Table of Contents

  • MĀ WARĀʾ AL-NAHR

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    the classical designation for Transoxania or Transoxiana. It was defined by the early Arabic historians and geographers as the lands under Muslim control lying to the north of the middle and upper Oxus or Āmu Daryā.

  • MAʿĀYEB AL-REJĀL

    Afsaneh Najmabadi

    a treatise written in 1894 by Bibi Ḵānom Estarābādi/Astarābādi as a counterargument to the anonymous Taʾdib al-neswān/Taʾdib al-nesāʾ, a tract on how to discipline women, published in the mid-19th century.

  • MACHALSKI, FRANCISZEK

    Anna Krasnowolska

    (1904-1979), Polish Iranist. Some of his best papers are devoted to cultural and political life in Pahlavi Persia.

  • MACKENZIE, DAVID NEIL

    Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst

    Believing that the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies would be the institution most suited to his interests, Mackenzie enrolled there in September 1948. Because Pashto was not offered, he chose Persian, and completed the three-year course for a B.A. in mid 1951 under A. K. S. Lambton.

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  • MADĀʾEN

    Michael Morony

    the Sasanian metropolitan area of several contiguous cities, on both sides of the Tigris and connected by floating bridges, about 35 km southeast of Abbasid Baghdad.

  • MADĀR AL-AFĀŻEL

    Solomon Bayevsky

    dictionary of the Persian language compiled in 1001/1593 by the poet and historian Allāh-dād Fayżī b. Asad al-ʿOlamāʾ ʿAli-šir Serhendi.

  • MĀDAR-E SOLAYMĀN

    Cross-Reference

    "Solaymān's mother," local name of the tomb of Cyrus. See CYRUS v. The Tomb of Cyrus

  • MĀDAYĀN Ī HAZĀR DĀDESTĀN

    Maria Macuch

    (Book of a Thousand Judgements), Pahlavi Law-Book from the late Sasanian period (first half of the seventh century).

  • MĀDDA TĀRIḴ

    Paul Losensky

    chronogram poem, a poetic genre characterized by the inclusion of the year in which an event occurred.

  • MAFĀTIḤ AL-ʿOLUM

    George Saliba

    (Keys to sciences) by  Ḵᵛārazmi, a book in which key terms used by various classes of scholars, artisans, state officials, and others are explained (comp. ca. 366/976).

  • MAGI

    Muhammad A. Dandamayev

    the only recorded designation of priests of all western Iranians during the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian (mgw), and Sasanian periods.

  • MAGIC i. MAGICAL ELEMENTS IN THE AVESTA AND NĒRANG LITERATURE

    Antonio Panaino

    The presence of magical elements in the strict sense  in Avestan literature has been considered rare.

  • MAGIC ii. IN LITERATURE AND FOLKLORE IN THE ISLAMIC PERIOD

    Mahmud Omidsalar

    Magic can be briefly described as the art of influencing the course of events by the occult control of natural phenomena through the application of ritual observances acquired through a study of esoteric and often closely guarded corpus of knowledge and traditions.

  • MAGOPHONIA

    Muhammad A. Dandamayev

    An appropriate Iranian word for magophonia is the Sogdian mwγzt- (killing of the Magi).

  • MĀH YAŠT

    William W. Malandra

    one of what have been termed ‘minor Yašts’  of the Avesta; it is dedicated to the moon.

  • MAḤALLĀTI, Moḥammad

    Javad Golmohammadi

    a master calligrapher of the Timurid period, known only through three surviving works on wood and stone (a cetanoph, a door, and a stone plaque), which reflect the stylistic influence of the Timurid prince and master calligrapher Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Bāysonqor (d. 1493).

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  • MAHĀRLU LAKE

    Karāmat-Allāh Afsar

    a picturesque, rather extensive body of water to the southeast of Shiraz.

  • MAHDAVI, Yaḥyā

    Moḥammad Ḵᵛānsāri and EIr

    Mahdavi continued his education at Tehran Teachers College from 1928 until 1931, from which he was among the first to graduate with a bachelor's degree. In 1931, he received a scholarship from the state to continue his education in France until his graduation in 1938, writing his doctoral thesis under André Lanlande and Emile Bréhier.

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  • MAḤFEL-E RUḤĀNI

    Moojan Momen

    current designation of the Bahai governing councils elected at local and national level.

  • MAHJUB, MOHAMMAD JA’FAR

    Mahmoud Omidsalar

    prominent scholar of Persian literature, essayist, translator, university teacher, and one of the founders of the discipline of folklore in Iran.

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  • MAḤJUBI, Morteżā

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    (1900-1965), composer and pianist,  noted for his use of the piano to perform traditional Iranian music.

  • MAḤJUBI, Reżā

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    (1898-1954) composer and violinist, brother of Morteżā.

  • MAḤMUD MIRZĀ

    Dominic Parviz Brookshaw

    (b. 1799, d. between 1854 and 1858), fifteenth son of Fatḥ-ʿAli Shah Qajar (r. 1797-1834), calligrapher, poet, and anthologist.

  • MAJALLA-ye JAMʿIYAT-e NESWĀN-e WAṬANḴᵛĀH-e IRĀN

    Nassereddin Parvin

    magazine of the women's association of that name, 1923-26.

  • MAJALLA-ye RASMI-e ṮABT

    Nassereddin Parvin

    official journal of the Ministry of Justice from 1928.

  • MAJD, Loṭf-Allāh

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    r player known for his brilliant virtuosity and distinctive style (1917-1978).

