University of London
The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes; the university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom", allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England, moved to a federal structure in 1900, it is now incorporated by its fourth royal charter and governed by the University of London Act 1994.
It was the first university in the United Kingdom to introduce examinations for women in 1869 and, a decade the first to admit women to degrees. In 1948 it became the first British university to appoint a woman as its vice chancellor; the university's colleges house the oldest teaching hospitals in England. For most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on an independent basis, with many awarding their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university; the largest colleges by enrolment as of 2016/17 are UCL, King's College London, Queen Mary, the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, each of which has over 9,000 students. Smaller, more specialist, colleges are the School of Oriental and African Studies, St George's, the Royal Veterinary College, London Business School, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Institute of Cancer Research.
Imperial College London was a member from 1907 before it became an independent university in 2007, Heythrop College was a member from 1970 until its closure in 2018. City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016; as of 2015, there are around 2 million University of London alumni across the world, including 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners, 3 Olympic gold medalists and the "Father of the Nation" of several countries. University College London was founded under the name “London University” in 1826 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which limited their degrees to members of the established Church of England; as a result of the controversy surrounding UCL's establishment, King's College London was founded as an Anglican college by royal charter in 1829. In 1830, UCL applied for a royal charter as a university; this was rejected, but renewed in 1834. In response to this, opposition to "exclusive" rights grew among the London medical schools.
The idea of a general degree awarding body for the schools was discussed in the medical press. And in evidence taken by the Select Committee on Medical Education. However, the blocking of a bill to open up Oxford and Cambridge degrees to dissenters led to renewed pressure on the Government to grant degree awarding powers to an institution that would not apply religious tests as the degrees of the new University of Durham were to be closed to non-Anglicans. In 1835, the government announced the response to UCL's petition for a charter. Two charters would be issued, one to UCL incorporating it as a college rather than a university, without degree awarding powers, a second "establishing a Metropolitan University, with power to grant academical degrees to those who should study at the London University College, or at any similar institution which his Majesty might please hereafter to name". Following the issuing of its charter on 28 November 1836, the new University of London started drawing up regulations for degrees in March 1837.
The death of William IV in June, resulted in a problem – the charter had been granted "during our Royal will and pleasure", meaning it was annulled by the king's death. Queen Victoria issued a second charter on 5 December 1837; the university awarded its first degrees in 1839, all to King's College. The university established by the charters of 1836 and 1837 was an examining board with the right to award degrees in arts and medicine. However, the university did not have the authority to grant degrees in theology, considered the senior faculty in the other three English universities. In medicine, the university was given the right to determine which medical schools provided sufficient medical training. In arts and law, by contrast, it would examine students from UCL, King's College, or any other school or college granted a royal warrant giving the government control of which colleges could affiliate to the university. Beyond the right to submit students for examination, there was no other connection between the affiliated colleges and the university.
In 1849 the university held its first graduation ceremony at Somerset House following a petition to the senate from the graduates, who had received their degrees without any ceremony. About 250 students graduated at this ceremony; the London academic robes of this period were distinguished by their "rich velvet facings". The list of affiliated colleges g
Iranian studies referred to as Iranology and Iranistics, is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the history, literature and culture of Iranian peoples. It is a part of the wider field of Oriental studies. Iranian studies is broader than and distinct from Persian studies, the study of the modern Persian language and literature specifically; the discipline of Iranian Studies focuses on broad trends in culture, history and other aspects of not only Persians, but a variety of other contemporary and historical Iranian peoples, such as Azeris, Lurs, Talysh, Pashtuns, Baluchis, Sarmatians, Parthians, Bactrians, etc. The medieval Iranian poet Ferdowsi, author of the Iranian national epic the Shahnameh, can be considered the "founder" of Iranian studies in the sense that in his work he made a deliberate effort to highlight Persian culture prior to the Arab conquests. In this sense Ferdowsi's nationalistic approach can be contrasted with that of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, the famous ninth-century Iranian historian whose History of the Prophets and Kings reflects a more Islamic perspective.
