Harijan village, Iran

Mysticism and the Plurality of Meaning: The Case of the Ismailis of Rural Iran

To what extent does mysticism require a withdrawal from the world? Is there a contradiction between the demands of contemplation and those of an active, responsible life? Is the mystical perspective antagonistic to the intellect? Rafique Keshavjee uses as a case study the Ismailis of rural Iran, whose ideas and actions question the notion that…

"The enthronement of Hurmuzd,” folio from an early 14th century “CAMA” Shahnama manuscript. On temporary loan to the Shahnama Centre from the collection of the late Dr. Mehdi Gharavi. Image courtesy Ameneh Gharavi and Dean Entekabi

Connections: Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies – Pembroke College (University of Cambridge), Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Sir Isaac Newton Trust, Iran Heritage Foundation, British Academy.

Shahnama or The Book of Kings by Abu’l-Qasim Hasan Firdausi and its crucial role in the formation of the Iranian cultural identity throughout the ages to present day. The text of the Shahnama, based on the ancient Iranian mythology, was completed in 1010 and is the longest poem ever written by a single author in the whole history of humankind. Global philanthropist Bita…

Riza Elahi's Compilation: Castle of Alamut

Riza Elahi’s Compilation: Castle of Alamut

The Alamut valley lies in the Alburz mountain range, in the north of modern-day Iran, half way between Tehran and the Caspian Sea. The castle is built on a narrow ridge on top of a high rock in the heart of the mountains and dominating an enclosed valley, about 25 kilometres in length. More than…

Professor Richard N. Frye dies at 94 | Harvard Gazette

Professor Richard N. Frye dies at 94 | Harvard Gazette

Aga Khan Professor of Iranian Studies Emeritus founded Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies By Beth Giudicessi, Harvard Correspondent In the summer of 1948, Richard N. Frye was nearing the end of a postdoctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows of Harvard University when he traveled to southern Iran, making his way by mule to…

Unifying Iran & America In Life & In Death: A Tribute to Late Professor Richard N. Frye

Unifying Iran & America In Life & In Death: A Tribute to Late Professor Richard N. Frye

Appropriately referred to as “dean of the world’s Iranists” by other scholars, Richard Nelson Frye established the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University, he taught at Harvard from 1948-1990 and wrote more than twenty books and over 150 articles about ancient Iranian culture. Frye’s last…

IIS Scholar Prof. Eric Ormsby receives World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran

IIS Scholar Prof. Eric Ormsby receives World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The translator of Nasir Khusraw’s Jami al-Hikmatayn; ‘Between Reason and Revelation’ said: “Political concerns was the major cause his translation has failed to be received well in the Europe. IBNA: Speaking with IBNA here in Tehran hours before receiving his World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran for his grand English translation of…

SINA Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr

SINA Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr

SINA (Spirit of Iranian Noted Achievers) is an organization founded to formally recognize and honor Iranians who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of the Arts, Business & Leadership, Engineering, Humanities, Medicine, Philanthropy, and Science. Dr. Hossein Nasr was the first Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. More…

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma - Millennial Perspectives

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma – Millennial Perspectives

Olga M. Davidson, Olga M. Davidson, Marianna Shreve Simpson, Marianna Shreve Simpson | Harvard University Press Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma: Millennial Perspectives celebrates the ongoing reception, over the last thousand years, of a masterpiece of classical Persian poetry. The epic of the Shāhnāma or Book of Kings glorifies the spectacular achievements of Iranian civilization from its mythologized…

Institute of Ismaili Studies Organises Colloquium on Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran

Institute of Ismaili Studies Organises Colloquium on Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran

The Qur’anic Studies Unit at the IIS organised an international colloquium from 2–4 September 2013 entitled Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran. This was the second event following two panels in 2012 at the Ninth Biennial Iranian Studies Conference in Istanbul. The colloquium brought together twenty-four scholars from around the globe representing seventeen institutions…

Asia Society’s Exhibition In New York: Iran Modern

Iran Modern is the first major museum exhibition mounted with loans from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to focus on Iran’s dynamic modern art scene. The exhibition spans the three decades prior to the 1979 Revolution, a period of great economic, political, and societal change in the country. By the mid-1970s Tehran,…

“Rehabilitation of Tabriz Bazaar” receives 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture – Payvand Iran News

The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex was officially protected in 1975 and has been covered by special stewardship measures until 2010, when it was added to the World Heritage List. The complex covers 27 hectares with over 5.5 kilometres of covered bazaars. Three different protection areas have been established (a nominated area, a buffer zone and…

Persian poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnamah gets a digital makeover

In his small studio in Brooklyn Heights, New York, Hamid Rahmanian spent 10,000 hours in front of his computer cobbling together a new Shahnameh, the epic mythology of Iran. In the 1,000 years since the Persian poet Ferdowsi put the oral tradition into verse, there have been many versions produced in lithograph, miniature and manuscript…

Dr Sayyad Jalal Badakhchani of Institute of Ismaili Studies Awarded Certificate of Honour in Iran

Dr Sayyad Jalal Badakhchani, Research Associate at the IIS, has recently been awarded the certificate of honour by the Heritage Foundation and the National Library of Iran for his contributions to reintroducing the extant Persian text of Qa’imiyat, a collection of poems from the Alamut period of Ismaili history. via The Institute of Ismaili Studies…

Castle of Soru, Iran

Read related article: The Eagles’ Serene Palace of Symmetric Wisdom: Historical and Intellectual Genealogy of the Nizaris of Alamut Click here for related posts on Ismaili Castles

Seyed Soroush Vahhabi

The Eagles’ Serene Palace of Symmetric Wisdom: Historical and Intellectual Genealogy of the Nizaris of Alamut

This paper attempts to investigate, outline and discuss the Nizari doctrines from the establishment of the Nizari state in 1090 until its last phase of existence prior to its demise and downfall in 1256, a period referred to as the Alamut era, named after the fortified Nizari seat in Alamut, Persia. In order to provide…