Table of Contents


    Denis Wright

    (b. 1863; d. Bath, 1926), British diplomat serving successively in Rome, Tehran, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Berlin, then London.


    Denis Wright

    (b. New York, 1774; k. Ḵorramābād, 1810), a military officer of the East India Company.


    Mohammad Dandamayev

    Grantovskiĭ specialized in the history of ancient Iranian tribes (especially the Medes, Persians and Scythians) and their civilizations. His research was based on Akkadian and Urartian inscriptions, Iranian texts, and classical sources  and on evidence of archaeology, ethnography, and folklore.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.


    See ANGŪR.


    Mortażā Momayyez, Peter Chelkowski

    Broadly speaking, graphic art and design have a long history in Persia; their antecedents can be seen in graphic motifs and patterns on ancient clay and metal vessels, stone reliefs, seals, brickwork, glazed tiles, plaster and wood carvings, cloths, carpets, marquetry, miniature paintings, calligraphy, and illumination of manuscripts.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    John Michael Rogers

    Gray's initiation into eastern art, for which there was then no provision at any British university, came in 1928, when he worked for a season on the excavations at the great palace of the Byzantine emperors in Constantinople, followed by study in Vienna under Josef Strzygowski, who was, however, already sunk deep in diffusionism.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    William W. Malandra

    In 1921 Gray was appointed associate professor of philology at the University of Nebraska, where he remained until his appointment at Columbia University as professor of Oriental Languages in 1926. In 1935, he became Professor of Comparative Linguistics, a position he held until his retirement in 1944.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.

    Multiple Authors

    OVERVIEW of the entry: i. Introduction, ii. An Overview of Relations: Safavid to the Present, iii. British influence in Persia in the 19th century, iv. British influence in Persia, 1900-21, v. British influence during the Reżā Shah period, 1921-41, vi. British influence in Persia, 1941-79, vii. British Travelers to Persia, viii. British Archeological Excavations, ix. Iranian Studies in Britian, Pre-Islamic, x. Iranian Studies in Britain, the Islamic Period, xi. Persian Art Collections in Britain, xii. The Persian Community in Britain, xiii. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), xiv. The British Institute of Persian Studies, xv. British Schools in Persia.



    During the 16th century, several unsuccessful attempts were made by the Muscovy (or Russia) Company of London to develop trade between London and Persia via Russia.

  • GREAT BRITAIN ii. An Overview of Relations: Safavid to the Present

    Denis Wright

    Prior to the Safavid period, contacts between Britain and Persia were confined to the 13th century, and were infrequent and of short duration.

  • GREAT BRITAIN iii. British influence in Persia in the 19th century

    Abbas Amanat

    British imperial interests in Persia in the Qajar period were primarily determined by the concern for the security of colonial India and, secondarily, by trade, telegraphic communication, and financial or other conces-sionary agreements.

  • GREAT BRITAIN iv. British influence in Persia, 1900-21

    Mansour Bonakdarian

    In the late 1890s, the Foreign Office in London came to regard Germany as the main threat to the European balance of power and British imperial hegemony around the globe.

  • Great Britain v. British influence during the Reżā Shah period, 1921-41

    Stephanie Cronin

    During the reign of Reżā Shah (1925-1941) a profound transformation took place in both the character and the scope of British influence in Persia.

  • Great Britain vi. British influence in Persia, 1941-79

    Fakhreddin Azimi

    For the greater part of the Qajar era (1796-1924) Persia was the scene of intense rivalry between the Russian and British empires.

  • Great Britain vii. British Travelers to Persia

    Denis Wright

    The British, more than any others, have been prolific authors of travelogues, and memoirs about Persia.

  • Great Britain viii. British Archeological Excavations

    St. J. Simpson

    excavations began in Persia before the so-called “French monopoly” on archeological excavations.

  • Great Britain ix. Iranian Studies in Britain, Pre-Islamic

    A. D. H. Bivar

    Several fields of pre-Islamic Iranian Studies have seen great expansion during recent centuries, and to these, scholars and travelers from Great Britain have made substantial contributions.

  • Great Britain x. Iranian Studies in Britain, the Islamic Period

    Charles Melville

    British interest in, and scholarship on, Persia and Persian culture in the Islamic period goes back to the first formal contacts between the two countries, that is, at least to the 16th century and the growth of Britain’s involvement in the Levant and East Indian trades.

  • Great Britain xi. Persian Art Collections in Britain

    J. Michael Rogers

    The collecting of Persian art in Great Britain goes back at least to the missions despatched by the Safavid Shah ʿAbbās I (1588-1629) and the activities of the Sherley brothers at his court in Isfahan. The early 17th century also saw the growth of trade with Persia through the East India Company.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • Great Britain xii. The Persian Community in Britain (1)

    Kathryn Spellman

    This entry will be treated in two separate articles: (1) Persian Community and (2) The Library for Iranian Studies.