Neighbours and Rivals
Author: Beate Dignas,Engelbert Winter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A narrative history, with sourcebook, of the turbulent relations between Rome and the Sasanian Empire.
Arabs, Romans, and Sasanians in Late Antiquity
Author: Greg Fisher
Publisher: Oxford University Press
An examination of the complex inter-relationships between the Roman and Sasanid Empires, and some of their Arab allies and neighbours, during the last century before the emergence of Islam. Greg Fisher stresses the importance of a Near East dominated by Rome and Iran for the formation of early concepts of Arab identity.
Essays on the Postclassical World
Author: Glen Warren Bowersock
Publisher: Harvard University Press
The era of late antiquity—from the middle of the third century to the end of the eighth—was marked by the rise of two world religions, unprecedented political upheavals that remade the map of the known world, and the creation of art of enduring glory. In these eleven in-depth essays, drawn from the award-winning reference work Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, an international cast of experts provides essential information and fresh perspectives on this period's culture and history.
Author: Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis,Sarah Stewart
This latest volume in The Idea of Iran series concentrates on the Sasanian period. Seizing power from the previous dynasty - the Parthians - the Sasanians ruled Iran and most of the ancient Near East from 224 until 642 CE. They are particularly fascinating because of their adherence to Zoroastrianism, an ancient dualistic Iranian religion named after the prophet Zarathustra (or, in Greek, Zoroaster). The Sasanians expressed the divine aspect of their rule in a variety of forms, such as on coins, rock reliefs and silver plates, and architecture and the arts flourished under their aegis. Sasanian military success brought them into conflict with Rome, and later Byzantium. Their empire eventually collapsed under the force of the Arab army in AD 642, when Zoroastrianism was replaced with Islam. Engaging with all the major aspects of Sasanian culture, twelve eminent scholars address subjects which include: early Sasanian art and iconography; early Sasanian coinage; religion and identity in the Sasanian empire; later Sasanian orality and literacy; and state and society in late antique Iran. The volume in question arguably comprises the most complete and comprehensive treatment of the Sasanian civilization yet to be published in English.
Rome's Age of Insurrection, AD222-235
Author: John S McHugh
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Alexander Severus' is full of controversy and contradictions. He came to the throne through the brutal murder of his cousin, Elagabalus, and was ultimately assassinated himself. The years between were filled with regular uprisings and rebellions, court intrigue (the Praetorian Guard slew their commander at the Emperor's feet) and foreign invasion. Yet the ancient sources generally present his reign as a golden age of just government, prosperity and religious tolerance Not yet fourteen when he became emperor, Alexander was dominated by his mother, Julia Mammaea and advisors like the historian, Cassius Dio. In the military field, he successfully checked the aggressive Sassanid Persians but some sources see his Persian campaign as a costly failure marked by mutiny and reverses that weakened the army. When Germanic and Sarmatian tribes crossed the Rhine and Danube frontiers in 234, Alexander took the field against them but when he attempted to negotiate to buy time, his soldiers perceived him as weak, assassinated him and replaced him with the soldier Maximinus Thrax. John McHugh reassesses this fascinating emperor in detail.
adaptation and expansion
Author: Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis,Michael Alram,Touraj Daryaee,Elizabeth Pendleton
Publisher: Oxbow Books
Although much of the primary information about the Parthian period comes from coins, there has been much new research undertaken over the past few decades into wider aspects of both the Parthian and Sassanian Empires including the Arsacid Parthians, and their material culture. Despite a change of ruling dynasty, the two empires were closely connected and cannot be regarded as totally separate entities. The continuation of Parthian influence particularly into the early Sasanian period cannot be disputed. An historic lack of detailed information arose partly through the relative lack of excavated archaeological sites dating to the Parthian period in Iran and western scholars’ lack of knowledge of recent excavations and their results that are usually published in Persian, coupled with the inevitable difficulties for academic research engendered by the recent political situation in the region. Although an attempt has been made by several scholars in the west to place this important Iranian dynasty in its proper cultural context, the traditional GrecoRoman influenced approach is still prevalent. The present volume presents 15 papers covering various aspects of Parthian and early Sasanian history, material culture, linguistics and religion which demonstrate a rich surviving heritage and provide many new insights into ideology, royal genealogy, social organisation, military tactics, linguistic developments and trading contacts.
