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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

This article is about the Persians, a nationality and an ethnic group. For the ancient empire, see Persian Empire.

The Persians live mainly in Persia (Iran), in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan. In Central Asia they are called Tajiks.

The Persians became the rulers of a large empire under the Achaemenid dynasty in the sixth century BC. Over the centuries Persia was ruled by various dynasties; some of them were ethnic Persians (the Sassanids, Buwayhids, Samanids, and others), and some of them were not (the Seleucids, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, Safavids, and others).

The Persian civilization spawned three major religions: Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and Manichaeanism. All of these reflect the extreme dualism of Persian culture.

According to the 2004 CIA World Factbook, 51% of Iran's current population is ethnically Persian. Other estimates put the figure as high as 70%. A number of other ethnic groups are represented in Iran, including the non-Persian Aryan group, the Gilaki; the Turkish-descended Azerbaijanis Turkmen and Kurds; and a few Arabs and other minorities. See Demographics of Iran for more detail.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Persians" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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