Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Book: Introducing Persian Architecture

Introducing Persian Architecture

By Arthur Upham Pope

With the history of Persia as long as the history of mankind itself, it is no surprise that its architectural legacy should be one of the richest in the world.
It is perhaps only the relative inaccessibility of Iran’s architectural treasures in recent years that has caused Persian architecture to be less well regarded in comparison with that of other great civilisations. However, what is clear from the rich yet concise tour offered by Arthur Pope’s “Introducing Persian Architecture”, is that Persian architecture can be compared to that of Ancient Greece and Egypt without any hint of inferiority.From the ziggurat of Chogha Zambil, through to the noble ruins of the pre-Islamic Persian Empire and all the way up to the mosques and palaces of Isfahan and Shiraz, Pope cuts a great sweep through 3,000 years of history without losing his focus on the finer points of construction and ornamentation that made up his life’s work.
It is in itself an achievement for such a learned and passionate scholar to condense his knowledge in a volume so well-organised and accessible for the newcomer. Numerous plates, including full colour photographs and architectural plans are conveniently cross-referenced with the text throughout the book.
Now more than 35 years old, "Introducing Persian Architecture" remains one of the best companions one could possibly have on an architectural tour of Iran. For even a short visit to Isfahan and Shiraz the cost and effort of obtaining a copy would be repaid many times over. Having picked an almost mint copy of the 1976 edition in a dusty Tehran bookshop for next to nothing, it seems likely that second-hand copies are widely available.

Introducing Persian Architecture

By Arthur Upham Pope

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