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Ancient IranIraj Bashiri
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Ancient Iran

Cosmology, Mythology, History (First Edition)
By Iraj Bashiri

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-521-1, 186 pages


Coming Soon
The Second Edition will be published Fall 2015. ISBN: 978-1-63189-220-2

Opinions on Ancient Iran from Dr. Ali Musavi Garmarudi (Iranian Cultural Attaché, Republic of Tajikistan) and Dr. Karomatullo Olimo (Academy of Sciences, Republic of Tajikistan)


Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History presents Iran's pre-Islamic history within the context of both its complex cosmology and rich mythology. The book uses the concept of farr to show how authority, finding guidance in the cosmic realm, organized the lives of Iran's hero-saints in the mythic realm. It also discusses how historical monarchs organized their hierarchical societies according to the dictates of Ahura Mazda.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part examines cosmology, concentrating on Ahura Mazda and the Ahuric order that emanates from him. The next section addresses mythology and describes how the rulership of hero-saints promoted the farr, culminating in the unique creed of Zoroaster. The final section tells the history of pre-Islamic Iran. It begins with a study of life on the plateau, moves on to the stages of empire and concludes with the rule of the Parthians and Sassanids.

Additionally, through a new interpretation of Firdowsi's Shahname, the volume shows how the prophet Zoroaster reorganized Mazdian cosmology to fit the ethical, philosophical, and sociological dynamics of Achaemenid and Sassanid Iran.

The text provides cutting-edge scholarship for graduate students and scholarly insight for researchers. It is also appropriate for upper-level undergraduate students.

Iraj Bashiri Iraj Bashiri received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is a Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches Ancient Iran among other courses. His published works include The Ishraqi Philosophy of Jalal al-Din Rumi, The Fiction of Sadeq Hedayat, Prominent Tajik Figures of the Twentieth Century, and Samanids and the Revival of the Civilization of Iranian Peoples.

Dr. Bashiri's work, Impact of Egypt on Ancient Iran, offers a new view of the interaction between ancient Persia and Egypt, while his interpretation of Firdowsi's Shahname brings the mythical hero-saints of Iran to life. He is a recipient of the CLA Distinguished Teaching Award and is currently involved in research on the philosophy of Mulla Sadra Shirazi.

Other Cognella titles by Iraj Bashiri: