Iranian Studies

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The Iranian or Iran customer is an interdisciplinary cultural studies at the boundary of philology , cultural anthropology , archeology and historical science that deals with the study of the spiritual and material heritage of Iranian peoples from ancient times to the present day (in particular the countries of Iran , Afghanistan , Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on ) employed (Old Iranian Studies / New Iranian Studies). This includes the history , literature , art and culture of the Iranian peoples. She also deals with the study of the Iranian languages . A researcher in the field of Iranian Studies is called an Iranist .

The most famous Iranists include the American Orientalist Richard N. Frye , the British Iranist Mary Boyce and the Russian scientist and expert on the Orient, Vladimir Minorsky . Ehsan Yarshater , co-founder and editor of the Encyclopædia Iranica , and Zabihollah Safa , the author of the long-standing standard work on Persian literary history, come from Iran .

Iranian Studies in Europe

The Behistun inscription shows the report of the victories of the great king Dareios I in three languages. This inscription was central to the deciphering of the ancient Persian cuneiform.

European countries began to grapple with the history and culture of Iran in the 17th century. At first it was mainly about travel reports written by envoys and merchants who traveled to Iran. Such a travelogue even dates back to the 15th century in Russian. One of the most famous of these travelogues is that of Adam Olearius , who traveled to the Safavid court in 1635–39 .

Georg Friedrich Grotefend from Göttingen, pioneer in deciphering the ancient Persian cuneiform

From the first half of the 19th century, Iranian Studies developed as an independent discipline within Orient-related research. This development was largely promoted by the fact that knowledge of the Avesta was first received in the late 18th century . The philological interest in the Indo-European languages ​​became central to the further examination of Iranian history and culture . Another important step was the partial deciphering of the old Persian cuneiform by the Göttingen scholar Georg Friedrich Grotefend in 1802.

From the 18th century onwards, Persian was regarded as equivalent to Arabic and Turkish and was taught in a university setting. The development in the individual countries was different. In Germany, Iranian Studies first developed as a subject at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. An important area of ​​research initially represented pre-Islamic Iran. In addition, the pre-Islamic study of Iran soon followed. Archaeological and art history research, such as that carried out by Ernst Hertzfeld , continues to play a role today. Today in Germany there is Iranian Studies at the Universities of Göttingen, Marburg, Hamburg, Bamberg and at the Free University in Berlin.

In France, the École spéciale des langues orientales played a central role in teaching Persian and developing Iranian studies. For the history of this institution u. a. Charles Scheffer, who held the chair of Persian there from 1857 . The French also began archaeological research in Iran early on. Today in France the Institut d'études iraniennes at the Sorbonne and the chair for Persian language at INALCO are important centers for Iranian research and teaching.

In Great Britain, an interest in Persian began with colonial activities in India, where Persian played a central role until the 19th century. Sir William Jones should be mentioned as an important figure here , who pioneered work in the field of Iranian philology in particular. Iranian Studies was initially located at the University College of London, which later became the School of Oriental Studies (today: SOAS ). Important institutions for Iranian Studies are also located in Cambridge and Oxford.

In Europe there are other important institutes for Iranian Studies at the University of Leiden and at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Iranian Studies can also be studied in Venice and Krakow.

The umbrella organization of European Iranists, the Societas Iranologica Europaea , regularly organizes conferences in various universities and science centers around the world.

Valuable collections on Iranian culture can be found in the British Museum in London , the Louvre in Paris , the Hermitage in St. Petersburg , the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden , and the Pergamon Museum ( Museum Island ), Berlin .

Important manuscript collections are in the British Library in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the State Library in Berlin and St. Petersburg.

Iranian Studies in the United States

Within the United States, Harvard University , Columbia University and Stanford University in particular contributed to the deepening of the subject.

The Encyclopædia Iranica , one of the most comprehensive sources on Iranian culture, was initiated at Columbia University. Iranists like Richard Nelson Frye and Ehsan Yarshater were instrumental in this project. It is considered the most accurate and most reliable reference on the country, life, culture and history of all Iranian peoples and their interaction with other peoples.

