Shahr-e Rey

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Shahr-e Rey
Toghril Tower in Rey (mid-12th century) - allegedly the grave of Toghril-Beg (I.)
Toghril Tower in Rey (mid-12th century) - allegedly the grave of Toghril-Beg (I.)
Shahr-e Rey (Iran)
Shahr-e Rey
Shahr-e Rey
Basic data
Country: IranIran Iran
Province : Tehran
Coordinates : 35 ° 35 '  N , 51 ° 25'  E Coordinates: 35 ° 35 '  N , 51 ° 25'  E
Height : 1058  m
Residents : 250,000 (1996)
Time zone : UTC +3: 30

Schahr-e Rey ( Persian شهر ری, DMG Šahr-e Rey , 'Stadt Rey'), Rey for short , is an industrial city about 15 kilometers south of the Iranian capital Tehran . It is included in the Tehran metropolitan area and is also connected to the Tehran subway , but forms a separate district of the Tehran Province . Until it was destroyed by the Mongols , Rey was one of the most important cities in northern Iran. The Nisba indicating belonging to Rey is Rāzī .


Ancient capital of Iran

Rey, already mentioned in the Avesta as "Raga" as a place with a controversial localization today , was the oldest capital and "holy" center of Media , the oldest Iranian empire, but was conquered and subjugated by Assyrians in the 8th century BC . The city was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Rhagai or Rhagä (Rhagae) or Rhages (Rages) and was also mentioned in the Jewish book of Tobit . The new capital of the Medes after the victory over the Assyrians became Ekbatana (Hamadan) in the 7th century . Along the Silk Road , Rey was at the intersection of the route from Ekbatana to Herat and from Tabriz to Isfahan .

Destroyed by the Persians under Cyrus II and Darius I in the 6th century BC , after the defeat against Alexander the Great , the last Persian king Darius III ruled . a few more weeks from Rey over the rest of the world. Of Alexander's successors I. Seleucus Rey was rebuilt and in the meantime Europos renamed, but fell in the 3rd century BC to the Parthians (the summer residence of Arsakiden in arsakia renamed) and the 3rd century AD to the Sassanids .

With the fall of the Sassanid Empire, Rey, which is said to have been left to collapse as the hometown of the revolting General Bahram Chobin by his conqueror Chosrau II and an evil governor, was attacked by the Arabs, but the remains of a Sassanid fortress are in Rey still preserved as well as the tomb Schahr-Banus, a daughter of the last Sassanid Shah Yazdegerd III. who, as the wife of Husain ibn ʿAlī, is said to have become the mother of numerous Sayyids .

Power center of Persian Iraq

After an earthquake, the city was rebuilt and resettled on the orders of the caliphs , but the Muslim population was gradually Iranized. The Abbasid caliph Harun ar-Raschid is said to have been born in Rey in 765. In the civil war for the caliphate in 812, Harun's Persian son al-Ma'mūn defeated the Baghdad troops of his Arab half-brother al-Amin at the gates of the city . At the end of the 9th century, the famous medical researcher, doctor and philosopher Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi worked in Rey. The city was a stronghold of early Hanafi . In the 9th century and in the first half of the 10th century they adhered to the Najariya, a theological teaching that went back to al-Husain an-Najar (d. 815) and was dogmatically close to the Murji'a and the Muʿtazila .

Already in 874 a Zaidite imam attacked from Dailam Rey. In 932 the Buyide al-Hasan Rukn ad-Daula conquered the city on behalf of a Dailamite mercenary leader and went into business for himself; his successors promoted the Shia . Rey developed into a flourishing royal seat where such scholars as the Shiite Ibn Baboye (d. 991 in Rey), the Muʿtazilite Qādī ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Ahmad (d. 1044) and the philosopher Avicenna worked.

