Bābak Khorramdin (Formally known as "Pāpak" meaning "Young Father") (Persian: بابک خرمدین, alternative spelling: Pāpak Khorramdin; 795, according to some other sources 798— January 838) was one of the main Persian revolutionary leaders of the Iranian Khorram-Dinān ("Those of the joyous religion"), which was a local freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. Khorramdin appears to be a compound analogous to dorustdin "orthodoxy" and Behdin "Good Religion" (Zoroastrianism), and are considered an offshoot of neo-Mazdakism. Babak's Iranianizing rebellion, from its base in Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran, called for a return of the political glories of the Iranian past. The Khorramdin rebellion of Babak spread to the Western and Central parts of Iran and lasted more than twenty years before it was defeated when Babak was betrayed. Babak's uprising showed the continuing strength in Azerbaijan of ancestral Iranian local feelings.
Babak Khorramdin was not well known outside academia until the 20th century; however, due to Soviet nation building efforts and Babak's following of teaching of Mazdak with its pseudo-communist and socialist themes, Babak Khorramdin was proclaimed a national hero in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.!!?? For example, the Soviet era scholar Ziya Bunyadov, claimed that "Babak was a national hero of Azerbaijani people" while the Russian ethnologist, historian and anthropologist Victor Schnirelmann dismisses Bunyadov's theory, criticizing Bunyadov for not mentioning that Babak spoke Persian, and ignoring the witness accounts of Babak's contemporaries who call him Persian. To this day, in the modern Republic of Azerbaijan, Babak is a cult figure and celebrated as a national hero !!??. In modern Iran, due to the rise of nationalism in the 20th century, and renewed interest in pre-Islamic Iran, Babak Khorramdin was rediscovered during the reign of Reza Shah, and is celebrated as a national hero. However, Babak remains a controversial figure in the Islamic Republic, whose idolization is criticized by some Shia clerics.