BĀZĀR “market (place),” Middle Persian wāzār (wʾcʾr), Armenian vačaṟ, Sogdian wʾcrn, wʾcn “street,” hence bāzargān (Arm. vačarākan) “merchant”; Sasanian inscription of Šāpūr I on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt, Mid. Pers. (1. 35) wʾcʾlpt “master of the bāzār,” Parth. (1. 28) wʾšrpty, Gk. (1. 66) agoranomou. The word is possibly to be derived from *uahā-čā/ărana- “*market” (cf. Pers. bahā “price”), from IE. *ṷes- in OInd. vasnám “price, worth,” Latin vēnum, cf. French vendre, etc. See W. B. Henning, Ein manichäisches Bet­ und Beichtbuch, APAW, 1936, no. 10, p. 116 (= Selected Papers I, Acta Iranica 14, p. 530), s.v. wʾcʾrgʾn; I. Gershevitch, A Grammar of Manichean Sogdian, Oxford, 1954, par. 399 (and elsewhere); Bailey, Dictionary, p. 274 s.v. bahoysana- “market” (the Khotanese form appears to be from *ṷahā-ṷazana-); A. Maricq, “Res Gestae Divi Saporis,” Syria 35, 1958, p. 331 (repr. in Classica et Orientalia, Paris, p. 73); Mayrhofer, Dictionary III, p. 127. 

Bāzār has three basic meanings: 1. a market day, usually once a week, when farmers bring their wares to the market to sell; 2. a fair held at specific times; and 3. the physical establishments, the shops, characterized by specific morphology and architectural design. 

i. General.

ii. Organization and function.

iii. Socioeconomic and political role of the bāzār.

iv. The bāzārs in Afighanisian.

v. Temporary bāzārs in Iran and Afghanistan.

(Multiple Authors)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

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