towards monotheism, emphasizing the dualistic aspects of the eternal struggle between Good and Evil, waiting for the battle final still to come. There is in the world a supreme god Ahura-Mazdah, which is the principle of good and justice, in perpetual struggle against evil and injustice. The Achaemenid kings receive from Ahura-Mazdah royal power precisely because with their works of peace and war and injustice drifting away evil and the good, and establish justice. As stated in an inscription left to us by Dario "is worthy of reward those who cultivate their own field," every people, every community that is under the authority of the Great King, is free to live according to its laws, its customs, its religion, to choose their own leaders, to worship his gods, as long as this is not because of evil and injustice. According to Zarathustra, Ahura-Mazdah created the world and man, gave this the ability to distinguish good from evil, right from wrong, and gave him more freedom to the joint responsibility of the shares. Life is good, death is bad, it is just the man who preserves what is alive, it is unfair to the man who kills what I live. Ahura-Mazdah gave from the beginning the right to act righteously, the Achaemenid rulers in particular has given the authority to protect the peace between peoples. The Great King does not receive the task force by force or by persuasion to bend people to recognize Mazdah Ahura, the supreme and only god, but only to ensure the triumph of good in the world and justice according to the will of God. Zoroastrianism would become, as well as the practices of the tribe Mystery of the Magi, a characteristic trait of Persian culture. Alexander the Great During the reign of Artaxerxes III, who succeeded to Artaxerxes II, who died in 358 BC, continues the process of decline of the Empire, while in Greece with great skill and caution Philip of Macedonia tries to collect the Greek cities under its hegemony without the Persian government suspects him as the next opponent. After the death of Artaxerxes III (338 BC), who was killed by a palace coup, there is a period of bitter struggle for the succession; Filippo advantage of the situation in Asia Minor to send an expeditionary force, but in 336 BC is killed. The succession of the throne to Alexander the Macedonian touches, while the Achaemenid Empire passes to Darius III. Alexander leads his army in Asia Minor and quickly takes possession of Lydia, Phoenicia and Egypt, defeated the Persians at Issus and conquers Susa, the capital of the empire. After you have defeated the last resistance, the Persian Empire so definitely falls into his hands while being processed and an administrative structure of government suitable to balance the interests and traditions of the Persians and Macedonians. But Alexander died in 323 BC before it can be implemented even in part designs that tradition attributes to him. At his death, Macedonians and Orientals are no longer concealing the conflict of civilization and tradition that divides them. The conciliation process is stopped as interest and pride opposites no longer find those who can arbitrate with authority and good faith. The Empire conquered it seems just now about to fall apart: in 281 BC is definitely divided into three kingdoms: Macedonia with the European dependencies to Antigonidi, the Ptolemies of Egypt, Asia Minor and the other eastern provinces to the Indus to the Seleucids. Selucidi and Parts From the conquest of Alexander onwards, the Hellenic culture penetrates widely in Asian territories, spreads the language, philosophy and art of the Greeks. In what had been the empire of Alexander the greek becomes the language of diplomacy and literature. The trade with China, which began under the Achaemenids along the Silk Road, is increased considerably. Increasingly frequent cultural exchanges also: Buddhism spread from India and Zoroastrianism propagates westward, influencing Judaism. Magnificent statues of Buddha, in classic greek style, found in Persia and Afghanistan, illustrating the mix of cultures that occurs during this period. But politically, the Seleucid Empire, made up of many nationalities, different in language, customs, interests and religion, it is very fragile. The principles Seleucid prove weak, unable to reduce a unit that huge mass of heterogeneous peoples. The capital is moved to Antioch (so named by the successor of Seleucus) in Syria, located at the western borders of the state, which can be very difficult to control the provinces located in the extreme parts of the empire. With the successors of Seleucus, as are lost Phrygia northern Bactria, Parthia, Armenia. In particular, in the center in Mesopotamia and Media, is the feudal state and military parts, which for five centuries proves to be the most vital and aggressive opponent before the Seleucids and then to Rome. Become independent by the Seleucids in 238 BC, the Parthians try in vain to expand into Persia, until the advent of Mithridates I of Parthia to the throne in 170 BC about. The Empire particular borders of the Roman Empire along the upper course of the Euphrates, the wars between them are frequent, Mesopotamia often serves as the battlefield. During the Parthian period, we are seeing a resurgence of Persian culture at the expense of the Hellenistic or Hellenized, but the empire remains politically unstable. The administration is divided between seven major clans, which form the Confederation of Dahai, each of which governs a province of the empire. The continuous wars with Rome in the west and the Kushan empire to the east, drain the resources of the state, while the nobility always gets more concessions, often refusing to obey the sovereign. The last king particular, Artabanus IV initially unable to make more cohesive empire, until his Persian vassal Aradashir The rebels, ending the Arsacid dynasty. In 226 enters Ctesiphon and laid the foundations of the second Persian Empire, led by the Sassanid king.
HISTORY OF PERSIAN
The Iranian prehistory nell’altopiano is documented by the finds of decorated pottery (late fifth millennium and fourth millennium BC) and Tepe Siyalk Hissan at Kashan, in central Iran.
During this same period in Susa Elamite civilization develops, with the production of an elegant pottery painted with geometric motifs, zoomorphic and stylized human figures of great ornamental effect, religious and astrological significance.
Later, in the heyday of Elam, we build religious buildings, such as the imposing ziggurat (temple tower steps, comparable to the first pyramids), found in Choga Zanbil and several bronze artifacts.
