“IRAN AND EUROPE IN THE MIRROR OF HISTORY’’
Editors: Alireza Pourmohammad
2-3 June 2016
Scientific Secretary of the Conference: Ivo Panov
Executive Secretary of the Conference: Alireza Pourmohammad
The Jury Committee:
Professor Ahmad Naghibzadeh, “University of Tehran”
Associate professor Nematollah Iranzadeh, “Allame Tabataba’i University”, Tehran
Associate professor Ivo Panov, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Associate professor, D.Sc.Ruzha Neikova, Bulgarian Academy of Science
Assistant Professor Alireza Pourmohammad, IBCE, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Language contacts between Persian and French, English and Russian
Doctoral Student, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
This study explores the language contacts between Persian and French, English and Russian, and the functions these three languages played in Iran’s modernization during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Language contact is discussed in the broader framework of the historical context and cultural interaction that occurred between Iran and the European powers, particularly France, Great Britain and Russia. The nineteenth century was marked by the so-called “Great Game” - the competition between Russia and Great Britain for dominance in the region. Despite Iran was never directly colonized, it was divided into spheres of influence - the north of Iran, the Caspian Sea region, was under Russian influence and the south, the Persian Gulf region, was under the influence of Great Britain. In terms of language contact this meant that the language of the northern Iranian provinces adopted many Russian loanwords, while the southern ones were more influenced by English. In general, however, Persian borrowed the most of its loanwords from French, despite France had never had any direct political appetites for control in Iran. Through French, as the lingua franca of the nineteenth century, as well as French literature, Enlightenment ideals penetrated Iranian literature, culture and society. Thus this study argues that the sociocultural influence of Europe during the period went far beyond only lexical borrowings of scientific, technological, economic and cultural terminology. As Western penetration in Iran resulted in the introduction of many modern Western ideologies, concepts and ideas, which impacted immensely the modernization process in the Iranian society, an attempt is made here to see how the three European languages played a role in this process and what functions did they play in the development of the modern Iranian culture and society in such a formative period for the creation of the modern Iranian nation state as the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Keywords: language contacts, nineteenth century, loanwords, Persian, French, English, Russian
Iranian Shiʿi Sufis and the European traditionalists in mid20th century: Riḍā ʿAlī Shāh’s encounter with Michel Valsan in Paris.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies
The ṭarīqa Niʿmatullāhiyya is by far the most important Sufi order active in Iran in the modern period. An offshoot of the Qādiriyya, the masters of the order migrated to the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century. In Deccan, the order gradually embraced Shiʿism and by the end of the 18th century, when it returned to Iran, it flourished as a fully fledged Twelver Shiʿi Sufi order, which split into different branches. In this paper, I will be dealing with Riḍā ʿAlī Shāh’s (d. 1966) account of his encounter in Paris with Michel Valsan (d. 1974), the then master of the traditionalist Parisian branch of the Shādhiliyya. The encounter, occurred in 1955, while Riḍā ʿAlī Shāh was accompanying his father and master of the most important branch of the Niʿmatullāhiyya, on a trip to Geneva, where he had to be treated after falling severely ill. The encounter happens way before the traditionalist take on Sufism, originated in the thought of René Guénon (d. 1951) was known in Iran thanks to the intellectual activity of Seyyed Hossin Nasr. As such, it highlights the doubts that an Iranian Sufi master entertained with regard to the competence and authority of the charismatic leader of a Sufi order nurtured in a school of thought that, despite its connection with authentic sources in the Islamic world, had originated in the heart of Europe. Later in the 20th century, in spite of this first, overall non positive encounter, many European intellectuals, as well as Iranian, will enter or reenter Islam – and Shiʿi mystical Islam for that matter – through the gateway of Guénonian traditionalism, indirectly informing areas of the intellectual layout of Shiʿi Iranian Sufism.
In this paper I will provide an account of the encounter, its context and background, and will analyse it in the framework of the history of Sufi traditionalism in the Europe, its subsequent Iranian connections and the influence it had on the transnational approach to Iranian mysticism, showing how the rather negative view of the Iranian Sufi master originated in the incompleteness of his information about the traditionalist school and was centered around marginal aspects. In addition, taking Riḍā ʿAlī Shāh’as account of his trip to Europe as a starting point, I will address the wider matter of the traditionalist thought’s inroads into the realm of Persian mysticism in the 20th century.
Keywords: Shiʿi, Sufism, Riḍā ʿAlī Shāh, Niʿmatullāhiyya
“Seeing Iran through Ancient Eyes: Europeans in Iran in the 19th Century”
Dr. Clark, James. D
Overseas Director, the American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)
This paper examines one aspect of European interest in Iran as reflected in their travel diaries and memoirs of the 19th century. The early modern period in Iranian history brought change as the number of Europeans traveling to Iran steadily increased over the century. There had been few European travelers to Iran prior to the modern era. Thus, Europeans, though they did have the descriptions of Chardin from the 17th century, knew little about the country. That which they did know about “Persia” was largely acquired from their early education and their reading of the Greek and Latin classics. It was understandable that they tended to see Iran through the prism of those ancient histories. Another dimension to their understanding of Iran came from their readings in the Bible. Both of those influences can be seen in the works examined here by Malcolm, Morier, Sheil, Layard, and Curzon, and those are representative of many of the other travel diaries written by Europeans during the 19th century. One important aspect of that interest in Biblical and classical subjects was that it influenced where they went in Iran. They placed particular emphasis on visiting the sites of ruins from Iran’s ancient history such as those at Persepolis, Pasargadae, and elsewhere. That interest in visiting ancient sites was sometimes puzzling to Iranians at the time. Those European visitors frequently express amazement and awe upon seeing the ruins, which elicit memories of scenes from the ancient classical works. That idealistic image that Europeans often had did not compare favorably with what the visitors saw around them in Iranian society. Their works reflect that close tie to the ancient works. They drew connections between what they saw and what they had read about. They frequently use the classical names for cities, regions, and geographical features in their works instead of or alongside the contemporary ones. They clearly saw ancient Persia as a golden period for Iran, which had fallen on difficult times in the modern era. One important effect that that European interest in ancient Iran and the sites associated with it had on modern Iranians toward the end of the century was that it initiated an appreciation of ancient Iranian history among the Iranians, and that has continued until the present day.
Keywords: Malcolm, Curzon, Shiel, Morier, European travel diaries, Persepolis, Ancient Iranian History. Nineteenth century Iran
Muḥammad Taqī Bahār: His Prison Poetry in the Context of New Politics
MPhil, MA. Leiden University
At the beginning of the twentieth century, when the Qajār court crumbled, court poets turned their attention to the people (the mass); no longer being ‘court poets’ but ‘people’s poets’. They engaged themselves with politics and published political poetry, usually letting the western political philosophy prevail over the ruling religious and political dogmatism. Bahār who had become a Member of Parliament and later also the Minister of Culture and Education, had democratic ideas was imprisoned several times. During these periods, he wrote his long poem on imprisonment, describing the political situation in Persia and suggesting solutions to integrate several aspects practiced in the West such as western political philosophy, educational and moral systems (such as equality between men and women), the role of Islam and the clergy in society, etc. The above-mentioned subjects will be examined, which are treated in Bahār’s prison poetry. The aim is to contextualize these poems in relation to the new politics in Persia. This should give us insights into the ideas and theories of Bahār and his vision to change the traditional Persian society to a European modeled society.
