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Nishapur [Abarshahr; Nishāpūr; Nayshābūr; Nehshāpūr]locked

  • Robert Hillenbrand


[Abarshahr; Nishāpūr; Nayshābūr; Nehshāpūr]

City in north-east Iran. Situated in a fertile plain ringed by mountains, the city was founded by the Sasanian ruler Shapur I (regad 241–72) and known as Nehshāpūr (‘New Shapur’) or Abarshahr. It fell to the Arabs c. 651 and remained in Islamic hands, although a Nestorian Christian bishopric continued to function there. It became the principal city and entrepôt of Khurasan, a province that embraced much of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan as well as north-east Iran, and it was one of the three or four major cities in the Islamic world, with a population of over 100,000 and a surface area of some 17 sq. km. In 828 it became the capital of the Tahirid dynasty (reg 821–73). A great artificial platform was built and a citadel erected upon it, as at Bukhara and Samarkand, and a palace and officers’ quarters erected in the suburb of Shadyakh, several kilometres away. From 873 the Saffarid rulers (...

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