Farrokh Lecture on Iran-Caucasus Links at University of Southern California

Kaveh Farrokh will be providing a two-part lecture at the University of Southern California (USC) (topic: Iran and the Caucasus: A Long-Lasting Legacy of Historical & Cultural Ties) on April 22, 2013.

The USC lecture has been made possible by the organizational and coordination efforts of the Persian Academic and Cultural Student Association (PACSA – see Facebook) and support of the Persian American Society (PAS).

PACSA

[Click to Enlarge] The lecture will focus on the overview of the cultural and historical links between Iran and the Caucasus from antiquity to the signing of the Golestan and Turkmenchai treaties in the early 19th century. Examples of topics include influences in linguistics, arts, architecture and culture over the centuries in the regions of ancient Albania (modern Republic of Azerbaijan), Armenia and Georgia (ancient Iberia and Colchis). In addition to influences from Iran proper, the role of North-Iranian speakers in Eastern Europe and their impact on the Caucasus is also examined. The lecture will conclude with the Iranian legacy in the Caucasus after the Russian conquests of 1828.

The lecture at the University of Southern California on Iran and the Caucasus: A Long-Lasting Legacy of Historical & Cultural Ties will be held at:

Location: USC-Waite Phillips Hall (Room WPH B27) – 3470 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089

Time: 6:30 pm

 

Farrokh Lecture on Ancient Iranian Women at Portland State University

Kaveh Farrokh will be providing a lecture at Portland State University (PSU) (topic: Women in Ancient Iran) on April 20, 2013.

The PSU lecture is part of larger series of talks on Persian Women organized by the Persian program at PSU and  presented with funding from PARSA Community Foundation (see Facebook) and co-sponsored by the Middle East Studies Center and the Department of World Languages & Literatures at Portland State University.

Portland-PARSA-1

[Click to Enlarge] Kaveh Farrokh’s lecture begins with the role of women on the Iranian plateau from the Bronze Age both before and after the Indo-European arrivals. The prime importance of women in Iranian speaking tribes in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (i.e. Scythians, Sarmatians, etc.), and the Iranian plateau are detailed, notably the Achaemenid and the ensuing Partho-Sassanian eras. (Time permitting) the discussion then draws on select highlights of the post Islamic era: notably the Karim Khan Zand era and the Constitutional Revolution.

Note that the lectures at Portland State University (April 20-21, 2013) also feature a highly impressive array of Iranologist scholars:

  • Dr. Nayareh Tohidi of California State University: Women as Agents of Change in Modern Iran
  • Dr. Dick Davis of Ohio State University: Women in Persian Literature
  • Dr. Shahla Haeri of Boston University: Women and Political Leadership in Iran

The lecture at Portland State University on “Women in Ancient Iran” will be held at:

Location: PSU-Smith Memorial Student Union, room 238, on Broadway St

Time: 3:00 pm

Shimon D. Cohen: The Father of the Iranian Nation visits the United States

An interesting article by Shimon D. Cohen on the London-based CAIS website discusses the history of Cyrus the Great and his legacy to the present day. Cohen’s article was written in the context of the Exhibition of ‘The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia’ which opened on Saturday 9th March, 2013. The exhibition displays carvings, plaques,  architectural works and luxury objects. The exhibition opened in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on March 9 and will continue through until April 28. After the display at the Sackler gallery, the Cyrus Cylinder will be bought over to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The Cylinder will then conclude its North American trek at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles in October 2013.

The Cyrus Cylinder now housed in The British Museum. The policies advocated by Cyrus in this Cylinder are corroborated by independent Greek and Biblical sources as well as by a number of other archaeological findings in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Egypt and western Anatolia (in Modern Turkey).

The Exhibition is being supported by the British museum and sponsored by members of the Iranian diaspora — especially the Iran Heritage Foundation.

Cohen’s article also discusses political lobbies opposed to the legacy of the Cyrus Cylinder, especially Eurocentrists and Pan-Islamists:

Outside Iran, the regime has also hired a number of foreigners to attack Cyrus the Great’ historical figure – some of which claim Cyrus was not even a Persian. It is alleged, that a well known among them is a pseudo-historian who calls himself Jona Lendering, and runs a blog that provides the most biased and inaccurate information about pre-Islamic Iran. It is believed that the majority of the Wikipedia articles concerning the Achaemenid history, particularly those referenced to Cyrus the Great, has been edited by Lendering. To back his propaganda, he references all the entries – majority back to his blog ‘Livius.org’, or other likeminded blogs and websites. It was also alleged a few years ago that the Islamic republic has opened an office for him in Central Tehran and put him on their pay list for his supererogatory services. To promote himself as a ‘historian’, one of his friends even created a page in Wikipedia. He also began a hate campaign against those Iranian academics not favoured by the Islamic Republic, who are living outside Iran and are expert in Pre-Islamic Iranian history, in particular Dr Kaveh Farrokh. Lendering also succeeded to influence two prominent European newspapers; Der Spiegel and the Daily Telegraph which have fallen for his propaganda and began a hate campaign against Cyrus the Great and ancient Persia.

