TEHRAN (Iran News) – Belgian Iranologist Pierre Lecoq has received Iran’s Mahmud Afshar Historical Literary Award.
The Mahmud Afshar Foundation annually awards scholars who have contributed valuable literary work or research.
Lecoq was awarded for his continuous studies, serious research and publication of great books on Iranian studies in his academic career, which spans over 50 years, Jaleh Amuzegar, a member of the award committee of the Mahmud Afshar Foundation, said.
He also was honored for his studies on Fiqh al-Lughah, a reference in dictionaries in Arabic written by Abu Mansour ath-Tha’alini, and the translation of the Avesta and Shahnameh.
Due to his illness, Lecoq received his award and a diplomat of honor along with an Iranian carpet at his home in a suburb of Paris from members of the award committee, including Amuzegar, Sassan Afshar and Arash Afshar, and the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Iran to UNESCO, Ahmad Pakatchi, the Permanent Delegation of Iran to UNESCO announced on Tuesday.
Lecoq thanked the foundation for awarding him, recounting memories from his sojourn in Iran.
He praised the Iranian culture, calling it one of the most profound cultures of the world, and said that his studies on Iran are insignificant compared with the grandeur of the culture.
He also expressed his hope that Iranian studies would continue across the globe and the world’s academic centers could further the previous research to raise the knowledge and awareness of Iranian culture and literature more than ever.
Born in 1939, Lecoq is one of the most prolific and renowned scholars of ancient Iranian and Oriental studies.
He received his doctorate in Oriental history and literature from the University of Liège and in 1983 from Sorbonne University.
He was also a lecturer of oriental languages at the University of New Sorbonne, and at the Ecole de Louvre, he taught the Old Persian, Middle Persian and Parthian epigraphs.
He was trained by Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin, the famous European Iranologist at the University of Liège.
Lecoq first devoted his work to ancient Iranian languages, mainly to Avestan philology and to Old Persian epigraphy.
His diachronic approach to Iranian – enriched by his in-depth knowledge of Indo-Iranian and Middle Iranian languages – as well as his advances on the phonetics and paleography of Old-Persian cuneiform have resulted in the presentation of a full translation of Achaemenid inscriptions, strictly taking into account the parallel versions in Elamite and Babylonian.
Filling one of the gaps in Iranian studies regarding access to primary sources, his translation of the Avesta books (Paris, 2016) has established itself as a unique and essential tool.
In the field of Iranian typology, his work allowed him to make a hypothesis on the primitive habitat of the Kurdish. He also introduced a dialect of Fars (The Sivand dialect, grammar and texts) and published a voluminous study on the dialects spoken in ancient Carmania.
Convinced that the study of the languages, religions and cultures of ancient Iran could not be dissociated from that of the first works of Persian literature, Pierre Lecoq has never ceased to draw attention to the central role of the Shahnameh and published a full translation of it in French, based on Jules Mohl version.
Photo: Belgian Iranologist Pierre Lecoq (C) poses with a number of the award committee after receiving the Mahmud Afshar Historical Literary Award at his home in the suburb of Paris.