The history began in concept of transition from primitive life and cave-dwelling stage to the civilization and urbanization stage and the rise of the tribes and races with different traditions and ideals and the intensity of perceptions on the life. The adventure of the human in the course of the history extended to present day is the combination of tribes and races and governments with the collection of the geographic specific range for living. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the background of Guilan forgotten tribes in the ancient time due to the racial issues and the historical events. To investigate the tribes of this ancient land firstly, it is necessary to examine Guilan land geographically and historically in the Iranian plateau and then discuss its tribes.
Geographical Position and Natural Characteristics of Guilan
Guilan Province has been located between the latitude 36 degrees and 34 minutes to northern 38 degrees and 27 minutes indicating this province is located in the northern temperate zone of the earth. The most significant feature of Guilan land is its climate having the rainfall more than any other areas in Iran. For example, Rasht as a city in the geographical center of Guilan and a representative of the plain climate of Guilan is considered the wettest part of Iran. Sepid Rud (White River) is the most important and the longest river in Guilan rising in Chehel Cheshmeh of Kurdistan, made of Qizil Uzan and Shahrood and divided Guilan into two east and west parts and finally flowing generally northeast to meet the Caspian Sea at Rash. The land separated by Sepidrud in the west was called “Va Pas Guilan” or “Bie Pas Guilan” (Back of Guilan) in the past and the lands in the east of Sepidrud were called “Bie Pish” or “Pish Guilan” (Forth of Guilan). A land where many tribes have been placed throughout history and a great place for them to live; the tribes coming their mementos out of the ground and illuminating some dark point of the past history.
Historical Characteristics of Guilan
The boards of this land found the equipment of the prehistoric man have been exposed changes due to history in the past periods from east and west and south. Ebrahim Ibn Mohammad Estakhri (920 AD) has said: “Qazvin is the order of Dailam and there are 12 parasangs to the camp of Dailam Amir”. Therefore, he puts Guilan land inside of Dailam: “ Dailaman land has the mountain and the plain. What it is the plain considers Guilan land near to Caspian Sea under Dailaman Mountains and what it is the mountain considers the main Dailaman” (1,168). Abolghasem Abdullah Ibn Khordabe (970 AD) has said in Masalek and Mamalek: “Qazvin is the boarder of Dailam and the follower of Tilesan or Talishi”. Yuqut Hamavi (1180 AD) has said: “natal (Chalous), Kelarpi and Royan are located in Dailam land”. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (1311 AD) has said in Dorrat al-Taj fi Gorrat al Dabbaj: “ Guilan, Ardabil and Khalkhal have been extended along Kalardasht of Mazandaran in the east come to the sea from the north and Qazvin from the south” [9, p. 8].
Some of the names of the places in Avesta such as “Vareneh” (demon of lust) and “Mazan” (big demon) have been adapted to the actual places such as Guilan and Mazandaran, although; there are some disagreement between the researchers especially the orientalists including Marquardt, Christensen, Herzfeld, Henning and Andreas to locate and match the names with the actual places. In Vendidad part in Avesta[4, p. 579], “Vareneh” is the fourteenth land created by Ahouramazda [20, pp. 71–81]. According to Mazdean tradition (Zoroasterian), “Vareneh” is Padishkhwargar or Dailam. The new geographical name of Guilan has been derived of Avesta term “Vareninam” or “Land of Vareneh” which is the neighboring of “Mazan” means the current Mazandaran. The lands located in the south of Caspian Sea have been separated from other the land of Iran because of their geographical position. These lands could achieve their political independence over and over due to the climate and the natural conditions and because they have been separated from the Iranian plateau by a series of impracticable high mountains. The first battles of Aryan immigrants with the primitive quarrelsome natives have been left the signs in the mythical history of Iran. Since the natives had different race, language and culture from the immigrants, they (immigrants) have been often considered the demon creatures in the mythical narratives. Generally, the reason to use the term “Vareneh” and “Mazan” for all the evil forces from the western to the eastern part of Iran — Guilan