New Course: Forgotten Gifts of Persia

Kaveh Farrokh, an instructor at the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Division is offering a new course entitled:

The Forgotten Gifts of Persia

Below is the official course description:

Learn about the forgotten contributions of Persia to world civilization in the realm of technology and architecture. Topics include the world’s first movies, the artificial eye, the battery, aqueducts, refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, windmills, pontoon bridges and the world’s first hospital and medical university, as well as examples of the influence of Persian architecture in China, India, Rome, Western Europe, and throughout the Middle East.

Astrolabe-Persian-18-century1

[Click to enlarge] An 18th century Persian Astrolabe  housed in Cambridge Museum’s History of Sciences section Picture source: Fouman.com).

For details consult The Forgotten Gifts of Persia | UBC Continuing Studies (pdf):

  • Format: In Class
  • Code: UP723 W13 A
  • Start: Weds Mar 13, 2013
  • Schedule: Weds  1pm – 3pm
  • Location: Tapestry at Wesbrook Village (University of British Columbia Point Grey campus)

artificial-Eye

[Click to Enlarge] (RIGHT) Iranian researcher examining the artificial eye found at Shahr e Sookhteh – further tests are being conducted in Iran to determine the exact chemical composition of the prosthetic (LEFT) A curious feature of the “eye” are parallel lines that have been drawn around the pupil to form a diamond shape …READ MORE

There is also a determined drive from the Asian Studies department of the University of British Columbia to establish a full-time Iranian Studies program.

Professor Harjot S. Oberoi of the UBC Asian Studies program introduces “An Evening with Dr. Kaveh Farrokh – Sassanian Architecture” (Monday March 12, 2011). This talk was given as part of the overall drive to promote support for the University of British Columbia’s Iranian Studies and Persian language initiative.

1-Persian-at-UBC1

New Book: Anahita-Ancient Persian Goddess & Zoroastrian Yazata

 

Iranian.com has announced the publication of a new book entitled “Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess & Zoroastrian Yazata”. See also the news release of this new book by the CAIS venue.

 Anahita-Text

This new  book is the most comprehensive study of the Goddess Anahita  in recent years. The text is unique as it contains research findings that had never before been published.  This book is a seminal resource for all those interested in not only the history and mythology of Anahita but the wider arena of ancient Iran, her mythology and the broader spectrum of such topics in civilization.

This book will be available after February 23, 2013 from local bookshops as well as Amazon. It can be pre-ordered directly from the publishers: Avalon Books.

One of the academic contributors to the book is Kaveh Farrokh who wrote the following topic:

Exploring the Possibility of Relationships between the Iranian Goddess Anahita and the Dame du Lac of the Arthurian Legends (Persian translation will appear in the Marlik (مارلیک) journal in the summer of 2013)

Farrokh has offered a course entitled “Persia’s Silent Legacy in Christianity & European Culture” at the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Division, where Anahita and the Iranian pantheon’s cultural connections with Europe were examined.

Anahita and Bahram Chobin

[Click to Enlarge] Recreation of the facade of a Sassanian palace and Bahram Chobin receiving a diadem (possibly representing the Farr  or “Divine Glory”) from a priestess of the Anahita temple (Source: Kaveh Farrokh, Elite Sassanian Cavalry, 2005 –اسواران ساسانی).

The editor of the book is Payam Nabarz who is the editor of the journal Mithras Reader An academic and religious journal of Greek, Roman, and Persian Studies, Volume 1 (2006), Volume 2 (2008), and Volume 3 (2010). He is also the author of number of related books, for further info visit Amazon.

Below is the content breakdown of the topics of the new book as described in Iranian.com:

Part 1 Academic Papers

Dr. Israel Campos Méndez is Assistant Professor in Ancient History at the University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). His lines of research are related to the History of Religion, and in particular to the Cult of Mithra in Ancient Iran and the Roman Empire. His PhD thesis was entitled: The God Mithra: Analysis of the processes of adjustment of his worship from the social, political and religious frame of the Ancient Iran to that of the Roman Empire. He has written two books in Spanish about the cult of Mithra in Ancient Persia, and many others papers and articles about the Zoroastrian Religion and the Mithraic Mysteries.

