Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Volume 53

Ancient Near Eastern Studies is a refereed journal and accepts original articles devoted to the languages and cultures of the ancient Near East. The geographical area on which we primarily focus includes the modern lands of Egypt, Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Sheikhdoms. Manuscripts on related languages and cultures in neighbouring regions will also be considered.

Several papers and reviews of Volume 53 of Ancient Near Eastern Studies are related to Iran:

Mithra and the Arrangement of Geographical Lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanid Inscriptions

Tamari, Nazanin. 2017. “Mithra and the Arrangement of Geographical Lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanid Inscriptions“, Journal of Historical Researches 8(4), 111-130.

The division of the world is one of the issues that began with the social life of human in all over the world and still continues. The oldest division has mythical and legendary aspects that shows the geographical knowledge or religious and ethnic beliefs of their predecessors.
Various geographical divisions can be seen in the ancient Iranian traditions. Each of these divisions follow the specific arrangement of listing the geographical areas, which discussed in this paper. The arrangement of geographical areas in Achaemenid and Sasanian inscription and in the Mihr Yašt, the oldest of Avestan hymns (Yašts), are the same. Because of this similarity cannot be accidental, in this paper the cause of the similarities has been investigated.
The arrangement of geographical areas in two lists (inscriptions and Mihr Yašt) shows clockwise (sunwise) fashion, that investigated in religious view in this study. Due to the Mithra’s influence on cultural and religious context of the ancient Iranians, for the first time in present paper investigated the role of this god and his influence on the writing the geographical lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanin inscriptions.

In origianl:

تمری، نازنین. 1395.   ایزد مهر و آرایش فهرست های جغرافیایی در کتیبه های هخامنشی و ساسانی. فصل‌نامه پژوهش‌های تاریخی، 8(4) 111-130

The Parsis of Singapore

Kanga, Suna & Subina Aurora Khaneja. 2017. The Parsis of Singapore: History, culture, cuisine. Epigram Books.

When Suna first moved to Singapore, there were barely forty Parsis; today there are well-over 350 Parsis in the country. During her four decade-long stay in Singapore, she was often asked, “Who are the Parsis?” This sparked the idea for a book to highlight the distinctive culture and cuisine of a notable but diminishing Indian community that settled in Singapore in the 1800s. The Parsis of Singapore: Heritage, Culture, Cuisine documents the history and heritage of this unique community.

Source: The Parsis of Singapore – Epigram Books

The Routledge Companion to Strabo

Dueck, Daniela (ed.). 2017. The Routledge Companion to Strabo. The Routledge.

The Routledge Companion to Strabo explores the works of Strabo of Amasia (c. 64 BCE – c. CE 24), a Greek author writing at the prime of Roman expansion and political empowerment. While his earlier historiographical composition is almost entirely lost, his major opus of the Geography includes an encyclopaedic look at the entire world known at the time: numerous ethnographic, topographic, historical, mythological, botanical, and zoological details, and much more.

To see table of contents click here.

 

King of the Seven Climes

Daryaee, Touraj (ed.). 2017. King of the Seven Climes: A History of the Ancient Iranian World (3000 BCE – 651 CE). UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

 

In a Middle Persian text known as “Khusro and the Page,” one of the most famous kings of the ancient Iranian world, Khusro I Anusheruwan, is called haft kišwar xawadāy “the King of the Seven Climes.” This title harkens back to at least the Achaemenid period when it was in fact used, and even further back to a Zoroastrian/Avestan world view. From the earliest Iranian hymns, those of the Gāthās of Zarathushtra, through the Younger Avesta and later Pahlavi writings, it is known that the ancient Iranians divided the world into seven climes or regions. Indeed, at some point there was even an aspiration that this world should be ruled by a single king. Consequently, the title of the King of the Seven Climes, used by Khusro I in the sixth century CE, suggests the most ambitious imperial vision that one would find in the literary tradition of the ancient Iranian world. Taking this as a point of departure, the present book aims to be a survey of the dynasties and rulers who thought of going beyond their own surroundings to forge larger polities within the Iranian realm.

Thus far, in similar discussions of ancient Iranian history, it has been the convention to set the beginnings of a specifically Iranian world at the rise of Cyrus the Great and the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire. But in fact, this notion is only a recent paradigm, which became popular in Iran in the late 1960s owing to traditions of Classical and European historiography. At the same time, there are other narratives that can be given for the history of the Iranian World, including those that take us to 5000 BCE to sites such as Sialk, near Kashan, or other similar archaeological localities. As attractive as an archaeologically based narrative of local powers can be, however, the aim of the present work is to focus on political entities who aimed at the control of a larger domain beyond their own local contexts. As a result, this book starts its narrative with Elam, the influential civilization and kingdom that existed long before the Achaemenids came to power. Elam boasted a writing system and a complex culture and political organization contemporaneous with that of Mesopotamia, and was made up of cities such as Susa and Anshan. As Kamyar Abdi shows in his chapter, the Iranian civilization owes much to the Elamites and their worldview and conception of rulership. Thus, we do not start the present narrative with 550 BCE and Cyrus, but with 3000 BCE, in the proto-Elamite Period, when signs of a long lasting civilization on the Iranian Plateau first appeared.

