The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8

Redard, Céline. 2021. The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8. A Critical Edition with Ritual Commentaries and Glossary (Corpus Avesticum 3). Leiden: Brill.

This book is a multi-faceted study of the Srōš Drōn, comprising chapters 3 to 8 of the Yasna ceremony, the core ritual of the Zoroastrian religion. It provides a critical edition produced with the electronic tools of the project The Multimedia Yasna, and a study of the performative aspects of the Srōš Drōn both through the lens of the ritual directions and in comparison with the Drōn Yašt ceremony.
By analysing the Srōš Drōn both as a text attested in manuscripts and as a ritual performance, Céline Redard applies a new approach to unlock the meaning of these chapters of the Yasna.

Articles Online resources

Orodes II

Olbrycht, Marek. 2021. Orodes II. In Encyclopædia Iranica Online, edited by Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.

ORODES II (r. 58/57-37 BCE), king of Parthia, son of Phraates III (r. 70-57 BCE), and father of Phraates IV (q.v.). During his reign, the empire of the Arsacids (q.v.) reached the zenith of its power and scored significant victories against Rome.

From the entry

Commagene in its Local, Regional and Global Hellenistic Context

Blömer, Michael, Stefan Riedel, Miguel John Versluys & Engelbert Winter (eds.). 2021. Common Dwelling Place of all the Gods: Commagene in its Local, Regional and Global Hellenistic Conte (Oriens et Occidens Band 34). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

The history and archaeology of Hellenistic Commagene is a rich field of study, not in the least because of the remarkable monuments and inscriptions of king Antiochos I (c. 70–36 BC). Over the last decades important new work has been done on Commagene proper, providing novel interpretations of the epigraphical and historical record or the archaeological data and individual sites, like Nemrud Dağ, Samosata or Arsameia. Simultaneously scholars have tried to better understand Hellenistic Commagene by situating the region and its history in a wider Mediterranean and Near Eastern context. This long-awaited book provides a critical evaluation of all these new data and ideas on the basis of a theoretically embedded, state-of-the-art overview for the history and archaeology of Hellenistic Commagene. From this volume a new picture emerges in which Hellenistic Commagene is no longer understood as peripheral and out-of-the-ordinary, but as an important node in a global Hellenistic network, from Ai-Khanoum to Pompeii and from Alexandria to Armawir.

Table of Content

  • Rachel Mairs: ‘Ai Khanoum God with Feet of Marble’ . Reading Ai Khanoum through Commagene
    Stefan R. Hauser: ‘Hellenized Iranians?’ Antiochos I and the Power of Image
  • Matthew P. Canepa: Commagene Before and Beyond Antiochos I. Dynastic Identity, Topographies of Power and Persian Spectacular Religion 71
  • Helen Fragaki: Reversing Points of Reference. Commagene and the Anfushy Necropolis from Alexandria in Modern Scholarship
  • Margherita Facella: Sovereignty and Autonomy in the Hellenistic Coins of Commagene
  • Werner Oenbrink: The Late-Hellenistic Architecture of Commagene
    Lennart Kruijer & Stefan Riedel: Transforming Objectscapes in Samosata
    The Impact of the Palatial Complex
  • Bruno Jacobs: The Syncretistic Episode in Late-Hellenistic Commagene. The Greek-Persian Religious Concept of Antiochos I and the Ethnicity
    of the Local Population
  • Albert de Jong: Dynastic Zoroastrianism in Commagene: The Religion of King Antiochos
  • Rolf Strootman: Orontid Kingship in its Hellenistic Context. The Seleucid Connections of Antiochos I of Commagene
  • Anna Collar:  Time, Echoes and Experience. Perceiving the Landscape in Commagene
  • Giusto Traina: Armenia and the ‘Orontid Connection’. Some Remarks on Strabo, Geography 11,14,15
  • Lara Fabian: Beyond and Yet In-between. The Caucasus and the Hellenistic Oikoumene
  • Vito Messina: Beyond Greece and Babylonia. Global and Local at Seleucia on the Tigris
  • Orit Peleg-Barkat: Herodian Art and Architecture as Reflections of King Herod’s Many Faces
  • Stephan G. Schmid: Was There a Nabataean Identity – And If Yes, How Many?
  • Christoph Michels: ‘Achaemenid’ and ‘Hellenistic’ Strands of Representation in the Minor Kingdoms of Asia Minor
  • Monika Trümper: Delos Beyond East and West. Cultural Choices in Domestic Architecture
  • Annette Haug:  Decoscapes in Hellenistic Italy. Figurative Polychrome Mosaics between Local and Global
  • Achim Lichtenberger: Hellenistic Commagene in Context. Is ‘Global’ the Answer and Do We Have to Overcome Cultural ‘Containers’?
Online resources

Zoroastrianism: History, Religion, and Belief

SOAS is offering an online course that explores ‘the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism, its languages, and the challenges faced by Zoroastrian communities today’. The course is taught by Dr Sarah Stewart and Dr Celine Redard.

یک دوره چهار هفته‌ای برای آشنایی با دین زرتشتی، زبان‌های وابسته و چالش‌هایی که جوامع زرتشتی امروز با آنها روبرو هستند.


Medes in the desert

Potts, Daniel. 2021. Medes in the desert: Thoughts on the mounted archer near Taymā’. In: Claudia Bührig et al. (eds.), Klänge der Archäologie: Festschrift für Ricardo Eichmann, 335-342. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Detail of petroglyph of equestrian figure near Tayma’

The equestrian figure engraved on a rock outcrop near Taymā’ is analyzed. Details of the horse and rider are discussed which support the identification of the horse as an Assyrianizing image, and the rider as a Mede. The significance of the image is treated in light of the tradition of rapid overland communication in the Achaemenid empire.


Iranian names in Nebenüberlieferungen of Indo-European languages

Martirosyan, Hrach. 2021. Iranische Namen in Nebenüberlieferungen Indogermanischer Sprachen (Iranisches Personennamenbuch, 5. 3). Wien: Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

The Iranian element is the largest layer of the Armenian borrowed lexicon. It comprises a period of more than 2.500 years starting from pre-Achaemenid times up to the modern period. Also the number of Armenian personal names of Iranian origin is quite large, roughly estimated one quarter of all Armenian personal names. The Armenian evidence is of vital importance for completing the Iranian onomasticon. In many cases, Middle Persian and Parthian namesakes of Armenian personal names are not directly attested. Besides, Armenian helps to determine the exact shape of Iranian names. The present fascicle of the “Iranisches Personennamenbuch” aims to collect and etymologically interpret all the Iranian personal names, which are attested in Armenian texts up to 1300 CE. Occasionally, it also comprises names that are attested at a later stage but are likely to belong to earlier periods, as well as younger forms that are related with older names and are therefore relevant for the philological or etymological discussion of the latter. The volume comprises 872 entries and includes (1) names of Iranian people of various kinds (kings, queens, princes, generals, etc.) that occur in Armenian texts, and (2) names of Iranian origin that were/are borne by Armenian people. It includes a huge range of new etymologies or corrected versions of pre-existing etymologies, as well as new names and corrected forms of names discovered in critical texts and voluminous corpora of inscriptions and colophons of Armenian manuscripts that have not been available for earlier researchers of the Armenian onomastics.


William Barker, Xenophon’s ‘Cyropædia’

Grogan, Jane (ed.). 2020. William Barker, Xenophon’s ‘Cyropædia’ (Tudor and Stuart Translation 13). Cambridge: Modern Humanities Research Association.

William Barker’s translation of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia is the first substantial translation from Greek directly to English in Tudor England. It presents to its English readers an extraordinarily important text for humanists across Europe: a semi-fictional biography of the ancient Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great, so generically rich that it became (in England as well as Europe) a popular authority and model in the very different fields of educational, political and literary theory, as well as in literature by Sidney, Spenser and others.

This edition, for the first time, identifies its translator as a hitherto overlooked figure from the circle of Sir John Cheke at St John’s College, Cambridge, locus of an important and influential revival of Greek scholarship. A prolific translator from Greek and Italian, Barker was a Catholic, and spent most of his career working as secretary to Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk. What little notoriety he eventually gained was as the ‘Italianified Englishman’ who told of Howard’s involvement in the Ridolfi plot. But even here, this edition shows, Barker’s intellectual patronage by Cheke and friends, and their enduring support of him, his translations and the Chekeian agenda, can be discerned.


The Greeks and Persia

Stronk, Jan P. 2020. The Greeks and Persia. Talanta 52, 71-87.

Plain of Marathon, with some key features (source: Google Earth).

The abstract:

Lack of data has always been one of the main issues in studying antiquity, a theme that on the one hand distinguishes students of antiquity from other scholars, but on the other hand, ideally, should ensure a bond between ‘Altertumswissenschaftler’ all over the world. Nevertheless, there have risen several divisions in this field of scholarship, especially influenced by nineteenth-century authors. Apart from that, there is at present a shocking gap between scholarship and the greater public (and, consequently, public awareness of the relevance of scholarly activities). At present, new roads have been opened in the past twenty to thirty years that may enable us to find new possibilities for research, and might help us to bridge existing differences. The title of my paper is based upon that of the book by A.R.Burn (1962). Like he did, I shall try to make clear what connects – in my case – ancient Greek authors and Persian history.

Journal Online resources

Berkeley Working Papers in Middle Iranian Philology

Berkeley Working Papers in Middle Iranian Philology is a new open access e-journal hosted by UC Berkeley’s Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and edited by Adam Benkato and Arash Zeini. It publishes short and longer articles or research reports on the philology and epigraphy of Middle Iranian languages (Middle Persian, Parthian, Bactrian, Sogdian, Chorasmian, Khotanese). Submitted papers will be reviewed by the editors and published on an ongoing basis. The journal promotes a simple and quick publishing process with collective annual volumes published at the end of each year.

The editors encourage scholars working on Middle Persian documents in particular to submit their work.


Persica Antiqua

The first issue of Persica Antiqua: The International Journal of Iranian Studies is released. The papers are freely at disposal on the journal’s website.

Persica Antiqua is the official journal of Tissaphernes Archaeological Research Group. Persica Antiqua is an international, peer reviewed journal, publishing high-quality, original research. The journal covers studies on the cultural and civilization of pre-Islamic Persia in its broadest sense. Persica Antiqua publishes on Persian Studies, including archaeology, ancient history, linguistics, religion, epigraphy, numismatics and history of art of ancient Iran, as well as on cultural exchanges and relations between Iran and its neighbours.