/perr"zheuh, -sheuh/, n.1. Also called Persian Empire. an ancient empire located in W and SW Asia: at its height it extended from Egypt and the Aegean to India; conquered by Alexander the Great 334-331 B.C.2. former official name (until 1935) of Iran.
* * *Historical name for a region roughly coterminous with modern Iran.The term was used for centuries, chiefly in the West, and originally described a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis or Parsa. Parsa was the name of an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the area с 1000 BC; the use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other Western peoples to apply to the whole Iranian plateau. The people of Iran have always called their country Iran, and in 1935 the government requested that the name Iran be used instead of Persia.
* * *▪ historical region, Asiahistoric region of southwestern Asia associated with the area that is now modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries and originated from a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis, alternatively as Pārs or Parsa, modern Fārs. The use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other peoples to apply to the whole Iranian plateau. The people of that region have traditionally called their country Iran, “Land of the Aryans.” That name was officially adopted in 1935.For the history of the region prior to the 7th century AD, see Iran, ancient. For the history of succeeding periods and a study of the current geography, see Iran. For a discussion of the religions of ancient Iran, see Iranian religion. For a discussion of visual arts from the prehistoric period through the Sāsānian period, see art and architecture, Iranian. For a detailed account of Mesopotamian history through the Sāsānian period, see Mesopotamia, history of.
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