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  • 12/14/2011

A – Z of Iranian History



Mamasani: A small city west of Shiraz in the province of Fars. The area has been inhabited by Mamasani Lurs for centuries. There are still nomadic groups in Mamasani. They earn their living from animal husbandry, seasonal farming and weaving.


Manicheans: A religion founded by the Persian sage, Mani in the latter half of the third century AD. It aspired to be the true synthesis of the major religious at the time, and consisted of Zoroastrian dualism, Babylonian folklore, Buddhist ethics, and Christian/Jewish elements.


Mannians (Mannai): A kingdom in the interior of present day Armenia compromising a large part of modern Kurdistan. They shared the region with the Medes and were finally defeated by them.


Massagetae: Belonging to the Saka nation, these ancient Scythians lived between the Caspian and Aral Seas. They are referred to as Saka tigrakhauda by the Achaemenids, Cyrus the Great was killed battling them.

Mazandarani: The dialect, northwestern Iranian in origin, is used extensively in the Caspian area and the province of Mazandaran.


Mazdakites: Followers of Mazdak the founder of a socially radical religious sect challenging both the Zoroastrian clergy/doctrines, and the existing social order of the Sasanian period, in late fifth and early sixth centuries AD in Iran.


Medes: Ancient Indo-Iranian tribes who became the first Iranian rulers of Mesopotamia, and Iran occupying parts of Azerbaijan, Kirmanshah and Kurdistan.


Media: Ancient territory of northwestern Iran generally corresponding to the modern regions of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and parts of Kirmanshah.


Mesopotamia: The word means between two rivers, and the area is referred to the farmland located in a narrow strip of land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present day Iraq. It is known as the cradle of civilization. due to the emergence of the earliest urban civilizations in this area.

Middle Persian: Both a script and a language, it became the dominant script of the Sasanian Empire (224-651 AD), and was developed from the Aramaic script. This language derived from Old Persian, and was extensively in use from third century BC to ninth century AD, before evolving into New Persian.


Mihregan Festival: The coming of seasons was celebrated by the ancient Iranians through No Ruz and Mihregan (Mitrakana). Dedicated to the deity Mihr (Mithra), originally, it has been an ancient harvest festival. It is celebrated by the modern Iranians to commemorate knowledge and learning and it coincides with the beginning of the school year.


Mithra (Mihr): An ancient Indo-Iranian deity, Mithra became a significant cult with major temples in Iran and Roman territories.  In Zoroastrian tradition it was the deity protector of the covenant and of loyalty. In modern Persian it means love and kindness.


Modern Persian: Language spoken principally in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Persian belongs to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language.


Mohammareh (Khoramshahr, Khoninshahr): This prosperous southern port was developed in the nineteenth century when steam navigation started in the area. The name was changed in 1920, when Reza Khan, defeated Shaikh Khazal. It was heavily damaged in the Iran-Iraq war. Khoramshahr means happy/prosperous city. After the current war, its name was changed to Khoninshahr, meaning the bloody city.

Mongols: Pastoral nomadic tribes from inner China originated in the region around Lake Bajkal, north of present-day Mongolia.


Muharram: The month (in Arabic) when Imam Hussein was killed by the armies of his rival Yazid, the son of the founder of the Umayyad dynasty. The period is a month of mourning for Shiites. Historically the Muslims are not supposed to wage wars in this month.


Mukri Kurds: A major Kurdish tribe. The majority live in Iran and their language is Surani in origin.


Musaddiq, Muhammad (1882-1967): The leader of the popular movement that resulted in nationalizing the oil industry in Iran. He became the Prime Minister, was opposed by the Shah, and was eventually overthrown with help from CIA and Great Britain.


Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar (1853-1907): The Qajar king who was forced to ratify the provision for a constitutional monarchy in Iran. He only reigned from 1896 to 1907 and died five days after her signed the ratification.

Other Links:

Haft Keshvar (7 Countries)-part 1    

History of Ancient Medicine in Mesopotamia & Iran-part 1   

Iran, a Brief History (part 1)    

A – Z of Iran History (A)   

History of Ancient Medicine in Mesopotamia & Iran-part 2   

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