This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to recover the social and political circumstances of worldly Christians and the perspectives of the Zoroastrian elites whose positions were always supreme in Iranian political culture. It substitutes a triangular relationship among ecclesiastical leaders, Christian secular elites, and Zoroastrian authorities in place of the binaries that East Syrian texts rhetorically constructed. The goal is not to unmask the agendas of East Syrian authors and leaders but rather to demonstrate the interplay of their literary constructions with the shifting social and political structures and relationships in their communities. The remainder of the chapter discusses the empire known in Middle Persian as Ērānšahr, “the Iranian Empire,” the most enduring and territorially extensive imperial system in the ancient Near East; the Church of the East and its institutions; and Christian and Zoroastrian texts and their contexts.
California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.