REMINDER: Michelle Quay – Female Heroism in Sufi Hagiographical Texts – AIIT Cambridge – Friday 12th February 5.30pm.


Friday 12th February 5.30pm.

Michelle Quay will speak on

Female Heroism in Sufi Hagiographical Texts – From Sulami (d. 1021) to ‘Attar (d. ca. 1221)

Michelle Quay’s research in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge, focuses on the treatment of gender in Pre-modern Persian mystical poetry, particularly the poetry of the 12th century poet Farid al-Din ‘Attar. In this talk she presents a re-reading of premodern Persian and Arabic Sufi hagiographical texts from the 11th – 13th centuries through the lens of gender and the body.

Refreshments from 5pm. All welcome.

Ancient India & Iran Trust
23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG
Tel: +44 (0)1223 356841

WZO seminar on Zoroastrian Religion, History and Culture, 5 June 2016

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Cambridge Lectures in Islamic Art – Scott Redford – 8 February – Pembroke College, Cambridge


AIIT Lent Term Lectures 2016

Friday evening lectures: Lent Term 2016, Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge.

Lectures begin at 5.30pm. Refreshments from 5pm. All welcome.

12 February: Michelle Quay (Cambridge)
Female Heroism in Sufi Hagiographical Texts – from Sulami (d. 1021) to ‘Attar (d. ca. 1221)

19 February: Arthur Dudney (Cambridge)
What Language Did Kiyomars Speak? Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Theories on the Origins of Persian

26 February: Special event for Friends of the Trust
T. Richard Blurton (British Museum)
Krishna in the Garden of Assam

18 March: Raymond Mercier (Cambridge)
(Part of the Cambridge Science Festival – booking required.
Booking opens on 8 February: or tel.01223 356841)
Calendars in India and a problem with eclipses in Orissa

If you wish to attend the Friends’ event on 26 February or would like a Friends’ application form, please contact the Administrator on or tel. 01223 356841



Kutar Lecture 2016 at SOAS – Thursday 21 April

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REMINDER: Bailey Lecture 2015: Amélie Kuhrt, Friday 11th December, 5.30pm at FAMES, Cambridge


The Harold Bailey Lecture 2015

Friday 11th December, 5.30pm at FAMES, Cambridge

Professor Amélie Kuhrt, FBAThe King Speaks: The Persians and their Empire

The Achaemenid empire was created in the space of less than thirty years and dominated, with considerable success, a region stretching from Central Asia to the Aegean for around 200 years. How did the Persian kings and ruling elite visualise their immense power? How was that vision expressed? In this talk, Amélie Kuhrt, Professor Emeritus at University College London, aims to present an outline of the Persian image of their domain, concentrating on monuments and inscriptions from the royal centres and leaving aside the stories of outsiders, such as Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Jews.

The lecture will begin promptly at 5.30pm, followed by a reception.
Admission free. Booking not required.

Venue: Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Sidgwick Avenue,Cambridge CB3 9DA

Enquiries: tel. 01223 356841

Harold Bailey lecture_Dec2015_FAMES

AIIT Christmas and New Year Dates

*****THE TRUST WILL BE CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR, FROM THURSDAY 24TH DECEMBER 2015 UNTIL TUESDAY 5TH JANUARY 2016.  Normal opening hours will resume on Wednesday 6th January 2016*****

REMINDER: Friday 27th November – Robin Ackroyd will speak on Mongol nutag, Chingisiin Ongon – Mongolian homeland, Genghis Khan’s tomb

Lecture Reminder:

Friday 27th November

Robin Ackroyd will be at the Trust speaking about:

Mongol nutag, Chingisiin Ongon – Mongolian homeland, Genghis Khan’s tomb

Robin Ackroyd travelled extensively on horseback in northern Mongolia during an independent research expedition to reach remote locations that may harbour one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of all time – the secret tomb of Genghis Khan. In this illustrated talk, based on his new book about his journey, Robin will describe how he trekked, with his five horses, into wilderness once frequented by a young Mongolian called Temüjin – the future world conqueror – and to where, ultimately, his secret tomb may be located. He was accompanied for several hundred kilometres of his arduous journey by a loyal dog whom he named Spirit.

Robin Ackroyd qualified as a journalist in the UK and worked for local, regional and national newspapers before going freelance. He has worked as a news reporter, investigative journalist, and crime correspondent. He is a member of the Society of Authors, and the National Union of Journalists. His new book Genghis: Sacred Tomb, Secret Treasure has just been published.

5.30pm. Refreshments from 5pm. All welcome.

REMINDER – Cambridge University Wright Lecture Series: Dr Miklós Sárközy – 13 November – 17:30, FAMES Cambridge


Personal Identity and Oriental history: Arminius Vámbéry at the
crossroads of identities

by Dr Miklós Sárközy, Institute of Ismaili Studies

Friday, November 13, 2015 – 17:30 Room 8&9, Faculty of Asian and
Middle Eastern studies, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA

Arminius Vámbéry the Hungarian-Jewish explorer and Orientalist had a
really adventurous life. Completely self-taught in science, Vámbéry was a close ally of British and Ottoman political circles as well as an expert of the Muslim world.He set out for his world-famous trip at the end of 1861. Disguised under the name of Rashid Efendi, the most challenging part of his travels occurred in 1863, when Vámbéry travelled through Central Asia.

In later times Vámbéry became professor and founding father of Oriental studies in Hungary. However his activities stretched beyond the borders of his homeland and he became an omnipresent personality between London and Constantinople till his last days. As far as the representation of the diverse identities in Vámbéry’s deeds and thoughts is concerned, one can see a four-part system ruling the main narrative of Vámbéry’s life. Vámbéry’s pragmatic approaches, skills of self-adaptation and adoption of different conditions made his character really unique throughout his whole life.

For more information:
For all enquiries please contact: or


Cambridge Lectures in Islamic Art – Christiane Gruber, 19 November 5.30pm, Pembroke College