October 18–20, 2017, Mainz/Germany
Cultural exchanges between Christianity and Islam, especially between Byzantium and its Islamic Neighbours, but also in the Caucasian region, have been an attractive topic for historians, art historians and archaeologists in recent years. Scholarly interest focuses on diplomatic gift exchange, trade, the mobility of artists and the common motifs in both Christian and Islamic objects. The stage extends from Spain to Afghanistan and justifies the necessity of this debate. Yet, unfortunately, the role of one of the important protagonists of this exchange, namely the Persian Sasanians, is less well researched, although many important artistic and cultural phenomena in Byzantium, Armenia, and Georgia as well as in the Islamic countries can only be understood when this culture is included.
The Sasanian Empire (224-651 A.D.) extended over a large territory. In Late Antiquity and the early Medieval Era, it ruled the whole area of modern Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Caucasian region was exposed to its political influence. Until the middle of the 7th century, Sasanians were the major rival of the Late Roman and Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and exported art and culture into these civilizations through various means and on different levels. The cultural connections ended after the fall of the Sasanian Empire, which was replaced mainly by Arab Muslims, and a new era began: the new owners of the territory then adapted Sasanian elements into their own culture.
From the10th century onwards, the Turkish dynasties such as the Ghaznawids (963-1186) or the Great Seljuks (1019-1157 / de facto until the 13th century) settled in Persia and styled themselves as the successors of the Sasanians as well as as Turks; hence, they were called “Persians” in Byzantine sources. The Sasanian artistic and architectural tradition continued to exist in these cultures. The same phenomenon also applies to the Turkish Rum-Seljuks, who founded their empire in Anatolia: Persian was the court language, the sultans were named after Sassanian heroes from the Shahname (Keykubad, Keyhusrev, Keykavus), and despite the religious prohibition, drinking scenes were depicted in the artworks and wine played an important role at the ceremonies and celebrations according to the Sasanian model.
As can be clearly seen, the Sasanian Empire had not only ‘transfused’ its art and culture to its neighbourhood during its prime time, but also influenced the successor states after its decline. Just as Ancient Greek and Roman culture played an important role in the formation of Western Europe, the Sasanian Empire bequeathed, a remarkably rich cultural heritage to the Christian and Islamic East.
The conference “Sasanian Elements in Byzantine, Caucasian and Islamic Art and Culture” succeeds “Der Doppeladler. Byzanz und die Seldschuken in Anatolien vom späten 11. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert”, which was held at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz in October 2010. The first event dealt with the cultural relations between Islam, particularly Turkish Islam, Byzantium and the Caucasus. At the forthcoming conference, we aim to discuss the role of the Sasanian Empire in the process of cultural exchange before and after its decline.
See here the Conference Programme
- Khodadad Rezakhani: “The Roman Caesar and the Phrom Kesar: Hrōm, Eranshahr and Kushanshar in Interaction and Competition”
- Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: “From one edge of the (post)Sasanian world to the other. Mobility and migration between the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean in the 4th to 9th centuries CE”
- Rustam Shukurov: “The Image of Byzantium in Persian Epics: from Firdawsi to Nizami”
- Matteo Compareti: “The Representation of Composite Creatures in Sasanian Art. From Early Coinage to Late Rock Reliefs”
- Neslihan Asutay-Effenberger: “Senmurv – Beschützer von Konstantinopel?”
- Thomas Dittelbach: “Kalīla wa-Dimna – Der Löwe als symbolische Form”
- Rainer Warland: “Das Eigene und das Fremde. Hellenistische Selbstvergewisserung, sassanidische Konfrontation und apokalyptische Endzeit als Lesarten der frühbyzantinischen Kunst (500–630 n. Chr.)”