and Mazandaran — is that they have come in the form of terrible monsters and the demon creatures in the folk traditions [4, pp. 75–104], [2, pp. 117–193]. In the first centuries before the birth of Christ, Guilan land was the living location of different native tribes. During the migration of Aryans, the natives lived in Iranian Plateau called Casssoke in the west that Greeks called them Cassian or Cassi and then the Elamite lived in the southwest of Iran, the Cadussi and the Kassites lived in Guilan [7, p. 54] and the Tapuri or the Tabari lived in Mazandaran and the Amard lived among the Cadussi and the Tapuri [3, p. 156]. Strabo — the Greek geographer, historian and philosopher- according to the views of Aristophanes, has mentioned the families and tribes in the northern coast of Caspian Sea from the east to the west Hircanian, Amar, Aniran (non-Aryans), Cadussi, Albanian, Caspian (Herodote, S.D:IIIXCII. VII, XXVII) and Outi. In the western neighboring of the Tapori or the Tabari, some tribes lived including Albanian, Cadussi, Amard, Caspians, Gelan or Gel. In historical texts, there were mentioned the tribes and ethnic groups lived in Guilan and Mazandaran lands in ancient times including Anariya, Docovsinions and Derbikes [13, p. 519]. At the time of the appearance of the Cadussi in Guilan, there was not raised the names of some tribes such as Gil or Gel and Dailam and they were not the important tribes. It seems that at the time of Sassanid Empire (224–652 AD), they were replaced by the Cadussi[15, p. 36].
When we study the history and ethnographic researches of Guilan land, we face the tribes that unfortunately have no information about them or we have very little evidence that the scientists and researchers pointed to them implicitly and quickly. Some of these tribes are Anariya, Babar, Docovsinions, Anariak, Aniran,Amard, Derbikes. What seems about the destruction of these tribes that they were completely subdued by Ariyans. Due to this, the reason to last other tribes is the integration of them to immigrant Ariyans. Here we mention some forgotten tribes as follows:
Anariak or Aniran
In the north, the tribes living in the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea have named a tribe as Anariak or Aniran (non-Aryans). “An” in ancient language and the current local dialects is the prefix for rejection (not). In this regard, Anarian means “non-Aryans”. If this interpretation is correct, this tribe has been non-Aryan people. Yet it is not clear to us who has been referred this title; a tribe or all non-Aryans tribal areas of Caspian Sea. It seems that Aryans lived in these areas and Non-Aryantribes sheltered in the northern ruggedand mountainous areas of Iranwere notwilling toagreeamong themselvesandsettled away fromAryan immigrants [3, p. 36]. Diakonov has stated in History of Medes: “Perhaps, the Pavsik, the Pentimat and the Dareiti are the tribes from Cadussi and Anarian lived in the coasts of the Caspian Sea, in the distance of the Albani and Otia from the north and the Hyrcani from the east [7, p. 411]. Unfortunately, we know very little about these people unless the more results have been obtained by the researchers in future.
The Babar is one of the other tribes talked about it less among scientific groups and has been almost forgotten in Guilan tribes. The babar is one of the tribes lived in southwest of the Caspian Sea and there is no information available about their race and location. It seems that the Babar lived in the vicinity of the Talish and Cadussi. Kolesnikov has stated about this tribe: “the medieval authors considered the Babar between Talish and Guilan or among Dailam and Talish or among Magi (a region limited to Aras River and lower Kura) and the Talish” [20, p. 165].
In a rebellion against Khosrow Parviz (Khosrow II), the Babar with the people of Talish and Gil in Dailam and Bahram and Dailaman and Bastam were allied to join the rebels in order to make Dailam to a large massive rebellion center against Khosrow Parviz. Khosrow Parviz ordered, after a while to harness the power of these groups especially Dailaman, to create a garrison in Qazvin to harness the power of the oppositions. Due to Belazeri, at the time of Osman, Valid Ibn Aghabe marched from Qazvin to Dailam, Guilan, Bababr and Talish and returned [11, p. 97–107].
What mentioned in texts about the Babar included the cooperation between this tribe and other tribes in the war representing the courage of the people of the Babar. We have no other effects of this tribe on the Guilan history. Due to the lack of these effects, the Babar maybe abandoned from the historical texts.
