Routledge Handbook on the Sciences in Islamicate Societies

Brentjes, Sonja (ed.). 2023. Routledge handbook on the sciences in Islamicate societies: Practices from the 2nd/8th to the 13th/19th centuries. London: Routledge.

The Routledge Handbook on the Sciences in Islamicate Societies provides a comprehensive survey on science in the Islamic world from the 8th to the 19th century.

Across six sections, a group of subject experts discuss and analyze scientific practices across a wide range of Islamicate societies. The authors take into consideration several contexts in which science was practiced, ranging from intellectual traditions and persuasions to institutions, such as courts, schools, hospitals, and observatories, to the materiality of scientific practices, including the arts and craftsmanship. Chapters also devote attention to scientific practices of minority communities in Muslim majority societies, and Muslim minority groups in societies outside the Islamicate world, thereby allowing readers to better understand the opportunities and constraints of scientific practices under varying local conditions.

Through replacing Islam with Islamicate societies, the book opens up ways to explain similarities and differences between diverse societies ruled by Muslim dynasties. This handbook will be an invaluable resource for both established academics and students looking for an introduction to the field. It will appeal to those involved in the study of the history of science, the history of ideas, intellectual history, social or cultural history, Islamic studies, Middle East and African studies including history, and studies of Muslim communities in Europe and South and East Asia.

From the website

The birth of the abestāg

Lecture by Arash Zeini: The birth of the abestāg from the spirit of philology. Please register online for Zoom participation.

زایش «اَبِستاگ» از روح فقه اللغة. سخنران: آرش زینی. برای شرکت در زوم لطفا آنلاین ثبت نام کنید.

Date: 11 January 2023; Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific time.

تاریخ و زمان: ۱۱ ژانویه ۲۰۲۳، ساعت ۲۲:۳۰ به وقت ایران

Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series


Studies of Bactrian Legal Documents

Sheikh, Hossein. 2023. Studies of Bactrian legal documents (Ancient Iran Series 15). Brill.

Studies of Bactrian Legal Documents deals with legal texts written in Bactrian, an eastern Middle Iranian language, between the 4th and 8th centuries CE. The work aims to give insight in the Bactrian legal formulary as well as its historical context. In order to achieve that, the author carefully examines the terms and phrases in the legal documents and clarifies their function. Then he explores the historical background of expressions and wordings. To this end, he uses documents from other regions of the Near East spanning from Egypt to Turkestan.

From the book’s website
Events Online resources

2022 Society of Scholars of Zoroastrianism Conference

This is an online event (3 hours): The History of Zoroastrian Priesthood, The bond between the Avesta and Persian Literature & The Forgotten Sources of Medieval Zoroastrianism

Sat, November 19, 2022, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM CST

Morning Session – Scholarly Symposium

9:30 – Opening Address: – Prof. Dan Sheffield introduced by Zal Taleyarkhan

10:00 – Dr. Kerman Daruwalla The History of Training Zoroastrian Priests in India

10:45 – Dr. Benedikt PeschlZoroastrian Middle Persian Literature and its Relation to the

Avesta: current research perspectives

11:30 – Prof. Dan SheffieldThe Pahlavi Book of Religious Decrees: a Forgotten Source for the

History of Medieval Zoroastrianism



Zubani, Alessia (ed.). 2022. Abēbīm “fearless”. Who was afraid of the end of the millennium? New approaches to the interpretation of the traditional date of Zoroaster. Bologna: Mimesis.

The present volume deals with the hidden meaning of the traditional date of Zoroaster, customarily placed 258 years before Alexander. But despite all the confusing appearances, the synchronism with the acme of the Iranian prophet was paradoxically anchored to the beginning of the Seleucid era (312/311 BCE). This solution gave Zoroaster a (pseudo)-historical character, removing him from the clouds of an undetermined past, although with a number of inevitable consequences, which this book tries to analyze. This study also shows that the early Sasanians had no fear of their future and that their religious chronology did not suffer a temporal reduction in order to avoid the risks of the approaching turn of the millennium. On the contrary, Zoroastrian millennialism was optimistic, despite the emergence of later apocalyptic doctrines, which, in any case, never countered the diffusion of a kind of eschatology based on the idea of the apocatastasis, which promised peace and salvation to everybody, including all the sinners in hell. The volume contains four additional contributions by Domenico Agostini (Tel Aviv University), Jeffrey Kotyk (University of British Columbia/University of Bologna), Paolo Ognibene (University of Bologna) and Alessia Zubani (Labex Hastec – École Pratique des Hautes Études), which develop some particular problems connected with the main subject of the present research.


The Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing

The Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing holds their regular meetings as hybrid events, so that the sessions will be accessible to ZOOM participants. The meetings are open, but a RSVP is required.



Scheiner, Jens & Isabel Toral (eds.). 2022. Baghdād: From its beginnings to the 14th century (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East 166). Leiden: Brill.

Baghdād: From its Beginnings to the 14th Century offers an exhaustive handbook that covers all possible themes connected to the history of this urban complex in Iraq, from its origins rooted in late antique Mesopotamia up to the aftermath of the Mongol invasion in 1258.
Against the common perception of a city founded 762 in a vacuum, which, after experiencing a heyday in a mythical “golden age” under the early ʿAbbāsids, entered since 900 a long period of decline that ended with a complete collapse by savage people from the East in 1258, the volume emphasizes the continuity of Baghdād’s urban life, and shows how it was marked by its destiny as caliphal seat and cultural hub.

From the publisher’s website
Articles Books

Lycia and Persia in the Xanthos stele

Hyland, John. 2021. Between Amorges and Tissaphernes: Lycia and Persia in the Xanthos stele. In Annick Payne, Šárka Velhartická & Jorit Wintjes (eds.), Beyond all boundaries: Anatolia in the first millennium BC (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 295), 257–278. Leuven: Peeters Publishers.

The Xanthos stele, a multilingual Lycian dynastic monument of the late 5th century BCE, testifies to the importance of diplomatic interaction between Xanthos’ rulers and Achaemenid Persian administrators in western Anatolia. Yet the stele’s Persian references are unevenly and selectively distributed between its Lycian and Lycian B inscriptions, and entirely absent from its Greek epigram. Amorges, a satrap’s son turned rebel, appears briefly in the Lycian and Lycian B texts, but scholars debate whether they present him as friend or foe of Xanthos; in contrast, the final section of the Lycian text celebrates the famous satrap Tissaphernes as an ally of Xanthos, but the Lycian B omits him entirely. This paper analyzes the stele’s Persian content and proposes that its designers added the material on Tissaphernes in a late stage of composition, trying to exploit his patronage in the context of local dynastic politics.


The whole book is open access and can be downloaded from the link of the book title above.


The Manichaean Coptic Papyri

Richter, Siegfried (ed.). 2022. The Manichaean Coptic papyri in the Chester Beatty library: Psalm Book Part I, 1 (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum: Series Coptica 3). Turnhout: Brepols.

Das manichäische Psalmenbuch der Chester Beatty Library gehört zu den sieben Codices des Fundes, der sich zum größten Teil in einem sehr schlechten Zustand befand. Mit der Restaurierung in Berlin begann eine rege Editionstätigkeit, die durch den 2. Weltkrieg unterbrochen wurde. Vom Psalmenbuch wurde die besser erhaltene zweite Hälfte (PsB II) 1938 von C.R.C. Allberry publiziert. Der bis auf einige Einzelpsalmen noch unpublizierte vordere Teil des Buches (PsB I) befand sich in einem sehr viel schlechteren Erhaltungszustand und umfasste ursprünglich 396 Seiten. In dieser ersten Ausgabe werden 122 Seiten mit koptischem Text und deutscher Übersetzung dem Leser zugänglich gemacht. Die poetisch anspruchsvollen Lieder bieten einen originalen Einblick in die manichäische Religion. Neben einer Psalmgruppe, die die ältesten Sonnenhymnen des Manichäismus bewahrte, geben einige Psalmen in 22 Strophen den Inhalt vom Lebendigem Evangelium des Religionsgründers Mani wieder.


Dictionary of Manichaean Texts

Sims-Williams, Nicholas & Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst. 2022. Dictionary of Manichaean texts (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum: Subsidia 7). Volume III, 2: Texts from Central Asia and China (Texts in Sogdian and Bactrian). Turnhout: Brepols. Second, revised and enlarged edition.

This revised and substantially enlarged edition of the Dictionary of Manichaean Texts covers the vocabulary of all Manichaean (and anti-Manichaean) texts in Sogdian and Bactrian (material published up to 2020, including short passages and even individual words which have been cited in print). Unlike the first edition, it also contains a substantial amount of material from texts which are still unpublished, especially unusual or otherwise unattested words and expressions. As before, the volume contains a full bibliography, references to discussions in the scholarly literature, and numerous corrections to previously published readings and interpretations. It is completed by an English index. Providing an up-to-date analysis of all published Manichaean material in the Eastern Middle Iranian languages, the new edition of the Dictionary will continue to be an essential tool for everyone interested in Manichaeism, Iranian languages, or Central Asian history.