Tag Archives: Sogdian

Manichaica and Sogdica from Russia

The latest issue of Written Monuments of the Orient (Institute of Oriental Manuscripts; Asiatic Museum; Russian Academy of Sciences), with two articles regarding the Middle Iranian Studies has been published:
Chunakova, Olga Mikhailovna, Federico Dragoni & Enrico Morano. 2017. A forgotten Manichaean Sogdian bifolio in Sogdian script. Written Monuments of the Orient 1(5). 3–25.
The present paper consists of the first edition, translation and commentary of a Manichaean Sogdian bifolio, whose photos are preserved in the Nachlass of Academician Carl H. Salemann at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS (St. Petersburg). The present location of the bifolio is unknown. One joining fragment has been found in the Berlin Turfan collection during the preliminary work on this edition. Two relatively long portions of Manichaean didactic treatises are extant and do not correspond to any known text. The first (I) is a Lehrtext on the duties of Manichaean monks living in a monastery. The second (II) contains the fourth and part of a fifth question, followed by answers, of a catechetical text concerning the fate of the body and of the soul after death.
Benkato, Adam. 2017. Sogdian letter fragments in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, St. Petersburg. Written Monuments of the Orient 1(5). 26–39.
Among the Sogdian fragments from Turfan preserved in the IOM collections are a handful of epistolary texts. A new edition of these fragments is presented here as part of the author’s ongoing project on Sogdian letters from Turfan.

The second issue of Studia Iranica 45

The second issue of Studia Iranica 45 (2016) has been published. Three papers of this issue are related to our interest:

The presence in the Wizīdagīhā ī Zādspram 28,6 of an explicit reference to the figure 6666 in connection with the manifestation of Ahreman’s arrival into the world immediately suggests a direct comparison with the ‘Number of the Beast’, 666, appearing in the Apocalypse of John, 13, 17-18. The author analyses many symbolic interpretations of this number and its importance in the Early Christian tradition, in particular in the framework of Irenaeus’s Adversus Haereses and the related chiliadic milieu. While the presence of this number in the Mazdean context seems to be another evidence supporting the thesis of a Western influence on Iranian apocalypticism (in spite of the apparent absence of Syriac versions of the Apocalypse of John in earlier times), the circulation of millenaristic doctrines presents a more complex situation, in which also the Iranian component should have played its remarkable impact in earlier times.

A number of Sogdian letter fragments are preserved from the Manichaean communities in Turfan. Although the majority are written in the Sogdian script, a small number are written in a cursive variety of the Manichaean script found only in these texts. Their edition and study provides a brief glimpse into the dynamics of the community. Furthermore, the first paleographic analysis of Manichaean cursive is undertaken.

Iranian Philology in Honour of Gherardo Gnoli

Morano, Enrico, Elio Provasi & Adriano V. Rossi (eds.). 2017. Studia Philologica Iranica. Gherardo Gnoli Memorial Volume. (Serie Orientale Roma, Nuova Serie 5). Roma: Scienze e Lettere S.r.l.
Table of Contents
  •  M. Alram:  “Ein Schatzfund des Hunnen-Königs Mihirakula”
  • G. Asatrian: “Middle Iranian Lexical Archaisms in Armenian Dialects”
  • H.R. Baghbidi: “Three Etymological Notes”
  • C.G. Cereti: “A Short Note on MHDA 38”
  • J. Cheung: “On the Origin of the Terms “Afghan” & “Pashtun” (Again)”
  • C.A. Ciancaglini: “Phonology, Etymology and Transcription Issues of Middle Persian Final Sequences ‹-lg› and ‹-lkꞌ›”
  • I. Colditz: “Another Fragment of the “Parable on the Female Hearer Xybrʾ”?”
  • M. Dandamayev: “Indian Soldiers in Achaemenid Babylonia”
  • A. de Jong: “The Women Who Witnessed Zoroaster’s Birth”
  • D. Durkin-Meisterernst: “Yima’s anādruxti-“
  • E. Filippone: “On the Meaning of Avestan nāuuiia– and Pahlavi *nāydāg
  • Ph. Gignoux: “Sur les noms de personnes et quelques particularités linguistiques d’une nouvelle collection privée de parchemins pehlevis”
  • R. Gyselen: “Formules moyen-perses et monogrammes sassanides”
  • A. Hintze: “The Advance of the Daēnā: The Vištāsp Yašt and an Obscure Word in the Hāδōxt Nask
  • H. Humbach: “Zarathushtra and the Balance”
  • J. Josephson: “The Pahlavi Psalter as a Translation”
  • J. Kellens: “Les Gâthâs dites de Zarathusthra
  • G. Lazard: “Les racines de la langue persane”
  • P. Lecoq: “Le -a final en vieux perse”
  • C. Leurini: “The Virgins and the Bride: Matt. 25:1 in the Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment M36”
  • P.B. Lurje: “More on Sogdian Versification: Translated and Original Compositions”
  • M. Macuch: “A Legal Controversy from the Sasanian Period in a Late Pahlavi Rivāyat Text”
  • M. Maggi: “Annotations on the Book of Zambasta, IV: Ronald E. Emmerick’s Notes”
  • E. Morano: “The Jackals and the Elephant: A Manichaean Sogdian Tale in Manichaean Script. With an Appendix with Corrections to Previously Edited Fragments of Tales
  • É. Pirart: “Les Soleils de l’Avesta”
  • A. Piras: “X˅arǝnah– and the Garlands. Notes about the Avestan and Manichaean Yima
  • E. Provasi: “Some Notes on Sogdian Phonology: Prothetic Aleph and Labialised Velars”
  • Ch. Reck: “Form and Emptiness: A Fragment of a Sogdian Version of the Heart Sutra?”
  • A.V. Rossi: “Ten Years of Achaemenid Philology: Old Persian &
    Achaemenid Elamite 2006-2016”
  • G. Scarcia: “Alla ricerca di un Ur-Farhâd: Hercules patiens, magnetico signor dottore, scalpellino, feldmaresciallo mecenate?”
  • R. Schmitt: “Der Flußgott Oxos in der iranischen Anthroponymie”
  • M. Schwartz: “An Achaemenid Position, and Gathic Composition:
    OPers. *grasta-(pati-), OAv. grə̄hma-, and PIE √gʰres
  • Sh. Shaked: “Zoroastrian Views on Suffering”
  • N. Sims-Williams: “The Name of the Kushan Goddess Ομμα”
  • P.O. Skjærvø: “Khotanese Land Purchase Deeds”
  • D. Weber: “Bemerkungen zu einigen Personennamen in den neuen Dokumenten aus Tabaristan”
  • G. Windfuhr: “The Enigmatic kurušag Ewe that Nursed Infant Zarathushtra, and the Precession of the Equinoxes”
  • E. Yarshater: “Tāti Dialects”
  • Y. Yoshida: “A Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment Preserved in the Kyōushooku Library, Osaka, Japan”
  • P. Zieme: “Ein altuigurisches Fragment zur manichäischen Ethik”