Docovsinions, Aniran and Anariya
Docovsinions are the other ancient tribe in the coast of the Caspian Sea and in Guilan Land that we have no historical evidence about them. We just know that they are one of the tribes besides other tribes in Guilan.
In the historical texts, we see other tribe similar to Anariak or Anarian. They named Anariya mentioned in Greek texts as Chodzoko compared it to Anarkul Hill in RahmatAbad Block[6, p. 40].
One of the other tribes is the Aniran. Strabo, a Greek geographer, based on Aristophanes, has mentioned the Aniran among Hyrcanian, Amard, Cadussi, Caspian and Otian [5, p. 36]. As a result, this tribe may be meant Anariyan or non-Aryan tribe or Anariak. It seems that these tribes are the same.
Amard tribe is another people lives besides other tribes in the ancient age in Guilan. Amard tribe mentioned in the historical texts as Mard, Amard, Mardos and Amard, lived between two tribes the Cadussi and the Tapori. We have no information about their ethnical background and we do not know that this tribe was Aryan or not.
Our knowledge about Amard is higher than Darbiks that lived in southern region of Spidrud and in the mountain region of Roodbar. We, due to this knowledge, are indebted to the courage and the fighting spirit of Amard traced more signs in the history. The name of this tribe has mentioned in Vandidad as “the followers of the devil”: “the best third land that I, Mazd, create is Marghian that is strong and faithful to Aria. The Demon of Marghian created the tribes of Mardan against it” (Vandid, first chapter, sixth part) indicating the bad relationship of Mardan (Amard) and Marghian (Marvi).
Herodotus, in the first book and 125th part, introduced Amard as the Bedouin allied with Cyrus against Medes. Arian considers Amard, in third book and eighth chapter, as the poor people and also brave and tolerant persons to tolerate the poverty and famine. Marquart, in the book “Eranshahr” introduced the Mard as the Caspian and the Tapor in the age before Aryans. Strabo, a Greek geographer, has stated in eleventh book and eighth chapter: “The Mard wore black robes, had long hair and everyone was braver he was allowed to marry any women”. In history of Persian Empire, the Mard were handsome, capable and brave persons presented in the heart of the army and were responsible to defense the commander [9, p. 11].
By entering Aryans to the new territories, the Amard who could not resist these new immigrants run away to Alborz Mountains to find shelters and finally placed near Sepidrud and the southern mountains of Guilan. In fact, for this reason, Sepidrud was named Amard in the past [3, p. 157]. Most researchers believe that the name of Sepirud has been derived by the tribe of Mard. Hamrang has stated about this: “It is not probably far-fetched that Sepidrud River at that time- the end of the second millennium and early first millennium BC- has been as a borderline between Cadussi and Amard. So later, the borderline of both sides of Guilan were have been named Bie Pas and Bie Pish [21, p. 26].
Rabinoo, quotes Rawlinson, has written: “It seems that referring Amardos to Sepidrud from the geographers is true; however, from the fourth century AD, it has been shown with a name calling it now because, without a doubt, referring Asprudus to Medi River by Pierpatisius where Sikorius Probus, the Roman ambassador, recognized it in a negotiation with Nerses, the king of Iran, is not similar to Sperud because this name should be written in this form in the ancient history of Iran” [6, pp. 308].
Diakonov has written, in History of Medes, the ancient name of Qizil Uzan and Spidrud in form of Amard [7, pp. 312]. According to this appellation, it appears that the Amard lived in the neighboring lands of Sepidur for a long time. Today, across the mountainous regions of the eastern side of Sepidrud is called Amarlo that it can be a reminder of Amard tribe. Also, the ancient hill of Marlik located in the eastern side of Sepidrud and in the northern side of Amarlo has been associated with the name of Amard because the suffix “Lac” لک)) and “Likلیک)) mean the tribe and these are the suffixes for the names of various tribes in Guilan such as Gilak (گیلک) or Gil-Lak (گیل لک) means the Gil tribe. Therefore, Marlik can be considered the combination of two terms “Mard” and “Lik” means the tribe of Amard [11, pp. 44–45].