Author: David Brakke,Deborah Deliyannis
Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity explores the transformation of classical culture in late antiquity by studying cultures at the borders - the borders of empires, of social classes, of public and private spaces, of literary genres, of linguistic communities, and of the modern disciplines that study antiquity. Although such canonical figures of late ancient studies as Augustine and Ammianus Marcellinus appear in its pages, this book shifts our perspective from the center to the side or the margins. The essays consider, for example, the ordinary Christians whom Augustine addressed, the border regions of Mesopotamia and Vandal Africa, 'popular' or 'legendary' literature, and athletes. Although traditional philology rightly underlies the work that these essays do, the authors, several among the most prominent in the field of late ancient studies, draw from and combine a range of disciplines and perspectives, including art history, religion, and social history. Despite their various subject matters and scholarly approaches, the essays in Shifting Cultural Frontiers coalesce around a small number of key themes in the study of late antiquity: the ambiguous effects of 'Christianization,' the creation of new literary and visual forms from earlier models, the interaction and spread of ideals between social classes, and the negotiation of ethnic and imperial identities in the contact between 'Romans' and 'barbarians.' By looking away from the core and toward the periphery, whether spatially or intellectually, the volume offers fresh insights into how ancient patterns of thinking and creating became reconfigured into the diverse cultures of the 'medieval.'
Author: Touraj Daryaee,Khodadad Rezakhani
Publisher: H&S Media
For a long time, Sasanian studies were mainly cultivated by linguists and historians of religion, and the only standard work on the history of the Sasanian Empire was Arthur Christensen's L'Iran sous les Sassanides (Copenhagen 1936; second revised and expanded edition 1944). Only in recent years, Christensen's authority was challenged: Several new syntheses eventually allowed Late antique scholars to better understand the history and the structure of the great rival of the Roman Empire. However, we still lacked a handy, student-friendly introduction to Sasanians studies. Now, Daryaee and Rezakhani provide us with this very welcome booklet, which I highly recommend to students, to an educated audience, but also to Classical scholars (it's never too late). Giusto Traina, Paris-Sorbonne University
Author: Oliver Nicholson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity is the first comprehensive reference book covering every aspect of history, culture, religion, and life in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East (including the Persian Empire and Central Asia) between the mid-3rd and the mid-8th centuries AD, the era now generally known as Late Antiquity. This period saw the re-establishment of the Roman Empire, its conversion to Christianity and its replacement in the West by Germanic kingdoms, the continuing Roman Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Sassanian Empire, and the rise of Islam. Consisting of over 1.5 million words in more than 5,000 A-Z entries, and written by more than 400 contributors, it is the long-awaited middle volume of a series, bridging a significant period of history between those covered by the acclaimed Oxford Classical Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. The scope of the Dictionary is broad and multi-disciplinary; across the wide geographical span covered (from Western Europe and the Mediterranean as far as the Near East and Central Asia), it provides succinct and pertinent information on political history, law, and administration; military history; religion and philosophy; education; social and economic history; material culture; art and architecture; science; literature; and many other areas. Drawing on the latest scholarship, and with a formidable international team of advisers and contributors, The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity aims to establish itself as the essential reference companion to a period that is attracting increasing attention from scholars and students worldwide.
Film and History
Author: Martin M. Winkler
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
The essays collected in this book present the first comprehensive appreciation of The Fall of the Roman Empire from historical, historiographical, and cinematic perspectives. The book also provides the principal classical sources on the period. It is a companion to Gladiator: Film and History (Blackwell, 2004) and Spartacus: Film and History (Blackwell, 2007) and completes a triad of scholarly studies on Hollywood’s greatest films about Roman history. A critical re-evaluation of the 1964 epic film The Fall of the Roman Empire, directed by Anthony Mann, from historical, film-historical, and contemporary points of view Presents a collection of scholarly essays and classical sources on the period of Roman history that ancient and modern historians have considered to be the turning point toward the eventual fall of Rome Contains a short essay by director Anthony Mann Includes a map of the Roman Empire and film stills, as well as translations of the principal ancient sources, an extensive bibliography, and a chronology of events
Author: Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.