Table of Contents:

  • Kamyar Abdi: The kingdom of Elām
  • Hilary Copnik: The Median Confederacy
  • Lloyd LLewellyn-Jones: The Achaemenid Empire
  • Omar Coloru: Seleucid Iran
  • Leonardo Gregoratti: The Arsacid Empire
  • Touraj Daryaee and Khodadad Rezakhani: The Sasanian Empire
  • Khodadad Rezakhani: From the Kushans to the Western Turks

Āzandnāmē: A Manichaean-Sogdian Parable-Book

Benkato, Adam. Āzandnāmē. An Edition and Literary-Critical Study of the Manichaean-Sogdian Parable-Book. Beiträge Zur Iranistik 42. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2017.

The Manichaean communities in Turfan (in modern-day Xinjiang, China) produced numerous texts in many languages, including Sogdian, an eastern Middle Iranian language. The present work is an edition and literary-critical study of the longest continuous Manichaean text in Sogdian, known as the Āzandnāmē, or Parable-Book. The Parable-Book preserves parts of three parables which illuminate various aspects of Manichaean teaching by means of a narrative followed by an explanation. A new and expanded edition of the Sogdian text, with English translation and philological commentary, forms the first part of this study.

Along with sermons, hymns, and confessionals, parables were one of the major genres of non-canonical texts produced by Manichaeans in Central Asian communities, surviving in Middle Persian, Parthian, and Old Turkic, as well as Sogdian. In the second part of this study, a new approach to the study of Manichaean parables is presented, taking into account their intertextuality as part of a genre that can only exist in interdependence on all other genres of Manichaean literature. This approach allows new light to be shed on the text of the Āzandnāmē while also investigating how and for which purposes the parables were produced and used.

This work is intended for specialists of Manichaeism and/or Sogdian philology, as well as those with interests in Iranian philology or religions in Central Asia more generally.

 See the Table of Contents and read the Introduction to the volume.
About the Author
Adam Benkato, Ph.D. (2015) is an scholar of Middle Iranian and specificly Manichaean and Sogdian Studies. From 2015-16 he was a Researcher at the Turfan Studies Project, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and is presently a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin.

India and Iran in the Longue Durée

Patel, Alka & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2017. India and Iran in the Longue Durée. UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

This book is the result of a conference held at the University of California, Irvine, covering the contacts between Iran and India from antiquity to the modern period. The papers include historical, archeological and artistic aspects and influences between the two civiluzations.

Table of Contents:

  • Alka Patel & Touraj Daryaee: India and Iran in the Longue Durée
  • Osmund Bopearachchi: Achaemenids and Mauryans: Emergence of Coins and Plastic Arts in India
  • Grant Parker: Nested Histories:Alexander in Iran and India
  • Touraj Daryaee & Soodabeh Malekzadeh: The White Elephant: Notions of Kingship and Zoroastrian Demonology
  • Frantz Grenet: In Search of Missing Links: Iranian Royal Protocol from the Achaemenids to the Mughals
  • Ali Anooshahr: The Shaykh and the Shah: On the Five levels of Muhammad Ghaws Gwaliori
  • Sudipta Sen: Historian as Witness: Ghulam Husain Tabatabi and the Dawning of British Rule in India
  • Afshin Marashi: Parsi Textual Philianthropy: Print Commerce and the Revival of Zoroastrianism in Early 20th-Century Iran
  • Alka Patel: Text as Nationalist Object: Modern Persian-Language Historiography on the Ghurids (c. 1150-1215)

