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Studies in Safavid Mind, Society, and Culture

Availability: In stock
Published: 2000
Page #: xxv + 435
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56859-089-X
plates, appendix, bibliography, index

 
$45.00

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Quick Overview

Studies in Safavid Mind, Society, and Culture examines Safavid-era society from the vantage points of literary and artistic sources. The work studies Safavid society from its pinnacle in the monarchy, to the military elite households, merchants, tradesmen, rural populations, and the lower orders of society including the underworld.
The book considers the waxing and waning of social communities over the generations, and the metamorphoses of society through the tidal action of individual lives and existential change. The few personal documents are discussed, and the many biographical notices of individuals from the kings and military notables to the peasant and the underworld criminal are placed into perspective. Some effort is made to look at the psychological as well as the social aspects of Safavid cultural history all based upon contemporary sources.
In order to study the mind, society, and culture of the Safavid era, an understanding of literary approaches becomes necessary. Safavid authors wrote in three basic forms, allegory [kinaya], irony [especially hajv, or "satire"], and symbolic realism, often with all three intermingled. Studies in Safavid Mind, Society, and Culture considers how Safavid writers employed these styles in writing their personal and biographical documents. The complexity of Safavid social terminology is also studied to arrive at a work attempting to balance individual with group history.

James J. Reid [1948-2006]

James J. Reid. The following is an excerpt from obituary that was published in the Sacramento Bee on June 14, 2006. Dr. James J. Reid, a local historian with an international reputation, passed away on Saturday, June 10, in Roseville, California. He was 57. Jim was born in Utah on August 17, 1948. From the beginning, remarkable people and places influenced his life in extraordinary ways. His father, Colonel Robert J. Reid, taught Jim to face every difficulty with courage and to undertake every task with dedication. His mother, Ruth Reid, taught him love, compassion, humility, and devotion, as well as the importance of finding pleasure in even the simplest things in life. Colonel Reid's military assignments meant frequent travel and life abroad for the family, which included Jim's older sister and brother, Betty and Bob. Absorbing all that he saw and heard, Jim became fluent in German by the age of four and later mastered French as well. Fascinated by castles, cathedrals, and other monuments and deeply moved by his experience of different cultures, he decided at the age of eight to devote his life to the study of history. But the precise direction Jim's historical interests were to take was not determined until he had graduated from UC Berkeley and begun graduate study at the University of Santa Clara. There, still in his early twenties, he met and fell in love with Mehri Yazdani, who had recently come to this country from Iran. For Jim, loving Mehri meant loving her history, her culture, and her language as well, and so he devoted himself to the study of all things Persian. After marrying, Jim and Mehri moved to Los Angeles, where Jim earned a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern History from UCLA in 1978. Jim's professional career involved teaching positions at colleges and universities across the country, including UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Lehigh University. In 1990-91, Jim taught and did research at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies in Rethymno on the Greek island of Crete. During that year he also learned to read, speak, and write modern Greek. In 1991, he accepted a position as research fellow at the S.B. Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism in Rancho Cordova, California. While in the Sacramento area, Jim had the opportunity to teach courses at California State University, Sacramento. During the spring of 2006, he was the Henry Kazan Visiting Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University, Fresno. As much as Jim enjoyed teaching, it was in historical research and writing that he truly excelled. A specialist in Persian, Turkish, Armenian, and Greek history with knowledge of eight languages, he was comfortable addressing a wide variety of difficult but important historical issues....

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