Keywords: Prison Poetry, Muḥammad Taqī Bahār, Literature, Constitutional Revolution
Parallels between the festive traditions of Bulgaria and Iran
MA, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
The paper aims to present a comparative study of the festive traditions of Bulgaria and Iran in regard to their common Indo-European roots. Although there is no clear historical evidence of cultural exchange between the two peoples, obvious similarities can be observed on many levels including etymology of words, mythological beliefs and religious practices which must be regarded as a shared Indo-European heritage.
Probably the most significant feasts of any culture, not exclusively Indo-European, are related to the motion of the sun, the change of seasons and respectively, to the four astronomical positions of the sun – the winter and spring solstice and the spring and autumn equinox. The divinization of the sun resulted from the great impact these events had on people’s every-day life. In terms of mythological beliefs, they marked the sacred transition between two states, in nature and the psychological realm. The chaotic state of destruction of the old is gradually replaced by the creation of the new in an eternal cycle of death and rebirth. In terms of every-day life, they refer to the seasonal stages of agriculture.
The two most significant feasts of Bulgaria and Iran are respectively, Nowruz (the Iranian New Year), taking place at the spring equinox, and Koleda (Bulgarian Christamas), which is celebrated few days after the winter solstice. The two festivals bear the same symbolic meaning and some of the rituals accompanying them are surprisingly identical despite being celebrated in different times of the year. Both Nowruz and Koleda are ancient Indo-European pagan traditions dating back to pre-Zoroastrian and pre-Islamic times and respectively, to pre-Christian times. However, the fact that they have survived until this day shows to what extent they are incorporated in the Iranian and Bulgarian cultures. Nevertheless, over the time adjustments have been made in order to fit the Zoroastrian, Islamic and Christian doctrines. Thus, a peculiar syncretism between paganism and orthodoxy has been created. Other feasts related to the divinization of the sun will also be discussed it the paper. In comparison to Nowruz and Koledathey are of minor, yet substantial importance. An older Bulgarian festival, Ignažden, also called the Bulgarian New Year, coincides with the winter solstice on the 20th December. Its Iranian counterpart is Šab-e Yalda or Šab-e Chelleh. Another examples of spring festivals are the Iranian Čaharšambe Suri, the Bulgarian Lazarovden, Tšvetnitsa (Vrǎbnitša), Blagovetš, Baba Marta etc. In spite of their specific characteristics, they all come down to one basic trait which is the symbol of change and renovation. The idea of change is manifested through the cyclic recurrence in nature as well as in human life and through the concept of a dying and resurrecting Sun deity.
Keywords: Indo-European, solar festivals, winter solstice, Nowruz, Koleda
Re-examining the Prominent Works of Iranian and European Literature Using Comparative Studies
Dr. Iranzadeh, Nematollah
Associate Professor in “Allameh Tabataba’i University”, Tehran
Research in comparative literature is an important method of cooperation to promote international mutual understanding as well as information exchanges. It provides a means to study various aspects of wisdom, knowledge, intuition, and art in international literature as well as to recognize the influencing role of notable figures in history and culture. This research study aims at reexamining the works of Iranian researchers between the years 1950-2010 who have worked on comparative Iranian and European literature. The results of the study indicate that in classical Persian literature, Firdowsi, Molavi, Saadi and Hafiz, and in contemporary literature Sohrab Sepehri and Sadiq Hedayat have been the most influencing literary figures. Firdowsi has been mostly identified with Homer, Molavi generally associated with Herbert, Sorenki, Jack Salome, Paolokouilio, Blake and Dante, and Hafiz usually identified with Goteh from a comparative approach. Mysticism, epic and myth are the most common fields in which the poets have been comparatively studied. Analysis of the results can reveal the reasons for the widespread influence of these literary and cultural works done by such great figures.
Keywords: Comparative Studies, Iranian literature, European literature, Global cultures, Epic, Myth
Persianized Cloth from Alexandrovo Tomb’s Frescoes, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS)
In this article I would like to discuss some details from hunting scenes, depicted on upper frieze from Alexandrovo tomb, South-Eastern cotemporary Bulgaria, i.e. ancient Thracian lends. This is famous monument of Ancient art from Bulgarian lends. It was discovered from archaeologist Prof. Georgi Kitov in 2000 AD. In two friezes in funerary chamber we may see scenes of hunting of wild boars and deers. In one of the hunting scenes (in mine opinion the main scene) are depicted one horseman who attacked a boar and one pedestrian hinter represented, armed with double bladed axe (labrys).
I will focused attention on visual influence in this element in frescoes from Greek vase paintings, and parallel between Achaemenid influenced (saka) carpet from Pazyrik Culture. Main attention I will focus on red trousers (in Greek literary tradition “anaxyrides”) of hunting horseman, like persianized cloth from early Hellenistic Ages (Fig. 1). This Greek techne (Art) paintings Eastern Other (including Persians, Amazons, Phrygians and Trojans, mainly) depicted with many coloured cloths with pattern stuff. In Thracian cultural context this Greek intensions was symbol of social prestige and belongings of upper social strata of dynasts and paradynasts. This situation really is one change of social and cultural signs of cloths and patterns of visual arts in ancient Thrace, apart from Greek cultural norms of visual representation of Eastern Other.
Keywords: Cloth, Thracian lands, Achaemenid, Alexandrovo Tomb’s
A Comparative Study of Rumi and Lotman from the perspective of cultural Semiotics, Based on a Story from Masnavi’s
Dr. Kanani, Ebrahim
Assistant Professor of Persian Literature at “Kosar University” of Bojnord, Iran
Semiotics belong to a modern paradigm which can be represented in cultural studies and structural model. This phenomenon passes through a kind of structural noposiutism and studies its subject in doctrinal situation. Cultural semiotics sees everything cultural by passing across nature and culture twofold and it sets whatever is received by the human in its study’s scope. One of the cultural semiotics category is semiosphere concept. Uri Lutman who was the originator of Tartu School of Semiotics introduced this concept. According to Lutman’s noteworthy semiosphere
A) The foreign sign locates in paramount situation with accession in one self’s country.
B) Two sign kinds enter the coexistence level; first it is proceeded to a new kind of ideal making and then the new kind and the old kind associate.
C) In one self’s country, a new model is attributed to the sign kind which is entered from the foreign country.
D) The foreign kind alters to a new kind by permutation and influencing on one self’s country; its presence is not separable.
E) The one self’s kind sends out a new sign kind ultimately.
Molana introduces a cultural look or the same democratic and theosophical existentialism in the story of “the Romans and Chinese apparent portrait and painting knowledge” from Masnavi’s first book. This view is reckoned as one of the east’s theosophy source. The characteristics of Molana’s noteworthy semiosphere categorizes thus:
A) Chinese are placed as the polysemism and impressionism doctrinal agents in contrast to Romans who are doctrinal agents as deeply thinkers of theosophy.
