It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Professor Philippe Gignoux (01.03.1931-24.09.2023). He was one of the founding figures of Societas Iranologica Europaea, its first Vice-President (1983-1987), and afterwards the President (1987-1991). He counted among those who made possible the publication of a first Guide to Iranian Studies in Europe, part one: Institutions and teaching programs in twelve countries of Western Europe, Leiden-New York-Køpenhavn-Köln, E.J.Brill, 1988 (for more, see Ph. Gignoux, “Societas Iranologica Europaea: its Formation and Growth”, East & West 40:1-4 (1990), pp. 289-292).
Between 1972 and 1999, Philippe Gignoux taught at École Pratique des Hautes Études, the 5th section (‘Section des sciences religieuses’), following Jean de Menasce at the chair ‘Religions de l’Iran ancien`. Within this capacity, his focus was predominantly on Middle Persian and Middle Iranian sources and the religious history of Zoroastrianism during the Sasanian period and the first centuries after the Arab conquest. His scholarly contributions, however, extended far beyond the realm of religious studies. His expertise encompassed diverse fields, including epigraphy, sigillography, and prosopography, areas in which he has published numerous works, all milestones in the field of pre-Islamic Iranian studies.
Over several decades, he played a pivotal role in institutionally shaping the field of Iranian Studies with rigorous critique and unwavering commitment to academic excellence. In this regard, his noteworthy achievements, among others, include the establishment of the journal Studia Iranica (in collaboration with Jean Aubin), the initiation of the monograph series Cahiers des Studia Iranica (alongside Rika Gyselen) as well as the foundation of the Association pour l’avancement des études iraniennes in France.