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November 2017

The King of Kings’ Empire as a Garden in Ancient Iran

November 8 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) This lecture explores the idea of the Sasanian Empire (Iranshahr) as a garden. The theme of the Persian Empire as a paradise has been explored by a number of scholars, but the continuation of this idea in Late Antiquity is neglected. The speaker will discuss how the Sasanian king of kings acted as a gardener who not only protected his subjects from invaders and malicious forces, but also weeded out those who brought havoc to the…

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October 2017

How much of a physician was Rashīd al-Dīn?

October 18 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann A lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh Hamadānī (d. 718/1318) is often introduced as “ṭabīb,” or ‘physician,’ mostly to distinguish him from authors with similar names, notably the epistolographer Rashīd al-Dīn Waṭwāṭ (d. 578/1182). This paper discusses Rashīd al-Dīn’s scholarly persona as a physician. Starting from his epithet, ṭabīb, the paper explores his role as a medical practitioner, patron, and author of scholarly medical treatises, arguing that Rashīd al-Dīn’s name is henceforth to…

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Rashīd al-Dīn in the Eye of the Beholder: Proposing a Holistic Approach to Reception History

October 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann Central Asia in Transition Lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Recent scholarship has painted a rather dim picture of the Mongol-Ilkhanid vizier and historian Rashīd al-Dīn’s (d. 718/1318) historiographical impact in the Muslim world. This lecture proposes a holistic approach to Rashīd al-Dīn’s oeuvre that includes both his historiographical and theoretical works, and adduces evidence to revise the above statement by reviewing the reception of Rashīd al-Dīn in the Islamic world with a special focus…

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Greater Glory: Darius I and Divinity in Achaemenid Royal Ideology

October 4 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) The close link between the king and the divine has deep roots in Near Eastern royal ideologies, and the Persian kings during the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE) followed this tradition. Exactly how close was the link? Recent studies suggest a blurred line between the two especially during at least some parts of the Neo-Assyrian period. However one chooses to answer that question for the Achaemenids, the king is to be considered a fulcrum.…

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