- Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye (born c. 1920) is an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian Studies, and
Aga KhanProfessor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University. His professional areas of interest are Iranian philology, and the history of Iranand Central Asiabefore 1000 CE.
Birmingham, Alabamato a family of immigrants from Sweden, "Freij" has four children, his second marriage being to an Iranian-Assyrian scholar, Dr. Eden Naby, from Urmia, Iranwho teaches at Columbia University. He speaks fluent Russian, German, Arabic, Persian, French, Pashto, Uzbek, and Turkish, ["Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1568591772] and has extensive knowledge of Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian, and other Iranian languages and dialects, both extinct and current.
Frye first attended the University of Illinois, where he received an AB in history and philosophy in 1939. He received his MA from
Harvard Universityin 1940 and his PhD from Harvard in 1946, in Asiatic history.
Frye served with the
Office of Strategic Servicesduring World War II. He was stationed in Afghanistanand traveled extensively in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.
He returned to Harvard to teach. He was a member of the Harvard faculty from 1948 until 1990. He is now a professor emeritus at Harvard. He has also served as faculty, guest lecturer, or visiting scholar at:
Habibiya Collegein Kabul(1942-44)
* Frankfurt University (1959-60)
Pahlavi Universityof Shiraz (1970-76)
University of Tajikistan(1990-92).
Professor Frye helped found the Center for Middle Eastern Studies [cite web |url=http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/ecmes/features/remapping |title=Crossing Boundaries: Remapping the Study of Middle East History |last=Kafadar |first=Cemal |date=November 22, 2005 |work=Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies] at Harvard, the first Iranian studies program in America. He also served as Director of the "Asia Institute" in Shiraz (1970-1975), was on the Board of Trustees of the
Pahlavi Universityat Shiraz (1974-78), and Chairman, "Committee on Inner Asian Studies", at Harvard (1983-89), and as Editor of the "Bulletin of the Asia Institute" (1970-1975 and 1987-99).
Among Frye's students were
Annemarie Schimmel, ["Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1568591772 p.193] Oleg Grabar, [ [http://www.thirteen.org/bigideas/grabar.html Big Ideas. Big Thinkers. Oleg Grabar | Thirteen/WNET ] ] Frank Huddle(former US Ambassador to Tajikistan), John Limbert, and Michael Crichton, whose Hollywoodfilm The 13th Warrioris loosely based on Frye's translation of Ibn Fadlan's account of his travels up the river Volga. ["Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1568591772 p.90, p.150]
Frye was also directly responsible for inviting Iranian scholars as distinguished visiting fellows to Harvard University, under a fellowship program initiated by
Henry Kissinger. Examples of such guests include Mehdi Haeri Yazdi(1923–1999), Sadegh Choubak, Jalal al Ahmad, and others. ["Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1568591772 p. 103, p.174]
Frye as a proponent of Persian culture
Frye felt that Persian civilization was under-appreciated by other
Muslims, and ArabMuslims in particular. Frye wrote:
: "Arabs no longer understand the role of Iran and the Persian language in the formation of Islamic culture. Perhaps they wish to forget the past, but in so doing they remove the bases of their own spiritual, moral and cultural being…without the heritage of the past and a healthy respect for it…there is little chance for stability and proper growth."::(R. N. Frye, "The Golden Age of Persia", London: Butler & Tanner Ltd., 1989, page 236)
Iranians responded enthusiastically to his appreciation.
In August 1953, shortly before
Mosaddegh's fall, the prominent Iranian linguist Ali Akbar Dehkhodagave Frye the title (" laqab"): "Irandoost" (meaning "a friend of Iran"). ["Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1568591772 p. 142]
A ceremony was held in Iran on June 27, 2004 to pay tribute to the six-decade endeavors of Professor Frye on his lifetime contribution to Iranology, research work on the
Persian language, and the history and culture of Iran.