Iranian Philology in Honour of Gherardo Gnoli

Morano, Enrico, Elio Provasi & Adriano V. Rossi (eds.). 2017. Studia Philologica Iranica. Gherardo Gnoli Memorial Volume. (Serie Orientale Roma, Nuova Serie 5). Roma: Scienze e Lettere S.r.l.
Table of Contents
  •  M. Alram:  “Ein Schatzfund des Hunnen-Königs Mihirakula”
  • G. Asatrian: “Middle Iranian Lexical Archaisms in Armenian Dialects”
  • H.R. Baghbidi: “Three Etymological Notes”
  • C.G. Cereti: “A Short Note on MHDA 38”
  • J. Cheung: “On the Origin of the Terms “Afghan” & “Pashtun” (Again)”
  • C.A. Ciancaglini: “Phonology, Etymology and Transcription Issues of Middle Persian Final Sequences ‹-lg› and ‹-lkꞌ›”
  • I. Colditz: “Another Fragment of the “Parable on the Female Hearer Xybrʾ”?”
  • M. Dandamayev: “Indian Soldiers in Achaemenid Babylonia”
  • A. de Jong: “The Women Who Witnessed Zoroaster’s Birth”
  • D. Durkin-Meisterernst: “Yima’s anādruxti-“
  • E. Filippone: “On the Meaning of Avestan nāuuiia– and Pahlavi *nāydāg
  • Ph. Gignoux: “Sur les noms de personnes et quelques particularités linguistiques d’une nouvelle collection privée de parchemins pehlevis”
  • R. Gyselen: “Formules moyen-perses et monogrammes sassanides”
  • A. Hintze: “The Advance of the Daēnā: The Vištāsp Yašt and an Obscure Word in the Hāδōxt Nask”
  • H. Humbach: “Zarathushtra and the Balance”
  • J. Josephson: “The Pahlavi Psalter as a Translation”
  • J. Kellens: “Les Gâthâs dites de Zarathusthra”
  • G. Lazard: “Les racines de la langue persane”
  • P. Lecoq: “Le -a final en vieux perse”
  • C. Leurini: “The Virgins and the Bride: Matt. 25:1 in the Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment M36”
  • P.B. Lurje: “More on Sogdian Versification: Translated and Original Compositions”
  • M. Macuch: “A Legal Controversy from the Sasanian Period in a Late Pahlavi Rivāyat Text”
  • M. Maggi: “Annotations on the Book of Zambasta, IV: Ronald E. Emmerick’s Notes”
  • E. Morano: “The Jackals and the Elephant: A Manichaean Sogdian Tale in Manichaean Script. With an Appendix with Corrections to Previously Edited Fragments of Tales
  • É. Pirart: “Les Soleils de l’Avesta”
  • A. Piras: “X˅arǝnah– and the Garlands. Notes about the Avestan and Manichaean Yima
  • E. Provasi: “Some Notes on Sogdian Phonology: Prothetic Aleph and Labialised Velars”
  • Ch. Reck: “Form and Emptiness: A Fragment of a Sogdian Version of the Heart Sutra?”
  • A.V. Rossi: “Ten Years of Achaemenid Philology: Old Persian &
    Achaemenid Elamite 2006-2016”
  • G. Scarcia: “Alla ricerca di un Ur-Farhâd: Hercules patiens, magnetico signor dottore, scalpellino, feldmaresciallo mecenate?”
  • R. Schmitt: “Der Flußgott Oxos in der iranischen Anthroponymie”
  • M. Schwartz: “An Achaemenid Position, and Gathic Composition:
    OPers. *grasta-(pati-), OAv. grə̄hma-, and PIE √gʰres
  • Sh. Shaked: “Zoroastrian Views on Suffering”
  • N. Sims-Williams: “The Name of the Kushan Goddess Ομμα”
  • P.O. Skjærvø: “Khotanese Land Purchase Deeds”
  • D. Weber: “Bemerkungen zu einigen Personennamen in den neuen Dokumenten aus Tabaristan”
  • G. Windfuhr: “The Enigmatic kurušag Ewe that Nursed Infant Zarathushtra, and the Precession of the Equinoxes”
  • E. Yarshater: “Tāti Dialects”
  • Y. Yoshida: “A Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment Preserved in the Kyōushooku Library, Osaka, Japan”
  • P. Zieme: “Ein altuigurisches Fragment zur manichäischen Ethik”

Greek and Roman Authors’ Views of the Arsacid Empire

Wiesehöfer, Josef & Sabine Müller (eds.). 2017. Parthika. Greek and Roman authors’ views of the Arsacid Empire (Classica et Orientalia 15). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Established in the third century BC, the multi-cultural and multi-lingual Arsacid Empire became Rome’s major opponent in the East from the first century BC to its end in the third century AD. According to a Roman idea, the orbis was evenly divided between the Parthians and the Romans. However, in the Arsacid Empire oral tradition prevailed and, for a long time, there was no Arsacid historiography concerning perception, reception and interpretation. Therefore, Greco-Roman views and images of the Parthians, Arsacids and their Empire predominated.
Focusing on literary depictions in ancient Greek and Roman literature and examining stereotypes, this volume brings together twelve papers on Greco-Roman perceptions and images of the Arsacid Empire. Part I consists of eight papers primarily concerned with re-assessments of Apollodorus of Artemita and Isidorus of Charax regarding their value as source of information on the Arsacid Empire. Part II contains four papers dealing with the images of the Arsacid Empire in the works of Josephus, Trogus-Justin, Tacitus and Arrian, viewed against their respective socio-political and cultural background.

Images of Mithra

Elsner, Jas. 2017. Images of Mithra (Visual Conversations In Art And Archaeology 1). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

With a history of use extending back to Vedic texts of the second millennium BC, derivations of the name Mithra appear in the Roman Empire, across Sasanian Persia, and in the Kushan Empire of southern Afghanistan and northern India during the first millennium AD. Even today, this name has a place in Yazidi and Zoroastrian religion. But what connection have Mihr in Persia, Miiro in Kushan Bactria, and Mithras in the Roman Empire to one another?

Continue reading Images of Mithra

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