The Reward of the Righteous. Festschrift in Honour of Almut Hintze

Cantera, Alberto, Maria Macuch, and Nicholas Sims-Williams, eds., The Reward of the Righteouse. Festschrift in Honour of Almut Hintze, Iranica, 30 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2022)

The volume is dedicated to one of the foremost scholars in the field of Zoroastrian and Iranian Studies, reflecting the broad range of scholarly interests and research work of the dedicatee. In addition to an appreciation of Almut Hintze’s work and a bibliography of her publications, the volume contains thirty-four contributions written by renowned specialists in their fields. These cover a wide range of topics, stretching from antiquity to the present, and offer many new insights and original perspectives on religious, linguistic and historical problems. The articles, which include many editions of previously unpublished texts, encompass studies on (1) The oldest Zoroastrian textual sources (A. Ahmadi; J. Kellens; A. Panaino; M. Schwartz); (2) The Zoroastrian ritual (A. Cantera; E. Filippone; F. Kotwal; J. Martínez Porro; C. Redard; Y. Vevaina); (3) Avestan manuscripts (G. König); (4) Zoroastrianism in the Middle Iranian and Islamic periods (Sh. Farridnejad; Sh. Shaked); (5) Pahlavi texts, documents and inscriptions (J. Choksy/M.U. Hasan; J. Josephson; M. Macuch; D. Weber); (6) Zoroastrian and Manichaean iconography (F. Grenet/M. Minardi; Y. Yoshida); (7) Manichaean texts in Middle Iranian languages (A. Benkato; I. Colditz; E. Morano/M. Shokri-Foumeshi/N. Sims-Williams; N. Sims-Williams/Bi Bo); (8) Iranian philology (M.A. Andrés-Toledo; Ph. Huyse; E. Jeremiás; P. Lurje; M. Maggi; É. Pirart; A. Rossi); (9) Historical and cultural studies (C. Cereti; J. Palsetia; J. Rose; A. Williams).

Table of Contents (PDF):

  • Amir Ahmadi: “Is There a Cosmic Eschatology in the Gāϑās?”
    Miguel Ángel Andrés-Toledo: “Valued and Invaluable: Avestan aspərəna-“
  • Adam Benkato: “Zu Lesernotizen in sogdischen Handschriften aus Turfan und Dunhuang”
  • Alberto Cantera: “The Offering to Satisfy the ratu (miiazda ratufrī): the Dual System of the Animal Sacrifice in Zoroastrian Rituals”
  • Carlo G. Cereti: “About Kust ī Ādurbādagān and the Quadripartition of the Sasanian Empire”
  • Jamsheed K. Choksy and M. Usman Hasan †: “The Grotto of Inscriptions”
  • Iris Colditz: “Sieben Schüler Zarathustras in einem manichäischen kosmologischen Text”
  • Shervin Farridnejad: “The Zoroastrian Twelve Imams and the Fourteen Infallibles. Islamic Theological Terminology in Zoroastrian New Persian Literature (Zoroastrian Literature in New Persian III)”
    Ela Filippone: “The Ablution of the Limbs in the Baršnūm Context: the Nērang ī pēšag ud sāmān
  • Frantz Grenet and Michele Minardi: “An Illustration of the āb-zōhr and of Some Avestan Formulas on a Wall Painting at Akchakhan-kala (Chorasmia, Early 1st Century AD)”
  • Philip Huyse: “Zur Bedeutung von altpersisch āmāta-“
  • Éva M. Jeremiás: “A Philologist’s Reading of Ḥāfiẓ”
  • Judith Josephson: “History in Book 3 of the Dēnkard
  • Jean Kellens: “Que s’est-il passé entre Aṣ̌i et Zaraϑuštra ?”
  • Götz König: “Zu den Kopenhagener Avesta-Handschriften K36, K37, K38”
  • Firoze M. Kotwal: “Consecration of the Sacred White Bull (Warasyāji) — A Religious Injunction”
  • Pavel B. Lurje: “Considerations on the Etymology of Persian nāmeh
  • Maria Macuch: “A Legal Transaction in the Zoroastrian Community and its Social Consequences”
  • Mauro Maggi: “Two Khotanese Etymologies: parrama‑ and pūheiʾtä
    Jaime Martínez Porro: “The Timing of the Vidēvdād and Vištāsp Yašt Ceremonies”
  • Enrico Morano, Mohammad Shokri-Foumeshi and
    Nicholas Sims-Williams: “The “Seven Efficacious Jewels”: The Manichaean Scriptures in an Unpublished Sogdian Text”
  • Jesse S. Palsetia: “Three Zoroastrian Travellers in England: Parsi Travel in the Age of Empire”
  • Antonio Panaino: “Racing, Ritual and Oral Poetry. About OAv. dąmōiš uruuaēsē apə̄mē, apə̄mē aŋhə̄uš uruuaēsē, and YAv. ustəme uruuaēse gaiiehe
  • Éric Pirart: “La décomposition des caractères avestique”
  • Céline Redard: “Entre tradition et changement : le cas de la désinstallation des prêtres dans la tradition indienne (Y 58)”
  • Jenny Rose: ““Es Lebe Sarastro!”: Zoroaster on Stage in 18th Century Europe”
  • Adriano V. Rossi: “Lexical Continuity in the Middle and New Iranian Cognates of *gar
  • Martin Schwartz: “Gathic †mąnarōiš: A Hapax Expatiated Compositionally “
  • Shaul Shaked †: “Piety in Pahlavi Literature. Notes on mard ī ahlaw and Other Themes”
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams and Bi Bo: “eading the Heavens: Three Manichaean Sogdian Manuscripts”
  • Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina: “The Fire and His Foes. The Hermeneutics of ‘Community’ in a Zoroastrian Liturgy”
  • Dieter Weber: “On the Formal Structure of Checks in Pahlavi Documents”
  • Alan V. Williams: A Lutheran Look-alike: a Distinctly non-Gāthic Hymn”
  • Yutaka Yoshida: A Painting of Mani Held by Fujita Museum”

