A State of Mixture is a rich and complex study of the interweaving of Christian and Zoroastrian communities in late antique Iran. Payne draws on a wealth of sources, most notably East Syrian hagiography, providing a portrait of a “state of mixture” in place of older and misleading views of the two communities as discrete groups at perennial odds with each other. Payne shows how Christians constantly negotiated their position in the Sasanian state, repeatedly testing boundary lines and overlapping their communal identities with those of the Zoroastrian communities amongst whom they lived. State authorities used intercommunal boundaries to reinforce socioreligious and political norms and to foster the integration of Christians...

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