Gardens of Eden: A Study of Persian Gardens in the Safavid Period

PhD Project by Zahra Ranjbari

Zahra’s research aims to study PersianIslamic landscape history of the Safavid period in Iran by analysing ‘Gardens of Eden’ poems along with other related sources in Persian poetry, history, and literature.

Gardens of Eden is one of the most valuable sources on Persian gardens, describing Qazvin gardens in poetry during early 16th century. It was composed by the court poet and historian, Abdi Bayk Navidi Shirazi. His poems can be considered the most reliable evidence picturing the newly-established garden-city of Qazvin, the second Savafid capital city during Shah Tahmasp’s reign, of which almost nothing remains. Navidi’s poetry provides us with a detailed image of the capital city and its noble gardens and landscaping.

The main research approach is to investigate different sources to provide a fresh understanding of Persian gardens. The study will present a comprehensive investigation of the main features of Persian gardens in historical and contemporary arts, as well as its role in architecture in order to show the functional, physical, and semantic orders of garden making.

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