Sara Ashurbeyli

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Sara Ashurbeyli, sometimes known as Sara Ashurbayli (Azerbaijani: Sara Balabəy qızı Aşurbəyli), (27 January 1906 – 17 July 2001 in Baku) was an eminent Azerbaijani historian, orientalist and scholar. She was an expert in the early and medieval history of Baku and published many papers and books.


House in Baku, where Ashurbeyli lived

The daughter of a rich oil magnate, Sara Ashurbeyli had a perfect education and finished Jeanne D’Arc College in Constantinople in 1925 and entered Baku State University in 1930 this time in Soviet Azerbaijan. She graduated as an orientalist, she also studied European languages in Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute, thus besides her native Azerbaijani language she knew Arabic, Persian, Turkish, French, German, Russian, and English. She was also an artist and became a member of the Union of Azerbaijan’s Artists in 1946. During her lifetime she also taught in various institutions and was a dean for a while. She got her Ph.D. in 1966. A Doctor of History Sciences she was an Azerbaijan State prize laureate.[1]

Her famous works include “History of Baku: Mediaeval period” and “Shirvanshah State”. She has postulated that the origin of the name of "Baku" has its origins from Zoroastrianism, taken from the word “baga” which means “the Sun” or “the God” in several ancient middle-eastern languages.[2]

She died in 2001 at age 95.