Ferdowsi's work follows earlier semi-historical works such as the lost Sasanian-era Khwaday-Namag. Persian historiography speaking begins with the Tarikh-i Mas'udi of Abulfazl Bayhaqi, whose fluent prose style was influential on subsequent Persian literature. Persian historical writing reached its peak two centuries with the Jami al-Tawarikh of Rashīd al-Dīn Fadhl-allāh Hamadānī. Other important historical works include the Tarikh-i Jahangushay by Ata-Malik Juvayni and the Zafarnamah of Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi, a history of the Mongolian conqueror Timur. Among the most prominent scholars of Iranian Studies in Iran during the twentieth century may be counted Badiozzaman Forouzanfar, Abdolhossein Zarrinkoub, Zabihollah Safa, Mojtaba Minovi, Mohsen Abolqasemi, Ahmad Tafazzoli, Alireza Shapour Shahbazi,and Fereydoon Joneydi; the Loghat-nameh of Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda is the largest comprehensive Persian dictionary published, in 15 volumes. European scholarly interest in Iranian language and civilization dates back to the late eighteenth century, with the emergence of comparative Indo-European linguistics and the translation of the Avesta by French scholar Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron.
British interest in Persian was spurred by the fact that it was the administrative language of much of India. The major European scholarly organization devoted to Iranian Studies is the Societas Iranologica Europea; the London-based Iran Heritage Foundation supports Iranian studies at several universities and sponsors a wide range of public cultural events. Austria Institut für Iranistik, Universität WienFrance Institut d'études iraniennes, Sorbonne nouvelle Institut supérieur d'études historiques sur l'Iran Mondes iranien et indien, Centre national de recherche scientifiqueGermany Institut für Iranistik, Freie Universität Berlin Seminar für Iranistik, Georg-August-Universität GöttingenPoland Zakład Iranistyki, Jagiellonian University, Poland Zakład Iranistyki UW Warsaw University, PolandScandinavia Scandinavian Society for Iranian StudiesSpain Avestan Digital Archive, University of SalamancaUK British Institute for Persian Studies Arabic and Persian Studies, University of Cambridge Centre for Iranian Cultural Studies, Durham University Iran Heritage Foundation Oriental Institute, Oxford University Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews Centre for Iranian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Library for Iranian Studies The first major American Iranist was Columbia University Professor A. V. Williams Jackson, a scholar of Indo-Iranian languages, known for producing a grammar of the Avestan language.
During the 1950s Richard Frye developed Iranian Studies at Harvard. An Iranian Studies program was created at UCLA in 1963 in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, established by Wolf Leslau a few years before, in 1959; the doctoral Program at UCLA, was the home institution of Professor emeritus Hanns-Peter Schmidt who used to read Old Iranian and Old Indic, is now led by M. Rahim Shayegan who specializes in Ancient Iran. Other Universities where Iranian Studies are offered include the University of Chicago; the Society for Iranian Studies was founded by a group of Iranian graduate students in 1967 and began producing a journal, Iranian Studies. The field expanded during the 1970s, with a number of Americans having served in the Peace Corps in Iran taking up academic positions. Close relations between Iran and the US facilitated the growth of academic programs as well as the Asia Institute in Shiraz and the American Institute of Iranian Studies; the 1979 revolution reversed this trend.
Over the past three decades, lack of funding and the difficulty of research travel to Iran have been major obstacles to scholars based in North America. The field has seen some important achievements such as the monumental Encyclopedia Iranica project led by retired Columbia University professor Ehsan Yarshater. In recent years several new centers for Iranian Studies have been established
The Sasanian Empire known as the Sassanian, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire, was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD; the Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years. The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Eastern Arabia, the Levant, the Caucasus, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani; the Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa and India, it played a prominent role in the formation of both Asian medieval art. Much of what became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world. Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanian Empire in mystery; the Sassanian Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I. Papak was the ruler of a region called Khir. However, by the year 200 he had managed to overthrow Gochihr and appoint himself the new ruler of the Bazrangids, his mother, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Pars; the subsequent events are due to the elusive nature of the sources.
It is certain, that following the death of Papak, who at the time was the governor of Darabgerd, became involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur. Sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, over the protests of his other brothers who were put to death, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Pars. Once Ardashir was appointed shah, he moved his capital further to the south of Pars and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah; the city, well protected by high mountains and defensible due to the narrow passes that approached it, became the centre of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. It was surrounded by a high, circular wall copied from that of Darabgird. Ardashir's palace was on the north side of the city. After establishing his rule over Pars, Ardashir extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, gaining control over the neighbouring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan and Mesene.
This expansion came to the attention of Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who ordered the governor of Khuzestan to wage war against Ardashir in 224, but Ardashir was victorious in the ensuing battles. In a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus himself met Ardashir in battle at Hormozgan, where the former met his death. Following the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir went on to invade the western provinces of the now defunct Parthian Empire. At that time the Arsacid dynasty was divided between supporters of Artabanus V and Vologases VI, which allowed Ardashir to consolidate his authority in the south with little or no interference from the Parthians. Ardashir was aided by the geography of the province of Fars, separated from the rest of Iran. Crowned in 224 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, Ardashir took the title shahanshah, or "King of Kings", bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end, beginning four centuries of Sassanid rule. In the next few years, local rebellions occurred throughout the empire.
Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Khorasan, Margiana and Chorasmia. He added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid's possessions. Sassanid inscriptions claim the submission of the Kings of Kushan and Mekran to Ardashir, although based on numismatic evidence it is more that these submitted to Ardashir's son, the future Shapur I. In the west, assaults against Hatra and Adiabene met with less success. In 230, Ardashir raided deep into Roman territory, a Roman counter-offensive two years ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome. Ardashir I's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria and the western portion of the Kushan Empire, while leading several campaigns against Rome. Invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories.
The emperor Gordian III's subsequent advance down the Euphrates was defea
The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It spread to encompass much of Afghanistan, the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as Saketa and Sarnath near Varanasi, where inscriptions have been found dating to the era of the Kushan Emperor Kanishka the Great. Emperor Kanishka was a great patron of Buddhism, he played an important role in the establishment of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and its spread to Central Asia and China. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, a Iranian or Tocharian, Indo-European nomadic people who migrated from Gansu and settled in ancient Bactria; the Kushans used the Greek language for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram and facilitating the spread of Mahayana Buddhism to China.
The Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, the Aksumite Empire and the Han dynasty of China. While much philosophy and science was created within its borders, the only textual record of the empire's history today comes from inscriptions and accounts in other languages Chinese; the Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, which fell to the Sasanians invading from the west, establishing the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom in the areas of Sogdiana and Gandhara. In the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east; the last of the Kushan and Kushano-Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north, known as the Kidarites, the Hepthalites. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i.e. the Kushans, as one of the five aristocratic tribes of the Yuezhi, with some people claiming they were a loose confederation of Indo-European peoples, though many scholars are still unconvinced that they spoke an Indo-European language.
As the historian John E. Hill has put it: "For well over a century... There have been many arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Great Yuezhi or Da Yuezhi and the Tochari, still there is little consensus"; the Yuezhi were described in the Records of the Great Historian 史記 and the Book of Han 漢書 as living in the grasslands of Gansu, in the northwest of modern-day China, until their King was beheaded by the Huns from Siberia who were at war with China, which forced them to migrate west in 176–160 BCE. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, Dūmì; the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush and the Indus basin, occupying the western part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom; some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, in the palace of Khalchayan.
Various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to these people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire, although the relationship between the Yuezhi and the Kushans is still unclear. On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses; the earliest documented ruler, the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a "tyrant" in Greek on his coins, exhibits skull deformation, he may have been an ally of the Greeks, he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises. Ban Gu's Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. Fan Ye's Book of the Later Han "relates how the chief of the Kushans, Ch'iu-shiu-ch'ueh, founded by means of the submission of the other Yueh-chih clans the Kushan Empire, known to the Greeks and Romans under the name of Empire of the Indo-Scythians."The Chinese Hou Hanshu 後漢書 chronicles gives an account of the formation of the Kushan empire based on a report made by the Chinese general Ban Yong to the Chinese Emperor c. 125 AD: More than a hundred years the prince of Guishuang established himself as king, his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang King.
He invaded Anxi, took the Gaofu region. He defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin. Qiujiuque was more than eighty years old, his son, became king in his place. He defeated installed Generals to supervise and lead it; the Yuezhi became rich. All the kingdoms call the Guishuang king. In the 1st century BCE, the Guishuang gained prom
A rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone. They are a category of rock art, sometimes found as part of, or in conjunction with, rock-cut architecture. However, they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, which concentrate on engravings and paintings by prehistoric peoples. A few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures throughout human history, were important in the art of the ancient Near East. Rock reliefs are fairly large, as they need to be in order to have an impact in the open air. Most of those discussed here have figures that are over life-size, in many the figures are multiples of life-size. Stylistically they relate to other types of sculpture from the culture and period concerned, except for Hittite and Persian examples they are discussed as part of that wider subject.
Reliefs on near-vertical surfaces are most common, but reliefs on horizontal surfaces are found. The term excludes relief carvings inside caves, whether natural or themselves man-made, which are found in Indian rock-cut architecture. Natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the Great Sphinx of Giza, are usually excluded. Reliefs on large boulders left in their natural location, like the Hittite İmamkullu relief, are to be included, but smaller boulders may be called stelae or carved orthostats. Many or most ancient reliefs were originally painted, over a layer of plaster; the first requirement for a rock relief is a suitable face of stone. Most of the ancient Near East was well supplied with mountains offering many cliff faces. An exception was the land of Sumer, where all stone had to be imported over considerable distances, so the art of Mesopotamia only features rock relief around the edges of the region; the Hittites and ancient Persians were the most prolific makers of rock reliefs in the Near East.
The form is ignored by others. In the many commemorative stelae of Nahr el-Kalb, 12 kilometres north of Beirut, successive imperial rulers have carved memorials and inscriptions; the Ancient Egyptian, Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian rulers include relief imagery in their monuments, while the Roman and Islamic rulers do not, nor more modern ones. Although prehistoric engraved petroglyphs are common in Egypt, in general the form is not a common one in Ancient Egyptian art, only possible in some parts of the country those away from the main centres of population, as Abu Simbel was. There are a group of figures surrounding an image of Mentuhotep II, who died in 2010 BC and was the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. Before they were cut away and moved, the colossal figures outside the Abu Simbel temples were high reliefs. Other sculpture outside temples cut into the rock qualifies as rock reliefs; the reliefs at Nahr el-Kalb commemorate Rameses II, are at the furthest reach of his empire in modern Lebanon.
The Hittites were important producers of rock reliefs, which form a large part of the few artistic remains they have left. The Karabel relief of a king was seen by Herodotus, who mistakenly thought it showed the Egyptian Pharaoh Sesostris. This, like many Hittite reliefs, is near a road, but rather hard to see from the road. There are more than a dozen sites, most over 1000 metres in elevation, overlooking plains, near water; these were placed with an eye to the Hittite's relation to the landscape rather than as rulers' propaganda, signs of "landscape control", or border markers, as has been thought. They are at sites with a sacred significance both before and after the Hittite period, places where the divine world was considered as sometimes breaking through to the human one. At Yazılıkaya, just outside the capital of Hattusa, a series of reliefs of Hittite gods in procession decorate open-air "chambers" made by adding barriers among the natural rock formations; the site was a sanctuary, a burial site, for the commemoration of the ruling dynasty's ancestors.
It was a private space for the dynasty and a small group of the elite, unlike the more public wayside reliefs. The usual form of these is to show royal males carrying weapons holding a spear, carrying a bow over their shoulder, with a sword at their belt, they have attributes associated with divinity, so are shown as "god-warriors". The Assyrians took the form from the Hittites; the Neo-Assyrians recorded in other places, including metal reliefs on the Balawat Gates showing them being made, the carving of rock reliefs, it has been suggested that the main intended audience was the gods, the reliefs and the inscriptions that accompany them being of the nature of a "business report" submitted by the ruler. A canal system built by the Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib to supply water to Nineveh was marked by a number of reliefs showing the king with gods. Other reliefs at the Tigris tunnel, a cave in modern Turkey believed to be the source of the river Tigris, are "a
The Parthian Empire known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran; the empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians adopted the art, religious beliefs, royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions.
The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire. The court did appoint a small number of satraps outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris, although several other sites served as capitals; the earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients; the Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius.
Various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the ensuing Roman–Parthian Wars of the next few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold on to them. Frequent civil wars between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous to the Empire's stability than foreign invasion, Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Istakhr in Persis, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus V, in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire, which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania. Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources.
These include Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, prompted by the Han Chinese desire to form alliances against the Xiongnu. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources. Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid Dynasty, he was chieftain of the Parni, an ancient Central-Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes within the confederation of the Dahae; the Parni most spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia. The latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, the Seleucid empires. After conquering the region, the Parni adopted Parthian as the official court language, speaking it alongside Middle Persian, Greek, Babylonian and other languages in the multilingual territories they would conquer. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain.