To the Medes (728 BC – 550 BC) took the manhole covers of rock Dukkan-i Dawud, Farhad u-Shirin, with elevation of Fakhraka characterized by a shed roof supported by columns to protect the front door, and funerary reliefs . Their capital, Ecbatana (Hamadan today) remains the evocative description of Polybius.
In the art of the Achaemenid period (648 BC – 330 BC) converges everything that has been created over thousands of years by the peoples of Asia, whose ancient and diverse traditions blend with each other.
From the beginning, art has its specific function is to glorify the king, his business and his gods. It is the Good winning over evil, the order that is imposed on the disorder: disappear episodes of war and violent scenes are replaced by long processions of tax and donors. Despite the obvious links with the Egyptian and Babylonian, Iranian art is the interpreter of the aspiration to universal sovereignty already deeply felt by the Mesopotamian, and it is all directed to the exaltation of royal authority with the creation of forms solemnly grandiose.
The first examples of Achaemenid are the remains known as the Masged-e Soleyman. This first fortified residence of the Prince of Persia is built on an imposing platform or artificial terrace set against a mountainside. Its features will find themselves even in the capital cities. The first of these, Pasargadae, consists of small houses surrounded by green gardens, luxurious royal palaces and a citadel to defend the city proper. The buildings, built on terraces fortified include porches, stairs, monumental entrances and include apadana, huge room reserved for hearings on dozens of columns with magnificent capitals decorated with animal figures. Its rational use and increasingly popular column accentuates the sense of grandeur.
The second is the Achaemenid capital Persepolis, built on an artificial platform and surrounded by walls, on the terrace are located the palaces of kings, the temples, the harem, the treasure. The complex, built and decorated in all its parts as a function of the great ceremonies of the new year, is designed as a symbol of royal power and divinity. The portals are decorated with bas-reliefs of great inspiration Assyrian-Babylonian, depicting winged bulls or genes or re fighting with wild beasts and monsters, the flights of stairs real, however, are lined with slabs with reliefs depicting processions of subjects, courtiers and soldiers of the guard.
The religious buildings have survived consist of towers containing a single room with no windows, perhaps destined to guard the eternal fire, as in Naqsh-e Rostam, near Persepolis, where there are also rock tombs in imitation of the front façade of the building and decoration of bas-reliefs.
Only royal mausoleum that face except the use of tombs carved into the rock
is the tomb of Cyrus, near Pasargadae, built of blocks of white stone. The structure is very simple: a rectangular building with gabled roof high, according to the Babylonian tradition, on a platform with steps.
The sculpture is mainly decorative functions and celebrations and takes place in the refined and precise reliefs that adorn the buildings. Occupy important place in the minor arts, such as pottery, weapons, and jewelry.
With the conquest of Alexander the Great and the subsequent advent of the Seleucid dynasty (330 BC – 150 BC), the artistic production, abandoning or modifying the Iranian traditions properly, is subject to different influences.
Knowledge and appreciation of the art of the Parthian period (250 BC – 226) are still being analyzed. In sculpture and painting, thanks to a realism can be reconstructed with good accuracy, features, and customs of the people of the time. Revealing is the attention to detail, in contrast to the synthetic vision of Hellenism. The Parthian art, in fact, insists on the descriptive values of the line, brought to such a degree as to remove any naturalistic to give the figure a solemn stillness, very obvious by the stiffness of the positions: only the arms move to the bare minimum. The hieratic character can be associated with a form of spiritualization of the figures: his eyes, his eyes wide and staring, bring out the essence of the deity or afterlife inspired by the fervor of the faithful. Finally, the frontal: the characters, single or in groups, are always represented on his face. Significant influences greek-roman, so that the Parthian art was seen as a derivation, though transfigured, art greek-roman. The architecture preserves ancient traditions, going back to the soles of the buildings, in the Babylonian. New era are the steps that sometimes rises to surround the main rooms. Inventions are likely Parthian iwan (reception room), in turn, entirely open on one side, and the quadrangle, on which there are four iwan. Little importance is given to the column, which dominates at that time the Western Roman architectural scene, but here’s a simple matter of decoration. It develops large-scale and systematic use of stucco, the technique of which probably came from Alexandria.
With the Sassanids (sec. III-VII AD) period begins more properly the whole Iranian Persian history, in which the national spirit becomes the essential factor of all spiritual life and politics.
In the visual arts, especially in art official, there was more than elsewhere, the pragmatic intent to connect Achaemenid traditions, even if the spirit is deeply diverso.Le large rock sculptures celebrate the divine essence of the rulers with scenes of investiture see equate the gods and the sovereign, who is the authority on earth.
Great impetus is given urbanism with the reconstruction or the foundation of new cities.
In construction, we affirm the ability to take advantage of the arch and the vault in a rational and harmonious. The square rooms are covered with domes on trumpets of the corner structures are mainly brick.
Also assumes new meaning does the interior space, which becomes space-light, with colorful decor and large iwan, the inevitable weight of the material is concealed by coverings polychrome glass or mosaic or plaster, which cover almost all the buildings and grounds geometric or floral.
The largest remains of Sassanid architecture are the so-called Taq-i Kisra (the great throne room in the royal palace) near Baghdad, the palaces of Firuzabad, Bishapur and Ctesiphon, the religious monuments (temples of fire), public works (such as bridge Sustar and Dizful).
The bas-reliefs kings often performed alongside monuments Achaemenid, Sassanian confirm their intention to reconnect with the most famous national tradition, the characters are conventionally depicted the scenes purely symbolic and static. The artistic level achieved is also evident in the minor arts. Textile production takes on great importance, and the arabesque decoration is taken from the wall painting and stucco. The same reasoning can be found on plates, cups, seals, cameos, etc..
