All posts by Yazdan Safaee

With Alexander in India and Central Asia

Antonetti, Claudia, & Paolo Biagi (ed.). 2017. With Alexander in India and Central Asia: moving east and back to west. Oxbow Books.

Alexander conquered most parts of the Western World, but there is a great deal of controversy over his invasion of India, the least known of his campaigns. In BC 327 Alexander came to India, and tried to cross the Jhelum river for the invasion, but was then confronted by King Porus who ruled an area in what is now the Punjab. According to Indian history he was stopped by Porus at his entry into the country, but most of the world still believes that Alexander won the battle. Fearing the prospect of facing other large armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, Alexander’s army mutinied at the Hyphasis River, refusing to march farther east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander’s conquests.
Twelve papers in this volume examine aspects of Alexander’s Indian campaign, the relationship between him and his generals, the potential to use Indian sources, and evidence for the influence of policies of Alexander in neighbouring areas such as Iran and Russia.

Table of contents:

  • SILVIA BARBANTANI: Alexander’s Presence (and Absence) in Hellenistic Poetry
  • TIMOTHY HOWE: Plutarch, Arrian and the Hydaspes: An Historiographical Approach
  • FEDERICOMARI AMUCCIOLI: Classical sources and proskynesis. History of a Misunderstanding
  • MAREK JAN OLBRYCHT: Alexander the Great at Susa (324 B.C.)
  • GIUSEPPE SQUILLACE: Darius versus Darius: Portrayal of the Enemy in Alexander’s Propaganda
  • EDWARD M. ANSON: Fortress Egypt: The Abortive Invasions of 320 and 306 BC
  • VÍCTOR ALONSO TRONCOSO: Antigonus Monophthalmus and Alexander’s Memory
  • SABINE MÜLLER: Visualizing Political Friendship, Family Ties, and Links to the Argead Past in the Time of the Successors
  • DANIEL OGDEN: Seleucus, his Signet Ring and his Diadem
  • MANUELA MARI: A «Lawless Piety» in an Age of Transition. Demetrius the Besieger and the Political Uses of Greek Religion
  • FRANCES POWNALL: Alexander’s Political Legacy in the West: Duris on Agathocles
  • LUISA PRANDI: Philodemus of Gadara on Callisthenes and Alexander (New Light from PHerc 1675 and 1050)
  • JOSEPH ROISMAN: CONCLUSIONS

 

Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Volume 53

Ancient Near Eastern Studies is a refereed journal and accepts original articles devoted to the languages and cultures of the ancient Near East. The geographical area on which we primarily focus includes the modern lands of Egypt, Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Sheikhdoms. Manuscripts on related languages and cultures in neighbouring regions will also be considered.

Several papers and reviews of Volume 53 of Ancient Near Eastern Studies are related to Iran:

Mithra and the Arrangement of Geographical Lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanid Inscriptions

Tamari, Nazanin. 2017. “Mithra and the Arrangement of Geographical Lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanid Inscriptions“, Journal of Historical Researches 8(4), 111-130.

The division of the world is one of the issues that began with the social life of human in all over the world and still continues. The oldest division has mythical and legendary aspects that shows the geographical knowledge or religious and ethnic beliefs of their predecessors.
Various geographical divisions can be seen in the ancient Iranian traditions. Each of these divisions follow the specific arrangement of listing the geographical areas, which discussed in this paper. The arrangement of geographical areas in Achaemenid and Sasanian inscription and in the Mihr Yašt, the oldest of Avestan hymns (Yašts), are the same. Because of this similarity cannot be accidental, in this paper the cause of the similarities has been investigated.
The arrangement of geographical areas in two lists (inscriptions and Mihr Yašt) shows clockwise (sunwise) fashion, that investigated in religious view in this study. Due to the Mithra’s influence on cultural and religious context of the ancient Iranians, for the first time in present paper investigated the role of this god and his influence on the writing the geographical lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanin inscriptions.

In origianl:

تمری، نازنین. 1395.   ایزد مهر و آرایش فهرست های جغرافیایی در کتیبه های هخامنشی و ساسانی. فصل‌نامه پژوهش‌های تاریخی، 8(4) 111-130

The Routledge Companion to Strabo

Dueck, Daniela (ed.). 2017. The Routledge Companion to Strabo. The Routledge.

