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Oct. 30: Richard Payne

You are cordially invited to this week’s Persian Circle:

Richard Payne

Assistant Professor at the Oriental Institute

The Saints of Mount Bisutun: Christianizing an Icon of Iranian Imperialism

Wed. Oct. 30, 5:00pm
Pick 222
5828 South University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Richard Payne is a historian of the Iranian world in Late Antiquity, ca 200 – 800 CE. His research focuses primarily on the dynamics of Iranian imperialism, specifically how the Iranian (or Sasanian) Empire successfully integrated socially, culturally, and geographically disparate populations from Arabia to Afganistan into enduring poltical networks and institutions. His current book project, A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and the Making of the Iranian Empire, explores the problem of religious diversity within the empire, showing how Syriac-writing Christians could create a place for themselves in a poltical culture not of their own making. He has published articles on the role of Zoroastrian cosmology on Iranian political thought and practice as well as on the history of Christian communities after the Islamic conquests, among other topics.

After studying at Red Rocks Community College and University of Colorado at Boulder (2004 BA, Classics, summa cum laude), he completed a doctorate in history at Princeton University in 2009. He subsequently taught ancient and medieval history at the Universität Konstanz, the University of Cambridge, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College before coming to the University of Chicago. For his work, Richard has been awarded the Bliss Prize from Dumbarton Oaks, the Crisp Fellowship from Phi Beta Kappa, a research fellowship from the DAAD, and a visiting research scholarship from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. He has also been elected a research fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

The talk will be in English, and all are encouraged to join! Hope to see you there!

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