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Heritage of Persia

Series: Mazda Publishers Reprints 1
Availability: In stock
Published: 1993
Page #: xiv + 330
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56859-008-3
plates, bibliography, index, notes, references

 
$25.00

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Quick Overview

Fifth Printing

The civilization of ancient Persia was among the most splendid, powerful and long lasting of the great historical cultures. But our knowledge of it is all too often confined to a few masterpieces of early Persian art and the Persians' role of Goliath to the Greeks' David. The Heritage of Persia is based on a firsthand study of the sources archaeological, documentary and linguistic and provides a scholarly, readable and absorbing account of 2,500 years of Persian history and culture.

author

Richard N. Frye

January 10, 1920- March 27, 2014 Aga Khan Professor of Iranian, Emeritus at Harvard University, Professor Frye, since the age of twelve, pursued his fascination with subjects related to the world area he called “Greater Iran:” i.e. the Persianate and Iranian languages region of Asia. Ever since he saw a book about Tamerlane in his hometown of Danville, IL, he collected objects and books from the region that stretches from Turkey to western China. A prolific traveler, he resided for long periods abroad, knew ancient languages, spoke contemporary languages of Turks, Iranians, Afghans, Tajiks, Uzbeks as well as Russian, German, French. He learned his parents’ tongue, Swedish, later in life since they, as immigrants during the early part of the 20th century, followed the pattern of discouraging native language usage in American-born generations. Frye’s last book, “Greater Iran: A 20th Century Odyssey,” a memoir documenting his long academic career to 2005, maps the course of modern Middle Eastern studies evolution at US campuses, his initiatives to create endowed university chairs at Columbia, Harvard, and through the National Armenian Association for Study and Research at many other universities Graduating secondary school at 14, college at 19, and starting his graduate work at Harvard in the pre-WWII period, he joined the war effort, spent two years in Kabul, then Istanbul, with the Office of Strategic Services (precursor to the CIA), before returning to Harvard to complete his PhD in 1949. By 1957, he was established in the position he held until his retirement in 1990. Since then he published two books to add to thirteen earlier titles, one of which, served as the basis of Michael Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead” (film The Thirteenth Warrior). Nearly all his books have appeared in other language translations and many have gained the status of classics in their field, been reprinted many times, and continue to be in print. His personal library of some 25,000 items is housed at Boston University as part of their Special Collections. His archives are at Harvard and Boston University. Of Frye’s many media interviews, a recent one took place in 2008 on CNN when he voiced his wish for burial in Iran at a time when Iran-US relations were particularly rocky. He stated this wish often in a variety of settings. His devotion to Iran’s rich ancient and medieval culture transcended political turmoil and he accepted honors from Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi as well as former Republican era President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His dedication to the enduring values of culture and civilization trumped political vicissitudes that have torn the Middle East and particularly the Iranian world.

Part 1. Land Of Contrasts
Introduction to Things General and Specific.
The Geographical Background of History.
People change and people remain

Part 2. Iranian Traditions
The Aryan Background.
Zoroaster and his Message.
Sagas of the East.
Iran and Turan.
Social Structure.

Part 3. Iran and the West
The Heritage of the Ages.
Upstart Dynasts.
The Rise of Persis.
The Crisis of Empire.
The One World of the Achamenids. The Court and Bureaucracy.
Economic Life.
Religion Under the Later Achamenids.
The Fall of the Achamenids.

Part. 4. L’Iran Exterieur
Alexander the Great and His Legacy.
Seleucid Centralism.
The Hellenistic Heritage.
The Extended Cultural Area.
The Graeco-Bactrians.
Gandhara and Western Influences.

Part. 5. The Adaptable Arsacids
A Forgotten Dynasty.
Origins.
The Road Westwards.
Parthia and Rome.
The Government and Bureaucracy of the Empire.
Literature and Culture.
Foundations of Zoroastrianism.
The Kushans and the East.
The Traditions of Persis.

Part. 6. Heirs of the Achaemenids
Ardashir and the Cycle of History.
The Imperialism of Shapur.
Heresies and the Church.
The Glory that was Iran.

Part. 7. The Persian Conquest of Islam
Disintegration of the Old Order
Islam Versus Iran.
Central Asian Particularism.
Orthodoxy in Fars.
The new Persian Renaissance.

Maps.
Notes to Maps.
Appendices.
Bibliography.
Index.

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