Analysis of the Quality of Arthur Pope’s Knowledge about Iranian Architecture Based on His Written Histographical Works

Document Type : Research Article


1 M.A. in Iranian Architectural Studies, Art University of Isfahan, Iran.

2 Ph.D. in Conservation of Historical Contexts, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Conservation, Yazd University, Iran.

3 Ph.D. in Architecture, Associate Professor, Art University of Isfahan, Iran.


Problem statement: Architectural historiography in Iran, like other fields of theoretical foundations of architecture, has not achieved a proper position, and on the other hand, existing historiographical works have been less studied to determine the asset and lack of asset in this field through this achievement and to more clarify the path of Iranian architectural historiography. Therefore, it seems necessary to study the works of architectural historiography. Thus, in the present study, the following questions are addressed: Which attitudes and methods has Arthur Pope used to study Iranian architecture? What are the fields and contexts in which these methods and attitudes have been formed? What has been the result of applying these methods and attitudes for understanding Iranian architecture?
Research objectives: This study was conducted to review the written works by Arthur Pope to identify his attitudes and methods as well as his achievement in using them for understanding Iranian architecture.
Research method: For this purpose, grounded theory was used as the research method.
Conclusion: The result showed that Arthur Pope, influenced by the requirements of the time and the needs of Iranian architectural historiography in that period, has used attitudes and methods to understand Iranian architecture through which, he has presented a history of Iranian architecture. Although, it is more focused on the physical aspects of Iranian architecture; but apart from the physical aspects, he has also paid some attention to other aspects of Iranian architecture, such as space and backgrounds of formation. His architectural historiography has more architectural color and sense than other historians of his time. He has also tried further than them to present his view closer to that of an Iranian person. Therefore, he can be considered a historian who has made acceptable efforts in writing a history book about Iranian architecture, taking into account the requirements of his time.


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