With the conversion to Islam (650 – 934), the creative genius of the Iranian contribute to the birth of Islamic art. With appropriate adjustments to the new religion, there are no breaks with the past, but are preserved ancient structural formulas and planimetric architectural heritage, which would be kept substantially unchanged to the present day. You set the type of iwan mosque, which except for the decoration and the shape of the dome remains unchanged until the nineteenth century.
The ancient iconographic undergoes a process of Islamization: what previously had a symbolic meaning, henceforth assumes a purely decorative function.
Subsequently, in architecture we can speak of a style official Abbasid (oldest parts of the mosque of Isfahan, 760 or so, and the Mosque of Shiraz, 871). The minor arts, however, remain faithful to the tradition Sassanid, as evidenced by the objects of silver and bronze.
With the Seljuks (XI-XIII) architecture develop certain types Iranian traditional and the most notable contribution is the transformation of the hypostyle mosque in the so-called mosque-madrasa (theological academy), consists of four iwan arranged in a cross, facing a court; splendid example is the Friday Mosque of Isfahan.
The civil architecture is known to us from the palaces of Afghanistan and caravanserais. On the outside, the decoration is prevalent in brick cut and carved with decorated with geometric and plant.
The painting (especially for the thumb) and ceramics have a rich flowering of remarkable works, from the manufacture of Kashan, Reiy and Sawe, with the decoration with metallic luster and polychrome ceramics such mina’i. It also states the wall decoration made of glazed ceramic tiles. Probably initiated in this period, the carpet industry, which is consolidated with the traditional central folder and ornamental motifs placed symmetrically relative to the center.
With the Mongols (Ilkhan, sec. XIII-XIV) architecture develops in a monumental and grandiose and makes extensive use of decorative ceramic mosaic (Mosque of Tabriz, 1310-20, of Forumad, 1320, and Varamin) . We introduce motifs and iconography of the Far East. Center of artistic production is especially Tabriz, the capital.
With the Timurid (1370 – 1506) architecture does not propose new inventions, but has its own variations demonstrating a keen awareness of a search for harmony even in the colossal proportions, which often indulge. He invents the bulbous dome on a high drum and coatings end to bind the monuments, both interior and exterior. Particular luck thumbnail. Great development knows the art of carpet, from the fifteenth century., Processes the type medallion.
The Safavid dynasty (1502-1736) marks a very flourishing of which architecture is one of the most significant, although in general does not renew his schemes (Mosque of the Shah and that of Sheyk Lotfollah, 1603-17 to Isfahan) .
Each type of building, including those of public utility, such as bazaars, caravanserais and bridges are built with grandeur and beautifully decorated.
The city of Isfahan, rebuilt in 1598, shows a new taste in town planning, with buildings linked by monumental squares in a single complex. This is a longstanding conception Asian, nomadic tradition, in which the functions are broken: the building crumbles in pavilions distributed in a large park.
All sectors of the minor arts are experiencing a period of excellence: the figure and the binding of the books reach very high levels, particularly in Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz; takes the art of majolica; blooms processing of arms engraved in gold continues and improves the production of carpets to vessels, in cones, in medallions.
With the fall of the Safavid Persian art enter into a period of decline from which it does not yet seem to have recovered. However, with the Qajar (1781 – 1925) emerge popolareschi reasons, always disdained courtly art, that can give a tasty communicative power of certain works, especially paintings.
With the Pahlavi dynasty Iranian art is inserted into the larger world stage.
In 1964 the Club of Artists, founded in 1946, is transformed into the Ministry of Arts and Culture, welcoming artists from all sectors. At the pre-revolutionary period, inspired mainly by the miniature tradition, Sohrab Sepehri belongs
(1928 – 1980).
The post-revolutionary period is characterized instead by revolutionary and Islamic art together, where prevail graphic works dedicated to the issues of war and martyrdom, often collective and anonymous. In architecture there is a return to the classic types: Masjid al-Qadir (1977-87) in Tehran, and the new city of Shushtar (1976-87)
Persian literature available
• The Persian, belonging to the complex of Iranian languages, is an Indo-European language and its evolution can be divided into three phases:
1. ancient period: ancient Persian inscriptions, written in cuneiform type, and the Avesta Avestan
2. phase media: middle Persian, 300 BC-900 AD, divided into Pahlavi particular or pahlavik, and Sassanid Pahlavi or parsik, written with alphabets derived from Aramaic
3. recent phase: neopersiano or Parsi: sec.IX from today, with vocabulary largely Arabized and written with the Arabic alphabet modified
Neopersiano is the official language in Iran (Farsi), Afghanistan (Dari) and Tajikistan (Tajiki, written in Cyrillic characters). It belongs to the family of Iranian languages, a subgroup of the Indo-European languages, along with Pashto (the other official language of Afghanistan), Kurdish (spoken in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and the territories of the former Caucasian Soviet Union, written in different alphabets), a Baluchi (spoken in Baluchistan, a region that stretches from Iran’s south-east to southern Pakistan to the Afghan border), Ossetian, North Ossetian official language inserted in the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia, recently self-proclaimed independent state. As a literary language has undergone a vast fortune outside the territories persofoni, becoming since the late medieval West learned language or second language writers Turks from Central Asia (the courts of Herat, Bukhara, Samarkand) to Istanbul Ottoman, and more east, in India, where it was widely cultivated XI century. onwards until the time of the Mughals of Delhi and beyond. It has also been for centuries until the late Middle Ages, the lingua franca of the merchants who operated in Central Asia and the trade routes between China and the Mediterranean.
