I am writing a short story about two non-noble men traveling through the Lut desert from Herat (back in the time called Harēv) to the city of Kerman (Back in the time called Veh-Ardashir - not to be confused with the western part of the ancient city Ctesiphon at the Tigris in Iraq) fleeing the pillaging army of the Hephthalites in 484 CE after Sasanian king Peroz I was killed in the Battle of Herat.

The men are probably in their twenties, maybe early thirties, but I don't think that matters. Anyways, I am trying to find a name for the both of them. What names were given to men in Persia during the Sasanian period (224 to 651 CE)?

So far I was only able to find this post mentioning quite a few non-arabic/islamic male names, but I suppose these are modern day (or rather post islamic conquest) names? Can anyone confirm or disprove my assumption? Or is there any difference at all?

  • 1
    Doesn't the Wikipedia article Sasanian Empire and the links therein provide a sufficient source for names? Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:35
  • I can find some names of kings and princes and if I didn't just fly over it maybe some nobility but not just regular prenames, or am I wrong? Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:51
  • Perhaps refer to contemporary literature: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Persian_literature
    – AllInOne
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 16:27
  • Maybe looking at Shahnameh en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahnameh could be helpful. There is a chapter on that battle in Shahnameh. Maybe by looking at that chapter or the previous or the next chapters you can find some names.
    – Name
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:14
  • @AllInOne The links provided actually give very little hint, a handful of names, most of them religious or aristocratic figures. However, it sparked the idea of searching for Zoroastrian names, as this was the pre-Islamic belief spreading in Achaemenid Persia, dominating until the Islamic conquest. Then I stumbled upon a book called "Parsiana Book of Iranian Names" but sadly no extract, and finally on this list, which provides a lot of options. So, thanks. Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


This list provides many options for Persian names. For most of the names it does not state whether they were used pre- or post-Islamic but with a bit of searching for the names themselves it's possible to find some.

Here are some more definitely old Persian names, presumably from historical figures.

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