The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 terms will address the political, intellectual, religious, and artistic relations between Persia, Greece, and Rome from the ninth century BC to AD 651. The Greeks regarded Media in western Iran as one of the great kingdoms of the East, but it was the Persian Empire, forged by the Achaemenid Dynasty (sixth to fourth century BC), that became their principal adversary. Reaching from the borders of Greece to India, the Persian Empire was viewed by the Greeks as a vastly wealthy and powerful rival and often as an existential threat. When the Macedonian king Alexander the Great finally defeated the Persians in 331 BC, Greek culture spread throughout the Near East, but native dynasties—first the Parthian (247 BC–AD 224) and then the Sasanian (AD 224–651)—soon reestablished themselves.

The rise of the Roman Empire as a world power quickly brought it, too, into conflict with Persia, despite the common trade that flowed through their territories. The 2017/2018 scholar year is the first of two that will be devoted to this theme. Priority will be given to research projects that are cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, and that utilize a wide range of archaeological, textual, and other evidence.

Getty Scholars


Maria Brosius (Villa) is Associate Professor of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her key field of research is the Achaemenid Empire and the cultural contacts between the ancient Near East and the classical world.
The Persian Empires – Multilingual and Multiscriptual Centres for the Transmission of Knowledge
(September–October)

Albert de Jong (Villa) is Professor of Comparative Religion and Religions of Antiquity at Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands. His research focuses on Sasanian history, Iranian religions, and the study of religion.
East of the Euphrates: The Contribution of Sasanian History to Theorizing Late Antiquity
(April–June)

Vito Messina (Villa) is Assistant Professor of Iranian Archaeology at Università di Torino, Italy. His research focuses on archaeology of Mesopotamia and Iran.
Lost Hellenistic Sculptures 'Rediscovered' in Mesopotamia and Iran
(April–June)

Margaret Miller (Villa) is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is a scholar of archaeology, art history, and classics.
Selective Persianization of Greek Myth
(April–June)

Kathryn Morgan (Villa) is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on Ancient Greek culture.
Persia and Historical Process in Aeschylus' Persians
(September–December)

Alessandro Poggio (Villa) is Research Fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy. His research focuses on the history of art, and ancient Near Eastern and Greek archaeology.
Beyond 'Greco-Persian': Glyptic as an Index of Artistic Processes in the Eastern Mediterranean
(January–March)

Rolf Strootman (Villa) is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is a scholar of history and culture of the ancient world.
Iranians in the Hellenistic East: Imperial Culture and Local Identity from the Persians to the Parthians (4th to 2nd Century BCE)
(September–March)

Miguel John Versluys (Villa) is Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology at Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands. He specializes in Hellenistic and Roman Eurasian archaeology.
Innovating Objects: The Impact of Global Connections and the Formation of the Roman Empire (ca. 200–30 BC)
(April–June)

Postdoctoral Fellow


Jake Nabel (Villa) received his PhD in the Department of Classics at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Made on the Margins: Ancient Persia, the Classical Mediterranean, and their Intermediaries
(September–June)


2017-2018 Scholar Year Poster: The Classical World in Context: Persia

Have a Question?


Contact the GRIContact the GRI
Contact Reproductions & PermissionsContact Reproductions & Permissions
Subscribe to GRI NewsSubscribe to GRI News