Today we are accustomed to thinking of the Bible as a single entity, i.e. as ‘the Bible’, a well-defined corpus containing a set number of books. In late antiquity and in the Middle Ages, however, the situation was much more fluid. This fluidity showed itself not only in the fact that parts of the Bible would often circulate independently, but also in that Bible texts were often known in vernacular languages both in direct translations, but also in interlinear glosses and poetic paraphrases. It is in this context that the Unified Gospel is to be seen. Unifications of the gospel texts are often called Diatessaron (through the four), and, although this name has not been used for the Persian text presented in this book, it can still be seen as belonging to the Diatessaron tradition.
The Unified Gospel presented here was compiled in Persian by a certain Armenian who calls himself Yahyā Ibn Ayvaz-e Tabrīzī-ye Armanī. The actual time of the compilation cannot be determined from the existing manuscripts. The main manuscript for this edition is kept in the National Library and Archives of Iran. It was finalized on 9 Rajab 1111 A.H. (corresponding to 31 Dec. 1699) by a scribe named Khusraw, son of Bahrām. Other manuscripts, which are introduced in detail in the Persian introduction, have also been taken into account in this edition. In addition to the actual Gospel texts, there are numerous exegetical comments by the compiler, which are of great value for a deeper understanding of how the text was interpreted in former times. The language also shows certain archaic features, both in the vocabulary and the syntax, which indicate that the original work most likely dates to pre-Safavid times.
It is not entirely clear for whom this Unified Gospel in Persian was produced. The compiler finds that the people of his time had turned away from God and instead sought worldly affairs, spending their time reading stories and poems full of deceit and darkness instead of reading the Gospel. The Gospel was not available to them in Persian, a language of which they had better knowledge than the languages into which the Gospels had already been translated. This was the reason why the compiler/translator undertook the work which resulted in the present manuscript, which is particularly valuable due to the large number of comments to the Bible text added by the compiler.
This article claims that we are in need of alternative ways of modelling religious diversity in the Middle East. This region is characterized by a high level of religious diversity, which can only be partly explained by the persistence of religions that were already in existence when Islam arose. Many communities came into being since the Islamization of the area. The communities addressed in this article therefore include one pre-Islamic tradition, the Mandaeans, and five communities that crystallized (much) later: the Yezidis, the Ahl-e Haqq, the Druze, the Alawis, and the (Turkish) Alevis. These have often been discussed in conjunction with each other, in ways that are historically and conceptually problematic. A focus on two characteristics these communities share—endogamy and a “spiritual elite” structure—makes it possible to discuss the processes in which these communities have come into being, have crystallized, and relate to the wider Islamic setting in a new light. Three communities have continued to distance themselves from Islam, and three have been in a constant process of negotiating their relation with more mainstream versions of Islam. This has consequences for the maintenance, or gradual dissolution, of religious pluralism in the Middle East.
Essays that explore the rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world
The Babylonian Talmud (Bavli), the great compilation of Jewish law edited in the late Sasanian era (sixth-seventh century CE), also incorporates a great deal of aggada, that is, nonlegal material, including interpretations of the Bible, stories, folk sayings, and prayers. The Talmud’s aggadic traditions often echo conversations with the surrounding cultures of the Persians, Eastern Christians, Manichaeans, Mandaeans, and the ancient Babylonians, and others. The essays in this volume analyze Bavli aggada to reveal this rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world.