Kaveh Farrokh (PhD) is at University of British Columbia -Continuing StudiesHistory Lecturer, & Reader Head of Department of Traditions & Cultural History – WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy (nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2011). He is a Member of Stanford University’s WAIS (World Association of International Studies) and Member of Iranian Studies for Hellenic-Iranian Studies.

Dr. Matteo Compareti studied oriental languages in the University of Venice and after graduation he obtained his PhD from the University of Naples, L’Orientale. He specializes in the art history of Iran and Central Asia. His latest publications are Samaracanda Centro del Mondo – Proposte di Lettura del Ciclo Pittorico di Afrasiyab, Minesis, (2010), and Iranians on the Silk Road: Merchants, Kingdoms and Religions by Touraj Daryaee, Khodadad Rezakhani, and Matteo Compareti, Publisher: Afshar Publishing, Beverly Hills, California (2010). He is an independent scholar not affiliated to any institution, Italian or foreign.

Sheda Vasseghi has a Masters in Ancient History – Persia and a Masters in Business Administration.  Ms. Vasseghi focuses on Iranian national identity.  Her special interest encompasses Iranian philosophy as it applies to modern day social, political and religious issues.  She believes history provides the answers to current problems, and lack of knowledge in the field leads to poor decision-making by citizens and policymakers.  Ms. Vasseghi is a regular contributor to political and history publications on Iran’s affairs.  She is an adjunct Professor of History at the Northern Virginia Community College.  Ms. Vasseghi is also on the Board of the Azadegan Foundation and a member of www.persepolis3D.com.

D.M. Murdock is an independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology, specializing in nature worship, solar mythology and astrotheology. An alumna of Franklin & Marshall College and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece, Murdock is the author of several controversial books about the origins and relationship of religious ideas dating back thousands of years to the earliest known evidence. Her work can be found at TruthBeKnown.com and StellarHousePublishing.com.

Sam Kerr is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (London) and of several Colleges of Surgery. A Zoroastrian by birth, he migrated to Australia in 1968. He was Surgeon/Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and its College Hospitals, Sydney, Australia from 1968 to 2003. He is now Emeritus Surgeon at the University and its College Hospitals.

Rahele Koulabadi, has an MA in Archaeology, and is based at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran.

Dr. Seyyed Rasool Mousavi Haji was born on December 30, 1967, in Savadkouh, Iran. He received his PhD in Archaeology in 2003 from Tarbiat Modarres University of Iran. He is teaching as an Associate Professor in the Archaeology Department in the University of Sistan and Baluchestan. He also is the Dean of the Faculty of Art and Architecture. He has published four books and several articles about the archaeology of the Sassanian and Islamic periods. His main fieldworks are: Archaeological survey in Sistan plain in 2007 and 2008, archaeological survey in Zahedane Kohne (capital of Sistan during 5 to 9 A. H.) in 2002 and excavation to estimate size of the Zahedane Kohne in 2007.

Morteza Ataie has an M.A. in Archaeology, and is based at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran.

Seyyed Mehdi Mousavi Kouhpar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology at Tarbiat Modares University.

Seyed Sadrudin Mosavi Jashni is an Assistant Professor in the Research Institute of Imam Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution.

Farhang Khademi Nadooshan is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Archaeology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Hassan Nia is an academic member of the Islamic Azad University Savad Koh unit, Iran.

