This publication, in the Transformation of the Classical Heritage series edited by Peter Brown, has garnished acclaim in several fields, having been awarded the American Philosophical Society’s 2016 Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, the International Society for Iranian Studies 2016 Ehsan Yarshater Book Award, and, most recently, the AAR 2016 Book Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Historical Studies.

The fact that the book has received such plaudits speaks not only to the author’s interdisciplinary fluency, but also to his familiarity with the actual languages of many of the primary sources that underpin his research. Payne’s work is a timely and significant contribution to the fields of both Iranian studies and the history of Christianity, in terms of its reevaluation of the...

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