Introducing Professor Yuri Stoyanov

Professor Stoyanov is a member of the Department of the Near and Middle East, Faculty of Languages and Cultures in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London.

He has lectured and published widely on various facets of the interaction between the theologies and soteriologies of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as the persisting interchanges between some of their heterodox and apocalyptic trends. He is the author of The Hidden Tradition in Europe (Penguin, London, 1994), The Other God (Yale UP, London & New York, 2000), assistant editor of Christian Dualist Heresies in the Byzantine World c.650-c.1450 (Manchester UP, Manchester & New York, 1998).

Professor Stoyanov who is a major expert of Byzantine Studies, is of a unique category of scholar who fully appreciates the legacy of ancient Persia in its various domains, including theology and Zoroastrianism and military history. There is a deep appreciation by Professor Stoyanov of the interplay and mutual influences of the Romano-Byzantine and Iranian worlds in antiquity, a vast domain in which he sets the standard of academic inquiry and scholarship.

Professor Yuri Stoyanov has recently produced an excellent monograph entitled:

Defenders and Enemies of the True Cross: The Sassanian Conquest of Jerusalem in 614 AD and Byzantine Ideology of anti-Persian Warfare. (Sitzungsberichte der ÖAW. Phil.-hist. Klasse / Veröffentlichungen zur Iranistik 61). Wien: Verlag der ÖAW (angenommen zum Druck 2010, ersch. 2011).

The monograph has been published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. Readers are referred to the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press website where the document can be downloaded from either of the following links:

Scholars and interested readers of ancient history are also invited to consult Professor Stoyanov’s excellent text entitled:

Title: The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Gods

Author: Yuri Stoyanov

Publisher & Date: Yale University Press (2000)

ISBN: 9780300082531

To order consult Yale University Press or Amazon.

Below are a number of reviews by experts in the domain:

A book of prime importance for anyone interested in the history of religious dualism. The author’s knowledge of relevant original sources is remarkable; and he has distilled them into a convincing and very readable whole.”—Sir Steven Runciman

The most fascinating historical detective story since Steven Runciman’s Sicilian Vespers.”—Colin Wilson

A splendid account of the decline of the dualist tradition in the East . . . both strong and accessible. . . . The most readable account of Balkan heresy ever.”—Jeffrey B. Russell, Journal of Religion

Well-written, fact-filled, and fascinating . . . has in it the making of a classic.” —Harry T. Norris, Bulletin of SOAS

For further information on Professor Stoyanov’s works click on this link for more information.

Tirgan Festival in Toronto July 21-24 2011


Below is a message by Tara Farhidwhich was forwarded to Please feel free to distribute to support this event which was covered by the Voice of America news service as seen in the video below:

-گزارش صدای آمریکا از تیرگان ۲۰۱۱-Voice of America Report on the Tirgan 2011 festival


Dear Friends,   

Finally Tirgan Festival is here!  See my article (in Persian) on Tirgan: Flying on the Horizons of Cultural Immortality/ in Persian: مقاله  در باره تیرگان

Tirgan is a four-day celebration of Iranian arts & culture held in Toronto Harbourfront Centre, showcasing a selection of over 50 Iranian cultural performances in music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, and visual arts, Tirgan 2011 is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre between July 21 – 24, 2011.

In addition, the festival showcases Iranian cuisine and exclusive arts & crafts presentations made at vendor kiosks. Altogether, these make for engaging, educating, enriching, and entertaining experiences for a wide range of audiences.   

Event schedules: (click here)

Opening Ceremony (Pardid/ Slalar Aghili, Thursday, 8:30 PM,$25)  Late night Jazz Bar (Rana Farhan, Friday, 10:30 PM, $30)  

Some of the artists performing at the event (چند نمونه از کاراین هنرمندان):

Opening Ceremony Salar Aghili, Hamid Motebassem, sample work   

Rana Farhan sample work

Turquoise Land, Dream of Peace – Les Ballets Persans


  event schedules:

-سیزدهمین اثر از میراث فرهنگی ایران در فهرست جهانی-Iran’s Thirteenth heritage Site now a UNSECO Heritage Site

The report below in Persian (after the English text and pictures) was issued by the Pasargard Foundation (The International Committe to Save Pasargard).

The site of “Bagh e Shahzadeh”باغ شاهزاده [literally: Garden of the Prince] was listed as yet another World Hertiage site in the 35th meeting  by UNESCO. The Bagh e Shahzadeh”باغ شاهزادهhas now become the 13th site in Iran to become a World Heritage site.  Persian Gardens have been renowned since the days of Cyrus the Great.

The Bagh e Shahzadeh [باغ شاهزاده] is located close the city of Mahan (Kerman province) and was built in .1881. Picture by the Pasargard Foundation. For more pictures of this site by Mehr News Service see Payvand News.

The UNESCO committee has also listed the Gardens below as World Heritage sites:

A top view of a reconstruction of the Persian garden at Pasargard [باغ پاسارگاد،]  built circa 2500 years ago, is located in Fars province, also home to  the site of Persepolis of the Achaemenids. Note water channels at rim of garden (see also History Channel program “Engineering an Empire: The Persians“).

The tower of the Persian Garden of Pahlavan-pour at Yazd [برج باغ پهلوانپور مهریز يزد]. The site was built approximately 100 years ago during the late Qajar era. Picture from the Iran Desert website.

The Persian garden at Dowlat Abad [باغ دولت آباد،]  built in 1747, the very last year of the rule of Nader Shah. Note the tower-like structure with vertical slits – this is a Badgir-the world’s first air-conditioning system invented in ancient Iran. Picture by the Iran Hamshahri Website.

The Persian Garden at Feen [باغ فین،]  of Kashan is generally traced back to the Safavid era (1501-1722). This garden is also host to the bath of Feen, where the great Qajar-era statesman, Amir Kabir (1807-1852), was brutally assassinated in 1852. Picture by the Raya website.

The Persian Garden of Chehel Sotoon [باغ چهل ستون،]  (literally: the forty columns) in Isfahan, built by Shah Abbas II (1632-1666). Picture by the JadidOnline website.

The Persian Garden of Akbariyeh [باغ اکبریه،]  built during the Qajar era (1794-1925), is located in Birjand, in southern Khorasan in northeast Iran. Picture by the website.

The Persian Garden of Abbas-Abad [باغ عباس آباد]  built by Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) is located near  Behshahr (Mazandaran province in northern Iran). This site is scheduled for excavations and research. Picture by the Memaraninfah blog.

In this year thus far (2011), the Heritage committee of UNESCO has added 25 other natural and cultural sites as World Heritage sites – bringing the grand total of such sites to 936.

Despite the fact that a large number of these UNESCO sites are located in Iran, a larger number remain untabulated due to the negligence of certain authorities today within the Iranian establsihment. This explains why Iran – a nation with civilizational roots stretching back thousands of years – currently has only 13 sites recognized by UNESCO.

Destruction at the ancient site of Susa. At left: Brick wall damaged by bulldozers (Source: Tabnak News in Iran) and at right: Hotel construction at the site of Susa (Source: Tabnak News in Iran) (Read more…)

In addition to the Bagh e Shahzadeh [باغ شاهزاده], UNESCO has in this year (2011) recognized locales in Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia  as World Heritage Sites.


“باغ شاهزاده” یکی از زیباترین آثار فرهنگی ایران در سی و پنجمین کمیته یونسکو، در  فهرست جدید میراث جهانی به ثبت رسید. در این کمیته پرونده 9 باغ که شامل باغ پاسارگاد، باغ پهلوان پور، باغ دولت آباد، باغ فین، باغ چهل ستون، باغ اکبریه، باغ عباس آباد، و باغ شاهزاده ماهان معرفی شد و باغ شاهزاده به عنوان  نمونه ی زیبایی از «باغ های ایرانی» که از دوران باستان شهرت جهانی داشته اند در آثار جهانی به ثبت رسید.

باغ شاهزاده در نزدیکی شهر ماهان قرار دارد و در سال 1260 خورشیدی ساخته شده است.

امسال کمیته میراث جهانی سازمان یونسکو 25 مکان فرهنگی و طبیعی دیگر را به فهرست میراث جهانی اضافه کرد و تعداد این آثار را به 936 رساند. که با وجود تعداد زیادی از این آثار در سرزمین مان، متاسفانه به دلیل کم کاری و بی توجهی سازمان میراث فرهنگی،  از ایران تا کنون بیش از 13 اثر به ثبت نرسیده است.

امسال علاوه بر باغ شاهزاده، آثاری از محوطه های طبیعی اسپانیا، آلمان، سوییس و ایتالیا، اسلونی نیز به فهرست جهانی پیوسته اند.


