Iranica News


Professor Ehsan Yarshater

Joint announcement by
The Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University;
The Persian Heritage Foundation; and
The Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation

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The 50th anniversary of the founding of Historical Sociology in Iran

A special seminar held in Tehran on January 10, 2018, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Historical Sociology in Iran, was devoted to a celebration and discussion of the works of Dr. Ahmad Ashraf, the former Managing Editor of the Encyclopædia Iranica.

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New Director of the Center for Iranian Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopædia Iranicaa

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Professor Elton Daniel by Columbia University as the Director of the Center for Iranian Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopædia Iranica.

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Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies

The second meeting of the 29th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies for the academic year 2016-2017 was dedicated to the celebration of Dr. Christopher Brunner's many and varied contributions to the Encyclopædia Iranica.

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New Book

A Collection of Articles from the Encyclopædia Iranica

Edited by Mahnaz Moazami, 2-volume set, Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation: New York, NY, 2016

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New Book

Christoph Werner, Vaqf en Iran. Aspects culturels, religieux et sociaux, Studia Iranica Cahier 56, Association pour l’Avancement des Études Iraniennes, Paris 2015.

This volume contains the text of the five Ehsan and Latifeh Yarshater Distinguished Lectures on Iranian Studies, organized by the Unité Mixte de Recherche 7528 "Mondes iranien et indien", and delivered in 2012 at the Collège de France in Paris.

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Book cover

Book Launch
Civilizational Wisdom:
Selected Works of Ehsan Yarshater

Edited and with an introduction by:
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi
Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies
University of Toronto
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A Tribute To Prof. Ehsan Yarshater - Tirgan Festival 2015
Toronto, Canada
Saturday, August 22, 2015
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The passing of Prof. Patricia Crone
Professor Yarshater's message

The Passing of Dr. Chahryar Adle
Professor Yarshater's message

Dr. Ahmad Ashraf, Iranica's Managing Editor,
in an interview with Kayhan London

Dr. Ashraf discusses the Iranica's special and recent projects as well as the upcoming plans (in Farsi).

2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Professor Ehsan Yarshater received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 9, 2015. For more information, please see:

Ehsan Yarshater's 95th Birthday Event

Behnam Nateghi Report
On Friday, April 17, 2015, a group of Iranian studies scholars and friends of Professor Ehsan Yarshater celebrated his 95th birthday.  Dr. Yarshater also received a special issue of Iran Nameh, dedicated to his visionary academic leadership and lifetime contribution to Iranian Studies. The following is a video clip provided by Behnam Nateghi (in Farsi):

Excerpts from ISIS Newsletter, May 2015

Introductory Remarks
by Mohamad Tavakoli

The Contributions of Ehsan Yarshater to Iranian Studies
by Prof. Martin Schwartz

Ehsan Yarshater as an Institution Builder
Prof. Ali Banuazizi, Boston College

Ehsan Yarshater
Dean and Doyen of Persian Literary Studies
Dr. Karimi-Hakkak


New Book:
Ehsan and Latifeh Yarshater Distinguished Lectures on Iranian Studies organized by the Unité Mixte de Recherche 7528 “Mondes iranien et indien” and delivered in 2014 at the College de France in Paris.

 Book cover

Achitecture et Représentations Dans l’Iran Sassanide
Pierfrancesco Callieri
Association pour l’Avencement des Études Iraniennes, Paris, 2014

Introducing a new book by Persian Heritage Foundation
"Karim Emami on Modern Iranian Culture, Literature, & Art"

Edited by: Houra Yavari
Compiled by: Goli Emami
Introduction by: Shaul Bakhash

The Latifeh Yarshater Award

The Latifeh Yarshater Award was instituted by the Persian Heritage Foundation to honor the memory of Latifeh Yarshater and her lifelong dedication to the improvement of Iranian women's human rights. The purpose of the award is to encourage scholarship in Iranian Studies focused on the condition of women in Persian speaking societies and to promote women's rights in these societies.

This year the Committee decided, for the second time in the history of the award, to present a life-time achievement award to Shahrnush Parsipur, arguably, Iran's most celebrated living novelist. The award is granted in recognition of Parsipur's significant achievement in introducing modern Persian fiction to audiences well beyond the borders of Iran.

The Latifeh Yarshater Award Ceremony, 2014


New additions to Encyclopaedia Iranica


The town of Kashan, as a city associated with high-quality ceramic production in the medieval period, appears to have been a major site for the manufacture of fine wares between the 1170s and 1220s as well as in the later 13th and early 14th centuries.


(1800-1905), Tajik educator, historian, and poetess bilingual in Persian and Chaghatay Turkish.


(1932-1993), Soviet Tajik poetess, editor, and dramatist. Her poetry consists mainly of lyric miniatures on the theme of love and all manifestations of the natural world, from the Pamir mountains to the simplest flower plucked in a park in the suburbs of Dushanbe. Her plays reflect the move from the Soviet political propaganda and public life toward the Tajik private and personal sphere.


