Ehsan Yarshater, Iran Scholar With a Monumental Vision, Dies at 98

“Iranica was the main enterprise of his life in each sense of the time period,” he added.

Ehsan Ollah Yarshater (pronounced YAR-shah-ter) was born on April three, 1920, within the northwest metropolis of Hamadan, Iran, to Hashem, a service provider who was born Jewish and transformed to the Baha’i religion, and Rowhanieh (Misaghieh) Yarshater, a homemaker who was born to a distinguished household of physicians in Kashan, additionally within the north.

Professor Yarshater studied on the Alliance Israélite, a French-language faculty within the western metropolis of Kermanshah, earlier than shifting together with his household to Tehran, the place he attended the elite Tarbiyat College, which was based by Iranian Baha’is in 1897.

As a scholar on the College of Tehran, which was based by the monarchy, Yarshater grew to become disengaged from his deeply spiritual upbringing. He was impressed by Iranian thinkers of his era who promoted a spirit of rational inquiry within the examine of Persian historical past and literature following the Constitutional Revolution of 1905, whose leaders sought secular, political and academic reforms.

He obtained a doctorate in 15th-century Persian poetry from the College of Tehran after which studied historical Iranian languages underneath the German philologist Walter Bruno Henning on the College of Oriental and African Research on the College of London, the place Professor Yarshater accomplished a second doctorate.

In a groundbreaking linguistics examine, revealed in 1970, he documented disappearing dialects among the many villages of Iran’s northeastern provinces.

Professor Yarshater introduced Western classics to his compatriots within the 1950s by establishing a translation and publishing institute, a mirrored image of his perception that embracing Western tradition wouldn’t trigger Iran to lose its authenticity, as some feared.

In 1958 he grew to become a visiting professor of Indo-Iranian languages and religions at Columbia College. Three years later he was named Columbia’s first chairman of Iranian Research. With the appointment, he moved to New York Metropolis together with his spouse, Latifeh Alavieh, whom he had met in 1956 when she was cultural adviser to america Data Company in Tehran. They married in 1960. She died in 1999.

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