BONYĀD-E FARHANG-E ĪRĀN

 

BONYĀD-E FARHANG-E ĪRĀN (Iranian Cul­ture Foundation) was established 16 September 1964. The Foundation was funded with an initial grant of one million tomans (ca. $133,000) from Queen Faraḥ’s office; later its funds became a regular appropri­ation in the national budget. In 1357 Š./1978 this subsidy reached 10 million tomans (ca. $1.3 mill). According to its constitution, consisting of 25 articles, the Bonyād was to consist of founder members, a (largely ceremonial) board of trustees and a secretary general (the general manager). Formally the secretary general was nominated by the founder members and appointed by order of the queen, honorary president of the Foundation (art. 16 of the constitution). Accordingly Parvīz Nātel Ḵānlarī was appointed as secretary general in November, 1964, and held this position until the revolution of 1357 Š./1978-79.

The Bonyād was set up in order to promote Iranian culture, preserve and further Iran’s cultural heritage, make efforts to refine, develop, and disseminate the Persian language, and introduce Iranian culture to other nations (art. 1 of the constitution).

The Bonyād succeeded to a high degree in carrying out its mandate, for which four main departments were set up. Each department was directed by one or two scholars, under whom a number of researchers in different fields of Iranian studies were working. The four departments concentrated on (1) publishing Per­sian dictionaries, (2) Persian grammatical studies, (3) scientific and technical dictionaries intended to meet the urgent needs of scientists engaged in writing scientific books in Persian or in translating such books into Persian, and (4) Middle Persian (Pahlavi) studies, whose aim it was to publish glossaries and texts. The most important project of the first department was the compilation of a historical dictionary of the Persian language. For practical reasons it was decided to confine it at first to the oldest period of New Persian (4th/10th century). All texts of this period were systematically studied and indexed. This work resulted in the publication of the first volume of Farhang-e tārīḵī-e zabān-e fārsī (I, A-B, 1357 Š./1978). The second department published the Tārīḵ-ezabān-e fārsī by P. N. Ḵānlarī (4 vols. in 5 pts., 1348-56 Š./1969-77) and the third several volumes on the terminology of oil, medi­cine, accountancy, law, and logics (see below). The fourth department published a few glossaries (see below), though much more had been prepared for publication. It also published facsimile editions of the manuscripts TD1 of the Iranian Bundahišn and the codex DH, containing the Iranian Bundahišn, Zand ī Wahman Yasn, and parts of the Dēnkard (both publ. 1349 Š./1970). These projects were warmly welcomed by Pahlavi scholars (see, e.g., J. P. de Menasce, Stud. Ir. 1/1, 1972, pp. 134-35; M. Dresden, JAOS 89/4, 1969, pp. 828-29).

The publications of the Bonyād under the direction of ʿA.-A. Saʿīdī Sīrjānī (about 300 titles) were not confined to those of its staff but also included works by other scholars. They are in the following fields:

Facsimile editions of important Persian manuscripts, including Abū Manṣūr Mowaffaq b. ʿAlī Heravī, al-Abnīa ʿan ḥaqāʾeq al-adwīa (1344 Š./1965); the Tafsīr-e Qorʾān-e Pāk (known as the Lahore Tafsīr) of the 4th/10th cent. (1344 Š./1965); ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ṣūfī, Ṣowar al-kawākeb, translated and copied by Ḵᵛāja Naṣīr-al-Dīn Ṭūsī (1348 Š./1969); Abū ʿAlī Moḥammad Baḷʿamī, Tarjama-ye Tārīḵ-e Ṭabarī (1345 Š./1966); Sayyed Esmāʿīl Jorjānī, Ḏaḵīra-ye ḵᵛārazmšāhī (1355 Š./1976).

