Börm, Henning. 2018. König und Gefolgschaft im Sasanidenreich. Zum Verhältnis zwischen Monarch und imperialer Elite im spätantiken Persien. In Wolfram Drews (ed.), Die Interaktion von Herrschern und Eliten in imperialen Ordnungen des Mittelalters (Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung. Beihefte 8), 23–42. Berlin: De Gruyter.
This article examines the relationships between rulers and imperial elites in late antique Sasanian Iran, focusing on the significance and implications of complex groups of followers. Not unlike their Parthian predecessors, the Sasanian kings of the pre-Islamic empire relied on a network of personal relationships with the imperial elite. The magnates (vuzurgān), in turn, had many followers (bandagān) of their own; they were, apparently, often rather independent when residing in their own lands. Still, this does not imply that the late antique Persian monarchy was weak, because the Sasanian kings managed to turn the court into a central location of aristocratic competition where the imperial elite struggled for offices, honors and influence. This allowed the monarch to play off rival individuals and groups against each other – one is tempted here to speak of a “Königsmechanismus” (Norbert Elias), even though the weaknesses of this model are certainly well known. In general, this strategy became problematic only if infighting escalated into civil war. However, the later Sasanians tried to curtail the influence of the vuzurgān by imposing a tax reform, establishing a standing royal army, and creating a new lower nobility (dehgānān) in order to strengthen the power of the central government. The paper demonstrates that, in spite of short-term success, these measures seem to have led to a long-term erosion of loyalty within the kingdom, thus contributing to the triumph of the Arab conquerors in the seventh century CE.
Özertural, Zekine & Gökhan Silfeler (eds.). 2018. Der östliche Manichäismus im Spiegel seiner Buch- und Schriftkultur. Vorträge des Göttinger Symposiums vom 11./12. März 2015 (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Neue Folge 47). Berlin: De Gruyter.
This volume examines the gnostic-syncretic religion of Eastern Manicheism in China, Iran, and Turkish central Asia. After a scholarly introduction to the religious theory of Manicheism, the essays probe questions of its transmission and cultural interactions with Latin, Coptic, and Arabic Manicheism.
Callieri, Pierfrancesco & Adriano Valerio Rossi (eds.). 2018. Civiltà dell’Iran: passato, presente, futuro (atti del Convegno Internazionale Roma, 22-23 febbraio 2013); (Il novissimo Ramusio 6). Roma: Scienze e lettere.
This book is a collection of papers presented at the international conference “Civiltà dell’Iran: passato, presente, futuro” took place in 2013 at Sapienza Università di Roma and Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale ‘Giuseppe Tucci’.
Continue reading Civilization of Iran: Past, Present, Future
Daryaee, Touraj (ed.). 2018. Sasanian Iran in the context of Late Anitquity: The Bahari lecture series at the Oxford University (Ancient Iran Series VI). Irvine: Jordan Center for Persian Studies.
The essays in this volume discuss various aspects of the Sasanian Empire, presented on the occasion of the inauguration of the Bahari Chair in Sasanian Studies at Oxford University in 2014.
- Michael Alram: “The Numismatic Legacy of the Sasanians in the East”
- Matthew P. Canepa and Johnathan W. Hardy: “Persian Palace Architecture, Garden Design and Digital Archaeology”
- Touraj Daryaee: “The Tripartite Sasanian Vision of the World”
- Antonio Panaino: “Books without Ritual – Ritual without Books”
- Giusto Traina: “The Rise of the Sasanians”
- Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina: “A Father, a Daughter, and a Son-in-Law in Zoroastrian Hermeneutics”
- Arash Zeini: “The King in the Mirror of the Zand“
Looking East: Iranian History and Culture under Western Eyes
The latest issue of journal Electrum features Electrum, with the issue gathering the contribution of the workshop “Looking History: Iranian History and Culture under Western Eyes” held at 2016 in Ravenna, Italy.
