Tag Archives: Judeo-Persian

The Jews of Iran

Yeroushalmi, David. 2017. The Jews of Iran: chapters in their history and cultural heritage (Bibliotheca Iranica : Judeo-Iranian and Jewish Studies Series 4). Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers.
The present work provides a historical overview of Jews living on Iranian soil and offers studies dealing with specific facets of their centuries old cultural heritage. Divided into two separate but closely related parts, the book consists of eight chapters. Part one, History and Community, includes four chapters that throw light on the history of Iran’s Jewish minority from the 8th-century BCE through the 20th century. The second part, Cultural Heritage, investigates some specific features of Jewish culture and tradition in Iran. These include Judeo-Persian literature and poetry, a typical Judeo-Persian treatment of a Jewish canonical text, and the character of Jewish education in pre-modern Iran.
Contents:

PART ONE: HISTORY AND COMMUNITY

  • Chapter 1: Jews on Iranian Soil: From the 8th Century B.C.E. through the Mongol Period in the 13th- 14th Centuries C.E.
  • Chapter 2: Iranian Jews in the Course of the 16th-20th Centuries
  • Chapter 3: The Jewish Communities of Iran at the Turn of the 20th Century
  • Chapter 4: Iranian Jews in Palestine-Israel: History and Communal Aspects

PART TWO: CULTURAL HERITAGE

  • Chapter 5: Judeo-Persian Literature
  • Chapter 6: The 15th-16th Century Poet ‘Emrani
  • Chapter 7: The Mishnah in Judeo-Persian Literature: The Case of the Tractate Abot
  • Chapter 8: Jewish Education in Pre-Modern Iran According to Contemporary Sources

Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26

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

December 2016

Articles

  • 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”

Shorter Notice

  • Ali Mousavi, ”Shahyar Adle (1944–2015)”

Reviews

  • 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)

Books Received

Abbreviations

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Pahlavi and Judeo-Persian Bible Manuscripts

The Pahlavi Psalter. Ps 5 recto: Psalms 121 (opening is missing) and 122; discovered at Bulayïq/ Turfan oasis. © Turfanforschung (BBAW), Digitales Turfan-Archiv
The Pahlavi Psalter. Ps 5 recto: Psalms 121 (opening is missing) and 122; discovered at Bulayïq/ Turfan oasis.
© Turfanforschung (BBAW), Digitales Turfan-Archiv

Pehlivanian, Meliné, Christoph Rauch & Ronny Vollandt (eds.). 2016. Orientalische Bibelhandschriften aus der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK. Eine illustrierte Geschichte. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

The volume presents an illustrated history of the Oriental Bible Manuscripts from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. It includes discriptions of the manuscripts which are among the oldest and most fascinating items in the Oriental Collection of the State Library of Berlin. The overwhelming majority of the manuscripts presented here come from the very cradle of the Abrahamic religions. The texts range across more than 1,500 years of Christian and Jewish history in the Near and Middle East and Africa, from Late Antiquity to the 19th century.
They are written documents which have, not least, also left
traces in the Islamic tradition. Another concern of the volume is to allow readers insights into the extremely extensive and varied collection of Oriental manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, whose outstanding treasures are in many cases only known to specialists in the field. The biblical texts, written on leather, parchment, papyrus, and paper bear witness not only to the complexity of the religious and theological traditions, but also impressively document the diversity of materials to be found in the Oriental manuscript culture, and not least the artistic achievements of the “Peoples of the Book”.

Some most related chapters of this book regarding the Iranian Studies are:

  • Dennis Halft OP: “The ‘Book of Books’ in Persian” (pp. 150-154)
  • Dennis Halft OP: “A Persian Gospel Manuscript and the London Polyglot” (pp. 155-157.)
  • Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst: “A Middle Persian Pahlavi Psalter-Fragment in the Berlin Turfan Collection” (pp. 114-116).
  • Simone-Christiane Raschmann: “Christian Texts from Central Asia in the Berlin Turfan Collection” (pp. 105-113).
  • Friederike Weis: “Illustrated Persian Tales of the Prophets (Qis.as. al-anbiyāʾ) (pp. 163-172).

The Bible as a Judeo-Persian Epic

Moreen 2016Moreen, Vera Basch. 2016. The Bible as a Judeo-Persian epic: An illustrated manuscript of ʿImrānī’s Fatḥ-Nāma. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East.
Shervin Farridnejad writes:
ʿImrānī, one of the great Judeo-Persian poets, was probably born in Isfahan in 1454 and died in Kashan after 1536. Inspired by Shāhīn, the other great JP poet, ʿImrānī’s works concentrate on the post-Mosaic era from Joshua to the period of David and Solomon. Among his 12 poetic works, Fatḥ-Nāma “The Book of the Conquest” is his first and remains one of his important works.  He began the composition that comprises approximately ten thousand couplets in 1474. The content of this masnavī (narrative poem in rhyming couplets) deals with the legend of the conquest of the Holy Land by Joshua as well as events from  Joshua to the reign of Solomon.

Judeo-Persian Literature

Iran Name 1,2Iran Nameh, New Series, Volume 1, Number 2 (Summer 2016)

The second issue of Iran Nameh, New Series, Volume 1, Number 2 (Summer 2016), a memorial volume in honour of Professor Amnon Netzer (1934-2008), the Iranian-Jewish historian and researcher of Iranian Jewry and Judeo-Persian Literature is published. The volume comprises bilingual Persian and English contributions on different aspects of Judeo-Persian Literature and Iranian Jewry.

Table of Contents

Continue reading Judeo-Persian Literature

Judæo-Iranian Languages

Torat Adonai, Constantinople: Eliezer ben Gershom Soncino, 1546 Detail. The right column contains Jacob Tavusi’s Judeo-Persian translation (BL Or. 70.c.10) © The British Library

Borjian, Habib. 2015. Judeo-Iranian Languages. In Lily Kahn & Aaron D. Rubin (eds.), Handbook of Jewish Languages, 234–296. (Brill’s Handbooks in Linguistics). Leiden: Brill.

Judeo-Iranian languages referring mostly to a group of Jewish variants of Iranian languages, many of them dialects of Persian, spoken or written with the Hebrew script by Jews in greater Iran over a period of more than a millennium. The corpus of Judeo-Iranian literature is very important for both linguistic and literary reasons, as it includes some of the earliest documents of New Persian, and because it constitutes a sizable literature written by Persian Jews.

 

About the Handbook of Jewish Languages

This Handbook of Jewish Languages is an introduction to the many languages used by Jews throughout history, including Yiddish, Judezmo (Ladino) , and Jewish varieties of Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Berber, English, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Iranian, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Malayalam, Occitan (Provençal), Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Syriac, Turkic (Karaim and Krymchak), Turkish, and more. Chapters include historical and linguistic descriptions of each language, an overview of primary and secondary literature, and comprehensive bibliographies to aid further research. Many chapters also contain sample texts and images. This book is an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in Jewish languages, and will also be very useful for historical linguists, dialectologists, and scholars and students of minority or endangered languages.

Habib Borjian is a scholar of Iranian lingustic, comparative historical philology and typology in Center for Iranian Studies at the  Columbia University as well as the senior assistant editor of Encyclopaedia Iranica.

On Judeo-Persian 2

McCollum, Adam. 2015. On Judeo-Persian language and literature. Part Two: Texts and Bibliography. Ancient Jew Review.

In a two-part series, Dr. Adam McCollum addresses the possibilities for the field of Judeo-Persian language and literature. Part One addresses the state of the field and Part Two includes a helpful bibliography and four text samples.

You can find out more about Adam McCollum and his work over at his blog, hmmlorientalia, or at his highly recommended Twitter account: @adamcmccollum.

On Judeo-Persian 1

McCollum, Adam. 2015. On Judeo-Persian language and literature. Part One: State of the field. Ancient Jew Review.

In a two-part series, Dr. Adam McCollum addresses the possibilities for the field of Judeo-Persian language and literature. Part One addresses the state of the field and Part Two includes a helpful bibliography and four text samples.

You can find out more about Adam McCollum and his work over at his blog, hmmlorientalia, or at his highly recommended Twitter account: @adamcmccollum.