Languages & civilisations of the Christian Near East (Armenian, Caucasian, Albanian, Coptic, Georgian); epigraphy. palaeography; Armenian history;
About this Fellow
Nicholas Sims-Williams studied Iranian languages, Sanskrit and Syriac at Cambridge, obtaining his PhD with a thesis on the Sogdian manuscript C2, a miscellany of Christian texts translated from Syriac. In 1976 he joined the staff of SOAS, University of London, where he became Research Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies in 2004 and Emeritus Professor in 2015. His research focuses on Bactrian, Sogdian and other Middle Iranian languages of Afghanistan and Central Asia, taking an equal interest in the languages themselves, with their Indo-European roots, and in their Central Asian setting, with its stimulating mixture of languages, cultures and religions. In addition to the British Academy, he is a Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (AIBL) and the Academia Europaea, and an Honorary Member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Oriental Society. He has received the Ghirshman Prize of the AIBL, the Hirayama prize for Silk Road Studies, a Book of the Year Prize of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Denis Sinor medal of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is Chairman of the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge, and the Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum.
Politics in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq & Egypt; Islamic political thought; the relationship between art & power in the Middle East.
The languages, religions and history of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia with special attention to Zoroastrianism; Ancient and Middle Iranian philology and linguistics
Historical anthropology of religion, social-political systems and livelihoods, especially with reference to Indian caste inequality and activism, religious pluralism (Hindu and Christian) and common property resources; the anthropology of knowledge, inst