Call for Papers – Persia and Arabia in Late Antiquity: Bridging the Ancient and Islamic, 17-20 Nov. 2021, deadline : 15 March 2021

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Scholarship has long recognized late antiquity as a transitional period separating the worlds of antiquity from those of the middle ages. For Persia and Arabia, late antiquity is historiographically divided, if not bookmarked, by the emergence of the Islamic faith and conquest of the Sassanian Empire. On the one hand, this historiographical division gives the impression that Islam as a political and religious phenomenon was a definitive rupture between Sassanian and Islamic Persia. On the other hand, pre-Islamic Arabia has received rather scant scholarly attention in comparison with its Byzantine and Sassanian neighbors. This session aims to bridge the historiographical divide by exploring elements of late antique Arabia and Persia that do not map conveniently onto political and religious history. The session is open to topics on the history, art history, and archaeology of late antiquity in Arabia and Persia (200-800 C.E.), especially those with a focus on cultural continuities between the pre-Islamic and ‘early’ Islamic period.


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