B) The Chinese’s doctrine emphasizes on classic aesthetics and Roman’s doctrine emphasizes on visibility aesthetics.
C) Chinese ejects and resolves other’s culture and presence but Romans are reckoned as the presence democratic epiphany with an acknowledgment.
D) Romans argue it with having the light element and wisdom face of semantics according to ethic process and accepting Chinese role inside them. Then, they save it from existentialism decline and give it an existentialism depth with its perception on existentialist’s view.
E) Finally, an aesthetic and transcendent area is created which united us with the others and presence reality as the result of presence transcendence so everything changes to a content of the world’s soul of aesthetic music. In this essay, the contrast of the two cultural views of Lutman and Molavi are proceeded with descriptive-analytical technique and the semiotics and semanticism application. It is proceeded according to Masnavi’s Romans and Chinese doctrine and a new pattern is submitted from cultural semiotics according to Molavi’s view. The new research questions include how Molana’s noteworthy pattern challenges Lutman and criticizes it. What sufficiency capability and ability does it have rather than Lutman’s pattern? What is the semiotics-semanticism function of these two views? In fact, the goal of this research is the study of the characteristics and showing the cultural semiosphere position in these two doctrine. Thus, Molana depicts a new pattern of semiosphere which is called semiotics-semantic existentialism.
Keywords: Cultural Semiotics, Lutman, Molana, Masnavi’s Romans and Chinese, Semiosphere, Semiotics-Semantic existentialism
TRADE RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIAN TOWNS AND IRAN
(19 th c.)
Professor Kenderova, Stoyanka
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
The paper presents archival documents in Ottoman-Turkish language (petitions, sultan’s berats and firmans, and others), preserved in “St. st. Cyril and Methodius” National Library. These sources contain the names of merchants (Bulgarians, Armenians, Greeks and Turks) from different Bulgarian towns realizing the trade with Iran in 19 th century. For the Ottoman Empire they provide from Iran cotton and cotton cloths, wool, silk, leathers, tobacco, rice, tea, dry fruits and many other goods. Iranian merchants visit the famous fair of Targovishte in 1874 and 1876.
Keywords: Bulgarian Towns, Iran, Trade, National Library
Diderot fascinated by Saadi
Assistant Professor, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz
Diderot comes to know Saadi while researching about Sarrasins’ philosophy for his Encyclopedia. He read Golestan, for the first time, in Brucker’s Historia critica philosophiae (1744) in Latin. Prior to publishing his viewpoints about Moslems’ moral philosophy, theology and ideology, he translated parts of Golestan into French and dedicated his work, through a letter, to his friend Sophie Volland. To Diderot, Saadi’s poem is quite emotional, delicate, and effective. Therefore, the unique tenderness of Saadi’s moral advice together with the richness of the proverbs, and the simplicity of his stories make Diderot very much interested in him. Moreover, he was not only influenced by the aesthetic and literal aspects, but also was motivated to use Saadi’s views as stated in his stories, i.e. the story of a pious who quits religion and joins the scientists, to attack those enemies who were against his Encyclopedia hence questioning them with an impressive satire. Making some additions and deletions to the original stories, Diderot attacks his enemies in the name of Saadi. Therefore, Saadi becomes the main character and the critical element in Diderot’s stories to question both the church and the clergymen. In the same line, the present study attempts to investigate, both analytically and comparatively, how and how much Diderot has been influenced by Saadi. Inspired by Saadi’s style and method of expression, Diderot sometimes attacks the clergymen who are against his Encyclopedia and on some other occasions gives advice to the kings.
The morality in Golestan is expressed meticulously and without religious color, which makes it conforms to Diderot’s ideals, that is serving all mankind. Saadi’s poetry with the mutual interaction of its beauty and wisdom had an impact on Diderot so that the two contradictory attitudes of nature of this great French philosopher of the Enlightenment age, i. e. light rationality and excitement of emotions will become in contact in a unique way.
Keywords: Saadi, Diderot, Golestan, Encyclopedia, Persian and French Literature, Reception, Influence, Enlightenment Age
A possible heideggerian reading of Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry
Research fellow, MTA-ELTE, Budapest
The presentation is trying to point out how philosophy, but especially the ontological-hermeneutical perspective can be a bridge for cultural and political differences and find the common points of different areas which are making possible to get foreign cultures seemingly closer to each other. This is not about to mix together or to avoid cultural differences, but to direct the attention to the fact that if we are trying to understand different cultures from the ontological-hermeneutical perspective, we discover that independently from any stereotypes or prohibitions of any tradition or political power, people have the same existential worries: they are busy with things, they care about themselves and each other, their every days are determined by worries, joys, birth, death – the concept “existential” I use in Heidegger's sense.
The presentation is related to the conference theme in a way that it is trying to reflect on a kind of ontological mirroring between the Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami’s and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s thoughts. I look at Kiarostami as at someone who is able to philosophize on the language of the film without getting under influence of a place, culture or political involvement; from this aspect he is not typically “Iranian” director: his thoughts displayed in the movies can be placed anywhere, in any country, in any environment. Kiarostami – as he also said in an interview – is not telling stories which amaze or captivate the viewer, he does not seek popularity, but invites the viewer to reflection, thinking, he prepares an ontological challenge to the viewer. I definitely consider Kiarostami a philosopher who is “writing” on the language of movies and I believe that his thoughts can be set to be understood parallel with other philosophers.
In the presentation I would like to draw the attention to how in Abbas Kiarostami’s movie Taste of Cherry appear some of Heidegger’s concepts and how these concepts allow the hermeneutical-ontological interpretation of the movie. From Heidegger’s philosophy I focus on notions as togetherness with others, common world, land, finitude, highlighting the relationships between these notions, then I will try to detect the occurrence of these notions in the Kiarostami-movie.
Keywords: Heidegger, Kiarostami, hermeneutics, movie
Collections of Persian Miniatures in Bulgaria
Lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Curator at National Gallery
The paper will explore the cultural link between Iran and Bulgaria in the sphere of fine art and particularly the art of Persian miniature.
The art of miniature painting flourished in Persia from the 13th through the 16th centuries, and continues to present time. It is richly detailed miniature painting, which depicts religious or mythological themes from the region of Iran.
The paper will focus on the unique collection with Persian miniatures from the archive of the National Gallery – Kvadrat 500. The miniatures are illustrations to the book Khamsa written by Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) who is considered as a great romantic epic poet in Persian literature. The Khamsa was a popular subject for lavish manuscripts illustrated with painted miniatures at the Persian and Mughal courts in later centuries.
The paper will also present the 16th centuries Persian illuminated manuscripts from the archive of the National library of Bulgaria and the exhibition with Persian miniatures of contemporary Iranian female artist Nazila Ghahreman Dahr in Vitosha Gallery, February, 2002.
Keywords: Persian miniature, Persian manuscripts, Iranian art
The Image of Kayumars in Ferdowsi’s “Shah-nameh”
(“Book of Kings”)
Doctoral Student, Sofia University “St, Kliment Ohridski”
Gayomard – a central figure in Zoroastrian cosmogony, had its roots in the prehistoric Indo-Iranian past. Our main source of information on this protoplast of man is the Bundahishn. Ferdowsi’s Kayumars is the first king and a great culture hero, who elevated humankind, teaching men and women to use clothing, to find food and gave them the first laws. That is the first scene in the epos that reveals the cosmic combat between Good and Evil mirrored in the battle between two clans.