Iranian Studies in Modern Iran

In modern Iran, from the end of the 19th century, great interest in the history and culture of their own country began; this development arose parallel to the increased emergence of an Iranian national consciousness. The works of European Iranists were also received in this context. The most comprehensive encyclopedic dictionary of the Persian language to date , the dictionary Dehchodas - Loghat Nāmeh Dehchoda by the linguist Allameh Ali Akbar Dehchoda , which has been published in 15 volumes, also dates back to this period.

After the University of Tehran was founded in 1934, chairs for Persian literature, history and philology were established in Iran. Pre-Islamic Iran and archeology were of particular interest. The subjects that are grouped under the name of "Iranian Studies" outside of Iran are consequently differentiated into different subjects in Iran. However, there is a course in Iranian Studies especially for foreign students at the University of Tehran.

There are also some important organizations and research institutions. These include the Academy of Persian Language and Literature (Farhangestan), the Institute for Iranian Studies (Bonyad-e Iran Shenasi) and the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia (CGIE). The cultural departments of the Iranian embassies abroad are trying in some countries to exchange ideas with the Iranists and Iranist institutes in their host country, for example the Iran House in Berlin or the Iran Culture House in New Delhi.

Further research centers

Research institutions for Iranian Studies can be found all over the world. For example, in addition to those already mentioned in Europe, the United States and Iran itself, there are others in India ( Mumbai ; Iran Society Calcutta ), Israel , Japan and other countries.

See also

List of Iranists , Sassanid Art , Islamic Art , Iranian Film , Persian Cuisine

Literature (selection)

Ornamental lettering in the Oljaytu mausoleum, Soltanije

Literature for the technical description

  • Philip Huyse: Iranian Studies . In: The New Pauly . tape 14 : History of Reception and Science, Fr – Ky , 2000, p. 633-641 .

Encyclopedias, reference works and series of institutes on Iranian Studies

  • Harold Bailey (Ed.): Cambridge History of Iran . tape 1-8 . Cambridge University Press.
  • B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, J. Schacht (Eds.): Encyclopédie de l'Islam . 1-12, 1960ff. EJ Brill, Leiden / Paris.
  • Maria Macuch (Ed.): Iranica . Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden (1993 ff).
  • Ludwig Paul (Ed.): Handbook of Iranian Studies. Reichert, Wiesbaden 2013.
  • Rüdiger Schmitt (Ed.): Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum . Reichert, Wiesbaden 1989 (short quote CIL; a comprehensive presentation of all Iranian language groups in the past and present, written by an international body of recognized Iranists.).
  • Ehsan Yarshater et al .: Encyclopaedia Iranica . Costa Mesa (1985 ff).
  • Ehsan Yarshater et al .: History of Persian Literature . New York (1988 ff).

Literature on the Iranian languages ​​and peoples

  • Rüdiger Schmitt: The Iranian Languages ​​Past and Present . Reichert, Wiesbaden 2000 (Current short version of the CIL, especially important for the classification).
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams: The Iranian Languages . In: Ramat-Ramat (Ed.): The Indo-European Languages . Routledge, London / New York 1998.
  • Nicholas-Sims Williams (Ed.): Indo-Iranian Languages ​​and Peoples . Oxford University Press, 2002.

Literature on the subject of Persian literature and Persian literature

  • Edward G. Browne : Literary History of Persia . 1998, ISBN 0-7007-0406-X .
  • Henri Massé: Anthologie persane (=  Petite Bibliothèque Payot . Volume 330 ). Éditions Payot & Rivages, Paris 2004, ISBN 2-228-89923-2 (first edition: 1950, Persian literary history [11th – 19th centuries]).
  • Jan Rypka , Robert Salek, Helena Turkova, Heinrich FJ Junker: Iranian literary history . Leipzig 1959.
  • Zabihollah Safa: Hamāse-sarā-ī dar Irān (story of the heroic epic in Iran) . Tehran 2011, ISBN 978-964-320-014-5 (Persian, first edition: 1945).
  • Zabihollah Safa: Tārikh-e Adabiyāt dar Irān (History of Literature in Iran) . 5 volumes in 8 issues 8. Tehran 2001, OCLC 265378683 (Persian, first edition: 1953).

