Autumn 2004 (12.3)
Remembering Igrar Aliyev
Historian of Ancient Azerbaijan
Reknown historian Igrar
Habib oghlu Aliyev (1924-2004), esteemed for his research into
Azerbaijan's ancient history, passed away on June 11, 2004. He
was 80 years old.
Dr. Aliyev was the first Azerbaijani scholar to examine the history
of the ancient states known as Media (beginning in the 9th century
B.C.) and Atropatena (4th-2nd century B.C.), both of which played
a great role in the ancient history of Azerbaijan and Iran.
Photo: Dr. Igrar Aliyev, Historian
Aliyev was revered for his encyclopedic knowledge of history.
He knew ancient languages and was the single scholar in Azerbaijan
who could read Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Persian cuneiform
scripts, equipping him to be a rare professional in the field
of these ancient cultures. His works, which were devoted to the
ethnic history of Azerbaijan as well as the history and culture
of ancient Media, Atropatena and Caucasian Albania, are considered
to be a valuable contribution to Azerbaijani historiography.
Aliyev authored 160 scientific publications, including major
books, many of which are devoted to the history of the Median
kingdom that was situated in what is now Southern Azerbaijan
[now located in Iran]. His major books include: "The History
Of Media" (Baku, 1960), "A Historical Survey of Atropatena"
(Baku, 1989), "History of Azerbaijan (Baku, 1993, and in
Russian, 1995). "Nagorno Karabakh: History, Facts and Events",
No. 22-34 (Baku: Elm, 1982), "On Problems Related to the
Ethnic History of the Azerbaijani People" (Baku: Nurlan,
2002), "The History of Aturpatakan" (in Persian, published
Aliyev also was the major author of the first volume of the "History
Of Azerbaijan" (Baku, 1998) and it was under his supervision
as editor that the entire series of seven volumes was rewritten
and published in the new Latin-modified script, replacing the
Cyrillic script that was used during the Soviet period.
Professor Aliyev directed the Institute of History of the Azerbaijan
National Academy of Sciences. In 2001, he was elected as an Academician
of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. He belonged to
the scientific school of the world-famous Soviet Academician
V. V. Struve, who was a leading specialist in the field of ancient
Aliyev was not immune to controversy; his works were often severely
criticized. He was against a simplified approach to history,
insisting that the history of Azerbaijan must be written based
only on facts, not on nationalist and ideological delusions.
His memory and courage will live on in the hearts of serious
scientists and students of Azerbaijani history.
(12.3) Autumn 2004.
© Azerbaijan International 2004. All rights reserved.
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