Emily Everest-Phillips

First Year

I received a BA in History from the University of Oxford in 2017, and continued on there to complete an MSt in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies in 2018, receiving a prize for best academic performance. One of my Masters projects explored the ninth century CE bilingual Pahlavi/Chinese funerary epitaph from Xi’an. I re-contextualised it within late Tang elites’ structures of identification, in an attempt to better articulate the fate of diasporic Sasanian identities in Central Asia and China in the centuries after Islamic conquest. My second thesis explored cross-cultural exchange of Sasanian-Zoroastrian cosmological ideas. I postulated that certain dualistic notions and an impulse to delineate clear territorial limits had filtered into the Byzantine Christian intellectual sphere via the Church of the East and School of Nisibis, and lay at the foundation of Cosmas Indicopleustes’ idiosyncratic Χριστιανικὴ Τοπογραφία.

While at ISAW I intend to continue exploring this interconnected world of Eurasian Late Antiquity, especially the movement and dislocation of peoples and ideas that engendered complex multicultural identities. In the process, I hope to contribute theoretically to developments in the field of global/transnational intellectual history by exploring transmission, reception and transformation in the pre-modern world, especially across linguistic and cultural boundaries.