Brown, David. 2018. The Interactions of Ancient Astral Science. with contributions by : Jonathon Ben-Dov, Harry Falk, Geoffrey Lloyd, Raymond Mercier, Antonio Panaino, Joachim Quack, Alexandra von Lieven, and Michio Yano. Bremen: Hempen Verlag.
Why and when did ancient scholars make the enormous effort to understand the principles and master the mathematics of foreign astral sciences? This work provides a detailed analysis of the invention, development and transmission of astronomy, astrology, astral religion, magic and medicine, cosmology and cosmography, astral mapping, geography and calendrics and their related mathematics and instrumentation in and between Mesopotamia, Egypt, the West Semitic areas, Greece and Rome, Iran, India and China. It considers the available textual evidence from the most ancient times to the seventh century CE. The author has worked the contributions of eight internationally renowned scholars into what amounts to a new history of the oldest sciences. The result is a challenging read for the layperson and a resource for the expert and includes an extensive index to the entire volume. It provides a new typology of cultural interactions and, by describing their socio-political backdrop, offers a cultural history of the region. In particular, astral science in the Hellenistic period west of the Tigris is completely re-evaluated and a new model of the interactions of Western and Indian and Iranian astral sciences is provided.
Two chapters of this book deal with different aspects of Ancient Iranian Astrology and Astronomy. The chapter Iranian Astral Science (P. 456-481) by the main autor himself, which refers to the following subjects:
- The Elamites
- The Persians
- Persian Astral Science (other than the Calendar)
- The Seleucids
- Seleucid-Iranian Astral Science
- The Parthians
- Parthian Astral Science
- The Sasanians
And the next chapter:
Panaino, Antonio. 2018. On Iran’s Role in the Transmission of Ancient Astral Science and the Ramifications thereof. Pp. 482–514.
This chapter discusses following subjects:
- The Problem
- The Iranian astral divinities and their astronomical role
- The Stars and the Peg of the Sky
- The Planets and the Astral Cords of Wind
- The multicultural legacy of Sasanian astronomy and astrology
Panaino, Antonio, Andrea Piras & Paolo Ognibene (eds.). 2018. Studi iranici ravennati II (Indo-Iranica et Orientalia). Milano: Mimesis Edizioni.
This Conference Proceedings volume contains 15 contributions which were presented at the second international conference of Iranian Studies in Ravenna, Italy.
Table of Contents:
- Amir Ahmadi: “An Indo-Iranian Initiation-Based Masculine Society?“
- Fabio Eugenio Betti: “Tradizione classica e cultura sudarabica. Osservazioni sulla statua bronzea di Lady Bar’at”
- Stefano Buscherini: “Chess and geometric progressions: a link between Dante and the Persian tradition”
- Davlatkhoja Dovudi: “Nachodki bucharchudatskich, sasanidskich i omejjadskich monet v Tadžikistane i istorija ich izučenija”
- Anna Michieletto: “La comunità diasporica curda del Monte Amiata: rapporto con le origini e col territorio”
- Paolo Ognibene: “Studi sull’epos dei Narti. Il ruolo dell’elemento magico nella struttura fantastica del racconto”
- Martina Palladino: “Alcuni spunti di riflessione sui Maga Brāhmana”
- Antonio Panaino: “Vecchie e Nuove Considerazioni sul Millenarismo iranico-mesopotamico ed il Chiliasmo giudaico-cristiano”
- Andrea Piras: “Spandyād’s lance and message. Some Remarks about the Imagery of Shooting Weapons”
- Céline Redard: “La tentation de Zarathuštra”
- Micol Scrignoli: “duruj-, drauga-, draujana-: dallo studio delle valenze semantiche attestate all’individuazione della triade iranica nella lingua antico persiana”
- Galina N. Vol’naja: “K voprosu ob iranskich vlijanijach na Central’nom i Severo-Vostočnom Kavkaze (na primere bronzovych pticevidnych prjažek «tipa Isti-Su»)“
- Antonio Panaino: “The Souls of women in the Zoroastrian Afterlife”
- Paolo Delaini: “Conoscenze mediche sulla fisiologia della gravidanza nel mondo iranico di età tardoantica”
- Andrea Gariboldi: “La dottrina di Mazdak tra influssi “occidentali” e religioni orientali“
Herman, Geoffrey & Jeffrey L. Rubenstein (eds.). 2018. The Aggada of the Bavli and its cultural world (Brown Judaic Studies 362). Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies.
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
I. The Mesopotamian Context
- 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
II. The Sasanian Context
- 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)
III. The Syriac and Christian Context
- 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
IV. The Zoroastrian Context
- 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
Ionuţ Daniel Băncilă. 2018. Die mandäische Religion und der aramäische Hintergrund des Manichäismus: Forschungsgeschichte, Textvergleiche, historisch-geographische Verortung. (Mandäistische Forschungen 6). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
Mandaeism, the only surviving Gnostic religion, reflected, recorded, evaluated and thus transformed various religious traditions of different identities. Although a “Mandaean identity” did not develop until after the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia, one can assume that “Mandaean ideas” were already present in various Aramaic-speaking groups in Mesopotamia.
In his study of the Mandaean religion, Ionuţ Daniel Băncilă asks whether traces of “Mandaic thoughts” can be found in Manichaeism, the second major Gnostic religion in the region. He examines this question in three different methodological approaches: A detailed look at the history of research on the subject shows to what extent previous attempts to explain the relationship between Manichaeism and Mandaeism were subject to the cultural fashions of different epochs; the text-comparative part of the study examines motifs in Manichaeism that can be identified as “Mandaic ideas” on a philological-literary critical basis. In a third part, the Mandaean understanding of history is critically examined and an attempt is made to explain the relations between the two religions geographical and historical vantage point.
Table of Contents