- Arne Effenberger: “Sassanidischer Baudekor in Byzanz: der Fall der Polyeuktoskirche in Konstantinopel”
- Nikolaus Schindel: “Sassanidische Münzprägung im Kaukasus”
- Nina Iamanidze: “Georgian Reception of Sasanian Art”
- Armen Azaryan: “Architectural Decorations of the Armenian Churches of the 7th and the 10th–11th Centuries, and their Presumably Sasanian Sources”
- Shervin Farridnejad: “Continued Existence of the Imagery Repertoire of Sasanian Court Ceremonies and Rituals in the Islamic Art”
- Markus Ritter: “Umayyadische Rezeption sasanidischer Architektur”
- Osman Eravşar: “Sasanid Influence on Seljuk Art and Architecture”
Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. 2017. Persianisms: The Achaemenid court in Greek art,380–330 BCE. Iranian Studies 50(1). 1–22.
The Persians held sway over the Greek imagination for more than 200 years. The image of Persia shifted in that time from xenophobic hostility, caused through fear of the encroaching presence of the Persian empire, through to curious acceptance of its dominance. Much study has been given to the formative decades of the construction of the Persian “Other” in Greek art, but the fourth-century image of Persia has remained relatively unexplored. This paper demonstrates how Greek artists of the period 380–330 BCE fixated on the life and accomplishments of the court of the Achaemenid Great Kings and argues that instead of offering an orientalist clichéd view of Persian life, it attempted to understand and disseminate bone fide Iranian images of court society.
Problems of Chronology in Gandharan Art
The first Gandhara Connections workshop, Oxford, 23-24 March 2017.
The Gandhara Connections project identifies chronology and dating as one of the key problems outstanding in the study of Gandharan art. Chronology is not only fundamental for establishing the nature of Gandharan art’s connections with the traditions of Greece and Rome, but also for any other systematic attempt to put it in context or explain its development.
For more details about the workshop, see the draft programme.
Gonnella, Julia, Friederike Weis & Christoph Rauch (eds.). 2016. The Diez albums: Contexts and contents (Islamic Manuscripts and Books 11). Brill.
The five Diez albums in Berlin are an important source for the study of Ilkhanid, Jalayirid, and Timurid art. The 21 essays of this book contribute to deepening our understanding of the development of Persianate art and its perception in later times. Gonnella, Weis and Rauch unite in this volume 21 essays that analyse their relation to their “parent” albums at the Topkapı Palace or examine specific works by reflecting upon their role in the larger history of book art in Iran. Other essays cover aspects such as the European and Chinese influence on Persianate art, aspects related to material and social culture, and the Ottoman interest in Persianate albums. This book marks an important contribution to the understanding of the development of illustrative imagery in the Persianate world and its later perception.
Source: The Diez Albums | Brill
Issue 26 of the Bulletin of the Asia Institute will be published in December. The information on this issue is not yet available on the journal’s website, but the content has been circulated. We are publishing the table of content based on a request by the journal.
Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26
- Zsuzsanna Gulácsi and Jason BeDuhn, “The Religion of Wirkak and Wiyusi: The Zoroastrian Iconographic Program on a Sogdian Sarcophagus from Sixth-Century X’ian”
- Harry Falk, “’Buddhist’ Metalware from Gandhara”
- Dieter Weber, “Studies in Some Documents from the ‘Pahlavi Archive’”
- Martin Schwartz, “Pahlavi = Adiantum capillus-veneris L.: Ethnobotany, Etymology, and Iranian Cultural History”
- Ofir Haim, “An Early Judeo-Persian Letter Sent from Ghazna to Bāmiyān (Ms. Heb. 4°8333.29)”
- Siam Bhayro, “Sergius of Reš ʿAyna’s Syriac Translations of Galen: Their Scope, Motivation, and Influence”
- David Frendo, “Alexander’s Anti-Persian Rhetoric and the Destruction of the Achaemenid Empire: A Re-examination of the Sources”
- Michele Minardi, “New Data on the Central Monument of Akchakhan-kala”
- Ali Mousavi, ”Shahyar Adle (1944–2015)”
- CANTERA. Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: Pensées et travaux préliminaires (Skjærvø)
- HILL. Through the Jade Gate—China to Rome. A Study of the Silk Routes 1st to 2nd Centuries CE (Dien)
- BAUMER. The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads (Rose)
- WHITFIELD. Life along the Silk Road (Rose)
- FALK, ED. Kushan Histories: Literary Sources and Selected Papers from a Symposium at Berlin, December 5 to 7, 2013 (Bromberg)
- SHAYEGAN. Aspects of History and Epic in Ancient Iran: From Gaumāta to Wahnām (Brosius)
- JULLIEN, ED. Husraw Ier: Reconstructions d’un règne. Sources et documents (Choksy and Dubeansky)
198 + v. pp.