  • MAJD-AL-ESLĀM KERMĀNI

    Maryam Kamali

    Shaikh Aḥmad (1871-1923), journalist, participant/observer in the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-11. One of his basic concerns of Majd-al-Eslām was to spread knowledge, a notion expressed through foreign and national news coverage in the newspaper Adab. He also started publishing portrait drawings of famous Iranians and worldwide social figures in order to familiarize people with their names and achievements.

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  • MAJD-AL-MOLK II

    M. Dabirsiāqi

    Majd-al-Molk was a learned man with a knowledge of Persian and Arabic literature. He was knowledgeable in philosophy and religious sciences and was an expert in calligraphy, engraving, and all kinds of secretarial craft. As a poet, he followed the style of past masters. Samples of his poetry mentioned by Ebrāhim Khan Madāyeḥnegār.

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  • MAJLESI, Moḥammad-Bāqer

    Rainer Brunner

    (b. 1627; d. 1699 or 1700), an eminent Twelver Shiʿite jurist in Safavid Iran (1501-1722) and one of the most important hadith scholars of Twelver Shiʿism.

  • MAJLESI, MOḤAMMAD-TAQI

    Rainer Brunner

    b. Maqṣud-ʿAli Eṣfahāni, commonly referred to as Majlesi-ye Awwal, an important Twelver Shiʿite jurist and Hadith scholar of the Aḵbāri school.

  • MAKRĀN

    C. E. Bosworth

    (also Mokrān) the coastal region of Baluchistan, extending from the Somniani Bay to the northwest of Karachi in the east westwards to the fringes of the region of Bashkardia/Bāšgerd in the southern part of the Sistān and Balučestān province of modern Iran.

  • MAKTAB

    Cross-Reference

    See EDUCATION iii. The Traditional Elementary School.

  • MĀKŪLĀ DYNASTY

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀL-E MĀKŪLĀ.

  • MALABĀRI, BEHRĀMJI MERWĀNJI

    Firoze M. Kotwal and Jamsheed K. Choksy

    Malabari began his journalistic and editorial career after Sir Cowasji Jehangir, an eminent Parsi businessman, introduced him to Martin Woods, then the editor of the Times of India. Malabari also began writing a serial column for the Indian Spectator, an English language weekly magazine.

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  • MALAKUT

    Saeed Honarmand

    the highly acclaimed and the only published novella by the noted modernist fiction writer Bahram Sadeqi.

  • MALEKŠĀH

    David Durand-Guédy

    the Great Saljuq sultan, during whose reign the Saljuq empire attained its maximum extension.

  • MALIĀN

    Kamyar Abdi

    an important archeological site in the Kor River basin in central Fārs, identified as ancient Anshan, the highland capital of Elam. At nearly 200 ha, Maliān is the largest pre-Achaemenid settlement in Fārs and one of largest archeological sites in Iran.

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  • MAMIKONEAN

    Nina Garsoian

    the most distinguished family in Early Christian Armenia after the ruling Arsacid house. Their power survived the fall of the dynasty in 428 and began to wane only from the end of the 6th century.

  • MAMSIRATI, DÄBE

    F. Thordarson

    (Russian: Dabe Mamsurov), Ossetic author (1909-1966).

  • MAḤMUD B. SEBÜKTEGIN

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    the first fully independent ruler of the Turkish Ghaznavid dynasty, who reigned (388-421/998-1030) over what had become by his death a vast military empire.

  • MAʾMUN

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    , Abu’l-ʿAbbās ʿAbd-Allāh, the seventh Abbasid caliph (r. 813-833), son of Hārun-al-Rašid (d. 809) by a Persian concubine.

  • MANDAEANS i. HISTORY

    Edmondo F. Lupieri

    an ethnic group (also called Nasoreans or Ar. Ṣābeʾin) belonging to one of the less represented religions of the Near East.

  • MANDAEANS ii. THE MANDAEAN RELIGION

    Kurt Rudolph

    A major characteristic of the Mandaeans is the frequent ritual use of (running) water (for baptisms and ritual purifications); another is the possession of a rich literature

  • MANDAEANS iii. INTERACTION WITH IRANIAN RELIGION

    Kurt Rudolph

    assimilation and corresponding processing of Iranian (Persian) components within the Mandaean religion can be demonstrated on different levels: in the vocabulary, in the mythology or theology, in the cultic-ritual realm, and in the calendar.

  • MANDAEANS iv. COMMUNITY IN IRAN

    Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley

    According to the 15 September 2004 United States Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for Iran, Section 1, the current Mandaean population in Persia comprises between 5,000 and 10,000 persons.

  • MANDAEANS v. MANDAIC LANGUAGE

    Christa Müller-Kessler

    Mandaic is the term for the Aramaic dialect of the last remaining non-Christian Gnostics from Late Antiquity, the Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran (Ḵuzestān). It belongs to the Southeastern Aramaic dialect group with Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic (Babylonian Jewish Aramaic) and Koiné Babylonian Aramaic.

  • MANDAEANS vi. NEO-MANDAIC LANGUAGE

    Charles Häberl

    or modern Mandaic, the contemporary form of Mandaic, the language of the Mandaean religious community of Iraq and Iran. As such, it is the only known form of any of the classical literary dialects of Aramaic to survive to the present date, but it is severely endangered today.

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  • MANDANE

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    name of a daughter of the Median king Astyages.

  • MANGHITS

    ANKE VON KÜGELGEN

    self-denomination of Mongol and Turkic tribes which played an eminent role in the Golden Horde.

  • MANI

    Werner Sundermann

    the founder of the religion of Manicheism in the 3rd century CE.

  • MANICHEAN ART

    Zsuzsanna Gulacsi

    term referring to objects with aesthetic appeal that were made for, and/or used in association with,  the Manichean religion. With the exception of a rock-crystal seal in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris,  no other item of Manichean art is known from Sasanian Mesopotamia, where the religion had originated.

