The Parthian and Early Sasanian Empires: Adaptation and Expansion

Pendleton, Elizabeth,  Touraj Daryaee, Michael Alram & Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis (eds.). 2016. The Parthian and Early Sasanian Empires: Adaptation and Expansion. Proceeding of a Conference Held in Vienna, 14-16 June 2012.  Oxbow Books.

Although much of the primary information about the Parthian period comes from coins, there has been much new research undertaken over the past few decades into wider aspects of both the Parthian and Sasanian Empires including the  Arsacid Parthians, and their material culture. Despite a change of ruling dynasty, the two empires were closely connected and cannot be regarded as totally separate entities. The continuation of Parthian influence particularly into the early Sasanian period cannot be disputed. An historic lack of detailed information arose partly through the relative lack of excavated archaeological sites dating to the Parthian period in Iran and western scholars’ lack of knowledge of recent excavations and their results that are usually published in Persian, coupled with the inevitable difficulties for academic research engendered by the recent political situation in the region. Although an attempt has been made by several scholars in the west to place this important Iranian dynasty in its proper cultural context, the traditional GrecoRoman influenced approach is still prevalent.  The present volume presents 15 papers covering various aspects of Parthian and early Sasanian history, material culture, linguistics and religion which demonstrate a rich surviving heritage and provide many new insights into ideology, royal genealogy, social organisation, military tactics, linguistic developments and trading contacts.

Table of Contents

Jérôme Gaslain
Some aspects of political history: early Arsacid kings and the Seleucids
M. Rahim Shayegan
The Arsacids and Commagene
Marek Jan Olbrycht
Dynastic connections in the Arsacid empire and the origins of the House of Sāsān
Touraj Daryaee
Mehrdad Ghodrat-Dizaji
Remarks on the location of the province of Parthia in the Sasanian period
Andrea Gariboldi
The birth of the Sasanian monarchy in western sources
Antonio Panaino
Kirdēr and the re-organisation of Persian Mazdeism
Rika Gyselen
The Parthian language in early Sasanian times
Khodadad Rezakhani
Daryoosh Akbarzadeh
Parthian Studies: Two New Notes
Antonio Invernizzi
A Note on Architectural Traditions in Arsacid Parthia: The Round Hall at Nisa
Barbara Kaim
Women, dance and the hunt: splendour and pleasures of court life in Arsacid and early Sasanian art
Pierre-Yves Boillet
Quantifying monetary production: Ecbatana and Media in Parthian times
Nikolaus Schindel
The coinages of Paradan and Sind in the context of Kushan and Kushano-Sasanian numismatics