Thomas Jefferson and Cyrus the Great

Thomas Jefferson and Cyrus the Great

How the Founding Fathers of America, in Their Own Words,
Were Inspired by Cyrus the Great

Jefferson.  Adams.  Madison.


Franklin and Zoroastrianism


Harry Truman: "I Am Cyrus"

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Thomas Jefferson and Cyrus the Great

A Synopsis of Upcoming Book. Richard N. Frye, Harvard University and Afshin Zand, Scholar,
Cultural History.  
Summer 2013. © Richard Frye and Afshin Zand, 2013-14

The Authors
Richard Nelson Frye has researched and taught the history of Iran,
the Near East and Central Asia at Harvard University for over six
decades, where he earned his PhD in History and Philology in 1946,
and has been Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies. He
was born in Alabama in 1920. His parents had emigrated from
Sweden in the early 1900s.  He is married, and has had four
children. Dr. Frye was a founder of the Center for Middle East
Studies (CMES) at Harvard. Referred to a pro pos as “dean of the
world’s Iranists”, he needs little or no introduction to experts in the
field. Fluent in Persian, Turkish, Arabic, German, Russian, French,
Italian and knowledgeable in other living and extinct languages, he
has lived and worked in Iran, Afghanistan, and other areas of
Iranian culture, such as Tajikistan, and has conducted research and
taught in Germany and other countries. His work has covered the
spectrum of Iranian cultural studies and his several books and many
articles over the years have served as reference works on the
subject. Some of the professors in this field were his students. In
recent years he has delivered lectures before audiences in Iran (in
Persian) and in the US, advocating the separation of religion and
state in Iran, expounding its underlying basis in history and
literature since 550 BC, through late antiquity and medieval times.


A more extensive biography of Dr. Frye may be found at:  

http://richardfrye.org/biographies.html
Afshin Zand grew up in Iran, where his father was working closely with American engineers and technicians
employed and settled with their families in Khuzestan as colleagues and neighbors building a TVA (Tennessee
Valley Authority) complex.  He developed a lifelong passion for history and philosophy during family visits to
numerous nearby archeological sites, influenced by his father’s interest, from whom he also inherited a love for
formative America.  After about five years his family moved back to Tehran where his father taught at a branch
of Harvard Business School, Iran Center for Management Studies, whereupon during his sabbatical at HBS (1975-
76) and Afshin & family's first year in the U.S., he was given an honorary MBA.  At age 15 Afshin was sent to
England to complete his high-school education. He then joined his family, came to the U.S. and attended the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned the BSEE in 1982. Afshin worked extensively in the
high technology sector, and has been awarded patents for his inventions.  To fulfill his life-long passion in
history, he pursued studies in cultural history as student of Dr. Frye in 1985-1993 at Harvard University.
Thereafter they worked together closely.  His studies and research were inter-disciplinary and included pre-
Islamic history, Persian literature, Zoroastrianism, Judea-Christianity, biblical history, comparative religion,
linguistics and Indo-European studies and later extended to Islamic and contemporary history. His studies were
carried out as non-degree professional development and fulfilled the requirements for PhD and beyond. His focus
was the causality of historical events, transformations and developments in particular as rooted in value systems
and religious beliefs.  In the past ten years he became motivated by Dr. Frye, to research American history and
form of government.

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The authors resumed working together on cultural history and holding lectures around 2003. They may be
reached at: http://richardfrye.org/contactus.html . Their research, of which this is a brief summary, is articulated
in greater depth and breadth in their upcoming book, Jefferson and Cyrus. To reserve a copy, click:  
http://richardfrye.org/contactus.html .