The blog

  • Interreligious Dialogue in Medieval Bamiyan

    Historical documents, as opposed to narrative and religious primary source material, are an invaluable resource for the historical study of daily life and ordinary people. Micro-historical research, thus moves away from panoptic imperial historiography and often focuses on the history of smaller states, economies and even private lives. In general, and if enough documentary material […]

  • Bahari Research Fellow

    As of today, I continue my work at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford, as a senior ‘Bahari Research Fellow’. I resume work on my usual research topics: Zoroastrianism in late antiquity and epistolary traditions within the Iranian world. I’m grateful to Yuhan Vevaina for the friendship, opportunity & the […]

  • Berkeley Working Papers in Middle Iranian Philology

    Adam Benkato and I have finally launched our journal, Berkeley Working Papers in Middle Iranian Philology, where we intend to publish short and longer articles or research reports on the philology and epigraphy of the Middle Iranian languages (Middle Persian, Parthian, Bactrian, Sogdian, Chorasmian, Khotanese). We start the Working Papers with issue 0, Towards a […]

  • Mastodon

    I am about to finally close my Twitter account. Maybe I use this moment to be off social media entirely, but if not, I will continue over at Mastodon.

  • The birth of the abestāg

    I am delighted to be giving a lecture as part of the Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series on 11 January 2023. I will talk about the role of the Sasanians and philology in the creation and transmission of the abestāg, which is my preferred term for the collection of the texts we have come to know […]

  • Book Award

    I am delighted and honoured to be the recipient of the inaugural AIS Book Prize for Ancient Iranian Studies for my book, Zoroastrian Scholasticism in Late Antiquity: The Pahlavi version of the Yasna Haptaŋhāiti. The prize was announced at the 13th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference, which took place in Salamanca, Spain. As I have said […]

  • Were Sogdians Iranian?

    This question is being discussed on Twitter, and I was tagged to respond. I honestly don’t know how to do it in a meaningful way on Twitter, as embedded responses are often lost and not seen. I stay away from sub-tweets and believe this topic is too hot to be touched on Twitter anyway :) […]

  • There and back again

    Reading ‘The Hobbit’ has not been as rewarding as I expected. I was hoping for an epic journey, one that I can read and reread, one that will make me restless, but it has not felt right. Maybe it’s an age thing. Still, maybe it has had an effect, for I’ve been thinking about mountains […]

  • Not on Twitter

    I have been thinking about leaving Twitter for a while now. Not for one, but for many reasons which are not important. I joined Twitter in 2013 and a couple of years later deleted my Facebook account. I have never regretted that decision and feel the time has come to make a soft exit on […]

  • Zoroastrian Scholasticism

    The paperback of my book is here! You can order a copy from the Edinburgh University Press. I am grateful to the series editor, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, for giving this book a home and to the editors at the EUP for guiding me through the publication process. I list the reviews of my book here, and […]

  • Voice, privilege and writing

    The debate about privilege and representing others in writing fascinates me. Who gets to be whose voice? How do you represent others and what role do publishers play in these debates? Does art need to node to the vagaries of social media? Can art provoke? If so, what are the limits, who defines them and […]

  • Roma in the Medieval Islamic World

    Today we had Kristina Richardson, @krisrich, speak to us at the @invisible_east. She delivered a fascinating lecture based on her recent book, which has opened my eyes to a large set of theoretical questions to be asked in the study of ancient and late antique history of any geography.