All posts by Yazdan Safaee

Revisiting the Location of Pṛga in the Behistun Inscription

Doroodi, Mojtaba & Farrokh Hajiani. 2018. Revisiting the location of Pṛga in the Behistun inscription on the basis of its etymology and an examination of historico-geographical texts. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 46 (3-4), 265–289.

A multitude of geographical names are referred to in the Behistun Inscription. Despite the fact that scholars have put considerable effort in locating the current sites of many of these places, there is a shroud of mystery hanging over some. A mountain called Parga, the battlefield of King Darius with Vahyazdāta, is one of them. Some researchers have identified it with Forg District which seems to be an erroneous assumption. This study, while convincingly refuting the aforementioned assumption, tries to propound and prove a new idea as regards the whereabouts of Prga. In reaching this goal, the authors have benefited from etymological and historical evidence and have examined the original inscription in Old Persian, Elamite, Babylonian, and Aramaic. The results of this study indicate that what is now called Shahrak-e Abarj in the Marvdasht Plain could be the real location of Prga referred to in the Behistun Inscription.

Reflections of Armenian Identity in History and Historiography

Berberian, Houri & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2018. Reflections of Armenian identity in history and historiography. Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

This volume is the result of a conference held on the UCI campus in April of 2015. The purpose of this international conference was to explore various aspects of Armenian identity from the remote past to the present. Some of the papers that appear in this collection stay true to their original presentations w hile others have been dramatically altered, even in subject in one case.

Table of Contents:

  • Gregory E. Areshian: Historical Dynamics of the Endogenous Armenian, i.e. Hayots, Identity: Some General Observations
  • Touraj Daryaee: The Fall of Urartu and the Rise of Armenia
  • Ani Honarchian: Of God and Letters: A Sociolinguistic Study on the Invention of the Armenian Alphabet in Late Antiquity
  • Khodadad Rezakhani: The Rebellion of Babak and the Historiography of the Southern Caucasus
  • Giusto Traina: Ambigua Gens? Methodological Problems in the Ancient Armenian history
  • Sebouh David Aslanian: The “Great Schism” of 1773: Venice and the Founding of the Armenian Community in Trieste
  • S. Peter Cowe: The Armenian Oikoumene in the Sixteenth Century: Dark Age or Era of Transition?
  • Roman Smbatyan: Some Remarks on the Identity and Historical Role of Artsakhi Meliks in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries CE
  • Myrna Douzjian: Armenianness Reimagined in Atom Egoyan’s Ararat
  • Shushan Karapetian: The Changing Role of Language in the Construction of Armenian Identity among the (American) Diaspora
  • Rubina Peroomian: Effects of the Genocide, Second Generation Voices

 

The Worst Revolt of the Bisitun Crisis

Wijnsma, Uzume. 2018. The worst revolt of the Bisitun crisis: A chronological reconstruction of the Egyptian revolt under Petubastis IVJournal of Near Eastern Studies 77 (2), 157–173.

How Did the Persian King of Kings Get his Wine

Comfort, Anthony & Michal Marciak. 2018. How did the Persian King of Kings get his wine? The Upper Tigris in antiquity (C.700 Bce to 636 Ce). Archaeopress Archaeology.

How did the Persian King of Kings Get His Wine? the upper Tigris in antiquity (c.700 BCE to 636 CE) explores the upper valley of the Tigris during antiquity. The area is little known to scholarship, and study is currently handicapped by the security situation in southeast Turkey and by the completion during 2018 of the Ilısu dam. The reservoir being created will drown a large part of the valley and will destroy many archaeological sites, some of which have not been investigated. The course of the upper Tigris discussed here is the section from Mosul up to its source north of Diyarbakır; the monograph describes the history of the river valley from the end of the Late Assyrian empire through to the Arab conquests, thus including the conflicts between Rome and Persia. It considers the transport network by river and road and provides an assessment of the damage to cultural heritage caused both by the Saddam dam (also known as the Eski Mosul dam) in Iraq and by the Ilısu dam in south-east Turkey. A catalogue describes the sites important during the long period under review in and around the valley. During the period reviewed this area was strategically important for Assyria’s relations with its northern neighbours, for the Hellenistic world’s relations with Persia and for Roman relations with first the kingdom of Parthia and then with Sassanian Persia.

Taxation and Administration in the Achaemenid Empire

From 550 to 330 BCE, the Achaemenid empire conquered different regions and united them under the rule of its king. To finance its military expeditions, its administration and its building projects, the empire extracted taxes from the peoples it ruled. But was there a common fiscal system uniting Babylonia, Egypt, Iran, Asia Minor, Bactria, etc., managed by a corps of administrators and agents imposing Achaemenid rules? This workshop will bring together specialists of archeological and written sources from different provinces of the empire to discuss the problems associated with this question and to present the realities of the local peoples living in of the Achaemenid empire.

 

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Silk, Slaves, and Stupas

Whitfield, Susan. 2018. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road. University of California Press.

Following her bestselling Life Along the Silk Road, Susan Whitfield widens her exploration of the great cultural highway with a new captivating portrait focusing on material things. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas tells the stories of ten very different objects, considering their interaction with the peoples and cultures of the Silk Road—those who made them, carried them, received them, used them, sold them, worshipped them, and, in more recent times, bought them, conserved them, and curated them. From a delicate pair of earrings from a steppe tomb to a massive stupa deep in Central Asia, a hoard of Kushan coins stored in an Ethiopian monastery to a Hellenistic glass bowl from a southern Chinese tomb, and a fragment of Byzantine silk wrapping the bones of a French saint to a Bactrian ewer depicting episodes from the Trojan War, these objects show us something of the cultural diversity and interaction along these trading routes of Afro-Eurasia.