Keywords: Image, Kayumars, Ferdowsi’s, Shah-nameh
Iran and Europe: Energy Sector
Associate Professor of Energy Policy, Sharif University of Technology
The history of Iran, commonly also known as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, Bosporus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. The history of Iranian peoples in Europe stretches back as far as 750 BC, when a Proto-Scythian culture thrived in Eastern Europe.
Iran and Europe have had contacts with each other from old centuries. As for the Iranians, Europe has in the past century and a half been associated simultaneously with its potential threats to Iran's national security and as a shield to its sovereignty and national interests from foreign adversaries.
Energy is central to improved social and economic wellbeing and is indispensable to most industrial and commercial wealth generations. It is the main factor for relieving poverty, improving human welfare, and raising living standards. Energy has a fundamental role in moving toward sustainable development and social actualization in modern age.
The history of Iranian energy began with an unprecedented concession granted by Nāṣer-al-Din Shah in 1872 to Baron Julius de Reuter, a British subject of German origin. The concession, which covered the entire territory of Persia, gave Reuter the exclusive rights and monopoly, for seventy years, to exploit all mineral resources.
The D'Arcy Concession was a petroleum oil concession that was signed in 1901 between William Knox D'Arcy and Mozzafar al-Din Shah of Persia. The oil concession gave D'Arcy the exclusive rights to prospect for oil in Persia. During this exploration for oil, D'Arcy and his team encountered financial troubles and struggled to find sellable amounts of oil. They were about to give up but eventually struck large commercial quantities of oil in 1908. After these large commercial quantities of oil were found, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company took over the concession in 1909. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was a British company founded in 1908 following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. It was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran. In 1935 APOC was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and in 1954 it became the British Petroleum Company (BP).
From 1900 to now, Iran is one of the major producer of energy for Europe. Iran is the first owner of combined oil and gas proven reserves in all of the world. Europe is one of the major consumers of energy carriers.
Energy diversification has emerged as one of the most important priorities for a majority of the European countries and the EU. Growing energy demand in Europe combined with a high reliance on Russia as an energy producer have led the EU to look to the Caspian Sea region for alternative energy resources, especially in natural gas. Iran could assist Europe in diversifying supplies. This article argues that there is substantial potential for energy cooperation between Iran and the European countries. Increased Iranian participation in the Eurasian energy market, both as consumer and producer, could lead to other benefits including economic development and more efficient energy extraction.
Keywords: Iran, Energy, Europe, Oil, Energy market
The role of manuscripts translation in the arrival of European nineteenth century Culture to Iran
Case Study: cookbooks of Qajar era
Dr. Malekzadeh, Elham
Assistant professor of Institue Humanites and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran
In the studies of translation history in Iran, manuscripts benefits significant position. Researchers who have written about the history of translation for various reasons, including lack of access to Manuscripts and Documents, had been neglected such valuable resources. This paper dedicated to analyzing survey of a manuscript entitled "New cuisine". This manuscript is translated from French to Farsi under the command of Muzaffar al-Din Shah. The translator of Ali-Bakhsh-Qajar, in the preamble of the book while expressing the reasons for the translation if the book, he explains its translation practices also. The Analysis - Critical convey of the manuscripts translation In addition to various awareness about the influences of European culture and traditions in Iran, also reveals one of the ways of French words usage in Persian language.
Keywords: Manuscripts translation, European nineteenth century, Iran, Cookbooks, Qajar era
Heidegger’s ideas that have grown on Iranian soil. Why the German philosopher has become a mainstream thinker for the socio-political thought of the Islamic Republic of Iran?
Mitev, Vladimir Svetlozarov
Martin Heidegger criticizes the loss of the truth for the being in the Western world as a result of technological development. He defines a discourse of authenticity, which seeks for vitality in tradition. Heidegger announces the end of metaphysics, which he defines as tendency that objectifies other people. Instead, Heidegger proposes overcoming of metaphysics through a return to what ancient Greeks had once done – simply letting other people unconceal and manifest themselves, without turning them into an object of thought.
Ahmad Fardid is the first commentator of Heidegger in Iran. Fardid is the author of the term “occidentosis”, with which he names the alienation of Iranians from their roots and the loss of subjectivity vis-à-vis the West.
Jalal Al-e Ahmad`s essay “Occidentosis: a Plague from the West” (1962) is an essay, whose social value is at global level. It traces a pathway for the search of a local, nativist modernity in Iran and unveils dissatisfaction with the role the West prescribes to the countries of the Third World – of an exploited periphery. Al-e Ahmad’s convictions evolute from Marxist, through a nationalist in the times of the prime minister Mohammad Mosadegh and an existentialist in Jean-Paul Sartre`s way to a final settlement that only Islam caries the possibility to cure the Iranian man from occidentosis.
Ali Shariati turns Islam into a religion for mobilization of masses, and into an effort for return to the roots, which he sees not a step back to the past, but as a leap forward to a modernity that resonates with the Iranian essence. Shariati criticizes the “materialist cosmos”, where “man turns into an object”, while he sees in Islam “a fundamental bond, an existential relation (between man and the world), in regarding the two as arising from “a single (sublime) origin””. That is how the Iranian thinker who has graduated from the Sorbonne copies literally ideas from Heidegger, who feels in his own times that withdrawal of religion from public life leaves men defenseless before the logic of the world of machine, in which the being is subordinated to the will for a greater power over man and life.
After the victory of the Islamic revolution, whose promise is to reconnect Iranians with their true essence, Reza Davari echoing Heidegger pleads for a return to the covenant with God (the Absolute, the Truth), from which the Iranian had departed in the times of occidentosis. This return takes place through negating the earthly subjectivity (the ego) and craves for turning man into a realizer of celestial subjectivity.
According to Bijan Abdolkarimi the huge influence of Heidegger in Iran is due to two basic reasons: he is the strongest and the most profound critic of West and at the same time he defends tradition, which makes him appealing not only to the Iranians, but the other Eastern peoples as well.
Keywords: Heidegger, Iranian soil, Mainstream thinker, Socio-politic, Iran
Iran – the socio-economic dynamics in the XXI century and the relations with the EU
Professor Stefanov, Nako Raynov
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
The socio-economic dynamics of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is undoubtedly important and relevant topic amid the successful economic development of the country in the last decades of the XX and early XXI century. Iran has serious natural, geographical, historical, and socio-cultural and others prerequisites like favorable climate, significant energy resources - oil, gas and others for carrying out successful economic dynamics.
Historically, Iran is one of the ancient civilizations of the East with sustainable traditions of the state. In its geopolitical nature, although the country has significant access to the World Ocean, it certainly demonstrated itself as a part of the forces of the "Land Civilization", the so called “Tellurocracy”. As a socio-cultural platform IRI is the center of one of the key currents of Islam – the Shi'a. All this defines Iran as a significant regional power with possibilities for interregional and more simply with potential for continental and global impact.
