6 December The Sir Harold Bailey Memorial Lecture 2004: Professor Josef Wiesehöfer (University of Kiel) – Ideology, War and Diplomacy: Sasanian Ways of Dealing with ʻRome’
12 November Dr Charles Melville (University of Cambridge) – Illustrating the Shahnama in India and Iran
29 October Mrs Ursula Sims-Williams (British Library) - The Kingdom of Khotan
22 October Dr Gerardo Barbera (University of Naples) - Language and folklore in Eastern Hormozgan: a video report on recent researches at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
15 October Mr Sergei Andreyev (Independent Scholar, Oxford) – Political Sufism in the Pashtun Tribal Environment: the Case of the Rawshani Movement (16th-17th centuries) and Beyond
11 June Professor Julius Lipner (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge) - Vande Mataram: the Genesis of a National Song. Bankim Chatterjee´s novel, Anandamath, first published in 1882, is one of the most significant publications for the development of the Indian nationalist movement. It gave India its controversial National Song, “Vande Mataram” (“ I revere the Mother”), and helped shape the religious symbolism of Hindu Nationalism with has important political and social repercussions for modern India’s conception of a secular state to the present day. This lecture will consider the history and implications of Bankim´s consequential novel.
28 May Dr Dorian Q. Fuller (University College, London) - Filling in the early agricultural landscapes of India: recent fieldwork and archaeobotanical results from Southern, Northern and Eastern India. This lecture will report on archaeological fieldwork and archaeobotanical sampling in Uttar Pradesh (Vindhyas), Karnataka (Raichur and Bellary), Andhra Pradesh (Kurnool), Tamil Nadu (Vauvery River), Orissa and Garhwal carried out on five field research trips since 2000. It will discuss the implications of the ongoing laboratory analysis (by the presenter and his research students) of the plant remains in relation to understanding the distinctive regional traditions of early agriculture and their interrelationships.
7 May Professor Antonio Panaino (University of Ravenna) – Astronomy and Astrology in Pre-Islamic Iran This talk is dedicated to the description of the sky according to the Mazdean cosmography and cosmology: the role of the fixed stars and constellations; the battle between stars and falling stars; the myth of Tishtrya; the Sasanian reinterpretation of the astral duel between stars and planets in the astrological framework; the importance of Zoroastrian astrological literature, in particular the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, and its influence on Mediaeval astrology.