Poetry from the beginning to the end of the classical period
Neopersiana literature, written in Arabic script, has its first center in the tenth century at the court of the Samanids in Bukhara in Transoxiana (modern Uzbekistan), which succeeded the early eleventh century. the Ghaznavids. Here is a first galaxy of distinguished poets panegyrists: Rudaki was born near Samarkand (d. 941), Asjadi Marv (d. 1031), Farrokhi of Sistan (d. 1038), ‘Onsori of Balkh (d. ca 1049. ) Manuchehri of Damghan (d. 1041), the same court operated epic poets such Daqiqi (m. 980, v. below) and especially the great Ferdowsi, or Firdausi of Tus (d. 1026 approx.), the author Iranian national epic: the Shah-name (Book of Kings), a poem of 50,000 verses, translated into Italian by Italo Pizzi in the late nineteenth century. The basic unit of Persian poetry is the couplet (Beyt) divided into two half-lines (Mesra ‘); meters are often of Arabic origin. The genres cultivated by classical poets are:
• The quatrain (roba’i). The quatrain composition is short, formed by two lines or rather four hemistichs to rhyme: aaba (but also: yyyy, abba). Character often gnomic-judgmental, or sometimes almost philosophical, excelled in the genre ʿ Omar Khayyam (d. 1126 approx.), Poet, singer of wine and “carpe diem” made known in the West by the translations of Edward Fitzgerald and Nicholas the second half of 800, approachable in some respects to the sensitivity of the author of Ecclesiastes. To remember the quatrains religious mystical tone of the Sufi saint Abu Sa’id (d. 1048), Baba Taher (XI cent.) And Baba Afzal (XIII cent.) Is the most original quatrain realistic tone of the poet Mehsati Ganja (XII sec.), the first female figure of some substance of the letters shutters.
• The ode panegiristica (qaside). The qaside, of Arab origin, is a kind of ode panegiristica monorimica (rhyme scheme of aa, ba, ca, da …), which could be from a few tens to hundreds of verses. In typical qaside a prelude (said Nasib) lyric, in which he describes in a rather stylized a spring garden and its various elements (branches, flowers, birds, etc..), Follows a direction of passage (gorizgah) that cleverly introduces the praise (madih) final patron or patron of the author. In this kind, after the poets Samanids (see above), were distinguished: Qatran of Tabriz (d. 1072), Amir Mo’ezzi (d. 1147) panegyrist Seljuk rulers Malekshah and Sanjar, Mas’ud-e Sa ‘ d-e Salman of Lahore (d. 1131), Azraqi of Herat (d. 1132 approx.), Adib Saber of Termez (d. 1147), Rashidoddin Vatvat (d. 1182) panegyrist of the king of Khwarezm, Zahir Faryabi (m . 1201), Anvari of Abivard (d. 1191) the panegyrist favorite Sanjar and Khaqani of Shirvan (1191 m approx.), the latter two counted as the summit of the genre. The qaside also knows different destinations dall’encomio to the patron of the moment, you can include the religious qaside of Naser-e Khosrow (see below, then further developed by Sana’i of Ghazna, Farid al-Din ‘Attar and the cited Khaqani); or qaside allegorical, as eg. Mush or the qorbe (The cat and mouse) of mock-heroic tone, the satirist ‘Obeyd Zakani of Shiraz (d. 1371 approx.), which subtly painted in the cat a cruel tyrant of mice and bigoted ruler of Shiraz. The qaside written in honor of some august deceased (usually a noble patron, a ruler, or a priest, an imam, etc..) Is called marthiye (elegy).
• The fragment (qet’e), a few verses, conceived as a piece of qaside, it has no internal rhyme in the first verse (type: AA) said Matla ‘, which is often used as a typical composition, used for a variety of purposes, such as gratitude, in reproach, in praise or in someone’s death, but also as a vehicle for poetry jokingly or frankly pornographic, as shown in Suzani of Nasaf (d. 1174), but also in certain fragments compounds by Sa’di (see below) and many other poets (the verses obscene, commonly called hazliyyat or motayebat are also made in all the other forms in this section). The fragment of a verse is called blush.
• The ghazal. The ghazal, a piece monorimico short (5 to 15 couplets, rhyme scheme of aa, ba, ca, da …) of lyrical character, is a bit ‘the equivalent of the sonnet, in terms of length, but also Song of our medieval as to content, usually in the last verse the poet inserts a mo ‘to sign his poetic pseudonym. In it the poet typically poses as a “lover” (‘asheq) of an unnamed and almost ineffable friend, the elusive features, which are taken to recognize disparate characters, the most common and traditional of which are the prince and patron Divinity. The genre, created by the aforementioned Sana’i (see below), was perfected in the direction of mystic poets like Farid al-Din ‘Attar, Sa’di of Shiraz (see below) and Gialal al-Din Rumi (see below ), author of a famous songbook Divan-e Shams-e Tabriz “for centuries Jalaleddin Rumi (1207 -1273) is considered perhaps the most ‘great mystic of humanity.'” and was then further developed by Khwaju Kerman (m . 1352) and Salman Save (d. 1376), and found its perfection in Hafez of Shiraz (d. 1390). The latter, considered the “Petrarca” the Persians and widely imitated, was also greatly admired, even in translation, from Goethe, who was inspired by his songs for his West-oestlicher Diwan, and the “father” of the nascent American literature , Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hafez has left a Divan (Canzoniere) of about 500 ghazal which combines different tones, usually but not always clearly defined erotic and mystical, and themes ranging from a supposed hedonism to panegirismo. Be more correct to say that the dominant themes of this poet should be seen in the experience Gnostic (and mysticism), the fascinating adventure of knowing, of which the loved one becomes poetic substitute, and in the assertion of freedom as indispensable attribute of cognitive processes. The genre was further cultivated, but now at levels lower although inevitably always apprezzabilissimi, by Kamal of Khojand (d. 1406) in Transoxiana and Jami (see below) in Herat.