Chodzko has written about Amard: “We know that the Amard were driven to the nearby regions under the pressure of Dailaman. Resvan Kurds tribe have been settled in the seventeenth century in their place bearing the name of the inhabitants of this land and adding the Turkish suffix (لو)”[6, p. 42]. Dr. Negahban also knows the Amard as Marlik tribe that were the early groups of Indian- Irani [18, pp. 453].
Saeed Nafisi has written about the Amard and their characteristics: “Amard is an old tribe in Guilan, Roodbar meaning the white valleys. This, in the old language, means who will never die. It is clear that the Amard were very powerful die hard people coming down too late and living at that region during historical times and then a special group of Achaemenian troops came from the Amard” (19, 16). The Amard helped Achaemenid in several battles including the invasion to Greece, the occupation of Sardis and the attack to Medes. In the battle of Gaugamela, the Amard showed the great courage in front of Alexander's army. It may be that Alexander decided to crush this tribe and attack them.
Battle of Alexander and Amard
Alexander selected some skilled snipers and shooters and nimble horsemen and archers and the agile war groups in order to rush the Amard Land. Because Tapuristan was under his obedience, passing through the land was easily possible. The Amard were unaware of the collusion between Alexander and Ferodoth and suddenly encountered to the alien forces from the east near the borders. Therefore, they retreated inevitably into the jungles and sent arrows towards Alexander's army and revealed heavy losses. When thebattlewashardforAlexander, he ordered to surround the forest and went forward from every path. He determined some groups to cut the trees and create the path. These commands were stopped because of caring the archers and harpooners of the Amard. In this regard, the Amard attacked Alexander through widening operations and gained booties including the famous horse of Alexander “Bosifal”. It was said Alexander loved this horse because it was a beautiful nimble hardy horse and was not riding anybody except Alexander. Due to this event, Alexander was very angry and announced by the heralds throughout the war regions that if not returning his horse, he will fire around the forest and he does not have a pity anybody.
The Amard left the horse of Alexander but the resistance continued and Alexander's army cut the trees of the forest and making bulwarks and by-ways with them. Finally, the Amard send the representatives to compromise Alexander. Then Alexander disposed Ferodoth to supervise the Amard affairs. As a rule, Alexander should go towards Cadussi after the release of the Amard affairs, but because of large losses and the situation of the forests led him to refer his camp and to return to Zadrakert (present Sterabad) [17, pp. 190–191].
In Parthian Period, there were reported several conflicts between the Amard and Parthian Kings in historical texts. For example, when third Parthian king –Artabanus III (191–211 BC) — attacked to West Asia to rein Seleucids, he contested with Amard and occupied some part of the Aamard land. But the most importanteventsin the reign ofParthian mentioned in connection with the history of Guilan is the successive campaigns of Farhad I to Amard Land during 178–176 BC. According to Justin — the Ancient Roman Historian –“Farhad won the war; the brave powerful people” [3, p. 2216]. During the campaigns, the Amard were defeated eventually after three year war and escape and were surrendered by the Parthian King. Farhad I caused the some group of defeated people of the Amard to migrate from their land to Rey Land and he appointed them to protect the Caspian Gate (in Khazar)- a region among Alborz and the salt desert[16, pp. 126–127].
With repression and the migration of Amard, the fame and notability of this tribe was decreased in Guilan and Dailaman was known instead of the Amard in the mountainous regions of the south of Guilan. It seems that after these incidents, the eastern part of Guilan was famous to Eshkevar (Eshkverd, Eshkjan, Eshkjanpahloo) means the twin or the city of tears. Following these events, during the reign of Mehrdad I (138–171 BC), expanded the Parthian Empire in the east and west of Iran, the land of the Amard was added to Parthian territory [11, pp. 80–81]. After this incident, there was not observed the effective role of the Amard Tribe in the historical texts until our knowledge of this tribe came to nothing little by little.
One of the small groups of the tribal people located at or around Hyrcania in the northern borders of Iranian Plateau. The historical documents and evidence are little about them. Most of what history can recount of this tribe is from the writings of Ctesias, Stephanus of Byzantium, Spiegel and Gobineau that give us short information about their customs and beliefs and settlement.