A Universal History from the Late Sasanian Empire

Häberl, Charles G. The Book of Kings and the Explanations of This World. A Universal History from the Late Sasanian Empire. Liverpool University Press, 2022.

The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran are adherents of the last surviving Gnostic tradition from the period of Late Antiquity, and the Book of Kings is the capstone to one of their most sacred scriptures. A universal history in four parts, it concisely outlines the entire 480,000 year span of the material world, from its creation to its destruction in the maw of the great Leviathan, with details including a succession of antediluvian cataclysms that have previously wiped out all human life, the reigns of the kings who have reigned over humanity and are still yet to reign, a lament on the end of pagan antiquity under the reign of the Arabs, and the apocalyptic drama attending those who have the misfortune to live at the end of the world era. For the first time ever, this work appears in English in its entirety, complete and unabridged, and directly translated from original Mandaic manuscripts, with the events mentioned within it coordinated with our calendar. It also includes an extensive commentary illustrating its relationship to contemporary historical writing and with the sacred literature of Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other neighbouring religious communities living under Sasanian rule.


Studies on the History of the Achaimenids

Wiesehöfer, Josef. 2022. Iran – Zentralasien – Mittelmeer Gesammelte Schriften, Teil I: Studien zur Geschichte der Achaimeniden. (Philippika – Altertumswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen). (Ed.) Robert Rollinger & Kai Ruffing. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Josef Wiesehöfer is one of the leading German-speaking historians of ancient history and is a world-renowned scholar, who has made outstanding achievements in his fields of research. In keeping with the diversity of his research interests, especially in the field of Iran and the Iranian Great Empires as well as the history of scholarship of the field, four thematically volumes of his “Kleine Schriften” are planned. These Kleine Schriften are intended to provide an insight into his scholarly work and contain a selection of the 250 scholarly articles Wiesehöfer has published to date in over 45 years of research.

Volume 1, edited by Robert Rollinger and Kai Ruffing, focuses on the history of the Achaimenid Empire and brings together 14 essays, some of which were published in more remote places. The contributions are indexed and Josef Wiesehöfer himself has added a short commentary on the progress of research. The following volumes will be devoted to Hellenism and the Arsacids, the Sasanian and finally the history of scholarship of the field.

Books Journal

Sometimes Sasanian, Always Ēr

Gyselen, Rika (ed.). 2022. Sometimes Sasanian, Always Ēr (Res Orientales 29). Bures-sur-Yvette: Groupe pour l’Étude de la Civilisation du Moyen-Orient.

Volume 29 of the Res Orientales, edited by Rika Gyselen is now published. The preface to this volume is available online here.

Table of Contents:

Rika Gyselen: “Un objet insolite avec une inscription moyen-perse”

Mateusz M. P. Klagisz: “Bābāye Dehqān in Central Asian ethnography , and the literary and iconographic motif of the ploughman with two oxen in Sasanian times”

Yousef Moradi an d Almut Hintze: “The main administrative seal of the sanctuary of A.dur Gusnasp and some other sealings from Takt-e Solayman”

L’archive du Tabarestan (VIII° siècle de notre ère)

Dieter Weber: “Pahlavi Legal Documents from Tabarestan: The Documents Tab.16, 19, 20, 22bis and 25: A Philological Approach”

Maria Macuch: “Pahlavi Legal Docun1ents from Tabarestan: The Juristic Context of Tab.16, 19, 20, 22bis and 25”

Maria Macuch: “Pahlavi Legal Documents from Tabarestan: The Juristic Context of Tab.12 and 26”


The Arsacids

Payravi Conference on Ancient Iranian History IV: Contextualizing Iranian History: The Arsacids (ca. 250 BC – 224 AD)

Poster © Kourosh Beigpour

Payravi Conference on Ancient Iranian History IV: “Contextualizing Iranian History: The Arsacids” organized by Touraj Daryaee, Matthew Canepa, and Robert Rollinger, will take place Feb. 28-March 2, 2022 and focus on the archaeology, history, numismatics, and religions of the Arsacid Empire. The event will be held in-person at the University of California, Irvine’s Jordan Center for Persian Studies with several options to participate remotely, either through the livestream on the UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture‘s FB page or through the webinar:

Conference Program


Narrating power and authority in late antique and medieval hagiography

Dabiri, Ghazzal (ed.). 2021. Narrating power and authority in late antique and medieval hagiography across East and West. Turnhout: Brepols.

