Tag Archives: Bactrian

Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia

Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia: Linguistic, Ritual, and Socio-Economic Aspects

International Workshop, organized by the Institute of Iranian Studies (IFI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and Vienna Linguistic Society and the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press

13.12-15.12.2016, Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences

The Cyrus cylinder © The Trustees of the British Museum

Continue reading Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia

Iranian Linguistic Studies in memoriam Xavier Tremblay

Acta Iranica 57Pirart, Eric (ed.). 2016. Études de linguistique iranienne: in memoriam Xavier Tremblay. (Acta Iranica 57). Leuven: Peeters.
The 57th volume of the Acta Iranica is dedicated to the memory of late Xavier Tremblay (* 26. 6. 1971, Lille—15. 11. 2011), in order to celebrate his contribution to Iranian and Indo-European Studies. Even unfinished, the work of Xavier Tremblay plays a fundamental role to our understanding of the origins of the Zoroastrian liturgy.
Table of Contents (PDF):
  • Philippe Swennen: “Xavier Tremblay et la liturgie longue proto indo-iranienne. Présentation
  • Alberto Cantera: On Avestan text criticism (2): the accusative singular of the ū̆- and ṷa- stems in the long liturgy
  • Juan Jose Ferrer Losilla: “Preconsonantal nasals in the Avestan alphabet”
  • Jost Gippert: “Albano-Jranica II: Avestan +āfše”
  • Jean Kellens: “Deux apologues sur le feu rituel
  • Jaime Martinez-Porro: “The orthography of the Avestan diphthongs aē and aō in the munuscripts of the long liturgy”
  • Antonio Panaino: “The World’s Conflagration and the Manichaean “Great Fire” of 1468 years”
  • Éric Pirart: Les cvi de l’Avesta”
  • Nicholas Sims-Wiliams: “Bactria—Balkh: variations on a place-name”

A Kushan military camp

de la Vaissière, Etienne, Ph. Marquis & J. Bendezu-Sarmiento. 2015. A Kushan military camp near Bactra. In Harry Falk (ed.), Kushan histories. Literary sources and selected papers from a symposium at Berlin, December 5th to 7th, 2013, 241–254. Bremen: Hempen Verlag.

We had previously announced the book here. This is to provide a link to Etienne's paper.

Selected Features of Bactrian Grammar

Gholami, Saloumeh. 2014. Selected Features of Bactrian Grammar (Gottinger Orientforschungen, III. Reihe: Iranica 12). Harrassowitz Verlag.

Bactrian, the only Iranian language written in the Greek alphabet, was spoken in ancient Bactria in northern Afghanistan. It is an intermediary Middle Iranian language, possessing the characters of both Eastern and Western Iranian groups, and thus playing a very important role in the dialectology of Iranian Languages.
Saloumeh Gholami’s study deals with various relatively unknown phonological, morphological and syntactical features of Bactrian and includes the following topics: historical phonology of Bactrian; the syntactical position of different kinds of nouns and their relationship in a sentence; the different types of pronouns and their syntactical properties; the function and syntactical position of prepositions and postpositions; adverbs and their formation; proximate and remote deixis adverbs as well as their different syntactic positions; various kinds of conjunctions and their functions; selected aspects of the verb; word order in clauses with transitive or intransitive verbs, and an investigation of double object constructions; as well as the different types of compounds.

For more information see the ToC of this volume.

Arts of the Hellenized East

Carter, Martha, Prudence Harper & Pieter Meyers (eds.). 2015. Arts of the Hellenized East: Precious metalwork and gems of the pre-Islamic era. Thames & Hudson.

The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, houses one of the world’s most spectacular collections of ancient silver vessels and other objects made of precious metals. Dating from the centuries following Alexander the Great’s conquest of Iran and Bactria in the middle of the 4th century BCE up to the advent of the Islamic era, the beautiful bowls, drinking vessels, platters and other objects in this catalogue suggest that some of the best Hellenistic silverwork was not made in the Greek heartlands, but in this eastern outpost of the Seleucid empire. Martha L. Carter connects these far-flung regions from northern Greece to the Hindu Kush, tracing the common cultural threads that link their diverse geography and people. The last part of the catalogue, by Prudence O. Harper, deals with an important group of Sasanian silver vessels and gems, and some other rarities produced in the succeeding centuries for Hunnish and Turkic patrons. The catalogue is accompanied by an essay on the technology of ancient silver production by Pieter Meyers, who has performed a number of scientific tests on the objects, including a new metallurgical analysis that may help to identify their geographical origins.

Ergativity in Old and Middle Iranian languages

Ergativity is a grammatical phenomenon that has been discussed controversially in linguistics in general and in the Iranian Studies in particular. The scientific debate is characterized by a lack of consideration of the Old and Middle Iranian data. In many cases, the selected examples, which their position in the respective language system is  still unclear, are associated with theory-driven assumptions about a hypothetical model of development, which is to be plausible, but not verifiable.

The present study provides a solution through the complete analyzing of the Avestan , Old Persian, Bactrian and Parthian documents as well as an extensive study of Middle Persian evidences (approximately 12,500 Middle Persian cases). In addition to the relevant ergativity aspects such case, congruence, word order,  and reflexivity both the development of syntactic structures (e.g. relative clauses) as well as the verbal and nominal system (e.g. the temporal aspect system or the function of enclitic personal pronouns) are discussed .

Results are illustrated with relevant evidences  (over 1,400 examples alone in the main part), whose validity is constantly checked and  based critically on detailed philological discussion. The material part also serves as a vademecum, which can be used in parallel with the reading of the main part, as well as a separate reference book that systematically illustrates the history of the object in ergative languages.

The volume presents the most exhaustive investigation on ergativity in within the Old and Middle Iranian languages.

The detaild Table of Content of this book and the English Summery are availabe. Continue reading Ergativity in Old and Middle Iranian languages

Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, and Kidarite Coins

Jongeward, David & Joe Cribb. 2015. Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, and Kidarite Coins. American Numismatic Society.

This catalogue presents all the Kushan coins in the American Numismatic Society, with selected illustrations, detailed descriptions and commentary. The production system of Kushan coinage is presented with major revisions of chronology and organization compared with previous publications. This presentation has been based on the latest coin-based research, including die studies and site find analysis. The coins are classified by ruler, metal, mint, production phase, denomination, type and variety. Introductory essays present the historical and cultural contexts of the kings and their coins. All the ANS gold coins and a selection of copper coins are illustrated. This catalogue also features two series of coins issued by the Kushano-Sasanian and the Kidarite Hun rulers of former Kushan territory because they followed and adapted the Kushan coinage system.

The Hellenistic settlements in the east

Cohen, Getzel. 2013. The Hellenistic settlements in the east from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India.

Through the conquests of Alexander the Great, his successors and others, Greek and Macedonian culture spread deep into Asia, with colonists settling as far away as Bactria and India. In this book, Cohen provides historical narratives, detailed references, citations, and commentaries on all the Graeco-Macedonian settlements founded (or refounded) in the East.

For more information, see here.

The Hellenistic Far East

Mairs, Rachel. 2014. The Hellenistic Far East: Archaeology, language, and identity in Greek Central Asia. California: University of California Press.

Significant and original, The Hellenistic Far East will highlight Bactrian studies as an important part of our understanding of the ancient world.

For more information, see here.