Nima Jamali is a current post-doctoral fellow at Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies where he is working on his monograph, “Thousands of Judgments: Dynamics of Legal Thinking in Sasanian Iran.”
He received his Ph.D. in 2021 from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (NMC), University of Toronto. His dissertation was a comparative study of the interactions among Zoroastrian, Jewish and Roman legal systems during the 7th and 8th centuries and was based on an edition, commentary, and English translation of a Syriac legal text, Išō‛-bokt’s Corpus Juris. His current project, “Thousands of Judgments: The Dynamics of Legal Thinking in Sasanian Iran,” is a book version of a part of this dissertation.
His primary focus is the history of law and historical linguistics of the Middle East and the Mediterranean world in late antiquity. Studying the relations between the socio-political situations of those communities and their legal traditions, he deals with a variety of legal texts in Syriac, Babylonian Aramaic, Mishnaic Hebrew, Middle Persian, Arabic, and Greek. His other research interest is early modern legal archives, including the institution of Daftar-khāneh in the early 20th century and their role in modern Iranian urbanism, governmentality, and everyday life.
His articles have appeared in several journals. These include “The Foundations of the Legal Thinking in the Church of the East during the Fifth and Sixth Centuries CE” and “Nāmag, a Brief Study on its Etymology and Semantics,” in Iran Namag, “A Note on a Lacuna in Išō’-bokt Corpus Juris: Greek Philosophy in the Eastern Syriac Legal Literature,” and “The Sixth Book of Išō’-bokt Corpus Juris, Authority, Enforcement, and Language,” in the Journal of the Canadian Society of Syriac Studies, “Semitic Sources in Sasanian Studies and Vice Versa: One New Approach,” in Gozaresh-e Miras (forthcoming), and “From Inshushinak to Jackson Pollock, Continuity and Transformation, Decline and Survival in E. Yarshater’s Thinking,” in Herfe: Honarmand. He is also the founder and the editor-in-chief of Dānesh-e Democratic, a series of monographs on scholarship for the public audience with Borj Publications, Tehran.
He has two master’s degrees, one in Syriac and Aramaic from NMC (2013) and one in Ancient Iranian Languages from the University of Tehran (2010). He also has a law degree from Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran (2006). During his studies, he received several awards and scholarships, including the doctoral-level Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) and the Social and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (2016-2019). In addition, he has been recently awarded a B3Z bourse postdoctoral by the Fonds de recherche société et culture, Québec for 2024 and 2025.