Mehdy Shaddel Basir
I am a specialist in the political, religious, and socio-economic history of the late ancient Near East.
My work has covered such ground as the Arabic historical tradition, non-Muslim sources for early Islam, the Muslim conquests, the Quran, the monetary and numismatic history of the early Muslim empire, Arabic epigraphy and papyrology, and apocalypticism in early Islam.
Here at Leiden, I am part of a project entitled, ‘Keepers of the Flame: The Reconfiguration of the Zoroastrian Priesthood in Sasanian and Early Islamic Times’. My responsibility within this project is mapping the metamorphosis of Zoroastrianism, and especially the Zoroastrian priesthood, over the course of the first four Islamic centuries (roughly 651-1078 CE).
Broadly speaking, my interests include the rise and early history of Islam, Zoroastrianism in the early Islamic period, late ancient religion, apocalypticism, comparative empires and state formation, world-systems analysis, early modern European intellectual history, and Marxist historiography. In my spare time, I occasionally write on current affairs (mostly politics, but also the issues plaguing today’s academy).
(For a full list, please visit my academia.edu page)
1. ‘Studia onomastica coranica: al-raqīm, caput Nabataeae’, Journal of Semitic Studies 62 (2017): pp. 303-318.
2. ‘The Sufyānī in Early Islamic Kerygma: An Enquiry into His Origins and Early Development’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 27 (2017): pp. 403-434.
3. ‘ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Zubayr and the Mahdī: Between Propaganda and Historical Memory in the Second Civil War’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 80 (2017): pp. 1-19.
4. ‘Qurʾānic ummī: Genealogy, Ethnicity, and the Foundation of a New Community’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 43 (2016): pp. 1-60.