But despite the history and long socio-cultural traditions all this could not work in the absence of the business dynamics. In this area, in spite of the imposed by the aggregate West sanctions, Iran is demonstrating good performance. It should be said that IRI, which was declared as a "renegade country" by the US, definitely in time succeeded to build an economic system that was double alternative to the global scheme, which is supported by the US and Western Europe , namely:
• On one hand in Iran is established good working alternative to the dominant global neoliberal model. It must be stressed that the Iranian peculiar economic system remains unknown not only for the concerned wide audience, but also for the economic specialists;
• On the other hand Iran successfully build an alternative to Western-dominated system of international economic interactions. This alternative flexibly and successfully is overcoming many of the sanctions imposed by the Western countries.
Today, when the neoliberal economic model in all its variants started to demonstrate increasing inadequacy the Iranian alternative inevitably causes curiosity and interest from various directions.
After the partial removal of the abovementioned sanctions particular attention attracted the explosively growing economic interactions with a number of countries, including those of the European Union (EU). The most interesting is that these interactions are covering not only the trade of oil and gas, although admittedly this type of trade is of the utmost weight. But based on the created meantime a new technological level of the Iranian economy there are also searches for appropriate technological cooperation.
The turbulent global environment and the expectations for a new wave of the global crisis started in 2008, put the actuality of the intensification of economic, scientific-technical and other relationships between Bulgaria and Iran. We have the examples of how leading EU countries do not hesitate to fully benefit from the new conditions created as a result of the partial removal of sanctions against Iran. Diversification of interaction of our country with the global world are one way to create a socio-economic sustainability. In this aspect between Bulgaria and IRI has established tradition of interaction in the past. These traditions must be restored and expanded.
Keywords: Iran, Socio-economic dynamics, XXI century, EU
AN ANCIENT IRANIAN RITE – ZINDA-RAWAN
Associated Professor, D.Sc. Neykova, Ruzha
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
In Pahlavi Zoroastrian works since IX century AD, there are regular evidences on the rite Zindah-ravân / Zinda-rawan, translated as ceremony for the living soul or the ceremony in honour of the Yazata Srosh/Sarosh, which had to be performed during one’s lifetime by every orthodox Zoroastrian. The ceremony helps the deceased to overcome the passage of Chinwad Bridge (or Bridge of Judgment) to the heaven. It is well known that Zoroastrianism (Māzdayasna) gives a new meaning and new conceptual content to the ancient Iranian religiousness. And one of those practices is the Zinda-rawan itself. It is deeply impressive that some folk rites, practiced by people of different religion and at distant locations shares common ideas and functions. During the past twenty century the so called ‘memorial services for living’ are performed within Tadjik and partly Uzbek, within the Vlachs in some parts of North Bulgaria, and partly by Bulgars in some South regions of the country. There are partial evidences about this rite in the Nart’ epos of Abkhazians (the region of Caucasus). Today it is still vital tradition in some small groups in East Hindu Kush (the Kalasha people) and the Zoroastrian communities in India and Islamic Republic of Iran. Following the content of these associated rites we come to their ancient essence and common origin.
Keywords: Iran, Ancient, ZENDA-RAWAN, Zoroastrian
Economical relations between Kharazm and Bulgaria, 9-13 century
Dr. Orouji, Fatemeh
Department of History, University of Tabriz, Iran
Kharazm is located in the Transoxiania area in north of Khorasan that Oxus river was flowing through in it and it Flowed into the Aral Sea, this region was very prosperous and fertile. Due to the position of very Favorable Kharezm was that its rulers had relative independence. Kharezm’s peak power and prosperity coincided with the Kharazmshahids that were from 490 to 614 AD in power in Kharezm, and Finally, Mongols invasion of ended their rule.
Due to the geographical location of Kharezm, there was trade and wide commercical activities between Kharazm with Countries and territories of South Russia and west Black Sea including Bulgarians land. Material such as Oil, cottonseed, cheese, fish, carpets, all kinds of fabrics and clothing decorated with the famous melon and especially Kharazmi inside packages it was exported to those regions. In front of the nearby land of the Volga Bulgars was imported honey, wax, clothing, etc to Khorezm.
Ibn-Fadhlan, Thaalabi, Ibn- Hoqhal, Maghdasi and … have considered and have witten about commercial relations between kharazm and Bulgarians and informations have provide us.
This research will be attempt that to the analytical method based on library research, will survey to review and how relations between Kharazm - As part of Iran territory in the period under consideration- and Bulgaria land, to perhaps be a model for spread of trade between Iran and Bulgaria at the present.
Keywords: Kharazm, Bulgaria, Trade, Ibn-Fadlan, Maghdasi
Persian Literary Monuments of Bulgarian Language
Associated Professor, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
The interest in the Persian literary and philosophical heritage in Bulgaria has over one hundred years of history. More than a century ago the spiritual valences of Bulgarian enlightened society began to saturate with different translations of Persian works, names of Persian classics were gradually entering in intellectual spaces of our country.
This article traces in critical term the history of translations of Persian literary monuments in Bulgarian language as the translation output is grouped into three main sections:
• Translation of Persian literary works from third language
• Translations of Persian literary works from third language, but announced for translations from Persian
• Translations of Persian literary works from Persian
In the first group are the pioneers in the translation work of Persian authors in our country, whose activity greatly contributes to the promotion of Persian literature in Bulgaria.
The second group includes translators who without knowing Persian perform translations from other languages - mainly from Russian, French, English, but declared that they worked directly with Persian originals. Hence emerge the drastic discrepancy with the original Persian texts with their philosophical depth, with their levels of perception, with their picturesque.
The third group includes translators coming out of the translation stage in the late 20th century that are the base staff of specialty "Iranian studies" at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" or are its product.
The names of the translators in the concerned groups vary in weight, they have left smaller or larger footprint in our cultural life, but all of them are enchanted by the charm and philosophical insight of Persian literature and devote a significant part of their creative efforts on it. Our cultural workers follow different roads to recreate in our native language one of the most magnetic messages inherited from the East. Different are their starting points, their approaches, their goals as well as the results of their works…
Keywords: Persian Literature, Bulgaria, Iran, Translation
Motifs of other world's myths
In miniatures of miraj- nameh shahrokhi in Iran and icon of Jesus's descent in Russia
Doctoral Student, “Alzahra University”, Tehran
A myth retells semantic reasoning's and conceptions through incarnation symbols which are caused by written or discourse meanings. Religions have played an important role in foundation of myths outwardly and development of symbols related to it.
Some of those symbols have depicted another world. This research aims to investigate the relationship between those religious motifs and myths from the point of view of Ernest Kaiser's mythology and to consider Christian icons motifs and Islamic motifs from mythological aspect. The study also aims to research differential and common features and their interactive influences. This article's case study is portrayal visiting Miraj- nameh Shahrokhi's hell in Iran and descent to the hell of Russia's fifteenth century of Jesus. The research seeks to find this question that whether motifs' knowledge, being one of the main bases of icono- graphic studies, could be used as an efficient method to investigate myth's motifs semantics?
This research has been performed by descriptive method and gathering of issues or articles by bibliographic or documentary method and analysis of images' contents.