Masoud Sabzali is a Post graduate student, in the Dept of Archaeology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Dr. Masato Tōjō Born in Niigata City, Japan in 1957. Earned his PhD in Information Technology from the Dept. of Information Technology (now Information Science), Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo in 1985. Japanese committee member of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC18 WG9 from 1992 to 1996. Chairman of Mithraeum Japan (Founded in 1997). Author of books: Qewl – Holy Book of Mithra (MIIBOAT Books, 2006), Mithraic Theology (Kokushokankōkai, 1996), Dictionary of Gods of the World (Gakken, 2004), Esoteric Astrology of Mithraism (MIIBOAT Books, 1998), Let’s Read the Secret Doctrine (Shuppanshinsha, 2001), Encyclopedia of Tarot (Kokushokankōkai, 1994). Consult Dr. Masato Tōjō Official Site

Behzad Mahmoudi is a Post Graduate student, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Iran.

Amir Mansouri is a Post Graduate student, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Iran.

Dr Kamyar Abdi is an Iranian archaeologist.  He received his M.A. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Chicago, and his PhD in Archaeology/Anthropology from the University of Michigan.

Dr Gholamreza Karamian is an Associate Professor at Dept of Archaeology, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran branch.

Saman Farzin M.A is based at Iranology Department of History, University of Shiraz, Iran.

Maryam Zour M.A. is based at Archaeology University of Sistan and Baluchistan Zahidan-Iran.

Babak Aryanpour M.A. is based at Iranology, University of Shiraz, Iran.

Reza MehrAfarin is an Associate Professor, University of Sistan & Baluchestan.

In Part 2 Arts.

Akashanath is a Ceremonial Magician with a background in Thelema and the Golden Dawn system. He is also a Sanyasin of the Adinath Sampradaya and a practitioner of English Rune Magick.

Shapour Suren-Pahlav Co-founded The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) in 1998, as an independent not-profit educational programme, with no affiliation to any political or religious group, dedicated to the research, protection, preservation of the pre-Islamic Iranian civilisation.

Ana C. Jones was born in Brazil, she is trained as a teacher and electrical engineer. In 1989 she came to live in England with husband and their three children. Her interest in Traditional Astrology led her to complete C. Warnock’s Renaissance Astrological magical course, plus two others of the same calibre. At the moment she is studying Alchemy from Adam McLean courses, Hermetic Magic with the OMS as well as Mithraism. She practices Traditional British Witchcraft and Stregoneria. She finds inspiration among her studies and practices to express herself through her drawings, paintings and sculptures.

In Part 3 Religious Articles, Poetry, Stories.

Katherine Sutherland is a poet and author, her collection Underworld, a reworking of the Persephone myth, was recently published (Web of Wyrd Press, 2010). She has papers published in the following anthologies: Both Sides of Heaven: Essays on Angels, Fallen Angels and Demons(Avalonia, 2009), From a Drop of Water (Avalonia, 2009), Hekate: Her Sacred Fires (Avalonia, 2010).

 

New Book: Iranian-Russian Encounters Empires and Revolutions since 1800

There is new book  on the history of Iranian-Russian relations:

 Routledge text

  • Title :Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800
  • Publisher: Iranian Studies Series, Routledge.
  • Date: December, 2012.
  • Description & Ordering: Hardback: 978–0–415–62433–6: $160.00 – £95.00; 20% off with code: GDC72 from Routledge.com – for more information to order from Routledge click here.

This important book has been made possible as a result of the efforts of Soudavar Memorial Foundatio and the Iran Heritage Fund who were the funders of an important conference entitled:

Empires and Revolutions: Iranian-Russian Encounters since 1800 (Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, London, 12-13 June 2009)

The material and academic information presented at that conference gave rise to the book.

The book has been edited by Professor Stephanie Cronin.

 Stephanie-Cronin

Professor Stephanie Cronin is the editor of this textbook. She is a lecturer in Iranian History at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and a member of St Antony’s College. She is the author of Shahs, Soldiers and Subalterns (2010); Tribal Politics in Iran (Routledge, 2006); and The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910–1926 (1997); and editor of Subalterns and Social Protest (Routledge, 2007); Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran (Routledge, 2004); and The Making of Modern Iran (Routledge, 2003). She is currently working on a comparative history of state–building in the Middle East. For on Professor Cronin, please see Iranian Studies Directory.

Kindly note that the pictures inserted below do not appear in the book.