• The strophic poetry. The genus is realized in various forms, for example with the mosammat, which is traditionally believed to have been created by the aforementioned Manuchehri, of various shapes and length: morabba ‘(ie a “quartet” of four half-lines with rhyme: yyyy, bbba, CCCA …), mokhammas (“quintet” of half-lines with rhyme: aaaaa, bbbba, cccca …), mosaddas (“sextet” of half-lines with rhyme: aaaaaa, bbbbba, ccccca …) and again: the tarji ‘- and band (rhyming verses with the type-qasida, joined by a chorus to: aa, ba, ca … xx, ee, fe, ge … xx and so on), and the tarkib-band (such as the previous, but the lines that join the strophes are not a refrain, but different from each other even if rhyme internally: … … xx yy zz … etc.).
• The Mathnavi. The Mathnavi, is a long poem (by the hundreds of ways to tens of thousands) in couplets with rhymed couplets (aa, bb, cc …), on various subjects: epic, romance, mystical, satirical, didactic, etc.. Among his greatest lovers: the epic poets Daqiqi (d. 980 approx.), Author of the Book of Kings only partially survived, the quoted Ferdowsi (see above) and Asadi (d. 1073 approx.), Author of a Garshasp-name dedicated to the mythical figure of a sovereign Iranian origins; poets romance Gorgani (1080 m approx.), author of Vis and Ramin, which is closely related to medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde, Nezami of Ganja (m . 1204), author of a famous Khamse (quintet of poems, v. below) and Khwaju of Kerman (d. 1352), who also him a quintet Some of the most well known is the romance goes Humay Humayun; poets teaching: Naser -e Khosrow (d. 1088) wrote a Rowshana’i-name (Book of Light) compendium of Gnostic doctrines ismailiteggianti, the Golshan-e raz of Shabestari (1320 m approx.) compendium of Sufi doctrines. Among the many mystic poets include: Sana’i of Ghazna (d. 1141), author of a monumental Hadiqa al-Haqiqa (the Garden of Truth) and a septet of shorter poems, among which the famous Sayr al- ‘Ibad ila l-Ma’ad (Journey of the servants in the kingdom of return) that looks like a miniature Divine Comedy, Farid al-Din’ Attar of Nishapur (d. 1230 approx.), author of several poems allegorical mystical tone, including a Elahi-nama (The divine book), a Mosibat-nama (The Book of misfortune) and especially a famous Mantiq al-Tayr (The verb of birds,  which among other things was staged by Peter Brook (The conférence des oiseaux, Paris 1976), Sa’di of Shiraz (d. 1291), author of a Bustan (The Garden) and an even more famous Golestan (The Rose Garden) in prose mixed with verse; Owhadi of Maraghe (d. 1338), author of Jam-e Jam (The Cup of Jamshid) and his mentor and namesake Owhadoddin of Kerman (d. 1298), author of Misbah al-arwah (The Niche of Lights), other poem often compared to the Divine Comedy that describes a mystical journey in the afterlife; Gialal al-Din Rumi of Balkh (d. 1273, better known in Iranian territories as Molavi or Mowlana), the latter author of a monumental Mathnavi-ye Ma’navi (Poem spiritual) as a kind of “Persian Quran” and the summit of Persian mystical poetry; ‘Eraqi of Hamadan (d. 1289) wrote a’ Oshshaq-name (The book lovers.) From the fifteenth century. Mathnavi the allegorical created by ‘Attar (see above), is increasingly penetrating the taste of courtiers and religious environments from Dastur-e’ Oshshaq (Grammar lovers) of Fattahi of Nishapur (d. 1449) and developed further with the Hal-name (Book of Ecstasy) of ‘Arefi of Herat (d. 1449), the Shah or gada (The King and the Beggar) of Helali of Asterabad (d. 1529), the Sham’ or Parvane ( The candle and the moth) of Ahli of Shiraz (d. 1536). Khaqani The aforementioned is the author of an original Mathnavi, the Tuhfat al-‘Iraqayn (The gift of the two Iraq) in which he recounts in verse of his pilgrimage to Mecca. The predicted Nezami of Ganja practiced a bit ‘in all kinds of Mathnavi appointed and composed of a well-known Khamse (quintet) consists of the following poems: Makhzan al-Asrar (The emporium of Secrets), a compendium of mystical doctrines, romance Khosrow and Shirin and Leyla and Majnun dedicated to two famous pairs of lovers, and the epic Haft Peykar (The Seven effigies) dedicated to the figure of the Sassanid king Vahram V, re-hunter and a great lover, and Eskandar-name (” The book of Alexander “, in two parts) on the eastern saga of Alexander of Macedon, largely dependent on the novel of the Pseudo-Callisthenes and an episode Koran (Sura XVIII: 83 et seq., where the character is identified by commentators with a prophet bicornuate or Dhu l-Qarnayn), as well as the homonymous section of the book of the kings of that Ferdowsi. Nezami’s quintet was soon imitated by many Persian poets including, in addition to the aforementioned Khwaju of Kerman, the prolific Amir Khosrow of Delhi (d. 1325) operating in India where poetò in local languages, Hatefi (d. 1521) active in Herat, which replaced the poem dedicated to Alexander with a Timur-name dedicated to Tamerlane, but Nizami was also imitated by Turkish poets as Ali Shir Nava’i operating in Herat (XV cent.) that poetò in Persian and turkish chagatay, also gave the famous quintet nizamiano field of inexhaustible inspiration to the miniaturists of the following centuries. The classical period ended with the versatile Jami (d. 1492), who worked at the court of the Timurid Herat, and practiced a bit ‘in all genres mentioned above composing itself a “Septet” of mathanavi.