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Matiashvili, Irma & Helen Giunashvili. 2016. Sasanian fantastic creature Baškuč (*Pasku(n)č) in Georgian Christian culture. In Dato Barbakadse & Jürgen Trinks (eds.),
Chancen und Schwierigkeiten des interkulturellen Dialogs über ästhetische Fragen. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Entwicklungen in der Kaukasusregion (Transkulturelle Forschungen an den Österreich-Bibliotheken im Ausland 13), 145–158. LIT Verlag.
Die Frage, ob und wie philosophische und kulturwissenschaftliche Reflexionen dazu geeignet sind, kulturelle Distanzen und die Möglichkeiten ihrer Überwindung zu klären, wird in diesem Band sowohl in grundsätzlich-philosophischen Überlegungen als auch anhand besonders aussagekräftiger Beispiele des jeweiligen Kulturkreises behandelt. Die ausgewählten Beiträge einer Tagung in Tbilisi mit TeilnehmerInnen aus Armenien, Georgien und Österreich zeugen davon, dass in der Kaukasusregion mit ihrer wechselvollen Geschichte, ihrer tief verwurzelten Volkskultur und nicht zuletzt den künstlerischen und politischen Konflikten im Streben nach einer spezifischen Moderne höchst komplexe Entwicklungen und Beziehungen zu beobachten sind. Analysen der Literatur, der bildenden Kunst, der Musik und des Films machen dies konkret.
Matthew Canepa, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), will deliver a series of four lectures at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.
Les cultures visuelles et spatiales du pouvoir en Iran entre Alexandre et l’Islam
- Mercredi 1er juin 2016, 17h-19h
Rebâtir le passé perse et imaginer de nouvelles identités iraniennes
- Mercredi 8 juin 2016, 17h-19h
L’image royale en Iran après Alexandre
- Mercredi 15 juin 2016, 17h-19h
Les espaces du pouvoir iranien : palais, jardins et paysage
- Mercredi 22 juin 2016, 17h-19h
La scène mondiale
The table of contents of the latest issue (51) of the journal Iranica Antiqua:
- Evidence of Late Neolithic Cremation at Tepe Sialk, Iran SOŁTYSIAK, Arkadiusz, FAZELI NASHLI, Hassan
- An Emerging Picture of the Neolithic of Northeast Iran ROUSTAEI, Kourosh
- Khaje Askar: A 4th Millennium BC Cemetery in Bam, Southeastern Iran
SOLEIMANI, Nader A., SHAFIEE, Mojgan, ESKANDARI, Nasir,SALEHI, Hekmatollah M.
- A Preliminary Report on the First Season of Excavation at Jayran Tepe in the Plain of Esfarayen, Northeastern Iran, 2012 VAHDATI, Ali A.
