Payne, Richard. 2015. A state of mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian political culture in late antiquity. University of California Press.
Christian communities flourished during late antiquity in a Zoroastrian political system, as the Iranian Empire integrated culturally and geographically disparate territories from Arabia to Afghanistan into its institutions and networks. Whereas previous studies have regarded Christians as marginal, insular, and often persecuted participants in this empire, Richard Payne demonstrates their integration into elite networks, adoption of Iranian political practices and imaginaries, and participation in imperial institutions.
Richard Payne is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago