Tag Archives: Iranian Studies

Approaches to the study of ‘time’

Although not newly published, I mention this article by Stausberg as it relates to Rezania’s work on the concept of time in Zoroastrianism.

Stausberg, Michael. 2004. Approaches to the study of ‘time’ in the history of religions. Temenos 39/40. 247–268.

Rezania, Kianoosh. 2010. Die zoroastrische Zeitvorstellung. Eine Untersuchung über Zeit- und Ewigkeitskonzepte und die Frage des Zurvanismus (Göttinger Orientforschungen III.
Reihe Iranica, Neue Folge 7). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

The ethics and praxis of Mehr and Mithras

Pourshariati, Parvaneh. 2013. The ethics and praxis of Mehr and Mithras and the social institution of the ʿayyārs in the epic romance of Samak-e ʿayyār*. Journal of Persianate Studies 6. 15–38.

Giving a very brief and introductory summary of the many avatars of the Iranian god, Mithra, throughout Eurasia, as well as the primordial functions of the god, this article proceeds to discuss the Iranian Mithraic world-view, as seen in the ethics and practices of the “chivalrous” brother-hoods and sisterhoods of the ʿayyārs. Through a preliminary examination of the Parthian epic romance of Samak-e ʿayyār, we shall argue here that this literary epic provides us with a fascinating template for decoding not only; 1) the ethics, “ideal” social mores and praxes and the ideo-logical super-structures of the “chivalrous” brotherhood, or ʿayyars, of Iran, but also; 2) what was in effect the ethics of Mithraic brotherhoods and sisterhoods of the Iranian world.

Read the article here.

نسخه‌ی فارسی این مقاله را اینجا ببینید.

Yaghnobi Studies

A collection of papers resulting from the Italian ‘expeditions’ to the Yaghnob Valley:

Panaino, Antonio, Andrea Gariboldi & Paolo Ognibene (eds.). 2013. Papers from the Italian missions in Tajikistan (Yaghnobi Studies I). Mimesis.

Review: Remembering and forgetting the Persian past

Elizabeth Urban has reviewed Sarah Bowen Savant’s very important The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion for Marginalia:

However, The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran will prove fascinating to anyone interested in identity narratives and how authors shape the past in the service of the present. Savant builds a bridge between the history of Persia and the memory of Persia, and atop this bridge we can clearly witness the inherent tension in any identity between the old and the new.

Read the full review here.

Eighth European Conference of Iranian Studies

The first call for the eighth European Conference of Iranian Studies (ECIS8), St. Petersburg, 15–19.09.2015:

The President and the Board of the Societas Iranologica Europaea have the pleasure to invite you to the 8th Conference of Iranian Studies to be held in Saint Petersburg, at the State Hermitage Museum and Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, from Tuesday September 15 till Saturday September 19, 2015.

Should you decide to present a paper, please fill the pre-registration form available at the site of the conference, http://ecis8.orientalstudies.ru/ and send an abstract not exceeding half a page (1500 characters) by November 1, 2014 to the organizing committee at the following e-mail address: ecis8@yandex.ru.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

DSC02578_smallI want to express my gratitude to all who came to St Andrews for the workshop. Your presence, the excellent contributions and the stimulating discussions all made the workshop a wonderful success. Thank you.As we have seen, St Andrews is the right place for this type of workshop, and the Institute of Iranian Studies has proven this a number of times. Let’s hope we can keep up this work and turn it into a tradition. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the Sattaripour Foundation, BIPS, School of History and School of Classics.

Kingship in Ancient Iran

This interdisciplinary workshop, organised by the Institute of Iranian Studies (University of St Andrews), seeks to investigate and re-examine intersections between religious ideology and sovereignty in pre-Islamic Iran.

Date: June 12–13, 2014
Convener: Arash Zeini
Sponsors: BIPS, IIS, SoH and SAIMS

For more information, see the workshop’s website.

Richard N. Frye

Richard Neslon Frye, the Aga Khan Professor of Iranian Studies Emeritus, who passed away on 27 March 2014, has unfortunately become the subject of a political row in Iran. It is good to remember him for what he was, a scholar with a unique and refreshing style and a sharp eye for methodology:

There is always the danger in Avestan studies of seizing upon a device or a theory as the key to the understanding of that enigmatic book to the exclusion of all contrary evidence (which is declared corrupt and untrustworthy), proclaiming that the true meaning of the Avesta lies in this key. Johannes Hertel is the shining example of a competent Indo-Iranian philologist who proposed his Feuerlehre as the key to the understanding of both the Avesta and the Vedas. His ubiquitous fire was not taken seriously by others but his linguistic skill in support of fire was impressive. Just as Th. Noeldeke said of Pahlavi, “In Pehlewi stumpfen wir alle”, so the Avesta may drive all who study it slightly mad.

Frye, Richard Nelson. 1960. Georges Dumézil and the translators of the Avesta. Numen 7(2). 161–171.

See here for an obituary at the HARVARDgazette and here for one by Burzine Waghmar.

A few of our favourite things

The The International Dunhuang Project‘s (IDP) series of  A Few of Our Favourite Things is now complete. The 20 contributions cover a wide range of manuscripts found at Dunhuang, featuring among others objects discussed by Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Nicholas Sims-Williams and Prods Oktor Skjærvø.