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Book Summary:

Over the past two hundred years, encounters between Iran and Russia have been both rich and complex. This book explores the myriad dimensions of the Iranian-Russian encounter during a dramatic period which saw both Iran and Russia subject to revolutionary upheavals and transformed from multinational dynastic empires typical of the nineteenth century to modernizing, authoritarian states typical of the twentieth.

 1-Hermitage-Battle-Caucasus

Painting in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg depicting a victory of Abbas Mirza`s army over the Russians in the Caucasus. The above painting is of interest as it shows the Shir o Khorshid (Lion and Sun) emblem of the Iranians versus the Double-headed Romanov eagle of the Russians. Though defeated in the Russo-Iranian wars of 1804-1813 and 1826-1828, Abbas Mirza fought well despite the more advanced weaponry and modern tactics of his opponents (Picture Source: Iranian.com)

The collection provides a fresh perspective on traditional preoccupations of international relations: wars and diplomacy, the hostility of opposing nationalisms, the Russian imperial menace in the nineteenth century and the Soviet threat in the twentieth. Going beyond the traditional, this book examines subaltern as well as elite relations and combines a cultural, social and intellectual dimension with the political and diplomatic. In doing so the book seeks to construct a new discourse which contests the notion of an implacable enmity between Iran and Russia.

2-Farrokh-Family-Photo-Reza-Shah-Coronation-1926

A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran (book cover for Iran at War: 1500-1988). This was the Iranian Army headquarters at the time and is today the Iranian University of the Arts (محوطه ساختمانی که قبلا ستاد ارتش بوده و الان دانشکده هنر است ). The troops are about to pose for a military review. Note the diverse nature of the Iranian troops – reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity: one can see Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, etc. partaking in the assembly.  Gendarme Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (standing at far left) died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One.

Bringing together leading scholars in the field, this book demonstrates extensive use of family archives, Iranian, Russian and Caucasian travelogues and memoirs, and newly available archives in both Iran and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Providing essential background to current international tensions, this book will be of particular use to students and scholars with an interest in the Middle East and Russia.

3-Foxbat-Tomcat

(Left) Soviet Mig-25 Foxbat (Right) Iranian Air Force Grumman F-14A Tomcat. The Tomcat remains the most modern aircraft in the Iranian Air Force inventory, past and present. The Tomcat “persuaded” the Russians to halt their Mig-25 Foxbat over-flights into Iranian airspace in the late 1970s. The Mig-25 was destined to meet the Tomcat again in combat during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988). Tomcats shot down large numbers of Iraqi jets during the war, including Russian piloted Foxbats. The London-based Air Power Journal reported in 1999 that “…the presence of one or two Tomcats was usually enough to send the Iraqi jets scurrying away…” (See pp. 32 in “IRIAF: 75th Anniversary review”, World Air Power Journal, Volume 39 Winter 1999 issue, pp.28-37). (Picture Sources: Left Photo from World Blue Airways and Right photo from IIAF.net).

Below are the Table of Contents of the book.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Empires and Revolutions: Iranian–Russian Encounters since 1800 – Stephanie Cronin
  •  The Impact of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union on Qajar and Pahlavi Iran: Notes toward a Revisionist Historiography – Afshin Matin–asghari
  • The early Qajars and the Russian Wars – Maziar Behrooz
  • Khosrow Mirza’s mission to Saint Petersburg in 1829 – Firuza Abdullaeva
  • Russian Land Acquisition in Iran: 1828 to 1911 – Morteza Nourai and Vanessa Martin
  • How Russia hosted the entrepreneur who gave them indigestion: New revelations on Hajj Kazem Malek al–Tujjar – Fatema Soudavar
  • Deserters, Converts, Cossacks and Revolutionaries : Russians in Iranian Military Service 1800–1920 –  Stephanie Cronin
  • The Question of the Iranian Ijtima‘iyun–e ‘Amiyun Party – Sohrab Yazdani
  • Georgian Sources on the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905–1911): Sergo Gamdlishvili’s Memoirs of the Gilan Resistance – Iago Gocheleishvili
  • Constitutionalists and Cossacks: the Constitutional Movement and Russian Intervention in Tabriz, 1907–1911 – James Clark
  • Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the ‘Bolshevik threat’, and the genesis of the Soviet–Iranian Treaty of 1921 – Oliver Bast
  • The Comintern, the Soviet Union and Working Class Militancy in Interwar Iran Touraj Atabaki
  • An Iranian–Russian Cinematic Encounter – Emily Jane O’Dell
  • The Impact of Soviet Contact on Iranian Theatre: Abdolhossein Nushin and the Tudeh Party. Saeed Talajooy
  • Iran, Russia and Tajikistan’s Civil War – Muriel Atkin
  • Iran and Russia: a Tactical Entente – Clément Therme