- Gūnespān: A Late Iron Age Site in the Median Heartland NASERI, Reza, MALEKZADEH, Mehrdad, NASERI, Ali
- Elamite suku– TAVERNIER, Jan
- Athenaeus, Clearchus and the Dress of the Persian Apple Bearers CHARLES, Michael B., ANAGNOSTOU-LAOUTIDES, Eva
- The Hellenistic Chorasmian ketos of Akchakhan-Kala MINARDI, Michele
- New Evidence of Zoroastrian Iconography of the Late Parthian Period KAIM, Barbara
- Vologases I, Pakoros II and Artabanos III: Coins and Parthian History OLBRYCHT, Marek Jan
- Parthian and Sasanian Settlement Patterns on the Deh Luran Plain, Khuzistan Province, Southwestern Iran NEELY, James A.
- Funerary Objects from a Sasanian Burial Jar on the Bushehr Peninsula FARJAMIRAD, Mahdokht
- Hormezd II., König der Könige von Ērān und Anērān WEBER, Ursula
In Arthur Upham Pope and A New Survey of Persian Art, fourteen scholars explore the legacy of Arthur Upham Pope (1881–1969) by tracing the formation of Persian art scholarship and connoisseurship during the twentieth century. Widely considered as a self-made scholar, curator, and entrepreneur, Pope was credited for establishing the basis of what we now categorize broadly as Persian art. His unrivalled professional achievement, together with his personal charisma, influenced the way in which many scholars and collectors worldwide came to understand the art, architecture and material culture of the Persian world. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of the aesthetic criteria for assessing the importance of cultural remains from modern-day Iran.
With contributions by Lindsay Allen, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Talinn Grigor, Robert Hillenbrand, Yuka Kadoi, Sumru Belger Krody, Judith A. Lerner, Kimberly Masteller, Cornelia Montgomery, Bernard O’Kane, Keelan Overton, Laura Weinstein, and Donald Whitcomb.
Table of Contents
- Yuka Kadoi : “Arthur Upham Pope and A New Survey of Persian Art”
I. POPE, ACKERMAN, AND THEIR PEERS
- Robert Hillenbrand: “The Scramble for Persian Art: Pope and His Rivals”
- Talinn Grigor : “Gendered Politics of Persian Art: Pope and His Partner”
II. ARTHUR UPHAM POPE: LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Jonathan M. Bloom : “Arthur Upham Pope: His Life and Times”
- Donald Whitcomb : “Archaeology in Iran and the Experience of Arthur Upham Pope”
- Bernard O’Kane : “Arthur Upham Pope and the Study of Persian Islamic Architecture”
III. CURATORS, COLLECTORS, AND ART DEALERS:
POPE AND PRE-ISLAMIC PERSIAN ART
- Lindsay Allen: “‘The Greatest Enterprise’: Arthur Upham Pope, Persepolis and Achaemenid Antiquities”
- Judith A. Lerner: “Arthur Upham Pope and the Sasanians“
IV. CURATORS, COLLECTORS, AND ART DEALERS:
POPE AND ISLAMIC PERSIAN ART
- Yuka Kadoi: “The Rise of Persian Art Connoisseurship: Arthur Upham Pope and Early Twentieth-Century Chicago”
- Kimberly Masteller: “Arthur Upham Pope and Collecting Persian Art for Kansas City”
- Sumru Belger Krody: “Equivocal Position as Expert or Dealer! The Long and Contentious Relationship of George Hewitt Myers and Arthur Upham Pope”
- Laura Weinstein: “My Dear Holmes: Arthur Upham Pope and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston”
- Keelan Overton: “Filming, Photographing and Purveying in ‘the New Iran’: the Legacy of Stephen H. Nyman, ca. 1937–42”
V. ARTHUR UPHAM POPE: HIS LEGACY
- Sheila S. Blair: ” Surveying Persian Art in Light of A Survey of Persian Art”
- Cornelia Montgomery: “Arthur Upham Pope: A Personal Memoir”
Yuka Kadoi, Ph.D. (2005), University of Edinburgh is a scholar of Islamic art and Persian art historiography. She has written and edited numerous books and articles, including Islamic Chinoiserie (2009); The Shaping of Persian Art (2013); and Jades from Eastern Lands (forthcoming).