Sasanian Iran: A Personal View

I will discuss how I came to write The Last Empire of Iran and why. My main motivation was to portray the Sasanian state as the great world power that it was, and to situate it properly between Rome and the nomad powers of Inner Asia. The talk will address the classicising and Perso-Arabic historiographical traditions, but special emphasis will be given to Armenian and Syriac sources also. Discussion will cover some of the key themes of the book, including: the origins of the Sasanian state; the wider context of Eurasian history; interactions between Iran and the world of the steppe; and, finally, historiographical problems and the use of sources.

The Author's Voice lecture series is hosted by Sabine Schmidtke (School of Historical Studies, IAS) and George A. Kiraz (School of Historical Studies, IAS and Editor-in-Chief, Gorgias Press) in cooperation with Angelos Chaniotis (School of Historical Studies, IAS).

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Michael R. Jackson Bonner


Canadian writer, political adviser and independent historian of Iran