Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Oldest Iranologist alive commemorated

A statue of Manuchehr Sotudeh, the oldest Iranologist alive, has been unveiled at a garden in Tehran.

A statue of Manuchehr Sotudeh, a prominent Iranologist, has been unveiled at the capital’s Negarestan Garden. The ceremony comes less than a year after Sotudeh turned 100 and became the oldest Iranologist alive. The following is the translation of a short report a 57th issue of Sarzamin-e Man (My Land) Magazine published on its Your Contribution page:

Last year Manuchehr Sotudeh turned 100 and became the oldest Iranologist alive. To mark his centennial, a ceremony was held at Tehran’s Negarestan Garden during which a statue of him was unveiled and saplings were planted. […]

Sotudeh was born in a Tehran neighborhood in late July 1913. […] After getting a bachelor’s degree in literature he moved to the north, where his parents had come from, to teach literature. A few years later when Tehran University launched a Farsi Literature Ph.D. program, he returned to the capital and got a Ph.D. in literature in 1946. Almost seven decades on, his doctoral dissertation on Ismaili Forts is still viewed as one the best studies on Ismaili dynasty.

[The northern Iranian province of] Mazandaran is at the center of many of his books, including From Astara to Astarabad, a 10-volume book he published on the back of 21 years of research in this coastal province. He spent a lot of his time moving from A to B in the country and much of his knowledge about Iran comes from his field trips and on-the-ground experience. […]

Sotudeh, who is very good at historical geography, taught Islamic geography at the Theology Faculty of Tehran University before moving to the Faculty of Literature. He retired a few months before the victory of the revolution. […]

He has thus far written more than 50 books and 200-plus articles on Iranology. Here is part of his message to the Iranian youth: “Try to find a way to make your dreams come true. Attention to and knowledge about the past is very valuable in building your future. You need to study and learn how to conduct research. Make sure you go on as many trips as possible and associate with different people. As they say, inexperienced people can gain experience on the road; only through travel and sightseeing can one gain maturity.”

Sarzamin-e Man - 57 - Cover
Sarzamin-e Man magazine – 57 – Cover
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