() <small>(b.1930, in Tehran
; d. 13 November 1994, in Tehran)</small> was a prominent Iranist
and Persian historian.
Mehrdad Bahar, was the youngest son of Persian poet Mohammad Taghi Bahar
. He held a PhD degree in Persian literature
and Ancient Iranian languages
from Tehran University
. He received an MA degree in "Ancient and Medieval Persian history" from the University of London
where he studied with Professor Mary Boyce
at the School of Oriental and African Studies
. He began his carrier as a linguist with focus on Middle Persian
. Later in his career he became interested in Persian mythology. His theories on the ancient roots of many aspects of Persian culture are well accepted among the mythologists (some controversial yet).
His works on Persian mythology
are mainly focused on major non-Aryan
influences, most of all Mesopotamian
Mehrdad Bahar's most notable work is his translation of the most famous Middle Persian
. His other prominent work, A Research on Persian Mythology
(two volumes) consists of a collection/compilation of different Zoroastrian Middle Persian
texts and a systematic analysis of their roots. The second volume, however, was incomplete when Bahar died in 1994. His closest colleague, Katayoun Mazdapour, completed the editing task the following year.
Among his books are
- Bondahesh ( "بندهش"),
- Iranian Mythology ("اساطیر......