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March 2020

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Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series

March 2 - March 11
Fowler A222, 308 Charles E Young Dr N
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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The Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series presentations at UCLA, which has a counterpart at the Collège de France, are delivered by a distinguished scholar whose work has impacted the study of the Iranian Civilization.  Each biennial lecture series consists of four to five lectures on a single theme that is elaborated and amplified into a monograph.  The 2020 Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series honored guest lecturer is Professor Daniel Potts. The 2020 Yarshater Lecture Series will be held in the Cotsen…

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February 2020

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14th Melammu Symposium

February 18 - February 20
314 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Fourteenth Symposium of the Melammu Project “Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World” Please click here to view the full symposium schedule. The 14th Melammu Symposium: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World is convening the 14th Melammu Symposium at UCLA. The international three-day symposium held at Royce Hall will explore Iranian religions in light of ancient Near Eastern traditions and precedents. It hosts scholars whose work pertain to the…

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Gil Stein

February 12 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
306 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Please join the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World for a lecture by Professor Gil Stein. Achaemenids or Persians?  Burials, Material Culture, and Imperial Identities in the Euphrates Valley (5th-4th centuries BCE) The Achaemenid empire was the largest empire in the world in the 5th-4th centuries BCE, encompassing numerous polities and cultural groups within its 20 satrapies. To rule this enormous empire, the Persian elites had to gain the active support of the people they governed to…

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Gil Stein

February 12 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA (CALIFORNIA) 90095
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Please join the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World for a lecture by Professor Gil Stein. Achaemenids or Persians?  Burials, Material Culture, and Imperial Identities in the Euphrates Valley (5th-4th centuries BCE) The Achaemenid empire was the largest empire in the world in the 5th-4th centuries BCE, encompassing numerous polities and cultural groups within its 20 satrapies. To rule this enormous empire, the Persian elites had to gain the active support of the people they governed to…

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January 2020

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Robert Steele

January 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
306 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Please join the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World for a lecture by Dr. Robert Steele. Ancient Persia in Pahlavi Politics: The Imperial Celebrations of 1971 and Cultural Policy under the Shah In October 1971, heads of state, political and cultural figures, business leaders, and journalists from around the world came to Persepolis at the invitation of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran. They were there to celebrate the 2500th Anniversary of the Founding of the Persian…

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Everett Wheeler

January 15 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
306 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Dr. Everett Wheeler of Duke University will present his research on “Parthians in the Roman Army” for the Pourdavoud Center on January 15, 2020. Parthians in the Roman Army The open frontier along the Euphrates River between the Roman and Parthian empires by no means marked a cultural divide. From the time of Pompey on, both powers availed themselves of forces from local dynasts and mercenaries. Parthian dynastic strife produced exiles and refugees, some of which migrated into Roman territory…

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Everett Wheeler

January 15 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA (CALIFORNIA) 90095
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Dr. Everett Wheeler of Duke University will present his research on “Parthians in the Roman Army” for the Pourdavoud Center on January 15, 2020. Parthians in the Roman Army The open frontier along the Euphrates River between the Roman and Parthian empires by no means marked a cultural divide. From the time of Pompey on, both powers availed themselves of forces from local dynasts and mercenaries. Parthian dynastic strife produced exiles and refugees, some of which migrated into Roman territory…

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October 2019

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2019 Pourdavoud Center Fall Welcome Reception

October 9, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
306 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Please join us for a fall reception at Royce Hall to celebrate the continued success of the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the latest addition to the research centers in the Humanities Division. In the company of faculty, our staff, academic affiliates, colleagues, students, and esteemed guests, we shall explore the growth of the Center’s philosophy, programs, fellowships, and grants.  Light refreshments will be served. The event will be held on the terrace of Royce 306. …

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May 2019

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Ancient Iran and the Classical World

May 29, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
306 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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You are invited to attend: Ancient Iran and the Classical World A two-day international symposium jointly hosted by the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World at UCLA & the Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum   Wednesday, May 29, 2019 – 306 Royce Hall, UCLA Thursday, May 30, 2019 – Getty Villa, VN 113-114   Click here to download the full schedule. Please RSVP to Marissa Stevens at stevensma@humnet.ucla.edu

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Book Talk by Nile Green: The Persianate World

May 22, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
314 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Copies of the book will be available for sale from the ASUCLA Bookstore at this event. To RSVP, please click here.

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April 2018

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Ancient Persia and the West: An International Symposium

April 25, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World and the Getty Research Institute are co-organizing a one-day symposium to be held on April 25, 2018 at the Pourdavoud Center, UCLA. Presenters will include invited speakers and the current Getty Villa Scholars, whose projects focus on the encounters of ancient Iran with the classical world. The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2017–18 and the 2018–19 years address the political, intellectual, religious, and artistic relations between Persia,…

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February 2018

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Between Graven Images and Zoroastrian Texts: How to Study Ancient Iranian Religious Iconography?

February 21, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Michael Shenkar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) The study of the Iranian religious iconography has been traditionally bound to the Zoroastrian texts. Deities, animals and symbols have all been usually interpreted based on the descriptions found in the Avesta and in the Middle Persian literature. However, to treat these problematic texts as a source of Iranian imagery comparable with the Bible for the Byzantine art or with the Buddhist sacred texts for the Buddhist art, is certainly misleading. The potential…

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January 2018

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Great King / King of Kings. Survival and Transformation of a Persian Title in the Hellenistic Period, c. 330–30 BCE: From the Achaemenids to the Parthians

January 10, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Rolf Strootman (Utrecht University) The Old Persian imperial titles Great King and King of Kings (xšāyaθiya vazạrka and xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām) disappeared after the Macedonian conquest of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BCE. But already before the Parthians reestablished Iranian kingship in Iran, the title Great King had returned in a Greek version: basileus megas. That title was adopted around 205 BCE by the Seleukid emperor Antiochos III (‘the Great’) and by several of his successors. When later the Parthian rulers Mithradates…

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November 2017

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The Achaemenid King and his Governors: Identity – Imitation – Identification

November 29, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Maria Brosius (University of Toronto) While we may have a rather clear idea about the relationship between the Achaemenid king and his satraps, the relationship between the king and local governors and city-rulers has received less scholarly attention. An exception to this omission is Mausolus of Caria who seems to stand out because Greek sources refer to him both as a king and a satrap. Is his position within the Persian governmental structure indeed exceptional, and perhaps a sign of…

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The King of Kings’ Empire as a Garden in Ancient Iran

November 8, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) This lecture explores the idea of the Sasanian Empire (Iranshahr) as a garden. The theme of the Persian Empire as a paradise has been explored by a number of scholars, but the continuation of this idea in Late Antiquity is neglected. The speaker will discuss how the Sasanian king of kings acted as a gardener who not only protected his subjects from invaders and malicious forces, but also weeded out those who brought havoc to the…

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October 2017

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How much of a physician was Rashīd al-Dīn?

October 18, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann A lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh Hamadānī (d. 718/1318) is often introduced as “ṭabīb,” or ‘physician,’ mostly to distinguish him from authors with similar names, notably the epistolographer Rashīd al-Dīn Waṭwāṭ (d. 578/1182). This paper discusses Rashīd al-Dīn’s scholarly persona as a physician. Starting from his epithet, ṭabīb, the paper explores his role as a medical practitioner, patron, and author of scholarly medical treatises, arguing that Rashīd al-Dīn’s name is henceforth to…

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Rashīd al-Dīn in the Eye of the Beholder: Proposing a Holistic Approach to Reception History

October 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
10383 Bunche Hall,

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann Central Asia in Transition Lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Recent scholarship has painted a rather dim picture of the Mongol-Ilkhanid vizier and historian Rashīd al-Dīn’s (d. 718/1318) historiographical impact in the Muslim world. This lecture proposes a holistic approach to Rashīd al-Dīn’s oeuvre that includes both his historiographical and theoretical works, and adduces evidence to revise the above statement by reviewing the reception of Rashīd al-Dīn in the Islamic world with a special focus…

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Fall Welcome Reception

October 10, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

  Please join us for a fall reception at Royce Hall to mark the work of the newly established Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the latest addition to the research centers in the Humanities Division. In the company of Anahita and Jim Lovelace, the Center’s benefactors, David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities, M. Rahim Shayegan, the Center’s director, our staff, academic affiliates, colleagues, students, and esteemed guests, we shall explore the Center’s philosophy, programs, fellowships, and grants.…

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Greater Glory: Darius I and Divinity in Achaemenid Royal Ideology

October 4, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) The close link between the king and the divine has deep roots in Near Eastern royal ideologies, and the Persian kings during the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE) followed this tradition. Exactly how close was the link? Recent studies suggest a blurred line between the two especially during at least some parts of the Neo-Assyrian period. However one chooses to answer that question for the Achaemenids, the king is to be considered a fulcrum.…

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May 2017

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Sasanian Iran

May 15, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

In May 2018, the Pourdavoud Center will organize, in conjunction with the Jordan Center for Persian Studies at the University of California, Irvine, the first of a series of international conferences exploring the Sasanian empire and the world of late antiquity. The term “Sasanian Workshops” emulates the successful “Achaemenid Workshops” that were responsible for the re-invigoration of Achaemenid studies.

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