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Iran: Land of Great Kings, Shahs and Ayatollahs John Osborne. Tuesday 17 September 2019

The first part of this lecture illustrates the mighty Persian Empire of the Great Kings such as Darius. Their palace at Persepolis has monumental architectural remains and a wealth of relief sculpture, which reveals the ethos of the empire and the symbolism of kingship. The second part traces the development through the Islamic period of the architecture of mosques and palaces, and of their brilliant decorative tilework and painting, including the splendid buildings of Shah Abbas' early 17th century Isfahan. The political and religious background includes an account of how Shi'a Islam came to take root and become the ruling creed in the late 20th century Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. Also offered as a study day. 

John Osborne

Graduated in Classics at Cambridge University. Taught Classics at Marlborough College for over thirty years. Worked for the British Council in Iran and Turkey, and lectures in Islamic Civilisation. Tutor, Marlborough College Summer School. Lecturer, Department of Continuing Education, University of Bath. Guide at Salisbury Cathedral. Lecturer on cruises and leader of numerous study tours to Bulgaria, Romania, Iran, and Turkey and other countries in S.E. Europe and the Mediterranean. Lecture tours of Australia (twice) and New Zealand.