The definitive translation by Dick Davis of the great national epic of Iran—now newly revised and expanded to be the most complete English-language edition Dick Davis—“our pre-eminent translator from the Persian” (The Washington Post)—has revised and expanded his acclaimed translation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece, adding more than 100 pages of newly translated text. Davis’s elegant combination of prose and verse allows the poetry of the Shahnameh to sing its own tales directly, interspersed sparingly with clearly marked explanations to ease along modern readers. Originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan in the tenth century, the Shahnameh is among the greatest works of world literature. This prodigious narrative tells the story of pre-Islamic Persia, from the mythical creation of the world and the dawn of Persian civilization through the seventh-century Arab conquest. The stories of the Shahnameh are deeply embedded in Persian culture and beyond, as attested by their appearance in such works as The Kite Runner and the love poems of Rumi and Hafez. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The material and visual culture of the Islamic World casts vast arcs through space and time, and encompasses a huge range of artefacts and monuments from the minute to the grandiose, from ceramic pots to the great mosques. Here, Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen assemble leading experts in the field to examine both the objects themselves and the ways in which they reflect their historical, cultural and economic contexts._x000D_ _x000D_ Islamic metalwork is the particular focus of this book, which celebrates the fundamental contribution to its study made by James Allan. It includes an important new study of Mosul_x000D_ metalwork and presents recent discoveries in the fields of Fatimid, Mamluk and Qajar metalwork. Reflecting the inter-disciplinary spirit of this book, chapters explore the role of painting in the design of Islamic metalwork, issues of influence between Iran and India, and the importance of textual sources for our understanding of metalworking and the trade in raw materials._x000D_ _x000D_ Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World also investigates cases from the Islamic West, and the spread of different artistic styles and influences across the Islamic World and beyond. By examining architecture, ceramics, ivories and textiles, seventeenth-century Iranian painting and contemporary art, the book explores a wide range of artistic production and historical periods from the Umayyad caliphate to the modern Middle East. This rich and detailed volume makes a significant contribution to the fields of Art History, Architecture and Islamic Studies, bringing new objects to light, and shedding new light on old objects.
"This book provides the first ever overview of the history and development of Islam in Afghanistan. It covers every era from the conversion of Afghanistan through the medieval and early modern periods to the present day. Based on primary sources in Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Urdu and Uzbek, its depth and scope of coverage is unrivalled by any existing publication on Afghanistan. As well as state-sponsored religion, the chapters cover such issues as the rise of Sufism, Sharia, women's religiosity, transnational Islamism and the Taliban. Islam has been one of the most influential social and political forces in Afghan history. Providing idioms and organizations for both anti-state and anti-foreign mobilization, Islam has proven to be a vital socio-political resource in modern Afghanistan. Even as it has been deployed as the national cement of a multi-ethnic 'Emirate' and then 'Islamic Republic,' Islam has been no less a destabilizing force in dividing Afghan society. Yet despite the universal scholarly recognition of the centrality of Islam to Afghan history, its developmental trajectories have received relatively little sustained attention outside monographs and essays devoted to particular moments or movements. To help develop a more comprehensive, comparative and developmental picture of Afghanistan's Islam from the eighth century to the present, this edited volume brings together specialists on different periods, regions and languages. Each chapter forms a case study 'snapshot' of the Islamic beliefs, practices, institutions and authorities of a particular time and place in Afghanistan"--Provided by publishe
The Savafid dynasty represented, in political, cultural and economic terms the pinnacle of Iran’s power and influence in its early modern history. The evidence for this -the creation of a nation state, military expansion and success, economic dynamism and the exquisite art and architecture of the period - is well-known. What is less understood is the extent to which the Safavid success depended on - and was a product of - a class of elite originating from outside Iran: the slaves of Caucasian descent and the Armenian merchants of New Julfa in the city of Isfahan. It was these groups, bolstered by Shah Abbas the Great (1589 – 1629) and his successors, who became the pillars of Safavid political, economic and cultural life. This book describes how these elites, following their conversion to Islam, helped to form a new language of Savafid absolutism. It documents their contributions, financed by the Armenian trade in Safavid silk, to the transformation of Isfahan’s urban, artistic and social landscape. The insights provided here into the multi-faceted roles of the Safavid royal household offer an original and comprehensive study of slave elites in imperial systems common to the political economies of the Malmuk, Ottoman and Safavid courts as well as contributing to the earlier Abbasid, Ghaznavid and Saljuq eras. As such this book makes an original and important contribution to our understanding of the history of the Islamic world from the 16th to the 18th centuries and will prove invaluable for students and scholars of the period.
Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings explores new evidence from the Chester Beatty Kephalaia, which presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran, in dialogue with sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West.
