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Articles

The Administration of Syria under Alexander the Great

Kholod, Maxim М. 2021. The Administration of Syria under Alexander the Great. Klio 103 (2), 505-537.

The author is of the opinion that as a result of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Syria (late 333–332 BC), which had been a single administrative entity under the Achaemenids, it was divided into two satrapies – the northern and the southern one. He believes that Menon, son of Cerdimmas, was appointed as the first head of the northern satrapy (winter 333/332), to be replaced by Arimmas (early spring 331), who, in his turn, was succeeded by Asclepiodorus, son of Eunicus (late summer 331). Besides, it seems that Andromachus became the first head of the southern satrapy (shortly before winter 332/331), and after he was killed, Menon, transferred from the north to the south, took his place (early spring 331). Already in Alexander’s lifetime, probably in 329/328, Syria was once again merged into one satrapy. It is unclear who was installed as satrap of the unified region. At any rate, it could not have been Menes, son of Dionysius: the hypothesis that in winter 331/330 he was made satrap of the new province including Syria and Cilicia does not stand scrutiny. In the author’s view, the main task Alexander assigned to Menes was to take control and then to keep open and organized the sea communications with the coast of Syria, Phoenicia and Cilicia, and in the matters concerning these activities Menes was fully independent of the local satraps.

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Journal

Zoroastrianism Special

Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021. Guest Editor Shernaz Cama.

The newest issue of the Journal of the Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021, guest-edited by Shernaz Cama is dedicated to the Zoroastrisn Studies.

Recent discoveries by international teams from varying backgrounds of academic study have found rich artistic and linguistic material along the Silk Route. So far, these discoveries remain in volumes on Zoroastrian studies. This edition of the Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies brings some of these findings to a wider audience. This will help make links between multicultural concepts, oral traditions as well as iconography. These multicultural links will be taken forward to a much later colonial and post-colonial period of history when adaptation and absorbing new influences once again becomes vital to the creation of a Parsi Zoroastrian culture. It is this multiculturalism, the ability to straddle different geographies and adapt to historical circumstances, while maintaining a core essence, which has been a feature of the Zoroastrian identity throughout its long history.

Table of Contents:

  • Arshadul Quadri: “Legendary Women of the Shahnameh: An Epitome of Courage and Wisdom”
  • Julian Kredel and Jamsheed K. Choksy: “Zoroastrian Deities in Bactria”
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams: “The Avesta in Sogdiana”
  • Jenny Rose: “Wind and Fire: Some Shared Motifs in Indo-Iranian and Sino-Iranian settings”
  • Matteo Compareti: “Iranian Metalwork and Textiles from Qinghai/ Amdo: Tracing the Sille Road in the Himalayan region”
  • Daryoosh Akbarzadeh: In the name of the Lord of Wisdom and Mind or Ohrmazd
  • Shernaz Cama: “An Ancient Spiritual Bond: The Yasna and the Yagna of Iran and lndia”
  • Shervin Farridnejad: “The Royal farmān and the Abolition of Zoroastrian Poll Tax in Qajar Iran”
  • Galina Woodova: “Zoroastrian Glow in Azerbaijan”
  • Murali Ranganathan: “An Ocean of Knowledge: The First Gujarati Monthly Magazines”
  • Meher Kelawala Mistry: “Language Snapshot of Parsi Gujarati Parsi Entrepreneurial Success: An Appraisal”
  • Pheroza J. Godrej: “A Europcan Transformation: The J.J. School of Art and the Risc of Parsi Artists”
  • Indira Chowdhury: “Art likc Science knows no Frontiers: Homi Bhaba and the Spirit of lnternationalism”
  • Mariano Errichiello: “Conferment of Meaning to Mount Damavand between Indo-Iranian myths and Zoroastrian Pilgrimages”
  • Pablo Vazquez: “A Tale of two Zs: An Overview of the Reformist and Traditionalist Zoroastrian Movements”

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Books

The Persian revival

Grigor, Talinn. 2021. The Persian revival: The imperialism of the copy in Iranian and Parsi architecture. University Park, PA : Penn State University Press.

