Richard Payne (Section 01)
(Offered as HIST 292 [MEP] and ALSC 292 [WA]). This course examines the equally profound continuities and discontinuities in the history of Iran from the Achaemenids to the Mongols. We will trace the rise of the ancient Iranian empires and their promotion of Zoroastrianism before turning to the Arab, Turkish, and Mongol conquests and the Islamization of Iranian society. In addition to exploring patterns of religious, cultural and social change in Iranian history, we will discuss the extent to which the inheritance of antiquity in Iran, Central Asia, and beyond constituted a discrete unity--an Iranian world--within the medieval Middle East. Sources will include classics of Persian and Arabic literature, not least the Book of Kings. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Professor Payne (Mt. Holyoke College).