In this division by genre, you could add a description of the “goals” (aqraz) of poetry, which seems to respond to indigenous and traditional taxonomic criteria (source: Zayn al-‘Abidin Mu’taman, Shi’r wa adab-i do, Jahan Book, Tehran, 1986, p. 8): 1. madh (eulogy) 2. yield or marsiye (elegy, lamentation) 3. vasf (description, physical people or landscapes) 4. tasavvof (mystical) 5. she ʿ r-e akhlaqi (poetry moral) 6. she’r-and falsafi (philosophical poetry) 7. she’r-and rava’i (narrative poetry) 8. ghazal (love lyric) 9. khamriyye (poetry Bacchic) 10. monazere (combat or contrast) 11. hasb-e hal (autobiographical poem) 12. hamase goes mofakhere (epic and pride) 13. shakvà (complaint) 14. e’teraz (apology) 15. Heja should be hazl motayebe (satire, joke, joke) 16. loghz goes mo’amma (emigmi and riddles).
Prose from the beginning to the end of the classical period
The beginnings of Persian prose are represented by translations from Arabic of religious works, such as the Tafseer of the Quran as a translator or comment anonymously and Ta’rikh al-Muluk wa al-Anbiya ‘(Chronicle of the kings and prophets, rather revised by the translator Bal ʿ ami, X sec.), both works of the Persian Tabari (d. 923), who wrote in Arabic, however, these can be added to other scientific works on astronomy, pharmacology or geography as the ‘Aja’ib al- Buldan (The wonders of the countries) of Abu l-Mo’ayyad of Balkh (X cent.), and history as the anonymous Ta’rikh-e Sistan (History of Sistan) written in the middle of the eleventh century. Later develop various kinds:
• The historiography. Works of Ghaznavid era: the Ta’rikh-and Ghaznaviyan (History of the Ghaznavids) of Beyhaqi (d. 1077), the Zayn al-Akhbar (The Ornament of the news, A History of Persia since the mythical origins) of Abu Sa ʿ id Gardizi written around 1050, in the Seljuk era: the Ta’rikh-and Beyhaq (History of Beyhaq) of Ebn Fondoq (d. 1170), and the Ta’rikh-Yamini of Zafar Jarfadqani (translated in 1206 from an original Arabic ‘ Otbi), the Rahat al-Sudur (Relief of breasts, a history of the Seljuks, precious among other things for the many quotations of verses) written between 1202 and 1204 by ‘Ali Ravandi, in Mongolian era: the Tajziyat al- AMSAR Analysis (countries) of Vassaf (composed between 1300 and 1312), the Ta ʾ rikh-e Jahan-goshay (History of the conqueror of the world, that of Genghis Khan) of Joveyni (d. 1283), the Jami ʿ al-Tawārīkh (Collection of Stories) by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (m.1318), the latter two having been secretaries or ministers and governors of Mongolian princes, and represents perhaps the pinnacle of classical Persian historiography, the Ta ʾ rikh-and gozide (History choice ) of Mostowfi (d. 1349), from the same period are also works of historians working in India who write in Persian, the Tabaqat-e Naseri (Genealogie of Naser, ie Naseroddin, Sultan of Delhi) of Juzjani (also known as Menhaj -e Seraj) composed around 1260, the Ta ʾ rikh-and Firuzshah (History of King Firuz, Sultan of Delhi m. 1357) Ziya ʾ al-Din Barani (XIV c.), the Ta ʾ rikh-and Ala ʾ i (History of Sultan Ala ‘ oddin Khalgi) of the said Amir Khosrow of Delhi (d. 1325); Timurid era: the Zafar-name (Book of Victory) biography of Tamerlane Shami composed between 1401 and 1404, later remade by Sharaffoddin ‘Ali Yazdi in 1424 and the Majma ʿ al-Tawarikh (Collection of Stories) by Hafez-e Abru (d. 1430) in four volumes ranging from the creation of the world at the time of the author, the Matla ‘al-Sa ʿ Dayn (The rise of the two planets lucky ) of ‘Abdorrazaq of Samarkand (d. 1482), a source of first-class century Timurid and the Rawzat al-Safa (The garden of purity) of Mirkhwand of Bukhara (d. 1498), another story from the beginning of the world until the reign of the Timurid Hussain Bayqara (see below) Lord of Herat.
