Muslim Conquest of Iranshahr & Its Aftermath

Professor Touraj Daryaee's lecture at UC Berkeley

April 29, 2011: This lecture is about the manner in which the Sasanian Empire collapsed in the 7th century and the events that followed in Iranshahr till the end of the 8th century CE. Not only the inner tensions of the late Sasanian Empire is discussed, but also the interaction between the Iranians and the Arabs and wars and alliances between them are highlighted.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


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"Iranshahr" in English?

by Pejman7 on

Is Touraj going to make "Iranshahr" popular in English? Generally it's  not known among people in the West.

payam s

alx1711, you completely missed his point!

by payam s on

He was in fact arguing against your senseless nationalist claims, yet your racism prevents you from actually learning a big lesson from this lecture.

Kaveh V

Keshavarz translations

by Kaveh V on

I do agree with his comments, to some extent, on part 2 (4:50) about the old history writings by the former Soviet historians.

I have a (600 page) book written in farsi that is titled: "History of Iran", written by some of the former Soviet historians he names; Piogolovskaya, Yacobsky, Petroschevsky etc. and is translated by the Karim Keshavarz. I have yet to read the entire book, but have read a few chapters and passages, particularly the ones covering the details of the Arab (Islamic) conquest and some analysis of that period. The book generally corroborates Daryaie's details of the Islamic conquest and the repeated destructions, thefts and slaughters of the population that rose up against Islamic hordes. On the other hand, some of the social and economic analysis has a Soviet-marxist tinge which will stand out in post-Soviet-era reader's mind. I have yet to find any passages that corroborates Daryaie's assertion that the Soviet era historians were, in any way, biased toward the fraudulent idea of "gentle" Islamic conquest of Iran. In fact, I have found great many details of the comprehensive destruction and bloody nature of the conquest.

I have been hoping to scan and blog the passages on IC for a couple of years now to confront the Islamist charlatans. But don't seem to find a good way of displaying scanned .pdf pages on IC.


Excellent lecture

by ramintork on

This lecture shed more light on many things.

This is what I gathered from it:

The Persian empire was not really conqured, it effectively collapsed to regional rule by local leaders before the invasion.

Iranian society was already mix in terms of culture, religion and ethics.

As afflictions go, conquest by a brutal invader was not uncommon and the locals including the nobles simply made the most of a bad situation and cut a deal.

Opportunists on the Iranian side aided the Arabs for personal interest. If I was in that lecture I would have asked about Salman Farsi, but it seems he had less significance compared to other traitors from the military ranks.

There was a long phase of dialogue and turth, which makes sense because the invasion was mainly based on economic rather than ideological aspirations.

I would have liked to know if there was a large push that ended the cultural autonomy given to Iranians or if over time that simple dissolved.  

Finally we seemed to have let our nationalistic or on the other side of the fence the religious feelings get into a way of historical accuracy, and ancient Persians were more or less close to what other cultures were in that region and in that period. Also the threat of nomadic tribes was common enough for the Empire to have taken action in resettlement or building of walls. Just like the sort of issue Romans had to deal with. 


Interesting Lecture

by afshin on

I enjoyed the lecture.  But it's amazing how full of ourselves we as Iranians seem to be.  We all operate with this overwhelming yet unsubstantiated presumption that we were so far superior to the (A-rabs) as alx1711 eluded to.  My question is that if this is indeed the case, then why did an entire empire that spanned such vast distances crumble and succumb to these inferior people? We're so hung up on these silly meaningless issues.  At the end of the day, Iran's hey days have come and gone.  Like most people that come from old civilizations we harp on about our former greatness, yet have done nothing to improve our lot for the better part of the last 1000 years.  By contrast, Japan, Korea and even China went from feudal agrarian societies to economic and industrial power houses within a few short decades.  There is nothing great about us.  If it weren't for oil we'd be in worse shape than Afghanistan.  


Great lecture yet sad

by alx1711 on

Great lecture yet sad chapter of tazie (A-rab) invasion of Great Persia. Such a sad event in our history.

Greeks, Mongols, Kozaks, Portugies, Britains, Americans all came and left, yet Arabs and islamic Destroyed the land and still are hungry for Parsi blood.

Maryam Hojjat

Thanks, JJ

by Maryam Hojjat on

Great lecture by Prof Daryaie.