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ReOrienting the Sasanians

East Iran in Late Antiquity

Khodadad Rezakhani

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A narrative history of Central Asia after the Greek dynasties and before Islam

Central Asia is commonly imagined as the marginal land on the periphery of Chinese and Middle Eastern civilisations. At best, it is understood as a series of disconnected areas that served as stop-overs along the Silk Road.

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List of Illustrations
Series Editor's Preface
Chapter I: Sasanians and the Sistanis
Chapter 2. Kushans and the Sasanians
Chapter 3. Kushano-Sasanians in East Iran
Chapter 4. The Iranian Huns and the Kidarites
Chapter 5. The Alkhans in the Southern Hindu Kush
Chapter 6. The Hepthalite 'Empire' and its Successors
Chapter 7. Sogdiana in the Kidardite and Hepthalite Periods
Chapter 8. The Ne¯zak and Turk Periods
Chapter 9. Tokharestan and Sogdiana in the Late Sasanian Period
General Conclusions and Postscript
Epilogue and Excursus on the Shahnameh

About the Author

Khodadad Rezakhani is an Associate Research Scholar at the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-RahmanI Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University.


When it comes to the Sasanian Empire, most of our attention is turned toward its western neighbour, the Roman Empire. Khodadad Rezakhani has produced a brilliant synthesis and narrative of East Iran, showing how important the other side of the Sasanian Empire was for understanding Iranian and Eurasian history in Late Antiquity. This book must be read not only to understand the Sasanian World, but also to form a wider perspective of late antique history in general.

- Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine

Overall, Rezakhani’s book is easy to read and vividly illustrated through the many maps and illustrations (mainly coins).

- Tino Shahin, Bonn, Plekos
Despite slogging through difficult terrain, the book makes for a shockingly smooth read. Any difficulties following the complicated historical narrative is helpfully relieved by the clear and comprehensive conclusions furnished at the end of each chapter. Rezakhani is explicit about the limits of the evidence, and does an enviable job producing a narrative history despite these constraints... Rezakhani skillfully guides the reader through uncharted territories, and successfully centers East Iran as a subject worthy of study in its own right.
- Simcha Gross, University of California, Irvine, Ancient Jew Review

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