Using a semiotic model of poetic change, Recasting Persian Poetry presents a critical history of the evolution of Persian poetry in modern Iran. Iran's contact with Europe in the nineteenth century produced largely imaginary ideas about European culture and literature. In a series of textual manoeuvres and cultural contestations, successive generations of Iranian intellectuals sought to recast the classical tradition in a mold at once modern and relevant to their concerns. In particular, Karimi proposes a revision of the view that sets the Modernist poet Nima Yushij as the single-handed inventor of 'New Poetry'. This view, he argues, has resulted in an exaggerated sense of the aesthetic gulf between the modernist poetry of Iran and classical Persian poetry. Through a number of close readings of works by Nima's predecessors, Karimi makes visible a century-old Persian poetic tradition with Nima as its culmination.
Towards the end of the fifth century BC Ctesias of Cnidus wrote his 23 book History of Persia. Ctesias is a remarkable figure: he lived and worked in the Persian court and, as a doctor, tended to the world’s most powerful kings and queens. His position gave him special insight into the workings of Persian court life and access to the gossip and scandal surrounding Persian history and court politics, past and present. His History of Persia was completed at a time when the Greeks were fascinated by Persia and seems very much to cater to contemporary interest in Persian wealth and opulence, powerful Persian women, the institution of the harem, kings and queens, eunuchs and secret plots. Presented here in English translation for the first time with commentaries, Ctesias offers a fascinating insight into Persia in the fifth century BC.
This book unravels the story of English, the language of "the enemies", in post-revolutionary Iran. Situating English within the nation's broader social, political, economic and historical contexts, the book explores the politics, causes, and agents of the two diverging trends of indigenization/localization and internationalization/Anglo-Americanization in English education in Iran over the past three decades.
Through an examination of a wide range of medieval sources and a close textual study of the account about Ardashīr in the Shāhnāma, Nasrin Askari demonstrates that medieval authors understood Firdausī’s opus primarily as a mirror for princes
Focusing on 5 objects found in the main media at the time - ceramics, metalware, painting, architecture and textiles - Sheila S. Blair shows how artisans played with form, material and decoration to engage their audiences. She also shows how the reception of these objects has changed and that their present context has implications for our understanding of the past. Greater Iranian arts from the 10th to the 16th century are technically some of the finest produced anywhere. They are also intellectually engaging, showing the lively interaction between the verbal and the visual arts.
This work argues that the Sistani Cycle of Epics constitutes a genre of historiography, retaining reflections of events of Iran’s antiquity, notably the affairs of the Sistani kingdom and its relationship to the Parthian throne circa 1st century BCE- 2nd century CE.
This first full-length study of the history of Iranian anthropology charts the formation and development of anthropology in Iran in the twentieth century. The text examines how and why anthropology and culture became part of wider socio-political discourses in Iran, and how they were appropriated, and rejected, by the pre- and post-revolutionary regimes. The author highlights the three main phases of Iranian anthropology, corresponding broadly to three periods in the social and political development of Iran: *the period of nationalism: lasting approximately from the constitutional revolution (1906-11) and the end of the Qajar dynasty until the end of Reza Shah’s reign (1941) *the period of Nativism: from the 1950s until the Islamic revolution (1979) *the post-revolutionary period. In addition, the book places Iranian anthropology in an international context by demonstrating how Western anthropological concepts, theories and methodologies affected epistemological and political discourses on Iranian anthropology.
A narrative history, with sourcebook, of the turbulent relations between Rome and the Sasanian Empire.
This volume contains ten chapters on Persian metaphors, tropes, rhetorical figures, and poetic forms and genres, by some of the world's foremost scholars in the field of classical Persian poetry.
Monarchy was widespread as a political system in the ancient world. This volume offers a substantial discussion of ancient monarchies from the viewpoint of the ruler's court. The monarchies treated are Achaemenid and Sassanian Persia, the empire of Alexander, Rome under both the early and later Caesars, the Han rulers of China and Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty. A comparative approach is adopted to major aspects of ancient courts, including their organisation and physical setting, their role as a vehicle for display, and their place in monarchial structures of power and control. This approach is broadly inspired by work on courts in later periods of history, especially early-modern France. The case studies confirm that ancient monarchies created the conditions for the emergence of a court and court society. The culturally specific conditions in which these monarchies functioned meant variety in the character of the ruler's court from one society to another.
Literary Translation in Modern Iran: A sociological study is the first comprehensive study of literary translation in modern Iran, covering the period from the late 19th century up to the present day. By drawing on Pierre BourdieuN's sociology of culture, this work investigates the people behind the selection, translation, and production of novels from English into Persian. The choice of novels such as Morier's The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Vargas Llosa's The War of the End of the World provides insights into who decides upon titles for translation, motivations of translators and publishers, and the context in which such decisions are made.The author suggests that literary translation in Iran is not a straightforward activity. As part of the field of cultural production, literary translation has remained a lively game not only to examine and observe, but also often a challenging one to play. By adopting hide-and-seek strategies and with attention to the dynamic of the field of publishing, Iranian translators and publishers have continued to play the game against all odds. The book is not only a contribution to the growing scholarship informed by sociological approaches to translation, but an essential reading for scholars and students of Translation Studies, Iranian Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.

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