All posts by Shervin Farridnejad

From Old to New Persian

Utas, Bo. 2013. From Old to New Persian: Collected essays (Beiträge Zur Iranistik 38). Edited by Carina Jahani & Mehrdad Fallahzadeh. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.

In a long series of essays, written during almost half a century, Bo Utas analyses the development of West Iranian languages, particularly Old, Middle, and New Persian, from various perspectives. The focus is placed on the transition from Middle to New Persian and the final essays (hitherto partly unpublished) especially elucidate this process in the light of an interaction between oral and written language.
This book is the second volume of collected articles by Bo Utas. The first volume, Manuscript, Text and Literature. Collected Essays on Middle and New Persian Texts, was published on the occasion of his 70th birthday as no. 29 in the series Beiträge zur Iranistik in 2008.
The seventeen articles in the present volume cover a time span of about 2,500 years and encompass all the stages of Persian. It also contains two entirely new articles, “The Grammatical Transition from Middle to New Persian” and “Between Spoken and Written: The Formation of New Persian”, which sum up much of Bo Utas’ philological research.

For more information, see the preface to this volume and the ToC.
Continue reading From Old to New Persian

The comprehensive history of Iran

Mousavi-Bojnourdi, Kazem (General Editor). 2015. The comprehensive history of Iran. 20. Vols. Tehran: The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia.

The Comprehensive History of Iran, a multi-volume survey of Iranian history in Persian language is published by The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (CGIE). The twenty volumes cover the history and historical geography, politic, culture and arts of the greater Iran, including all territories inhabited by or staying under the cultural influence of peoples of Iranian descent , from prehistoric times up to the Qajar dynasty. Many aspects of the religious, philosophical, economic, scientific, and artistic elements in Iranian civilization are studied in this series.

For more information, see the official website and the list of the contributors and the detailed Table of Contents (all in Persian).

The series consists of 20 volumes: Continue reading The comprehensive history of Iran

A reader in Modern Persian

Delshad, Farshid. 2015. Textbuch modernes Persisch. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

The Textbook Modern Persian contains thirty selected readings about contemporary Iran from various disciplinary perspectives including: literature, philosophy, theology, mysticism, society, politics, history, geography, sports, cuisine, mythology and computational linguistics. Each chapter of the book includes an introduction to the topic, a rating of the complexity of the text (from A2 to C2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the philological acquisition of lexical fields within the chapter, and a selected bibliography of additional material on the subject matter. The text also includes a concise trilingual glossary (Persian-German-English), a conjugation sample, a detailed list of all common infinitives in Modern Persian, and English abstracts for each of the thirty textbook units. This book is ideal for students taking Persian language courses, as well as for anyone interested in contemporary Persian language, literature and culture.

For more information read the preface to this volume and a sample chapter as well as see the ToC.
About the author:
Farshid Delshad received his PhD in Historical Comparative Linguistics from the German University of Friedrich-Schiller. He is currently working in Germany and in the United States as an associate scholar for Languages and Cultures of the Muslim World.

The Pahlavi Yasna of the Gāθās and Yasna Haptaŋhāiti

Malandra, William W. & Pallan Ichaporia (eds.). 2013. The Pahlavi Yasna of the Gāthās and Yasna Haptaŋhāiti. Wiesbaden: Reichert. 2nd ed., corrected.

As the title suggests the book is a study of the Pahlavi Yasna, a Middle Persian (Pahlavi) gloss on the liturgical text, the Yasna. The study is restricted to the Gāthās or Hymns of Zarathustra (Zoroaster) and to the Yasna Haptaŋhāiti, a prose text composed in the same dialect of Avestan. There are three main sections: Introduction, The Text, and Glossary. In addition there are two Appenices: I Parallel Text of the Avestan and Pahalvi Gloss; II The ašәm vohū and its Variants in the Dēnkart. The Introduction is a text-critical study of the Pahlavi Yasna which addresses the main issues of the nature of the text, its authorship and dating, and its relationship to parallels in the Dēnkard. In the presentation of the text, the position is taken that the fundamental text is a nearly word-by-word gloss on the original Avestan. That is, it is not a translation as we might understand the term. Interspersed in the gloss are miscellaneous comments inserted by later hands to illuminate certain words and passages. Appendix I is provided to portray how the glosses line up with the Avestan, ignoring the later comments. The text itself is based on the 1946 critical edition of B. N. Dhabhar given in the Pahlavi script and to which we have provided many improvements. In footnotes we have cited all the parallel passages from the Dēnkard. These reveal that there were exegetical traditions other than the official Pahlavi Yasna. Although Dhabhar’s edition included a glossary, it is not up to the philological standards of current scholarship. There is deliberately no translation into English, as a running gloss of this sort does not lend itself to a coherent translation.
The contribution to the fields of Middle Persian and Zoroastrian studies is really threefold: 1) to establish a reliable text in Roman transliteration; 2) to provide an extensive glossary of all lexical items; 3) to contribute to an understanding of the nature and formation of the text. The intended readership is primarily scholars and students who have some acquaintance with Pahlavi and have an interest in the history of Zoroastrianism.

