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BOOK AWARD

The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres of France has awarded the 2017  The Raymond and Yvonne Lantier Foundation Prize  to Dr. Matteo Compareti for his book entitled Samarkand: The Center of the World. Dr. Compareti’s book was published by Mazda Publishers as No. 5 in the Sasanika Series, under the general editorial direction of Professor Touraj Daryaee. Major funding for the publication of the book was provided by the A. K. Jabbari Trust.

 

Introducing the Academy.

 

Foundedin 1663, in the reign of Louis XIV and on the initiative of Colbert, theAcadémie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres is one the five Academies of theInstitut de France. Since 1805 it has been located in the Palais de l’Institut,the former College of the Four Nations, whose famous cupola rises opposite theLouvre. Under the name of Academy of Inscriptions andMedals, it was originally in charge of creating the Latin and French mottos tobe inscribed on the king’s buildings, medals and coins. As early as 1701,however, a reform gave it both its present name and a single mission, stillrelevant today, namely the advancement and diffusion of knowledge in the fieldsof Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages (now extended to the European classicalperiod) and non-European cultures (of the Near and Far East). Its concern,nowadays, covers other continents, especially through Amerindian studies. Theproceedings of the Academy deal therefore with history, archaeology, history ofthe fine arts, philology and linguistics, literature, history of ideas as wellas related disciplines (epigraphy, numismatics, diplomatic, etc.). The Academyis heir to a long tradition of scholarship, as witnessed by its publication ofthe oldest extant scientific magazine, LeJournal des Savants, founded in 1665. Its many activities are widelyrecognized and its publications renowned all over the world. In accordance withits statutes, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres promotes andenhances research by means of prizes. The papers and research reviews given atits weekly public sessions provide a national and international response to themost recent studies and discoveries. Its intensive publishing productivity andintellectual rigor make the Academy one of the major French centers ofscientific publication. As a national institution, it also plays the role ofconsultant with official authorities for matters within its competence. Itparticipates in the vetting of research centers abroad and gives its advice oncandidates for the posts of directors of important French institutions ofteaching and research. The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres cantherefore be viewed both as a repository, that is, a place where human memoryis saved and kept alive, and also as a laboratory, where research on mankind(its societies and cultures) develops and flourishes.


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