Joseph Arthur de Gobineau has introduced, in his book “History of Persians”, Derbikes as a branch of the Scythians (Saka) tribe. He also has stated that Derbikes are from the Tat current tribes that lived in several villages of Qazvin, Shahrood, Khalkhal, Roodbar and other areas such as Harzand, Grinjan and Galinghie in Marand, Zenooz and Gharedagh[13, p. 480].
It seems that Dorfak or dolfak is one of the highest mountains in Guilan derived its name from this tribe: “The name of Derbikes in form of Dorfak or Dolfak has been survived in the eastern side of Sepidrud and in a region called Amarloo” [9, p. 167].
Chodzoko has written: “The Greek word of Derbikes in form of Dorok or Dolfak, the name of the highest mountain in Guilan located in left side of Sepidrud has been survived in the dialect of shepherds and villagers. The literate Iranians generally tend to use the words derived from their current language, have named this mountain “Zolfak”. At the time of Herodotus, Derbikes or Derokes were the powerful tribe lived in this region independently. He has referred to this issue that “Cyrus gived Spitas the ruling (Satrap) of Derokes. The old geographers often made the mistake in using the rivers Gihon (Amu Darya) and Qizil Uzan as Ptolemy has considered the location of Derbikes in near the Caspian Sea and in the estuary of Gihon River (Amu Darya)[6, p. 41].
Strabo has stated in definition of the resting place presented the opponents of Cyrus: “If we move from Gorgan to the north, we arrive to the area “Dahe” داهه) (or “Deha” دها) (. After this region, we arrive to Derbikes. After passing it, we arrive to Massagetae located in neighboring plains of Khwarezm”. He has also stated: “The Tapori lived between the area of Derbikes and the Hircania. We understand from this definition that the land called Tabaristan or Mazandaran today and the neighbor to Gorgan from east has been nearby Derbikes from the west in ancient time” [9, pp. 166–167].
According to the works of the writers of the ancient age such as Heroditus, Ctesias and Strabo, it should be told that along with the arrival of the Aryans to the Iranian Plateau and the formation of Achaemenid Empire, the Derbikes tribe lived in the mountains of the west of Guilan near the Tapori and the Amard tribes. In the book “Age of Avesta”, the Derbikes were introduced Iranian tribes. This book has also stated: “This tribe and its battle have been mentioned in the unnamed resources of Avesta. They worshiped the ground as the god and refused to sacrifice and eat the female animals. They killed the old men more than seventy years old and ate them. They hung the old women and fired them” (2, 75)[2, p. 75].
Ctesias has narrated that Cyrus fought with people accepted the battle under the command of their king “Amorraios”. They brought the forces of Cyrus into the ambush and attacked him. Cyrus was injured in the battle and fell from the horse. The followers lifted him and took him out the field of battle. The other day one of the kings of Scythians- Amorgese- came to help the Persians with twenty thousand warriors. He defeated Derbikes. In this battle, the king of the Derbikes and his two sons were killed and Cyrus and his army won. Due to this event, Cyrus told his wills and resigned his throne to the eldest son “Cambyses” and gave over the government of Balkh, Khawarezm and Kerman to his younger son “Bardia=Tanaocsur”. Also, he gave over the government of Gorgan (Hircan) to his brother “Megabern” and the government of Derbikes to Spitan- the son of Spitamas. Cyrus wanted his brothers and relatives to be united and integrated in front of him. Cyrus died after three days due to the injury that was taken in the war. According to the above issue, Ctesias confirmed the battle with Scythians especially Derbikes[9, pp. 165–166].
Richard Nelson Frye has written: “Cyrus won in the first battle to the Massagetae and entangled one of the sons of Queen Tomyris ruled over them. That son suicided and Cyrus was defeated in another battle and died after 29 years in 530 BC. As a whole, it seems the most logical narrative story about Cyrus's death that we heard because other Greek and Roman writers such as Ctesias have similar stories but they have mentioned Scythians or Derbikes or the nomads as the enemies of Cyrus[12, pp. 141].
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