Review: The millennial sovereign

Truschke, Audrey. 2014. Review of Afzar Moin: The millennial sovereign: Sacred kingship and sainthood in Islam. New York: Columbia University Press. International Journal of Middle East Studies 46. 809–842.

The Millennial Sovereign recovers a shared world of sacred kingship that pervaded India, Iran, and Central Asia in early modernity. A. Azfar Moin argues that a Timurid-based social dispensation produced a particular type of sovereignty in which a ruler promoted his political claims largely through embodied spiritual practices.

Read the review here.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

DSC02578_smallI want to express my gratitude to all who came to St Andrews for the workshop. Your presence, the excellent contributions and the stimulating discussions all made the workshop a wonderful success. Thank you.As we have seen, St Andrews is the right place for this type of workshop, and the Institute of Iranian Studies has proven this a number of times. Let’s hope we can keep up this work and turn it into a tradition. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the Sattaripour Foundation, BIPS, School of History and School of Classics.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

This interdisciplinary workshop, organised by the Institute of Iranian Studies (University of St Andrews), seeks to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in pre-Islamic Iran.

Date: June 12–13, 2014
Convener: Arash Zeini
Sponsors: BIPS, IIS, SoH and SAIMS

For more information, see the workshop’s website.

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.

Speaker: Arash Zeini
Where: University of St Andrews, School of Classics, Swallowgate, S11.
When: 14 May 2014, 17:30

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.

Speaker: Arash Zeini
Where: University of St Andrews, School of Classics, Swallowgate, S11.
When: 07 May 2014, 17:30

Public lecture I

Persepolis1. 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.

Speaker: Arash Zeini
Where: University of St Andrews, School of Classics, Swallowgate, S11.
When: 30 April 2014, 17:30.