GRANTOVSKIĬ, EDVIN ARVIDOVICH (b. 16 February 1932 in Moscow; d. 28 June 1995; Figure 1), Russian Iranologist of Latvian descent. Grantovskiĭ graduated from the Faculty of History at the University of Moscow in 1954; from 1955 until the end of his life, he worked at the Moscow Institute for Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the former USSR. He became head of the Department of Ancient Oriental Studies in 1969.

Grantovskiĭ specialized in the history of ancient Iranian tribes (especially the Medes, Persians and Scythians) and their civilizations. His research was based on Akkadian and Urartian inscriptions, Iranian texts of various periods, and classical sources as well as on the data and evidence of archaeology, ethnography, and folklore. He published about one hundred works. His first book discussed the history of the Iranian tribes of Western Asia from the middle of the 9th to the second half of the 8th c. B.C.E. In this book and in a series of articles the author demonstrated that the Iranian tribes spread out across Iran at the beginning of the first millennium B.C.E. and already in the second half of the 8th century constituted the majority of the population in many regions of western Iran, although until the 7th century B.C.E. they were politically dependent on Elam, Assyria, Urartu, and Manna. His posthumous book Iran and Iranians Before the Achaemenids (in press) deals with the homeland of Iranians and their history from the split of the Indo-Iranians up to the emergence of the Achaemenid empire. The author also revised the generally accepted chronology of Media, studied the genesis of Greek chronological tradition and evaluated its merits and drawbacks, showing the dependence of Herodotus on a number of his predecessors whose contradictory information was merely incorporated into his narration.



Works. Rannyaya istoriya iranskikh plemyon Peredneĭ Azii (The early history of the Iranian tribes of Western Asia), Moscow, 1970 (reviewed by R. Zadok in Bibliotheca Orientalis 33, 1976, cols. 386-90).

Ot Skifii do Indii (From Scythia to India), Moscow, 1974; 2nd. ed. 1983 (written in collaboration with G. M. Bongard-Levin); French tr. by Philippe Gignoux as De la Scythie à l’Inde, enigmes de l’histoire des anciens Aryens, Paris, 1981; English tr. by H. C. Gupta as The Origin of Aryans, New Delhi, 1980.

“Drevneĭshiĭ Iran” and “Iran v kontse 2ogo—seredine 1ogo tys. do n.e.” (Ancient Iran; Iran from the end of the second to the middle of the 1st millennium B.C.E.), in M. S. Ivanov, ed., Istoriya Irana, Moscow, 1977, pp. 9-25, 26-46.

“Westiranisch šiyāti, ‘Prosperität,’ ‘Gedeihen,’ ‘Reichtum’ in keilschriftlichen und anderen Quellen,” in H. Hirsch and H. Hunger, eds., Vorträge gehalten auf der 28. Rencontre Assyriologique Internale in Wien, 6-10. Jule 1981, Archiv für OrientforschungBeiheft 19, 1982, pp. 201-9.

“O khronologii prebyvanija kimmeriitsev i skifov v Perednei Azii” (Concerning the chronology of the Cimmerian and Scythian presence in western Asia), Rossiĭskaja Archeologia (Moscow) 1994, pp. 23-48 (with English summary).

“Assyria,” in EIr, II, pp. 806-15 (co-authored by M. Dandamayev). For a detailed bibliography of Grantovskiĭ’s works see S. D. Miliband, Biobibliograficheskiĭ slovar’ otech-estvennykh vostokovedov (Biobibliographical dictionary of Russian Orientalists) I, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1995, p. 329.

An obituary notice may be found in VDI, 1995, no. 4, pp. 227-29.

(Mohammad Dandamayev)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: February 17, 2012

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