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Firuzabad

FIRUZABAD, a town of Persia, in the province of Fars, 72 m. S. of Shiraz, in 28° 51' N. Pop. about 3000. It is situated in a fertile plain, 15 m. long and 7 m. broad, well watered by the river Khoja which flows through it from north to south. The town is surrounded by a mud wall and ditch. Three or four miles north-west of the town are the ruins of the ancient city and of a large building popularly known as the fire-temple of Ardashir, and beyond them on the face of the rock in the gorge through which the river enters the plain are two Sassanian bas-reliefs.

The river leaves the plain by a narrow gorge at the southern end, and according to Persian history it was there that Alexander the Great, when unable to capture the ancient city, built a dike across the gorge, thus damming up the water of the river and turning the plain into a lake and submerging the city and villages. The lake remained until the beginning of the 3rd century, when Ardashir, the first Sassanian monarch, drained it by destroying the dike. He built a new city, called it Gur, and made it the capital of one of the five great provinces or divisions of Fars. Firuz (or Peroz, q.v.), one of Ardashir's successors, called the district after his name Firuzabad ("the abode of Firuz"), but the name of the city remained Gur until Azud ed Dowleh (Adod addaula) (949-982) changed it to its present name. He did this because he frequently resided at Gur, and the name meaning also "a grave" gave rise to unpleasant allusions, for instance, "People who go to Gur (grave) never return alive; our king goes to Gur (the town) several times a year and is not dead yet."

The district has twenty villages and produces much wheat and rice. It is said that the rice of Firuzabad bears sixty-fold.

(A. H.-S.)

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

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