Sharazor was the name of a Sassanid district (assurestan), Kurdish kingdom, Ottoman vilayet and finally a Sanjak of Mosul vilayet situated to the southern and eastern part of what is now known as Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...


The plain of Sharazor has an important status among adherents of native religion of Yarsan as a holy and sacred region where God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 descends for the Last Judgement.


The name of Sharazor is formed of two words: Shar or shahr meaning "land, region, city" and zor with several meanings but probably one of these: "power, difficulty, generosity, plenitude", and probably is an arabized form of jor meaning height. However, according to the 12th century geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) was an Islamic biographer and geographer renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. "al-Rumi" refers to his Greek descent; "al-Hamawi" means that he is from Hama, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah...

, it originates from the name of the son of Zahhak
Zahhāk or Zohhāk is an evil figure in Iranian mythology, evident in ancient Iranian folklore as Aži Dahāka, the name by which he also appears in the texts of the Avesta...

, whom he mentions as founder of the famous city of Sharazor.

Sassanid era

Sharazor and its king Yazdan Kard are mentioned in the Karnamag, a book of Persian mythology, of Ardashir I
Ardashir I
Ardashir I was the founder of the Sassanid Empire, was ruler of Istakhr , subsequently Fars Province , and finally "King of Kings of Sassanid Empire " with the overthrow of the Parthian Empire...

 and also in the inscription of Narseh
Narseh was the seventh Sassanid King of Persia , and son of Shapur I ....

 alongside Garmian
Garmian, is a historical region around the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. It is located at southeast of the Little Zab, southwest of the mountains of Shahrazor, northeast of the Tigris and the Jabal Hamrin, although sometimes including parts of southwest of the Jabal Hamrin, and northwest of...

. During the Sassanids era the region of Sharazor was one of the 5 provinces of the satrapy of Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

, an ancient Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian people.

In the 4th century, some of inabitants of Sharazor who had converted to Christianity were persecuted by Sassanids. Among the prominent examples of this persecution is the killing of Bishop Shahdost Shahrazori and 128 of his followers.

Arab conquest

In the year 642 AD, Sharazor witnessed a big battle between Kurds and invading Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims are adherents of the religion of Islam who identify linguistically, culturally, or genealogically as Arabs. They greatly outnumber other ethnic groups in the Middle East. Muslims who are not Arabs are called mawali by Arab Muslims....

 aiming to conquer the Sassanid empire. After suffering massive casualties, the Arabs assumed control of it in 643 AD.

According to the classical concept, during the Sassanids era, the region of Sharazor corresponded to the modern provinces of Suleimania, Kirkuk
Kirkuk is a city in Iraq and the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.It is located in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk, north of the capital, Baghdad...

, and parts of the Diyala province. It was centered upon the city of Sharazor in the vicinity of Suleimania.


A Kurdish kingdom is reported to have ruled the region from the 11th century until the 16th. The historic site of the ruins of the Yassin tepe indicate the location of its capital city.

Yaqoot Hamawi describes the region of Sharazor as areas between Irbil to the west and Hamadan to the east including many cities, towns and villages. He mentions the inhabitants of the region as having been entirely Kurds, who were rebellious against the Sultan and ruled their own area.

Sharazor was the first capital of the Ardalan
Ardalan or was the name of a vassaldom in north-western Persia during Qajar period.Ardalan vassaldom was established in an area encompassing present day Iranian province of Kurdistan from medieval period up to mid 19th century. Ardalan is also the name of the ruling family of that vassaldom...

 state. The region was later under Baban
Baban were a Kurdish principality and ruling family originating from Darishmana in the region of Pijder. The founder of the dynasty and its first ruler was Fakih Ahmed a descendent of the ancient house of Soran. He also had a brother named Khidder Ahmed who lived with him...

 dominion, another important medieval principality.

Ottoman era

In the later medieval era, approximately the 16th century, the Sharazor Eyalet surrounding the city of Kirkuk
Kirkuk is a city in Iraq and the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.It is located in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk, north of the capital, Baghdad...

, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. This eyalet was inclusive of the three present-day Suleimania Governorate, Kirkuk Governorate and Irbil Governorate.

In 1879, the region of Suleimania was separtaed from the vilayet of Sharazor and the remaining regions were incorporated as a sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...

, or administrative region, along with the vilayet of Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

. Around the year 1894, the sanjak of Sharazor was renamed to 'Kirkuk, after its capital city, in order to avoid confusion with the sanjak of Zor in the neighbouring vilayet of Sham
Sham, a word found in Arabic, English and Chinese, may refer to:-Arabic use:* Sham, or Alsahm, the Arabic name for the star Alpha Sagittae* Sham, , al-Sham, or Bilad al-Sham, endonym of the region bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea, usually known as the Levant or Greater Syria, comprising...


Iraqi rule

In the 20th century, the government of Iraq formed a Kirkuk Governorate which included the region of Kirkuk and excluding previously Suleimania and Irbil districts. Under the Baath regime's rule the Kirkuk governorate underwent a process of arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

 and Saddam Hussein separated Kurdish-inhabited towns of the governorate. He renamed the governorate to Al-Tamim meaning 'state-owned'.

Modern Sharazor

Modern Assyrians continue to revere the site. According to modern usage, the name Sharazor is primarily used to refer to the plain between Suleimania and Derbendixan.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.