• The politico-moralistic treatises. Among the works we can mention: the name of the prince-Qabus Kaika’us b. Iskandar (d. 1085), a “mirror for princes” written for his son and an almost medieval code of Persian civilization, the Siyasat-name (The Book of the policy) of the great Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk (d. 1082) perhaps the theoretical maximum of political art in Muslim lands, the ‘Akhlaq-e Naseri (The ethics of Naser, from the name of a patron) of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 1274) famous moralist (but also an astronomer and mystic, v. below), Golestan (Rose Garden) of the aforementioned Sa ˁ of Shiraz (d. 1291), in prose mixed with poetry, perhaps the most read, loved and quoted the entire Persian literature, the al-Akhlaq Ashraf (Ethics of the notables) satirical work of ‘Obeyd Zakani (d. 1371) who flogs amiably corrupt morals of the court of Shiraz, the works – depicting patrons mentioned in the title – Akhlaq-e Jalali of Davvani (m. 1502 ) and Akhlaq-e Mohseni, the great polygraph lived at the court of Herat Va’ez Kashefi (d. 1504), the Baharestan of said Jami (d. 1492), which uses the model of Golestan of Sa’di.
• The rhetoric. Among the works include: the Tarjuman al-Balagha (The interpreter eloquence) of ‘Umar al-Raduyani (d. 1114), al-Hada’iq Sihr (The gardens of magic) of the rhetorician and poet Rashid al- Vatvat Din (d. 1182), Chahar maqale (The four speeches, dedicated to the professions of the secretary, the poet, the physician and astrologer) of Nezami ‘Aruzi of Samarkand (d. 1174), al-Mu ʿ jam finally fi but ‘ayir ash ar ʿ al-ʿ Hjam of Shams-e Qeys (XIII cent.).
• The scientific and philosophical treatises. You may remember: the Danesh-name (Book of Wisdom), a scientific encyclopedia of the great Ibn Sina or Avicenna (d. 1037) who wrote mainly in Arabic, and Kimiya-Sa’adat (Alchemy of Happiness), which is summarized in a theological summa Persian into Arabic of the famous theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the Zij-e Ilkhans, an astronomical almanac of that Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Nowruz-name (The Book of Nowruz, the Persian New Year) in that poet and astronomer-mathematician Omar ʿ Hayyam.
• The religious treatises. You may remember: the Ketab-e goshayesh or rahayesh (The Book of the dissolution and liberation) of that poet, philosopher and Naser-e Khosrow Ismaili missionary (d. 1088), the Kashf al-Mahjub (The revelation of the hidden) of Hojviri (m. 1073, working at the Lahore High Court) a compendium of mystical knowledge of the time, meydan Sad (The hundred plains spiritual) of Sufi saint Ansari of Herat (d. 1088), which describes the spiritual journey of the mystic wanderer, the Fihi mā Fihi (There is what there is) of that mystic poet Jalal al-Din Rumi, the Mirsad al-ʿ Ibad (The observatory of devotees) of religious and mystical Najmoddin Razi Daye (XIII cent.) we note that for the abundance of poetic quotations, the ‘Awsaf al-Ashraf (Descriptions of the nobles) a treatise on Sufism of the aforementioned Naseroddin Tusi, the Sawanih al-‘ Ushshaq (Cases lovers) Ahmad Ghazali (XII century.) younger brother of the above theologian and author quest ‘work of the most well-known treatise on eros Persian mystic of the Middle Ages, the story of the philosopher and mystic visionary Gnostic Sohravardi (d. 1191) famous theorist and leader of a “illuminative wisdom” ( hikmat al-Ishraq) or “eastern”, the Lama’at (Flashes) of that ʿ Eraqi of Hamadan, which will be acutely commented by Jami. To remind the vast literature of commentary (tafsir) of the Qur’an, usually written in Arabic, which he knew but also works translated or summarized in Persian.
• The travel diary, a genre created with the Safar-name (Book travel) of the aforementioned Ismaili missionary Naser-e Khosrow that he was able to wander between Central Asia and the Fatimid Egypt.
• The popular novel, well represented by the saga of Samak-e ʿ Ayyar (Samak the robber) collection and fixed around 1190 by the Faramorz, which placed a rich oral tradition before.
• The fables. Here you can remember: Marzban-name, a remake of the Indian collection of Kalila and Dimna, of Sa’doddin Varavini (XIII century). Richly adorned with Arabic and Persian poetry, Jawami ‘wa al-Hikayat lawami’ al-riwayat ( The series of anecdotes and tales of the glories) of ‘OWFI of Bukhara (XII-XIII century., working at Lahore High Court), the largest and most well-known medieval Persian repertoire of stories and anecdotes, Anvar-e Soheyli (The glow of Canopus ) Other Indian remake Kalila and Dimna of that polygraph Va’ez Kashefi, these can be added the Sendbad-name (Book of Sindbad) of Zahiri (XII century.) work, perhaps of Indian origin, built with the technique of story-frame and connects to a well-known cycle with significant medieval European appendices (History of the Seven Sages, The deceptions of women etc..).
• The artistic prose. Remember: the Maqamat-e Hamidi of Hamidoddin (d. 1164), drew heavily on Arabic models.
• The biographies of saints, among whom are to remember: Asrar al-tawhid (Divine Secrets of Oneness) of Ebn-e Monavvar (XII century.), A biography of the saint and Sufi poet Abu Sa’id, the Tadhkirat al- Awliya ‘(The Memorial of the Saints), a collection of biographies of famous Sufi mystic poet quoted Faridoddin’ Attar of Nishapur, the Nafahat al-‘Uns (Sighs of Intimacy), also cited the work of hagiography Sufi Jami.
• The anthologies and biographies of poetry, including to remember: the Lubab al-albab (The essence of the hearts) of the aforementioned ‘OWFI of Bukhara, the Tadhkīrat al-Shu ʿ ara ʾ (Memory of the poets) of Dowlatshah of Samarkand, composed around 1490 , the majalis al-ʿ Ushshaq (The meetings of the lovers), panegiricizzate biographies of poets of that prince and patron Hussain Bayqara Timurid Herat.
