Les Céramiques Buff de Nishapur

Samavaki, Sheila. 2021. Les Céramiques Buff de Nishapur: L’étude iconographique des céramiques polychromes à décor figuratif, IXe-Xe siècles. Editions KPD.

En 1935, les fouilles entreprises par les chercheurs du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York ont révélé une série de céramiques très caractéristiques dans les ruines de la ville médiévale de Nishapur au nord-est de l’Iran. Ces céramiques étaient particulièrement distinctives pour leur représentation de scènes à figures humaines, animales et d’oiseaux, souvent sur un fond jaune vif, agrémenté des couleurs vert, noir et parfois rouge. Du fait de la couleur beige-jaunâtre de leur pâte, elles ont été appelées céramiques animate buff ware ou céramiques polychromes (rangârang en persan) pour la variété des couleurs. Elles ont été attribuées à Nishapur aux IXe-Xe siècle.


Agreeable News from Persia

Potts, Daniel. 2022. Agreeable News from Persia: Iran in the Colonial and Early Republican American Press, 1712-1848. Wiesbaden: Springer.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century European, British and American newspapers constitute a rich and largely untapped source of contemporary, often eyewitness accounts of historical events and opinions concerning Iran from the late Safavid (1712) through the Qajar (c. 1797-1920) period. This study collects and annotates thousands of articles published in the Colonial and early Republican American newspapers, from the first mention of events in Persia in the American press (1712) to the death of Mohammad Shah (1848), unlocking for the first time a wealth of information on Iran and its place in the world during the 18th and early 19th century.


Persia Portrayed

Potts, Daniel. 2022. Persia portrayed: Envoys to the West, 1600-1842. Washington: Mage Publishers.

Persians who travelled to the West during the Safavid and early Qajar period (early 17th-to-early 19th century) have received little attention. This book memorializes them in portraiture and pulls them back from historical obscurity. It brings together twenty-nine images—drawings, paintings, etchings, lithographs and even a silhouette—done in Boston, Geneva, London, Paris, Prague, Saratoga Springs, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Washington DC, between 1601 and 1842. In the days before photography, portraits commemorated their visits to distant capitals. Some of the subjects were members of Persia’s élite, some from modest backgrounds, and all were on a mission of one sort or another. Today, the images offer us rare glimpses of the dress, accoutrements and regalia that so distinguished the travelers. Subjects of fascination for both contemporary artists and a public intrigued by all things Persian, the sitters in these works left an indelible mark in the consciousness of Western observers, only a few of whom ever journeyed themselves to the Land of the Lion and the Sun.


Jews of Iran: A Photographic Chronicle

Sarbakhshian, Hassan, Lior B. Sternfeld & Parvaneh Vahidmanesh. 2022. Jews of Iran: A Photographic Chronicle (Dimyonot : Jews and the Cultural Imagination 13). Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

This book reveals one of the most beautiful and complicated untold stories of our time.

Westerners often imagine Jews in Iran as a captive and oppressed community, alienated within their home nation yet restricted from leaving it. The reality is much more complex. Jews of Iran is a photographic journey through twenty-first-century Iran, providing a unique view of the country’s Jewish community in situations typically unknown to the Western world. Photojournalist Hassan Sarbakhshian spent two years living among Iran’s Jewish communities, joining them for holidays, family gatherings, and travels, and—with the help of fellow journalist Parvaneh Vahidmanesh—documenting how they lived. Moving beyond the well-known state and regional confrontations, the photos that Sarbakhshian took tell a broader story about a community of people who live in the figurative and literal middle. They are Iranian nationals by birth and by choice, and they are Jews by religious affiliation. Full loyalty to their country is expected, even as their ancestral homeland is at odds with their political homeland. This photographic chronicle illuminates the grey zone that they inhabit.

Featuring over one hundred full-color photos, contextualized with extensive annotations, and accompanied by a substantive introduction written by historian Lior B. Sternfeld, Jews of Iran calls into question Western views of this religious community.


Persia’s Lycian Work Force and the Satrap of Sardis

Hyland, John. 2022. Persia’s Lycian Work Force and the Satrap of Sardis. Arta 2022. 002.

New journal entries from the Persepolis Fortification Archive present a hitherto unknown subgroup of laborers known as marataš, many of whom appear in contexts of group travel from the Lycian borderlands of southwest Anatolia to Iran. This paper proposes an etymology for the marataš, and discusses the implications for the origins of Lycian workers in Persis, the administrative relationship between Lycia and the Sardis satrapy, and the role of deportation within the larger Achaemenid labor system.


Xenophon’s Anabasis: A Socratic History

Brennan, Shane. 2022. Xenophon’s Anabasis: A Socratic History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Xenophon’s Anabasis has engaged and entertained readers from antiquity to the present day. Through his telling of the story of Cyrus the Younger’s attempt on the Persian throne and its aftermath, Xenophon integrates many of the prominent themes and concerns in his writings, including leadership, panhellenism, Sparta and apologia.

Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, Brennan offers a fresh reading of the text which originates in a broad-ranging consideration of Xenophon’s aims in writing the book some thirty years after the event. The central argument brings the presence of Socrates into relief and demonstrates how the author, representing himself in the story as a model pupil of the philosopher, perpetuates Socratic teachings and values through ‘Xenophon’s’ leadership. Ultimately, Anabasis is revealed to be a ‘Socratic history’, a narrative rooted in a historical event or period and in which the author embeds a reflection of the philosopher and his values.


Parthica (vol. 23)

Volume 23 of the journal Parthica (2021) contains several contributions of relevance to Iranian Studies.

  • Ricordo di Antonio Invernizzi
  • Emad Matin: L’iconografia del mušḫuššu nel I millennio a.c.
  • Marco Ferrario: The golden bowl : material culture and empire in Achaemenid Bactria
  • Soheila Hadipour Moradi: A brief overview of Luristan in the Hellenistic period
  • Achim Lichtenberger, Mkrtich H. Zardaryan & Torben Schreiber: The wall decoration of a plastered building in Artaxata-Artashat in the Ararat plain of Armenia
  • Ashwini Lakshminarayanan: Dynamic encounters : use of a Hellenistic motif in the story of Aṅgulimāla in Gandhāran art.
  • Jacopo Bruno: Preliminary report on the Parthian-period pottery from the Italian-Turkmen excavations at Old Nisa, Turkmenistan (2007-2015, 2019)
  • Giulia Forgione: Clay-based sculptures : analysis of technical aspects and typologies

Parthica (vol. 22)

Volume 22 of the journal Parthica (2020) contains several contributions of relevance to Iranian Studies.

  • Henri-Paul Francfort: Nisa Parthica rhyton nr. 76 : a note on images of hunt and deities in Central Asia : Saiga tatarica and steppe connection
  • Antonio Invernizzi: On the post-Achaemenid rock reliefs at Bisutun
  • Torben Schreiber: In the name of the King? : New considerations on the classification of seals from Hellenistic archive contexts
  • Alexander B. Nikitin & Vasif A. Gaibov: Sealings of the Parthian frontier
  • Vito Messina & Lucinda Dirven: Reproducing divine images in Hellenized Mesopotamia : the case of Nabu of Hierapolis at Hatra
  • Wathiq Al-Salihi: Architecture and layout of the ‘North Palace’ at Hatra

The A9 Aramaic Manuscript from Ancient Bactria Revisited

Lemaire, André. 2022. The A9 Aramaic Manuscript from Ancient Bactria Revisited. In: Christopher Rollston, Susanna Garfein & Neal H. Walls (eds.), Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of P. Kyle McCarter Jr. (Ancient Near East Monographs 27), 357-366. Atlanta: SBL Press.

This contribution revisits the problems regarding the interpretation of one interesting text from Achaemenid Bactria, A9, and proposes a tentative reading and translation which varies from the one offered by the first editors (Joseph Naveh and Shaul Shaked). The said text records a transaction between a certain Bagavant and his wife Vartan (wrtn).


Journal of Persianate Studies

The Journal of Persianate Studies is a peer-reviewed publication of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies.

The vol. 14 of the journal contains a group of contributions from the study of Zoroastrianism together with other articles.

Table of contents:

  • Front matter
  • Carlo Giovanni Cereti: Introduction: Religious Diversity in Late Antique and Early Medieval Iran
  • Carlo Giovanni Cereti, Mehdi Mousavi Nia, and Mohammad Reza Neʿmati: Ray and Pahlaw in the Context of Sasanian Iran
  • Mojtaba Doroodi and Farrokh Hajiani: A Clarification of the Terms Dakhma and Astodān on the Basis of Literary Records and Archeological Research in Fars Province
  • Amin Shayeste Doust and Carlo Giovanni Cereti: The Purpose and Practice of Divorce in Sasanian and Post-Sasanian Texts
  • Antonio Clemente Panaino: Ohrmazd’s Divine Mercy and the End of the World between Apocatastasis and Apocalypse
  • Domenico Agostini: Some Observations on Ahriman and his Miscreation in the Bundahišn
  • Massimiliano Vassalli: How to Develop a Fabula: The Case of DēnkardVII
  • Paolo Ognibene: Restricted Access Linguistic and Religious Continuity in Outer Iran
  • Gianfilippo Terribili: Restricted Access Visitation and Awakening: Cross-Cultural and Functional Parallelisms between the Zoroastrian Srōš and Christian St. Sergius
  • Andrea Piras: Apocalyptic Imagery and Royal Propaganda in Khosrow II’s Letter to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice
  • Saïd Amir Arjomand: Manichæism as a World Religion of Salvation and Its Influence on Islam
  • Michael Vahidirad and Marjan Borhani: Restricted Access The Agricultural Economics of the Allied Occupation of Iran in the Second World War
  • Back matter