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  • MANICHEAN SCRIPT

    Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst

    a right-to-left Semitic script, used by adherents of Manicheism to write texts in Middle Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, Early New Persian, Bactrian, and Uighur (Old Turkish). It is closely related to the Palmyrene script of Aramaic and the Estrangelo script of Syriac; some of its orthographical conventions are also to be found in the Mandaean script.

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  • MANICHEISM i. GENERAL SURVEY

    Werner Sundermann

    Manicheism is the only world religion that has become completely extinct. Its founder, Mani, lived in the third century CE. His religion spread over the continents from the Atlantic to the Chinese Sea.

  • MANICHEISM ii. THE MANICHEAN PANTHEON

    Werner Sundermann

    In this article, the gods of the Manicheans are considered collectively with regards to their names and functions.

  • MANICHEISM iii. BUDDHIST ELEMENTS IN

    P. Bryder

    Mani, who came to be considered himself to be the seal of the prophets, named Buddha, Zarathustra, and Jesus as his forerunners.

  • MANICHEISM iv. MISSIONARY ACTIVITY AND TECHNIQUE

    Werner Sundermann

    The main primary sources on the beginning of Manichean missionary work are the Cologne Mani Codex and the Kephalaia.

  • MANICHEISM v. IN CHINA

    Sammuel L.C. Lieu

    Manicheism arrived in China in the sixth century, but its history in there was little known until the first decade of the 20th century, when a genuine Manichean text in Chinese was discovered in the Cave of Thousand Buddhas in Tun-huang.

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  • MANJIL

    Marcel Bazin

    town in the Rudbār district, Gilān province. Located at lat 36°44′ N, long 49°24′ E, where the Qezel-owzan (Kızıl-uzun) and Šāhrud rivers unite into the Safidrud.

  • MANNEA

    Ran Zadok

    (Neo-Assyrian Mannāyu), name refering to a region southeast of Lake Urmia centered around modern Saqqez.

  • MANṢUR B. NUḤ

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    the name of two of the later Amirs of the Samanids (q.v.), the first ruling in both Transoxiana and Khorasan, and the second in Transoxiana only.

  • MĀR ABĀ

    Manfred Hutter

    Zoroastrian convert to Christianity, catholicos for the Church of the East, 540-52 CE.

  • MĀR MĀRI

    Florence Jullien

    the Christian apostle, considered as the first missionary in the Arsacid Empire.

  • MARĀ BEBUS

    Morteza Hosayni Dehkordi and EIr.

    (Kiss me), the title of one of the most popular songs (taṣnif) of mid-twentieth century Iran.

  • MARATHI LANGUAGE, PERSIAN ELEMENTS IN

    S. H. Qasemi and EIr

    the southernmost Indo-Aryan language, is spoken by more than 40 million speakers, including inhabitants of Bombay and the state of Maharashtra (Mahāraštrā) in west-central India.

  • MARD-E ĀZĀD

    Nassereddin Parvin

    a daily newspaper published in Tehran  to support Reżā Khan (the future Reza Shah) in his bid for power, 1923.

  • MARD-e EMRUZ

    Ḥasan Mirʿābedini

    a controversial and highly popular newspaper published weekly in Tehran, with frequent interruptions, from 19 August 1942 to 14 February 1947, by Mohammad Mas’ud.

  • MARDONIUS

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Name of several Persians in Achaemenid times, as OPers. M-r-du-u-n-i-y- /Mr̥duniya-/ (DB 4.84) is rendered in Greek (Mardónios) and Latin (Mardonius).

  • MARICQ, André

    Philippe Gignoux

    From 1953 to the summer of 1954, Maricq conducted extensive field research in the Near East. His aimed to collect casts of all seal collections in the Near East, to obtain impressions of the ŠKZ, and to survey a site in Commagene that Ernest Honigmann identified as the convent of the Nestorian bishop Barṣauma.

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  • MARITIME TRADE i. PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD

    Daniel T. Potts

    In comparison with Mesopotamia, Persia has far less proof that maritime trade was an important factor in her ancient economy.

  • MARKAZ-E TAḤQIQĀT-E FĀRSI-E IRĀN WA PĀKESTĀN

    Arif Naushahi

    (Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies), an institute established as per an agreement signed between the Ministry of Culture and Art (Wezārat-e farhang wa honar) of Iran and Ministry of Education and Scientific Research of Pakistan.

  • MARKWART, JOSEF

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    (1864-1930), German historian and orientalist, specialist in historical geography. His monumental Ērānšahr (1901) is still an authoritative work and probably his most important. His books are full of profound and nearly inexhaustible erudition, revealing that their author was a learned historian, philologist, geographer, and ethnologist.

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  • MĀRLIK

    Kamyar Abdi

    an elite burial ground of the late 2nd-early 1st millennium BCE in the western Caspian basin. In total, fifty-three tombs were discovered. The grave goods, numbering over 25,000 individual items, constitute the largest collection discovered from any cemetery of the Early Iron Age anywhere in the Near East.

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  • MARR, NIKOLAĭ YAKOVLEVICH

    I. Yakubovich

    The early part of Marr’s career was dedicated to Armenian and Kartvelian [Georgian] studies. The most significant part of Marr’s scholarly legacy is his editions of Georgian, Armenian, and Arab manuscripts, some of which he discovered during expeditions to the monastery of Aphon (Mt. Athos) in 1898, and to Sinai and Jerusalem in 1902.

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  • MARRIAGE i. THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT IN THE PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD

    Ilya Yakubovich

    a formal, written agreement as part of the process of establishing a marriage bond between two families is documented in both eastern and western Iranian practice.

