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The word Iran

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Scholarly Pursuits
Forum Name: Linguistics
Forum Discription: Discuss linguistics: the study of languages
Moderators: gcle2003, King John
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10939
Printed Date: 30-Oct-2014 at 22:54


Topic: The word Iran
Posted By: Cent
Subject: The word Iran
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 12:34

When was the word Iran for the first time used? And in which context?

I need sources please.

Thanks

Cent



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They don't speak enough about the Kurds, because we have never taken hostages, never hijacked a plane. But I am proud of this.
Abdul Rahman Qassemlou



Replies:
Posted By: Apples n Oranges
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 12:44

I think this is a very interesting topic.Herez what I found from an online dictionary.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Iran - Iran Look up Iran at Dictionary.com
from Pers. Iran "Persia," from Middle Persian Eran (sahr) "(land) of the Iranians," gen. pl. of Er "an Iranian," from O.Pers. ariya- "compatriot," from PIE aryo-, self-designation of the "Aryan" people (see Aryan). It became the official country name in 1935 under Reza Shah, according to one story on the suggestion of the Persian embassy in Berlin.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Iran - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Iran



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Posted By: Iranian41ife
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 13:16
that definition is wrong. it has always been irans official name, not just since 1935.

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"If they attack Iran, of course I will fight. But I will be fighting to defend Iran... my land. I will not be fighting for the government and the nuclear cause." ~ Hamid, veteran of the Iran Iraq War


Posted By: ramin
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 14:18
actually the definition is correct, but it's irrelevant to our discussion. The definition is about appearance of the word "Iran" in English from etymonline.com (English online etymology dictionary).

etymology of Iran is uncertain. "Land of Aryans" is probably the most popular meaning of the word, yet the least acceptable.

Let's quote the etymology of the word according to N. Williams: Aryo- (indo-iranian arya-) is an adjective to the PIE root *ar-, originally meaning 'to assemble' (Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples)

however, I have read that Iran might also be related to those followers of of the sun god ar-.


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"I won't laugh if a philosophy halves the moon"


Posted By: Maziar
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 17:15

Originally posted by Iranian41ife

that definition is wrong. it has always been irans official name, not just since 1935.

Yes, right , and i add the name Iran was always used by Iranians, while the european called this land Persia. 1935 reza Shah of Iran has changed the official name to Iran and since this time european call our land Iran.



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Posted By: Suren
Date Posted: 15-Apr-2006 at 18:41
I remember my history teacher in grade 8. he said me the first name was Aryan(aryana) after that change to ayran and aftre that to Iran.


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 09:07

The oldest sources would be Achaemenid inscriptions, then the Avesta and then Sassanid inscriptions.

Its current form "Iran" came to being during the Samanid and Ghaznavid dynasties, the source for this is Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.



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Posted By: Cent
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 11:09

Thanks!

Zagros, in which context was it used? I mean in the Achaemenid, Avesta and Sassanid eras?

Do you have any sources? I'm really interested.



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They don't speak enough about the Kurds, because we have never taken hostages, never hijacked a plane. But I am proud of this.
Abdul Rahman Qassemlou


Posted By: Apples n Oranges
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 11:18

I think there is some dispute on this issue.Herez what I found from Wikipedia.Please take a look.

Originally posted by Wikipedia

Iran naming dispute

History of the debate

Serious argument on this matter began in the 1980s, when Professor Ehsan Yarshater (Editor of the Encyclopedia Iranica) started to write several articles on this matter (in both English and Persian) in Rahavard Quarterly, Pars Monthly, Iranian Studies Journal, etc. After him, a few Persian scholars and researchers such as Prof. Kazem Abhary and Prof. Jalal Matini followed the issue. Several times since then, Persian magazines and websites have published articles from those who agree or disagree with usage of 'Persia' and 'Persian' in English.

In view of many of these articles, it seems that the subject has not been explained sufficiently. Some think the name Persia belongs to antiquity, and ought not to be used now. Others believe that "Persia" includes only one province within Iran, and should not be used for the whole country. There are also many Persians and non-Persians in the West who prefer "Persia" and "Persian" as the English names for the country and nationality, similar to the usage of La Perse/Persane in French, and Persien/Perser/persisch in the German language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_naming_dispute - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_naming_dispute

Some Iranian scholars believe Persia is a better name for Iran

Originally posted by G. Motamedi

Bring back Persia
It is not just about a name

In the mid 1930s the ministry of foreign affairs of the government of Persia issued a decree to all foreign diplomatic delegations in Tehran prohibiting them from referring to the country as "Persia", requiring them to call it "Iran" instead.

This strange act met no significant resistance at home, given the totalitarian nature of the regime, widespread illiteracy, and the intelligentsia's lack of insight.

There was international disapproval but no effective measures were taken to reverse it. After all, the world was on the verge of another global war. Besides, who would be responsible for the internal affairs of a nation other than that nation itself?

The hidden rationale, according to anecdotal reports, lied in the political ties between the then government of Persia and the Nazi regime in Germany. This undeclared alliance was based on common political ambitions of both regimes against Britain and Soviet Union.

There were significant activities by the Nazis and their organized supporters in Tehran. As witnessed by many Iranians studying in Germany at the time, the Nazis honored Persians because of their "Aryan roots".

It is believed that close advisors to the Reza Shah suggested replacing Persia with Iran (which possibly derives from "Aryan") as a show of solidarity with the Germans. Even without documented proof of this story, it is difficult to think of another reasonable explanation.

A generation after that unwise decision, no one recognizes us as the nation that inherited the heritage of the Persian empire. No history book is teaching students who we are as Persians. Instead, we are Iranians with no connection to the past.