One of the most heated scholarly controversies of the early twentieth century, the Orient-or-Rome debate turned on whether art historians should trace the origin of all Western—and especially Gothic—architecture to Roman ingenuity or to the Indo-Germanic Geist. Focusing on the discourses around this debate, Talinn Grigor considers the Persian Revival movement in light of imperial strategies of power and identity in British India and in Qajar-Pahlavi Iran.

The Persian Revival examines Europe’s discovery of ancient Iran, first in literature and then in art history. Tracing Western visual discourse about ancient Iran from 1699 on, Grigor parses the invention and use of a revivalist architectural style from the Afsharid and Zand successors to the Safavid throne and the rise of the Parsi industrialists as cosmopolitan subjects of British India. Drawing on a wide range of Persian revival narratives bound to architectural history, Grigor foregrounds the complexities and magnitude of artistic appropriations of Western art history in order to grapple with colonial ambivalence and imperial aspirations. She argues that while Western imperialism was instrumental in shaping high art as mercantile-bourgeois ethos, it was also a project that destabilized the hegemony of a Eurocentric historiography of taste.

An important reconsideration of the Persian Revival, this book will be of vital interest to art and architectural historians and intellectual historians, particularly those working in the areas of international modernism, Iranian studies, and historiography.

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Articles

Eunuchs as guardians of women in Achaemenid Persia

Lenfant, Dominique. 2021. Eunuchs as guardians of women in Achaemenid Persia. Orientalism and occidentalism in modern scholarship. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 61(4), 456-474.

Ancient Greek authors did not see eunuchs in Persia as servants of the ‘harem’, an image projected onto the past under the influence of a modern Orientalist stereotype.

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Books

Iran and its Histories

Daryaee, Touraj & Robert Rollinger (eds.). 2021. Iran and its histories. From the beginnings through the Achaemenid Empire (Classica et Orientalia 29). Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz.

Dealing with the “history” of Iran is a challenge for many reasons. “Iran” is a term with different meanings through the ages. Today, it refers to the boundaries of modern Iran, but historically and culturally it covers a much larger territory. The western term “Persia” exemplifies these uncertainties for it is used colloquially as a synonym for “Iran,” but can also refer to the Achaemenid, Arsacid or Sasanian Empires and later empires on the Iranian Plateau. Besides these geographical ambiguities there is also the “ethnic” and linguistic dimension of the term “Iran”. Iranian languages are a major branch of the Indo-European language family and people using these languages have played a decisive role in the history of “Iran” since the first millennium BCE. How should we situate the ‘autochthonous՚ civilizations on the plateau, such as those at Konar Sandal (Jiroft), Sialk in Kashan, or for that matter the region of Elam with its longue durée history and influence? So what does it mean when we talk about “Persia” and “Iran” from a historical point of view?

This volume brings together the contributions of the first and second Payravi conferences on Ancient Iranian History, held at the University of California Irvine in 2018 and 2019. The 16 contributions united in this volume tackle various problems of early Iranian history in many ways. They cover a wide range of time, from the Paleolithic to the end of the Achaemenid empire and Alexander III (“the Great”) and give vibrant insights into the dynamic processes of the history of Iran within the framework of the most recent results of scholarly research.

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Books

Afterlives of Ancient Rock-Cut Monuments in the Near East

Ben-Dov, Jonathan & Felipe Rojas (eds.). 2021. Afterlives of ancient rock-cut monuments in the Near East. Brill.

This book concerns the ancient rock-cut monuments carved throughout the Near East, paying particular attention to the fate of these monuments in the centuries after their initial production. As parts of the landscapes in which they were carved, they acquired new meanings in the cultural memory of the people living around them. The volume joins numerous recent studies on the reception of historical texts and artefacts, exploring the peculiar affordances of these long-lasting and often salient monuments. The volume gathers articles by archeologists, art historians, and philologists, covering the entire Near East, from Iran to Lebanon and from Turkey to Egypt. It also analyzes long-lasting textual traditions that aim to explain the origins and meaning of rock-cut monuments and other related carvings.

Three chapters of this volume deals specifically Ancient Iranian rock-cut monuments:

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Books

The legacy, life and work of Geo Widengren

Larsson, Göran (ed.). 2021. The legacy, life and work of Geo Widengren and the study of the history of religions after World War II. Brill.

Professor Geo Widengren (1907–1996), holder of the chair in History of Religions and Psychology of Religions at Uppsala University between 1940 and 1973, is one of Sweden’s best-known scholars in the field of religious studies. His involvement in the start of the IAHR and publications on topics such as the phenomenology of religions, Iranian studies and Middle Eastern Religions make Widengren one of the founding fathers of the History of Religions as an academic discipline. This volume pays tribute to Widengren’s academic achievements and critically discusses his work in light of the latest academic findings and research.

Three chapters of this volume are specifically dedicated to the works and legacy of Geo Widengren regarding the Iranian Cultures, Languages and Religions:

  • Anders Hultgård: “Geo Widengren and the Study of Iranian Religion”
  • Albert de Jong: “The Eclipse of Geo Widengren in the Study of Iranian Religions”
  • Mihaela Timuş: “King and Saviour”: Geo Widengren’s Early Contributions (1938–1955) to the History of Iranian Religions

See here the table of contents of this volume.

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Books Translation

شاه و نخبگان در شاهنشاهی هخامنشی

به کوشش ووتر ف. م. هنکلمن. ۱۴۰۰. شاه و نخبگان در شاهنشاهی هخامنشی: گزیده مقالاتی در باب بایگانی باروی هخامنشی . ترجمه از یزدان صفایی و حمیدرضا نیک‌روش. تهران: موزه ملی ایران.

Henkelman, W.F.M. (ed.). 2021. King and Elite in the Achaemenid Empire: Selected Studies based on the Persepolis Fortification Archive (Treasures of Ancient Iran 1). Translated by Yazdan Safaee & Hamidreza Nikravesh. Tehran: National Museum of Iran.

کتاب شاه و نخبگان در شاهنشاهی هخامنشی مقالاتی را شامل می‌شود که موضوع آنها بر شبکه روابط میان شاه و گروه نخبگان اطراف او تمرکز دارد. این مقالات عمدتاً ماحصل تحقیق بر روی متون بایگانی باروی تخت‌جمشید هستند، یعنی یکی از مهم‌ترین منابع برای شناخت تاریخ هخامنشیان. مقالات مذکور در اصل به انگلیسی منتشر شده بودند و ترجمه فارسی آنها در این کتاب با هدف انتشار بخشی از نتایج پروژه بایگانی باروی تخت‌جمشید در دسترس قرار گرفته است. از این روی کتاب فوق‌الذکر مجموعه‌ای از مقالات محققان پیشتازی است که در این پروژه مشغول به تحقیق هستند: آنالیزا آتزونی، مارک گریسون، ووتر هنکلمن و متیو استولپر.

کتاب حاضر مجلد نخست از مجموعه‌ای است به نام گنج‌آمار ایران باستان: منابع و مطالعات فرهنگ و تاریخ آغازین ایران که به همت موزه ملی ایران منتشر می‌شود که هدف آن انتشار ترجمه‌هایی فارسی از تحقیقات جدید در مورد ایران باستان است.

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Articles Journal

Vostok (issue 5)

Issue 5 of Vostok (Oriens), published on 29.10.2021, has a couple of articles that relate to the Sasanian era, and others related to areas and eras covered by BiblioIranica:

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Books

Mani and His Religion

Taqizadeh, Seyyed Hasan. Mani e la sua religione. Translated by Simone Cristoforetti and Andrea Piras, Mimesis, 2020.

Mani and his Religion contains the text of two lectures that the well-known statesman and scholar Hasan Taqizadeh (1878-1970) gave at the Iranological Society of Tehran on 15 December 1949 and 1 February 1951, published in 1956. In addition to its importance in reconstructing the history of Manichaeism, the work testifies to the indefatigable cultural activity that Taqizadeh was able to carry out, despite his leading official positions in the politics and diplomatic representation of his country, Iran. His great courage and intellectual honesty led Taqizadeh to investigate an area – the dualistic religion of the heretic Mani – considered more than disreputable in Iran at the time, in the conviction that Mani and Manichaeism had represented one of the most important cultural phenomena in the history of late Iran and beyond. The translation proposed here is accompanied by a historical background of the author and a bibliographical update on the themes of the text.