Dr Miklos Sarkozy, an associate professor of the Karoli Gaspar University of the Hungarian Reformed Church has joined the IIS as a research fellow until December.

His research at the Institute will focus on the history of the regional policy of the Nizari Ismaili state with its neighbouring kingdoms of Northern Iran in the Caspian provinces of Gilan and Tabaristan (Mazandaran) between the 11-13th centuries based on the local historiography of these provinces (Ibn Isfandyar, Amuli, Mar’ashi) as well as other literary and religious works.

Dr Sarkozy believes that the library, as well as the manuscript collection of the IIS, will significantly contribute to his research project to draw more attention to the local contacts of the Nizari state in the Caspian provinces, he said:

“My research will focus on the relationship between the Nizaris and various other Shi'ite groups of Northern Iran between the 6/11-8/14th centuries. It is very important to shed light on the hitherto neglected contacts between the Nizari state and various other Shiite groups namely the Zaydite shaikhs of Gilan and the Twelver Shiite Bawandid and Baduspanid kingdoms. So far, my research shows that there are conflicts among these groups, but sometimes one can detect very pragmatic, even friendly approaches as well.

“I believe that the rich but much-neglected material of the local chronicles of Caspian Provinces, as well as various Arabic and Persian literary and religious sources, can significantly contribute to the better understanding of the local policy and the geopolitical role the Nizari Ismailis once played in Northern Iran.”

Dr Sarkozy has served as a lecturer at various Hungarian universities since 2002. As a Lecturer, Dr. Sarkozy has taught Iranian philology, Late Antique and Mediaeval Iranian and Middle Eastern History, History of Central Asia and History of Islam.

Dr Sarkozy obtained his PhD in 2008 in the Department of Iranian Studies from the Eotvos Lorand University of Hungary. His thesis was entitled: The History of Tabaristan’s Principalities in the First Centuries of Islam before the Mongol Period. Dr Sarkozy has published articles in Hungarian, English and Persian. His articles include his studies about the Mediaeval history of Northern Iran and Iranian-Hungarian relations.