A Persian Rabbi in 2008 accused Der Spiegel of inciting anti-Semitism and called for a legal action against the editor. Rabbi Yohanna Hamadani described the article as a “dark coalition of anti-Semitic-Neo-Nazis, [Muslim] fundamentalists and Eurocentrics embodied in an article.”

Cohen has aptly summarized how historical icons can become politicized.

Before attacking Kaveh Farrokh, Jona Lendering first sold his pictures for Farrokh’s text Shadows in the Desert (2007) to Osprey Publishing. Mr. Lendering received money for his pictures published in pages 23, 53, 54, 89, 116, 128, 179, 180, 181, 183, 189, 195, 225, and 288 – After receiving payment Mr. Lendering launched ad hominem attacks against Kaveh Farrokh on Wikipedia, the internet (in Dutch and English) with the support of Dr. Wouter Henkelman, Dr. Amelie Kuhrt, Dr. Pierre Briant and Dr. Matt Stolper and their backers in the internet and Wikipedia (many based in Iran, Bosnia and Russia and posing as westerners).  NOTE: Farrokh had never written against any of these individuals or Mr. Lendering (or Livius.org).

Cohen’s article has identified the reason for these attacks: Farrokh was being “punished” for daring to contradict the post-1979 (revisionist) narratives against Cyrus the Great.

 

Jona “Tehran” Lendering (left) and one of his defamatory-attack victims, Iranian historian Shapour Suren-Pahlav (right) who is also host of the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) in London which provides resources for learning about ancient Iran. Lendering used his Wikipedia supporters and administrators to forcefully eject CAIS postings regarding Cyrus the Great out of the Wikipedia in 2007-2009. The reason:  Mr. Lendering’s perspective that the Human Rights legacy of Cyrus the Great  is “Shah propaganda”Even more bizarre are Lendering’s attacks against Shapour-Suren Pahlav for raising alarm bells regarding the destruction of historical sites (including UNESCO sites) in Iran. Lendering has even attempted to whitewash reports that the Sivand Dam is harmful to Cyrus’ tomb at Pasargad by labelling this as ”anti-Iranian propaganda“! A number of Eurocentric Assyriologists and their supporters inside the Iranian establishment support Jona Lendering’s narratives.

 

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).

 

Zarathustra and Iranian Culture (Revised)

The following is a 19-part  Persian-language video documentary by Akbar Moarefi/ اکبر معارفی on the influence of Zoroastrianism on Iranian culture and other world civilizations and religions. An earlier 8-part version of this series had been released over a year ago on December 28th, 2010. 

This documentary is a thorough study linking Zoroastrianism to the wider Persianate world in the pre-Islamic (i.e Scythians (Saka), Achaemenids, Parthians, Sassanians, etc.) and the post-Islamic (i.e. Safavids) eras.  Note the interesting references to topics such as Mithraism and Cyrus the Great.  

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 Part 1: Introduction

-قسمت اول – مقدمه-

 

 Part 2: From Nietzsche to Mani

-قسمت دوم – از نیچه تا مانی-

 

 Part 3: Religion of Light

-قسمت سوم – دین نور-

 

 Part 4: From Mani to Scythians

قسمت چهارم – از مانی تا سکاها

 

 Part 5: From Scythians to Goths

قسمت پنجم – از سکاها تا گاتها

 

Part 6: Hun Invasion  and Expansion of Mithraism

قسمت ششم – حمله هون ها و گسترش آئین میترا

 

Part 7: Mithraism and Semitic Religions

قسمت هفتم – آئین میترا و ادیان سامی

 

 Part 8: Birth of Cyrus

قسمت هشتم – تولد کورش

 

 Part 9: Rule of Cyrus Begins

قسمت نهم – آغاز حکومت کورش

 

Part 10: Conquest of Lydia

قسمت دهم – تسخیر لیدی

Part 11: Conquest of Babylon

قسمت یازدهم – تسخیر بابل 

Part 12: Religious Tolerance in Iranian Culture

-قسمت دوازدهم – رواداری یا تسامح دینی در فرهنگ ایرانی-

Part 13: Free Will and Determinism

قسمت سیزدهم – جبر و اختیار

Part 14 – Iranian Values (1)

قسمت چهاردهم: ارزشهای ایرانی ۱

Part 15: Rejection of Misogynist Culture

قسمت پانزدهم- نفی فرهنگ زن ستیزی

 

Part 16: Rejection of Priesthood

قسمت شانزدهم: نفی روحانیت

Part 17:  State Religion and its Outcome

قسمت هفدهم: دولتی شدن دین و نتایج آن

Part 18: Competing Roles of the Magi

قسمت هجدهم: نقش دوگانه مغان

Part 19: Religious State and its Outcome

قسمت نوزدهم: دولت دینی و نتایج آن