Science in Iran, including Moḥammad b. Ayyūb Ṭabarestānī, Šomār-nāma (1345 Š./1966); Yawāqīt al-ʿolūm (1345 Š./1966); Ḵᵛāja Naṣīr-al-Dīn Ṭūsī, Tansūḵ­-nāma-ye īl-ḵānī (1348 Š./1969); Šams-al-Dīn Domīsarī, Nawāder al-tabādor (1350 Š./1971); Abu’l-Fotūḥ ʿEjlī Eṣfahānī, al-Īżāḥ (1347 Š./1968).

Sources on Iranian history and geography. Under this title a number of Persian translations by modern scholars of Arabic historical and geographical texts were published to facilitate the use of such texts for those who could not use the original, e.g., Dīnavarī, Aḵbār al-ṭewāl (1346 Š./1967); Tārīḵ-eṬabarī (1352-54 Š./1973-75); Ḥamza Eṣfahānī, Tārīḵ-epayāmbarān o šāhān (1346 Š./1967). In addition, a number of Persian historical and geographical texts, mostly edited for the first time, e.g., Gardīzī, Zayn al-aḵbār (1347 Š./1968); Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū, Joḡrāfīā (the part about Herat; 1349 Š./1970); Moḥammad Šafīʿ Ṭehrānī, Nāder-nāma (1349 Š./1970); ʿAbd-Allāh Ḥosaynī Balḵī, Fażāyel-e Balḵ (1350 Š./1971); ʿAlī Lāhījī, Tārīḵ-eḴānī (1352 Š./1973); Haft kešvar (1353 Š./1974); Nāẓem-al-Eslām Kermānī, Tārīḵ-ebīdārī-e Īrānīān. This series included trans­lations of some important works by foreign scholars, such as V. V. Barthold’s Turkistan (1352 Š./1973) and C. E. Bosworth’s Islamic Dynasties (Selselahā-ye eslāmī; 1349 Š./1970).

Philosophy and mysticism, including editions of such Persian texts as ʿAyn-al-Qożāt Hamadānī, Nāmahā (1348-50 Š./1969-72) and Ḡazālī’s Eḥyāʾ al-ʿolūm (1351-­58 Š./1972-79), or studies, such as Meškāt al-Dīnī, Mollā Ṣadrā (1345 Š./1966).

Pahlavi texts and glossaries, including Draxt Āsūrīg, ed. and tr. with commentary by Y. M. Nawwābī (1346 Š./1967); M. Bahār, Vāža-nāma-ye Bondaheš (1345 Š./1966) and Vāža-nāma-ye Zādspram (1351 Š./1972); M. J. Maškūr, Farhang-e hozvārešhā-ye pahlavī (1346 Š./1968); A. Tafażżolī, Vāža-nāma-ye Mīnū-ye ḵerad (1348 Š./1969) and a Persian translation of Mēnōg ī xrad with commentary (1354 Š./1975); F. Vahman, Vāža-­nāma-ye Artāy Vīrāz-nāmak (1355 Š./1977).

Scientific and technical dictionaries, including J. Tavānā, Farhang-e eṣṭelāḥāt-e ṣaṇʿat-e naft (1344 Š./1965); M. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Farhang-e eṣṭelāḥa¡t-e pezeškī (1351 Š./1972); A. Abu’l-Ḥamd, Farhang-e eṣṭelāḥāt-e ḥoqūqī (1353-56 Š./1974-77); M. Ḵᵛānsārī, Farhang-e eṣṭelāḥāt-e manṭeqī (1356 Š./1977).

Dictionaries (other than the Farhang-e tārīḵī-e zabān-­e fārsī, 1357 Š./1978, see above), including Naṭanzī, al-­Merqāt (ed. J. Sajjādī, 1346 Š./1967); Ḥobayš Teflīsī, Qānūn al-adab (ed. Ḡ. Ṭāher, 1350-51 Š./1971-72); Abū Yūsof Kordī, al-Bolḡa (ed. M. Mīnovī, 1355 Š./1976); J. Daraḵšān and E. Ūlḡūn, Farhang-e Torkī be-fārsī (1350 Š./1971); A. Nūšīn, Vāža-nāmak (selected words from the Šāh-nāma, 1351 Š./1972); Moḥammad Ṭūsī, Moʿjam-e Šāh-nāma (ed. Ḥ. Ḵadīv Jam, 1353 Š./1974); Jārūtī, Majmūʿat al-fors (ed. A. Jovaynī, 1356 Š./1977).