Keywords: Motif's knowledge, Myth, Miraj-nameh, Iconography, Other worlds
Effects of Europe in Figure of Beloved in Persian Classic Literature
Assistant Professor, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
The theme of love is as old as man himself, or probably older, even before man walked the earth, indeed, before the earth and universe were even created. Thus, the entirety of creation is linked through Love. The theme of love in different forms and shapes has found its way through philosophical and literary expressions of all nations and cultures, in all places and all the times.
By taking a look at different cultures and civilizations, one may find some themes and topics which appear as motifs in various traditions. One of these repetitive motifs is the notion of “love”. It is probably impossible to find a literary tradition among any nations and cultures that lacks the existence of lots of poetries and narratives about love.
When we speak about Love, we face two other concepts in deep interrelation which is almost impossible to make them apart: Lover (ʿāšeq) and Beloved (maʿšūq).
In this research I would like to show how intercultural communications and relation between different traditions changes the expression and visage of Beloved in Persian Classic Literature.
Keywords: Beloved, Love, European, Persian Classic Literature, Poetry
The influence of Ferdowsi’s Shahname on the Albanian literature
Dr. Rexhepi, Abdullah
Department of Oriental Studies, University of Prishtina – Kosovo
In Persian literature there are some elements that have affected so that the Iranian culture has shared its influence in many countries of the world. Human messages of this literature are the main reason that many countries of the world have paid attention toward this literature. Actually, there were these messages that influenced the minds and hearts of neighbor countries of Iran, like Selçuk and Turkish and then later Turkish gave a great contribution in sharing of this literature toward other areas, like they also did in Albania. One of the Iranian authors that had a great impact on the ideas and thoughts of Albanian writers was Abdulkasem Ferdowsi. His literary work, Shahname, which is considered as the masterpiece of Iranian national identity and literature, was used like a model for the Albanian intellectuals and writers, whose aim was to detach from the Ottoman Empery. Naim Frasheri, the national poet of Albanians wrote two of his literary works “The History of Skanderbeg” and “Kerbela” under the influence of Shanhame. The protagonist of the literary work, The History of Skanderbeg, so Skanderbeg is described by Naim Frasheri using the same epithets that the author used to describe Rustem at “Shahname” Also Shemsedin Sami Frasheri wrote his play “Gave” under the influence of Ferdowsi’s Shahname. He also translated a “selection of Shahname” in the Ottoman Turkish language which was titled by him “Zubde-I Shahname”. Also the Albanian writer and cleric Hafiz Ali Korca, wrote his literary work “The History of Four Caliphs” under the influence of Ferdowsi’s Shahname. In some of the verses of this literary work, he stresses that he wrote this work having as a model the Ferdowsi’s Shahname being sure that this work will serve for Albanian people same like Ferdowsi’s Shahname served to the Iranian people. On this article I will try to note and analyze the influence of Ferdowsi’s Shahname on the Albanian literature and especially the influence of this literary work in consolidating of national feelings of the Albanians of the modern period.
Keywords: Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Albanian literature, Naim Frashëri, Shemseddin Sami Frashëri, Hafiz Ali Korca
Micro-and Macro LPP at Iranian Schools and private language centers: A concern for L2 learning and teaching
Dr. Rezaei, Sohrab
“Allameh Tabataba’i University”, Tehran
Mohammad Reza Latifimehr
Current research in sociolinguistics has demonstrated that two levels of language planning and policy (LPP), micro- and macro-level, play a predominant role in determining language policies pertinent to both L1 and L2. This study was an attempt to explore Iranian EFL language teachers’ attitudes, at schools and private language centers, about micro- and macro LPP as well as the extent to which they considered these two levels influential. The study following the theoretical framework of Shohamy(2009) made an attempt to highlight the significance of language policies in studying education. The participants of the study were16 language teachers (13 females and 3 males) from 3 different schools and 4 private language centers in Tehran (8 from schools and 8 from private language centers). In order to obtain the language teachers’ attitudes towards LPP at both levels with respect to their merits and demerits, a semi-structured interview was run, which last from 6 to 10 minutes for each. The data collected from the interview indicated that there is a discrepancy between the way language teachers at schools and private language centers perceive the role of micro- and macro-level LPP. While language teachers at schools consider themselves to be restricted by being under the severe pressure of macro-level LPP, the teachers at private language centers assume they are totally free because of practicing too much micro-level LPP without paying heed to the macro-level LPP. It was concluded that a balance between micro-and macro-level LPP at both schools and private language centers of Iran should be made to solve the discrepancy between these two educational setting pertinent to second language learning.
Keywords: Micro-level LPP, Macro-level LPP, Sociolinguistics, Language teachers
Hungary and Persia - connections in the Safawid and Qajar period
Budapest, Károli Gáspár University of the Hungarian Reformed Church
As it is well known, Hungarians have had several encounters with different Iranian ethnic groups both before and after their settlement in the Carpathian basin before 896 CE. A people of Finno-Ugrian origin based in Western Siberia, Hungarians were heavily influenced by diverse groups of Iranian stock in their early history. These Iranian tribes exerted a significant linguistic and cultural influence on primitive Hungarians in the course of their history.
The accounts of Persian chroniclers about the formation, and movement of Hungarian tribes in Eastern Europe are of primary importance. Furthermore, objects of Sasanian-related metallurgy were widely disseminated among early Hungarians, Sasanian and early Islamic artistic influence reached as far as the Carpathian basin.
A much lesser emphasis has been so far made on later contacts between Hungary and Persia in later periods. Important though the early contacts were, Hungarian-Iranian connections never ceased to exist even in the later centuries. Due to the growing power of the Ottoman Empire from the late 14th century Hungarian kings sought to build alliance with different Oriental rulers in the backyard of the Ottomans. It was King Sigismund I who dispatched envoys to Tabriz for the first time after his disastrous defeat in the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Later Hungarian kings regularly corresponded with Iranian rulers up until the 17th century to diminish the threat the Ottomans represented in Eastern Europe.
Though much of Hungary was conquered by the Ottomans in the early 16th century, traces of Iranian culture did appear in Ottoman-ruled Hungary where Iranian immigrants served as high-ranking Ottoman officers in the 16-17th centuries. Safawid artistic and literary influence left its clear mark on the artistic life of early modern Ottoman Hungary as well.
Following the expulsion of the Ottomans from Hungary in the 17th century a new chapter began in Hungarian-Iranian relations where scientific and patriotic interest created an interesting amalgam. The studious Hungarian diplomat count Charles Reviczky (1737-1793) was an early figure of Hafiz philology whose impact cannot overestimated on the development of Iranian studies in the late 18th century. From the early Qajar period pioneers of the Hungarian national awakening appeared in Persia, who unlike several westerners did not show any interest colonizing Persia, and strove to find evidences of ancient Hungarian tribes. Romantic though their attitude was, these persons significantly contributed to the development of Hungarian-Iranian connections. István Maróthy, Arminius Vámbéry, count Fedor Karacsay and Károly Wagner all played pivotal role in Persia in the course of the 19th century.
