The Theory of “Living Time ” in Periodization of Iranian Architectural History

Document Type: Original Paper

Author

Assistant Professor, Department of Architectural History and Conservation, School of Architecture and Urban Development, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The writing of Iranian architectural history has, from its start, followed the principles of western historiography. Portions of this history are well expected to be neglected or unattended when writing of it takes place outside its intellectual framework that essentially reflects the Iranian throught world. To have a truly Iranian architectural historiography, one has to find the theoretical principles which are deeply rooted in the Iranian Islamic culture. Although pre-modern Iranian historians never wrote a history of architecture, they were exponents of historiography during a millennium of cultural flourishing and vigor. Since any sort of historiography, as well as literature, usually is based on principles and ideological views about history and time, Persian historic texts can be considered as worthy sources regarding theoretical bases on which we can build the Iranian philosophy of architectural history. Persian prose of the early centuries of Islam is among these sources. One of the common, prominent themes in these texts is the nature of time or history. It is presented as a sensible, living being whose states relate to human events and phenomena across time. A new theory of periodization of Iranian architectural history can be drawn based upon this theory.

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