• The playful prose, satirical tone, exemplarily represented by the pleasant collection of anecdotes and jokes often explicitly pornographic Resale-ye delgosha (Dissertation letifica) of the aforementioned ‘Obeyd Zakani of Shiraz, which targets corrupt environments and hypocrisies of the nobility courtesan and especially of the clergy of Shiraz
Neopersiana literature of later periods
• During the Safavid develops a wide religious literature inspired by the theme of Shiism. In particular compounds are Mathnavi epic telling businesses imams Shi’ites since ‘Ali and Hussain, spread also the kind of lamentations Shia from the model provided by a famous poem, the Rowzat al-Shuhada (The Garden of Martyrs) the quoted Hussain Va’ez Kashefi (d. 1504), which will later find its most famous representative of Mohtasham Kashan (m 1588), panegyrist of Shah Tahmasp and author of a celebrated poem strophic, an elegy in honor of the martyred Imam Shiites , said Haft-band, composed of twelve stanzas of seven lines each. In prose develops the kind of biographies of the doctors Shiites, from Majalis al-Mu’minin (The assemblies of believers, 1582) of Nurallah b. Sharif Shustar, you can still remember the ‘original autobiography of the Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasp and the brilliant Badayi’ al-waqayi ‘(Tales wonderful) a hundred bucks of historical, literary and costume Vasefi of Herat (d. about 1550. ), called a “Benvenuto Cellini centrasiatico.” During this same period stated in the opera cd “Indian style” with which Feghani poets of Shiraz (d. 1519) traditionally regarded as the founder, ‘orfi (d. 1590) and Feyzi (d. 1595), both lived in India at the court of Akbar, is a style characterized by a very sophisticated and cerebral imagery, which will affect the Sa’eb of its vertices in Tabriz (1601-1677) and Bidel (d. 1721 in Delhi), the latter author-poet, mystic and philosopher especially popular in Indian lands and Iranian-East (Afghanistan, Tajikistan). To remember, now in post-Safavid era, it is also a beautiful poem strophic (and tarji’-band) on the theme of the divine unity of Hatef of Isfahan (d. 1783), written in a language erotic-mystic who is frustrated the ‘influence of the new style.
• In Qajar era, thanks to the increasing contact with European culture, especially French and Russian, develop new genres such as comedy (Mirza Aqa Tabrizi with the initiator author of three plays written before 1870) and the novel: Siyahat -name-ye Ebrahim Beyg (Travelogue EB) of Zeyn ol-‘Abedin of Maraghe m. 1912, al-Masalik muhsinin (The way of the righteous) of Najjarzade Talebof, m. 1910, which reveal a satirical intent or social criticism. Also has great development diary or guide to travel, also as a result of an increasing number of diplomatic missions in Europe and Persian nobles (well-known are the diaries of the sovereign Shah Qajar Naseroddin). At the same time you begin to write down the canvas of an ancient form of sacred drama, the ta’ziye, which staged the drama of the battle and death of Imam Hussain (Husayn) in Karbala (680 AD) and other episodes of the legend Shiite origins, and will also set up special theaters. Continue the genre of biographies of doctors, among which are to be mentioned the Qisas al-‘ulama (Stories of Doctors) Mohammad b. Soleyman Tonakaboni (d. 1873) with biographies of 153 Shia ulema and jurists. In the opera, where the dominating figure of Qa’ani of Shiraz (d. 1854) poet laureate Mohammad Shah, and, in India, that of Ghalib (d. 1869 in Delhi), you have a dramatic return to classicism.
• In contemporary times, since the early 20’s 900 takes place a radical renewal of the opera, which abandons the genres and classical meters in favor of freer forms with Nima Yushij (d. 1960) and opens, even for ‘ influence of the Russian Revolution, the social and political issues; adapts at least in terms of content as well as a guardian of classicism Mirza Taqi Khan poet laureate Bahar (d. 1951), author of 30,000 verses and considerable manual Sabk-shenasi (stylistic ) and founder of the influential literary journal Nowbahar (Spring). Rise also original poetic voices of women such as Parvin E’tesami (d. 1941) and especially Forugh Farrokhzad (d. 1967). Prose, partly due to the influence of journalistic writing, stylistically simplified and renewed with ‘Ali Akbar Dehkhoda (d. 1956), leader of the critical-satirical newspaper Sur-and Esrafil, and the realistic novel introduced by Seyyed Mohammad ‘Ali Jamalzade (d. 1997) and developed by Sadeq Chubak (m. 1998, also the author of valuable theater) and others also welcomes suggestions coming from other schools of thought such as the European symbolism and existentialism, noticeable for example in stories and novels of Sadeq Hedayat (The Blind Owl), who committed suicide in Paris in 1951. Great development has also the children’s literature, and universal fame will get the fairy tale of The little black fish flavor initiation of Samad Behrangi (d. 1968), where it is readily apparent plan reading symbolic political. Persian literature continues, albeit with less momentum, to be grown in Indian lands, such as the famous Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1939), poet and father of the future of Pakistan, the author of a Mathnavi, the Javed-name ( The poem eternal), freely and originally inspired by Dante and Goethe. The most recent literature has been enriched the contribution of numerous writers exiled for political reasons, since the era of the deposed Pahlavi dynasty. A little ‘everywhere in Iran as the Iranian diaspora in Europe and America, today reported voices of authors who put more and more in the foreground are the hot topics of the difference (religious, political and gender) and human rights, and sometimes also write in European languages.