- A detailed analysis of the different conceptions of martyrdom in the Talmud as opposed to the Eastern Christian martyr accounts
- Illustration of the complex ways rabbinic Judaism absorbed Christian and Zoroastrian theological ideas
- Demonstration of the presence of Persian-Zoroastrian royal and mythological motifs in talmudic sources
- Sara Ronis: A Demonic Servant in Rav Papa’s Household: Demons as Subjects in the Mesopotamian Talmud
- Reuven Kiperwasser: Narrative Bricolage and Cultural Hybrids in Rabbinic Babylonia: On the Narratives of Seduction and the Topos of Light
- Yakir Paz: “Meishan Is Dead”: On the Historical Contexts
- of the Bavli’s Representations of the Jews in Southern Babylonia
- Geoffrey Herman: “In Honor of the House of Caesar”: Attitudes to the Kingdom in the Aggada of the Babylonian Talmud and Other Sasanian Sources
- Jason Mokhtarian: Clusters of Iranian Loanwords in Talmudic Folkore: The Chapter of the Pious (b. Ta‘anit 18b-26a) in Ιts Sasanian Context
- Shai Secunda: Gaze and Counter-Gaze: Textuality and Contextuality
- in the Anecdote of Rav Assi and the Roman (b. Baba Meṣiʿa 28b)
- Jeffrey L. Rubenstein: Martyrdom in the Persian Martyr Acts and in the Babylonian Talmud
- Simcha Gross: A Persian Anti-Martyr Act: The Death of Rabba bar Naḥmani in Light of the Syriac Persian Martyr Acts
- Michal Bar-Asher Siegal: “Fool, Look to the End of the Verse”: b. Ḥullin 87a and Its Christian Background
- Yaakov Elman: Dualistic Elements in Babylonian Aggada
- Yishai Kiel: First Man, First Bovine: Talmudic Mythology in Context
- David Brodsky: Mourner’s Kaddish, The Prequel: The Sassanian Period Backstory That Gave Birth to the Medieval Prayer for the Dead
The history of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study dates back to 1935, and it is the one area of scholarship that has been continuously represented at the Institute ever since. The volume opens with a historical sketch of the study of the Near and Middle East at the Institute. The second part of the volume consists of essays and short studies by IAS scholars, past and present, covering fields such as the ancient Near East and early Islamic history, the Bible and the Qurʾān, Islamic intellectual history within and beyond denominational history, Arabic and other Semitic languages and literatures, Islamic religious and legal practices, law and society, the Islamic West, the Ottoman world, Iranian studies, the modern Middle East, and Islam in the West.
The Ancient Near East and Early Islamic History
- GEOFFREY HERMAN: “There we sat down”: Mapping Settlement Patterns in Sasanian Babylonia
- FRANCESCA ROCHBERG: The Near Eastern Heritage in Greco-Roman Astronomy
- DAVID F. GRAF: Arabia before Islam
- G. W. BOWERSOCK: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Kingdom in Arabia
- HENNING TRÜPER: Entanglements of Classics and Orientalism in the History of Philology, and of Princeton University, circa 1900
- MURIEL DEBIE: For a Different History of the Seventh Century CE: Syriac Sources and Sasanian and Arab-Muslim Occupation of the Middle East
- STELIOS MICHALOPOULOS: Trade and Geography in the Origins and Spread of Islam
- CARLO SCARDINO: New Insights into the Continuation of Ancient Science among the Arabs
- D. G. TOR: The Empire Strikes Back: The Restoration of Caliphal Political Power in the Medieval Islamic World
The Bible and the Qurʾān
- KONRAD SCHMID: Who Wrote the Torah? Textual, Historical, Sociological, and Ideological Cornerstones of the Formation of the Pentateuch
- STEFAN SCHORCH: Is a Qibla a Qibla? Samaritan Traditions about Mount Garizim in Contact and Contention 95 SABINE SCHMIDTKE: Muslim Perceptions and Receptions of the Bible
- ROBERTO TOTTOLI: Editing the Qurʾān in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe
- GEORGES TAMER: The Concept of Time in the Qurʾān 118
- G. W. BOWERSOCK: The Voice of God
Islamic Intellectual History Within and Beyond Denominational Borders
- SONJA BRENTJES: Visualization and Material Cultures of the Heavens in Eurasia and North Africa
- KHALED EL-ROUAYHEB: Rethinking the Canons of Islamic Intellectual History
- SABINE SCHMIDTKE: The People of Justice and Monotheism: Muʿtazilism in Islam and Judaism
- KELLY DEVINE THOMAS: The Necessity of a Historical Approach to Islamic Theology: Tracing Modern Islamic Thought to the Middle Ages
- GARTH FOWDEN: Abraham and Aristotle in Dialogue
- FRÉDÉRIQUE WOERTHER: What Makes an Orator Trustworthy? Some Notes on the Transmission of Aristotle’s Rhetoric in the Arabic World and Its Interpretation by al-Fārābī
