Various manifestations of utopia, aspiring or conservative, idyllic or oppressive, credible or far-fetched, have long been elaborated in classics of literature, philosophy, and political theory. Nevertheless, utopian imagination has a tendency to transcend the boundaries of classic texts and debates. Presenting an account of an oriental utopia lost in history, this article revisits utopian imagination in ancient Iran. In particular, it discusses the construction of the utopian city of Varjamkard under Jamshid, one of the most popular Shahs or kings in Persian mythology. A paradise hidden from the world’s eyes, Varjamkard was built to protect people from the dire winter that was the manifestation of evil on earth; but then this earthly paradise was lost because of Jamshid’s disregard for a divine law. This paper aims to unearth an ancient utopian tradition, taking the concept of utopia to the less explored realms in history and times.

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