The Routledge Companion to Strabo explores the works of Strabo of Amasia (c. 64 BCE – c. CE 24), a Greek author writing at the prime of Roman expansion and political empowerment. While his earlier historiographical composition is almost entirely lost, his major opus of the Geography includes an encyclopaedic look at the entire world known at the time: numerous ethnographic, topographic, historical, mythological, botanical, and zoological details, and much more.

To see table of contents click here.

 

King of the Seven Climes

Daryaee, Touraj (ed.). 2017. King of the Seven Climes: A History of the Ancient Iranian World (3000 BCE – 651 CE). UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

 

In a Middle Persian text known as “Khusro and the Page,” one of the most famous kings of the ancient Iranian world, Khusro I Anusheruwan, is called haft kišwar xawadāy “the King of the Seven Climes.” This title harkens back to at least the Achaemenid period when it was in fact used, and even further back to a Zoroastrian/Avestan world view. From the earliest Iranian hymns, those of the Gāthās of Zarathushtra, through the Younger Avesta and later Pahlavi writings, it is known that the ancient Iranians divided the world into seven climes or regions. Indeed, at some point there was even an aspiration that this world should be ruled by a single king. Consequently, the title of the King of the Seven Climes, used by Khusro I in the sixth century CE, suggests the most ambitious imperial vision that one would find in the literary tradition of the ancient Iranian world. Taking this as a point of departure, the present book aims to be a survey of the dynasties and rulers who thought of going beyond their own surroundings to forge larger polities within the Iranian realm.

Thus far, in similar discussions of ancient Iranian history, it has been the convention to set the beginnings of a specifically Iranian world at the rise of Cyrus the Great and the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire. But in fact, this notion is only a recent paradigm, which became popular in Iran in the late 1960s owing to traditions of Classical and European historiography. At the same time, there are other narratives that can be given for the history of the Iranian World, including those that take us to 5000 BCE to sites such as Sialk, near Kashan, or other similar archaeological localities. As attractive as an archaeologically based narrative of local powers can be, however, the aim of the present work is to focus on political entities who aimed at the control of a larger domain beyond their own local contexts. As a result, this book starts its narrative with Elam, the influential civilization and kingdom that existed long before the Achaemenids came to power. Elam boasted a writing system and a complex culture and political organization contemporaneous with that of Mesopotamia, and was made up of cities such as Susa and Anshan. As Kamyar Abdi shows in his chapter, the Iranian civilization owes much to the Elamites and their worldview and conception of rulership. Thus, we do not start the present narrative with 550 BCE and Cyrus, but with 3000 BCE, in the proto-Elamite Period, when signs of a long lasting civilization on the Iranian Plateau first appeared.

Table of Contents:

  • Kamyar Abdi: The kingdom of Elām
  • Hilary Copnik: The Median Confederacy
  • Lloyd LLewellyn-Jones: The Achaemenid Empire
  • Omar Coloru: Seleucid Iran
  • Leonardo Gregoratti: The Arsacid Empire
  • Touraj Daryaee and Khodadad Rezakhani: The Sasanian Empire
  • Khodadad Rezakhani: From the Kushans to the Western Turks

India and Iran in the Longue Durée

Patel, Alka & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2017. India and Iran in the Longue Durée. UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

This book is the result of a conference held at the University of California, Irvine, covering the contacts between Iran and India from antiquity to the modern period. The papers include historical, archeological and artistic aspects and influences between the two civiluzations.

