The Land of Fire

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The Land of Fire (Azerbaijani: Odlar Yurdu) is a phrase in the Azerbaijani language and an ancient Azerbaijani cultural concept that denoted either the entire Azerbaijan's geographical land or the metaphysical realm of mortals, and later became associated with political sovereignty and cultural symbolism.

The larger concept of Odlar Yurdu is closely associated with civilization and order in classical Azerbaijani philosophy, and has formed the basis for the world view of the Azerbaijani people and nations influenced by them since at least the Bronze Age.[1]

Historical and political development[edit]

The etymology of phrase is thought to be related to Atropates, who ruled over the region of Atropatene (present Iranian Azerbaijan). The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian, probably Median, compounded name with the meaning "Protected by the (Holy) Fire" or "The Land of the (Holy) Fire".[2] The Greek name is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Strabo. Over the span of millennia the name evolved to Āturpātākān then to Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān and present-day Azerbaijan. The word is translatable as "The Treasury" and "The Treasurer" of fire or "The Land of the Fire"[2] in Modern Persian.[3]

Some critics have argued that, phrase is a reference either to the natural burning of surface oil deposits or to the oil-fueled fires in temples of the once-dominant Zoroastrianism.[4][5]

The symbolism of the term widely been used in most fields such as in heraldry, the shield in national emblem of Azerbaijan contains the image of a fire in the center of an eight-point star against a background of the colors of the Azerbaijani flag.[6]

Promotional usage[edit]

Atlético players with kits stating "Azerbaijan Land of Fire"

After Azerbaijan's independence from Soviet Union, the phrase was used as a touristic campaign to promote the country as a tourist destination and as a location for industry. The phrase appeared in many touristic promotions, the most notable on Atletico Madrid's shirts as of 2012.[7][8] In 2014, the phrase appeared on Sheffield Wednesday and Lens after clubs' takeover by Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov.[9][10]

Eurovision Song Contest 2012's motto "Light your fire!" was based on the "Land of Fire" concept.[11]

European calques[edit]

The "Land of Flames" expression became the origin for the literary expressions denoting Azerbaijan in a number of European languages, such as in Russian language Strana Ogney (Страна Огней, i.e. "Country of the Fires").[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Azərbaycana niyə Odlar Yurdu deyilir?". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Azerbaijan: Early History: Persian and Greek Influences". U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved June 7, 2006. 
  3. ^ In dictionaries: F. Steingass: āẕar-bād-gān,āẕar-abād-gūn,āẕar, āẕur,ādar,bāygān,pāy. Dehkhoda: آذربایجان/Âzarbâyjân,آذربایگان/Âzarbâygân,آذربادگان/Âzarbâdegân,آذر/Âzar,آدر/Âdar,بایگان/Bâygân,بادگان/Bâdegân,-پای/pây-,گان-/-gân(جان-/-jân) (Persian)
  4. ^ Tyrrell, Maliheh S. (2000). Aesopian Literary Dimensions of Azerbaijani Literature of the Soviet Period, 1920-1990. Lexington Books. p. 34. 
  5. ^ "Azerbaijan". Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Owen. "Azerbaijan's sponsorship of Atlético Madrid proves spectacular success". Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Atletico Madrid: Azerbaijan logo edited out of Iran paper". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "‘Azerbaijan Land of Fire’ on new Owls strip". Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Atlético Madrid, Lens, Euro 2016... L'Azerbaïdjan est-il le nouveau Qatar du foot ?". (in French). Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Siim, Jarmo (25 January 2012). "Baku 2012: Light your fire!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Страна огней: Азербайджан. (in Russian). National Geographic. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Azerbaijan: Land of Fire and Flood Ancient Mariners and a Deluged Landscape". Retrieved 9 August 2014.