Page 1 of 1

Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:50 pm
by jay_albania_fan
It is interesting looking at the history of Ancient Persian/Modern Iran. Since the days of the Achaemenid Empire, the Persians have been an important player in the Mediterranean. The founders of the Achaemenid Empire are the Persians. The Persians are one of the Iranian tribes who lived in the Pars (Fars) region of southern Iran. This is where we get the term Persian. Another Iranian tribe, the Medians (or Medes) had an empire before the Persians and at one time the Persians were under Median rule.

The Iranians are an Indo-European people who settled in modern day Iran, having come from the east. These Indo-Europeans had come from further northwest, north of the Caspian and Black Sea. These Indo-Europeans met people who had already lived here such as the Elamites.

The Ancient Persians adapted Sumerian cuneiform to create its own writing for their language which we call Ancient Persian. Modern Persian descends from Ancient Persian although it is now written in a modified Arabic script.

The Achaemenid Empire is best known for its emperors: Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Xerxes the Great. The Persian Empire is also known for the Cyrus Cylinder, an early and important document for human rights. The Persian Empire freed the Jewish people from years of the Babylonian Captivity as well gave people in its empire (and those they conquered) the right to practice their own religion. This was a very different approach than what had happened before with subjugated nations as the guaranteeing of any rights was unknown until then.

As the Achaemenid Empire eventually expanded across Mesopotamia, all of Anatolia, the Levant, Egypt, and into Thrace. This led to conflict with the various Greek states which led eventually led to the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire and it would later fall to the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great. After Alexander's death, Alexander's Macedonian generals would form their own dynasties which ruled Iran until the Parthians (an Iranian people, but not Persian) took control. The Persians would eventually take back their empire (the Sassanian Empire) later. This led to a second golden age for the Persians. The Sassanian Empire eventually fell to the Muslims conquest of the Middle East.

Various dynasties would rule Iran and Iran would go through cultural highs and lows. Despite, the upheavals in Iran, the Persian culture always kept a very prestige in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Persian language, literature, and art would have a profound influence on Ottoman styles and thus also into the Balkans.

Iran on the world scene would be a rather backwaters place until after WWII. It was not until the discovery of oil did Iran become a world power again. Under the second Pahlavi monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (often simply known as "The Shah of Iran"), Iran's prestige in the world was very high. He transformed his rural and backwards nation, into the superpower of the Middle East. He was definitely a modernizing monarch. He emancipated women by giving them the right to vote. Women did not have to wear veils in public. There became women lawyers, judges, doctors, court ministers, and women became heavily involved with literacy corps and even the military. The Shah was also heavily promoted developing countries and became friendly with both the West and the Communist countries. He pushed for China's (the PRC's) entry into the United Nations. He also tried to be a go between in the conflict between Israel and the Arab World.

Although Iran would prosper and grow from the 1950s until the mid 1970s, dissatisfaction with his rule came from the religious groups and the liberal students. The religious groups such as the Shi'ite clergy did not like his reforms (emancipation of women) and the liberal students did not want his absolute monarchy and lack of any real political life. The economic boom of the previous two decades slowed down in the mid 1970s and a recession brought the economic growth to a standstill. The Shah who was by the mid to late 1970s ill with cancer and his losing control of the country led to perhaps some bad judgments on his part. Eventually, the mass demonstrations led by the religious groups and students coupled by the Shah's refusal to put down the revolts led the Iranian Revolution which ended his rule. Eventually, the religious fundamentalists were able to take over Iran and monarchy came to an end in Iran. The Shah died in exile a bit over a year later of cancer.

The collapse of the most powerful regime in the Middle East would have enormous consequences on the region and the world. As Iran was a moderate nation which supported both the West and believed in peaceful coexistence with the Communist countries, it was always seen as a stabilizing force in the Middle East. You can draw your own conclusions on what these consequences have been in the Middle East since 1979.

In a more Balkans outlook of Iran back in the Pahlavi Dynasty. Iran had very good relationships with countries like Romania (under Ceaucescu) and Yugoslavia (under Tito). Albania though to my knowledge did not have much interaction with Iran. Albania by that time was isolating itself from much of the world, having breaking off many relations with the Soviet Union and even later breaking off many relations from China. Had Iran kept its monarchy, Iran would have been a great friend to Albania and Kosova today no doubt.

Here is an entertaining video of the Shah being interviewed by 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace in the 1970s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCMftp2bdJA

The Shah was not going to be pushed around by the media. :)

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:02 pm
by Zeus10
I am curious to know if the modern population bears the same ethnic identity and language as the ancient one. If yes, that would be a very interesting case, and some of us could use this clue to investigate the ancient culture evolution.

