Fars, Or Farsistan (Pers., land of the Persians; anc. Persis), a S. W. province of Persia, bounded N. W. by Khuzistan, N. by Irak-Ajemi and Khorasan, E. by Kerman, S. by Laristan and the Persian gulf, and W. by the Persian gulf; area estimated at about 50,000 sq. m.; pop. between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000, including Turkomans, Banians, and a small number of Jews. It is divided into the Ger-masir and Sirhud, or warm and cold regions. The former extends inland from the coast, its surface being a sandy plain, wholly dependent for vegetation on the periodical rains. The latter comprises the more elevated region belonging to the great range of mountains which extend from the Caucasus to the gulf, and which in this part are exceedingly steep toward the sea. This portion of the province consists of fertile valleys. A few of them, as Shiraz, Ka-zerun, and Merdusht, are cultivated, but many are wooded and uninhabited. The southern part of the coast E. of Ras Berdistan is occupied by Arabs, who acknowledge the authority of the sultan of Muscat, and in the northern districts there are some tribes of Kurds. Eastward the country is more open, sandy, and ill supplied with water.
The chief rivers are the Sitaregyan, flowing into the Persian gulf, and the Bendemir, falling into the salt lake Bakhtegan. Another salt lake, near Shiraz, supplies the province with salt. The general products of the country are tobacco in large quantity, wine, rice, dates, opium, linen, cotton, silk, cochineal, and roses for the manufacture of attar. Iron and lead mines exist, as also quarries of marble and alabaster. Borax and naphtha are among the chemical products. Attention is given to the raising of horses, camels, and asses, for use and export. The inhabitants of this province are considered the most industrious in Persia. They manufacture woollen, silk, and cotton stuffs, and carry on an extensive trade with India. The government is vested in a prince of the sovereign's family, under whom are governors of districts. There are many interesting remains of antiquity. The tomb of Cyrus is at Murgab, the ancient Pa-sargada; the ruins of Persepolis are between that town and Shiraz. Inoculation is said to have been known among the tribes of Fars for centuries.
Among the principal towns are Shiraz, the capital; Kazerun, with excellent opium produced in the vicinity; Darab or Da-rabgerd, famous for its date trees; and Bushire, the chief port in the Persian gulf. (See Persis.)