A to Z challenge · Bloggers · languages

P is for … Persian

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Theme: Languages of the World


Persian, Fārsi, is a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a macrolanguage spoken by an estimated 110 million people worldwide, primarily in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. The language is known by several names. Persian is the more widely used name of the language in English, from Latin Persia, from Greek Persis. The Academy of Persian Language and Literature calls the language Persian. Farsi is the Arabicized form of Parsi, from Pars, the name of the region where the language evolved. Pars is called Fars in Arabic which lacks the sound [p]. Dari is the local name used for Persian in Afghanistan. Tajik (Tajiki) is the local name used for Persian in Tajikistan.

Fascinating facts about The Persian Empire


The Persians were the first to maintain a charter for human rights. A cylindrical baked clay, more prominently called the “Cyprus Cylinder” and dates back to 539 B.C., holds the account. The contents on the cylinder are in Akkadian Language and pertain to equality of race, religion and language.

According to Herodotus, a Greek Historian, the Persian adult (presumably from the elite section of the society) was liable to be militarily trained till the age of 20.

The royal protectors were named “Ten Thousand Immortals”. Ironically, if any protector “died”, an immediate replacement was called for and the number never went below 10,000 in the group.


The Royal Road was a famous road in Persian Empire built by King Darius the Great. This road was huge and had the length of 1,700 miles. It spanned from Sardis to Suza.



The Persian Empire is accredited with the invention of horizontal windmills for grinding grains and pumping water. They are also the mind behind refrigeration and underground ventilation technology, creating the first refrigeration systems known as “Yakhchals”.

During ancient times, one of the most expensive materials in terms of both rarity and monetary value pertained to a bromine-containing reddish-purple natural dye obtained from the murex shells. In fact, the craze for the dyes was so widespread, especially among the royalty, nobles and rich merchants, that even other cheaper alternatives with the purplish hue were costly and beyond the reach of common folks. This inspired many Persian royals to hoard purple-tinted clothes that were given as gifts to higher ranked officials.


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