Iran Between Alexander and Islam: Contesting the Global Idea of Iranian Kingship in the Hellenized and Iranian Near East, Central and South Asia, 330 BCE- 642 CE


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


Art History


This is a study of formation and global impact of Iranian kingship. It considers the reciprocal vocation of art and ritual in expressing power among ancient Iranian peoples and empires, both within and beyond the geographical boundaries of present-day Iran, from Alexander's conquest of Iran in the fourth century BCE, through the advent of Islam in the seventh century C.E. In doing so, it examines how, during this dynamic—yet problematic—period, Iranian powers including the Parthians, Scythians, Kushans, and Sasanians, reinvented and contested the idea of the righteous, universal “Aryan” sovereign while appropriating and countering the visual and ideological challenges of their non-Iranian neighbors in the Mediterranean and South Asia.