Table of Contents:

  • Alka Patel & Touraj Daryaee: India and Iran in the Longue Durée
  • Osmund Bopearachchi: Achaemenids and Mauryans: Emergence of Coins and Plastic Arts in India
  • Grant Parker: Nested Histories:Alexander in Iran and India
  • Touraj Daryaee & Soodabeh Malekzadeh: The White Elephant: Notions of Kingship and Zoroastrian Demonology
  • Frantz Grenet: In Search of Missing Links: Iranian Royal Protocol from the Achaemenids to the Mughals
  • Ali Anooshahr: The Shaykh and the Shah: On the Five levels of Muhammad Ghaws Gwaliori
  • Sudipta Sen: Historian as Witness: Ghulam Husain Tabatabi and the Dawning of British Rule in India
  • Afshin Marashi: Parsi Textual Philianthropy: Print Commerce and the Revival of Zoroastrianism in Early 20th-Century Iran
  • Alka Patel: Text as Nationalist Object: Modern Persian-Language Historiography on the Ghurids (c. 1150-1215)

The Middle Persian words xwarrah and farr

Shavarebi, Ehsan & Ahmad Reza Qaemmaqami. 2016. Les mots moyen-perses xwarrah et farr: un nouvel argument onomastique. Folia Orientalia 53. 261–274.

This article analyses Ardašīr-Farr, the honorary title attributed to Abarsām, a high-ranking dignitary at the reign of Ardašīr I, and its similarity to the name of the city of Ardašīr-Xwarrah.

Issue seven of Anabasis

Issue seven of “Anabasis“, edited by Marek Jan Olbrycht is out now. Several papers and reviews of this issue are related to ancient Iran:

  •  Marek Jan Olbrycht: The Sacral Kingship of the Early Arsacids I. Fire Cult and Kingly Glory
  • Nikolaus L. Overtoom: The Rivalry of Rome and Parthia in the Sources from the Augustan Age to Late Antiquity
  • Martin Schottky: Vorarbeiten zu einer Königsliste Kaukasisch-Iberiens. 5. Im Schatten Schapurs II
  • Xiaoyan Qi: Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre, Empire, Authority, and Autonomy in Achaemenid Anatolia, Cam-bridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • Jeffrey D. Lerner: Robert Rollinger, Alexander und die großen Ströme. Die Flussüberquerungen im Lichte altorientalischer Pioniertechniken (Schwimmschläuche, Keleks und Pontonbrücken), Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 2013
  • Erich Kettenhofen: Rabbo l‘olmyn «Maître pour l‘Éternité». Florilège offert à Philippe Gignoux pour son 80e anniversaire. Textes réunis par Rika Gyselen et Christelle Jullien, Paris: Association pour l’avancement des Études Iraniennes, 2011

Gemelli Careri’s Description of Persepolis

Colburn, Henry. 2017. Gemelli Careri’s description of PersepolisGetty Research Journal 9. 181–190.

This article examines the description of Persepolis, one of the capital cities of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (ca. 550–330 BCE), by Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri (1651–1725) in his illustrated travelogue Giro del mondo (1699–1700). Gemelli Careri’s extensive description of the site—some twenty pages of text accompanied by two plates engraved by Andrea Magliar (fl. 1690s)—is compared with the accounts of contemporary travelers and with present-day archaeological knowledge. Gemelli Careri’s visit to and description of Persepolis are now largely forgotten in the modern study of Achaemenid Persia, but they shed light on a transitional moment in the development of a more scientific approach to travel writing about archaeological sites: his work straddles the more imaginative approaches of earlier travel writers and the more scientific approaches of subsequent ones.

The Large Farāmarznāme

van Zutphen, Marjolijn. 2017. A Story of Conquest and Adventure: The Large Farāmarznāme. Leiden: Brill.

 

The Large Farāmarznāme (Farāmarznāme-ye bozorg), a poem from the Persian epic cycle dated to the late eleventh century, is hereby published for the first time in an English translation, in prose. The story tells how Farāmarz, a son of the famous Shāhnāme hero Rostam, conquers several provinces of India, before setting off on an extensive voyage over sea and land, leading his troops through a number of hazardous situations in various fictional countries. As a true epic hero, he displays his prowess in battle and in single combat against men, demons and various ferocious animals, in addition to experiencing a number of marvelous and romantic adventures.

Marjolijn van Zutphen obtained her PhD in 2011 at Leiden University with a dissertation on the Persian epic cycle, a series of poems that were composed in emulation of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāme. In a joint cooperation with Abolfazl Khatibi she has produced the first critical edition of Farāmarznāme-ye bozorg.