(1941-2000), Tajik poet, editor, and public intellectual. Lāyeq continually expanded the boundaries of Tajik poetry through his restless urge to experiment, to cultivate new means of expression and new forms. Despite his eagerness to innovate, he remained faithful to certain traditions. A number of his poems of the 1980s and 1990s observed the norms of Persian-Tajik poetry.


(1937-1983), a modernist artist, educator and among the founders of the Saqqā-ḵāna School of Art.


(1928 - 2004), a Persian diplomat, literary scholar, translator, and editor.


(1926-2012), pioneer modernist painter, writer, and gallerist, among the first Iranian artists who incorporated calligraphy in their modern works.


Encyclopedia Iranica As One Of Mars Best Free Reference Website 2014
American Library Association, MARS Best Free Reference Website 2014 

LIL RUSA LogoThe Encyclopedia Iranica has been selected as one of the MARS Best Free Reference Websites for 2014. MARS is the “MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference” section of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association (ALA).

Voted for by member librarians from around the United States, this site is one of 14 web pages to be recognized by MARS this year as an outstanding site for reference information and is included in the list of MARS Best Free Reference Websites of 2014.


New additions to Encyclopaedia Iranica


an engagement during the mid-630s CE in which Arab Muslim warriors overcame a larger Sasanian army and paved the way for their subsequent conquest of Iran. The battle took place at a small settlement on the frontier of Sasanian Iraq.

(Posted July 10, 2014)


(b. Lāšak, a village in the Kojur district of Māzandarān, Ḏu’l-qaʿda 2, 1259/November 24, 1843; exec. Tehran, Rajab 13, 1327/July 7, 1909), a prominent jurist who campaigned in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1909 for constitutionalism according to the šariʿa (canonical laws of Islam)and in its default, preferred absolutism to secularism.

(Posted June 19, 2014)

Houshang Seyhoun (1920 –2014)

Houshang Seyhoun, a long-time friend and supporter of the Encyclopaedia Iranica died on 26 May 2014 in Vancouver, Canada.

(Posted June 18, 2014)

Houshang Seyhoun (1920 –2014)

New additions to Encyclopaedia Iranica


View of Qadamgāh from the south. (Photograph courtesy of B.N. Chagny, Iran-France Mission at Persepolis 2008)an ancient site at the southeastern tip of the Kuh-e Raḥmat, some 40 km south of the Persepolis. Its Persian name (“place of the footprints”) was explained to the 19th-century visitor as due to “the curious marks in the rocks, which are said to be the foot-prints of Ali’s horse.” The date generally accepted is the Achaemenid or the post-Achaemenid period.

(Posted May 19, 2014)


KHAYYAM, OMAR xv. As Mathematician

Khayyam, math fig10

Three mathematical treatises of Omar Khayyam have come down to us: (1) a commentary on Euclid’s Elements; (2) an essay on the division of the quadrant of a circle; (3) a treatise on algebra; and (4) the treatise on the extraction of the nth root of the numbers, which is not extant.

(Posted May 12, 2014)


Mohammad Reza Lotfi (1947-2014)

It is with great sadness that we received the news about the passing today of Mohammad Reza Lotfi, the prominent Iranian musician. Mr. Lotfi is well known to the Iranian people and internationally for his masterful skills in playing the Tar (the Persian musical instrument) and his innovative methods of reviving traditional Persian Music. His passing is a great loss to all music and art lovers in Iran and throughout the world.

See (in Persian) BBC Farsi.


(posted May 2, 2014)


Richard Nelson Frye (January 10,1920 - March 27, 2014)

The career of Professor Richard N. Frye in Iranian studies spanned more than half a century during which time he was fully occupied researching, writing, and teaching. Our field is so much richer because of his dedication to it and his indefatigable efforts to advance Iranian studies in fields as diverse as history, historical geography, linguistics, art and archeology, numismatics, and sigillography.

Please see the full memorial page  at the above link.

(posted March 28, 2014)


Dr. Akbar Ghahary

With great sadness we announce the unexpected passing of Dr. Akbar Ghahary, a member of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation’s Board of Trustees and for a number of years its Treasurer, and then its Chairman.

His passing was caused by complications in his blood circulation, which affected his heart. We expect fuller medical information. His passing leaves a conspicuous gap among his closest friends and supporters of the Encyclopaedia Iranica. We offer our sincere condolences to Mrs. Ghahary, to all members of his family, in particular his daughters Azam and Fati.

See also, at the website of Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, “In Memoriam of Dr. Akbar Ghahary”.

(posted February 28, 2014)


N. Dupree award

Nancy Hatch Dupree  receives  Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal from  Royal Society of Asian Affairs

On January 30, 2014, Nancy Hatch Dupree was the honored recipient of the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal in recognition of her contribution to education and research in Afghanistan and for the establishment of the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU). The medal was bestowed upon her by the British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Richard Stagg. See further at the ACKU website.

