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A brief history of Azerbaijan

In traditions of ancient Iran, Orumieh lake (called 'Chichast' in avesta and 'Khanjast' in Shahnameh) was Zarathushra's birth place. (due to another tradition Zarathushtra was born in Balkh, in great Khorasan).

Turkish setteled in Azarbaijan after Saljughians, and especially after Safavians. Language of Azerbaijan was Persian before Safavians and after them became turkish.

There were three important temples under Sassanians. One of them, called Azar-Goshasp (or Atur-Goshnasp), was in Azerbaijan and now its ruins still exist there in Takab. The kings of Sassanian dynasty after Crowning had to go from Ivan-Medayen (capital of the Sassanians, now near baghdad) to Azar-Goshasp to celebrate their Crownings. Due to a tradition Khosro-Parviz walked from Ivan-Medayen to Azar-Goshasp by foots.

Why Azerbaijan called Azerbaijan?

After the death of Alexandre, lands conquered by him, were divided by his followers. Egypt owned to Ptolemios. Iran owned to Selucide. Under Selucide the commender (Satrape) of Little Media was someone whom called Azar-Bad (or Aturpat). After him, Little Media became Azerbaijan in honor of Azar-Bad. (Great Media was 'Hegmataneh' or Hamedan.)

Another thesis claims that it was named Azarbaijan either because of the numerous fire temples or just because it was the province where Azargoshasp (Aturgushnasp) was located there.

"Azar" (pahlavi Atur) means fire. the "-an" at the end is a suffix of location Azarbaijan = Azarpayagan = Azar + payak + an meaning, "land of the base of fire". Azarbaijan is Arabicized version of Azarpayagan due to absence of "P" and "G" sounds in Arabic.

Written by Nima Sadjadi

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