Lopez, Saioa, Mark G Thomas, Lucy van Dorp, Naser Ansari-Pour, Sarah Stewart, Abigail L Jones, Erik Jelinek, Lounes Chikhi, Tudor Parfitt, Neil Bradman, Michael E Weale & Garrett Hellenthal. 2017. The genetic legacy of Zoroastrianism in Iran and India: Insights into population structure, gene flow and selection. bioRXiv.
This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed.
Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest extant religions in the world, originating in Persia (present-day Iran) during the second millennium BCE. Historical records indicate that migrants from Persia brought Zoroastrianism to India, but there is debate over the timing of these migrations. Here we present novel genome-wide autosomal, Y-chromosome and mitochondrial data from Iranian and Indian Zoroastrians and neighbouring modern-day Indian and Iranian populations to conduct the first genome-wide genetic analysis in these groups. Using powerful haplotype-based techniques, we show that Zoroastrians in Iran and India show increased genetic homogeneity relative to other sampled groups in their respective countries, consistent with their current practices of endogamy. Despite this, we show that Indian Zoroastrians (Parsis) intermixed with local groups sometime after their arrival in India, dating this mixture to 690-1390 CE and providing strong evidence that the migrating group was largely comprised of Zoroastrian males. By exploiting the rich information in DNA from ancient human remains, we also highlight admixture in the ancestors of Iranian Zoroastrians dated to 570 BCE-746 CE, older than admixture seen in any other sampled Iranian group, consistent with a long-standing isolation of Zoroastrians from outside groups. Finally, we report genomic regions showing signatures of positive selection in present-day Zoroastrians that might correlate to the prevalence of particular diseases amongst these communities.
Source: The genetic legacy of Zoroastrianism in Iran and India: Insights into population structure, gene flow and selection. | bioRxiv
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
Issue three of “Estudios Iranios y Turanios”, edited by A. Cantera and J. Ferrer-Losilla and dedicated to Prof. Helmut Humbach’s 95th birthday, is out now.
Estudios Iranios y Turanios
fәrā amәṣ̌ā spәṇtā gāθā̊ gә̄uruuāin
Homenaje a Helmut Humbach
en su 95o aniversario
Continue reading In honour of Prof. Humbach’s 95th birthday
Waters, Matt. 2017. Ctesias’ Persica and its Near Eastern context (Wisconsin Studies in Classics). University of Wisconsin Press.
The Persica is an extensive history of Assyria and Persia written by the Greek historian Ctesias, who served as a doctor to the Persian king Artaxerxes II around 400 BCE. Written for a Greek readership, the Persica influenced the development of both historiographic and literary traditions in Greece. It also, contends Matt Waters, is an essential but often misunderstood source for the history of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.
Matt Waters is a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He is the author of Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE and A Survey of Neo-Elamite History.
Source: UW Press: Ctesias’ Persica and Its Near Eastern Context
Issue 03 of Dabir (Digital Archive of Brief notes & Iran Review)
Issue 03 of Dabir, an open access on-line journal for Iranian Studies, is out now. Dabir is published by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies.
Follow the “read more” link to see the table of content and access to the contents online.
Continue reading Issue 03 – Dabir Journal
Strootman, Rolf & Miguel John Versluys (eds.). 2017. Persianism in antiquity (Oriens et Occidens 25). Franz Steiner Verlag.
The socio-political and cultural memory of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire played a very important role in Antiquity and later ages. This book is the first to systematically chart these multiform ideas and associations over time and to define them in relation to one another, as Persianism. Hellenistic kings, Parthian monarchs, Romans and Sasanians: they all made a lot of meaning through the evolving concept of “Persia”, as the twenty-one papers in this rich volume illustrate at length.
Persianism underlies the notion of an East-West dichotomy that still pervades modern political rhetoric. In Antiquity and beyond, however, it also functioned in rather different ways, sometimes even as an alternative to Hellenism.
For the contributions, see the Table of Contents.
