Public lecture Ⅲ

03_J2_YH353. The return of the Avesta

It has been argued that the adoption of the Zoroastrian religious world view by the Sasanians was instrumental in maintaining the nobility’s loyalty to the goals of the empire. Most arguments in favour of this view, however, derive from examinations of source material dating from the early Islamic era. This lecture will revisit the pertinent arguments and further discuss previously unexplored textual material.

14 May 2014, University of St Andrews, Swallowgate, S11, 17:30 PM

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Public lecture Ⅱ

02_Ardashir_investiture2. The Sasanian Empire and religious authority: The case of Zoroastrianism

As one of the major political and economic powers in the region, the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE) elevated Zoroastrianism to the dominant religious and cultural force within its polity, bringing to the foreground the question of the interaction between religion and sovereignty in the Sasanian era. By providing an historical overview this lecture highlights the dynamics between political and religious authority during the Sasanian era.

07 May 2014, University of St Andrews, Swallowgate, S11, 17:30

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Public lecture Ⅰ

01_Persepolis_Giftbearing1. Mythical kings, empire and multiculturalism: The case of the Achaemenids

The Achaemenids (550–330 BCE) ruled over a vast and multicultural empire, encompassing numerous indigenous and conquered traditions. How did these various groups co-exist in the administration of the empire and influence Achaemenid ideals of kingship? This lecture will explore relevant Zoroastrian topoi and examine their afterlife in the Achaemenid era.

30 April 2014, University of St Andrews, Swallowgate, S11, 17:30

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This site has been restructured to serve as a communication platform covering all activities related to the project of ‘Kingship in Ancient Iran’.

The programme of the workshop is available here.

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Kingship in Ancient Iran

An interdisciplinary workshop
12–13 June 2014, University of St Andrews

This interdisciplinary workshop seeks to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in pre-Islamic Iran. Its ultimate aim will be to offer invited experts from a wide range of disciplines a venue to exchange perspectives, exploring how recent developments in Iranian Studies and neighbouring disciplines may reshape our understanding of ancient Iranian forms of sovereignty. Although the Sasanian kings’ attempts to define themselves as the heirs of the Achaemenid dynasty and the rivalries with the Roman Empire offer a rich backdrop against which the idea of kingship and religious authority can be examined, our discussions will extend beyond this era and will be organized thematically to examine the cultural memory of ancient Iranian kingship in the Islamic era; political as well as art historical perspectives; court culture; shifts of gravity between sovereignty and religious authority; the interactions of religious minority communities with the image of the Sasanian kings and finally the reflections of imperial aspirations in the Middle Persian tradition, including exegetical literature.

The keynote lecture will be delivered by Prof. Shaked.

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