- FRANÇOIS DE BLOIS: Aristotle and Avicenna on the Habitability of the Southern Hemisphere
- EMMA GANNAGÉ: Physical Theory and Medical Practice in the Post-Avicenna Era: Yaʿqūb b. Isḥāq al-Isrāʾīlī on Properties (Exploratory Notes)
- FRANK GRIFFEL: Was Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī an Averroist after All? On the Double-Truth Theory in Medieval Latin and Islamic Thought
- SAMER TRABOULSI: The Challenges of Druze Studies
Arabic and other Semitic Languages and Literatures
- MAURICE A. POMERANTZ: Chasing after a Trickster: The Maqāmāt between Philology and World Literature
- BILAL ORFALI: Employment Opportunities in Literature in Tenth-Century Islamic Courts 243SEBASTIAN GÜNTHER: “A Glimpse of the Mystery of Mysteries”: Ibn Ṭufayl on Learning and Spirituality without Prophets and Scriptures
- GEOFFREY A. KHAN: Aramaic and Endangered Languages 262GEORGE A. KIRAZ: Dots in the Writing Systems of the Middle East
- WILL HANLEY: Unlocking Middle Eastern Names
Islamic Religious and Legal Practices, Law and Society
- ZOLTAN SZOMBATHY: Jurists on Literature and Men of Letters on Law: The Interfaces of Islamic Law and Medieval Arabic Literature
- MARION KATZ: Law, Ethics, and the Problem of Domestic Labor in the Islamic Marriage Contract
- HASSAN ANSARI: The Shiʿite Interpretation of the Status of Women 300ANVER M. EMON: Islamic Law and Private International Law: The Case of International Child Abduction
- VANJA HAMZIĆ: A Renaissance Interrupted? Debating Personhood through a Sexual Act in the Twelfth-Century Christianate and Islamicate Worlds 308MARGARET S. GRAVES: Say Something Nice: Supplications on Medieval Objects, and Why They Matter
- BIRGIT KRAWIETZ: Ten Theses on Working with Demons (Jinn) in Islamic Studies 331BABER JOHANSEN :The Invisibility of Paternal Filiation: The Power of Institutions versus Scientific Proof in Roman and Muslim Law
- RAINER BRUNNER: Joseph Schacht and German Orientalism in the 1920s and 1930s
The Islamic West and Beyond
- MARIBEL FIERRO: The Other Edge: The Maghrib in the Mashriq
- DEVIN J. STEWART: Identifying “the Mufti of Oran”: A Detective Story
- MERCEDES GARCÍA-ARENAL: Castilian and Arabic: The Debates about the Natural Languages of Spain
- PATRICK J. O’BANION: Peace and Quiet in Castile: Baptized Muslims, Feudal Lords, and the Royal Expulsion
- VALERIE GONZALEZ: The Hermeneutics of Islamic Ornament: The Example of the Alhambra
The Ottoman World and Beyond
- AMY SINGER: Edirne/Adrianople: The Best City in Greece 390
- JANE HATHAWAY: The Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Imperial Harem
- EMINE FETVACI: Persian Aesthetics in Ottoman Albums
- YÜCEL YANIKDAĞ: Syphilis as Measure of Civilization and Progress? Ottoman-Turkish Responses to European Medical Discourses on the General Paresis of the Insane
- PETER B. GOLDEN: The Construction of Ethnicity in Medieval Turkic Eurasia 420RON SELA: Tamerlane’s (Fictitious) Pilgrimage to the Tombs of the Prophets
- ADAM SABRA: Building a Family Shrine in Ottoman Cairo
Iranian and Persianate Studies
- ANDREA PIRAS: The Shaping of the Holy Self: Art and Religious Life in Manichaeism
- HASSAN ANSARI: Patricia Crone’s Contribution to Iranian Studies
- DANIEL J. SHEFFIELD: Lord of the Planetary Court: Revisiting a “Nativist Prophet” of Early Modern Iran
- RUDI MATTHEE: Nādir Shāh in Iranian Historiography: Warlord or National Hero? 467NEGIN NABAVI: The Birth of Newspaper Culture in Nineteenth-Century Iran
- VERA B. MOREEN: A Brief History of Judeo-Persian Literature
The Modern Middle East and Islam in the West
- ISRAEL GERSHONI: Liberal Democratic Legacies in Modern Egypt: The Role of the Intellectuals, 1900–1950
- BERNARD HAYKEL: ISIS and al-Qaeda—What Are They Thinking? Understanding the Adversary
- THOMAS HEGGHAMMER: Jihadi Weeping
- NOAH SALOMON: For Love of the Prophet: A Reply
- ILANA FELDMAN: Living in a Humanitarian World: Palestinian Refugees and the Challenge of Long-Term Displacement
- DIDIER FASSIN: The Multiple Figures of the Witness in Palestine
- CATHERINE ROTTENBERG: Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality, Creating a Common Future in Israel
- JOAN WALLACH SCOTT: La Nouvelle Laïcité and Its Critics: Preface to the French Translation of The Politics of the Veil
Das Schahname oder „Buch der Könige“, verfasst um das Jahr 1000 im Osten Irans, ist ohne Zweifel das bedeutendste epische Werk in persischer Sprache und darf zu den wichtigsten epischen Werken der Weltliteratur gezählt werden. Es erzählt die Geschichte der Herrscher Irans seit den mythologischen Anfängen bis zur Eroberung des Sasanidenreichs durch die muslimischen Araber im 7. Jahrhundert.