  • MARRIAGE ii. NEXT OF KIN MARRIAGE IN ZOROASTRIANISM

    Prods Oktor Skjærvø

    xwēdōdah, said to refer to marital unions of father and daughter, mother and son, or brother and sister (next-of-kin or close-kin marriage, nuclear family incest).

  • MARTYRS, BABI

    Peter Smith and Moojan Momen

    adherents of the Babi religion who were killed for their faith during the period up to about 1866, when the Bahai faith emerged.

  • MARTYRS, CHRISTIAN

    Christelle Jullien

    in the Iranian lands, as related in the surviving corpus of Persian Christian Acts.

  • MAʿRUFI, Jawād

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    Persian composer and pianist (1915-1993).

  • MARYAM KHANOM

    Dominic Parviz Brookshaw

    thirty-ninth wife of Fatḥ-ʿAli Shah Qajar (r. 1797-1834), mother of Żiāʾ-al-Salṭana and Maḥmud Mirzā.

  • MARZBĀN-NĀMA

    K. Crewe Williams

    an early 13th-century prose work in Persian consisting of various didactic stories and fables used as illustrations of morality and right conduct. The work is comprised of nine chapters (bāb) with main-framed stories, embedded minor tales, as well as Persian and Arabic poems, parables, sayings, and Qorʾanic expressions. 

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  • MĀSĀL

    Marcel Bazin

    small town and sub-provincial district (šahrestān) in the western part of Gilān Province.  The town is located at lat 37°22′ N, long 49°02′ E.

  • MASISTES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Greek rendering (Masístēs) of an Old Iranian name *Masišta- (reflected also in Bab. Ma-si-iš-tu4) based on the superlative YAv. masišta-, OPers. maθišta- “greatest, supreme”.

  • MASJED-E SANGI

    Dietrich Huff

    a rock-cut mosque near the ancient site of Dārābgerd.

  • MAŠREQ AL-AḎKĀR

    Moojan Momen

    With regard to the building and design of the Mašreq al-Aḏkārs, Bahāʾ-Allāh states: “Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being.”  Writing in 1955 to the German Bahais, Shoghi Effendi considered that the Mašreq al-Aḏkār should not be built in ultra-modern style, but be “graceful in outline,” with a “delicate architectural beauty.” 

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  • MASRUR, Hosayn

    Ḥasan Mirʿābedini

    (1890-1968), novelist, poet, and literary scholar.

  • MASSON, Charles

    Elizabeth Errington

    alias of James Lewis (1800-53), traveler, pioneering archeologist and numismatist, who in 1832-38 produced the first comprehensive archeological records of eastern Afghanistan.

  • MASʿUD (III) B. EBRĀHIM

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    recorded on his coins with various other honorifics. He seems to have had generally peaceful relations with his western neighbors, the Great Saljuqs.

  • MAS’UD, MOHAMMAD

    Ḥasan Mirʿābedini

    novelist and editor of the controversial and highly popular newspaper Mard-e emruz.

  • MASʿUD-E SAʿD-E SALMĀN

    Sunil Sharma

    (b. Lahore 1046-49?; d. 1121-22), Persian poet of the later Ghaznavid period. The first major Indo-Persian poet, Masʿud-e Saʿd-e Salmān is best known for the poetry he wrote in prison and in exile.

  • MASʿUDI

    Michael Cooperson

    a tenth-century geographer and historian and an important source of information on pre-Islamic and early Islamic Iran.

  • MĀSULA

    Marcel Bazin

    township and district (baḵš) in western Gilān.

  • MATHESON, Sylvia Anne

    Yolande Crowe

    Matheson was born Sylvia Anne Terry-Smith in London and trained at Wimbledon Technical College. By the age of 16 she started work as a journalist while attending evening classes at the Wimbledon School of Art. She interviewed celebrities such as Charles Laughton, Compton Mackenzie, and P. G. Wodehouse.

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  • MAWDUD B. MASʿUD

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    sultan of the Ghaznavid dynasty, recorded on his coins with the honorifics Šehāb-al-Din wa’l-Dawla and Qoṭb-al-Mella.

  • MAWLAWI, ʿAbd-al-Raḥim Maʿdumi

    Keith Hitchins

    (1806-1882/83), a leading Kurdish poet of the 19th century who wrote in the Gurāni dialect of southeastern Kurdistan. He benefited from the support of Sufi shaikhs, who were generous patrons of writers and scholars. Mawlawi also formed long-lasting relationships with leaders of the Jaf tribe, who were prominent in Kurdish public life.

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  • MAYMANA

    cross-reference

    See FĀRYĀB.

  • MAYRHOFER, MANFRED

    RÜDIGER SCHMITT

    Austrian scholar of comparative Indo-European linguistics and Indo-Iranian studies.

  • MECQUENEM, ROLAND DE

    Laurianne Martinez-Sève

    (1877-1957), French archeologist, director of the excavations of the Mission Archèologique de Susiane at Susa from 1913 to 1946.

  • MEDḤAT PASHA

    Necati Alkan

    A liberal Ottoman statesman of the 19th century, who served both as provincial governor and grand vizier (b. Istanbul, 18 October 1822; d. Ṭāʾef, 8 May 1884).

  • MEDIA

    M. Dandamayev and I. Medvedskaya

    ancient population region (from the end of the 2nd millennium BCE) and kingdom in northwestern Iran.

  • MEDICINE i. INTRODUCTION OF WESTERN MEDICINE TO IRAN

    Shireen Mahdavi

    Western medicine was introduced to Iran by European physicians who began to arrive there from early nineteenth century onwards.

  • MEGABATES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Greek rendering of the well-known name OIran. *Baga-pāta- “protected by the gods” (which is attested in El. Ba-qa-ba-(ad-/ud-)da, Bab. Ba-ga-pa-a-ta/tu4, Ba-ga-(’)-pa-a-tú, etc., Aram. bgpt, Lyc. Magabata).

