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Fars

FARS (the name Farsistan is not used), one of the five mamlikats (great provinces) of Persia, extending along the northern shore of the Persian Gulf and bounded on the west by Arabistan, on the north by Isfahan and on the east by Kerman. It lies between 49° 30' and 56° 10' E. and 26° 20' and 31° 45' N. and has an area of nearly 60,000 sq. m. Fars is the same word as the Greek Persis, and, originally the name of only a part of the Persian empire (Iran), has become the name which Europeans have applied to the whole (see Persis). The province is popularly, but not for administrative purposes, divided according to climate into germsir and sardsir, or the warm and cold regions. The former extends from the sea to the central chain of hills and contains all the lowlands and many mountainous districts, some of the latter rising to an elevation of between 3000 and 4000 ft. and the sardsir comprises the remaining and northern districts of the province.

In Arrian's relation of the voyage of Nearchus (Indica, 40), these two regions are well described. "The first part of Persis which lies along the Persian Gulf is hot, sandy and barren and only the date palm thrives there. The other part comprehends inner Persis lying northwards; it enjoys a pleasant climate and has fertile and well-watered plains, gardens with trees of all kinds, rich pasturages and forests abounding with game; with the exception of the olive all fruits are produced in profusion, particularly the vine. Horses and other draught animals are reared in the province, and there are several lakes frequented by water-fowl, and streams of clear water flow through it, as for instance the Kyros (Kur) formed by the junction of the Medos and Araxes."

The mountains of Fars may be considered as a continuation of the Zagros and run parallel to the shores of the Persian Gulf. They comprise several ranges which the roads from the sea to the interior have to cross at right angles, thereby rendering communication and transport very difficult. The highest of the mountains of Fars (14,000 ft.) is the Kuh Dina in the north-western part of the province. Of the rivers of Fars only three important ones flow into the sea: (1) the Mand (Arrian's Sitakos), Karaaghach in its upper course; (2) the Shapur or Khisht river (Granis); (3) the Tab (Oroatis). Some rivers, notably the Kur (Kyros, Araxes) which flows into the Bakhtegan lake east of Shiraz, drain into inland depressions or lakes.

The capital of the province is Shiraz, and the subdivision in districts, the chief places of the districts and their estimated population, and the number of inhabited villages in each as they appear in lists dated 1884 and 1905 are shown on the following page.