In his will, Professor Frye has expressed his wish to be buried next to the
Zayandeh Riverin Isfahan. This request was approved by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejadin September 2007. [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/13/africa/ME-GEN-Iran-American-Scholar.php Ahmadinejad allows burial of American professor in Iran] , The Associated Press, Published: September 13, 2007.] Two other American Iranologists, Arthur Popeand Phyllis Ackerman, are already buried there.
Frye as a public speaker
Frye is a popular public speaker at numerous Iran-related gatherings. In 2005, he spoke at UCLA, encouraging the Persians present to cherish their culture and identity. [ [http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/frye-speech.htm Iran Heritage ] ] [ [http://www.parstimes.com/events/frye_gallery.html Professor Richard Nelson Frye Lecture at UCLA Royce Hall - March 13, 2005 ] ] In 2004, he spoke at an architectural conference in Tehran, expressing his dismay at hasty modernization that ignores the beauties of traditional Persian architecture (see
Architecture of Tehran).
*Famous Americans in Iran
Other notable Iranologists:
Alireza Shapour Shahbazi
James R. Russell
* "The Near East and the Great Powers", Harvard University Press, 1951
* "Iran", George Allen and Unwin, London, 1960
* "The Heritage of Persia: The pre-Islamic History of One of the World's Great Civilizations", World Publishing Company, New York, 1963
* "Bukhara: The Medieval Achievement", University of Oklahoma Press, 1965
* "The Histories of Nishapur", Harvard University Press, 1965
* "Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, vol. III", Dura-Europos, London, 1968
* "Persia" (3rd edition) Allen and Unwin, London, 1969
* "The United States and Turkey and Iran", Archon Books, 1971
* "Sasanian Remains from Qasr-i Abu Nasr. Seals, Sealings, and Coins", Harvard University Press, 1973
* "Neue Methodologie in der Iranistik", Wiesbaden, 1974
* "The Golden Age Of Persia: The Arabs in the East", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1993
* "The heritage of Central Asia from antiquity to the Turkish expansion" Markus Wiener, Princeton, 1996
* "Notes on the Early Coinage of Transoxania; Numismatic Notes, 113", American Numismatic Association, New York
* "Greater Iran", Mazda Publishers, 2005, ISBN 1-56859-177-2
* "Ibn Fadlan's Journey To Russia", 2005, Markus Wiener Publishe, ISBN 1-55876-366-X
* [http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:nmOLcqVpt4AJ:www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx%3FNewsID%3D92660+Mehr+News+Agency+Kudos+July+2004/07/05&hl=en&lr=&strip=1 Iranians pay tribute to Richard Nelson Frye] , "Mehr News Agency", July 5, 2004.
* [http://www.payvand.com/news/05/apr/1127.html Professor Frye, a great American Iranologist wills to be buried in Iran] [http://www.persianmirror.com/community/2005/opinion/opinionRichardFRye.cfm another]
* [http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/frye-speech.htm Dr. Frye's statements at UCLA in March 2005]
* [http://www.parstimes.com/events/frye_gallery.html Photos of Dr. Frye's lecture at UCLA, March 13, 2005]
* [http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0408/iran.html Dr. Frye criticized the architectural development of modern Tehran] .
* [http://www.iranian.com/Books/2004/June/Iran/ Excerpts from "The Greater Iran: A 20th-Century Odyssey", the memoirs of R. N. Frye]
* [http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/frye.htm Dr. Frye's page at the "Iran Heritage" website]
* [http://www.vohuman.org/Author/Frye,RichardNelson.htm Dr. Frye's page at the "Vohuman.org"]
* [http://www.payvand.com/news/03/dec/1146.html Former President of Iran Mr. Khatami praised Dr. Frye]
* [http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=23003§ionid=351020105 Ahmadinejad says 'Yes' to Prof. Frye]
* [http://www.parstimes.com/gallery/frye_interview/ Interview with Dr. Frye "Pars Times"]
*Frye, R. N. [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/fryehst.html Reforms of Khosrow Anoushirvan, the Sasanian Shahanshah of Iran] , "The History of Ancient Iran", 1983.
*YouTube|_KesgkBziUs Syria and Assyria
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