The Persians are not mentioned in history before the time of Cyrus; the attempt to identify them with the Parsua, a district in the Zagros chains south of Lake Urmia, often mentioned by the Assyrians, is not tenable.
With such Mesopotamian cities as Nisibis, Amid, Mardin, Taghrith and Seleucia-Ctesiphon, as well as west of the Euphrates at such centres as Mabbogh (Hierapolis, and Aleppo, northwards at Malatiah and Maiperkat and in the districts of Lake Van and Lake Urmia, and to the east and south-east of the Tigris in many places which from the 5th century onwards were centres of Nestorian Christianity within the Sasanian Empire.
- The Nestorians or East Syrians (Surayi) of Turkey and Persia now inhabit a district bounded by Lake Urmia, or Urumia, on the east, stretching westwards into Kurdistan, to Mosul on the south, and nearly as far as Van on the north.
The service-books were wholly in MS. until the press of the archbishop of Canterbury's mission at Urmia issued the Takhsa (containing the liturgies, baptismal office, &c.) and several other liturgical texts.
The American Presbyterian Mission, established in Persia in1834-1835by the Rev. Justin Perkins and Dr A.Grant, comprises large buildings near Urmia, a college and a hospital.
This mission has its headquarters at Urmia, with a college for candidates for holy orders and a printing-press.
It is pleasantly situated in a narrow valley running nearly north and south at the eastern extremity of a well-cultivated plain opening towards Lake Urmia, which lies 18 m.
The principal rivers are the Aras and Kizil Uzain, both receiving numerous tributaries and flowing into the Caspian, and the Jaghatu, Tatava, Murdi, Aji and others, which drain into the Urmia lake.
The country to the west of the lake, with the districts of Selmas and Urmia, is the most prosperous part of Azerbaijan, yet even here the intelligent traveller laments the want of enterprise among the inhabitants.
The administrative divisions are as follows: - Tabriz and environs; Uskuh; Deh-Kharegan; Maragha; Miandoab; Saujbulagh; Sulduz; Urmia; Selmas; Khoi; Maku; Gerger; Merend; Karadagh; Arvanek; Talish; Ardebil; Mishkin; Khalkhal; Hashtrud; Garmrud; Afshar; Sain Kaleh; Ujan; Sarah.
Of Lake Urmia, at an elevation of 4270 ft.
URMIA (the name as written by the Persians is Urumieh and Urmieh; the inhabitants of the place say Urmi), a town in the province of Azerbaijan in Persia, situated at an elevation of 4400 ft., in an extremely.
Urmia has for many years been the headquarters of various missions to the Nestorians of the neighbourhood: an American mission (since 1835) representing the "Board of the Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian church of the United States of America"; the French Lazarists (since 1840); British, "The Anglican Mission" founded by Archbishop Benson (1884), and a Russian mission (Orthodox, since 1902).
Urmia is the capital of a fertile district 50 m.
Some of these western ranges rise to considerable elevations; those forming the TurkoPersian frontier west of the lake of Urmia have peaks 11,000 ft.
M.; (2) into the Caspian, 100,000; (~) into irs the Seistan depression, 43,000; (4) into the Urmia Lake, 20,000; (5) into the interior of Persia, 330,000.
The fourth is a comparatively small area on the western frontier containing the basin of Lake Urmia, shut off from the rest of the inland drainage, and the fifth area takes in a part of Baluchistan, most of Kermgn, a part of Fars, all Yezd, Isfahan, Kashan, Kum, Irak, Khamseh, Kazvin, Teheran, Samnan, Damghan, Shahrud, Khorasan and the central desert regions.
- 32 37 51 40 5370 7 544 English TeherAn - 3541 5I2~ 3810 15 9.86 Thewr, Urmia (Sair).
Isfahan (100,000); Meshed (8o,ooo); Kerman, Resht, Shiraz (6o,ooo); Barfurush, Kazvin, Yezd (5o,ooo); Hamadan, Kermnshah (40,000); Kashan, Khoi, Urmia (35,000); Birjend, Burujird, Bushire, Dizful, Kum, Senendij (Sinna), Zenjan (25,00o to 30,000); Amol, Ardebil, Ardistan, Astarabad, Abekuh, Barn, Bander, Abbasi, Bander Lingah, Damghan, Dilman, Istahbanat, Jahnim, Khunsar, Kumishah, Kuchan, Marand, Maragha, Nishapur, Sari, Sabzevar, Samnan, Shahrud, Shushter (1o,ooo to 20,000).
Tutun is cultivated in Azerbaijan, near Urmia and other places near the Turkish frontier, in Kurdistan, and, since 1875, in the district of Resht,in Gilan.
A., 1884, p. 93); several copper mines in Khorasan, Samnan, Azerbaijan and Kerman; some of lead, two considerably argentiferous, in Khorasan, Tudarvar (near Samnan), Anguran, Afshar (both west of Zenjan), and Kerman; two of iron at Mesula in Gilan and Nur in Mazandaran; two of orpiment in Afshar and near Urmia; one of cobalt at Kamsar (near Kashan); one of alum in Tarom (near Kazvin); and a number of coal in the Lar district, north-east of Teheran, and at Hiv and Abyek, north-west of Teheran.
Two or three flat-bottomed sailing vessels navigate the lake of Urmia in north-western Persia, carrying merchandise, principally agricultural produce, from the western and south-western shores to the eastern for the supply of Tabriz.
About three-fifths of this number belong to the diocese of Azerbaijan, with a bishop at Tabriz, and reside in the cities of Tabriz, KhoI, Selmas, Urmia and Maragha, and in about thirty villages close to the north-western frontier; the other two-fifths, under the diocese of Isfahan, with a bishop in Julfa, reside in Teheran, Hamadan, Julfa, Shiraz, Bushire, Resht, Enzeli and other towns, and in some villages in the districts of Chahar Mahal, Feridan, Barbarud, Kamareh, Kazaz, Kharakan, &c. Many Persian Armenians are engaged in trade and commerce, and some of their merchants dispose of much capital, but the bulk live on the proceeds of agriculture and are poor.
The religious missions ministering to their spiritual welfare are: (1) The board of foreign missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, which has six establishments in Persia: Urmia since 1835, Teheran since 1872, Tabriz since 1873, Hamadan since 1880, Resht since r902 and Kazvin since 1903.
The establishments of Tabriz and Urmia form the Western Persia Mission, those of Teheran, Hamadan, Resht and Kazvin the Eastern Persia Mission.
The Parsua of the Assyrians are located south of Lake Urmia, and can hardly have been Iranians.
Roads lead to Van, Urmia in Persia and Mosul through the Nestorian country.
Ismail Agha Shekak, better known as Simko, living between Van and Urmia, murdered the patriarch of the Nestorians, who fled to Persian territory and called upon the Russians to avenge the murder.
The more important lakes are Van, 5100 ft., about twice the size of the Lake of Geneva, and Urmia, 4000 ft., both salt; Gokcha or Sevan, 5870 ft., discharging into the Aras; and Chaldir, into the Kars Chai.