Mani in Cambridge

Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust

On Saturday 25 March, as part of an ongoing research project, we are holding a one day Symposium on Manichaean Studies sponsored jointly by the Ancient India and Iran Trust, the International Association of Manichaean Studies and the Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum Project.

Source: Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust

The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5 in Context

bildschirmfoto-2016-09-27-um-12-08-04
The monastery at Bulayïq, Dafusan’gaicum, Tulufan/Turpan, Xinjiang © Chiara Barbati 2015

Lecture and Book Presentation at Tehran University

The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5 in Context

Department for Iranian Studies at the University of Tehran in cooperation with The Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW) present:

Lecture : “The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5 in Context
By: Dr. Chiara Barbati (Institute of Iranistik, Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Date: Wednesday, 5th October, 2016
Place: University of Tehran, Faculty of Literature, Kamal Hall (4th floor)

On the basis of a thorough philological-linguistic study, the book aims primarily at reintegrating the complex whole of the various phenomena that have contributed to creating what in modern scholarship runs under the name of Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5, a set of manuscript fragments preserved in the Turfan Collection in Berlin. The study applies a precise methodology that puts various disciplinary approaches on the same level in order to relate and interconnect textual, material and historical-cultural aspects. Specific codicological characteristics are considered in correlation with the broader manuscript tradition to which the fragments belong. The discussion of the Gospel lectionary leads to reflections on the transmission, reception and development of a specific body of religious knowledge, namely that of the Church of the East. The exploration of linguistic phenomena takes also into consideration the processes at work in the missionary history of the Church of the East in Central Asia between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages in the Oasis of Turfan in present-day Xinjiang, China. The book therefore addresses Iranologists as well as students of Eastern Christianity and of manuscript cultures.

Chiara Barbati (PhD 2009) is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Iranian studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).  She specializes in Ancient and Middle Iranian languages. Her main fields of research are Sogdian language and literature with particular regard to the Christian Sogdian texts in relation to its Syriac sources, history of eastern Christianity through primary sources (Syriac) as well as secondary sources (Sogdian, Middle Persian, New Persian), paleography and codicology of pre-Islamic Iranian manuscripts and Iranian dialectology from an historical point of view.

 

History of Sogdian Merchants

histoire-des-marchands-sogdiens-9782857570608_0de la Vaissière, Etienne. 2016. Histoire des marchands sogdiens. Troisième édition révisée. (Institut des hautes études chinoises (Collège de France) 32).
The Sogdian Traders were the main go-between of Central Asia from the fifth to the eighth century. From their towns of Samarkand, Bukhara, or Tashkent, their diaspora is attested by texts, inscriptions or archaeology in all the major countries of Asia (India, China, Iran, Turkish Steppe, but also Byzantium). This survey for the first time brings together all the data on their trade, from the beginning, a small-scale trade in the first century BC up to its end in the tenth century. It should interest all the specialists of Ancient and Medieval Asia (including specialists of Sinology, Islamic Studies, Iranology, Turkology and Indology) but also specialists of Medieval Economic History.
This volume is the third revised edition of the orginal published in 2002 and translated into english in 2005 by James Ward.
Étienne de la Vaissière (PhD 1999) in History, is Assistant Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. His courses and research are devoted to the economic and social history of medieval Central Asia.

Samarkand: The Center of the World

Compareti 2016Compareti, Matteo. 2016. Samarkand: The center of the world. Proposals for the identification of the Afrasyab paintings (Sasanika Series 5). Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers.

In antiquity Samarkand was the capital of the Persian province of Sogdiana. Its language, culture, and “Zoroastrian” religion closely approximated those of the Persians. Following its conquest by Alexander, its strategic position and fertile soil made Sogdiana a coveted prize for Late Antique invaders of Central Asia. Around 660 CE — at the dawn of Arab invasion — local king Varkhuman promoted the execution of a unique painted program in one of his private rooms. Each wall was dedicated to a specific population: the north wall, the Chinese; the west, the Sogdians themselves; the east, the Indians and possibly the Turks. The south wall is probably the continuation of the scene on the west wall. In Chinese written sources, some support for this concept of the “division of the world” can be found. Accidentally discovered during Soviet times, the room was named “Hall of the Ambassadors” due to the representations of different peoples. However, many aspects of its painted program remain obscure. This study offers new ideas for better identifications of the rituals celebrated by the people on the different walls during precise moments of the year.

Matteo Compareti (PhD 2005) is Guitty Azarpay Distinguished Visitor in the History of the Arts of Iran and Central Asia at the University of California, Berkeley. He studied at the University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari” in the faculty of oriental studies in 1999 and took hid PhD from the University of Naples “L‘Orientale,” working on the Silk Road in 2005. His interest is on the iconography of Mazdean divinities in Pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia, especially Sasanian and Sogdian art.

The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary

Barbati 2016Barbati, Chiara. 2016. The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5 in Context (Veröffentlichungen Zur Iranistik 81). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

On the basis of a thorough philological-linguistic study, the book aims primarily at reintegrating the complex whole of the various phenomena that have contributed to creating what in modern scholarship runs under the name of Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5, a set of manuscript fragments preserved in the Turfan Collection in Berlin. The study applies a precise methodology that puts various disciplinary approaches on the same level in order to relate and interconnect textual, material and historical-cultural aspects. Specific codicological characteristics are considered in correlation with the broader manuscript tradition to which the fragments belong. The discussion of the Gospel lectionary leads to reflections on the transmission, reception and development of a specific body of religious knowledge, namely that of the Church of the East. The exploration of linguistic phenomena takes also into consideration the processes at work in the missionary history of the Church of the East in Central Asia between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages in the Oasis of Turfan in present-day Xinjiang, China. The book therefore addresses Iranologists as well as students of Eastern Christianity and of manuscript cultures.

Chiara Barbati (PhD 2009) is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Iranian studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).  She specializes in Ancient and Middle Iranian languages. Her main fields of research are Sogdian language and literature with particular regard to the Christian Sogdian texts in relation to its Syriac sources, history of eastern Christianity through primary sources (Syriac) as well as secondary sources (Sogdian, Middle Persian, New Persian), paleography and codicology of pre-Islamic Iranian manuscripts and Iranian dialectology from an historical point of view.

Cultural Transfer along the Silk Road

Espagne, Michel, Svetlana Gorshenina, Frantz Grenet, Sahin Mustafayev & Claude Rapin (eds.). 2016. Asie centrale: transferts culturels le long de la route de la soie. Paris: Vendémiaire.
This collection of essays is the result of the International Symposium “Cultural Transfers in Central Asia: before, during and after the Silk Road” (Conference Program), held in Samarkand on 12–14 September 2013. Expanding the original Eurocentric orientation in a broad chronological and interdisciplinary perspective and involving new materials, the participants have attempted to test the methodological approach of the “cultural transfers” and the effectiveness of their basic concepts (ways of travel, guides, translators, innovation, assimilation of “new” assignments, semantic shifts, etc.) in the Central Asian context. In these studies Central Asia includes mainly the post-Soviet space and its Central Asian neighbors like Siberia, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. The purpose of the collection is to determine the significance of the theory of the “cultural transfers” and, if possible, the range of its applications.

Ancient tales of giants

Goff, Matthew, Loren Stuckenbruck & Enrico Morano (eds.). 2016. Ancient tales of giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, traditions, and influences (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360). Mohr Siebeck.

While there has been much scholarly attention devoted to the Enochic Book of the Watchers , much less has been paid to the Book of Giants from Qumran. This volume is the proceedings of a conference that convened in Munich, Germany, in June 2014, which was devoted to the giants of Enochic tradition and in particular the Qumran Book of Giants . It engages the topic of the giants in relation to various ancient contexts, including the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Mesopotamia. The authors of this volume give particular attention to Manichaeism, especially the Manichaean Book of Giants , fragments of which were found in Turfan (western China). They contribute to our understanding of the range of stories Jews told in antiquity about the sons of the watchers who descended to earth and their vibrant Nachleben in Manichaeism.

Continue reading Ancient tales of giants