  • MEHR-NARSEH

    Touraj Daryaee

    The grand vizier (Mid. Pers. wuzurg framādār) during the reigns of the Sasanian kings Yazdgerd I (r. 399-421 CE), Bahrām V (r. 421-39), Yazdgerd II (r. 439-57), and Pērōz (r. 459-84).

  • MEHRAGĀN

    Simone Cristoforetti

    an Iranian festival apparently dedicated to the god Miθra/Mehr, occurring also in onomastics and toponymy.

  • MEHRAJĀN

    Habib Borjian

    oasis and the seat of Naḵlestān district in Ḵur-Biābānak sub-province, Isfahan province.

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  • MEIER, FRITZ

    Gudrun Schubert

    In 1937, Meier went for the first time to Iran, where he visited Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz. In 1938, he was awarded a prize at the University of Basel for his research on the Persian mystic Najm-al-Din Kobrā, and in the same year returned to Istanbul to continue his study of manuscripts of Islamic mystical texts.

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  • MEILLET, (PAUL JULES) ANTOINE

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Meillet called himself a comparatist, and probably he would have called himself pointedly a born comparatist. But at the same time he was an acknowledged philologist with a good grounding not only in Greek and Latin, but also in less common languages such as Armenian and Old Church Slavic.

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  • MELZER, UTO

    Nosratollah Rastegar

     (1881-1961), teacher, author, and independent scholar.

  • MEM-Ê ALAN

    Philip G. Kreyenbroek

    (Kurdish romance), probably the best-known Kurdish tale, and the one most often regarded as representative of Kurdish verbal art generally. 

  • MENASCE, JEAN PIERRE DE

    Philippe Gignoux

    (1902-1973), an eminent Iranist and historian of religions. His masterpiece was the explication of the Dēnkard, book III, a text of philosophical and theological content. 

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  • MENHAJ-e SERAJ

    C. E. Bosworth

    author of a general history in Persian valuable as a first-hand source for the history of the Ghurids, the Šamsi Delhi Sultans, and the irruption of the Mongols into the eastern Islamic lands.

  • MENOSTANES

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    Achaemenid prince, son of Artaxerxes I’s brother Artarios, who was satrap of Babylon; he was a “eunuch” at Artaxerxes’ court and during the troubles about the succession after Artaxerxes’ death in 424/23 BCE.

  • MENTOR and MEMNON

    Ernst Badian

    Rhodian brothers, condottieri of the late Achaemenid period.

  • MEʿRĀJ i. DEFINITION

    Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

    Derived from the Arabic instrumental form mefʿāl, the term meʿrāj means “instrument of ascension,” either a “ladder” or a “stairway;” it can also designate the place one revolves or from where one climbs. However, in a technical sense and often accompanied by the article al-, it designates “heavenly or celestial ascent,” more specifically that which Muslim tradition attributes to the Prophet Mohammad, an ascension soon associated with the “nocturnal or night journey” (esrāʾ) of the latter.

  • MEʿRĀJ ii. Illustrations

    Christiane J. Gruber

    From the turn of the 14th century onward, depictions of the Prophet Moḥammad’s night journey (esrāʾ) and heavenly ascent (meʿrāj) were integrated into illustrated world histories and biographies.

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  • MESKAVAYH, ABU ʿALI AḤMAD

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    , ABU ʿALI AḤMAD b. Moḥammad [ebn], Persian chancery official and treasury clerk of the Buyid period, boon companion, litterateur and accomplished writer in Arabic.

  • MESSINA, GIUSEPPE

    Carlo G. Cereti

    , SJ (1893-1951), Italian scholar of Middle and Modern Iranian studies.

  • METALWORK

    Linda Komaroff

    perhaps the most continuous and best-documented artistic medium from Iran in the Islamic period.

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  • Meʿyār-e Jamāli wa meftāḥ-e Abu Esḥāqi

    Solomon Bayevsky

    (‘Jamāl’s touchstone and Abu Esḥāq’s key’), a dictionary of the Persian language (comp. ca. 745/1344).

  • MEYBOD

    Ali Modarres

    name of a sub-province (šahrestān) and town in Yazd Province (32°14′45″ N, 54°2′10″ E; elev. 3,637 ft.) on the road to Tehran, at a short distance south of Ardakān (see ARDAKĀN-e YAZD) and about 48 km northwest of the city of Yazd.

  • MEYBODI, ABU'L-FAŻL RAŠID-AL-DIN

    Annabel Keeler

    (fl. early 12th cent.), Sunni scholar, mystic and author of a monumental Persian Sufi commentary on the Qurʾān.

  • MEYMA i. The District

    Habib Borjian

    The district rests on a high plain on the western foothills of the Kargas range, which separates Meyma from Naṭanz on the east.

  • MEYMA ii. The Dialect

    Habib Borjian

    district is at the heart of the area where the Central dialects are spoken.

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  • MICHAEL THE SYRIAN

    Florence Jullien

    Jacobite patriarch of Antioch (1166-99), who wrote a universal chronicle in Syriac, covering events from the Creation until 1195.

  • MICROCOSM and MACROCOSM

    Philippe Gignoux

    in pre-Islamic Iranian thought: the theory of the correspondence between the different parts of the human being and those of the cosmos.

  • MIDDLE PERSIAN LITERATURE i. PAHLAVI LITERATURE

    Carlo G. Cereti

    the writings of the Zoroastrians in the Middle Persian language and Book Pahlavi script, which were compiled in the 9th and the 10th centuries CE.

  • MĪKĀL DYNASTY

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀL-E MĪKĀL.

