The Indian term is attested many centuries prior to the arrival of the Parsis on the Indian subcontinent, and appears both for Iranians generally, as well as in the specific Iranian sense of Middle Persian parsi(k) ("of, or pertaining to, Persia proper") to refer to Sassanian kings, e.g. in the 4th-century Mahabharata. The Indian term is thus conventionally assumed to be ultimately a loanword from Middle Persian (or general Middle Iranian) parsi(k). In colonial times the term was also applied to the Portuguese, and by extension to Europeans in general.
Older texts have pārasā́rya "Perso-Iranian", etc. Other Iranian ethnonyms found in the Mahabharata include Sanskrit pahlava, pahnava "Parthian(s)", sāka "(eastern) Scythian(s)", bāhlika "Bactrian(s)".
Parsi (plural Parsis)
Parsi (not comparable)
- Of, or pertaining to, the Zoroastrian community of the Indian subcontinent.
- Parsiism, Parseeism: older terms for the religious beliefs and practices of the Parsis, i.e. Zoroastrianism.
- ^ Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London: Routledge, 1979), page 157
- ^ Hinnells, John & Williams, Alan (2007). Parsis in India and the Diaspora. London: Routledge.
- ^ Williams, Alan (2009). The Zoroastrian Myth of Migration from Iran and Settlement in the Indian Diaspora. Leiden: Brill.