Ancient Iran: Art, Architecture and the Roots of Persian-Iranian Culture with Dr. Guillaume Durand

Ancient Iran: Art, Architecture and the Roots of Persian-Iranian Culture with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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Thought of as an extension of a previous seminar on Ancient Iran: A Discovery of the Persian Empire, this seminar will follow Dr. Guillaume Durand in an exploration of Iranian history, art, and architecture as we explore Parthian and Sasanian (or Sassanid) art. Please note: participants do not have to have attended the prior seminar to join.

Succeeding to the Hellenistic kingdoms created after the death of Alexander the Great, the Parthian (247 BCE – 224 CE) as well as the Sasanian (224-651 CE) Empires were both Achaemenid / Persian-based entities that also integrated the Greek culture in its artistic developments.

This seminar, which mixes history, art, and architecture, is organized in a way that artworks reveal the historical influence, the political and social structures as well as the economic ties of these two Empires. We’ll explore various artworks which testify to their geopolitical role in the Middle East, from the Prima Porta sculpture of Roman Emperor Augustus in the Vatican museums to the rock-face reliefs at Naqsh-e Rostam depicting Sasanian King Shapur I capturing the Roman Emperor Valerian.

The period of the Parthian and the Sasanian rules is considered as a high point in Iranian history, and in many ways was the peak of ancient Iranian culture before the Muslim conquest and subsequent Islamization. A substantial part of the seminar is dedicated to this Persian culture, which became the basis for much of Islamic culture, influencing art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy throughout the Muslim world.

Led by Guillaume Durand, Ph.D., an expert in history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, and a regular visitor to Iran, this seminar will allow participants to discover a civilization and an inaccessible cultural heritage. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how this Empire shaped both Ancient histories, and in a way, today's Iranian State.

Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand Ph.D. has long standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide / lecturer in this country for French citizens.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
33%
(2)
50%
(3)
0%
(0)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
S
S.H. (Heath, US)
We wish we could travel to Iran

I came into Guillaume Durand’s lecture with only the flimsiest outline of “Persian history,” but I came away knowing that the civilization he introduced us to in eight-five minutes was vast, complicated, and beautiful. My vocabulary is now a little better and I have a sense of how much I don’t know. His images of art and architecture through the centuries left us wishing that we might safely visit this fascinating country someday. Failing that, we will remain intrigued by this gorgeous, terrifying, mysterious land. Thank you, Guillaume, for opening our eyes and ears with your excellent lecture.

C
Cynthia (Houilles, FR)
Art, Architecture and Roots of Persian-Iraniqn Culture

Dr Durand is always a great presenter, but I believe he outdid himself this time. It was bursting with interesting information, and despite the little worry at the end regarding how long it took, it worked out brilliantly.

N
N. (Victoria, CA)

Guest did not leave comment

C
C.L. (New York, US)

Guest did not leave comment

V
V.H. (Silver Spring, US)
Most interesting.

Dr. Durand is obviously an expert on this subject. His slides were clear and easy to follow.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
33%
(2)
50%
(3)
0%
(0)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
S
S.H. (Heath, US)
We wish we could travel to Iran

I came into Guillaume Durand’s lecture with only the flimsiest outline of “Persian history,” but I came away knowing that the civilization he introduced us to in eight-five minutes was vast, complicated, and beautiful. My vocabulary is now a little better and I have a sense of how much I don’t know. His images of art and architecture through the centuries left us wishing that we might safely visit this fascinating country someday. Failing that, we will remain intrigued by this gorgeous, terrifying, mysterious land. Thank you, Guillaume, for opening our eyes and ears with your excellent lecture.

C
Cynthia (Houilles, FR)
Art, Architecture and Roots of Persian-Iraniqn Culture

Dr Durand is always a great presenter, but I believe he outdid himself this time. It was bursting with interesting information, and despite the little worry at the end regarding how long it took, it worked out brilliantly.

N
N. (Victoria, CA)

Guest did not leave comment

C
C.L. (New York, US)

Guest did not leave comment

V
V.H. (Silver Spring, US)
Most interesting.

Dr. Durand is obviously an expert on this subject. His slides were clear and easy to follow.