Tag Archives: Ancient History

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.

 

Ctesias’ Persica and its Near Eastern Context

Waters, Matt. 2017. Ctesias’ Persica and its Near Eastern context (Wisconsin Studies in Classics). University of Wisconsin Press.

The Persica is an extensive history of Assyria and Persia written by the Greek historian Ctesias, who served as a doctor to the Persian king Artaxerxes II around 400 BCE. Written for a Greek readership, the Persica influenced the development of both historiographic and literary traditions in Greece. It also, contends Matt Waters, is an essential but often misunderstood source for the history of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

Matt Waters is a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He is the author of Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE and A Survey of Neo-Elamite History.

Source: UW Press: Ctesias’ Persica and Its Near Eastern Context

Persianism in Antiquity

Strootman, Rolf & Miguel John Versluys (eds.). 2017. Persianism in antiquity (Oriens et Occidens 25). Franz Steiner Verlag.

The socio-political and cultural memory of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire played a very important role in Antiquity and later ages. This book is the first to systematically chart these multiform ideas and associations over time and to define them in relation to one another, as Persianism. Hellenistic kings, Parthian monarchs, Romans and Sasanians: they all made a lot of meaning through the evolving concept of “Persia”, as the twenty-one papers in this rich volume illustrate at length.
Persianism underlies the notion of an East-West dichotomy that still pervades modern political rhetoric. In Antiquity and beyond, however, it also functioned in rather different ways, sometimes even as an alternative to Hellenism.

For the contributions, see the Table of Contents.

Source: Persianism in antiquity | Franz Steiner Verlag

The concept of Iran: Transition and revival

A panel discussion in Persian

Panelists:
Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine
Hossein Kamaly, Columbia University
Ali Mousavi, University of California, Los Angeles
Parvaneh Pourshariati, New York City College of Technology (CUNY) & New York University

Moderator: Nayereh Tohidi, Professor and Director of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, CSUN

Sunday, May 8, 2016
4:00 PM

The Achaemenids and the Imperial Signature

The Achaemenids and the Imperial Signature: Persepolis – Arachosia – Bactria

A lecture by Wouter Henkelman

 

Iranica Antiqua, Volume 51

The table of contents of the latest issue (51) of the journal Iranica Antiqua:

 

 

The concept of Iran

Sasanian SilkThe Concept of Iran in Zoroastrian and Other Traditions

Professor François de Blois (AHRC Research Fellow, UCL)

Date: 21 April 2016Time: 6:00 PM
Finishes: 21 April 2016Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Series: Dastur Dr Sohrab Hormasji Kutar Memorial Lecture Series

Continue reading The concept of Iran

Iranian Reception of Islam

Crone, Patricia. 2016. The Iranian reception of Islam: The non-traditionalist strands (Islamic History and Civilization 130). Collected Studies in Three Volumes. Vol. 2 edited by Hanna Siurua. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

ToC:

  • 1. Kavād’s heresy and Mazdak’s revolt
  • 2. Zoroastrian communism
  • 3. Khurramīs
  • 4. Muqannaʿ
  • 5. Abū Tammām on the Mubayyiḍa
  • 6. The Muqannaʿ narrative in the Tārīkhnāma: Part I, Introduction, edition and translation
  • 7. The Muqannaʿ narrative in the Tārīkhnāma: Part II, Commentary and analysis
  • 8. Al-Jāḥiẓ on aṣḥāb al-jahālāt and the Jahmiyya
  • 9. Buddhism as ancient Iranian paganism
  • 10. A new text on Ismailism at the Samanid court
  • 11. What was al-Fārābī’s ‘imamic’ constitution?
  • 12. Al-Fārābī’s imperfect constitutions
  • 13. Pre-existence in Iran: Zoroastrians, ex-Christian Muʿtazilites, and Jews on the human acquisition of bodies
  • List of Patricia Crone’s publications

Patricia Crone (1945-2015), Ph.D. (1974), School of Oriental and African Studies, was Professor Emerita at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Her numerous publications include Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987); Pre-Industrial Societies (1989); Medieval Islamic Political Thought (2004); and The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran (2012).

Hanna Siurua (BA, School of Oriental and African Studies; MA, University of Sussex) is a professional editor based in Chicago. She specialises in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies and has edited numerous books and articles in these as well as other fields.

Ancient Near Eastern Art

This slightly older publication has just come to my attention:

Kawami, Trudy & John Olbrantz (eds.). 2013. Source: Breath of heaven, breath of earth. Distributed by University of Washington Press for Hallie Ford Museum.

Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections encompasses the geographic regions of Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant, and Anatolia and Iran, and explores several broad themes found in the art of the ancient Near East: gods and goddesses, men and women, and both real and supernatural animals. These art objects reveal a wealth of information about the people and cultures that produced them: their mythology, religious beliefs, concept of kingship, social structure, and daily life.

About the authors:

Trudy Kawami is director of research at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in New York.

John Olbrantz is the Maribeth Collins Director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Insurgency and terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean

Howe, Timothy & Lee Brice (eds.). 2016. Brill’s companion to insurgency and terrorism in the ancient Mediterranean (Brill’s Companions in Classical Studies). Brill.

In Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean, Tim Howe and Lee Brice challenge the view that these forms of conflict are specifically modern phenomena by offering an historical perspective that exposes readers to the ways insurgency movements and terror tactics were common elements of conflict in antiquity. Assembling original research on insurgency and terrorism in various regions including, the Ancient Near East, Greece, Central Asia, Persia, Egypt, Judea, and the Roman Empire, they provide a deep historical context for understanding these terms, demonstrate the usefulness of insurgency and terrorism as concepts for analysing ancient Mediterranean behavior, and point the way toward future research.

About the authors:

Lee L. Brice, Ph.D. (2003), UNC-Chapel Hill, is Professor of History at Western Illinois University. He has published volumes and articles/chapters on the military history of the ancient world and is series editor of Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Brill).

Timothy Howe studied History, Classical and Archaeology at The Pennsylvania State University. PhD. 2000. He has been at St. Olaf College since 2003, where he is currently Associate Professor of History & Ancient Studies. Since 2013 he has excavated at the Hellenistic/Roman site of Antiochia ad Cragum in Southern Turkey, where he is currently Associate Field Director. Main interests include Greek and Roman agriculture and warfare, Mediterranean archaeology and Alexander the Great. He has written two monographs (Pastoral Politics: Animals, Agriculture and Society in Ancient Greece, Regina 2008 and All Things Alexander the Great, Greenwood 2016).