SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams

MA, PhD (Cantab), FBA
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications



PhD Students supervised
  • Benedikt Peschl, A critical edition of the Ahunavaitī Gāthā and its Pahlavi version (Part I: Yasna 28-30)


Iranian and Central Asian philology; Christian and Manichaean texts from Central Asia.


Authored Books

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and de Blois, François (2018) Studies in the chronology of the Bactrian documents from Northern Afghanistan. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2017) An ascetic miscellany: The Christian Sogdian manuscript E28. Turnhout (Belgium): Brepols.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2016) A Dictionary: Christian Sogdian, Syriac and English. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2015) The Life of St Serapion and other Christian Sogdian texts from the manuscripts E25 and E26. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Hamilton, James (2015) Turco-Sogdian Documents from 9th–10th century Dunhuang. London: SOAS.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2014) Biblical and other Christian Sogdian texts from the Turfan Collection. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2007) Bactrian documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol. 2: Letters and Buddhist texts. London: The Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004) Recent discoveries in the Bactrian language and their historical significance. Kabul: Society for the Preservation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol I: Legal and Economic Documents. Oxford; New York: The Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press.


Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2017) 'Two Iranian loanwords in Syriac'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (80) 3, pp 485-490.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Bi, Bo and Yan, Yan (2017) 'Another Sogdian-Chinese bilingual epitaph'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2017) 'Two words in the Sogdian version of the Antirrheticus of Evagrius Ponticus'. Dabir, (1) 4, pp 36-39.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2008) 'Remarks on the Bactrian colophon. [Appendix to S. Karashima, “Fragments of a manuscript of the Prātimokṣasūtra of the Mahāsāṃghika-(Lokottara)vādins (1)”]'. Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University, (11), pp 89-90.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2007) 'News from Ancient Afghanistan'. The Silk Road, (4) 2, pp 5-10.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Grenet, Frantz (2007) 'The Sogdian inscriptions of Kultobe'. Shygys, (2006) 1, pp 95-111.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2007) 'A Bactrian quarrel'. Bulletin of the Asia Institute [n.s.], (17), pp 9-15.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Lee, J (2003) 'The antiquities and inscription of Tang-i Safedak'. Silk Road Art and Archaeology, (vol.9), pp 159-184.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'Nouveaux documents bactriens du Guzgan. [New Bactrian Documents from Guzgan]'. Comptes rendus de l'Academie des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres, (2002), pp 1047-58.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'The Bactrian inscription on the seal of Khingila'. Silk Road Art and Archaeology, (vol. 8), pp 143-148.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'Dr Ilya Gershevitch'. Jesus College, Cambridge, Annual Report, (vol. 9), pp 31-34.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'On kings and nomads: New documents in ancient Bactrian reveal Afghanistan's past'. IIAS Newsletter, (vol. 2), pp 12-13.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) 'The inscriptions on the Miho bowl and some comparable objects'. Studia Iranica, (vol. 3), pp 187-198.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Grenet, F and De la Vaissière, É (2001) 'The Sogdian Ancient Letter V'. Alexander’s Legacy in the East: Studies in honor of Paul Bernard. Bulletin of the Asia Institute, (12), pp 91-104.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'Four Bactrian economic documents'. Bulletin of the Asia Institute, (11), pp 3-15.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'Gods and Merchants: Sogdian inscriptions of the Upper Indus'. TAASA Review, The Journal of the Asian Arts Society of Australia, (9/3), pp 14-17.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'The Iranian inscriptions of Shatial'. Professor Gregory M. Bongard-Levin Felicitation Volume. Indologica Taurinensia, (23-24), pp 523-541.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (1996) 'On the historic present and injunctive in Sogdian and Choresmian'. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, (56), pp 173-189.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and Cribb, J (1996) 'A new Bactrian inscription of Kanishka the Great'. Silk Road Art and Archaeology, (4), pp 75-142.

Edited Books or Journals

Sims-Williams, Nicholas, (ed.), (2007) Part 4: Dictionary of Manichaean texts in Chinese. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. (Dictionary of manichaean texts. Vol. III, Texts from Central Asia and China).

Blois, François de and Sims-Williams, Nicholas, (eds.), (2006) Dictionary of Manichaean texts. Vol. II, Texts from Iraq and Iran. Turnhout: Brepols.

Durkin-Meisterernst, Desmond and Sims-Williams, Nicholas, (eds.), (2004) Dictionary of Manichaean Texts Vol. III Part 1. Turnhout: Brepols.

Elfenbein, J and N, D and Sims-Williams, N, (eds.), (2003) A New Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto. Reichert (Germany).

Yarshater, E and ed., associate, (eds.), (2002) Encyclopaedia Iranica. Bibliotheca Persica Press (New York).

Sims-Williams, N, (ed.), (2002) Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples. Oxford University Press.

N., D and N., A and Sims-Williams, N, (eds.), (2001) Parthian economic documents from Nisa, Texts I, by I. M. Diakonoff & V. A. Livshits, edited by D. N. MacKenzie, A. N. Bader & N. Sims-Williams. SOAS (UK).

