This volume of the peer-reviewed, open access Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations presents several articles (and a provocative postscript) centering on the theme of “New Perspectives on Late Antique Iran and Iraq.” The articles featured here originated with a pair of conference panels convened in 2016. The first was held during the summer of 2016 at the Eleventh Biennial Iranian Studies Conference at the University of Vienna, August 2–5, 2016; the second followed in the fall of that year, convened during the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association held in Boston, November 17–20, 2016.
ToC – Touraj Daryaee: “How the Sasanians Saw the Late Antique World: A Persianate View of the Interconnectedness of Eurasia” – Isabel Toral-Niehoff: “Al-Ḥīra: An Arab Late Antique Metropolis in Sasanian Iraq” – Shai Secunda: “East LA: Margin and Center in Late Antiquity Studies and the New Irano-Talmudica” – Teresa Bernheimer: “The Revolt of Qaṭarī b. al-Fujāʿa (d. 79/698) and the Kharijite Revolts of Early Islamic Iran: Social Change between Late Antiquity and Early Islam” – Rahim Shayegan: “On Diachrony in Sasanian Studies” – Jason Mokhtarian: “Religious Polemics in Sasanian Writings” – Thomas Carlson: “The Long Shadow of Sasanian Christianity: The Limits of Iraqi Islamization to 950” – Mimi Hanaoka: “Authority and Identity in Early Medieval Persianate Islamic Historiography: Methologies for Reading Hybrid Identities and Imagined Histories”
Within a century of the Arab Muslim conquest of vast territories in the Middle East and North Africa, Islam became the inheritor of the intellectual legacy of classical antiquity. In an epochal cultural transformation between the eighth and tenth centuries CE, most of what survived in classical Greek literature and thought was translated from Greek into Arabic. This translation movement, sponsored by the ruling Abbasid dynasty, swiftly blossomed into the creative expansion and reimagining of classical ideas that were now integral parts of the Islamic tradition.
Romance and Reason, a lavishly illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition of the same name at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, explores the breadth and depth of Islamic engagement with ancient Greek thought. Drawing on manuscripts and artifacts from the collections of the National Library of Israel and prominent American institutions, the catalogue’s essays focus on the portrayal of Alexander the Great as ideal ruler, mystic, lover, and philosopher in Persian poetry and art, and how Islamic medicine, philosophy, and science contended with and developed the classical tradition.
Contributors include Roberta Casagrande-Kim, Leigh Chipman, Steven Harvey, Y. Tzvi Langermann, Rachel Milstein, Julia Rubanovich, Samuel Thrope, and Raquel Ukeles.
This set of essays highlights the state of the art in the linguistics of Iranian languages. The contributions span the full range of linguistic inquiry, including pragmatics, syntax, semantics, phonology/phonetics, lexicography, historical linguistics and poetics and covering a wide set of Iranian languages including Persian, Balochi, Kurdish and Ossetian. This book will engage both the active scholar in the field as well as linguists from other fields seeking to assess the latest developments in Iranian linguistics.
The Persianate World: Rethinking a Shared Sphere is among the first books to explore the pre-modern and early modern historical ties among such diverse regions as Anatolia, the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Western Xinjiang, the Indian subcontinent, and southeast Asia, as well as the circumstances that reoriented these regions and helped break up the Persianate ecumene in modern times. Essays explore the modalities of Persianate culture, the defining features of the Persianate cosmopolis, religious practice and networks, the diffusion of literature across space, subaltern social groups, and the impact of technological advances on language. Taken together, the essays reflect the current scholarship in Persianate studies, and offer pathways for future research.
Jāmī in Regional Contexts: The Reception of ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān Jāmī’s Works in the Islamicate World is the first attempt to present in a comprehensive manner how ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492), a most influential figure in the Persian-speaking world, reshaped the canons of Islamic mysticism, literature and poetry and how, in turn, this new canon prompted the formation of regional traditions. As a result, a renewed geography of intellectual practices emerges as well as questions surrounding authorship and authority in the making of vernacular cultures. Specialists of Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Georgian, Malay, Pashto, Sanskrit, Urdu, Turkish, and Bengali thus provide a unique connected account of the conception and reception of Jāmī’s works throughout the Eurasian continent and maritime Southeast Asia.
Ashurov, Barakatullo. 2018. ‘Sogdian Christianity’: Evidence from architecture and material culture. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1–42.
This article aims to discuss the question of the inculturation of Syriac Christianity in Central Asia, based on archaeological examples including architectural evidence from a particular ethnocultural area: Sogdiana. It questions to what extent the Eastern Syriac Church has become rooted in local culture, thus enabling Christian communities to express their faith in both material and artistic ways. This article is divided into two sections which present a comprehensive study of the medieval sources relevant to the spread and establishment of Christianity in the Central Asian landmass by considering and analyzing existing tangible evidence. In doing so, it provides assessment of comparable evidence, which demonstrates both the “extended” and an “immediate” context in which Eastern Syriac Christianity was accepted, adapted and transformed into a localised expression of Christian faith.
