Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft

Richard Payne will be developing dimensions of his current book project, The First Iranians: Religion, Empire, and Ethnicity in Late Antiquity, relevant to the question of mobility at the heart of the concerns of the DFG project. He focuses, in particular, on how the nascent Iranian court in the third century channeled aristocratic movement in ways that facilitated the consolidation of its rule and the propagation of its novel, Iranian ideology. It did so principally through the revival of military campaigning and the organization of large-scale, collective feasts, both traditional Parthian institutions endowed with new significance – and systematicity. He locates some of the monumental constructions characteristic of the early Iranian regime within these patterns of movement and mobility, as interventions of the court aimed precisely at channeling aristocratic men in directions sustaining the new imperial project. At the same time, he is completing an overview of Iranian history for the Oxford History of the Roman World as well as an edited volume on inequality and culture in the ancient world.

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