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The Idea of Iran: the age of the great Saljuqs

Source: The Centre for Iranian Studies

The Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI, SOAS and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford are pleased to announce the ninth annual Soudavar Memorial Foundation Symposium in London.

Date: Saturday 4th February 2012
9:40 AM - 6:10 PM
Venue: Brunei Gallery
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, WC1H 0XG
Type of Event: Symposium

Series: The Idea of Iran Annual Symposium

The ninth programme in our The Idea of Iran series will take place on Saturday 4 February 2012 and will focus on the age of the Great Saljuqs (11th and 12th centuries CE). The new Turko-Persian symbiosis that had emerged under the Samanids, Ghaznavids and Qara-Khanids came to fruition in a period that combined imperial grandeur with extraordinary artistic achievement. Under the Saljuqs a system of government based on Turkish ‘men of the sword’ and Persian ‘men of the pen’ was consolidated and subsequently endured for centuries. The same era witnessed major developments also in religious institutions and ideas. With Saljuq support sunni orthodoxy was reinforced, and in Shi’ism, the same period saw the high point of Isma’ilism, with the Fatimid caliphate dominating the western Dar al-Islam. The Saljuq Age presents us with a wealth of themes to explore and unanswered questions to debate in the 2012 Idea of Iran symposium.

The Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford remain deeply grateful to the Soudavar Memorial Foundation for their continued support for this series.


  • What does the history of Isfahan tell us new about the Iranian society during the Saljuq period?
    Dr Durand-Guedy, Martin-Luther-Universitšt Halle-Wittenberg
  • Baghdad: a view from the edge on the Saljuq empire
    Dr Vanessa Van Renterghem, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco,Paris) & Institut Francais du Proche-Orient (Ifpo, Beirut)
  • Ismaili-Saljuq Relations: conflict and stalemate
    Dr Farhad Daftary, The Institute of Ismaili Studies & Encyclopaedia Islamica
  • Images into Words: metaphors as hallmarks of poetic individuality
    Dr Ali-Asghar Seyed-Ghorab, Leiden Institute for Area Studies (Leiden University)
  • The Mirrors for Princes fabricated at the Saljuqi court: the Siyasat-name (Siyar al-muluk) by Nizam al-Mulk and the two-partite Nasihat al-muluk by al-Ghazali
    Dr Alexey A Khismatulin, The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, St Petersburg
  • Structures of power and influence in Seljuq Iran: the case of Nizam al-Mulk
    Professor Carole Hillenbrand FBA OBE, Professor Emerita of Islamic History, University of Edinburgh
  • The Friday Mosque of Isfahan: the crowning achievement of Saljuq architecture?
    Professor Robert Hillenbrand, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Art , University of Edinburgh
  • “Saljuq” Ceramics?
    Professor Oliver Watson, I M Pei Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford
  • Dr Julie Meisami, TBC

Admission: £15; Conc. & LMEI Affiliates: £10; Students: Free.
Pre-registration required. To register online please visit the SOAS Online Store.

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
Contact email:
Contact Tel: 020 7898 4490
Sponsor: Soudavar Memorial Foundation

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