Lecture: Influence of Sassanian Architecture upon European and Wider Civilization

Kaveh Farrokh will be providing a lecture at the University of British Columbia (UBC) entitled:

Influence of Sassanian Architecture upon European and Wider Civilization


Click to Enlarge – See Also Facebook announcement...

The lecture will be held at  the auditorium of the Asian Centre at UBC at 6:00 pm on Monday March 12, 2011.

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] PHOTO INSERT & COMMENTARY BY Kaveh Farrokh: Sassanian metalwork at right depicting  Khosrow I Anoushiravan and four Sassanian knights (possibly the Sassanian empire’s primary generals). Note the stance of one of the knights from the plate highlighted for reference. Note the figure highlighted  on the Surp Neshan Basilica – the parallels of this form (despite the wear of weather over the centuries) with the Sassanian are virtually exact. READ MORE…

The lecture will be followed up with a Question/Answer  session as well.

[Click to Enlarge] The Sarvistan palace built in the 300s AD [1], floor plan of Sarvistan by Nik Spatari [2] reconstruction of Sarvistan by Oscar Reuther, “Sasanian Architecture,” in Survey of Persian Art, Figure 152). [3] the Basilica di S. Marco in Veneziana built in the time period of 1100-1300 AD [4] and floor plan of the Basilica di S. Marco (Pictures used in Kaveh Farrokh’’s lectures at the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Division and Stanford University’s WAIS 2006 Critical World Problems Conference Presentations on July 30-31, 2006; Picture 3 originally posted in Iran Chamber Society). Consult also Spatari, 2003, pp, 270-271, 284-289 (Calabria, L’enigma Delle Arti Asittite: Nella Calabria Ultramediterranea, Author: Nik Spatari, Publisher: Italy: MUSABA, Date: 2003, ISBN: 8887935300). READ MORE…

 

 

 

The Expedition of Darius the Great

Below is an article by the late Professor Shapour Shahbazi on the expedition of Darius the Great into European Scythia (roughly modern-day Ukraine and parts of Western Bulgaria and Rumania). Professor Bury was the first to rationally question Herodotus’ version of historical events.

The Scythians, like their Sarmatian-Alan successors, were (like the Persians, Medes and parthians) of ancient Iranian stock.

Kindly note that the first scholar to question the veracity of Herodotus’ accounts of Darius’ invasion of the European Scythians was Professor J.B. Bury:

The article has been translated into Persian by Yusef Amiri: 

خلاص مقاله: داریوش اصلا به سکاها حمله ای نکرد و گسیلش نیروهایش احتمالا برای تصاحب معادن طلا زیبنبورگن بود که تنها در این امر موفق نبود چون سکاها ایونی ها را به شورش تحریک کردند. داستان هرودوت صرفا یک افسانه پردازی است. جالب است همانطور که مترجم مقاله یعنی یوسف امیری اشاره کرد عجیب این که با وجود این که 114 سال از نگارش این مقاله می گذرد هنوز از “شکست” داریوش از سکاها صحبت می شود.