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:21 pm
by jay_albania_fan
Although people have lived in Iran since prehistoric times, we really know nothing about really who they were linguistically, etc. An early people we do know a lot about are the Elamites. They spoke a language related to no other. There is another group, the Mannaeans, but I don't think they are known linguistically. We do know the Indo-European Iranian moved in much later and pushed out or absorbed whatever people were there before. These Indo-European groups mostly spoke Iranian languages.

Jews would settle in Iran since ancient times and no doubt some Aramaeans and Assyrians/Babylonians (perhaps even some Hurrians?). A few Macedonians would come later. Much much later Arabs and Turkic people would settle in Iran. Much of southern Iran was Arabized and many pockets of Iran became Turkofied. Perhaps some Mongols settled in Iran too. Some people from the Caucasus would also settle in Iran later.

This is why today Iranians have such a varied appearance and speak so many languages. Iran is much like Spain in that so many people came and settled.

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:43 pm
by Zeus10
In the books, Parsi language is classified as the continuation of the Middle Parsi which itself is considered the continuation of the old one, that means that the language of Darius is somehow alive in the todays Farsi language. I want to know how close to the truth this is, in your opininon.

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:59 pm
by alfeko sukaraku
Languages known to speak with the pool in time with old language is Hete.From Hete-hitet-ete -etet ,is also "eteokretania" whose inscriptions are known from recent as Albanian graffiti.

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:08 pm
by jay_albania_fan
Zeus10 wrote:In the books, Parsi language is classified as the continuation of the middle Parsi, which itself is considered the continuation of the old one, that means that the language of Darius is somehow alive in the todays Farsi language. I want to know how close to the truth this is, in your opininon.
Yes, the modern Persian language (also known as Farsi or Parsi) is a continuation of Middle Persian which is a continuation of Old Persian. The Persian language has changed quite a bit over the years with regards to phonology and grammar although that is to be expected of a language as modern Italian is rather different from Latin although it is a continuation of it.

Old Persian had eight cases while modern Persian has no case on nouns. This is much like modern Italian or French which has no case while Latin did. Old English had case modern English essentially has no case (except the remnant 's which has become a clitic now).

Here you can see Old Persian to Middle Persian to Modern Persian in the numbers:

Old Persian....Middle Persian....Modern Persian
aivaka..........ēk/ēvak............yek (The Middle Persian form is either read as ēk or ēvak.)
duva............dō...................do
çayah..........sē^.................se (Old Persian ç- came from Old Iranian *θr- compare Avestan θrāiiō)
čaθwārah.....čahār...............čahār
panča.........panj..................panj
xšaš...........šaš...................šeš
hafta..........haft..................haft
ašta...........hašt..................hašt (the initial h- came from contamination from the h- of hafta)
nava..........nō.....................noh (the final -h came from contamination from the -h of dah)
daθa..........dah....................dah (Old Persian θ would become h in Middle Persian and Modern Persian. Old Persian -θ- comes from Old Iranian *ś, itself from Proto-Indo-European *k')

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:21 pm
by IllyrianLegend
alfeko sukaraku wrote:Languages known to speak with the pool in time with old language is Hete.From Hete-hitet-ete -etet ,is also "eteokretania" whose inscriptions are known from recent as Albanian graffiti.
a mundesh te ripostosh foton?

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:32 pm
by Zeus10
IllyrianLegend wrote:
Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:21 pm
alfeko sukaraku wrote:Languages known to speak with the pool in time with old language is Hete.From Hete-hitet-ete -etet ,is also "eteokretania" whose inscriptions are known from recent as Albanian graffiti.
a mundesh te ripostosh foton?
Fatkeqesisht Alfeko eshte ndare prej nesh, keshtu qe ai nuk mundet me e ripostu foton, por me duket se eshte kjo faqe e filologut grek:

Image

Re: Ancient Persia - Modern Iran

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:23 pm
by IllyrianLegend
Zeus10 wrote:
Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:32 pm
IllyrianLegend wrote:
Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:21 pm
alfeko sukaraku wrote:Languages known to speak with the pool in time with old language is Hete.From Hete-hitet-ete -etet ,is also "eteokretania" whose inscriptions are known from recent as Albanian graffiti.
a mundesh te ripostosh foton?
Fatkeqesisht Alfeko eshte ndare prej nesh, keshtu qe ai nuk mundet me e ripostu foton, por me duket se eshte kjo faqe e filologut grek:

Image
Falemenderit Zeus. Per fat keq shume zor/veshtire e kam me lexu germat/shkronjat helene apo greke :?