Historical Background of Perfume and Perfume Manufacturing in Greater Iran E-mail
Iranians/Tajiks are regarded as the first manufacturers of perfume and discoverers of decorative and cosmetic powders and sweet smelling oils or beauty creams.

According to the stone inscriptions of Persepolis, making of chains and umbrellas were among the innovations of Iranian of the Achaemenian era.

Plants and flowers, perfumes and aromas always attracted the attention of Iranian since the most remote times. In ancient sources, including the stone inscriptions of Achaemenian periods, as well as the Greek and Roman sources and Pahlavi texts, clear indications can be found about the Iranian's attention to, and interest in, various kinds of perfumes, incenses and sweet aromas.

In stone images of Persepolis Darius is shown while sitting on a nice chair with two scent bottles or incense bones in front of him, and Xerxes is standing behind him while holding the same kind of flowers in the left hand. These flowers are probably Lily of the Valley or narcissus which were peculiar to the Fars province, and which were mentioned in Islamic sources.

In another image the Iranian monarch is shown holding a beautiful flower in his left hand (and a protruded umbrella is kept over his head).
The contribution of ancient Iranian civilization to the Silk-Road E-mail
In ancient times, homes in China acted as a market for handicrafts and its cities were thriving enters of commerce. Among the major handicrafts at that time was the production of silk fabrics. The silk industry in China can be traced back to the second millennium BCE.

The prized silk fabric would be offered to buyers in homes and shops. There were so many stores in each town that it seemed that a major part of the workforce of that time was involved in the production of silk. In the second half of the thirteenth century, that is during the rule of Kublai Khan, the silk industry in China had reached the same level of sophistication as the European industry of the eighteenth century. According to Marco Polo, the guilds in the then China had established meticulous pay scales, working hours, and a system for pricing of silk. Sometimes they reduced production so that the market would not be glutted with silk, resulting in the reduction of the price of silk.

This delicate commodity would reach the markets in Persia and Rome through a long route that came to be known as the Silk Road. The road stretched from the western gates of a city which is now called Hsian, in China's Chanxi Province, and passed through the southern part of Gobi Desert to reach western Turkistan. It then passed through Sin Kiang and Kashghar to reach Jihun (Ceyhan). After passing through such major cities of the time as Samarkand, Bukhara and Merv, the Silk Road then reached the Iranian border. In Iran, the Silk Road connected the cities of Tous, Neishapour, Damghan, Gorgan, and Rey before it divided in Qazvin. One of its branches went toward Azarbaijan and Trabazan, and the other branch ran through Hamadan, Baghdad or Mosul, Antakya (Antioch) or Capadoccia and Sardis (near Izmir) to reach Istanbul and then Rome via the Mediterranean Sea. The road with its branches connected India to Tous via Peshawar, Kheibar, Kabul, Qandahar and Herat. A vast part of this road was under the control of the Soghdian and Ayghouri caravans.
Darius The Great's Inscription at Naqshe Rostam, near Shiraz E-mail
I. A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king of many, one lord of many.

II. I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.

III. Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I seized outside of Persia; I ruled over them; they bore tribute to me; what was said to them by me, that they did; my law -- that held them firm; Media, Elam, Parthia, Aria, Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Sattagydia, Gandara, Sind, Amyrgian Scythians, Scythians with pointed caps, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia, Sardis, Ionia, Scythians who are across the sea, Skudra, petasos-wearing Ionians, Libyans, Ethiopians, men of Maka, Carians.
Words of Darius the Great in Biston's Inscription E-mail
Full view of Biston, the largest stone relief and inscription in the world, near Kermanshah

1. I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King in Persia, King of countries, son of Hystaspes, grandson of Arsames, an Achaemenian.

2. Darius the King says: My father was Hystaspes; Hystaspes' father was Arsames; Arsames' father was Ariaramnes; Ariaramnes' father was Teispes; Teispes' father was Achaemenes.

3. Darius the King says: For this reason we are called Achaemenians. From long ago we have been noble. From long ago our family had been kings.

4. Darius the King says: there were 8 of our family who were kings before me; I am the ninth; 9 in succession we have been kings.

5. Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda I am King; Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me.
Javedan (Immortals) E-mail


In his description of the battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE), the Greek researcher Herodotus mentions a Persian elite corps which he calls the Ten Thousand or the Athanatoi, the 'Immortals'. He describes them as

"A body of picked Persians under the leadership of Hydarnes, the son of Hydarnes. This corps was known as the Immortals, because it was invariably kept up to strength; if a man was killed or fell sick, the vacancy he left was at once filled, so that the total strength of the corps was never less -and never more- than ten thousand".

"Of all the troops in Persian army, the native Persians were not only the best but also the most magnificently equipped; their dress and armor I have mentioned already, but I should add that every man glittered with the gold which he carried about his person in unlimited quantity. They were accompanied, moreover, by covered carriages full of their women and servants, all elaborately fitted out. Special food, separate from that of the rest of the army, was brought along for them on camels and mules." (History of Herodotus 7.83; tr. Aubrey de Selincourt)

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