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Reading Safavid Occult-Scientific Miscellanies
We will examine a representative Safavid Persian miscellany of the mid-seventeenth century, MS Majlis 12575. Significant for the history of science, it comprises occult-scientific works by Iranian philosophers of various periods, including Suhravardi, Fakhr al-Din Razi and Sadr al-Din Dashtaki, as well as a lettrist work by Mahmud Dihdar Shirazi, teacher to Shaykh Baha'i in the occult sciences. Our focus will be on 'Ali Safi Kashifi's (d. 1535) Gift for the Khan (Tuhfa-yi khani), an early Safavid simplification of a Timurid Persian grimoire dealing with illusionism and conjuring, both of which we now dismiss as stage magic. Its Safavid-era expansion to include other, more serious occult sciences? alchemy, talismanry, astral magic? and the magico-political feats of eminent
Safavid philosophers will also be discussed with examples, as a window onto how Safavid philosophical culture worked in political practice.

PREREQUISITE
Advanced Persian

INSTRUCTOR
Matthew Melvin-Koushki
Associate Professor of Islamic History
University of South Carolina

COLLABORATORS
Aziza Shanazarova
UCIS Postdoctoral Fellow of REEES
University of Pittsburgh

Registrations Limited


Thursdays, March 4 and 11
9:00-10:30 a.m. (EST) | 8:00-9:30 a.m. (CST) | 2:00-3:30 p.m. (GMT) | 3:00-4:30 p.m. (CET) | 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EET) | 5:00-6:30 p.m. (MSK) | 5:30-7:00 p.m. (IRST) | 8:00-9:30 p.m. (ALMT)
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