Abdolhossein Zarrinkoob

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Abdolhossein Zarinkoob
Born (1923-05-19)May 19, 1923
Borujerd, Persia
Died September 15, 1999(1999-09-15)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Known for A prominent scholar of Iranian literature, history of literature, Persian culture and history

Abdolhossein Zarinkoob (Luri/Persian: عبدالحسين زرين‌کوب, also spelled Zarrinkoub) (May 19, 1923 – September 15, 1999) was a prominent scholar of Iranian literature, history of literature, Persian culture and history.

He was born on March 19, 1923 in Borujerd, Iran, received his PhD from Tehran University in 1955 under the supervision of Badiozzaman Forouzanfar, and held faculty positions at prestigious universities such as Oxford University, Sorbonne, and Princeton University,[1] among many others.

Due to his pioneering works on Iranian literature, literary criticism and comparative literature, he is considered as the father of modern Persian literature.

Research works[edit]

Abdolhossein Zarrinkoub's solid research works made him a world class Iranologist and undisputed master of Persian literature and poet.He was known for his extreme precision and solid works. He was the author of dozens of books in Persian, French, and English, and published hundreds of articles.

Some of his more famous works in English are:

  • The Arab Conquest of Iran and its aftermath: in Cambridge History of Iran, Vol 4, London, 1975.
  • Persian Sufism in its historical background, Iranian studies III, 1970
  • Nizami, a lifelong quest for a utopia, 1977, Rome.

Literary criticism and comparative literature[edit]

Zarrinkoob boosted comparative literature and Persian literary criticism. His book entitled "Naghde Adabi" (نقد ادبی, "Literary Criticism") is a classic book on Persian literary criticism.

Rumi and Erfan[edit]

Prof. Dr. Zarrinkoub is also known for his profound research on revered Persian poet Molana Jalaleddin Balkhi (Rumi) and his works. Zarrinkoub's "Serr-e Ney" (سر نی, "Secret of the Reed") and "Bahr dar Koozeh" (بحر در کوزه, "Sea in a Jug") are critical and comparative analysis of Rumi's Masnavi. "Pelleh-Pelleh ta Molaghate Khoda" (پله پله تا ملاقات خدا, "Step by Step until Visiting God") is also a work he carried out on the same line.

Zarrinkoub's research works on Hafez and Persian mysticism resulted in several books: "Az Koocheie Rendan" (از کوچهٔ رندان) and "Arzeshe Mirase Soofieh" (ارزش میراث صوفیه) are a few examples.

History of Persia[edit]

Zarrinkoub's classic book is titled "Two Centuries of Silence" (دو قرن سکوت)[2] Zarrinkoub also published seminal articles and a few books on Islamic history.

Zarrinkoob’s other notable book is titled Rouzegaran, (روزگاران) (The Ages) (Iran's history from the beginning to the fall of the Pahlavi)[3] which covers the 3,000-year history of Iran, since the Aryans migrated to the Iranian plateau, giving it their name.

Criticism of Zarrinkoub[edit]

Zarrinkoub wrote within a time of rising Iranian nationalism, which severely distorted his historical accounts on Iran's early Islamic history. Homa Katouzian believes Zarrinkoub's nationalist prejudice runs throughout his description of Arabs as uncivilized, brutal, and unsophisticated conquerors, while other prominent historians depict a more complicated relation between the Arab conquerors and Iranians. According to Homa Katouzian: The portrayal of an Iranian "period of silence" stems from modern Iranian nationalism, which contradict historical accounts. Despite the lack of an independent Iranian government for two centuries, Iranians actively participated in the new regime supporting cultural, economic, educational, and artisan expansion of the Islamic world and beyond.[4] Furthermore, with major parts of the Eastern Roman Empire unified with the Iranian/Persian Empire, the diversity in agriculture, science, trade, and culture laid the foundations for prosperity of Iranian cities and the flourishing of Iranian scientific, linguistic, and cultural endeavors.

See also[edit]

Other notable Iranologists:


  1. ^ http://theprince.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/princeton?a=d&d=Princetonian19691008-01.2.18&cl=search&srpos=20&dliv=none&st=1&e=-------en-Logical-50--1-byTY-on--summer-ILLUSTRATION---1969 A. H. Zarrinkoub, visiting professor from the University of Tehran, will give the first of a series of weekly lectures on Persian Mystical Literature in its Historical Context.
  2. ^ ʻAbd al-Ḥusayn Zarrīnʹkūb (1379 (2000)). Dū qarn-i sukūt: sarguz̲asht-i ḥavādis̲ va awz̤āʻ-i tārīkhī dar dū qarn-i avval-i Islām (Two Centuries of Silence). Tihrān: Sukhan. OCLC 46632917. ISBN 964-5983-33-6.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ ʻAbd al-Ḥusayn Zarrīnʹkūb (2012). Ruzgaran: Tarikh-i Iran az aghaz ta suqut-i saltanat-i Pahlavi (13th ed. 1391 ed.). Tehran, Iran: Elm Pub. ISBN 978-964-6961-11-1. 
  4. ^ Homa Katouzian, The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran, pp. 66-67.

^ ʻAbd al-Ḥusayn Zarrīnʹkūb (1379 (2000)). Dū qarn-i sukūt: sarguz̲asht-i ḥavādis̲ va awz̤āʻ-i tārīkhī dar dū qarn-i avval-i Islām (Two Centuries of Silence). Tihrān: Sukhan. OCLC 46632917, ISBN 964-5983-33-9.

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