  • MILĀN

    Pierre Oberling

    a Kurdish tribe in western Persian Azerbaijan.

  • MILLET

    Cross-Reference

    See ARZAN.

  • MINARET

    W. Kleiss

    (manāra), a tower, usually attached to a mosque, from which the muezzin (moʾaḏḏen) summons Muslims to prayer. In Arabic, manāra originally denotes a lighthouse or signaling tower at sea. The minaret was not part of the architecture of the early Islamic period. It appeared first in the 8th and 9th centuries.

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  • MINBĀŠIĀN, Ḡolām-Ḥosayn

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi and EIr

    violinist, pianist, and conductor (1907-1978).

  • MINING IN IRAN

    Multiple Authors

    i. Mines and Mineral Resources, ii. Mineral Industries

  • MINING IN IRAN i. MINES AND MINERAL RESOURCES

    Mansur Qorbani and Anoshirvan Kani

    The ancient and pre-modern period is evidenced by abandoned mines,  which can be grouped into three categories based on the materials extracted: (1) mines of metallic ores: iron, copper, gold, lead, zinc, and silver; (2) non-metallic mines and quarries of china clay (used in ceramic and tile making), gel-e saršuy (a variety of bentonite used as soap), and bentonite and serpentine (used in clayware); (3) mines of precious and semi-precious stones.

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  • MINING IN IRAN ii. MINERAL INDUSTRIES

    Willem Floor

    Commercial exploitation of the known resources, which are mainly located in inaccessible locations, was discouraged by the lack of cost-effective infrastructure.

  • MINORSKY, Vladimir Fed’orovich

    C. E. Bosworth

    (1877-1966), outstanding Russian scholar of Persian history, historical geography, literature and culture.

  • MINT

    Shamameh Mohammadifar

    a strongly scented herb of genus Mentha of flowering plants in the Labiatae family, with many medicinal properties.

  • MIR FENDERESKI

    Sajjad H. Rizvi

    , Sayyed Amir Abu’l-Qāsem b. Mirzā Beg b. Ṣadr-al-Din Moḥammad Ḥosayni Astarābādi, renowned philosopher and mystic during the Safavid revitalization of philosophy (b. 1562-63,  d. 1640).

  • MIRʿALĀʾI, Aḥmad

    Jalil Doostkhah

    (1942-1995), editor of three literary magazines and translator of works of Western literature.

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  • MIRATH-E MAKTUB

    Ali Mir-Ansari

    a research center in Tehran, focused on editing manuscripts (including those concerned with the history of science), cataloguing Persian and Arabic manuscripts in Iran and the wider Persianate cultural area, and studying related codicological issues.

  • MIRDREKVANDI, ʿALI

    Philip G. Kreyenbroek

    nicknamed “Gunga Din,” author of “Irradiant,” a popular epic written in broken English in the mid-20th century.

  • MIRŠAKAR, MIRSAID

    Keith Hitchins

    (1912-1993), Tajik poet, dramatist, and children’s author; People’s Poet of Tajikistan, 1962.

  • MIRZA MOḤAMMAD ĀḠĀ JĀN

    Cross-Reference

    Author of Avīmāq-e Moḡol (publ. 1900), see ʿABD-AL-QĀDER KHAN.

  • MITHRA

    Multiple Authors

    i. Mitra in Old Indian and Mithra in Old Iranian   ii. Iconography in Iran and Central Asia   iii. in Manicheism

  • MITHRA i. MITRA IN OLD INDIAN AND MITHRA IN OLD IRANIAN

    Hanns-Peter Schmidt

    Indo-Iranian god, with name based on the common noun mitrá “contract” with the connotations of “covenant, agreement, treaty, alliance, promise.”

  • MITHRA ii. ICONOGRAPHY IN IRAN AND CENTRAL ASIA

    Franz Grenet

    There is no known iconography of Mithra in the Achaemenid period. On coins of the Arsacids the seated archer dressed as a Parthian horseman has been interpreted as Mithra. In the Kushan empire Mithra is among the deities most frequently depicted on the coinage, always as a young solar god.

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  • MITHRA iii. IN MANICHEISM

    Werner Sundermann

    The Iranian Manicheans adopted the name of the Zoroastrian god Mithra (Av. Miθra; Mid. Pers.Mihr)and used it to designate one of their own deities.

  • MITHRADATES VI

    Brian McGing

    Eupator Dionysos (r. 120-63 BCE), last king of Pontus, the Hellenistic kingdom that emerged in northern Asia Minor in the early years of the 3rd century BCE.

  • MITHRAISM

    Roger Beck

    the cult of Mithra as it developed in the West, its origins, its features, and its probable connection with Mithra worship in Iran.

  • MOʾAYYAD FI’L-DIN ŠIRĀZI

    Verena Klemm

    (ca. 1000-87), outstanding and multitalented representative of the Fatimid religious and political mission (daʿwa) in the service of the Caliph/Imam Mostanṣer bi’llāh (r. 1036-94).

  • MODARRESI, Taqi

    Nasrin Rahimieh

    (1931-1997), Persian novelist and psychiatrist.

  • MODI, JIVANJI JAMSHEDJI

    Michael Stausberg and Ramiyar P. Karanjia

    (1854-1933) Parsi priest, scholar, public servant, and community activist. Modi produced a vast amount of scholarly works dealing with an enormous range of different subjects, and he may well have been the most prolific Parsi scholar of modern times. In the struggle between so-called reformists and so-called orthodox, Modi “took a moderate position, advocating cautious change.”

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  • MOʿEZZ-AL-DAWLA

    Claude Cahen

    , ABU’L-ḤOSAYN, Aḥmad ebn Abi Šojāʿ (d. 356/967), 4th/10th century Buyid prince, the youngest of the three brothers who conquered western, southern, and central Persia.

