This volume, being the proceedings of the first international workshop of the Gandhāra Connections Project, which took place 23rd-24th March, 2017, at the University of Oxford, is available as an open access eBook and in print.
Since the beginning of Gandhāran studies in the nineteenth century, chronology has been one of the most significant challenges to the understanding of Gandhāran art. Many other ancient societies, including those of Greece and Rome, have left a wealth of textual sources which have put their fundamental chronological frameworks beyond doubt. In the absence of such sources on a similar scale, even the historical eras cited on inscribed Gandhāran works of art have been hard to place. Few sculptures have such inscriptions and the majority lack any record of find-spot or even general provenance. Those known to have been found at particular sites were sometimes moved and reused in antiquity. Consequently, the provisional dates assigned to extant Gandhāran sculptures have sometimes differed by centuries, while the narrative of artistic development remains doubtful and inconsistent.
Building upon the most recent, cross-disciplinary research, debate and excavation, this volume reinforces a new consensus about the chronology of Gandhāra, bringing the history of Gandhāran art into sharper focus than ever. By considering this tradition in its wider context, alongside contemporary Indian art and subsequent developments in Central Asia, the authors also open up fresh questions and problems which a new phase of research will need to address.
More than 150 documents in Bactrian, the chief administrative language of pre-Islamic Afghanistan, have come to light during the last twenty-five years. These documents include letters, legal contracts, economic documents and a few Buddhist texts; many of them bear dates in the so-called “Bactrian era”, which is also known from a few inscriptions, such as the Tochi valley inscriptions in Pakistan, but whose starting-point is controversial. The Bactrian documents have the potential to transform our knowledge of the history of the region during the 4th to 8th centuries CE, a period for which we have few contemporary records, but before they can be fully exploited as historical sources it is necessary to establish their relative and absolute chronology. The present volume aims to fulfil this need. In Part 1 we consider the dated documents, discussing the nature of the Bactrian calendar and the epoch of the Bactrian era, and concluding with a conspectus in which all the attested dates are converted to Julian dates on the basis of the facts and arguments presented. In Part 2 we turn to the equally important undated documents, systematically weighing up all types of evidence, whether historical, prosopographical, palaeographical, linguistic or orthographic, which may have a bearing on their dating. Part 3 provides a handy check-list of our conclusions, while the Appendices provide additional and supporting material including editions of the Tochi valley inscriptions and of a Pahlavi letter which was purchased together with the Bactrian documents.
This book will be required reading for scholars and students of the pre-Islamic and early Islamic history of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. It will also be a useful resource for those interested in the languages, religions and numismatics of the region.
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. Evenunfinished, the workofXavierTremblay plays a fundamental role to our understanding of the origins of the Zoroastrian liturgy.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.