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Sasanian Persia wins the BRISMES Prize

12/03/10 Source: I.B.Tauris

I.B.Tauris is pleased to announce that Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Touraj Daryaee is one of three winners of this year's British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies.

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The Sasanians were the last of the ancient Persian dynasties, and the largest empire to espouse Zoroastrianism, before the encounter with the Arabs swept away the pre-Islamic institutions. Using new sources, Touraj Daryaee provides a portrait of the empire's often negelcted social history, exploring the development of political and administrative institutions from foundation by Ardashir I to the last king, Yasdegerd III, and the attempts of his descendants to re-estabish a second state for almost a century after.

The prize is awarded by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and was announced at a ceremony on Monday. Declaring the book "a masterpiece" the judges of the prize commented that it is "a very fine book indeed" and "offers a timely counterpart to Eurocentricity which has distorted the study of antiquity...[in] an extremely erudite book...the author wears his learning lightly, showing an enviable ability to distinguish the wood from the trees and write in a reader friendly manner".

Touraj Daryaee

Two other I.B.Tauris books were also shortlisted for the prize - The Emergence of Modern Istanbul by Murat Gul and The Great Caliphs by Amira K. Bennison.

The prizes of up to £10,000 are awarded every year for the best scholarly work in English on the Middle East which has been published first in the UK. Books are judged on their originality, clarity, accessibility and their importance to the field. For more details, please see the BRISMES website.

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