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Ancient IranIraj Bashiri
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Ancient Iran

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

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63189-220-2, 264 pages

©2016

Description
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 focuses on the interactions thus far neglected between the early Achaemenids and ancient Egypt. It 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 addition of a comprehensive account of the lives of the characters of the Shahname enhances the narrative.

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

Biography
Iraj Bashiri Iraj Bashiri holds a Ph.D. in Iranian linguistics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Bashiri is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota. He has taught numerous courses including Persian fiction and poetry, Islam and the West, contemporary Iranian society, and cultures of the Silk Road. A prolific writer, he has published works such as The Ishraqi Philosophy of Jalal-al-Din-Rumi, The Fiction of Sadeq Hedayat, Prominent Tajik Figures of the Twentieth Century, and The Samanids and the Revival of the Civilization of Iranian Peoples. Currently Dr. Bashiri is involved in research on the history of the Civil War in Tajikistan.

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