See also article (in Persian) in the Asvaran Blog:

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NOTE: For References pertaining to the article below, kindly consult the original version of this article in the CAIS website entitled: Darius the Great”

A major event in Darius’ reign was his European expedition. The region from the Ukraine to the Aral Sea was the home of north Iranian tribes (Rostovtzeff; Vasmer) known collectively as Sakâ (Gk. Scythians). Some Sakâ had invaded Media (Herodotus, 1.103-06), others had slain Cyrus in war (1.201, 1.214), and some groups had revolted against Darius (DB 2.8).

 

[Click to Enlarge]A European depiction of Darius the Great meeting Scythian emissaries (Picture Source: Flickr and originally a painting by Franciszek Smuglewicz).

As long as the Saka remained hostile his empire was in constant danger, and trade between Central Asia and the shores of the Black Sea was in peril (Meyer, pp. 97-99). The geography of Scythia was only vaguely known (Figure above), and it seemed feasible to plan a punitive campaign through the Balkans and the Ukraine, returning from the east, perhaps along the west coast of the Caspian Sea (Meyer, pp. 101-04; Schnitzler, pp. 63-71).

 

[Click to Enlarge] Eastern Scythians or “Saka Tigrakhauda” (Pointed cap Saka) as depicted in Persepolis. The Scythians played an important role in the military machine of the Achaemenids. A branch of the Scythians or Saka, the Parthians, were to revive the Iranian kingdom after Alexander’s conquests and his Seleucid successors.

 Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. Fol and Hammond, pp. 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. He continued north along the Black Sea coast to the mouth of the Danube, above which his fleet, led by Ionians, had bridged the river; from there he crossed into Scythia (Herodotus, 4.87-88, 4.97).

[Click to Enlarge]A map depicting Darius the Great’s invasion of Eastern Europe and Ukraine. The veracity of these events as narrated by Herodotus have been questioned (Picture Source: The Skriker Site).  

The Scythians evaded the Persians, wasting the countryside as they retreated eastward. After following them for a month Darius reached a desert and began to build eight frontier fortresses; owing to Scythian harassment of his troops and the October weather, which threatened to hinder further campaigning, he left them unfinished and returned via the Danube bridge. He had, however, “advanced far enough into Scythian territory to terrify the Scythians and to force them to respect the Persian forces” (Herodotus, 4.102-55; cf. Meyer, pp. 105-07; Macan, pp. 2-45; Prašek, II, pp. 91-108; Rostovtzeff, pp. 84-85; Junge, 1944, pp. 104-05, 187-88; Schnitzler, pp. 63-71; Fol and Hammond, pp. 235-43; Ùernenko, with further references).

 

[Click to Enlarge]A reconstruction of the European Scythians (the Saka Paradraya) by the late Angus McBride. As noted by Cotterell “:..the close relations of the Scythians (Saka) with the Persians is perhaps most illustrative…in the … fact that the Scythians and Persians spoke closely related languages and understood each other without translators” (Cotterell, A. The Chariot: The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World’s First War Machine. London, England: Pimlico, 2004, p.61 ).

Shortly afterward Megabyzus reduced gold-rich Thrace and several Greek cities of the northern Aegean; Macedonia submitted voluntarily (Herodotus, 4.143, 5.1-30), and Aryandes (q.v.), satrap of Egypt, annexed Cyrene (Libya; 4.167, 4.197-205). Four new “satrapies” were thus added to Darius’ empire: Sakâ tyaiy paradraya “Overseas Scythians,” Skudra (Thrace and Macedonia), Yaunâ takabarâ or Yaunâ tyaiy paradraya (Thessalians and Greek islanders), and Putâyâ (Libya).

 

[Click to Enlarge]  A Map by Professor P.J. Mallory that shows the Dniester, Dnieper, Donets and Don Rivers above the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. Professor Mallory notes that all of these river names are of Iranian origin: the term “Danu” is old Iranian for “Water/River” (like Celtic Danuvius) – hence the names “Don” and “Donets”. Dnieper is from the Old Iranic “Danu-Apara” [rear river] and Dniester from Old Iranic “Danu Nazdaya” [river to the front]. For more information consult: Mallory, J.P. (1989). In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.