Exploring the labor, tools, materials, and rituals behind these various objects, Whitfield infuses her narrative with delightful details as the objects journey through time, space, and meaning. Silk, Slaves, and Stupas is a lively, visual, and tangible way to understand the Silk Road and the cultural, economic, and technical changes of the late antique and medieval worlds.

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The Macedonian Expeditionary Corps in Asia Minor (336–335 BC)

Kholod, Maxim. 2018. The Macedonian Expeditionary Corps in Asia Minor (336–335 BC)Klio. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte. 100 (2), 407-446.

The article deals with a complex of issues connected with the campaign waged by the Macedonian expeditionary corps in Asia Minor in 336–335 BC. The author clears up the aims set for the advance-guard, its command structure, strength and composition. He also describes the relevant military operations and reveals the reasons both for the Macedonians’ successes in 336 and their failures in 335. The idea is argued that despite the final failures, it is hardly possible to say that the campaign the expeditionary corps conducted ended in its total defeat. Besides, it is noted that those military operations had major significance for Alex-ander’s campaign in Asia Minor in 334, because a number of preconditions for its full success had been created right in their course.

The Military History of the Third Century Iran

Syvänne, Ilkka & Katarzyna Maksymiuk. 2018. The Military History of the Third Century Iran. Siedlce: Scientific Publishing House of Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities.

The book The Military History of the Third Century Iran is the result of several years of collaboration between the authors who undertake daily research on the history of pre-Islamic Iran. The present work is primarily addressed to students of history who acquire their first experiences in exploring the history of the Near East. We hope that it will help readers with a fascinating topic and will encourage them to continue their studies on ancient military.

Afghanistan: A new journal

Afghanistan is a refereed journal published twice a year in April and October. It covers all subjects in the humanities including history, art, archaeology, architecture, geography, numismatics, literature, religion, social sciences and contemporary issues from the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods. Articles are not restricted to the present borders of Afghanistan and can include the surrounding regions, but must relate to Afghanistan.

It’s first issue (Volume 1, Issue 1) is now out.

Table of contents:

  • Thomas Barfield: Introduction: The American Institute of Afghanistan Studies
  • Francesca Fuoli: Incorporating north-western Afghanistan into the British empire: experiments in indirect rule through the making of an imperial frontier, 1884–87
  •  Nile Green: From Persianate pasts to Aryan antiquity. Transnationalism and transformation in Afghan intellectual history, c.1880–1940
  • Elisabeth Leake: Afghan internationalism and the question of Afghanistan’s political legitimacy
  •  Zafar Paiman: Le monastère de Qol-e-Tut à la lumière des fouilles archéologiques
  • Jürgen Paul: Alptegin in the Siyāsat-nāma
  • Claude Rapin and Frantz Grenet: How Alexander entered India. With a note on Ortospana (the ancient name of Ghazni?)
  • Paul Wordsworth: The hydrological networks of the Balkh Oasis after the arrival of Islam: a landscape archaeological perspective
  • Recent books relating to Afghanistan

The website of journal is available here.

Dating the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes

Gertoux, Gérard. 2018. Dating the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes. In Pascal Attinger et al, (eds.), Text and Image Proceedings of the 61e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Geneva and Bern, 22–26 June 2015. 179-206. Leuven – Paris – Bristol, CT: Peeters.

The pivotal date of 465 BCE for the death of Xerxes has been accepted by historians for many years without notable controversy. However, according to Thucydides, a historian renowned for his high chronological accuracy, Themistocles met Artaxerxes, who had succeeded Xerxes, his father, just after the fall of Nexos  which occured after the fall of Skyros dated at the beginning of the archonship of Phaedo in 476 BCE, according to Plutarch (Life of Theseus §§35,36). Thus, the meeting with Themistocles would have occurred soon after 475, not 465. The present Achaemenid chronology comes mainly from official Babylonian king lists which ignore coregents and usurpers. This official version is contradicted by contracts dated in “year, month, day” proving the existence of frequent co-regencies and usurpers. In addition, according to the astronomical tablet referenced BM 32234 the death of Xerxes is dated 14/V/21 between two lunar eclipses, one dated 14/III/21 (26 June 475 BCE), which was total, and a second dated 14/VIII/21 (20 December 475 BCE), which was partial. Thus the death of Xerxes has to be dated 24 August 475 BCE. Likewise, the death of Artaxerxes I is fixed precisely by Thucydides just before a partial solar eclipse (21 March 424 BCE) which would imply an absurd co-regency of Darius II with a dead king for at least one year! In fact, Plutarch and Justinus have effectively described a long co-regency of Artaxerxes but with his first son Darius B (434-426), not Darius II, and afterward two shorts reigns: Xerxes II for 2 months then Sogdianus for 7 months, which occurred before the reign of Darius II. The title of Xerxes (496-475) in Egypt and the data of Diodorus confirm the co-regency of 10 years with Darius, as do Elephantine papyri with many double dates both in civil and lunar calendars.