Im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert erschienen Versübersetzungen des Schahname in mehreren europäischen Sprachen, darunter eine vollständige italienische Versübersetzung des Orientalisten Italo Pizzi und die ebenfalls vollständige englische Übersetzung der Brüder Arthur und Edmund Warner. Deutsche Versübersetzungen wie diejenigen von Adolf Friedrich von Schack und durch den Orientalisten und Poeten Friedrich Rückert blieben jedoch Torsos.
Erstmals wird hier eine deutsche Versübersetzung der sogenannten historischen Teile des Schahname (Bücher 20-50) von Firdausi vorgelegt. Der Urheber dieser meisterlichen Übertragung ist der österreichische Schriftsteller und Jurist Robert Adam Pollak (1877–1961). Pollaks Übersetzung zeugt von seinen exzellenten philologischen Qualitäten und seiner großen wissenschaftlichen Sorgfalt, die den Text zu einem weiteren Meilenstein in der Erforschung und Rezeption des Schahname macht.
Bei der Herausgabe der maschinenschriftlich mit handschriftlichen Ergänzungen vorliegenden Übersetzung von Robert Adam Pollak (des 4-bändigen Typoskripts) wurden von den Herausgebern nur notwendige Eingriffe in seinen Text vorgenommen. Pollaks prosodisch oder durch Reim bedingte und daher hier und da variierende Lesungen der Lemmata wurden soweit wie irgend möglich in der von ihm gewählten Form belassen bzw. vorsichtig angepasst, um den poetischen Klang seiner Übersetzung nicht zu zerstören.
Der vollständige Schahnametext beginnt mit der Einleitung Firdausis (ca. 237 Doppelverse), gefolgt von 50 überlieferten Königsbüchern (52.000–55.000 Doppelverse), die man inhaltlich einteilen kann in: a) prähistorischer, mythischer Teil (Bücher 1-13), b) halbhistorischer Teil (Bücher 14-19) und c) historischer Teil (Bücher 20-50). Dieser letztere Textteil, den Pollak als Vorlage für seine Übersetzung nahm, umfasst die überlieferte Geschichte der Herrschaft Alexanders über den Iran (331–323 v. Chr.), die Herrschaftsperiode der Parther-Arsakiden (247 v. Chr.–226 n. Chr.) und die umfangreiche Geschichte der Sasaniden (226–651 n. Chr.), schließend mit einer in ihrer Echtheit und ihrem Umfang strittigen Satire gegen den ghaznavidischen Herrscher, Sulṭān Maḥmūd (reg. 999 bis 1030 n. Chr.).
Mit der Übersetzung Robert Adam Pollaks wird der umfangreiche historische Teil des epischen Meisterwerkes Firdausis den deutschsprachigen Interessenten in poetischer Form zugänglich gemacht. Nunmehr sind die Grundsteine für eine vollständige deutsche Ausgabe gelegt worden, die neben Rückerts und Pollaks poetischen Übersetzungen auch die poetische Übertragung Adolf Friedrich Graf von Schacks »Heldensagen des Firdusi« berücksichtigen könnte.
