Friday, 28 March 2014

Nicholas Sims-Williams and his research on the Sogdian language and literature

Ancient India and Iran Trust Easter Term Lectures

25 April: Geoffrey Greatrex (Ottawa) 
  Procopius’ Persian Tales: entertainment, history or morality fable?

Geoffrey Greatrex will consider the opening chapters of the Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea’s Persian Wars, in which he introduces his theme, the wars fought between the Romans and Sasanian Persians in the sixth century A.D. He recounts a series of intriguing stories about the Persian court and Persian history in the fifth and early sixth centuries. The puzzle remains as to how seriously these tales should be taken…
9 May: Nina Mirnig
on the Inscriptions of the Kathmandu Valley (details tbc)
 – Special Event for Friends of the Trust –
16 May: Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS)
Go east, young man! A personal journey
In this informal talk the Chair of the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Nicholas Sims-Williams will describe his research on the Sogdian language and literature, in particular on the Christian texts from the Turfan oasis in Western China, and will try to answer a question which he is often asked: What led you to study such an obscure subject?
23 May: Touraj Daryaee (UCI)

The Sasanian Empire as a Garden: The Walls and Rivers of the Sasanian Empire

This lecture looks at the physical and ideological boundaries which the Sasanians created for the idea of Iranshahr. In this late antique construct, inside the empire, protected by walls and rivers was imagined as a garden where order and beauty was in existence. Outside of the walls and the rivers it was seen as place of wilderness and disorder. This binary division was at the centre of Sasanian ideology which projected peace and power inside, while danger for its people lay outside of its boundaries.
Lectures begin at 5.30pm with refreshments from 5pm.
23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG
Please note:  For the Friends’ event on 16 May, booking is required.  To book, or to become a Friend, please contact the Administrator tel. 01223 356841 or e-mail:

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