Folklore, including a number of classical Persian texts, e.g., Ḵᵛābgozārī (ed. Ī. Afšār, 1346 Š./1961) and Wāʿeẓī Kāšefī, Fotowwat-nāma-ye solṭānī (ed. M. J. Maḥjūb, 1350 Š./1971), as well as modern studies, e.g., E. Šakūrzāda, ʿAqāyed wa rosūm-e mardom-e Ḵorāsān (1346 Š./1967) and M. Pāyanda, Āyīnhā wa bāvar-dāšthā-ye Gīl o Deylam (1355 Š./1976).

Among the remaining publications one may mention M. Bahār, Asāṭīr-e Īrān (Iranian myths; 1352 Š./1973); M. Abu’l-Qāsemī, Dar bāra-ye zabān-e āsī (Ossetic; 1348 Š./1969), and a Persian translation of P. Horn’s Grundriss der neupersischen Etymologie by J. Ḵāleqī-Moṭlaq (1356 Š./1977); texts and textbooks for the general public, such as Z. Ḵānlārī, Dāstānhā-ye delangīz-e fārsī (1346 Š./1967) and P. N. Ḵānlarī, Dastūr-e zabān-e fārsī (1351 Š./1972); M. Y. Nawwābī, A Bibliography of Iran (6 vols., 1348-63 Š./1969-84); Ph. Gignoux and A. Tafazzoli, Mémorial Jean de Menasce (1353 Š./1974); books on Iranian crafts, such as Gereh­sāzī dar honar-e meʿmārī (ed. K. Raʿnā-Ḥosaynī, 1351 Š./1972) and Pardahā-ī az Šāh-nāma (1346 Š./1967).

The Bonyād published a journal, Našrīya-ye Bonyād-­e Farhang-e Īrān, with articles in Persian, English, French, and German on Iranian studies, of which, however, only two issues appeared (1347 Š./1969, 1352 Š./1973), and encouraged the work of Iranian cultural centers abroad through gifts of Persian books and by subsidizing and purchasing their publications. In 1352 Š./1973 it instituted a program to promote the study of Persian among Iran’s neighboring countries by pro­viding fellowships for students from India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt to enable them to attend the summer language courses in Iran. Moreover, it held seminars on Persian language and literature in the Indian subconti­nent. The initiative for these activities was taken by Saʿīdī Sīrjānī.

To train scholars in various fields of Iranian studies, the Bonyād established a research institute in 1972, the Pažūheškada, which accepted students for post­graduate studies in four areas: Persian literature (M.A., Ph.D.), pre-Islamic studies (M.A.), general linguistics (M.A.), and history (M.A.).

After the revolution Bonyād-e Farhang and eleven other cultural and scientific institutions merged to form a new organization called Moʾassasa-ye Moṭālaʿāt wa Taḥqīqāt-e Farhangī (Cultural studies and research institute) attached to the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. The Pažūheškada was suspended after the revolution and its students were transferred to similar faculties or institutes.

 

Bibliography:

Asās-nāma-ye Bonyād-e Farhang-e Īrān, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964.

Fehrest-e entešārāt-e Bonyād-e Farhang-e Īrān, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980.

Moʾassasa-ye Moṭālaʿāt wa Taḥqīqāt-e Farhangī, Fehrest-e ʿomūmī, Tehran, 1365 Š./1986.

The Bonyād’s publications were reviewed chiefly in Rāhnamā-ye ketāb, Soḵan, and Yaḡmā. Much information was kindly supplied by P. N. Ḵānlarī.

(Aḥmad Tafażżolī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 4, pp. 358-359