A. D. H. Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I "backdated his regnal years" to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased. However, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. Homa Katouzian and Gene Ralph Garthwaite claim it was the year Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, yet Curtis and Maria Brosius state that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC, it is unclear who succeeded Arsaces I. Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC, yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the immediate successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC, Brosius in 217 BC. Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is "the first established regnal date of Parthian history."
Due to these and other discrepancies
SOAS, University of London
SOAS University of London is a public research university in London, a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1916, SOAS is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in central London. SOAS is the world's leading institution for the study of Asia and the Middle East, it is home to the SOAS School of Law. SOAS offers around 350 undergraduate bachelor's degree combinations, more than 100 one-year master's degrees and PhD programmes in nearly every department. SOAS is ranked 4th globally in Development Studies by the 2018 QS World University Rankings. SOAS has produced several heads of states, government ministers, central bankers, Supreme Court judges, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and many other notable leaders around the world; the School of Oriental Studies was founded in 1916 at 2 Finsbury Circus, the premises of the London Institution. The school received its royal charter on 5 June 1916 and admitted its first students on 18 January 1917; the school was formally inaugurated a month on 23 February 1917 by King George V.
Among those in attendance were Earl Curzon of Kedleston Viceroy of India, other cabinet officials. The School of Oriental Studies was founded by the British state as an instrument to strengthen Britain's political and military presence in Asia and Africa, it would do so by providing instruction to colonial administrators, commercial managers and military officers, but to missionaries and teachers, in the language of that part of Asia or Africa to which each was being posted, together with an authoritative introduction to the customs, religion and history of the people whom they were to govern or among whom they would be working. The school's founding mission was to advance British scholarship and commerce in Africa and Asia and to provide London University with a rival to the Oriental schools of Berlin and Paris; the school became integral in training British administrators, colonial officials and spies for overseas postings across the British Empire. Africa was added to the school's name in 1938.
For a period in the mid-1930s, prior to moving to its current location at Thornhaugh Street, the school was located at Vandon House, Vandon Street, London SW1, with the library located at Clarence House. Its move to new premises in Bloomsbury was held up by delays in construction and the half-completed building took a hit during the Blitz in September 1940. With the onset of the Second World War, many University of London colleges were evacuated from London in 1939 and billeted on universities in the rest of the country; the School was, on the Government's advice, transferred to Cambridge. In 1940, when it became apparent that a return to London was possible, the school returned to the city and was housed for some months in eleven rooms at Broadway Court, 8 Broadway, London SW1. In 1942, the War Office joined with the school's Japanese department to help alleviate the shortage in Japanese linguists. State scholarships were offered to select grammar and public school boys to train as military translators and intelligence officers.
Lodged at Dulwich College in south London, the students became affectionately known as the Dulwich boys. Bletchley Park, the headquarters of the Government Code and Cypher School, was concerned about the slow pace of the SOAS, so they started their own Japanese-language courses at Bedford in February 1942; the courses were directed by army cryptographer, Col. John Tiltman, retired Royal Navy officer, Capt. Oswald Tuck. In recognition of SOAS's role during the war, the 1946 Scarborough Commission report recommended a major expansion in provision for the study of Asia and the school benefited from the subsequent largesse; the SOAS School of Law was established in 1947 with Professor Vesey-Fitzgerald as its first head. Growth however was curtailed by following years of economic austerity, upon Sir Cyril Philips assuming the directorship in 1956, the school was in a vulnerable state. Over his 20-year stewardship, Phillips transformed the school, raising funds and broadening the school's remit. A college of the University of London, the School's fields include Law, Social Sciences and Languages with special reference to Asia and Africa.
The SOAS Library, located in the Philips Building, is the UK's national resource for materials relating to Asia and Africa and is the largest of its kind in the world. The school has grown over the past 30 years, from fewer than 1,000 students in the 1970s to more than 6,000 students today, nearly half of them postgraduates. SOAS is partnered with the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, considered the French equivalent of SOAS. In 2011, the Privy Council approved changes to the school's charter allowing it to award degrees in its own name, following the trend set by fellow colleges the London School of Economics, University College London and King's College London. All new students registered from September 2013 will qualify for a SOAS, University of London, award. In 2012, a new visual identity for SOAS was launched to be used in print, digital media and around the campus; the SOAS tree symbol, first implemented in 1989, was redrawn and recoloured in gold, with the new symbol incorporating the leaves of ten trees, including the English Oak representing England.