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"Political History of Achaemenid" reviewed in the House of literati

Sanjari: "Pen" is the only weapon which grants life

29 Apr 2012 - 11:43

In the reviewing meeting of the book "Political History of Achaemenid", the author's look at the history of Iran was judged biased and with lots of unkindness by the critics. On the importance of writing also MH Sanjari said that "pen is the only weapon which grants life and yet can take the life of man".

IBNA: The reviewing meeting of the book "Political History of Achaemenid" was held on Sunday, April 23, with Mohammad Hussein Sanjari, Farid Javaherkalam, Hamid Bahari and Khadija Masumi in the House of literati.

At the beginning of this meeting, Hamid Bahari referred to the work experience and academic background of Javaherkalam, the mentioned book's translator and said: so far 45 books have been translated by Professor Javaherkalam. After several years of translation at embassies and foreign organizations; he had been employed by the Ministry of Education and Training to work as an English teacher in Tehran High schools. As a journalist also, at first he wrote story, but after a while he took translation more serious and continued translating of psychological and philosophical books. Thus he enjoys more than 50 years of experience as a journalist too.

He added: Javaherkalam retired in 1979, and tried to complete his language. The most detailed work he translated was called: "The History of Arab People". Including more than 750 pages; this book once was selected as the Year Book of IR. of Iran.

In this meeting considering Javaherkalam as the one who first introduces Sigmund Freud to the society of Iranian readers, on the characteristics of his works Bahari explained: as a reader, the fluency and naturalness of his translations are mostly important to me. Particularly, in translation of historical works- in which the translator usually faces a harder task, he could well afford to cope.

About the book "Political History of Achaemenid" he said: javaherkalam points out himself in the preface of this book that the first translator who had rendered it into English had not been actually an English-speaking, so in order to demonstrate his mastery and proficiency, he had applied heavy expressions which in turn; have made it more difficult to translate the book into Persian language.

Bahari knew this book as a valuable resource and added: So far; I have not seen any translated work in the field of Achaemenid political history. Professor Javaherkalam has indeed created a sort of communicative bridge between Present and past times and the addressee or the reader of this work may think that is reading a fluent novel, rather than a historical report.

M.H. Sanjari also begins his speech focusing on the importance of "Pen" and said: Pen is the only weapon which grants life and yet can take the life from man.

Considering the book "Political History of Achaemenid" he pointed out to the literal meaning of the name" Cyrus" and the existing legends about his life. Then he asked javaherkalam some question about translation of this book and his work experiences as well.

As an answer to the question that: how much time he spent translating this voluminous book? He said: It took about six months, and I should confess that in comparison to my other works, it took too much and it was due to the difficult and complicated language applied by the first translator of the book. I often finish a book in about one month; "The History of Arab People" is the only other book which has been translated in so much long time.

Following the discussion, Sanjari focused on the unkindness and uncaring of the author of the book "Political History of Achaemenid" and said: this book has been written in a Communist atmosphere in which monarchy and monarchism was not accepted.

Javaherkalam considered this book as a consequence of the former USSR and explained: in a dictatorial Stalinized enviroment, even an additional word might be subjected to a doubt and objection, so history writing was a very difficult task those days. Many of what Iranians have done is not mentioned in this book. I wonder how a historian can be so much unkind and careless in front of history!

Translator of "Advent and Falling of The Soviet Union" continued that "some cases in some parts of the book have been written incorrectly by the author, instead , what had been assumed correct by him have been added to the original version of the work as well.

Considering the book as a work based on Greeks assumptions and thus attractive to the Westerns; he said: the impacts and signs of the tight Stalinized regime are observed on the text of this book.

Javaherkalam believes that several factors have been involved in the fall of the Achaemenid dynasty most significant of which was the courtiers' pleasure. He added: generally; none of the historical phenomenon is formed only based on just a specific cause, rather a number of factors are involved in its formation .In this book the author has done a series of interesting researches and has written about the courtiers' mental concerns which finally resulted in prevalence of treachery and lie among them and consequently in fall of the dynasty.

Then, javaherkalam described part of the historical narrations in order to show the audience that what kind of problems had dominated the courtiers, and what factors had made them mentally concerned.

He stated that: The Achaemenid Emperor was very vast and governing such an immense territory is really difficult, most of the inferiors were not obedient and the King insufficiency added to it and made the situation worse. Dariush, the third, although wasn't so bad, that has been described by the author, but suffered many weaknesses which caused him not to be able to control and rule such a great territory easily.

Javaherkalam, who has so far translated more than 45 books, described his first activity in this field as the most pleasant experience and added: among works I have translated I like the book entitled:" Dr. jekyll and Mr. hyde" more than others. This is the first book which was published with my translation. In this book, the theory of Stevenson was very interesting and exquisite in its own time.

One of the attributes of this book- as Masumi, the secretary of the meeting stated- is its different historical resources, she said: almost all the historical resources have been used in this book by the author. He has tried not to impose his own opinion to the reader, and even picked up some stories from inscription not to be found within other resources and this is what has made the book interesting and fresh.

Following the meeting, the audiences asked some questions and then there has been some different free discussion from about bogusness of Alecsander Maghdouni; the exaltedness of Iranian culture; up to the results of technological improvement in the contemporary era and even the discoveries of some of the scientists and their positive impacts on the life. 

This book in 39 separate chapters begins from the history of Persian races, before the formation of the Empire and talks about the presence of Cyrus and his battle with the Medes and then the advent of Achaemenid government. Capturing the Eastern part of Persia, the western part of Central Asia, Babylon, and his last campaign that led to his death are amongst the other interesting items stated in this book. Capturing Egypt by Kambuzia, the presence of Gumata and accession and victory of Dariush and other events in this book besides sweet stories, described by the author all are gathered in this book.

"Political History of Achaemenid" written by Mohammad Dandamayev, translated by Farid Javaherkalam was first published in 2010 at the price of 125000R and with the effort of Forouzan publication.