Iran’s Long History and Short-Term Society

Author

University of Oxford

Abstract

Iran has a long history and a short-term society. It is a country with thousands of years of history, the great variety of every aspect of which is at least partly responsible for the diversity of opinions and emotions among its peoples. It is an ancient land of the utmost variety in nature, art and architecture, languages, literature and culture. When the Greeks (from whom European civilisations descend) came across the Iranians first, Persian Iranians were ruling that country as the Persian empire, and they called it ‘Persis’. Just as when the Persians first came into contact with Ionian Greeks, they called the entire Greek lands ‘Ionia’. To this day Iranians refer to Greece as Ionia (=Yunan) and the Greeks as Ionians (=Yunaniyan). Thus from the ancient Greeks to 1935, Iran was known to Europeans as Persia; then the Iranian government, prompted by their crypto-Nazi contacts in Germany, demanded that other countries officially call it Iran, largely to publicise the Aryan origins of the country.  This meant that, for a long time, almost the entire historical and cultural connotations of the country were lost to the West, the country often being confused with Iraq, and many if not most mistakenly thinking that it too was an Arab country.

Keywords


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