Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
| N640 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (3cr)
N640 | 3033 | Choksy
N340/N640 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (3 cr/3cr)
Time and Day: 1:00p-2:15p TR
Prof. Jamsheed Choksy
Satisfies COAS requirements for SHHS and CSA
This course traces the culture, beliefs, and history of Iranians from ancient times through the
Arab conquest to the twentieth century. Focuses on religions--Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and
Islam--politics, administrative and social institutions, relationship between secular and
ecclesiastic hierarchies, status of minorities, devotional and communal change, and Iranian
influences on Islamic culture. Covers the Proto-Indo-Iranians, Achaemenian, Parthian, Sasanian,
Umayyad, Abbasid, Samanid, Buyid, Seljuk, Mongol, Timurid, Safavid, Qajar, and Pahlavi
dynasties, and the Islamic republic. Includes the analysis of primary textual materials in
translation. Visual aids will be used in class.
Class attendance (10%)
Undergraduate students take an in-class midterm examination(40%), and write a 4-5 page
take-home final paper (50%).
Students taking N340 as an intensive writing course are required to write four papers, each 5
pages long (22.5% per paper), instead of a midterm examination and a final paper.
Graduate students take an in-class midterm examination (40%) and write a 6-8 page
library-based research paper (50%).
Informed knowledge of materials from the lectures and readings will be required for the question
periods, examination, and paper.
Required reading (may change before course begins)
Curtis, John. Ancient Persia.
Frye, Richard N. The Golden Age of Persia: Arabs in the East.
Morgan, David. Medieval Persia 1040-1797.
Required Grad & Opt. Undergrad, reading:
Choksy, Jamsheed K. Purity and Pollution in Zoroastrianism: Triumph over Evil.
Momen, Moojan. An Introduction to Shi'i Islam