(posted February 21, 2014)


Mr. Jack Mahfar receives the Medal of Distinction

Mr. Jack Mahfar, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, was one of eight recipients, on January 30, 2014, of the highest civilian award given by the State of Israel—the President’s Medal, also called the Medal of Distinction. (Click the above link to see more.)

(posted February 14, 2014)

The Iranian-American Scholarship Fund (IASF) has allocated a named scholarship in honor of Prof. Yarshater for the academic year 2013-2014: The Ehsan Yarshater Honorary Scholarship.

(posted September 19, 2013)


Renowned Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat was the 2013 Savannah College of Art and Design deFINE ART honoree and keynote speaker.

(posted June 14, 2013)


Dr. Cyrus Alai

Dr. Cyrus Alai, the distinguished Iranian scholar and a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, has recently donated his unique collection of maps of Persia to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. This collection will be available to all researchers of Iranian studies worldwide.

(posted February 15, 2013)


Dear Friends and Supporters of the Encyclopaedia Iranica,

I wish you the best for the season and a very happy and joyous 2013.
With the advent of the New Year my hope for your support of our Project is naturally renewed. I trust you would not forget the Encyclopaedia Iranica’s need. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated.

Ehsan Yarshater,

(posted February 15, 2013)


Prof. Dr. Werner Sundermann (1935-2012)

On Monday, 15 October 2012, we received the sad news from Fereydun Vahman (Copenhagen University) that Werner Sundermann (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and Freie Universität Berlin) has passed away after a long illness — truly a great loss to Iranian Studies. Professor Sundermann was the outstanding expert on Manicheism and a great scholar of Pahlavi literature. As Consulting Editor and author of many entries he generously shared his scholarship with the Encyclopaedia Iranica. He will be sorely missed.

(posted February 15, 2013)


Encyclopaedia Iranica Project Reaches Milestone

"Ehsan Yarshater knows something about dedication. After four decades of work on the monumental Encyclopaedia Iranica, he announced the reference work has reached the midpoint of its completion: 15 published volumes, reaching into the letter K."

(posted September 25, 2012)


Dr. Abtin Sassanfar

Dr. Abtin Sassanfar, the Vice-President of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation and a veteran researcher of Zoroastrianism and its holy book, Avesta, has recently completed his publication of the Gāthās’ translation into Persian and the detailed explanation of its words and phrases in a large handsome boxed volume of 1174 pages.

(posted July 5, 2012)


Legion d’honneur for Mr. Jack Mahfar

Our trustee Mr. Jack Mahfar of Geneva has been honored by receiving Legion d’honneur from Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of the French Republic, in recognition of his charitable and humanitarian deeds and cultural endeavors.

(posted January 19, 2012)


We are pleased to announce the much appreciated and generous donation of $5,000 that the Foundation has received from Dr. Mehdi Zarghamee, the newly elected Chairman of the Board of Directors & Trustees.

(posted January 10, 2012)


Turkmen Jewelry

We are happy to announce the most recent publication from Dr. Layla S. Diba, one of our Board of Trustee Members.

(posted January 4, 2012)


The History of Beyhaqi

The History of Beyhaqi is a three volume series.

(posted December 12, 2011)


Dr. Hossein Ziai (1944-2011)

We are noting with profound sadness the untimely passing on August 24, 2011 of Professor Hossein Ziai, a Trustee of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, a highly regarded scholar of Islamic and Persian philosophy, and a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Iranica.

(posted October 3, 2011)


37 Years And Halfway Through Encyclopaedia Iranica

"The work on Encyclopaedia Iranica began in 1974. After nearly four decades, the project has completed 15 volumes and has reached the letter K."

(posted September 27, 2011)


A Lifetime Quest to Finish a Monumental Encyclopedia of Iran

"At 53, Ehsan Yarshater embarked on his magnum opus, a definitive encyclopedia of Iranian history and culture. He’s 91 now, and he’s still toiling away."

(posted September 14, 2011)


Mahmoud Khayami Decorated

Mr. Mahmoud Khayami, a well-known philanthropist and Honorary Chairman of Encyclopædia Iranica, has received the Order of CBE (Commander of the British Empire) ...

(posted June 8, 2011)


Iraj Afshar (1925-2011)

Iraj Afshar, the renowned bibliographer and prominent expert in medieval and modern Persian manuscripts, passed away on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 ...

(posted April 1, 2011)


Iran Scholar, at 91, Puts In 11-Hour Days on Encyclopedia

For years, Iranian studies scholar Ehsan Yarshater was frustrated that there was only one comprehensive and reliable reference for his field. It was E.J. Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam, which did not cover pre-Islamic Iran. ...

(posted June 28, 2011)


Encyclopædia Iranica Joins Facebook

Please visit us at our new Facebook page ...

(posted June 15, 2011)


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