  • MOʿEZZI Nišāburi

    Hormoz Davarpanah

    Šāburi, Abu ʿAbd-Allāh Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Malek (b. ca. 1048-49, d. ca. 1125-27), a major poet at the court of the Saljuqs in Khorasan in the 12th century.

  • MOFAŻŻAL al-JOʿFI

    Mushegh Asatryan

    a prominent member of the Kufan ḡolāt and companion of the sixth and seventh Shiʿite imams Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and Musa al-Kāẓem.

  • MOḠĀN

    Richard Tapper

    (or Dašt-e Moḡān, also Muqān), a lowland steppe in Azerbaijan.

  • MOHALLABI, Abu Moḥammad

    Maurice Pomerantz

    vizier and literary patron.

  • MOḤAMMAD b. ʿABD-ALLAH

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    , Abu’l -ʿAbbās (b. 824-25, d. 867), high official in Iraq and the central lands of the caliphate.

  • MOḤAMMAD B. NOṢAYR

    Yaron Friedman

    Abu Šoʿayb al-Nomayri/al-Namiri (d. after 868), the founder and eponym of the Nomayriya/Namiriya sect.

  • MOḤAMMAD NĀDER SHAH

    May Schinasi

    (1883-1933), king of Afghanistan, first representative of the new Dorrāni dynasty.

  • MOḤAMMAD SHAH QĀJĀR

    Jean Calmard

    (1808-1848), the third ruler of the Qajar dynasty after his grandfather Fatḥ-ʿAli Shah.

  • MOḤAMMAD-AYYUB KHAN

    R. D. McChesney

    born Amir Šēr-ʿAli Khan, a prominent Afghan political figure of the Moḥammadzi clan (1857-1914).

  • MOHASSESS, ARDESHIR

    Nicky Nodjoumi

    The youngest of four children, Ardeshir was born to ʿAbbās-Qoli and Sorur Mahkāma Moḥaṣṣeṣṣ. His father was a judge and died when Ardeshir was an infant.  His mother, an educator and the principal of the first school for girls in Rasht, was a poet and literary figure and a close acquaintance of Parvin Eʿteṣāmi.

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  • MOḤSENI, Akbar

    Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi

    (1912-1995) composer and prominent performer of the Ud (lute).

  • MOḤTĀJ DYNASTY

    Cross-Reference

    See ĀL-E MOḤTĀJ.

  • MOḤTAŠAM KĀŠĀNI

    Paul Losensky

    , Šams-al-Šoʿarā Kamāl-al-Din, Persian poet of the Safavid period (b. Kashan, 1528-29, d. Kashan, 1588).

  • MOʿJEZ ŠABESTARI

    Hasan Javadi

    (1874-1934), a satirical poet in Azerbaijani, fairly unknown during his lifetime. A social problem is addressed in every one of his poems.

  • MOJMAL AL-TAWĀRIḴ WA’L-QEṢAṢ

    Siegfried Weber and Dagmar Riedel

    an anonymous chronicle from the 12th century in the Persian tradition of literary historiography. The work concentrates on the Persian rulers before the advent of Islam, the Muslim conquests, and events related to Hamadān, indicating that the work probably originated there.

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  • MOḴAMMESA

    Mushegh Asatryan

    an early extremist Shiʿite (ḡolāt) sect who divinized five members (ahl al-kesāʾ/Āl-e ʿabā “the family of the cloak”) of the Prophet Moḥammad’s family.

  • MOKRI TRIBE

    Pierre Oberling

    a Kurdish tribe of western Iranian Azerbaijan.

  • MOḴTĀR-NĀMA

    Daniela Meneghini

    a wide-ranging collection of quatrains (2,088 in number) attributed to the mystic poet Farid-al-Din ʿAṭṭār (d. ca. 1221).

  • MOLLA NASREDDIN i. THE PERSON

    Hasan Javadi

    character who appears in thousands of stories, always witty, sometimes wise, even philosophic, sometimes the instigator of practical jokes on others and often a fool or the butt of a joke.

  • MOLLA NASREDDIN ii. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL WEEKLY

    Hasan Javadi

    a political and social weekly in Azeri Turkish (1906-31, with interruptions), with tremendous impact on the course of journalism and development of ideas.

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  • MOLLĀ ṢADRĀ ŠIRĀZI

    Sajjad H. Rizvi

    , Ṣadr-al-Din Moḥammad b. Ebrāhim b. Yaḥyā Qawāmi Širāzi (b. 1571-72, d. 1635-36?), arguably the most significant Islamic philosopher after Avicenna.

  • MOMAYYEZ, Morteżā

    EIr

    (1936-2005), illustrator, painter, teacher and writer who played a pivotal role in the development of graphic design in contemporary Iran.

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  • MONĀJĀT

    Multiple Authors

    a prayer genre which is often associated with the mystical verses of the Persian poet ʿAbdallāh Anṣāri (d. 1089) compiled in his famous Monājāt-nāma.

  • MONĀJĀT i. In Zoroastrianism

    Beate Schmermbeck

    The Arabic word monājāt is often translated as “intimate conversation” referring to a Qurʾanic verse (19:52) in which the verb nājā describes Moses talking confidentially with God at the Sinai.

  • MONʿEMĪ

    Cross-Reference

    18th-century historian of Kashmir. See ABU’L-QĀSEM MOḤAMMAD ASLAM.

  • MONGOLS

    Peter Jackson

    an Altaic people who conquered an empire that embraced China, Central Asia, the south Russian steppe, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • MONGOLS ii. Mongolian Loanwords in Persian

    Michael Knüppel

    early Turkic and Mongolian have many common features that were occasionally interpreted as indications to a genetic relationship between the two language families.

