Graffito from Dura-Europos

Wójcikowski, Robert S. 2013. The graffito from Dura-Europos: Hybrid armor in Parthian-Sasanian Iran. Anabasis 4. 233–248.

Read the article here. Abstract:

The graffito from Dura-Europos depicting a heavily armored cavalryman is one of the most important sources used to reconstruct the armament of Iranian cavalry units seen in the middle of the third century A.D. The graffito presents a hybrid cuirass that is composed of mail and lamellas. It was probably originally an Iranian construction. The use of hybrid armor should be connected with the process of the adaptation of mail in the Parthian empire and then adjusting this new type of body armor to the realities of cavalry combat. The new hybrid cuirass served its purpose well. It not only survived the Parthian era but also the Arabic conquest of Sasanian Iran in the middle of the seventh century A.D., which is evidently demonstrated by the fact that it was present in the military equipment of Muslim armies in the 16th and 17th centuries A.D.

Sixth International Conference on Iranian Linguistics

Abstracts are invited for the Sixth International Conference on Iranian Linguistics (ICIL6), to be held in Tbilisi / Georgia in June 2015. We expressly solicit contributions from the full range of Iranian linguistics, including formal theoretical perspectives, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, typological and functional perspectives, as well as diachronic and areal perspectives.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

DSC02578_smallI want to express my gratitude to all who came to St Andrews for the workshop. Your presence, the excellent contributions and the stimulating discussions all made the workshop a wonderful success. Thank you.As we have seen, St Andrews is the right place for this type of workshop, and the Institute of Iranian Studies has proven this a number of times. Let’s hope we can keep up this work and turn it into a tradition. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the Sattaripour Foundation, BIPS, School of History and School of Classics.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

This interdisciplinary workshop, organised by the Institute of Iranian Studies (University of St Andrews), seeks to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in pre-Islamic Iran.

Date: June 12–13, 2014
Convener: Arash Zeini
Sponsors: BIPS, IIS, SoH and SAIMS

For more information, see the workshop’s website.

Raumkonzeptionen in antiken Religionen

Rezania, Kianoosh (ed.). 2014. Raumkonzeptionen in antiken Religionen. Beiträge des internationalen Symposiums in Göttingen, 28. und 29. Juni 2012 (Philippika 69). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

More information and an abstract are here.

Religious minorities in Kurdistan

Omarkhali, Khanna (ed.). 2014. Religious minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the mainstream (Studies in Oriental Religions 68). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Religious Minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the Mainstream, edited by Khanna Omarkhali, represents an account of the various religious milieus flourishing beyond the Islamic mainstream in all parts of Kurdistan. The miscellany describes how the religious minority groups operate within the Kurdish regions, which themselves have been subject to numerous conflicts and social as well as political transformations at the turn of the 21st century. This volume emphasizes recent developments affecting these communities, in particular their social and religious lives. Six chapters are dedicated to the Ahl-e Haqq (Yarisan/ Kaka’is), Yezidis, Alevis, the Haqqa and Khaksar Sufi traditions, the Shabaks, as well as to the Jewish and Christian communities in Kurdistan. The anthology includes three indices and a glossary of religious terms appearing in the volume.

For the ToC, see here.

Conference of Iranian languages and dialects

Call for Papers

The Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia has the honour of organising the

2nd International Conference of Iranian Languages and Dialects

4–5 January, 2015

Tehran, Iran

Aims of the conference

  • To spread and to consolidate the theoretical discussions on Iranian Languages and dialects
  • To contribute to scholarly studies of Iranian Languages and dialects
  • To introduce the latest researches about the Old, Middle and New Iranian Languages
  • To investigate the spread of Iranian languages as one of the main element of relation among the people of region.

Main themes of the conference

  1. New and scholarly researches on the Old Iranian Languages (Old Persian, Avestan, Scythian (Saka) and Median Languages)
  2. New and scholarly researches on the Western Middle Iranian Languages (Middle Persian and Parthian)
  3. New and scholarly researches on the Eastern Middle Iranian Languages (Soghdian, Khotanese, Khwarezmian and Bactorian).
  4. New and scholarly Lingual researches about the New Iranian Languages and Dialects.
  5. The Geography of Iranian Languages.

Although there will be a strong regional emphasis on the Iranian languages and dialects, this does not exclude a consideration of lingual researches on the classical Persian texts, especially when carried out by scholars who have specialised in Persian literature.

The organisers plan to publish a selection of the papers in a peer-reviewed book.

Continue reading Conference of Iranian languages and dialects

Der Zoroastrismus als iranische Religion

Stausberg, Michael. 2011. Der Zoroastrismus als iranische Religion und die Semantik von ‚Iran’ in der zoroastrischen Religionsgeschichte. Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 63(4). 331–331.

Read the article here or here.

Zoroastrianism, one of the three recognized religious minorities in the Islamic Republic, can claim a specific linkage with Iran since the Avestan Vendidād and its other primary religious documents were written in Iranian languages and its history has for the most part unfolded in Iran (in a larger geographical sense). The term Aryan is used in inscriptions by the Achaemenian king Darius I as a way to gloss the name of the deity Ahura Mazdā (the ‘God of the Aryans’). In the Sasanian period, Iran became the name of the empire. Zoroastrian literature written under Islamic rule, reaffirms the idea of a unity between kingship and (Zoroastrian) religion, but transposes its realization into the eschatological future. After centuries of decline and discrimination, twentieth-century modernization entailed the prospect of societal reintegration for Zoroastrians; an unachieved hope under the Pahlavis, this prospect has become even more remote under the political conditions imposed by the Islamic Republic, where Zoroastrians now use the vocabulary of martyrdom to express their commitment to their homeland.

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians

Herman, Geoffrey (ed.). 2014. Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians: Religious dynamics in a Sasanian context (Judaism in Context 17). Gorgias Press.

For the table of contents and more info, see here.

Secrecy and canonisation

Bahari Lecture Series: “Sasanian Iran in the Context of Late Antiquity”

20 May (Week 4)
Arash Zeini (University of St Andrews):
Secrecy and canonisation in Sasanian Iran: A scholastic reading of the Zand

Tuesday at 5pm
Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, Oxford (OCLA)

A predominantly bibliographic blog for Iranian Studies