Commentaries

The Movie Iranium & the Israeli War Propaganda

The Movie Iranium & the Israeli War Propaganda course image

There is now a new semi-documentary, semi-science fiction propaganda film in the US, entitled Iranium (Iran + Uranium). As an Iranian-American, after watching the film, I felt angry that here we were with another Hollywood film demonizing Iranians. This of course had started with the movie Not Without My Daughter filmed in 1991 in Neve […]

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The End of Late Antiquity & Thomas Sizgorich

The End of Late Antiquity & Thomas Sizgorich course image

My colleague Thomas Sizgorich passed away this past Thursday due to a stroke. He was one of the most interesting scholars of the field of late antiquity that I knew of. He was able to look to the Mediterranean and the Near Eastern world with the same competency and ask really interesting questions which I […]

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A Week with the Zoroastrian Parsis in Mumbai

I was invited to deliver the Government Research Fellowship Lectures at the K.R. Cama Oriental Institute in Mumbai, established in 1916. This was a great honor to be given the chance to give these lectures which are then to be published by the institute with the title: Iranian Kingship, Arab Conquest and Zoroastrian Apocalypse: The […]

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On the Earliest Reference to Stoning in Iran

On the Earliest Reference to Stoning in Iran course image

The tragic and barbaric act of stoning has been current in some places for almost three millennium. While today, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is in danger of being stoned in Iran, most people with a sense of dignity, humanity and a consciousness in the twenty first century reject such actions. Stoning a person to death is […]

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Šābuhr I’s new gold coin depicting the Roman Emperor

Šābuhr I’s new gold coin depicting the Roman Emperor course image

In 243 CE, Gordian invaded Mesopotamia to take back what had been taken by Ardaxšīr and his son after Alexander Severus’ death. Šābuhr tells us (according to ŠKZ) that he was able to kill him at Misikhe in 244 CE, close to the Euphrates river which he later called Pērōz-Šābuhr (Victorious is Šābuhr).[1] In fact […]

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Dura-Europos, Middle Persian Graffiti and the Sasanians

Dura-Europos, Middle Persian Graffiti and the Sasanians course image

The remains of the once vibrant city of Dura-Europos stand on the banks of the Euphrates in modern day Syria. The city was established by the Seleucids in 303 BCE and during the reign of Mithradates II the city fell into the hands of the Arsacids. Avidius Cassius captured the city and brought it into […]

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A Middle Persian Text on Banqueting

A Middle Persian Text on Banqueting course image

A Pahlavi Text on Banqueting* The text examined here, Sūr ī Saxwan, is a banquet speech which I thought may be of interest. The text is a blessing of a banquet, and of the hosts and guests, by a eulogist. It should be noticed, however, that there is a religious / sacrificial aspect to the […]

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Borj-e Lājīm: A Post-Sasanian Tomb Tower with Pahlavi and Arabic Inscriptions

Borj-e Lājīm: A Post-Sasanian Tomb Tower with Pahlavi and Arabic Inscriptions course image

On August 2008 Iraj Afshar, Manouchehr Sotudeh, Khodadad Rezakhani and myself traveled to the provinces of Mazandaran and Khurasan in search of medieval towers. The function of towers in Iran varies, depending on their location and the region and time period. Some may be landmarks so that travelers find their way and others are simply […]

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