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Actualizing Cultural Memory: Persia in the Middle and Late Byzantine Tradition

Prof. Rustam Shukurov: Visiting Scholar, School of History, University of St. Andrews, UK (formerly of Moscow State University))
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
4:00-5:30 PM
130 Tappan Hall Map
In the writings of modern scholars, Iran seemingly disappears from the pages of Byzantine history following the Muslim conquest of the Sasanian Empire. Starting from the seventh century, interactions between Byzantium and the Orient are typically described as relations with Arabs and various Turkic polities. However, according to my hypothesis, Iran did not vanish from the intellectual purview of the Byzantines. They remained cognizant of Persia and were aware of the rise of Neo-Persian culture. This paper discusses Byzantine knowledge of Persia during the middle and late Byzantine periods, as well as the impact of Persian culture on Byzantine social and cultural life. In Byzantine culture, Persia is mostly featured as an element of cultural memory. Simultaneously, Neo-Persian culture—in the realms of belles-lettres, art, technology, trade, and so forth—exerted a visible influence on the Byzantine world.

Rustam Shukurov, PhD, Dr. Habil. in History (2012), is a Visiting Researcher at the University of St Andrews. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1984 and worked there for more than 30 years as a lecturer in Byzantine and Medieval studies. He has published several monographs, translations, and articles on Byzantium, Iranian and Turkic History, including The Grand Komnenoi and the Orient, 1204–1461 (Moscow, 2001) and The Byzantine Turks, 1204–1461 (Leiden; Boston, 2016).
Building: Tappan Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Byzantium, In Person, Intercultural Exchange, Iran, Lecture, Textual And Visual Tradition
Source: Happening @ Michigan from History of Art, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)