Speakers at the 1970 Byzantine Studies Symposium, “Byzantium and Sasanian Iran,” left to right: Irfan Shahîd, A. D. H. Bivar, Averil Cameron, Philip Grierson, Andreas Alföldi, Richard Ettinghausen, Elias J. Bickerman, and Richard Frye (seated)
St Giles', Oxford OX1 3JP, United Kingdom
In 1951 Irfan Arif Shahid received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St John's College, Oxford University.
Princeton, NJ 08544, United States
In 1954 Irfan Arif Shahid obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Princeton University.
(This book tells about Omar Khayyam.)
This book tells about Omar Khayyam.
In 1951 Irfan Arif Shahid received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St John's College, Oxford University. There he studied under renowned historian A. N. Sherwin-White, who later became influential to his career as a scholar. In 1954 he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Princeton University.
After completing his doctoral work, Irfan Arif Shahid went to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Although his exchange student visa had expired just after he completed his doctoral work, a private bill introduced in Congress granted Shahid permanent citizenship, thus allowing him to continue his academic work in the United States. While at the Institute, he met the renowned medievalist Ernst Kantorowicz, who helped him to select and define the research topic that would dominate the remainder of his scholarly life. It led him to publish seven volumes of work focusing on the history of Arabs.
From 1959 to 1960 Irfan Shahid was a junior fellow in Arab-Byzantine relations at the Center for Byzantine Studies. He was a visiting fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library from 1960 to 1961 and 1972 to 1973, a visiting scholar from 1975 to 1976, and an associate fellow from 1979 to 1984 and 1999 to 2008. From 1960 to 1962 he was an assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, an associate professor from 1962 to 1963. In 1963 he joined Georgetown University as a professor of Arabic and was appointed the Oman professor of Arabic and Islamic Literature in 1981, serving until his death.
His book Rome and the Arabs: A Prolegomenon to the Study of Byzantium and the Arabs was the first of four volumes concerning Arab history beginning in the Fourth Century. The second volume was titled Byzantium and the Arabs in the fourth century. He was a contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Journal of Semitic Studies, and Dumbarton Oaks Papers.
(This book tells about Omar Khayyam.)1982
Irfan Arif Shahid was a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Irfan Arif Shahid did not associate himself with any political party.
Irfan Arif Shahid worked diligently to reconstruct the narrative associated with the history of the Roman Empire. More specifically, he utilized teachings from his tutor, a distinguished historian, coupled with his love for Greco-Roman culture to fuel his writing. Professor Shahid’s work illuminates Arabs not only as a part of the narrative, but also as a force in the fall of the Roman Empire. He often praised Dumbarton Oaks as being the driving force behind his motivation to keep working.
Irfan Arif Shahid was a member of the American Oriental Society, the Mediaeval Academy of America, the Middle East Studies Association of North America, the American Association of Teachers of Arabic.
Irfan Arif Shahid was always gracious and friendly. His favorite person was Alexander the Great. His prodigious memory included large amounts of verse in at least one half dozen languages. His deep love of poetry was a characteristic that struck everyone with whom he spent much time.
In 1976 Irfan Arif Shahid married Mary Shiber Shahid.