Jaakko Hameen-Anttila

Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies


He earned his PhD from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 1994. Before coming to Edinburgh in June 2016, he worked as a Senior Researcher of the Finnish Academy 1997-2000 and Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Helsinki 2000-2016.

Undergraduate teaching

  • Classical Arabic Literature
  • Mystical Islam (Sufism)
  • Contribution to the core courses History and Culture of Iran and Classical Persian Literature

Postgraduate teaching

Contribution to the core courses History and Culture of Iran

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Lucy Deacon (ta'ziye - Shiite passion plays)
  • Badreldeen Ismail (Sufism and Ash'arite theology)
  • Mathew Barber (Mamluk and Fatimid historiography)

Past PhD students supervised

  • Inka Nokso-Koivisto, Microcosm-Macrocosm Analogy in Rasa'il Ikhwan as-Safa' and Certain Related Texts (Helsinki).
  • Ilkka Lindstedt, The Transmission of al-Madāʾinī’s Material. Historiographical Studies (Helsinki).
  • Simon Loynes, the Qur'anic concept of wahy.

Research summary

  • translation and textual transmission (Middle Persian - Arabic - Classical Persian)
  • Classical Arabic and Persian literature
  • the Shahname and its sources
  • life of Zarathustra (in Islamic sources)
  • Late Antiquity and Early Arab-Islamic culture
  • early Arabic and Persian historiography

Current research interests

Dr Hämeen-Anttila is interested in Classical Arabic and Persian literature, Shahname studies, Umayyad and Abbasid cultural history, the influence of Late Antiquity on the Arab-Islamic culture, and translation and textual transmission especially between Arabic and Persian cultures from pre-Islamic times to the premodern period.

Project activity

Dr Hämeen-Anttila is currently editing a part of al-Maqrizi's al-Khabar 'an al-bashar for Brill's Bibliotheca Maqriziana and writing a monograph on the lost Middle Persian and pre-Firdawsian literature, both written and oral, that is documented in Arabic, Classical Persian, and other sources.

View all 63 publications on Research Explorer