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Azerbaijan, History

Safavid dynasty, Azerbaijanis, Safavids, Mongol invasions, Sunni Muslims

The area of present-day Azerbaijan was settled beginning in about the 8th century bc by the Medes, an ancient Aryan tribe. It became part of the Persian Empire in the 6th century bc, and the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism was introduced. From the 4th century bc until the 9th century ad the state of Caucasian Albania (Aghvan) existed in eastern Transcaucasia. In the 4th century ad, that state adopted Christianity. A much-disputed area, eastern Transcaucasia was conquered in the late 7th century ad by Arabs, and Islam predominated thereafter. In the mid-11th century Seljuk Turks under Togrul Beg conquered present-day Azerbaijan as well as most of Iran and Iraq. Turkic tribes migrated to the area from the east and came to influence the linguistic and cultural development of the Azerbaijanis. With the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, the area fell under the domain of Mongol khans. In the 16th century Azerbaijan again came under the control of Iran (formerly known as Persia), which was ruled by the Safavid dynasty, and the Shia doctrine of Islam was established as the official religion. The Ottomans, who were Sunni Muslims, went to war with Iran and held Azerbaijan from 1578 to 1603, but the Safavids continued to reign over the area until their dynasty fell in the early 18th century. Turkic Muslim khanates were then established in Baku, Naxc?van, and other areas.

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Article key phrases:

Safavid dynasty, Azerbaijanis, Safavids, Mongol invasions, Sunni Muslims, Persian Empire, disputed area, Medes, Baku, cultural development, Arabs, Ottomans, Christianity, century bc, Iraq, war, century ad, beginning, areas


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