Medieval Iran

Neguin Yavari

in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732159
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Medieval Iran

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  • History
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)



In the fifty years following the demise of Muslim prophet Abu Bakr, the socio-political, religious, and cultural landscape of the Iranian terrain experienced a drastic change, owing to the Muslim conquest. However, a critical component of the Iranian fabric, the landowning system, was left intact by the invaders. This was followed, down the line, by generous overlapping of various traits from both civilizations. Unlike other conquered people, the Iranians successfully continued a distinct national consciousness, primarily via the linguistic route and a periodical scheme of national revitalization. This period witnessed the proliferation of Shi'a faith as the predominant one in Iran. The literature produced in the era hence included little of the conquered people, other than their defeat. Much of the literary florescence of the time emitted in Arabic. However, medieval Muslim historians credit the Sasanians with holistic consolidation of Persia and the consolidation of Aryan and Zoroastrian ethnicity, manifesting in the nomenclature, “Erranshahr”.

Keywords: Abu Bakr; landowning system; national consciousness; national revitalization; Zoroastrian ethnicity; Erranshahr

Article.  8061 words. 

Subjects: History ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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