Prof. Rustam Shukurov
Abstract In the writings of modern scholars, after the Muslim conquest of the Sasanian Empire, Iran as if disappears from the pages of the subsequent history of Byzantium. Starting with the seventh century, we describe the interrelations of Byzantium with the Orient as those with the Arabs and different Turkic polities. However, according to my hypothesis, Iran did not vanish from the intellectual space of the Byzantines who did not forget about Persia and were aware about the rise of Neo-Persian culture. The paper discusses the knowledge about Persia in middle and late Byzantium and the impact of Persian culture upon Byzantine social and cultural life. Persia featured in Byzantine culture mostly as an element of cultural memory. At the same time, Neo-Persian culture (belles-lettres, art, technology, trade and so forth) visibly influenced the Byzantine world. The paper focuses also on the role of the Byzantine image of Persian history in the formation of the modern Iranian self-identity patterns.
Keywords Byzantium, Iran, textual and visual tradition, cultural memory, intercultural exchange