Name of District. Chief Place or Seat of
Government. Number of
inhabited
Villages in
District.
Name. Population.
1 Abadeh Iklid Abadeh 4,000 33
2 Abadeh-Tashk Tashk 600 8
3 Abarj Dashtek 2,000 6
4 Abbasi
(1) Bander Abbasi [1] and villages Bander Abbasi 10,000 14
(2) Issin and Tazian Issin 6
(3) Shamil Shamil 1,000 18
(4) Moghistan Ziarat 10
(5) Minab Minab 4,000 23
5 Afzar Ni-mdeh 12
6 'Alemrud Sabzpushan 1,000 16
7 Arb'ah (the four)
(1) Deh Rud
(2) Deh Ram Deh Ram 1,500 19
(3) Hengam
(4) Rudbal
8 Ardakan Ardakan 5,000 10
9 Arsinjan Arsinjan 5,000 25
10 Asir Asir 500 10
11 Baiza Baiza 2,000 55
12 Bi-dshahr and Juvi-m Bi-dshahr 3,000 23
13 Bovanat Surian 500 23
14 Darab Darab 5,000 62
15 Dashti
(1) Bardistan Bander Dair 1,000 28
(2) Buluk Bushgan 18
(3) Mandistan Kaki 1,500 40
(4) Tassuj Tang Bagh 500 11
(5) Shumbeh Shumbeh 15
16 Dashtistan
(1) Angali Haftjush 10
(2) Ahrom Ahrom 1,500 5
(3) Borazjan Borazjan 4,000 19
(4) Bushire [1] Bushire 25,000 20
(5) Daliki Daliki 1,500 7
(6) Gonavah Gonavah 1,000 12
(7) Hayat Daud Bander Rig 1,000 6
(8) Khurmuj Khurmuj 1,000 5
(9) Rud Hillah Kelat Sukhteh 10
(10) Shaban Kareh Deh Kohneh 27
(11) Tangistan Tangistan 1,000 31
(12) Zengeneh Samal 750 4
(13) Zirah Zirah 6
17 Dizkurd Cherkes 500 6
18 Famur Pagah 300 3
19 Ferrashband Ferrashband 1,000 14
20 Fessa Fessa 5,000 40
21 Firuzabad Firuzabad 4,000 20
22 Gillehdar Gillehdar 1,000 43
23 Humeh of Shiraz Zerkan 1,000 89
24 Istahbanat Istahbanat 10,000 12
25 Jahrum Jahrum 10,000 33
26 Jireh Ishfayikan 23
27 Kamfiruz Palangeri 34
28 Kamin Kalilek 11
29 Kazerun Kazerun 8,000 46
30 Kavar Kavar 26
31 Kir and Karzin Kir 1,000 23
32 Khafr Khafr 1,000 41
33 Khajeh Zanjiran 500 15
34 Khisht Khisht 2,500 25
35 Khunj Khunj 1,500 27
36 Kongan Bander Kongan 12
37 Kuh Gilu and Behbahan Behbahan 10,000 182
38 Kurbal Gavkan 600 67
39 Kuh i Marreh Shikeft Shikeft 41
40 Kunkuri Kazian 29
41 Laristan
(1) Lar Lar 8,000 34
(2) Bikhah Ihsham Bairam 11
(3) Bikhah Fal Ishkenan 10
(4) Jehangiriyeh Bastak 4,000 30
(5) Shib Kuh Bander Charak 36
(6) Fumistan or Gavbandi Gavbandi 13
(7) Kauristan Kauristan 4
(8) Lingah [1] Bander Lingah 10,000 11
(9) Mazayijan Mazayijan 6
42 Mahur Milati Jemalgird 5
43 Maimand Maimand 5,000 14
44 Maliki Bander Assalu 1,000 25
45 Mamasenni (Shulistan)
(1) Bekesh 8
(2) Javidi or Javi 6
(3) Dushmanziaris 16
(4) Rustami Kal'ah Safid 26
(5) Fahlian 7
(6) Kakan 5
46 Mayin Mayin 8
47 Mervast and Herat Mervast 14
48 Mervdasht
(1) Upper Khafrek 14
(2) Lower Khafrek Fathabad 1,250 16
(3) Mervdasht 22
49 Meshhed Mader Suliman Murghab 800 6
50 Niriz Niriz 9,000 24
51 Ramjird Jashian 36
52 Rudan and Ahmedi Dehbariz 21
53 Sab'ah (the seven)
(1) Bivunj (Bi-vanej) Durz 14
(2) Hasanabad Hasanabad 7
(3) Tarom Tarun 2,000 15
(4) Faraghan Faraghan 1,500 13
(5) Forg Forg 3,000 18
(6) Fin and Guhrah Fin 13
(7) Gileh Gah (abandoned) Ziaret 1,000 11
54 Sarchahan
55 Sarhad Chahar Dungeh
(1) Dasht Ujan
(2) Dasht Khosro va Shirin Kushk 31
(3) Dasht Khungasht
(4) Dasht Kushk Zard
56 Sarhad Shesh Nahiyeh
(1) Padina (foot of Mount Dina Khur
(2) Henna Henna
(3) Samiram Samiram
(4) Felard Felard 24
(5) Vardasht Germabad
(6) Vank Vank
57 Sarvistan Sarvistan 4,500 23
58 Shiraz (town) in 1884 53,607 [2] . .
59 Siyakh Darinjan 13
60 Simkan Duzeh 28

The above sixty districts are grouped into eighteen sub-provinces under governors appointed by the governor-general of Fars, but the towns of Bushire, Lingah and Bander Abbasi, together with the villages in their immediate neighbourhood, form a separate government known as that of the "Persian Gulf Ports" (Benadir i Khalij i Fars), under a governor appointed from Teheran. The population of the province has been estimated at 750,000 and the yearly revenue it pays to the state amounts to about £150,000. Many districts are fertile, but some, particularly those in the south-eastern part of the province, do not produce sufficient grain for the requirements of the sparse population. In consequence of droughts, ravages of locusts and misgovernment by local governors the province has been much impoverished and hundreds of villages are in ruins and deserted. About a third of the population is composed of turbulent and lawless nomads who, when on the march between their winter and summer camping grounds, frequently render the roads insecure and occasionally plunder whole districts, leaving the inhabitants without means of subsistence.

The province produces much wheat, barley, rice, millet, cotton, but the authorities every now and then prohibiting the export of cereals, the people generally sow just as much as they think will suffice for their own wants. Much tobacco of excellent quality, principally for consumption in Persia, is also grown (especially in Fessa, Darab and Jahrom) and a considerable quantity of opium, much of it for export to China, is produced. Salt, lime and gypsum are abundant. There are also some oil wells at Daliki, near Bushire, but several attempts to tap the oil have been unsuccessful. There are no valuable oyster-banks in Persian waters, and all the Persian Gulf pearls are obtained from banks on the coast of Arabia and near Bahrein.

(A. H.-S.)

[1] Are forming separate administrative division of "Persian Gulf Ports."

[2] Persian census in 1884; 25,284 males, 28,323 females.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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