Edition of Sogdian epistolary fragments discovered in Turfan as well as a wide-ranging comparative analysis of Sogdian epistolary formulae.
An important part of the Sogdian corpora which have come down to us are epistolary texts: both the earliest substantial Sogdian documents (the ‘Ancient Letters’) and the only substantial textual corpus found in Sogdiana itself (the Mugh documents). The Turfan collections of (especially) Berlin, Kyoto, and St. Petersburg, also preserve a number of letter fragments. Altogether, these texts attest different phases of a Sogdian epistographical tradition stretching over some seven centuries. The edition and analysis of both well-preserved and fragmentary texts can contribute to efforts to reconstruct parts of those traditions—and eventually connect them with those of Central Asia and Iran more broadly. The first part of this work is an effort to present a comprehensive edition of the Sogdian epistolary fragments in the Turfan collections of Berlin, Kyoto, and St. Petersburg. In the second part a comparative study of Sogdian epistolography is undertaken, based on the editions made in the first part, together with previously published work on other Sogdian epistolary corpora, including studies of layout, external addresses, and stamps. Additionally, an appendix by Simone-Christiane Raschmann contributes to the larger study of epistolary culture in Turfan with the edition and study of three Old Turkic fragments (two letters and one order) which shed light on the use of stamps.
The Layered Heart : Essays on Persian Poetry is published in celebration of the poet and scholar Dick Davis, dubbed “our pre-eminent translator from Persian” by The Washington Post. Edited by Ali-Asghar Seyed-Ghorab, Associate Professor of Persian at Leiden University, the volume includes twenty-one essays about Persian culture and literature, ranging from classical Persian poetry to modern literary topics. Written by foremost scholars in the field, each of the essays is original and ground-breaking either in content or in methodology, while together they encompass a broad sweep of Iranian history, from pre-Islamic times to the present. They offer a fascinating, multi-faceted view of the Persian classics – from poetry in praise of wine, and the portrayal of love in Persian-European medieval romances, to an examination of Ferdowsi’s monumental epic, the Shahnameh, its connection with the Persian oral tradition and its later reception in Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe. Modern topics include an analysis of Lahuti’s letter poem to Joseph Stalin, published for the first time in Persian and English, the celebrated novel My Uncle Napoleon, and trends in poetry before and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
Table of Contents
Ehsan Yarshater: “Voyages in Literature”
Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak: “Continuity and Creativity: Models of Change in Persian Poetry, Classical and Modern”
Saeed Honarmand: “Between the Water and the Wall: The Power of Love in Medieval Persian Romance”
Christine van Ruymbeke: “Wretched King Mobad Loses the War of Love”
Asghar Seyed-Ghorab: “Of Love and Loyalty: The Middle English Floris and Blancheflour and the Persian Warqa and Golshāh”
Kamran Talattof: “What Kind of Wine Did Rudaki Desire? Samanids’ Search for Cultural and National Identity”
Paul Losensky: “Song of the Cupbearer by Mohammad Sūfī Māzandarānī”
Saghi Gazerani: “Zahhak’s Story and History”
H.E. Chehabi: “Wrestling in the Shahnameh and Later Persian Epics”
Sunil Sharma: “Heroes, Husbands, and Rhino Hunters: Sekandar and Bahram Gur in the Shahnameh”
Abbas Amanat: “Shahnameh-ye Naderi and the Revival of Epic Poetry in Post-Safavid Iran”
Reza Shaghaghi Zarghamee: “From Scythia to Sistan: Reconciling the Shahnameh and Herodotus to Discover the Origins of the Rostam Legend”
Olga M. Davidson: “On the Sources of the Shahnameh”
Franklin Lewis: “Shifting Allegiances: Primordial Relationships and How They Change in the Shahnameh”
Charles Melville: “The Shahnameh in India: Tārīkh-i Dilgushā-yi Shamshīr Khānī”
Margaret A. Mills: “Kok Kohzad in Afghanistan: Local Knowledge and Shahnameh Characters”
Firuza Melville: “Side-Saddle Tazmin, or, the Post-Shahnameh for Victorian Children”
Natalia Chalisova: “Poet and Ruler: The Case of Dāstān-e gol, Lahuti’s Poem for Stalin”
Fatemeh Shams: “From Revolution to Silence: The Political and Literary Life of Qaysar Aminpur”
Saeedeh Shahnahpur: “Literature Beyond Borders: Modern Persian Novels in English Translation, The Case of Pezeshkzād’s My Uncle Napoleon”
Beek, Lucien, Alwin Kloekhorst, Guus Kroonen, Michaël Peyrot & Tijmen Pronk (eds.). 2018. Farnah. Indo-Iranian and Indo-European studies in honor of Sasha Lubotsky. Ann Arbor; New York: Beech Stave Press.