Art and Ritual of Kingship Between Rome and Sasanian Iran
Author: Matthew P. Canepa
Publisher: Univ of California Press
This book is a true tour de force in the scholarship of the late ancient world. Canepa has bridged the traditional divide between Classical and Iranian studies to illuminate the long-running artistic dialogue between the late Roman and Sasanian Empires. Every chapter offers exciting new insights into the development of late antique art and rituals of power."Joel Walker, author of The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq "The Two Eyes of the Earth is a masterly synthesis of a theme of the utmost importance for the political culture of the late antique world."Peter Brown, author of Power and Persuasion "
From The Classical World to the Cold War
Author: James Lacey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
From the legendary antagonism between Athens and Sparta during the Peloponnesian War to the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the past is littered with long-term strategic rivalries. History tells us that such enduring rivalries can end in one of three ways: a series of exhausting conflicts in which one side eventually prevails, as in the case of the Punic Wars between ancient Rome and Carthage, a peaceful and hopefully orderly transition, like the rivalry between Great Britain and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, or a one-sided collapse, such as the conclusion of the Cold War with the fall of the Soviet Union. However, in spite of a wealth of historical examples, the future of state rivalries remains a matter of conjecture. Great Strategic Rivalries explores the causes and implications of past strategic rivalries, revealing lessons for the current geopolitical landscape. Each chapter offers an accessible narrative of a historically significant rivalry, comprehensively covering the political, diplomatic, economic, and military dimensions of its history. Featuring original essays by world-class historians--including Barry Strauss, Geoffrey Parker, Williamson Murray, and Geoffrey Wawro--this collection provides an in-depth look at how interstate relations develop into often violent rivalries and how these are ultimately resolved. Much more than an engaging history, Great Strategic Rivalries contains valuable insight into current conflicts around the globe for policymakers and policy watchers alike.
Author: Touraj Daryaee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This Handbook is a current, comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization. The authors, all leaders in their fields, emphasize the large-scale continuities of Iranian history while also describing the important patterns of transformation that have characterized Iran's past. Each of the chapters focuses on a specific epoch of Iranian history and surveys the general political, social, cultural, and economic issues of that era. The ancient period begins with chapters considering the anthropological evidence of the prehistoric era, through to the early settled civilizations of the Iranian plateau, and continuing to the rise of the ancient Persian empires. The medieval section first considers the Arab-Muslim conquest of the seventh century, and then moves on to discuss the growing Turkish influence filtering in from Central Asia beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The last third of the book covers Iran in the modern era by considering the rise of the Safavid state and its accompanying policy of centralization, the introduction of Shi'ism, the problems of reform and modernization in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, and the revolution of 1978-79 and its aftermath. The book is a collaborative exercise among scholars specializing in a variety of sub-fields, and across a number of disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics, and linguistics. Here, readers can find a reliable and accessible narrative that can serve as an authoritative guide to the field of Iranian studies.
Political Ideology in Post-Hellenistic and Late Antique Persia
Author: M. Rahim Shayegan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Investigates Arsacid and early Sasanian political ideologies through their interplay with Roman policy in the East.
An Ancient Faith Rediscovered
Author: Nicholas J. Baker-Brian
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This is the first general comprehensive introduction to Manichaeism aimed at a non-specialist and undergraduate readership. This study will be a historical and theological introduction to Manichaeism. It will comprise a biographical treatment of the founder Mani, situating his personality, his writings and his ideas within the Aramaic Christian tradition of third century (CE) Mesopotamia. It will provide a historical treatment of the Manichaean church in late antiquity (250-700 CE), detailing the emergence of Manichaeism in the late Roman and Byzantine empires, in addition to examining the continuation of Manichaean traditions in the eastern world (China) up to the thirteenth century and beyond. The book will consider the theology of Mani's system, with the aim of providing a clear-eyed treatment of the cosmogonic, scriptural and ecclesiological ideas forming its foundations. The study will base its analysis on original Manichaean literary sources, together with rehabilitating the representation of Manichaeism in those writings that polemicised against the religion. The study will aim to demonstrate the highly syncretic nature of Manichaeism, and will look to move forward 'traditional' perceptions of the religion as being simply a form of Christian Gnostic Dualism.
