Mantiq al-tayr ‘The Speech of the Birds’

Among the recently digitised Persian manuscripts of the British Library is the manuscript BL Add. 7735, an illustrated copy of Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār’s Manṭiq al-ṭayr ‘The Speech of the Birds’. The Asian and African studies blog of the British Library discusses this manuscript and the Manṭiq al-ṭayr in a multi-part blog, featuring superb miniatures.

To find out more, see part 1, 2, 34.

EAGLE 2014 International Conference

International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World

29 September–1 October 2014, Paris, France

Organised by EAGLE with the support of Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique and École Normale Supérieure.

For more information, see here.

A goddess or a queen?

Shenkar, Michael. 2013. A goddess or a queen? On the interpretation of the female figure on the relief of Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam (in Russian). In Scripta Antiqua, vol. 3: Edward Rtveladze felicitation volume. Moscow.

Read there article here. Abstract:

The article offers a reassessment of the identity of the female figure found on the relief of the Sasanian king Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam. Based on iconographic analysis of the relief and discussion of the arguments put forward by A. Sh. Shahbazi and U. Weber, it is concluded that the figure is not a queen but rather a goddess. She is most probably to be identified with the goddess Anāhitā, to whom Narseh was perhaps personally devoted. This discussion is followed by a critical examination of the pictorial representations of Anāhitā in the pre-Islamic Iranian world. It is emphasized that Anāhitā was a western Iranian goddess whose worship was probably imported to Bactria after this part of the eastern Iranian world came under the rule of the Sasanian kings.

Introduction to TEI and oXygen

As part of our group’s ongoing engagement with the Yasna, I will be leading a one day workshop on TEI and oXygen. This is an internal meeting with the aim of introducing the participants of the Yasna project to the ideas behind encoding texts and exploring features offered by the oXygen XML editor.

This is the first session in a series of meetings to be held at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge.

Date & time: Saturday 25 Jan 2014; 14:00–18:00
Location: AIIT, Cambridge

پرده نقش‌دار زرتشتیان

متن نسخه‌ی فارسی مصاحبه من با دکتر ستوارت درباره‌ی نمایشگاه شعله‌ی جاویدان را اینجا بخوانید.

Sasanian elites and kinship ties

I found Prof. Macuch’s lecture at the FAMES, entitled Kinship Ties and Fictive Alliances in Sasanian Law, very engaging. The lecture was in two parts. First, she gave an overview of the  Sasanian interpretation of kinship and discussed wealth, property management and inheritance. In the clearly structured introduction she defined the various models of matrimony such as fully qualified marriage, proxy, temporary and fictive marriages and their purposes. In the shorter second part she interpreted the social purpose of these legal institutions. She argued that the complex Sasanian legal system was carried by the Zoroastrian clergy and served to protect the elites’ wealth, preventing it from passing to commoners. In her view, the protection of wealth in this manner resulted in a two class society with a severe imbalance of wealth. She closed her lecture with the suggestion that this imbalance of wealth may have contributed to the collapse of the Sasanian Empire in the wake of the Islamic conquests.

The Everlasting Flame

Sogdian Ashem VohuThe study of Zoroastrianism is nothing new to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. A number of formative figures in Iranian Studies have taught at SOAS: W. Henning, M. Boyce, D. N. MacKenzie, J. Hinnells, N. Sims-Williams, F. de Blois. And it houses the only endowed chair in Zoroastrian studies (A. Hintze). The Brunei Gallery at SOAS has been the home of ‘The Everlasting Flame‘ for the past three months, which is even by the standards of SOAS a unique event. See my interview with Sarah Stewart.

Kinship ties and Sasanian law

Professor Maria Macuch to speak on Kinship Ties and Fictive Alliances in Sasanian Law at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA on Friday 13 December at 5.30pm.

CoAv 2.0: Day One

In 2011, when we met for CoAv 1.0, a lot of time and attention were dedicated to organisational matters. Groups were formed, members expressed their interest in texts and types of activities, etc. We have come a long way, and CoAv 2.0 is dedicated to questions pertaining to the study of Zoroastrian manuscripts.

The first day started with a brief summary of each team’s activities since CoAv 1.0. The range of topics discussed on day one was impressive and included prolegomena, palaeography, orthography, colophons, scribal schools and mythologies behind the long liturgy. The Salamanca team, our hosts, presented their systematic approach to the study of the manuscripts. Individuals of this team each work on issues of palaeography, orthography and the colophons. The collective results will inform the forthcoming prolegomena to a new edition of the Avesta. Thanks to the efforts of Alberto Cantera and his collaborators a considerable number of previously unknown manuscripts have been uncovered, and our knowledge of their transmission is continuously improving. The combined results of the study of the colophons, palaeography and orthography bring also to light interesting details about the scribal culture of Iranian Zoroastrians and the community’s history. Around 65 manuscripts are now available online and many more will be made accessible in the near future.

Other participants discussed their work on the Sanskrit Yasna and computational methods for generating manuscript stemmas.

Corpus Avesticum 2.0

The second meeting of the European research network Corpus Avesticum 2.0 (CoAv) will take place in Salamanca. Between 28 and 30 November researchers from Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK will meet at Europe’s third oldest university to discuss various projects in preparation of a new edition of the Avesta.

CoAv 1.0, where the research network was formed, took place in 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany.

A predominantly bibliographic blog for Iranian Studies