Over thirty specialists in Indo-European linguistics have contributed this elegant volume in honor of Prof. Sasha Lubotsky of Leiden University. Besides giving an excellent snapshot of the research currently being undertaken by his students and colleagues at that institution, Farnah contains contributions from well-known scholars across the world covering topics in Tocharian, Germanic, Slavic, Indo-Iranian, and Anatolian linguistics, to name a few.
Click here to see a full list of the contributions.
Table of Contents
Peter C. Bisschop: Vedic Elements in the Pāśupatasūtra
Václav Blažek: The Case of Tocharian ‘silver’: Inherited or Borrowed?
Michiel de Vaan: The Noncanonical Use of Instrumental Plurals in Young Avestan
Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst: Sogdian Plurals in the Vessantara Jātaka
Jost Gippert: A Middle Iranian Word Denoting an Office-Holder
Stephanie W. Jamison: The Vedic Perfect Imperative and the Status of Modal Forms to Tense-Aspect Stems
Michael Janda: Vedisch dhénā-: Bedeutung und Etymologie
Jay H. Jasanoff: The Phonology of Tocharian B okso ‘ox’
Jared Klein: Syncretism in Indo-European: A Natural History
Alwin Kloekhorst: The Origin of the Hittite ḫi-Conjugation
Werner Knobl: Das Demonstrativpronomen ETÁD im Ṛgveda
Petr Kocharov: A Comment on the Vocalization of Word-initial
and Medial Laryngeals in Armenian
Frederik Kortlandt: The Indo-European k-Aorist
Guus Kroonen: Lachmann’s Law, Thurneysen’s Law, and a New Explanation of the PIE no-Participles
Leonid Kulikov: Vedic āhanás– and Its Relatives/Cognates within and outside Indo-Iranian
Martin Joachim Kümmel: The Survival of Laryngeals in Iranian
Rosemarie Lühr: Prosody in Indo-European Corpora
Hrach Martirosyan: Armenian Andndayin ōj and Vedic Áhi-Budhnyà– ‘Abyssal Serpent’
Ranko Matasović: Iranian Loanwords in Proto-Slavic: A Fresh Look
H. Craig Melchert: Semantics and Etymology of Hittite takš–
Benedicte Nielsen Whitehead: PIE *gwh3-éu– ‘cow’
Alan J. Nussbaum, A Dedicatory Thigh: Greek μηρὀς and μῆρα Once Again
Norbert Oettinger: Vedisch Vivásvant– und seine avestische Entsprechung
Birgit Anette Olsen: The Development of Interconsonantal Laryngeals in Indo-Iranian and Old Avestan ząθā ptā
Michaël Peyrot: Tocharian B etswe ‘mule’ and Eastern East Iranian
Georges-Jean Pinault: New Look at Vedic śám
Tijmen Pronk: Old Church Slavonic (j)utro, Vedic uṣár– ‘daybreak, morning’
Velizar Sadovski: Vedic and Avestan Parallels from Ritual Litanies
and Liturgical Practices I
George Starostin: Typological Expectations and Historic Reality: Once Again on the Issue of Lexical Cognates between Indo-European and Uralic
Lucien van Beek: Greek πέδιλον ‘sandal’ and the Origin of the e-Grade in PIE ‘foot’
Michael Weiss: Veneti or Venetes? Observations on a Widespread Indo-European Tribal Name
Voices from Zoroastrian Iran (Volumes I and II) is the result of an oral studies research project that maps the remaining Zoroastrian communities in Iran and explores what has happened to their religious lives and social structures since the Revolution of 1979 and the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
Interviews included in Volume 1 are with Zoroastrians from the urban centres of Tehrān, Kermān, Ahvāz, Shirāz and Esfahān. Participants refer to community leaders, historical figures, local events, teachers and religious texts that have shaped their views and understanding of the religion. They also address the impact of recent history upon their lives. The religion itself is presented as understood by those interviewed, drawn largely from the interpretations of Iranian scholars and scholar-priests, as opposed to those of predominantly western scholars. A chapter in the book is devoted to a survey of the main Iranian Zoroastrian religious observances as well as some popular customs. As a result of the new Constitution, the return to shari ‘a and the eight-year war with Iraq that followed the Revolution, the relationship between Zoroastrians and the state changed. The new political environment began to shape the religious and social identities of the next generation through Zoroastrian institutions such as the anjomans (councils) as well as those established by the government of the Islamic Republic.
The interviews for this book span a period of living memory that reflects both pre- and post-revolutionary Iran. The views expressed are informed by the changes that took place during that time and throw light on subjects as diverse as education, emigration, conversion and religious reform. The vol. 2 is planed to come out in 2019.