For more information see the ToC and read both the Preface to this volume as well as a Sample Chapter.
About the authors:
William W. Malandra is Associate Professor of Indo-Iranian Philology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Pallan R. Ichaporia has BA in Avesta/Pahlavi from Bombay University and attended Columbia University for Post Graduate Study in Iranian Languages under James Russell. He obtained doctorate in Business Administration from Oklahoma.

The policy of Darius and Xerxes

Vasilev, Miroslav Ivanov. 2015. The policy of Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia (Mnemosyne Supplements. History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity 379). Leiden: Brill.

The campaigns of the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes in Europe led to the subjugation of part of the southern Thrace and Greek cities situated between Byzantium and Strymon River, along with the subordination of Macedonia. While the relations between Persians and Greeks are well developed by numerous publications, including many monographs, the Policy Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia appears undeservedly neglected.

In The Policy of Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia Miroslav Vasilev analyses in detail the policy of the Persian kings towards their European possessions in the years 514–465 BC.

For more information and take a look inside the book see here.

 
Miroslav Ivanov Vasilev, PhD (2010), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, is an independent researcher. He has published articles concerning early Macedonian history (before Philip II), includingThe military-political campaign of Sitalces against Perdiccas II and the Chalcidians (431–429 B.C.), Živa Antika, Skopje 2011.

Corpus Avesticum meeting: “Ḫorde Avesta”

Corpus Avesticum | Meeting in Berlin 22–23 May 2015

Institute of Iranian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

The Project of Corpus Avesticum (CoAv) is a pan-European Co-operation that aims at making the Zoroastrian Texts, called the Avesta accessible in a new Edition. The current one stems from 1896 and is erroneous with regard to many crucial aspects, the most important of which is the amalgamation of the liturgical and exegetical text witnesses.

The next meeting of the European research network Corpus Avesticum will take place in Berlin. 22. and 23. May 2015 researchers from Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK will meet at Free University of Berlin to discuss various projects in preparation of a new edition of the Avesta.

This meeting is dedicated to the research questions mainly regarding to a new edidion of the Ḫorde Avesta/Khorde Avesta.

Program:

  • Paul Widmer/Florian Sommer: “Vortrag zur Fehlertypologie in den Yašt-Handschriften bzw. den Einfluss derselben auf das Verständnis der Grammatik”.
  • Almut Hintze: “The Vištāsp Yašt and an obscure word in the Hadoxt Nask”.
  • Leon Goldman: “On the Sanskrit Yasna manuscript S1″.
  • Alberto Cantera: “On the wāz gīrišnīh”.
  • Mehrbod Khanizadeh: “A Preliminary Study on the Relationships Between the Pahlavi Version of the Exegetic Yasna Manuscripts”.
  • Celine Redard: “On the Paris Mss”.
  • Antonio Panaino: “The corpus of the Yašts and their Pahlavi Translations. Considerations about a Textual Loss and its Reasons”.
  • Götz König: “Research on the Bayān Nask. State of the Art”.
  • Miguel Ángel Andrés Toledo: “The Drōn Frawardin Yašt Ceremony in the Avestan Manuscripts”.

The other members of the research group CoAv are also Arash Zeini (London), Kianoosh Rezania (Bochum), Salome Gholami (Frankfurt), David Buyaner and Shervin Farridnejad (Berlin).

*Image: An illustrated copy of the Avestan Wīdēvdād Sāde. Copied in Yazd, Iran, in 1647 ( © British Library RSPA 230, ff. 151v–152r). Published in: Farridnejad, Shervin. 2014. The Avestan Manuscript 4060 (RSPA230), Videvdad Iranian Sade of the British Library. (Avestan Digital Archive Series 75). Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca.

Studies on classical Persian poetry

Bürgel, Johann Christoph. 2013. Nachtigallen an Gottes Thron: Studien zur persischen Dichtung. Edited by Mehr Ali Newid and Peter-Arnold Mumm. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
To date, only a few pioneers have made classical Persian poetry and philosophy accessible to the occidental eye. During the 17th and 18th centuries, influential travellers brought goods, travelogues and translations back from Persia. Around 1800, enthusiasm for the oriental brought about more translations as well as more systematic research. In 1812, Joseph v. Hammer(-Purgstall) translated the Dīvān of Ḥāfeẓ. It is with him that Friedrich Rückert studied Persian and went on to set new standards in oriental philology and translation. Despite the tremendous contributions of the chairs in Iranian Studies which were subsequently founded in Europe, the wealth of Persian literature has hardly been exhausted.

Johann Christoph Bürgel was born in Silesia in 1931, received his doctorate in Göttingen in 1960 and was director of the Institute of Islamic Studies in Bern from 1970 to 1995. With his research method, characterised by scientific accuracy and a creative gift for language, he continued the tradition of Rückert and laid cornerstones for today’s Iranian Studies. He received numerous awards for his research as well as his translations.

