Graduate Papers

The Arab Conquest of Persia: The Khūzistān Province before and after the Muslims’ Triumph

Author:
Saeid Jalalipour, California State University, Fullerton

During the first two centuries after the appearance of Islam, the Arab Muslims created a vast empire that stretched from Spain and North Africa all the way to the borders of China and India.  Iraq and the Iranian plateau were among the first to be conquered.  In May-June of 633 CE, Ḵāled b. al-Walīd was among the first to raid the rich region of Iraq that belonged to the Sasanian Empire. After a series of battles, he defeated the Sasanians and their Arab allies and took over the Sawād.  During the next couple of years Muslims’ raids intensified and eventually in 636 CE, Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās crushed the Persians in the Battle of Qādesīya and took over their capital, Ctesiphon.

Masculinity and Militant Piety in Defying Yazdgerd II

Author:
Arnold Alahverdian, University of California, Irvine

Through a collective study of the gendered narratives of a group of Sasanian martyrologies, this paper demonstrates the usefulness and necessity of a more inclusive treatment of Christian hagiographical literature in studying the Late Antique world. The Sasanian king Yazdgerd II (r. 438-457 CE) sought to further centralize and homogenize his domain by demanding that community leaders in his empire adhere to the Zoroastrian religion. Martyr texts respond to Yazdgerd’s policies by producing more radical and defiant narratives. By setting the gendered narratives of Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian hagiographies as the starting point of analysis, this study illustrates the different manifestations of masculine prowess and militancy through their association with virtue and piety in these texts.

A Study of the Sasanian Province of Khūzistān at the Time of Muslim Conquest in the Seventh Century

Author:
Saeid Jalalipour, California State University, Fullerton

This research aims to fill the gap in the current historiography and to try to reconstruct the political, administrative, and geographical situations that were present in Khūzistān during this transitional period. The extent of Khūzistān’s importance in both the late Sasanian and the early Islamic times, along with the process of conquest are addressed in this research. This introduction into the Muslim conquest of Khūzistān aims to contribute to the understanding of the conquest of Ērānšahr as a whole in order to compare it with the conquest of other Sasanian provinces such as Fārs, Sīstān, and Iraq.