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Trabzon became the entrepôt for Tabrīz, which had suffered an economic setback due to a shift in the trade route to the Persian Gulf in the 17th century.
In foreign parts which were attractive to Iranians many Persian landowners received their estates from the king with the duty of rendering military service when called on.
It seems that nobles must have brought skilled farmworkers with them from Iran, for in the 4th century C. many villages scattered about Cappadocia were entirely inhabited by Iranians, descendants of the original colonists (St. A satrapal coin from Level Cilicia (a rich and favored area for Iranian settlement) shows on the reverse a ploughman in Iranian clothes, driving a team of oxen (Starr, p. Such country people, living in small, culturally unified communities, appear to have been among the most stable and conservative groups in the Iranian diaspora. Great centers of imperial power, such as Memphis or Sardis, and important frontier posts were garrisoned by imperial troops, Iranians among them, whose Persian officers formed another element in the provincial aristocracy. spoke of “Bactrian maidens dwelling beside the Halys river,” that is, in Cappadocia (Athenaeus, 14.636), and they may well have been among the descendants of Bactrian ex-soldiers. an inscription from near Amorion in Phrygia (by then, at that place, in Greek) records the endowment by a local landowner of an annual soul-ceremony (a characteristic Zoroastrian observance) during the festival of Mehragān (Ramsay; Vermaseren, I, pp. Armies would have been accompanied by many priests, some ministering to officers, others to men, and when ex-soldiers were settled on the land, their priests with their families presumably remained with them. 256); but in time, locally at least, this term came to be used for Persian colonists generally (Bardesanes, apud Cumont, 1896-99, I, p. There is a fair amount of information about Zoroastrian sanctuaries in Asia Minor, the oldest according to tradition being at Zela in Pontic Cappadocia, founded in the 6th century B. Achaemenid foundations have been excavated at Hypaipa, but otherwise the meagre remains (including inscriptions) come from imperial Roman times, when peace returned to the region after many vicissitudes. The majority (including Najm-al-Dīn Dāya and the family of the mystic and poet Rūmī) were from Khorasan, which was totally devastated by the Mongols.
Sometimes groups of Iranian soldiers were given grants of land with the obligation to serve again if called on. In nobles’ households there were scribes, probably mostly of Iranian stock and certainly of Iranian cultural heritage, who used Persian chancellery Aramaic as a written language, and whose distant descendants were still to be found in eastern Asia Minor in Roman imperial times, writing letters on their lords’ behalf (Diodorus 19.23; Russell, pp. Other scribes must have staffed the satrapal chancelleries and judicial courts, where the most distinguished of their order would have sat as judges. Other priests are likely to have come out with the peasant farmers, and more exalted ones with the nobility. These temples “of the Persian goddess” flourished then and were wealthy. The use of Greek by educated Persians of the western diaspora made possible the circulation of Zoroastrian ideas in the eastern Mediterranean world in Greco-Roman times. The next wave of the Persian diaspora to Anatolia started under the Safavids due to the religious persecution of the Sunnis in Persia and the Ottoman occupations of Azerbaijan and the susequent deportation of skilled workers to Anatolia.
The hereditary high priests () of the temple of Anaitis at Hypaipa in Lydia provide a striking instance (Robert, 1976, pp. Most satrapies of the empire were governed by Persians, the wealthier and most important ones being generally entrusted to royal princes; but some of the minor non-Iranian satrapies became hereditary fiefs in the families of Persian nobles, who settled permanently there.
Damascus may have been one instance, but the certain examples are Dascylium and Eastern Armenia.
In western Asia Minor records of “Persian” temples cease from the 3rd century C. when they were suppressed by Christian edict, but still in the 6th century Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān negotiated with a Byzantine emperor to have fire temples rebuilt in his domains, most probably in Cappadocia (Ṭabarī, I, pp. These were lands of ancient Iranian settlement, which received new colonists in Achaemenid times. With the rise of the Ottoman state, the trade route shifted farther west to Bursa, the Ottoman capital.
Light is shed on the Iranians there chiefly by inscriptions of the 3rd century B. E., consisting of translations or paraphrases of the decrees of the emperor Aśoka. In the 15th century, caravan trade between Tabrīz and Bursa increased greatly in volume.
In Cappadocia, with important highroads and passes that needed guarding, many hilltop fortresses are recorded (Strabo 12.2.9), a number of which were presumably from Achaemenid times the seats of Persian nobles.
In Lydia, with its fertile river-valleys, the only dwelling of a Persian landowner to be described (Xenophon, 7.8.9-23) was a fortified manor house on his own estate.
These were written in good Persian chancellery Aramaic, with some local usages, and show the scribes to have interpreted Aśoka’s concepts in the light of Zoroastrian beliefs (for references see Boyce and Grenet, pp. They evidently had a good knowledge of Northwestern Prakrit; and these eastern Iranians are the likely agents for the postulated contribution of Zoroastrianism to Mahayana Buddhism. Persian merchants, mostly from Tabrīz and Gīlān, dominated the silk trade between these two commercial centers.
Later, under Muslim rule, Zoroastrians of this eastern diaspora are known to have maintained themselves in some numbers locally, but in ever-increasing poverty, down to at least the 17th century C. They had their own caravansary () in Bursa, which was built by Bayezid II in 1490 (Inalcik, p. The beginning of Ottoman-Safavid conflict inflicted heavy economic losses on the Persian merchants in Bursa, many of whom chose to settle in Aleppo and Istanbul, where Selim I’s ban on the sale of Persian silk was not effective (Masters, pp. The third most important Ottoman center for Persian merchants was the city of Izmir, which became an important commercial center in the 17th century and offerred new trading opportunities with the Venetian, French, Dutch, and British merchants who were turning to Izmir in increasing numbers (Goffman, p. The treaty of Erzurum in 1238/1823 initiated a new era in Persian-Ottoman relations.
That of personal names can only be safely used, however, to identify Iranians where there is additional information, or when such names occur in groups, or in significant associations and settings, because during the Achaemenid period Persian names were sometimes adopted quite extensively by their non-Iranian subjects (e.g., in Lydia; Zgusta; Boyce and Grenet, p. Even in post-Achaemenid times some Persian names (notably Miθradāta/Mithradates, and other Mithra-names) were used by non-Iranians in western regions.