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Rabbis, Sorcerers, Kings, and PriestsThe Culture of the Talmud in Ancient Iran$
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Jason Sion Mokhtarian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286207

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286207.001.0001

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Rabbis and Sasanian Kings in Dialogue

Rabbis and Sasanian Kings in Dialogue

(p.74) 4 Rabbis and Sasanian Kings in Dialogue
Rabbis, Sorcerers, Kings, and Priests

Jason Sion Mokhtarian

University of California Press

The Talmud includes around two dozen passages about the Arsacid or Sasanian monarchs Ardawan IV, Shapur I, Shapur II, Yazdegird I, and Peroz. This chapter researches the Talmudic texts that describe the rabbis and Persian kings in dialogue with one another. Although the sage-king dialogues do not contain direct citations from Middle Persian sources, they nevertheless were influenced by the Sasanian Empire’s historiography and propaganda about the deeds of these monarchs. As this chapter shows, the Persian context affects the way in which the Talmud depicts the monarchs as symbols of authority.

Keywords:   Ardawan IV, Shapur I, Shapur II, Yazdegird I, Sasanian kings, Middle Persian historiography, Sasanian propaganda

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