The Sasanian Empire in Light of its Material Culture

The course will focus on selected topics in social, religious and cultural history of Iran in the Sasanian period (third-seventh centuries CE). The Sasanian Empire was the summit of the pre-Islamic Iranian civilization and a place of special importance is reserved for its legacy in Iranian history and culture even today. We shall focus mostly on the primary sources and the material culture. We shall discuss the urban planning, the architecture, the Sasanian royal inscriptions and rock reliefs, iconography of coins and seals.