This volume combines selected papers by distinguished orientalists from 1978 to 2008, dealing with Neẓāmī, ʿAṭṭār, Ḥāfeẓ, Rūmī, Sanāʾī and other Persian mystics and poets, as well as their European reception.

Continue reading Studies on classical Persian poetry

The Kurdish Šāhnāma

Chaman Ara, Behrooz. The Kurdish Šāhnāma and Its Literary and Religious Implications. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.

The Kurdish Shanama and its Literary and Religious Implications, as the result of a long-time fieldwork in the cultural spans of Zagros, focuses on the newly survived epic-heroic narratives known as Razm-nama, Jang-nama or Shanama. In this work, author draws attention to the existence of an unexpectedly rich epic-heroic tradition in literary Gurani (a composite idiom used in the Zagros regions) and strongly suggest that this tradition is largely independent of the Ferdowsi’s Shahnama but has many common features with other works of the Sistani cycle of epics and the Persian Naqqali tradition. This work addresses the structural and contextual similarities and differences between this tradition and its counterparts in Persian literature, and subsequently proposes a new understanding of the term Shahnama and the term Xwadaynamag. In this work, Chaman Ara, challenges the common understandings of the concept of Gurani, and presents analysis and descriptions of some linguistic features of the theory of Gurani literary language.
See here for the ToC and the Preface to this volume.
Behrooz Chaman Ara received his PhD in 2014 from the Institute of Iranian Studies of the Georg-August University of Göttingen. His research focuses on the Kurdish languages, literature and cultures.

Parthian sources online

Parthian Sources Online

This website is a digital collection of texts from the Parthian empire, one of the biggest and longest-lasting empires of antiquity. Under the kings of the Arsacid dynasty (c. 247 BCE to 224 CE), the Parthians ruled a kingdom that stretched from central Asia in the east to the Euphrates river in the west. Their history is a crucial part of the legacy of ancient Iran, though in many respects it is still poorly understood.

Some of the texts here are in ancient Greek. Others are in Parthian, an Iranian language that outlasted the Arsacid empire and remained in use even after the overthrow of the dynasty. Coming soon are a few inscriptions in Latin composed by Parthians living in the territory of the Roman empire.

At the moment this site is a work in progress, with content being added on a regular basis.

This site is authored and maintained by Jake Nabel, a PhD student in the Department of Classics at Cornell University. His research focuses on Parthia’s relationship with Rome, its imperial peer (and sometimes rival) to the west.

 

Books as material and symbolic artifacts in religious book cultures

Books as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book CulturesBooks as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book Cultures

Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr University Bochum: 28 & 29 May 2015

The Käte Hamburger Kolleg Workshop on Books as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book Cultures will analyze the connections between books and manuscripts as material artifacts and the formation of religious book cultures before the printing era. It will also explore the ways in which, in religious book production, the medium, in its forms of “human and institutional interactions,” influences the transmission of the religious message, allowing for the material format to receive further alterations from the religious message itself. Finally, this workshop will investigate interactions between modern religious groups and the very academic books which describe them.

Programm of The KHK Workshop on Books as Religious Artifacts (May 28-29, 2015)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

  • Costantino Moretti (Paris): “Non-Textual Uses in Buddhist Medieval China”
  • Grégoire Espesset (Bochum): “Petitioning in Pre-Modern Taoist Liturgy”
  • Vladimir Glomb (Bochum): “Sagehood for Young Boys: Confucian Primers in Traditional Korea”
  • Shervin Farridnejad (Berlin): “The Zoroastrian “Holy Book”: The Understanding and Construction of the Avesta as a Book in Zoroastrian Tradition and Oriental Studies”
  • Kianoosh Rezania (Bochum): “The Zoroastrian “Pahlavi Book”: The Genesis of the Dēnkard in the Early Abbasid Period”
  • Marie Efthymiou (Aix-Marseille): “Suras Collections in Central Asia: From Manuscripts Used in Daily Devotions to Teaching Subject in Quranic Schools”

Friday, 29 May 2015

  • Ksenia Pimenova (Bochum): “Ethnographers, Their Books, and Their Shamans: The Scripturalization of Post-Soviet Tuvan Shamanism”
  • Mareile Haase (Bochum): “The Zagreb Mummy Wrappings: An Etruscan Linen Book from Egypt”
  • AnneMarie Luijendijk (Princeton): “Put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time (Jer. 32:14): On Saving and Discarding Sacred Books”
  • Flavia Ruani (Ghent): “Books of Protection, Books of Perdition: Book Imagery in Ephrem the Syrian’s Heresiology”
  • Eduard Iricinschi (Bochum): “No one in Rome really has time to attend readings (Pliny, Letters, 3.18.4): The Anxiety of Publishing Books in Late Antiquity”