M. Rahim Shayegan

Fellow: Awarded 2013

Field of Study: Classics

Competition: US & Canada

M. Rahim Shayegan is associate professor of Iranian, and director of the Program of Iranian Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC) at UCLA, where he was the inaugural holder of the Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian (2005–2009). He received his B.A. from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his M.A. from the University of Sorbonne, followed by Ph.D. work at the University of Göttingen. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, before joining the NELC faculty at UCLA.

His research concentrates on Iranian languages, literary traditions, and history in (late) antiquity and the early medieval period, and pays special heed to interactions between Mesopotamia and Iran, as well as Greco-Roman and Iranian cultural and ideological exchanges. He has authored and co-edited several books, among them Arsacids and  Sasanians: Political Ideology in Post-Hellenistic and Late Antique Persia (Cambridge UP, 2011); Aspects of History and Epic in Ancient Iran (Center for Hellenic Studies—Harvard UP, 2012); The Talmud in Its Iranian Context (co-editor, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010); and Persia beyond the Oxus (guest editor, Bulletin of the Asia Institute, 2012). He is currently preparing a new edition and translation of the Sasanian royal and private inscriptions (third and fourth century CE), and a book on early Achaemenid history (sixth century BCE).

Under the auspices of the Guggenheim Fellowship, he shall be working on the first installment of a multivolume study on the history of the Sasanian empire (third to seventh century CE), the last great oriental power of late antiquity and most formidable opponent of Rome, which at its height ruled over much of Central Asia and the Near East.