CAIUMARAS*, Before CHRIST 890. who seems to be the King of Elam mentioned in the Scripture, founded the Persian Empire, and fixed the seat of it in the province of Azarbigian. He was opposed in his noble enterprises by the inhabitants of the mountains and forests, who, like the wild Tartars and Arabs, dwelled in tents or caverns, and led a rambling life among rocks and in deserts. The rude appearance of these Savages, compared with the more polished manners of those, who first began to be civilized, gave rise to the fiction of Dæmons and Giants among the Persians, who call them Dîves* and repre­sent them as declared enemies to Man.

HU SHENG*, Grandson of Caiumaras, was, probably, contemporary with Minos, and, like him, B. C. 865. was eminent for his Justice and excellent Laws, which gained him the surname of Pish­dâd*, or The Legislator, whence the first race of Persian Kings took the name of Pishdadians. He taught Agriculture to his subjects, and made great improvements in the art; he advised them to water their fields with artificial canals, a custom still frequent in Persia, where the soil is uncommonly dry. He also discovered mines of iron in his kingdom, which metal he wrought into weapons, and tools for husbandry. He was the first, who bred dogs and leopards for hunting, and introduced the fashion of wearing the furs of wild beasts in winter. He is also said to have built the city of Shuster or Susa, to have extended the bounds of his Empire, and to have penetrated as far as the coast of the Indian Sea.

TAHMURAS* B. C. 835. succeeded his father Husheng; he built several cities in the two provinces of Irak, and among them Babel or Babylon, and Niniveh, near the ruins of which the cities of Bagdad and Musel are now supposed to stand. He assigned the government of these cities, with large ter­ritories annexed to them, to his most illustrious Ministers, who are known to us by the names of Assyrian and Babylonian Monarchs, though, most probably, they payed homage to the sovereign lords of Iran.

This prince encouraged arts and manufactures, and particularly the planting of rice, and the breed­ing of B. C. 835. silk-worms; he first used a complete suit of armour, and civilized many barbarous nations, whence he was called Dîvbend*, or, The Tamer of Giants.

GEMSHID* B. C. 800. finished the City of Istakhar, or, as the Greeks called it, Persepolis, which his uncle Tahmuras had begun, and the ruins of which are still shown, by the name of Chehlminár*, or, The Forty Pillars. He introduced the use of the Solar Year among the Persians, and ordered the first day of it, called Nurúz*, when the Sun enters the Ram, to be solemnized by a splendid festival. This gave a beginning to Astronomy among his subjects, and at the same time, per­haps, to the idolatrous respect, which the com­mon people afterwards showed to the Sun. Gemshid, or Gem, for he is known by both names, was a wise and magnificent prince: he was the first, who instituted publick baths, and encouraged his subjects to dive for pearls in the Green Sea, or Persian Gulf; he invented tents and pavilions, and discovered the use of lime in building: he built a strong bridge over the Tigris, which, according to the Asiatick writers, was demolished by the Greeks. Yet this illustrious monarch was unfortunate in war: he was driven from his throne by Zohác, a native of Arabia, and spent the remainder of his life in travel. The Queen, his wife, saved her son Feridun from the usurper, and educated him in a distant retreat. The Persians say, that musical B. C. 800. instruments were invented in the reign of Gemshid; and they add, that Pythagoras and Thales were his Contemporaries.

ZOHAC*, B. C. 780. the Usurper, was a detestable Tyrant: his cruelty forced the Persians to revolt, and a General, named Gáo, having defeated him, drew the young Feridún from his retirement, and placed him upon the throne.

FERIDUN* B. C. 750. is considered by the Persians as a model of every virtue: he gave the province of Irak or Parthia to his Deliverer Gáo, as a prin­cipality for life; and having sent for the standard, which that officer used in his battle against Zohác, he adorned it with precious stones, and preserved it in his treasury*.

Feridun, wishing to spend the last years of his life in a studious retirement, divided his vast dominions between his three sons: he allotted Syria and the western provinces to Salm, who was, perhaps, the Salmanasser of the Jews; he gave the country beyond the Oxus to Tûr, whence the Transoxan Regions were called Tûrán, and assigned the kingdom of Khorasan and all the heart of his Empire to Irage, his youngest son, whose share took the name of Irán, B. C. 750. which it still retains. The two elder brothers, thinking this division partial, made war against Irage, and slew him in a cruel manner; they would even have dethroned Feridun, had not Manucheher, son of Irage, a youth of great hopes, led a powerful army against them, and avenged the death of his father. This division of the Persian empire into Iran and Turan has been a source of per­petual dissensions between the Persians and Tar­tars, as the latter have taken every opportunity of passing the Oxus, and laying waste the dis­tricts of Khorasan; they have even pushed their conquests so far, as to overturn the power of the Califs, and afterwards to raise a mighty Empire on the banks of the Ganges.

MANUCHEHER* B. C. 720. made great improvements in the government of Persia, and was the first who began to fortify his cities with ramparts and ditches. He was fond of improving gardens, and of cultivating curious plants. He was not fortunate in war, though his General and Vizir, the son of Neriman, was the bravest hero of his age. In his reign the celebrated Rostam is said to have been born of Rudába, an Indian prin­cess, by Zálzer or The golden-haired, a youth of exquisite beauty and eminent virtues: but, as Rostam was, certainly, a Commander under Cyrus, he must, if we place him under Manucheher, have lived above an hundred and fifty years; which is scarce credible, though such a fiction may be allowed in the poems of Ferdusi.

NUZAR*, B. C. 695. son of Manucheher, succeeded to the diadem, but not to the glory, of his father. While his court was torn in pieces by a number of factions, Afrâsiáb, King of Tûrán, a lineal descendant from Tûr, son of Ferídûn, passed the Oxus with a formidable army, and, having defeated the Persian Monarch, slew him with his own hand. This Invader reigned twelve years in Persia, but was forced by Zalzer, or The Prince with Golden Hair, to repass the Oxus, and return to his own dominions. It is more than probable, that Afrasiáb was a common name for the Kings of Asiatick Tartary, since the grand­father of Cyrus, whom we commonly call Astyages, bore the same name, and we cannot sup­pose Him to have been the first invader of Persia*.

It B. C. 667. was not long before the Turanians invaded Iran a second time, and, by forcing the great commanders of Persia to defend their own Principalities, reduced the power of the Persian Kings to a shadow. Afrasiáb, either the monarch above-mentioned, or another of his name, is reckoned the ninth king of Persia.

ZAV* B. C. 639. was a Prince of the royal line, and was placed on the throne by Zalzer, but enjoyed only the B. C. 639. title of King, as the Turanians had overrun great part of his Empire, and kept him in con­tinual alarm. These are the Scythians of our Ancient Histories, who are said about this time to have invaded the kingdom of the Medes; but our best historians are apt to confound them with the Scythians of the North.

GERSHASP*, B. C. 633. son of Zav, or KISHTASP, as some writers call him, reigned but a few years, if it could be called reigning, to have the name of King, and to be more helpless than his sub­jects: he was the last prince of the Pishdadians. During the reign of these monarchs in Persia, if we believe our Chronologers, Dido built Carthage, Homer wrote his Poems, which were afterwards brought into Greece by Lycurgus; the Pyramids of Egypt were raised by Cheops, Cephren, and Nitocris; the Assyrians founded a powerful Dynasty; Athens was first governed by Archons; and Sabaco, whom the Persians call Cús Pildend*, or with the Teeth of an Elephant, because he first made use of that beast in his wars, became famous in Ethiopia, and spread his arms over all Africa. This warriour was contemporary with Feridún, who reigned, as we have seen, seven hundred and fifty years before Christ, at which time, says Newton, Sabaco the Ethiopian invaded Egypt. Rome, the rival of Carthage and Athens, was built in the reign of Gershásp.