Past Events

  • 30 May

    Lectures with Miguel John Versluys and Albert de Jong

    Wed, May 30, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Persianism in Commagene: The Mnemohistory of the Achaemenid Empire in Hellenistic Eurasia Miguel John Versluys (University of Leiden / Getty Villa Scholar) The socio-political and cultural memory of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire played a very important role already in Antiquity. Miguel John Versluys has proposed to call this phenomenon, that is, the impact of Achaemenid Persia on the antique world, Persianism. In his lecture, Versluys will elaborate...

  • 23 May

    Diophante’s Kandys: Faceted Relations between Persia and Classical Athens

    Wed, May 23, 2018
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Margaret C. Miller (University of Sydney) Against a background of war and power politics, social exchange also took place between ancient Athens and the Persian Empire founded by Cyrus. Whether as (unintentional) arbiter of high fashion, benchmark of elegant behaviour, or model for imperial protocol, Persia impacted Athenian life on many levels. Sometimes adoptions were conscious, but sometimes at the...

  • 25 Apr

    Ancient Persia and the West

    Wed, April 25, 2018
    8:30 am - 6:30 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World and the Getty Research Institute are co-organizing a one-day symposium to be held on April 25, 2018 at the Pourdavoud Center, UCLA. Presenters will include invited speakers and the current Getty Villa Scholars, whose projects focus on the encounters of ancient Iran with the classical world. The Getty Scholars Program...

  • 22 Apr

    Persian and Greek Participation in the making of China’s First Empire

    Sun, April 22, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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    Terra-cotta warriors, bronze chariots and horses are among the iconic artifacts associated with China's first imperial dynasty, the Qin (221 206 BCE). Chinese archaeologist Duan Qinbo shares new evidence that suggests the material culture and social governance of the Qin may not be solely indigenous Chinese, but may also have come to China along Central Asian trade routes. A talk...

  • 21 Feb

    Between Graven Images and Zoroastrian Texts: How to Study Ancient Iranian Religious Iconography?

    Wed, February 21, 2018
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Michael Shenkar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) The study of the Iranian religious iconography has been traditionally bound to the Zoroastrian texts. Deities, animals and symbols have all been usually interpreted based on the descriptions found in the Avesta and in the Middle Persian literature. However, to treat these problematic texts as a source of Iranian imagery comparable with the Bible...

  • 7 Feb

    Freed from Hostageship: Iranian Perspectives on the Arsacids of Rome

    Wed, February 07, 2018
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Jake Nabel (Getty Research Institute) Over the course of the Julio-Claudian period in Rome (c.30 BCE-68 CE), several Arsacid princes from the ruling family of the Parthian empire were sent to live in the court of the Roman emperor. Ancient Greco-Roman sources describe these figures as “hostages,” and modern scholars have largely followed suit. While contemporary Parthian evidence is scarce,...

  • 10 Jan

    Great King / King of Kings. Survival and Transformation of a Persian Title in the Hellenistic Period, c. 330–30 BCE: From the Achaemenids to the Parthians

    Wed, January 10, 2018
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Rolf Strootman (Utrecht University) The Old Persian imperial titles Great King and King of Kings (xšāyaθiya vazạrka and xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām) disappeared after the Macedonian conquest of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BCE. But already before the Parthians reestablished Iranian kingship in Iran, the title Great King had returned in a Greek version: basileus megas. That title was adopted around 205 BCE...

  • 29 Nov

    The Achaemenid King and his Governors: Identity – Imitation – Identification

    Wed, November 29, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Maria Brosius (University of Toronto) While we may have a rather clear idea about the relationship between the Achaemenid king and his satraps, the relationship between the king and local governors and city-rulers has received less scholarly attention. An exception to this omission is Mausolus of Caria who seems to stand out because Greek sources refer to him both as a...

  • 8 Nov

    The King of Kings’ Empire as a Garden in Ancient Iran

    Wed, November 08, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) This lecture explores the idea of the Sasanian Empire (Iranshahr) as a garden. The theme of the Persian Empire as a paradise has been explored by a number of scholars, but the continuation of this idea in Late Antiquity is neglected. The speaker will discuss how the Sasanian king of kings acted as a gardener who...

  • 18 Oct

    How much of a Physician was Rashīd al-Dīn?

    Wed, October 18, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann A lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh Hamadānī (d. 718/1318) is often introduced as “ṭabīb,” or ‘physician,’ mostly to distinguish him from authors with similar names, notably the epistolographer Rashīd al-Dīn Waṭwāṭ (d. 578/1182). This paper discusses Rashīd al-Dīn’s scholarly persona as a physician. Starting from his epithet, ṭabīb, the paper explores his...

  • 16 Oct

    Rashīd al-Dīn in the Eye of the Beholder: Proposing a Holistic Approach to Reception History

    Mon, October 16, 2017
    4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    10383 Bunche Hall
    315 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA (CALIFORNIA) 90095

    Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann Central Asia in Transition Lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Recent scholarship has painted a rather dim picture of the Mongol-Ilkhanid vizier and historian Rashīd al-Dīn’s (d. 718/1318) historiographical impact in the Muslim world. This lecture proposes a holistic approach to Rashīd al-Dīn’s oeuvre that includes both his historiographical and theoretical works, and adduces evidence...

  • 10 Oct
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    2017 Pourdavoud Center Fall Reception

    Tue, October 10, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Please join us for a fall reception at Royce Hall to mark the work of the newly established Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the latest addition to the research centers in the Humanities Division. In the company of Anahita and Jim Lovelace, the Center’s benefactors, David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities, M. Rahim Shayegan, the Center’s director,...

  • 4 Oct

    Greater Glory: Darius I and Divinity in Achaemenid Royal Ideology

    Wed, October 04, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) The close link between the king and the divine has deep roots in Near Eastern royal ideologies, and the Persian kings during the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE) followed this tradition. Exactly how close was the link? Recent studies suggest a blurred line between the two especially during at least some parts of the...

  • 20 Apr

    Whither the Study of Ancient Iran?

    Thu, April 20, 2017
    All Day
    306 Royce Hall
    340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    On April 19–20, the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World will be convening a number of workshops to assess the state of ancient Iranian studies, as well as reflect on the Center’s research agenda and priorities for the next 3–6 years, in consultation with invited affiliates. The main axes, along which the Center’s research shall be tentatively...

  • 19 Apr

    Whither the Study of Ancient Iran?

    Wed, April 19, 2017 - Thu, April 20, 2017
    All Day
    306 Royce Hall
    340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    On April 19–20, the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World will be convening a number of workshops to assess the state of ancient Iranian studies, as well as reflect on the Center’s research agenda and priorities for the next 3–6 years, in consultation with invited affiliates. The main axes, along which the Center’s research shall be tentatively...

  • 8 Mar

    The Anatomy of Loyalty and Patterns of Patronage in the Religio-political Culture of Sixteenth Century Iran

    Wed, March 08, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    Dr. Khafipour discusses the spiritual dimensions of political loyalty that was instrumental in the formation of strong ties between the Safavid rulers and their chiefs at the epicenter of the order, where power was continually contested. Drawing on a wide variety of historical and literary sources, Islamic theology, and theories of power, he discusses the anatomy of political loyalty among...

  • 15 Feb

    Excavations at Pasargadae: The First Imperial City of the Achaemenids

    Wed, February 15, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    306 Royce Hall
    10945 Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

    The World Heritage site of Pasargadae was the first dynastic site of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, in Fars, in the sixth century BCE. Its palaces, gardens, and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and testament to the grandeur of the Achaemenid civilization. In 2016, a...