Tehran Times: Book on military technology of ancient Iran translated into Persian

Below is a report which appeared in the Tehran Times on July 4, 2011 announcing the translation of Farrokh’s second book, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War into Persian. The report also appeared in the Defense Technology News website as well as PressTV and The Times of Iran.  The Mehr News Agency of Iran has also announced the impending publication of the text in Persian (also posted in various Iranian sites such as Khabar Farsi and Balatarin):

ناگفته‌هایی از قدرت سپاهیان ایران باستان در «سایه‌های صحرا» بازگو شد

The translation of Farrokh’s second book (Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War) was done by Qoqnoos Publishers with the English to Persian translation having been done by Shahrbanu Saremi.

Farrokh’s most recent book, Iran at War: 1500-1988 (released April 2011) was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Note the following radio interviews scheduled to date with Farrokh on Iran at War: 1500-1988:

  • WFLA-AM, Tampa Florida (June 17, 2011)
  • WHFS-AM Washington DC (July 1, 2011)
  • KCMN-AM, Colorado Springs (july 5, 2011)
  • Money Matters Network – Stu Taylor on Business, National Syndicated (July 7, 2011)
  • WGTD-FM Milwaukee WI (July 12, 2011)
  • WDEV, Burlington VT (date to be announced)


Book on military technology of ancient Iran translated into Persian (July 4, 2011)
Tehran Times Culture Desk

Written by Kaveh Farrokh, a Canadian-based Iranian scholar at the University of British Columbia, the book, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War, has been rendered into Persian by Shahrbanu Saremi who told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency on Sunday:

“Authored in English, this book is a weighty tome that contains discussions on wars and armies of ancient Iran…,Qoqnoos Publishing House will be printed the book in the near future” .

A number of unique illustrations depicting the wars and the structure of the Persian armies will be published in the book, which also includes a foreword by Harvard Professor Emeritus Richard Neslon Frye.

Meeting his mentors: Farrokh greets Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University(shaking hands with Farrokh) and world-renowned Iranologist, Dr. Farhang Mehr (at center), winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award (photo from Persian American Society,March 1, 2008).  As noted in page 2, 2010 of the peer-reviewed Iranshenasi Journal, Professor Frye of Harvard University wrote the foreword of Farrokh’s text stating that “…Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has given us the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and Roman viewpoint …it is refreshing to see the other perspective, and Dr. farrokh sheds light on many Persian institutions in this history…” .

The English version of “Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War” was released by Osprey Publishing in 2007 and its Russian version came out from Eksmo Publishers in 2009.

Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War translated  to Russian -Персы: Армия великих царей-(consult the Russian EXMO Publishers website) . The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media selected “Shadows in the Desert” as the best history book of 2008 and provided Farrokh with a Persian Golden Lioness Award.

The Iran Review reported on July 11, 2007:

The empires of ancient Persia remain as mysterious today as they were to contemporary Western scholars. Although Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia is legendary, the military successes of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanian empires, along with their revolutionary military technology, tactics, and culture have been almost forgotten in the sands of the East. Containing information never before published in English, Shadows in the Desert offers a comprehensive history of Persia’s wars with East and West which spanned over a millennium, and offers an insight into the exchange of ideas and culture that occurred during these clashes between East and West, not only military technology, but influences in the arts, medicine, religion and science.

The CHN (Cultural Heritage News Agency) Service of Iran reported in May 1, 2007:

Containing information never published in English before, Shadows in the Desert provides a comprehensive history of Persian Wars with East and West from the 6th century BC, and offers an insight into the exchange of ideas and culture that occurred during these clashes in military technology, the arts, medicine, religion, and science. This beautifully illustrated book delves into the rich heritage of the Persians, which was spread through war and conquest, and which, after the fall of the Sassanians, continued to impact upon civilization around the world. He also delves into the forgotten cultural heritage of the Persians, spread across the world through war and conquest, which, even after the fall of the Sassanians, continued to impact upon the Western world. In this book Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has also shown the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and roman viewpoint which has long dominated our understanding of these wars. It is refreshing to see the other perspective. The first charter of human rights which was composed during the glorious Achaemenid Empire by its founder, Cyrus the Great, and the cylinder on which the words are inscribed and is being kept at the British Museum, is another live witness to Persian glory during ancient times.”