Combining scholarship from a range of disciplines, this collection of essays is a comprehensive examination of the role of women in Iranian society and culture, from pre-Islamic times to 1800. The contributors challenge common assumptions about women in Iran and Islam. Sweeping away modern myths, these essays show that women have had significant influence in almost every area of Iranian life. Focusing on a region wider than today's nation-state of Iran, this book explores developments in the spheres that most affect women: gender constructs, family structure, community roles, education, economic participation, Islamic practices and institutions, politics, and artistic representations. The contributors to this volume are prominent international scholars working in this field, and each draws on decades of research to address the history of Iranian women within the context of his or her area of expertise. This broad framework allows for a thorough and nuanced examination of the history of a complex society.