The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Editor: Touraj Daryaee

A comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization written by leading scholars from multiple disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics, and linguistics

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0199732159
ISBN-13: 978-0199732159

Subjects: History › Middle East › General

History / General
History / Middle East / General
Iran - History

Book Description

Iranian history has long been a source of fascination for European and American observers. The country’s ancient past preoccupied nineteenth-century historians and archaeologists as they attempted to construct a unified understanding of the ancient world. Iran’s medieval history has likewise preoccupied scholars who have long recognized the Iranian plateau as a cultural crossroad of the world’s great civilizations. In more recent times, Iran has continued to demand the attention of observers when, for example, the revolution of 1978-79 dramatically burst onto the world stage...

This Handbook is a current, comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization. The authors, all leaders in their fields, emphasize the large-scale continuities of Iranian history while also describing the important patterns of transformation that have characterized Iran's past. Each of the chapters focuses on a specific epoch of Iranian history and surveys the general political, social, cultural, and economic issues of that era. The ancient period begins with chapters considering the anthropological evidence of the prehistoric era, through to the early settled civilizations of the Iranian plateau, and continuing to the rise of the ancient Persian empires. The medieval section first considers the Arab-Muslim conquest of the seventh century, and then moves on to discuss the growing Turkish influence filtering in from Central Asia beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The last third of the book covers Iran in the modern era by considering the rise of the Safavid state and its accompanying policy of centralization, the introduction of Shi'ism, the problems of reform and modernization in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, and the revolution of 1978-79 and its aftermath.

The book is a collaborative exercise among scholars specializing in a variety of sub-fields, and across a number of disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics, and linguistics. Here, readers can find a reliable and accessible narrative that can serve as an authoritative guide to the field of Iranian studies.

Table of Contents:



Touraj Daryaee
Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World and Associate Director of the Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, University of California, Irvine

1) From Paleolithic Times to the Rise of the Achaemenid Empire
Kamyar Abdi
Associate Professor of Archaeology, Science & Research, University in Tehran

2) The Elamites
Daniel Potts

3) Avestan Culture
Prods Oktor Skjaervo
Agha Khan Professor of Iranian, Harvard University

4) The Achaemenid Empire
Alireza Shapour Shahbazi
Former Lecturer in Achaemenid Archeology and Iranology, University of Shiraz, Harvard University, and East Oregon University

5) Iran at the time of Alexander the Great and the Seleucids
Evangelos Venetis
Senior Research Associate in Islamic and Iranian Studies, School of Asian, African and Amerindian Studies, University of Leiden

6) The Arsacids
Edward Dabrowa
Professor of History, Jagiellonian University

7) The Sasanians
Touraj Daryaee

8) Iran in the Early Islamic History
Michael G. Morony
Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles

9) Medieval Iran
Neguin Yavari
Associate Professor of History, New School

10) The Mongols in Iran
George E. Lane
Senior Teaching Fellow in the History of the Middle East and Central Asia, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

11) Timurid Iran
Ali Anooshahr
Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies, University of California, Davis

12) The Safavids in Iranian History (1501-1722)
Kathryn Babayan
Associate Professor of Iranian History & Culture, University of Michigan

13) The Afghan Interlude and the Zand and Afshar Dynasties (1722-1795)
Kamran S. Aghaie
Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

14) The Qajars
Ettehadieh Nezam-Mafi
Founder and Director of Iran Historical Press; former professor of Qajar history, University of Tehran

15) The Pahlavi Dynasty
Afshin Matin-Asgari
Associate Professor of History, California State University, Los Angeles

16) Iran after Revolution (1979-2009)
Maziar Behrooz
Associate Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Ruling Dynasties of Iran


About the Author

Touraj Daryaee is Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World and Associate Director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture at the University of California, Irvine. His previous books include Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire, winner of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies book award.