Recorded: December 2, 2020
Event: Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series
by Michael Jackson Bonner
Sasanian Iran: A Personal View
This talk focuses on topics included in Dr. Bonner’s new book, The Last Empire of Iran, a narrative history of Sasanian Persia. Throughout this lecture, Dr. Bonner shares with the audience the impetus for writing this book. The principle motivation for the monograph was to portray the Sasanian state as the great world power that it was and to situate it properly between Rome and the nomad powers of Inner Asia. It addresses the classicising and Perso-Arabic historiographical traditions, but special emphasis has also been given to Armenian and Syriac sources. Discussions cover some of the key themes of the book, including: the origins of the Sasanian state; the wider context of Eurasian history; interactions between Iran and the world of the steppe; and, finally, historiographical problems and the use of sources.
About the Speaker
Dr. Michael Jackson Bonner is a Canadian political adviser and historian of Iran. A former classicist and student of James Howard-Johnston and Robert Hoyland, he read for a master’s degree and doctorate in late-antique Iranian history at the University of Oxford. Dr. Bonner has advised members of Cabinet in both federal and provincial Canadian governments, and is now a Director of Policy within the Government of Ontario.