In the past four decades since the field of late antique studies began to gather real momentum, scholars have debated the place of early Islam within the late antique world, particularly in relation to the issue of where and when 'Late Antiquity' ends. Although the Sasanian empire (in what is now modern Iran) became equally powerful as the Byzantine empire, and the two often forged their characters and practices on the basis of their relations with each other, that has rarely translated into equal coverage for the eastern part of the late antique world in studies of the period. Late Antiquity: Eastern Perspectives aims to redress this balance and situate Iran with the broader world of this era. Eight papers serve as case studies for considering narratives and perspectives other than those emanating from Byzantium or, more generally, 'the West'. They demonstrate the potential of eastern source-material, particularly James Howard-Johnston's double-length article which produces a detailed reconstruction of the Sasanian army.
1. Introduction (Adam Silverstein and Teresa Bernheimer) 2. A New Look At Mazdak (Francois de Blois) 3. Buddhism As Ancient Iranian Paganism (Patricia Crone) 4. Eastern Sources On The Roman And Persian War In The Near East 540-545 (Michael R. Jackson Bonner) 5. Collaborators And Dissidents: Christians In Sasanian Iraq In The Early Fifth Century CE (Philip Wood) 6. The Khurasan Corpus Of Arabic Documents (Geoffrey Khan) 7. The Late Sasanian Army (James Howard-Johnston) 8. Urban Militias In The Eastern Islamic World (Third-Fourth Centuries Ah/Ninth-Tenth Centuries CE) (Luke Treadwell) 9. The Long Shadow Of Pre-Islamic Iranian Rulership: Antagonism Or Assimilation? (D. G. Tor)