Source: Persianism in antiquity | Franz Steiner Verlag
Pirngruber, Reinhard. 2017. The economy of late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. Cambridge University Press.
In this book Reinhard Pirngruber provides a full reassessment of the economic structures and market performance in Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. His approach is informed by the theoretical insights of New Institutional Economics and draws heavily on archival cuneiform documents as well as providing the first exhaustive contextualisation of the price data contained in the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries. Historical information gleaned from the accounts of both Babylonian scholars and Greek authors shows the impact of imperial politics on prices in form of exogenous shocks affecting supply and demand. Attention is also paid to the amount of money in circulation. Moreover, the use of regression analysis in modelling historical events breaks new ground in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and gives new impetus to the use of modern economic theory. The book explains the theoretical and statistical methods used so that it is accessible to the full range of historians.
Source: The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia | Reinhard Pirngruber
Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust
On Saturday 25 March, as part of an ongoing research project, we are holding a one day Symposium on Manichaean Studies sponsored jointly by the Ancient India and Iran Trust, the International Association of Manichaean Studies and the Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum Project.
Source: Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust
The Institute of Iranian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, invites you to the 5th meeting of the Corpus Avesticum
Participants: M. A. Andrés-Toledo, T. F. Aufderheide, A. Cantera, S. Farridnejad, J. Ferrer, L. Goldman, A. Hintze, J. Kellens, G. König, J. Martínez-Porro, A. Panaino, B. Peschl, É. Pirart, P. Widmer and A. Zeini
- J. Kellens: “Exégèse et grammaire: le destin de l’Ahuna Vairiia”
- A. Panaino: “Y. 71-72 and the end of the Ritual”
- É. Pirart : “Pour de nouveaux fragments avestiques”
- G. König: “Xorde Avesta as an editorial concept? Some considerations.”
- A. Cantera: “Yašt ī keh /yašt ī meh: Sasanian taxonomies of the rituals in Avestan language”
- K. Rezania: “When the text and diagram do not accord. On the textual and diagrammatic representations of the ritual surface of Barǝšnum in Avestan manuscripts”
- B. Peschl: “Simple thematic presents with root vowel ā in Avestan: Textual corruption, genuine Avestan innovation or PIE archaism?”
- J. Martínez-Porro & A. Cantera: “huuarə.xšaētəm. …. raēm and the aporias of the archetype”
- J. Ferrer: “Paleographie et édition”
- T. F. Aufderheide: “Avestisch <ṇ>: Über den Einfluss der einheimischen Sprachwissenschaft des Alten Indiens zur Verschriftlichung des Avesta”
- F. Dragoni: “The Pāzand of M51”
- P. Widmer: “Editing the Atharvaveda in the 21st century: The Zurich Paippalada project”
- A. Hintze/L. Goldman: “Transcribing Avestan manuscripts”
- M. A. Andrés-Toledo: “Editing the Pahlavi Widewdad”
- A. Zeini: “Editing the Pahlavi Yasna”
- S. Gholami: “Editing the colophons of Avestan manuscripts”
- Round Table: “Editing Avestan texts in the 21th century: Problems and perspectives”
Time & Place: 23.03.2017 – 24.03.2017, Institute of Iranian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Rezakhani, Khodadad. 2017. ReOrienting the Sasanians: East Iran in late antiquity (Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia). Edinburgh University Press.
Central Asia is commonly imagined as the marginal land on the periphery of Chinese and Middle Eastern civilisations. At best, it is understood as a series of disconnected areas that served as stop-overs along the Silk Road.
However, in the mediaeval period, this region rose to prominence and importance as one of the centres of Persian-Islamic culture, from the Seljuks to the Mongols and Timur.
Khodadad Rezakhani tells the back story of this rise to prominence, the story of the famed Kushans and mysterious ‘Asian Huns’, and their role in shaping both the Sasanian Empire and the rest of the Middle East.
Source: ReOrienting the Sasanians – Edinburgh University Press