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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