Richard N. Frye cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Richard N. Frye

American historian

1920   -   2014

country of citizenship: United States of America, Sweden
native language: English
languages spoken, written or signed: English, Swedish, Russian, German, Italian, Persian, Pashto, Arabic, French, Uzbek, Turkish
educated at: Harvard University, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
occupation: linguist, iranologist, university teacher
award received: Guggenheim Fellowship

Richard Nelson Frye (January 10, 1920 – March 27, 2014) was an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian Studies, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University. His professional areas of interest were Iranian philology and the history of Iran and Central Asia before 1000 CE. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, to a family of immigrants from Sweden, "Freij" had four children, his second marriage being to an Iranian-Assyrian scholar, Eden Naby, from Urmia, Iran who teaches at Columbia University. He spoke fluent Russian, German, Arabic, Persian, Pashto, French, Uzbek, and Turkish, and had extensive knowledge of Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian, and other Iranian languages and dialects, both extinct and current.Although Frye is mostly known for his works about Iran, the Iranian peoples and Iranian Central Asia, the scope of his studies was much wider and includes Byzantine, Caucasian, and Ottoman history, Eastern Turkistan, Assyria and the Assyrian people, ancient and medieval Iranian art, Islamic art, Sufism, Chinese and Japanese archeology, and a variety of Iranian and non-Iranian languages including Avestan, Old Persian, Middle Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, Khotanese, and Bactrian, New Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and even Chinese, beside research languages which include French, German, Italian, and Russian.
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