Book Chapters

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2019) 'A multilingual Manichean calendar from Turfan (U130)'. In: Gulácsi, Zsuzsanna, (ed.), Language, society, and religion in the world of the Turks : Festschrift for Larry Clark at seventy-five. Turnhout (Belgium): Brepols, pp 251-266.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2008) 'Jaḡatu'. In: Yarshater, Ehsan, (ed.), Encyclopaedia Iranica. Vol.14/4. New York: Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation Inc., pp 372-373.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2008) 'The Sasanians in the East. A Bactrian archive from northern Afghanistan'. In: Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh and Stewart, Sarah, (eds.), The Sasanian Era. London: I.B.Tauris, pp 88-102.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2008) 'Bactrian tallies'. In: Huber, B and Volkart, M and Widmer, P, (eds.), Chomolangma, Demawend und Kasbek, Festschrift für Roland Bielmeier zu seinem 65. Geburtstag. Halle: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, pp 525-523.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2008) 'The Sogdian potentialis'. In: Macuch, Maria and Maggi, Mauro and Sundermann, Werner, (eds.), Iranian languages and texts from Iran and Turan. Ronald E. Emmerick memorial volume. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 377-386.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2007) 'Bactrian letters from the Sasanian and Hephthalite periods'. In: Panaino, Antonio and Piras, Andrea, (eds.), Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the Societas Iranologica Europæa held in Ravenna, 6-11 October 2003. Milan, Italy: Mimesis, pp 701-713.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and de la Vaissière, étienne (2007) 'Jabḡuya, i: Origin and early history'. In: Yarshater, Ehsan, (ed.), Encyclopaedia Iranica. Vol 14/3. New York: Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation Inc., pp 314-315.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas and De Blois, Francois (2006) 'The Bactrian calendar: new material and new suggestions'. Languages of Iran: past and present. Iranian studies in memoriam David Neil MacKenzie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 185-196.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004) 'Two Bactrian fragments from Yar-khoto'. In: Durkin-Meisterernst, D, (ed.), Turfan revisited. The first century of research into the arts and culture of the Silk Road. Berlin: Reimer (Germany), pp 325-32, 461.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004) 'A Greek-Sogdian bilingual from Bulayïq'. La Persia e Bisanzio. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), pp 623-31.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004) 'The Parthian abstract suffix -yft'. In: H., J, (ed.), Indo-European Perspectives. Studies in Honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies. Oxford (UK), pp 539-47.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2003) 'Three notes on Iranian words in Arabic sources'. In: van, A, (ed.), Iranica Selecta. Studies in honour of Professor Wojciech Skalmowski on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Brepols (Belgium), pp 213-217.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2003) 'Contrat de mariage bactrien'. In: Bopearachchi, O and Landes, C and Sachs, C, (eds.), De l’Indus à l’Oxus. Archéologie de l’Asie Centrale. Association Imago (France), pp 390-391, 393.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2003) 'A Christian Sogdian polemic against the Manichaeans'. In: G, C and Maggi, M and Provasi, E, (eds.), Religious themes and texts of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia. Studies in honour of Professor Gherardo Gnoli. Reichert Verlag (Germany), pp 399-408, p. 9-10.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2003) 'A Christian Sogdian polemic against the Manichaeans'. In: Cereti, C and Maggi, M and Provasi, E, (eds.), Religious themes and texts of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia. Studies in honour of Professor Gherardo Gnoli on the occasion of his 65th birthday on 6 December 2002. Wiesbaden: Reichert, pp 401-410.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'Ancient Afghanistan and its invaders: Linguistic evidence from the Bactrian documents and inscriptions'. In: Sims-Williams, N, (ed.), Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples. Oxford University Press, pp 225-242.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) 'The Sogdian Ancient Letter II'. In: G., M and Bisang, W, (eds.), Philologica et Linguistica. Historia, Pluralitas, Universitas. Festschrift für Helmut Humbach zum 80. Geburtstag am 4. Dezember 2001. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier (Germany), pp 267-280.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) 'Avestan sußra-, Turkish süvre'. In: Bazin, L and Zieme, P, (eds.), De Dunhuang à Istanbul. Hommage à James Russell Hamilton. Brepols (Belgium), pp 329-338.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) 'Sogdian Ancient Letter II'. In: Juliano, Annette L. and Lerner, Judith A., (eds.), Monks and merchants: Silk Road Treasures from Northwest China. USA: Harry N. Abrams with The Asia Society, pp 47-49.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2001) 'Middle Persian padisay and Old Persian vasna'. In: Sadeghi, Ali Ashraf, (ed.), A.Tafazzoli memorial volume. Iran: Sokhan Publishers, pp 59-65.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'Some reflections on Zoroastrianism in Sogdiana and Bactria'. In: Christian, D. and Benjamin, C., (eds.), Realms of the Silk Roads: Ancient and Modern. Belgium: Brepols, pp 1-12.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'A Bactrian Buddhist manuscript'. In: Braarvig, J, (ed.), Manuscripts in the Schøyen collection, I: Buddhist manuscripts. Hermes Publishing (Norway), pp 275-7.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000) 'Aurentes'. In: E., R and Sundermann, W and Zieme, P, (eds.), Studia Manichaica. IV. Internationaler Kongreß zum Manichäismus, Berlin, 14.-18. Juli 1997 (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berichte und Abhandlungen, Sonderband). Akademie Verlag (Germany), pp 560-563.

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (1997) 'The denominal suffix -ant- and the formation of the Khotanese transitive perfect'. In: Lubotsky, Alexander, (ed.), Sound law and analogy. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp 317-325.

Conference Items

Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004) 'Les sogdiens en chine - Towards a new edition of the Sogdian Ancient Letters'.


Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'In memoriam, for violin, viola and cello'.


Sims-Williams, Nicholas (1997) 'New light on ancient Afghanistan: the decipherment of Bactrian'.


This list was last generated on Monday, 14th October 2019, 06:38 Europe/London.