Electrum, Volume 24 (2017)
- Paolo Ognibene: “Sguardi incrociati greco-scitici”
- Christopher Tuplin: “War and Peace in Achaemenid Imperial Ideology”
- Francesca Gazzano: “The King’s speech. La retorica dei re persiani fra Eschilo, Erodoto e Tucidide”
- Federicomaria Muccioli: “Peucesta, tra lealismo macedone e modello persiano”
- Omar Coloru: “Potere e territorio. Gli Achemenidi nei Geographikà di Strabone”
- Leonardo Gregoratti: “Corbulo versus Vologases: A Game of Chess for Armenia”
- Eran Almagor: “Plutarch and the Persians”
- Edward Dąbrowa: “Tacitus on the Parthians”
- Tommaso Gnoli: “Mitrei del Vicino Oriente: una facies orientale del culto misterico di Mithra”
- Giusto Traina: “L’Armenia di Ammiano Marcellino”
- Andrea Piras: “Persianao, mago e guerriero. Note sulla caratterizzazione di Mani e dei manichei nelle fonti greco-latine del IV secolo”
- Antonio Panaino: “Iranica nella Disputatio de Christo in Persia”
- Andrea Gariboldi: “Pratiche economiche e monetali nei documenti pahlavi del Tabaristān (VIII sec.)”
Maksymiuk, Katarzyna. 2018. Ram horns as sacral royal regalia of Šāpūr II. Istorìâ relìgìj v Ukraïnì: Naukovij šorìčnik 28(1). 17–29.
The work of Ammianus Marcellinus preserved valuable information on ancient Iran. Ammianus describes the arrival of šāhānšāh Šāpūr II (r. 309-379) under the walls of Amida, besieged by the Iranians. He informing that the king of Iran wore specific crown/helmet decorated with the ram’s horn. It seems that the helmet of the Sasanian monarch is associated with the person of Alexander of Macedon. In Iranian tradition the heroic picture of Alexander is based on the so-called Alexander Romance, also the Syriac legend of Alexander of Macedon, was written in the 6th century A.D. or in the first half of the 7th century A.D. The article analyzes the picture of Alexander in Pahlavi literature chronologically closer to the reign of Šāpūr II. The subject of research are also representations of Iranian kings with the ram’s horn. It must be accepted that teh specific decoartion of the helmet of Šāpūr II, described by Ammianus Marcelinus canot be anyhow associated with the person of Alexander but results from Iranian ideology of royal power.
Potts, Daniel Thomas. 2018. Bīsotūn and the French enlightenment. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1–32.
This study examines a little-known case of Enlightenment knowledge transmission centred on the rock-cut monument of Darius I at Bīsotūn in western Iran. It discusses a report on the monument published by the cartographer and historian Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville, which originated with the Decalced Carmelite monk Emmanuel de Saint-Albert (born Jean-Claude Ballyet); who transmitted it to Isaac Bellet, a doctor involved in secret negotiations in Constantinople; who in turn sent it to Louis, Duke d’Orléans, in Paris; who passed it on to d’Anville. The collison of scholarly interest, political service and scientific personality offers a fascinating case study of the Enlightenment ‘republic of letters’ in action.
The article is available on academia.edu.
Stronk, Jan P. 2016/2017. From Sardis to Marathon. Greco-Persian relations 499–490 BC: A review. Part one: Up to and including the fall of Eretria. Talanta 48-49, 133-184.
The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, which was commemorated at Athens on 6 Boedromion (and at present celebrated on 12 September), may be regarded as one of the defining moments in the history of the ancient polis of Athens. The battle was the culmination point of developments that started about the middle of the sixth century BC, but really took shape shortly after 500 BC. In this paper, which will be published in two parts, we shall follow various circumstances and actions involving the Achaemenid Empire (briefly described as Persia) and Greek poleis which ultimately led to the Battle of Marathon. As the Persian sources available in order to draw a more comprehensive picture of those occurrences at the end of sixth and the first decade of the fifth centuries BC relating to the Greco-Persian controversies than can be obtained from Herodotus’ account alone.His story remains to this day the main literary source for most People investigating the events in that period. In this first part, we shall discuss the occurrences up to and including the fall of Eretria. In the second part, due to appear in Talanta 51(-52), we next pay attention to the Battle of Marathon and its implications.