This collection of essays explores the multifaceted representation of power and authority in a variety of late antique and medieval hagiographical narratives (Lives, Martyr Acts, oneiric and miraculous accounts). The narratives under analysis, written in some of the major languages of the Islamicate world and the Christian East and Christian West — Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Greek, Latin, Middle Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Persian — prominently feature a diverse range of historical and fictional figures from a wide cross-section of society — from female lay saints in Italy and Zoroastrians in Sasanian and Islamic Iran to apostles and bishops and emperors and caliphs. Each chapter investigates how power and authority were narrated from above (courts/saints) and below (saints/laity) and, by extension, navigated in various communities. As each chapter delves into the specific literary and social scene of a particular time, place, or hagiographer, the volume as a whole offers a broad view; it brings to the fore important shared literary and social historical aspects such as the possible itineraries of popular narratives and motifs across Eurasia and commonly held notions in the religio-political thought worlds of hagiographers and their communities. Through close readings and varied analyses, this collection contributes to the burgeoning interest in reading hagiography as literature while it offers new perspectives on the social and religious history of late antique and medieval communities.


Bulletin of the Asia Institute, 30

Volume 30 (2020-21) of the Bulletin of the Asia Institute has been published.

Table of Contents

  • M. Rahim Shayegan: “The Cameo of Warahrān II and the Kušano-Sasanians”
  • Frantz Grenet: “From Babylon to Sasanian Iran and Sogdiana: Rituals of Royal Humiliation and the Substitute King”
  • Dieter Weber: “Studies in Some Documents from the ‘Pahlavi Archive’ (3)”
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams: “The Bactrian Inscription of Jaghori: A Preliminary Reading”
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams: “Two Sogdian Dice-Divination Texts”
  • Richard Salomon, Quentin Devers, and Tashi Ldawa: “Kharoṣṭhī and Brāhmī Inscriptions from Ladakh”
  • Harry Falk: “Revision of Kharoṣṭhī Inscriptions in the Light of New Material”
  • Anca Dan, Frantz Grenet: “Alexander the Great in the Hephthalite Empire: ‘Bactrian’ Vases, The Jewish Alexander Romance, and the Invention of Paradise”
Books Journal

Sasanian Studies: Late Antique Iranian World

Farridnejad, Shervin & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2022. Sasanian studies: Late antique Iranian world | Sasanidische Studien: Spätantike iranische Welt. Vol. 1. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

The first issue of the Sasanian Studies: Late Antique Iranian World is now published. The Sasanian Studies is a refereed journal that publishes papers on any aspect of the Sasanian Empire and ist neighboring late antiquity civilizations. The journal welcomes essays on archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history, numismatics, religion and any other disciplines which focuses on the Sasanian world. This annual publication focuses especially on recent discoveries in the field, historiographical studies, as well as editions and translations of texts and inscriptions. We aim to facilitate dialogue and contact among scholars of Sasanian Studies around the world.

Table of Contents (PDF):


An Early Judeo-Persian Letter from the Cairo Genizah

Paul, Ludwig. 2021. The early Judeo-Persian letter L3 from the Cairo Genizah (Cambridge University Library T-S 18J3.16). Journal of Jewish Languages 9(1). 77–99.

Detail of the Early Judeo-Persian letter L3 from the Cairo Genizah (Cambridge University Library T-S18J3.16), recto

The article presents the edition and translation of an Early Judeo-Persian (EJP) private-commercial letter that was probably written around the late 10th or early 11th century C.E. It is the best-preserved and, with 51 lines, the longest from the ca. 25 EJP documents that were found in the Cairo Genizah. It is written in a cursive form of the Hebrew script and shows typical EJP archaic and dialectal features, as compared to the contemporaneous Early New Persian works that were written in Arabic script. Today, the letter is kept in Cambridge University Library as part of the Taylor-Schaechter collection.


How Did the Ancient Iranians Coordinate Space?

Kianoosh Rezania: “How Did the Ancient Iranians Coordinate Space? On the Old Iranian Absolute Frame of Reference”

Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series

For verbal expression and nonverbal cognitive processing of spatial relations between two objects, the speakers of a language use different frames of reference. (Psycho)linguistics classifies these into three main groups: intrinsic, relative, and absolute. This lecture aims to identify the old Iranian absolute frame of reference. After a short explanation of different frames of reference, the presentation will examine four sorts of evidence to this end: Avestan and Old Persian textual testimonies, the direction of Zoroastrian ritual in the Old Iranian period, and the direction of some significant Achaemenid architectural constructions. The lecture will show that the ancient Iranians did not use the four geocentric cardinal points of east, west, south and north as the cardinal directions of their absolute frame of reference, as research has implicitly taken for granted so far. The evidence, conversely, suggests that the old Iranian absolute frame of reference was constituted by the sunrise and sunset points of the winter and summer solstices.

Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series

Date: February 23; Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm