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
Persian literature comprises oral compositions and written texts in the Persian language and it is one of the world's oldest literatures. It spans over two-and-a-half millennia, its sources have been within Greater Iran including present-day Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Turkey, regions of Central Asia and South Asia where the Persian language has been either the native or official language. For instance, one of best-loved Persian poets born in Balkh or Vakhsh, wrote in Persian and lived in Konya the capital of the Seljuks in Anatolia; the Ghaznavids conquered large territories in Central and South Asia and adopted Persian as their court language. There is thus Persian literature from Iran, Azerbaijan, the wider Caucasus, western parts of Pakistan, India and other parts of Central Asia. Not all Persian literature is written in Persian, as some consider works written by ethnic Persians in other languages, such as Greek and Arabic, to be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians, as Turkic and Indic poets and writers have used the Persian language in the environment of Persianate cultures.
Described as one of the great literatures of humanity, including Goethe's assessment of it as one of the four main bodies of world literature, Persian literature has its roots in surviving works of Middle Persian and Old Persian, the latter of which date back as far as 522 BCE, the date of the earliest surviving Achaemenid inscription, the Behistun Inscription. The bulk of surviving Persian literature, comes from the times following the Arab conquest of Persia c. 650 CE. After the Abbasids came to power, the Iranians became the scribes and bureaucrats of the Arab empire and also its writers and poets; the New Persian language literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana because of political reasons, early Iranian dynasties such as the Tahirids and Samanids being based in Khorasan. Persian poets such as Ferdowsi, Sa'di, Attar, Nezami and Omar Khayyam are known in the West and have influenced the literature of many countries. Few literary works of Achaemenid Iran have survived, due to the destruction of the library at Persepolis.
Most of what remains consists of the royal inscriptions of Achaemenid kings Darius I and his son Xerxes. Many Zoroastrian writings were destroyed in the Islamic conquest of Iran in the 7th century; the Parsis who fled to India, took with them some of the books of the Zoroastrian canon, including some of the Avesta and ancient commentaries thereof. Some works of Sassanid geography and travel survived, albeit in Arabic translations. No single text devoted to literary criticism has survived from Pre-Islamic Iran. However, some essays in Pahlavi, such as "Ayin-e name nebeshtan" and "Bab-e edteda’I-ye", have been considered as literary criticism; some researchers have quoted the Sho'ubiyye as asserting that the Pre-Islamic Iranians had books on eloquence, such as'Karvand'. No trace remains of such books. There are some indications that some among the Persian elite were familiar with Greek rhetoric and literary criticism. While overshadowed by Arabic during the Umayyad and early Abbasid caliphates, New Persian soon became a literary language again of the Central Asian and West Asian lands.
The rebirth of the language in its new form is accredited to Ferdowsi, Daqiqi and their generation, as they used Pre-Islamic nationalism as a conduit to revive the language and customs of ancient Iran. So strong is the Persian inclination to versifying everyday expressions that one can encounter poetry in every classical work, whether from Persian literature, science, or metaphysics. In short, the ability to write in verse form was a pre-requisite for any scholar. For example half of Avicenna's medical writings are in verse. Works of the early era of Persian poetry are characterized by strong court patronage, an extravagance of panegyrics, what is known as سبک فاخر "exalted in style"; the tradition of royal patronage began under the Sassanid era and carried over through the Abbasid and Samanid courts into every major Iranian dynasty. The Qasida was the most famous form of panegyric used, though quatrains such as those in Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyyat are widely popular. Khorasani style, whose followers were associated with Greater Khorasan, is characterized by its supercilious diction, dignified tone, literate language.
The chief representatives of this lyricism are Asjadi, Farrukhi Sistani and Manuchehri. Panegyric masters such as Rudaki were known for their love of nature, their verse abounding with evocative descriptions. Through these courts and system of patronage emerged the epic style of poetry, with Ferdowsi's Shahnama at the apex. By glorifying the Iranian historical past in heroic and elevated verses, he and other notables such as Daqiqi and Asadi Tusi presented the "Ajam" with a source of pride and inspiration that has helped preserve a sense of identity for the Iranian People over the ages. Ferdowsi set a model to be followed by a host of other poets on; the 13th century marks the ascendancy of lyric poetry with the consequent development of the ghazal into a major verse form, as well as the rise of mystical and Sufi poetry. This style is called Araqi style, (western provinces of Iran were known as The Persian Iraq and is known by its emotional lyric q
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.
The Timurid dynasty, self-designated as Gurkani, was a Sunni Muslim dynasty or clan of Turco-Mongol lineage descended from the warlord Timur. The word "Gurkani" derived from "gurkan", a Persianized form of the Mongolian word "kuragan" meaning "son-in-law", as the Timurids were in-laws of the line of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. Members of the Timurid dynasty were influenced by the Persian culture and established two significant empires in history, the Timurid Empire based in Persia and Central Asia and the Mughal Empire based in the Indian subcontinent; the origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongol tribe known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in what is today southern Kazakhstan, from Shymkent to Taraz and Almaty, which came to be known for a time as Moghulistan – "Land of Mongols" in Persian – and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking population, so that at the time of Timur's reign the Barlas had become Turkicized in terms of language and habits.
Additionally, by adopting Islam, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture which had dominated Central Asia since the early days of Islamic influence. Persian literature was instrumental in the assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture. Abu Sa'id's sons divided Transoxiana upon his death, into Samarkand, Hissar, Balkh and Farghana. Timur Timurid Empire Mughal Empire Turco-Mongol List of Turkic dynasties and countries List of Mongol states Borjigin List of Sunni Muslim dynasties BĀYSONḠORĪ ŠĀH-NĀMA in Encyclopædia Iranica Elliot, Sir H. M.. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians; the Muhammadan Period. Timurid Dynasty Virtual Art Exhibit
Shah Rukh was the ruler of the Timurid Empire between 1405 and 1447. He was the son of the Central Asian conqueror Timur, who founded the Timurid dynasty in 1370. However, he ruled only over the eastern portion of the empire established by his father, comprising of most of Persia and Transoxiana, the western territories having been lost to invaders in the aftermath of Timur’s death. In spite of this, Shah Rukh’s empire remained a cohesive dominion of considerable extent throughout his reign, as well as a dominant power in Asia. Shah Rukh controlled the main trade routes between Asia and Europe, including the legendary Silk Road, became immensely wealthy as a result, he chose to have his capital not in Samarqand as his father had in Herat. This was to become the political centre of the Timurid empire, residence of his principal successors, though both cities benefited from the wealth and privilege of Shah Rukh's court. Shah Rukh was a great patron of the sciences, which flourished under his rule.
He spent his reign focusing on the stability of his lands, as well as maintaining political and economic relations with neighbouring kingdoms. Historians Thomas W. Lentz and Glenn D. Lowry state that "unlike his father, Shahrukh ruled the Timurid empire, not as a Turco-Mongol warlord-conqueror, but as an Islamic sultan. In dynastic chronicles he is exalted as a man of great piety and modesty — a model Islamic ruler who repaired much of the physical and psychological damage caused by his father." Shah Rukh was born on the youngest of Timur's four sons. In Persian, the literal meaning of his name is "face of a king". According to Ibn ‘Arabshāh, a talented chess player, was involved in a match when he received the news of Shah Rukh's birth, using this chess move as a name for the newborn child; some sources suggest that his mother was the Empress Saray Mulk Khanum a Chaghatai princess and Timur’s chief consort. However, it was stated by the 15th century historian Khwandamir that Shah Rukh’s mother was a certain Taghay Tarkhan Agha of the Qara Khitai, a Tajik concubine of Timur’s.