One may argue that those good old days of the Persian empire belong to the past. And according to some self-critical intellectuals, the Persian empire might not have been so glorious anyway. They say we have to think about our present situation and worry about the future. What good would a name do?

Wise thinking, in a sense. But could anyone ignore the power of national pride in building the future? It is not just about a name, it is about national identity. No nation and no honest leadership would give up on a hard earned national identity.

Some may try to console themselves that not all Iranians are Persians. The fact of the matter is that the boundaries are blurred anyway if you are considering the genetics of the case. That is not the basis of this argument. Far from it.

Nations have been formed around major cultural elements such as language, traditions and religion. Nations consisting of people with different ethnical or religious backgrounds, share enough of these cultural elements to feel they belong to one nation.

This normally happens over centuries. The longer these common ties, experiences and sufferings, the stronger the solidarity of a nation. The whole advantage of feeling part of a nation is its spiritual power that helps us move forward.

The way we look at modern Persian nationalism is like a defensive mechanism against backwardness -- not chauvinism against any other nationality or ethnic group inside or outside our country. The glorious past is just a reminder to ourselves of the hope for renewed success in the future.

Is there really any validity to that piece of paper sent to foreign embassies in Tehran more than sixty years ago? We were never asked if we agreed with the name change. Why should our children living abroad remain shy Persians who introduce themselves quietly as "Persian... you know... from Iran"?

http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2001/February/Persia/ - http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2001/February/Persia/



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Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 11:24

Cent, I gave the sources, but if you mean websites then I will look it up later, i am very tired.

Apples, what you have pasted refers to what some people prefer the country to be called and has nothing to do with this topic. 



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Posted By: Iranian41ife
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 11:55

@ apples and oranges: that dispute is whether to have the rest of the world call us persia or iran, not actually changing the name iran.

iran will always be iran for iranians, just like it has been for thousands of years.

but what some iranian scholars say is that by changing the international name from persia to iran, we are disconnecting ourselves from our history internationally.

infact, they are right, many people in the west think that the persian empire is extinct like sumeria, assyria, etc...

they dont know that iran is persia.  this has caused lots of confusion in the west.

that is what the dispute is about.



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"If they attack Iran, of course I will fight. But I will be fighting to defend Iran... my land. I will not be fighting for the government and the nuclear cause." ~ Hamid, veteran of the Iran Iraq War


Posted By: Cent
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 12:14
Zagros, yes the websites, thanks i'll wait

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They don't speak enough about the Kurds, because we have never taken hostages, never hijacked a plane. But I am proud of this.
Abdul Rahman Qassemlou


Posted By: Maziar
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2006 at 16:27
Some Iranian scholars believe Persia is a better name for Iran
They can believe what they want, it will be a big nonsens.Iran is a land with many people and ethnic groupes including the Persians. Change the name of all them to Persia is silly.

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Posted By: Cyrus Shahmiri
Date Posted: 17-Apr-2006 at 09:38

Its current form "Iran" came to being during the Samanid and Ghaznavid dynasties, the source for this is Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.

What?!  Just name a Sassanid king who didn't call himself "King of Iran" (I mean the exact word of "Iran")?



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Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 17-Apr-2006 at 10:07

They called it Eron IIRC.



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Posted By: Apples n Oranges
Date Posted: 17-Apr-2006 at 13:04

Originally posted by Zagros

They called it Eron IIRC.

Zagros my knowledge of Persian history is very Limited.I understand IR of Iran= Islamic Republic of Iran.Would you mind telling us the expanded form of 'Eron IIRC'.

Thanking you in advance.



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Posted By: Cyrus Shahmiri
Date Posted: 17-Apr-2006 at 14:18
Originally posted by Zagros

They called it Eron IIRC.

I have read almost all Sassanid inscriptions and I have read this Eron in none of them!



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Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 17-Apr-2006 at 15:24

I have only read interpretations, so thereofre you must be right.

Apples, IIRC = if I recall correctly.



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Posted By: Sharrukin
Date Posted: 18-Apr-2006 at 09:56
The form of the name in Sassanid times was Eran, or Eranshahr.  Strangely, the earliest expression of the name for present-day Iran does not come from a Persian source, but a Greek one.  It was called Ariana.  Still, even further back we have self-identification versions of the name.  Herodotus said that the Medes used to call themselves Arioi, and Darius I the Persian king called himself "an Ariya of Ariya seed" and wrote "in Aryan".  Unfortunately, we lack a comprehensive name for the entire land in Old Persian inscriptions, but from the two examples, from two different major tribes, the implication was that this self-identity may have carried over to the name of the land.


Posted By: DFront21
Date Posted: 19-Apr-2006 at 21:01
The original name for the territory around Central Asia was Aryana Vaeja, meaning abode of the Aryans. By the time the Sassanians took power the name had evolved into Eran Shahr or Eran. When Ferdowsi sat down to right the Persian national epic, ShahName, the name had become Iran, IranShahr, IranZameen. 


Posted By: Sharrukin
Date Posted: 20-Apr-2006 at 10:39
According to the Zend Avesta, the Airyanem Vaejah was "by the Vanguhi Daitya".  In the Middle Ages this river was called Veh, which was the Oxus.  Since according to Fargard 1, the second to the fifth "perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda"  (Sogdiana, Margiana, Bactria, and "Nisaya" between Margiana and Bactria) were located by the Oxus, it is reasonable to assume that the first one, Airyanem Vaejah, was also.  The region of present-day Turkmenistan would be a most likely place.  Hence the term Airyanem (or its Old Persian equivalent?) migrated further south into Iran.



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