In the last decades of the 19th century Hungary as part of the Habsburg monarchy underwent through a spectacular development which caught the attention of several itinerant Qajar rulers such as Nasir al-Din Shah and Muzaffar al-Din shah. The rising interest in Hungary (especially that of Budapest) in Persia resulted in the repeated official and unofficial visits of Iranian rulers and many other Qajar aristocrats in the pre-WWI Hungary leading to the acknowledgement of Iran's importance in the upper and middle classes of the Hungarian society.
Keywords: Nicopolis, Safawids, Reviczky, Maróthy, Karacsay, Wagner, Vambery, Qajar rulers
Comparative Study of the situation of Iranian women based on the travelogues of a French and an Iranian woman in Nasseri era
Shahmiri, Seyedeh Monir
Graduate student in “Cross-Cultural Studies”: Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest
Social History of Iran had many ups and downs which influenced the personal and social status of Iranian women but this fact that historians for centuries belonged to the governments and dealt with political incidents, left almost no place for women in history.
However the historical incidents made wide changes to the lives of different groups of Iranian women and since their stories has disappeared over time, It can only be retrieved from travelogues that most people especially women have been recorded. Even though reflecting the images of societies in the itineraries are not subject to the specific rules and it shows the author's taste, but it depicts different scenes of people in history too.
During the Qajar period especially Nasseri era Iran had a close relations with western countries which influenced Iranians and their culture. Also women as the half of the society slowly were taking part in the areas which were previously reserved by men and one of them was writing diaries and itineraries.
One of the two travelogues of this period is written by Jane Dieulafoy, French archaeologist and the other belonged to Vaqar al-Dawla, one of the women’s of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar. The comparison of these two itineraries shows the different views of them about Iranian women status.
In 1881 Jane Dieulafoy was on an archaeological mission in Iran with her husband and during their three trips to Iran besides discovering great treasures and transferring them to France, she was observing and photographing the Iranian women. She describes lives of Iranian women and their attitudes with details which makes her books unique while Vaqar al-Dawla who had one trip to Mecca and and another one to Shiraz in south of Iran, describes everything with doubt and uncertainties just like her view from behind the palanquin.
Vaqar al-Dawla is the actor of the scenes of her life and paying less attention to other women but Dieulafoy is a western observer who tries to draw a picture of Iranian women based on her observations and experiences in facing the new culture. On the other hand, although the picture which Dieulafoy made is not free from prejudice but to express the position of Iranian women Vaqar al-Dawla itinerary is helpful.
Keywords: Qajar, Iranian women, Travelogue, Dieulafoy, Vaqar al-Dawla
Rudolf Macúch and the Mandaeans
Doctoral student, Comenius University, Bratislava
Rudolf Macúch (1919 – 1993) was a world-renowned scholar and linguist of Slovak origin, who had lived and worked in Iran for several years in the 1950´s and 1960´s. One of his greatest contributions to the modern study of Semitic languages was in the field of Mandaic studies: he co-authored the first Mandaic-English Dictionary, and was the author of several Mandaic grammar books and numerous translations of Mandaic texts. He maintained close relations with the Mandaean community of Ahvaz from his first field research in the region in the early 1950´s until his death in 1993. As our research within the community in October 2015 has shown, Prof. Macúch is still fondly remembered by its members.
In the light of recent research methods and perspectives we might safely assume that the work of Prof. Macúch among the Mandaeans of Ahvaz was of tremendeous importance not only for its contribution in the field of Semitic linguistics (and thus facilitating valuable information to several scientific fields from History to Oriental Studies to the Study of Religion), but for also maintaining a Mandaic ethnic identity, which appears to be nearly lost among the Mandaeans of Iraq. As our field research among the diaspora of Iraqi Mandaeans in Germany and Denmark in November 2015 has proved, the Iraqi Mandaeans do not define themselves as an ethno-religious group, but only as a religious group. They do not even refer to their language as Mandaic, but call it Aramaic and speak the local Iraqi dialect of Arabic among themselves. Yet in Ahvaz Modern Mandaic is still actively spoken by the members of the community and is considered a relevant formative part of the Mandaean identity. We believe that this phenomena can, to a certain level, be explained by the heightened interest of Western scholars, of whom Prof. Rudolf Macúch was the most distinguished and successful, in the Mandaean community of Khuzestan.
The aim of this contribution is to present a brief biography of Prof. Macúch with a focus on his life and work in Iran and the impact of his extensive research on the Mandaean community of Ahvaz. The presented facts and hypotheses are a result of extensive archive work, interviews with living family members and colleagues of Prof. Macúch in Slovakia, Germany and Iran and a field trip to the Mandaean community of Ahvaz.
Keywords: Rudolf Macúch, Mandaeans and Ahváz
Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina, one of the greatest names in Medical Science in middle ages in Europe
Dr. Stoilov, Slavian
Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina, along with Hipocrates and Galen, are the authorities that shape the European medieval medicine during ХІ – ХVІth century. Avicena was the logical heir of the millennia - long tradition of Persian medicine, Avicena formulates medical principles, which prove to be valid and accurate for centuries. His famous treatise “Al Qanun fi al-tibb” or “Canon of medicine” was written in 1013-1020. After its translation in Latin the text became the standard medical text in medieval universities in Europe.
In his views of anatomy, physiology, and pathology Ibn Sina is a typical representative of the four elements cosmogony system. The four elements are fire, air, water and earth. The essence of fire is hot and dry, the essence of air is humid and hot, the earth is dry and cool,the water is wet and cool.
The inner element are also four: blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile. Using these cosmogony factors as a basis, ibn Sina creates the theory of Mizadj or “The study of nature”, which was translated in Lain as “temperament”. This is a general feature of each organism, which describes the mixing of the main humors in specific proportions. “Every citizen of the living word has a specific temperament, which is determined by the climate and area where he lives.”
In Avicena’s healing system there is a key difference from Hippocrates perspective. According to Avicena sickness is an unnatural state of organisms, determined by disruptions in actions and everyday activities. This belief also defines the key aspect of the key Canon of the universal therapy–the cleansing of the body in all possible methods. This presents a close parallel to old Bulgarian traditions in medicine. At the same time it also explains the use of bloodletting as healing method in medieval medicine.
Keywords: Persia, Avicena, Four elements, Medicine
Three Persian Easel Paintings from the Qajar Period and their Journey from Tehran to Sofia
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
The reserve collections of the National Gallery of Bulgaria include three large-scale oil paintings showing full-length depictions of elaborately-dressed female personages. One of them holds flowers and a fruit-basket, while the two others are shown playing musical instruments, daf and santur, respectively. The paintings belong to a genre of Qajar art which has sometines been conveniently considered as portraiture although these representations are certainly too generic to qualify for true portraits. In fact, we know several related „portraits” from the Qajar period, of which some are still preserved in Iran, while others scattered in international collections. A few of them had reached Eastern and Central Europe as early as the middle of the 19th century. While connections between Bulgaria and the Qajar dynasty has been established much before Bulgaria’s decalaration of independence in 1908, it seems that the artworks under scrutiny would find their way to Sofia later, in the second half of the 20th century, reflecting the evolving political and cultural contacts between the two states. Questions pertaining the iconography, style, authorship, and provenance of these artefacts will all be discussed in this presentation.