Khwandamir used a genealogical record written during Shah Rukh’s reign as his source for this assertion. Regardless of his maternal origins, the prince was raised by Saray Mulk, alongside Timur’s grandson Khalil Sultan. Timur appears to not have had close relations with Shah Rukh, despite the latter never having incurred his displeasure. In 1397, Shah Rukh was appointed governor of Khorasan by his father, with his viceregal capital being Herat. Although this was a significant region, this was the same post, awarded to Shah Rukh’s brother Miran Shah, when the latter had been thirteen years old. Shah Rukh was never promoted beyond this position during his father’s lifetime. Further to this, during Timur’s campaign to China, Shah Rukh’s young sons took pride of place in the procession, while he himself was passed over. Historical sources give no explanation for their relationship, though there is some evidence which suggests that it was Shah Rukh's ancestry which had affected Timur’s lack of favour, being the son of a concubine as opposed to a freeborn wife.
Alternatively, there have been suggestions that Timur believed Shah Rukh did not possess the personal qualities required for ruling. It may have been this Islamic adherence and subsequent rejection of the laws of Genghis Khan, which had always been so revered by Timur, that had resulted in the alienation of Shah Rukh from his father. Shah Rukh, alongside most of the royal family, accompanied Timur west in his campaign against the Ottoman Empire, which culminated in the Battle of Ankara in 1402. Shah Rukh commanded the left-wing of the army, Miran Shah the right and Timur himself in the centre; the vanguard was headed by two of Shah Rukh’s nephews. The battle resulted in a Timurid victory, as well as the capture and subjugation of the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid I. Timur died in 1405, he was reported to have said on his deathbed that he "had no other desire than to see the Mirza Shah Rukh once more" and had lamented the fact that he did not have time to do so. Timur had never unambiguously appointed an heir.
Khalil Sultan proclaimed himself emperor at Tashkent soon after his grandfather's death and seized the royal treasury, as well as Timur's imperial capital, Samarqand. Shah Rukh marched his army out of Herat to the Oxus river but made no offensive move against his nephew at this point; this was due to Miran Shah, Khalil Sultan’s father, who posed a serious threat as he, along with his other son Abu Bakr, had led an army out of Azerbaijan in support of the younger prince. They were both forced to withdraw prior to joining with Khalil Sultan however, due to invasions to their rear by the Jalayirids and the Qara Qoyunlu, who took advantage of the death of the old emperor to seize territory. Miran Shah was killed in battle in 1408 whilst attempting to repel the invaders, with Abu Bakr dying the following year. In the years following Timur’s death, Shah Rukh and Khalil Sultan had a series of unproductive negotiations as well as many military encounters, with Khalil Sultan emerging victorious. During this time, other pretenders pursued their own claims to the throne.
Among these was Sultan Husayn Tayichiud, a maternal grandson of Timur
Ann Katharine Swynford Lambton known as A. K. S. Lambton or "Nancy" Lambton, was a British historian and expert on medieval and early modern Persian history, Persian language, Islamic political theory, Persian social organisation, she was an acknowledged authority on land reform in Iran. Lambton was a cousin of Antony Lambton, she studied at SOAS under Hamilton Gibb. From 1939–45, she was Press attaché of the British Legation to Tehran and Professor of Persian at SOAS from 1953–79 succeeding Arthur Arberry as holder of that chair. In 1942, she was awarded the OBE and honorary DLitt degrees from the University of Durham and the University of Cambridge, she was an honorary fellow of New Hall, Cambridge, SOAS and the University of London. She wrote several books on subjects ranging from Persian grammar and vocabulary to Qajar land reform. Ann Lambton played a role in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh. After the decision to nationalize Iran's oil interests in 1951, she advised the British government to undermine the authority of Mossadegh's regime.