Space, like time, is one of the basic categories of our thinking. Their concepts do not remain constant in different cultures or in changing periods, which is why dealing with a historical cultural phenomenon always requires a review of these categories in their specific culture and time. Based on the oldest linguistic and architectural evidence of Iran from the 12th to the 4th century BC, for the first time Kianoosh Rezania offers a comprehensive study of space concepts in Zoroastrianism in ancient Iran.
Based on current and historical theories of space, the Zoroastrian spaces are divided into cosmic, cultic and social spaces. The depiction of the cosmic spaces describes spatial abstractions in ancient Iranian languages as well as Zoroastrian boundary principles. Rezania examines the coordinate systems that ancient Iranians used for orientation in space and how they transformed their cognitive maps into text. This also includes the portrayal of the Zoroastrian worldview according to their older texts. At the intersection of cosmic and cultural spaces, there are transcendent spaces that contain, on the one hand, utopian spaces for communication with gods, some of which are written by poets. Since the study does not rule out dynamics and change processes in the ritual domain, reconstructions of Zoroastrian ritual surfaces in the Avestan period are presented without the inclusion of recent materials. In addition, the spatially represented social structure of the Avestan society and their spatial symbolic orders are presented.
Although the idea of a Euro-Asiatic Axial Age can be traced back to the pioneer Iranian philologist Anquetil Duperron, ancient Iran plays in the 20th-century axle-time theory founded by Karl Jaspers, which revolves around the comprehension and explanation of ‘rationality’ usually only a minor role.
In his investigations of the ancient Iranian history of rationality, Götz König firtsly points out which theory-immanent factors in Jaspers’ basic text On the Origin and Aim of History (1949) may have favored this forgetting. Sample analyzes show how, through minimal changes in the ritual, a change in the constellation of mental faculties, or the replacement of a metaphysical concept with a legal concept of order, ways (in the ancient East as well as then in Western Iran) are opened up Align center categories. A concluding study of the dialectics of the Axial Age shows how the period of the Achaemenids (6th-4th century BC) may in various ways be regarded as the actual Axis time of Iran, but ultimately fails to meet its own rational standards and wrong.
- Zur Einleitung
- Besichtigung der Jaspers’schen Elemente einer Theorie der Achsenzeit
- Die minime Abweichung Zu einer indo-iranischen Ritualdifferenz und ihren Folgen
- Daēnā, Xratu und das Moment des Schauens Wissenserwerb im älteren und mittleren Zoroastrismus
- Gefügtes – Gesetztes. Überlegungen zur Genese von Darius’ manā dāta– „mein Gesetz“
- Die Dialektik der Achsenzeit Von der Objektwerdung des Subjektes im achämenidischen Iran
Gyselen, Rika. 2017. Sasanian seals: Owners and reusers. In Ben van den Bercken & Vivian Baan (eds.), Engraved gems: From antiquity to the present (Papers on Archaeology of the Leiden Museum of Antiquities 14), 85–92. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
The majority of Sasanian seals are anonymous and anepigraphic. Some are engraved with an inscription, sometimes a personal name or the name of an institution. This information allows seal owners to be identified. It can be provided by:
A. Sigillographic data, that is, data intrinsic to the seal itself. This can be epigraphic and/or iconographic.
B. Textual data in a document with a sealed clay bulla still attached.
Seals were sometimes reused by subsequent owners; on some seals this reuse can be traced.
Sadeghi, Fatemeh. 2018. Sin of the woman. Interrelations of religious judgments in Zoroastrianism and Islam (Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 336). Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag.
Since the 1920s, the so-called »return to the roots«, has become a hegemonic discourse in Iran. Whereas the Pahlavi regimes (1925–1979) propagated the myth of the lost idyll of pre-Islamic Iran representing themselves as the true inheritors of those monarchies, the Islamists adopted a respective approach in regard to Islam.
As a result, a similar fairytale was made about the early Islamic community. Such claims, as it were, are not so much about the past as they are about the present. So is this study.
By delving into the past, it questions the widespread nostalgic notions considering the pre-Islamic era as a lost utopia, wherein women were free from the restrictions »imposed by Islam«. In point of fact such past is a fabrication. In the majority of cases, therefore, the revival projects invent traditions to legitimize current political agendas.