The Ehsan Yarshater Book Award

The purpose of this award is to advance the scholarship on Ancient Iranian Civilization and its cognate fields. Professor Ehsan Yarshater is an internationally recognized scholar who has made a major contribution to the field of Iranian Studies. The ISIS Council designated Professor Yarshater an honorary member in 1999. The deadline for nominations for the 2016 award is December 31, 2015. The award will be given out at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Biennial Conference in Vienna.


2016 Award Committee

  • Franklin Lewis (Professor, University of Chicago)
  • Amélie Kuhrt (Professor emerita, University College London)
  • Carlo Cereti (Professor, Sapienza University, Rome)
  • Zohreh Zarshenas (Professor, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran)

2016 Award

The winner of the 2016 Ehsan Yarshater Book Award is Richard Payne for his work entitled A State of Mixture. Christians, Zoroastrians and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015). Honorable Mention Award to Mahnaz Moazami for her work entitled Wrestling with the Demons of the Pahlavi Widēwdād. Transcription, Translation and Commentary (Leiden/Boston: Brill: 2014).

2014 Award

The 2014 Ehsan Yarshater Book Award was awarded to Dr. Ali Mousavi, for his book ‘Persepolis: Discovery and Afterlife of a World Empire.’ Walter de Gruyter, Boston/Berlin, 2012.

2012 Award

Members of the 2012 Committee: Jaleh Amouzgar (Iran), Carlo G. Cereti (Italy), Josef Wiesehoefer (Chair, Germany).

The committee awarded M. Rahim Shayegan, University of California, Los Angeles for his book "Arsacids and Sasanians. Political Ideology in Post-Hellenistic and Late Antique Persia". Cambridge U. Press, 2011

2010 Award

Members of the 2010 Committee: Jaleh Amouzgar (Iran), Almut Hintze (UK), Maria Macuch (Chair, Germany), Nicholas Sims-Williams (UK)

The committee awarded first prize to:

  • Vladimir A. Livshits, Sogdijskaja Èpigrafika Srednej Azii i Semirech'ja. St. Petersburg 2008, 414 pp. ,112 illustrations [Sogdian epigraphy of Central Asia and Semireche]


The committee awarded honourable mention prizes to:

  • Dieter Weber, Berliner Pahlavi-Dokumente. Zeugnisse spätsassanidischer Brief- und Rechtskultur aus frühislamischer Zeit. Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden 2008 (Iranica 15), xxxi, 286 pp., XLVI illustrations [Pahlavi Documents in Berlin. Evidence on the Art of Letter Writing and Late Sassanian Legal Culture in the Early Islamic Period]
  • Alan Williams, The Zoroastrian Myth of Migration from Iran and Settlement in the Indian Diaspora. Text, Translation and Analysis of the 16th Century Qeṣṣe-ye Sanjān ‛The Story of Sanjan’. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2009 (Numen Book Series, Studies in the History of Religions, Text and Sources in the History of Religions, vol.124), xii, 250 pp.