  • MONJIK TERMEḎI

    Ehsan Shavarebi

    a Persian-language poet of the late 10th century.

  • MONKEY

    Cross-Reference

    See BŪZĪNA.

  • MOOREY, Peter Roger Stuart

    John Curtis

    Moorey sat on various administrative bodies and received many distinctions. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1967. Reflecting his involvement with Iranian studies and related fields, he was a member of the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies and a Trustee of the Lukonin Memorial Fund.

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  • MOQANNAʿ

    Patricia Crone

    (lit. “the veiled one,” d. 163/780 or later), leader of a rebellious movement in Sogdiana.

  • MORḠ-E SAḤAR

    Morteza Hosayni Dehkordi and Parvin Loloi

    (Dawn bird), a taṣnif (song) in māhur mode,  probably written for its music around 1921, when the first signs of dictatorship were appearing.

  • MORḠĀB

    Habib Borjian

    district covering the Pamir Plateau in eastern Tajikistan, of which it is the administrative center. 

  • MORGENSTIERNE, Georg Valentin von Munthe af

    Fridrick Thordarson

    Norwegian linguist and orientalist, specializing in Indo-Iranian languages, particularly those spoken in Afghanistan, the Pamirs, and the northwest of the Indian subcontinent (1892-1978).

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  • MOSAFERIDS

    C. Edmund Bosworth

    a dynasty of Deylamite origin.  Its original center of power was at Šamirān in the district of Ṭārom on the middle course of the Safidrud river in the region of Deylam, but it subsequently extended its authority over a large part of northwestern Iran.

  • MOSHFEQ-e KAZEMI, SAYYED MORTAZA

    Ḥasan Mirʿābedini

    (1904-1978), author of Iran’s first social novel.

  • MOSHIRI, FEREYDUN

    Saeid Rezvani

    In 1945 Moshiri began to work for the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. He continued to pursue his education while employed, enrolling in the ministry’s technical school. Moshiri received his diploma in 1965 and enrolled at the then Faculty of Literature of Tehran University, but he never completed the course of study, switching to journalism instead.

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  • MOSTA’AN, Hosayn-Qoli

    Ḥasan Mirʿābedini

    (1904-1983), noted serial writer, journalist, and translator.

  • MOTʿA

    Shahla Haeri

    in Islamic law, the word (lit. “pleasure”) used as a technical term for a marriage contracted for a definite period of time.

  • MOʾTAMEN, Zeyn-al-ʿĀbedin

    Ali Gheissari

    A teacher, writer, and scholar of Persian literature.

  • MOVSĒS XORENAC‘I

    Nina Garsoïan

    from the later Middle Ages, and down to the present, honored as the “Father of Armenian History” (Patmahayr). According to his own words, he was a pupil of St. Maštoc‘, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, writing in the 5th century CE. 

  • MO’AYYERI, Mohammad Hasan

    Kāmyār ʿĀbedi

    (1909-1968), prominent poet and lyricist, better known as Rahi.

  • MUGH, MOUNT

    Gregory Semenov

    site of the 7th-8th-century refuge of the rulers of Penjikent in Sogdiana, where an important archive of documents written in Sogdian was discovered in the 1930s.

  • MUHAMMADIEV, Fazliddin

    Keith Hitchins

    Tajik writer (1928-1986). Numerous works of his were translated into Russian and other languages of the Soviet Union and of Eastern Europe.

  • MUNICH, PERSIAN ART IN

    Avinoam Shalem

    The collecting of Persian art in Munich goes back at least to the reign of Duke Albrecht V (r. 1516-75). Artifacts of oriental origin were mainly registered as exotica. For example, between 1545 and 1550, Hans Mielich (1516-73), the court painter of Albrecht V, provided the duke with an illustrated inventory of the varied treasures in the court, among which is depicted an Ottoman vessel decorated with precious stones.

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  • MUSĀ YABḠU

    Osman G. Özgüdenli

    the eponymous strongman of a Ḡozz clan, whose nephew Toḡrel founded the Saljuq dynasty.

  • MUSHFIQI, ABDURAHMON

    Keith Hitchins

    (Mošfeqi, ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān), Tajik poet (1525-1588).

  • MUSHKI, TALL-E

    Yoshihiro Nishiaki

    an early Pottery Neolithic site in Fars Province, southwest Iran. Located approximately 11 km southeast of Persepolis, this eponymous site for the Mushki culture forms a small and low mound.

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  • MUSIC HISTORY i. Pre-Islamic Iran

    Bo Lawergren

    The documentation is largely archeological with a sprinkling of textual sources, and some evidence is here assembled to outline Iran’s pre-Islamic music history.

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  • MUSIC HISTORY ii. CA. 650 TO 1370 CE

    Eckhard Neubauer

    When in 31/651 Yazdgerd III, the last Sasanian king, left Iran, fleeing from the Arab troops, he took with him “1,000 cooks and 1,000 musicians.”

  • MÜLLER, FRIEDRICH

    Rüdiger Schmitt

    (1834-1898), Austrian scholar of linguistics and ethnography. He was the founder and main advocate of the so-called “linguistic ethnography.” He worked on a genealogical classification and a description of all the languages around the globe known at his time (and often examined for the first time by himself). He presented a classification of both all the languages and all the human races.

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  • MÜLLER, Friedrich W. K.

    Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst

    (1863-1930), scholar of oriental cultures and languages, a major contribution to the establishment of the philological and historical study of texts in Middle Iranian and Old Turkish.

  • M~ CAPTIONS OF ILLUSTRATIONS

    Cross-Reference

    list of all the figure and plate images in the letter M entries.