The Rise and Fall of an Empire
Author: Touraj Daryaee
Category: Political Science
Of profound importance in late antiquity, the Sasanian Empire is virtually unknown today, except as a counterpoint to the Roman Empire. In this highly readable history, Touraj Daryaee fills a significant gap in our knowledge of world history. He examines the Sasanians’ complex and colourful narrative and demonstrates their unique significance, not only for the development of Iranian civilization but also for Roman and Islamic history. The Sasanians were the last of the ancient Persian dynasties and are best known as the pre-eminent practitioners of the Zoroastrian religion. Founded by Ardashir I in 224 CE, the Sasanian Empire was the dominant force in the Middle East for several centuries until its last king, Yazdgerd III, was defeated by the Muslim Arabs in the seventh century. In this concise yet comprehensive new book, Touraj Daryaee provides an unrivalled account of SasanianPersia. Drawing on extensive new sources, he paints a vivid portrait of Sasanian life and unravels the divergent strands that contributed to the making of this great empire. 'A masterpiece of research and will be the last word on Sasanian Iran in all of its aspects' - Richard N. Frye, Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies, Harvard University
Islam’s First Great General
Author: Richard A. Gabriel
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
That Muhammad succeeded as a prophet is undeniable; a prominent military historian now suggests that he might not have done so had he not also been a great soldier. Best known as the founder of a major religion, Muhammad was also Islam’s first great general. While there have been numerous accounts of Muhammad the Prophet, this is the first military biography of the man. In Muhammad: Islam’s First Great General, Richard A. Gabriel shows us a warrior never before seen in antiquity—a leader of an all-new religious movement who in a single decade fought eight major battles, led eighteen raids, and planned thirty-eight other military operations. Gabriel’s study portrays Muhammad as a revolutionary who introduced military innovations that transformed armies and warfare throughout the Arab world. Gabriel analyzes the environment in which Muhammad lived and the religion he inspired as they relate to his military achievements. Gabriel explains how Muhammad changed the social composition of Arab armies by replacing traditional ways of fighting with a new command structure. Muhammad’s transformation of Arab warfare enabled his successors to establish the core of the Islamic empire—an accomplishment that, Gabriel argues, would have been militarily impossible without Muhammad’s innovations. Richard A. Gabriel challenges existing scholarship on Muhammad’s place in history and offers a viewpoint not previously attempted.
Attitudes toward Foreigners in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China
Author: Mu-chou Poo,Mu-chou Poo Muzhou Pu
Publisher: SUNY Press
Looks at how foreigners were regarded in three ancient civilizations, finding that cultural, not biophysical, differences were key in distinguishing "us" from "them."
Systems of East Roman Diplomacy in Late Antiquity
Author: Ekaterina Nechaeva
Publisher: Franz Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden gmbh
This book offers an original approach to late Roman/early Byzantine diplomacy as a system. Assessing both official and clandestine perspectives, Ekaterina Nechaeva examines the working mechanisms of this diplomatic machine and reveals the 'block' organization of embassies as a basic feature of international communication. Negotiations were split into several phases and accompanied by elaborate protocol and rich ceremony. Gift exchange and the distribution of insignia comprised a vital part of the diplomatic process. What were the semantics of these symbolic acts? The study accents the status significance of such donations. Ambassadors, who embodied high-level diplomacy, delivered gifts, led talks, and mediated international dialogue. Who were these envoys? How dangerous and adventurous were their missions? What were these expeditions like? How did they travel and how far? Nechaeva scrutinizes these and further questions by investigating the practices of ambassadorial business. Throughout the book the analysis of secret negotiations, the intelligence system and spy activities of envoys, plots and political murders reveals the shadowy side of diplomacy.