Historical name for a region roughly coterminous with modern Iran. The term was used for centuries, chiefly in the West, and originally described a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis or Parsa. Parsa was the name of an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the area c. 1000 BC; the use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other Western peoples to apply to the whole Iranian plateau. The people of Iran have always called their country Iran, and in 1935 the government requested that the name Iran be used instead of Persia.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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