In 1023 Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni ousted the Buyids from Rey. The defeat of the Ghaznavids against the Seljuks (1040) tried to use a son of the last Buyid in Rey to restore his dynasty, but in 1041/42 the city fell to the Seljuq leader Ibrahim Inal and the following year to his powerful half-brother Toghril-Beg ( I.) , who made it his new residence and also died here. Rey remained a flourishing royal seat under Seljuk rulers, emirs and sultans until the 12th century. Until the time of the Abbasid caliph Al-Muqtafi († 1160), they also indirectly ruled the metropolis of Baghdad .

Rey remained an important center of the Shia under the Seljuks. The city's Shia were composed of three groups: (1) the Twelve Shia , which in turn consisted of two groups, namely Usūlīya and Achbārīya ; (2) the Zaidites, who formed the second largest group and had several schools with famous scholars and large mosques in Rey; and (3) the Ismāʿīlīya , which only gained importance in the second half of the 11th century under the leadership of Hasan-i Sabbāh († 1124) from Rey . The Seljuk governor Abbas carried out a massacre of the Ismailis around 1145. He is said to have built towers from the skulls of the killed. In 1186 parts of the city were destroyed in fighting between Sunnis and Shiites.

The last sultan of the line of the Great Seljuks, Toghril III. , resided in Rey and finally succumbed to the Choresm Shah Ala ad-Din Tekish here in 1194 .

Tehran as successor

In 1220 the Ismailis rose again, the Khorezm Shah Muhammad II drowned the uprising in another massacre. The city ​​did not recover from a third destruction by the Mongols , which Rey had bitterly resisted in 1221. In 1400 the Mongols came again, this time under Timur Lenk . Against Shah-Ruch († 1447 in Rey), the successor of the Mongol Timur in Herat, the Kurd Nurbasch rose to become a Mahdi , before he too died in Rey in 1464.

The ruins of the city fell into disrepair, their stones were built by the survivors in nearby Tehran, which in fact succeeded Ray as the regional metropolis of non-Arab Iraq (Iran).

But it was not until 1796 that Tehran also became the capital of the unified empire under the Qajars , and Shah Fath Ali was glorified by carved rock reliefs in the ruined city of Rey. The Imamzadeh shrine of Sayyid Shah Abd al-Azim finally became the scene of the Constitutional Revolution in 1906 .

In 1888, Iran's first railway line was created between Rey and Tehran with the Tehran-Abd-al-Azim Railway.

Old testament

Rey is mentioned several times as Rages in the Book of Tobit of the Old Testament (e.g.  Tob 5.5  EU ). The Archangel Raphael is in the angels , the prayer of Tobias (heard Tob 3.16  EU ) him on his journey from Nineveh accompanied to Rages him in Ecbatana Sara as wife gives ( Tob 6.10 to 13  EU ) and Tobias 'Father Tobit heals.


sons and daughters of the town

See also


  • Heinz Halm: The Schia. Darmstadt 1988.
  • M. Heidari-Abkenar: The ideological and political confrontation Shia-Sunna using the example of the city of Rey of the 10th-12th centuries Century AD Inaugural dissertation, University of Cologne, 1992.
  • Bernard Lewis: The Assassins. Munich 1993
  • Burchard Brentjes : Peasants, Mullahs, Shahinschahs. Leipzig 1983

Web links

Commons : Rey  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. also Ray , Raiy , Rei , Rai , Rayy or Rajj .
  2. Jürgen Ehlers (ed. And trans.): Abū'l-Qāsem Ferdausi: Rostam - The legends from the Šāhnāme . Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2002, p. 370 ( Rāy )
  3. Volkmar Enderlein , Werner Sundermann : Schāhnāme. The Persian Book of Kings. Miniatures and texts from the Berlin manuscript from 1605. Gustav Kiepenheuer, Leipzig / Weimar 1988, new printing Müller & Kiepenheuer, Hanau. ISBN 3-7833-8815-5 , pp. 200 f.
  4. See Wilferd Madelung: Religious Trends in early Islamic Iran . The Persian Heritage Foundation, Albany, NY, 1988. p. 29.
  5. Cf. Heidari-Abkenar: The ideological and political confrontation Schia-Sunna . 1992, p. 63.