Literature on the subject of Persian history

  • Arthur Christensen: L'Iran sous les Sassanides . Zeller, Osnabrück 1971, ISBN 3-535-01195-7 (reprint of the 2nd edition, Munksgaard, Copenhagen 1944).
  • Schirin Ebadi et al .: My Iran. A life between revolution and hope . Pendo-Verlag, Starnberg 2006.
  • Schirin Ebadi: History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran . 2000.
  • Richard Foltz : Iran in World History. Oxford University Press, New York 2016.
  • Richard Nelson Frye: The Heritage of Persia . 1962 (German: Persia , Zurich 1962).
  • Richard Nelson Frye: The History of ancient Iran . Handbook of Classical Studies, Munich 1985.
  • Richard Nelson Frye: Greater Iran: A 20th Century Odyssey . Mazda Publishers, Washington DC 2005.
  • Vladimir Minorsky: The Turks, Iran and the Caucasus in the Middle Ages . 1978.
  • Vladimir Minorsky: Medieval Iran and its Neighbors . 1982.
  • Josef Wiesehöfer : Ancient Persia. From 550 BC until 650 AD Düsseldorf 2005.

Literature on Persian Philosophy and Religion

  • Mary Boyce: A history of Zoroastrianism . tape 1-3, 1975-1991 . Suffer.
  • Henry Corbin : Terre Céleste et Corps de Résurrection. De l'Iran Mazdéen à l'Iran Shiite . Edition Buchet / Chastel, Corrêa 1980, OCLC 315078621 (first edition: 1960).
  • Henry Corbin: L'Iran et la philosophie . Fayard, Paris 1990.
  • Gerd Gropp (Ed.): Zarathustra and the Mithras Mysteries. Catalog of the special exhibition of the Iran Museum in the Museum Rade, Reinbek near Hamburg (March 31 - June 27, 1993) . Edition Temmen, Bremen 1993.
  • RP Masani: Le Zoroastrisme. Religion de la vie bonne. Préface de John Mc Kenzie (Vice-Recteur de L'Université de Bombay) . Payot, Paris 1939 (very good overview of religion). English edition: Zoastrianism: the religion of the good life. Allen & Unwin London 1938 / Indigo Books New Delhi 2003.
  • Vladimir Minorsky: Iran and Islam . 1971.
  • Steven Runciman : The medieval Manichee (Manichaeism) . Cambridge (Cambridgeshire); Cambridge University, New York 1982.
  • Annemarie Schimmel : Islam. An introduction . Stuttgart 1990.
  • Annemarie Schimmel: Mystical Dimensions of Islam. The history of Sufism . 1975.
  • Michael Stausberg : Zarathustra and his religion . Munich 2005.
  • Stephan A. Towfigh, Wafa Enayati: The Baha'i religion. An overview . Olzog Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7892-8163-8 .

Literature on Persian Art

  • Jean During, Zia Mirabdolbaghi, Dariush Safvat: The Art of Persian Music . Mage Publishers, Washington DC 1991.
  • SJ Falk: Qajar Paintings. A Catalog of 18th and 19th Century Paintings . Ed .: Farah Diba Pahlavi. Tehran 1971.
  • Penelope Hobhouse: Persian Gardens. Paradise of the Orient . Knesebeck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-89660-271-3 .
  • Hertha Kirketerp-Möller: Det Islamiske Bogmaleri . Nyt Nordisk Forlag Arnold Busck, Kopenhavn 1974.
  • Thomas W. Lentz, Glenn D. Lowry: Timur and the Princely Vision . Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Arthur Sackler Gallery, Los Angeles 1989 (Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century).
  • Arthur Upham Pope: Introducing Persian Architecture . Oxford University Press, London 1971.
  • Friedrich Sarre: The Art of Ancient Persia . Bruno Cassirer Verlag Berlin, 1922.
  • Wilfried Seipel (Ed.): 7000 years of Persian art. Masterpieces from the Iranian National Museum in Tehran . Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany GmbH, Bonn. Skira editore. Milano. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 2001.

Web links

Commons : Images relating to the culture of Afghanistan  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Images on the Culture of Iran  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Images related to the culture of Tajikistan  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rüdiger Schmitt: Iranian Studies in German: Pre-Islamic Period. In: Encyclopaedia Iranica. Ehsan Yarshater, February 7, 2012, accessed June 6, 2018 .
  2. Vincent Hachard and Bernard Hourcade: France xii (a). Iranian Studies in France: Overview. (No longer available online.) In: . Ehsan Yarshater, December 30, 2012, formerly in the original ; accessed on June 6, 2018 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /