Parthica (VOL. 21)

Volume 21 of the journal “Parthica” (2019) contains several contributions of relevance to Iranian Studies.

Table of contents:

  • K. ABDULLAEV: Symbols associated with temples and altars in the Middle East and Iran
  • L. OVERTOOM: A Reconsideration of Mithridates II’s Early Reign: A “Savior” Restores the Eastern Frontier of the Parthian Empire
  • R. MENEGAZZI: Beyond terracotta: observations on the bone and stone figurines from Seleucia on the Tigris
  • E. PAPPALARDO, V. MESSINA: The Maenad and the muse connectivity and appropriation of models in Hellenizing Mesopotamia and Parthia. Two case-studies from Seleucia on the Tigris and Old Nisa
  • W. AL-SALIHI: Remarks on the plan of the Temple of the Triad at Hatra
  • C. LIPPOLIS: Le acque di Nisa – Mitridatocerta (Turkmenistan)
  • C. LIPPOLIS, M. MAMEDOV, J. BRUNO, G. PATRUCCO: Preliminary note on the 2019 archaeological campaign of the Italian-Turkmen archaeological expedition to Old Nisa (Turkmenistan)
  • E. PAPPALARDO Il viaggio del Centauro. Arcesilao e la circolazione di modelli fra oriente e occidente
  • Y. MORADI Epigraphical and iconographical analysis of a Parthian bas-relief from Javanroud, Western Iran (with a note on the inscription by Seiro Haruta)
  • S. STARK, D. MIRZAAKHMEDOV, F. KIDD, S. MIRZAAKHMEDOV: New finds of terracotta figurines from Western (Bukharan) Sogdiana
  • Y. MORADI, M. COMPARETI: A Sasanian figured relief plaque from Taq-e Bostan

The New Testament Gospels in Manichaean Tradition

Pedersen, N. A. R. Falkenberg, J. M. Larsen & C. Leurini (eds.). 2020. The New Testament Gospels in Manichaean Tradition: The Sources in Syriac, Greek, Coptic, Middle Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, Bactrian, New Persian, and Arabic (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum: Series Biblia Manichaica, 2). Turnhout :Brepols.

Biblia Manichaica is a reference work citing all biblical quotations and allusions in the Manichaean sources as far as they are available in editions. The second volume covers Manichaean texts in Greek, Coptic, Semitic, and Iranian languages. The reference work includes an introductory chapter and appendices on the Manichaean use of the Gospel of Thomas and Diatessaron

BiblioIranica Online resources

Publications on Sogdian

We are delighted to host another article by Adam Benkato, our long-standing collaborator and friend.

In Some Data on Publications on Sogdian, Adam uses his extensive bibliography of Sogdian philology, containing 624 entries for publications from 1904 to 2020, to show ‘how a field has grown or developed over time’.

He had previously published this article on his own website but has now moved it to Bibliographia Iranica, where we are planning to host a series of publications on bibliographies. Stay tuned for more from Adam and others.


Dinars and Dirhams

Daryaee, Touraj, Judith A. Lerner & Virginie C. Rey (eds.). 2020. Dinars and Dirhams: Festschrift in honor of Michael L. Bates. Irvine: Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

The present volume is dedicated to Michael L. Bates, Curator Emeritus of Islamic Coins at the American Numismatic Society. For more than forty years, Michael has been a major figure in the field of Islamic numismatics through his writing, teaching, and being a resource for scholars, students and collectors. The list of contributors to this volume and the range of their contributions are testament to Michael’s continued and vital influence on numismatic and historical studies.


Zagros Studies

Eidem, Jesper. 2020. Zagros studies: Proceedings of the NINO jubilee conference and other research on the Zagros region (PIHANS 130). Leuven: Peeters.

Zagros Studies contains nine articles on the archaeology and history of the Zagros Region in Iraq. Five of these are expanded versions of papers that were delivered at a conference celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) in December 2014. The other articles present results of the NINO archaeological project on the Rania Plain, and new investigations on the Shemshara Hills and other sites on the plain, which are threatened by Lake Dokan; a spectacular terracotta “tower” is published here for the first time.


Studia Iranica 48(2)

The second issue of Studia Iranica 48 (2019) has been published. For a table of contents and access to individual articles, see below or visit this page.

  • Ryoichi MIYAMOTO: Étude préliminaire sur la géographie administrative du Tukhāristān
  • Gilles COURTIEU: La pratique du mazdéisme en Crimée selon l’Histoire Naturelle de Pline
  • Vera B. MOREEN: Echoes of the Battle of Čālderān: The Account of the Jewish Chronicler Elijah Capsali (c. 1490 – c. 1555)
  • Jean CALMARD: Le voyage de Louise de la Marnierre en Iran (1836-1837): Introduction, récit, notes
  • Philippe GIGNOUX & Dieter WEBER: Un papyrus en pehlevi égaré à La Sorbonne (Paris)
  • Comptes rendus

Handbook of Ancient Afro-Eurasian Economies

Reden, Sitta von (ed.). 2020. Handbook of ancient Afro-Eurasian economies. Volume 1: Contexts. Berlin: De Gruyter.

The notion of the “Silk Road” that the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen invented in the 19th century has lost attraction to scholars in light of large amounts of new evidence and new approaches. The handbook suggests new conceptual and methodological tools for researching ancient economic exchange in a global perspective with a strong focus on recent debates on the nature of pre-modern empires.The interdisciplinary team of Chinese, Indian and Graeco-Roman historians, archaeologists and anthropologists that has written this handbook compares different forms of economic development in agrarian and steppe regions in a period of accelerated empire formation during 300 BCE and 300 CE. It investigates inter-imperial zones and networks of exchange which were crucial for ancient Eurasian connections.Volume I provides a comparative history of the most important empires forming in Northern Africa, Europe and Asia between 300 BCE and 300 CE. It surveys a wide range of evidence that can be brought to bear on economic development in the these empires, and takes stock of the ways academic traditions have shaped different understandings of economic and imperial development as well as Silk-Road exchange in Russia, China, India and Western Graeco-Roman history.


Methods and models in ancient history

Mæhle, Ingvar, Per Bjarne Ravnå & Eivind Heldaas Seland (eds.). 2020. Methods and models in ancient history: Essays in honor of Jørgen Christian Meyer (Papers and Monographs from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 9). Athens: Norwegian Institute at Athens.

According to the institute, the publications of the Norwegian Institute at Athens are available on-line at the digital collection of the Bergen University Library. However, we have been unable to find a download link for the above volume. Please check the above website for updates.

Two papers of closer interest to scholars of Iranian Studies are available from the authors’ pages:


The Legitimation of Conquest

Trampedach, Kai & Alexander Meeus (eds.). 2020. The legitimation of conquest: Monarchical representation and the art of government in the empire of Alexander the Great (Studies in Ancient Monarchies 7). Stuttgart: Fanz Steiner Verlag.

Within a single decade (334–325 BC) Alexander III of Macedon conquered much of the known world of his time, creating an empire that stretched from the Balkans to India and southern Egypt. His clear intention of establishing permanent dominion over this huge and culturally diverse territory raises questions about whether and how he tried to legitimate his position and about the reactions of various groups subject to his rule: Macedonians, Greeks, the army, indigenous elites. Starting from Max Weber’s “Herrschaftssoziologie”, the 15 authors discuss Alexander’s strategies of legitimation as well as the motives his subjects may have had for offering him obedience. The analysis of monarchical representation and political communication in these case-studies on symbolic performances and economic, administrative and religious measures sheds new light on the reasons for the swift Macedonian conquest: It appears that Alexander and his staff owed their success not only to their military talent but also to their communication skills and their capacity to cater to the expectations of their audiences.


The Conceptual Image of the Planets in Ancient Iran and the Process of Their Demonization

Panaino, Antonio. 2020. The conceptual image of the planets in ancient Iran and the process of their demonization: Visual materials and models of inclusion and exclusion in Iranian history of knowledge. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 28. 359–389.

The Moon God (Klimova plate, Perm region, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg S-43)

The present contribution offers an overview of the main problems concerning the representation of the planets in the pre-Islamic Iranian world, the origin of their denominations, their astral roles and the reasons behind their demonization in the Zoroastrian and Manichaean frameworks. This is a preliminary attempt to resume the planetary iconography and iconology in western and eastern Iranian sources, involving also external visual data, such as those coming from Dunhuang and the Chinese world. The article offers an intellectual journey into a net of mutual cultural and spiritual relations, focusing on the image of the heaven (and of its celestial beings), thereby proposing a new synthesis and highlighting a number of intercultural contaminations.