She proposed that Oxford University professor R. C. Zaehner should begin covert operations. In 1953, with the help of the CIA, the regime of Mossadegh was overthrown and the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was restored to the throne; as Professor Emeritus of the Diocese of Newcastle and Chairman of the Iran Diocesan Association, Lambton served on the Middle East Committee and advised Archbishops on inter-faith matters. She delivered, she was awarded the Cross of St Augustine in 2004 by the Archbishop of Canterbury in acknowledgement of her work and commitment to Christianity and the Church of England. She was an honorary Life Member of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. At the University of Durham, the Centre of Iranian Studies has instituted an annual Prof. A. K. S. Lambton honorary lectureship. Prof. Lambton delivered the inaugural lecture in this series in 2001. Lambton died at her home in Kirknewton on 19 July 2008 at the age of 96 after a long illness. Arbuthnott, H.. McLachlan, K. S..
Morgan, David. Funeral of SOAS Persian Scholar Professor Ann Lambton, SOAS, 22 July 2008. Fariba Amini, When "great" scholars play a deadly role, Payvand, 11 February 2008. Farangis Mohebbi, Dr Yarshater: Lambton predicted the Iranian Revolution, in Persian, Radio Zamaneh, 13 August 2008, Audio. Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, "Scholarship in the Service of Empire: The Legacy of Ann K. S. Lambton in 20th Century Iran", Ajam Media Collective, 6 March 2017
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, it is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world. Columbia was established as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton University in New Jersey, it was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the Revolutionary War and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved from Madison Avenue to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University. Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in the development of notable scientific fields and breakthroughs including: brain-computer interface.
The Columbia University Physics Department has been affiliated with 33 Nobel Prize winners as alumni, faculty or research staff, the third most of any American institution behind MIT and Harvard. In addition, 22 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology and Medicine have been affiliated with Columbia, the third most of any American institution; the university's research efforts include the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M. D. degree. The university administers the Pulitzer Prize annually. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including three undergraduate schools and numerous graduate schools, it maintains research centers outside of the United States known as Columbia Global Centers. In 2018, Columbia's undergraduate acceptance rate was 5.1%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the United States, the second most selective in the Ivy League after Harvard.
Columbia is ranked as the 3rd best university in the United States by U. S. News & World Report behind Princeton and Harvard. In athletics, the Lions field varsity teams in 29 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference; the university's endowment stood at $10.9 billion in 2018, among the largest of any academic institution. As of 2018, Columbia's alumni and affiliates include: five Founding Fathers of the United States — among them an author of the United States Constitution and co-author of the Declaration of Independence. S. presidents. Discussions regarding the founding of a college in the Province of New York began as early as 1704, at which time Colonel Lewis Morris wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the missionary arm of the Church of England, persuading the society that New York City was an ideal community in which to establish a college. However, it was not until the founding of the College of New Jersey across the Hudson River in New Jersey that the City of New York considered founding a college.
In 1746, an act was passed by the general assembly of New York to raise funds for the foundation of a new college. In 1751, the assembly appointed a commission of ten New York residents, seven of whom were members of the Church of England, to direct the funds accrued by the state lottery towards the foundation of a college. Classes were held in July 1754 and were presided over by the college's first president, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson was the only instructor of the college's first class, which consisted of a mere eight students. Instruction was held in a new schoolhouse adjoining Trinity Church, located on what is now lower Broadway in Manhattan; the college was founded on October 31, 1754, as King's College by royal charter of King George II, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. In 1763, Dr. Johnson was succeeded in the presidency by Myles Cooper, a graduate of The Queen's College, an ardent Tory. In the charged political climate of the American Revolution, his chief opponent in discussions at the college was an undergraduate of the class of 1777, Alexander Hamilton.
The American Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, was catastrophic for the operation of King's College, which suspended instruction for eight years beginning in 1776 with the arrival of the Continental Army. The suspension continued through the military occupation of New York City by British troops until their departure in 1783; the college's library was looted and its sole building requisitioned for use as a military hospital first by American and British forces. Loyalists were forced to abandon their King's College in New York, seized by the rebels and renamed Columbia College; the Loyalists, led by Bishop Charles Inglis fled to Windsor, Nova Scotia, where the