Keywords: Art, Fath 'Ali Shah; Gevrenov, Ivan; National Art Gallery, Sofia; Pahlavi dynasty, Painting, Qajar dynasty
The influence of Rumi’s “PHILOSOPY OF LOVE” for a dialogue between religions and cultures
Associated Professor, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Head of Department “Social Theories, Forecasts and Strategies”
The concept of “philosophy” in the works of Muslim philosophers is fundamentally different from what which is well known in modern Western philosophy. Islamic thought and culture entered the Balkans by means of Sufism and Sufi orders and for this reason the people of Turkey and Bulgaria are more acquainted with this aspect of Islam. The paper will try to present how the spiritual affinity between Islamic Sufism and Christianity smoothes the way towards interfaith dialogue, which is one of the urgent needs of our time for the solution of international crises. Secondly, the great Rumi teaches us how to live together in peace and harmony with people who are from different religions. The idea is to present the Inter-religious peace of Rumi and evaluate his religious suggestions and ethical recommendations to contribute to an enduring peace in the global world. Sufism is the spiritual essence of Islam and has had a significant presence in all of the theoretical and practical dimensions of the history and culture of Islam. The progression of philosophy in Iran from al-Farabi to Suhrawardi and from Suhrawardi to Molla Sadra is the progression of the penetration of Sufism into Philosophy. Muslims and other people can take the hope from the fact that this “philosophy of love” might become the cause of the closeness of the people and spread “peace” (salam) which is the goal of the Sufis and the spiritual message of Islam, throughout the whole world.
Keywords: Rumi, Philosophy, Love, Dialogue, religions, cultures
Safavid Iran from Adam Olearius (Oehlschlaeger) point of view
Vatan Doust, Sara
MA of Iranian Studies, “Shahid Beheshti University”
One of the most vivid features of Safavid era is increase of production and trade of silk that caused existence of Europeans in Iran, more than before that finally ended in commercial and political rivalries. Kings'interest of this dynasty specially Shah Abbas the Great, to expand and increase political and commercial relations and use of advanced military equipments of the time to deal with the Ottoman army is another reason for strengthening these rivalries. These were all the beginning of Europeans entrance to the east that sometimes was originated from curiosity and sometimes was with the political and espionage purposes. With these motivations they started travelling to mysterious world of east, especially Iran, and they tend to write everything they were seeing and hearing. One of these persons who was sent to Iran was German Adam Olearius.
Since the Olearius was entered to Iran as penman of an expedition from the court of the Duke of Holstein with commercial purposes, we can declare that things he considered as important and worthy to write down were originated from commercial interests of expedition. Althoughin some of his writings he mentions that his goal of writing daily diaries is to record his Observations and heardin Iran with purpose of informing his people about culture and civilization of unknown land of Iran. However his itinerary can be consider as kind of daily notes of a traveler with recording of exact date of day and month but in a broader and more sophisticated form.
In this paper, writer analyzes book and opinions of German Adam Olearius about Safavid Iran that despite author's efforts for recording facts of that era and culture of Iranian people, he sometimes shows some prejudice and vivid mistakes that cannot be ignored by analysts of his book.
Keywords: Olearius, Safavid era, Iranian people
Women through the eyes of two European women travelers to Persia
Between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a result of the increasingly close connections between Great Britain and Iran a great number of travel books about Persia were written and published. The travellers varied considerably according to their profession, their reason to travel and the time they spent in this foreign country.
This tremendous rise could be related to the advent of a relative ease in the mode of travelling to the Middle East as well as to the Qajar rulers’ active foreign policy.
In the nineteenth century women also began to travel for many personal and political reasons. Some women, like Lady Sheil (d.1869), travelled to Persia in order to join their husbands who worked there as diplomats or doctors like Mrs. Hume-Griffith`s husband, others were involved in missionary actions, which represented a satisfactory professional opportunity and source of gratification, while others were brought there by pleasure or to satisfy personal curiosities of “exotic” lands, like Isabella Bird Bishop (1831-1904) one of the first woman members of the Royal Geographical Society”.
The nineteenth century also saw a considerable increase in the publishing of travel books written by women in comparison with the two previous centuries, which proves that women’s experiences were gaining consideration, although they were treated with diffidence when dealing with topics which were considered appropriate for men, such as science. This is the reason why most women travel writers tended to emphasize more the subjective and emotional sphere in their travel accounts.
This article deals especially with the portrayal of women of Persia in Lady Sheil`s travelogue “Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia”, and Mrs. Hume-Griffith`s “Behind the Veil in Persia and Turkish Arabia“.
Keywords: Women, Traveller, Persia
Dress Reforms in Iran in the Interwar Years
a Postcolonial Way of Modernization?
Ziaabadi, Sara, M.A
University of Hamburg, Germany
In the beginning of the 20th century, the age of European colonialism had taken its toll on Iran through economical, political and military involvement that had left the country in a quasi colonial state – much to the disadvantage of the Iranian people. When Reza Pahlavi rose to power in Iran in the mid-1920s, he introduced a strong nationalism as a means to strengthen the weakened state. Secularization, homogenization and centralization were the foundation of the countless reforms the new Shah implemented, leaving no aspect of public or private life unaffected. Gradually introducing the European Dresscode with brimmed hats and western-style suits for men as well as a chador ban for women between 1923 and 1936 was a radical sign of Pahlavi’s commitment to a western-coined understanding of modernity and nation. This phenomenon of Westernization through dress reforms was not uncommon at the time but is still rarely more than a side note in works on nationalism or secularism in the early Pahlavi era. This presentation focuses on the postcolonial aspect of westernizing dress reforms in an age of Western political “superiority” and, using theories by Frantz Fanon and Homi K. Bhabha, gives new explanations for the imitation of European habits in Iran in the interwar years.
Keywords: Reza Pahlavi, Dress Reforms, Westernization, Nationalism, Postcolonialism
Persian Manuscripts in the Collection of St Cyril and Methodius
National Library of Bulgaria
Zvancharova, Milena Koleva
NLB, Oriental Collections Department
The oriental manuscripts collection housed by the National Library is estimated at 3800 volumes. Although smallest in number, the group of the Persian language manuscripts (about 150) features valuable smaples of the written heritage, created within the vast territories spreading between Central Asia and the Balkans. It is widely known that these manuscript belonged to libraries established in the Bulgarian lands (e.g. in the towns of Vidin and Samokov) during the Ottoman period (15.-19. c.).
The mansucripts feature an extended range of topics – among the copies of popular titles such as the Gulistan or Divan-i Hafiz one can find many works in the field of lexicology, astronomy, history, farmacology.The earliest dated book in the collection represents the famous Ulugh Beg's Catalogue of Stars (OR 580), copied in the 15.c. Some of the rare examples of illuminated books, housed by the Oriental Collections department, are the Persian Story of prophets (Qisas Al-Anbya, OR 130, 16.c.) and the Timurnama of Hatifiq copied by the famous calligrapher Pir Ali El-Jami.
In 1973 Dr Jemshid Sayyar revealed most of the persian manuscripts in a catalogue. Nevertheless the thourough research and up-to-date presentation of this precious collection is still pending.
Keywords: Persian, Manuscripts, National Library, Oriental