Grenet Frantz

Professor at the Collège de France

Last modification : 18 December 2018

Posting: UMR 8546 - AOrOc, École Normale Supérieure 45 rue d’Ulm, 75230 PARIS Cedex 05.
Team: Hellenisms of Asia and Oriental Civilizations


Contact Frantz Grenet
Personal Website :
Articles made available in HAL-SHS

 Research themes

  • History of Central Asia (Antiquity early Middle Ages), from archaeological and textual sources.
  • Pre-Islamic religions of the Iranian world, in particular Zoroastrianism.
  • Philology of Middle Iranian languages.

 Current research

  • Coordination of the excavation and survey reports of the French-Uzbek Archaeological Mission at Afrasiab, the site of ancient Samarkand, 1989-2007. Personal contributions: sector of the Umayyad palace, sector of the earliest stratigraphic levels of the town (southwestern side of the rampart). Continuation of the direction of the Mission.
  • Research on Zoroastrian calendars and Zoroastrian iconography in Iran and Central Asia.
  • Participation in several handbooks on the history of Zoroastrianism and the history of Central Asia.
  • International activity: board member of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum (London); president of the European Society for Studies of Central Asia and Himalayan Regions (Paris).



  • «Doctorat de 3e cycle» in Archaeology (1981).
  • Diploma of Persian at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) (1976).
  • Agrégé d’histoire (1975).
  • École Normale Supérieure (1972-1977).


  • 2013 - Professor at the Collège de France, chair «History and cultures of pre-Islamic Central Asia» (appointment April 2013, first teaching year 2013-2014).
  • Since 1999 - «Directeur d’études cumulant» at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Section «Religious Sciences» (chair «Religions of the ancient Iranian world»).
  • 1981 to 2013 - Research fellow in the CNRS (DR 1 2005-2013).
  • 1978 to 1981 - Deputy-director of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan.

Participation in archaeological excavations

  • Missions : Dura-Europos (Syria) 1983-84, Rag-i Bibi (Afghanistan) 2004, Kultobe (Kazakhstan) 2006-2007.
  • Since 1989, director of the French-Uzbek Archaeological Mission in Sogdiana, (main site: Afrasiab-Samarkand).
  • Ai Khanum (Afghanistan) 1975-78.
  • Tell Arqa (Liban) 1973-74.


 Selected bibliography

See on personal website


  • Grenet, F., 2003. La Geste d’Ardashir fils de Pâbag, Die, 131 pp. + 13 pls.
  • Boyce, M., Grenet, F, 1992. A History of Zoroastrianism, III : Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman rule, Leiden, 596 pp. (56 pp. pour ma contribution spécifique).
  • Bernard, P., Grenet, F. (eds.), 1991. Histoire et cultes de l’Asie centrale préislamique, Paris, Ed. du CNRS, 297 pp. + 111 pls.
  • Grenet, F. et collab, 1988. L’Asie centrale préislamique. Bibliographie critique 1977-1986.
  • Grenet, F. (ed.), 1987. Cultes et monuments religieux dans l’Asie centrale préislamique, Paris, Ed. du CNRS, 97 pp. + 58 pls.
  • Grenet, F., 1984. Les pratiques funéraires dans l’Asie centrale sédentaire de la conquête grecque à l’islamisation, Paris, Ed. du CNRS, 362 pp. + 58 pls.

Research articles

  • Grenet, F., 2007, « Religious diversity among Sogdian merchants in sixth-century China », Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Toronto), 27, pp. 463-478.
  • Grenet, F., Lee, J., Martinez, Ph., Ory, F., 2007. « The Sasanian relief at Rag-i Bibi (Northern Afghanistan) », dans J. Cribb, G. Herrman (eds.), After Alexander. Central Asia before Islam (Proceedings of the British Academy, 133), Oxford, pp. 243-267.
  • Grenet, F., 2004. « Maracanda / Samarkand, une métropole pré-mongole. Sources écrites et archéologie », Annales. Histoire, sciences sociales, pp. 1043-1067.
  • Grenet, F., 2002. « Regional interaction in Central Asia and Northwest India in the Kidarite and Hephtalite periods », dans N. Sims-Williams (ed.), Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples (Proceedings of the British Academy, 116), pp. 203-224.
  • Grenet, F., De la Vaissière, E., 2002. « The last days of Panjikent », Silk Road Art and Archaeology, 8, pp. 155-196.
  • Grenet, F., 1986. « L’art zoroastrien en Sogdiane. Etudes d’iconographie funéraire », Mesopotamia, 21, pp. 97-131, figs. 35-48.