Categories
Books

The Sin of the Woman

Sadeghi, Fatemeh. 2020. The Sin of the Woman: Interrelations of Religious Judgments in Zoroastrianism and Islam (Islamkundliche Untersuchungen, 336). Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag.

Since the 1920s, the so-called “return to the roots”, has become a hegemonic discourse in Iran. Whereas the Pahlavi regimes (1925–1979) propagated the myth of the lost idyll of pre-Islamic Iran representing themselves as the true inheritors of those monarchies, the Islamists adopted a respective approach in regard to Islam. As a result, a similar fairytale was made about the early Islamic community. Such claims, as it were, are not so much about the past as they are about the present. So is this study. By delving into the past, it questions the widespread nostalgic notions considering the pre-Islamic era as a lost utopia, wherein women were free from the restrictions “imposed by Islam”. In point of fact such past is a fabrication. In the majority of cases, therefore, the revival projects invent traditions to legitimize current political agendas.

Table of Contents:

A Note on Persian and Arabic Transliteration and Translation
Preface
Introduction
Chapter I:
Women in the Sasanian Zoroastrianism
Chapter II:
Zoroastrian Dadestan: From Sasanian Era to Islam
Chapter III:
Purification
Chapter IV:
Islam and Menstruation
Chapter V:
Sexual Relations in Zoroastrianism and Islam
Epilogue
Bibliography
Glossary

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Books

Egyptian objects from the Achaemenid period in Iran

Qahéri, Sépideh. 2020. Objets égyptiens et égyptianisants d’époque achéménide conservés en Iran (Persika, 20). Leuven: Peeters.

Par son rayonnement politico-économique, l’Égypte saïte constitue le plus grand pouvoir des royaumes méditerranéens des 7e-6e siècles av. J.-C. et une source d’inspiration dans la composition multiethnique de l’Empire achéménide. Au-delà des sources écrites, notre compréhension de la réelle position de l’Égypte dans le développement culturel du pouvoir perse est notamment tributaire de l’étude approfondie des témoignages archéologiques révélant l’activité ou l’installation des communautés égyptiennes au centre de l’Empire. Les anciennes fouilles menées dans les principales capitales achéménides (en Perse et Élam) ont mis au jour d’importants vestiges, qui demeuraient jusqu’à ce jour peu connus, voire ignorés pour certains. Les objets égyptiens et égyptianisants issus de ces sites appartiennent majoritairement au contexte royal et attestent l’appropriation des modèles pharaoniques dans la conception de la culture palatiale perse. Ils confirment en somme la contribution de divers corps de métiers égyptiens au fonctionnement de la vie de cour des Grands Rois mais aussi à l’essor architectural de leurs résidences. Le présent catalogue réunit pour la première fois une partie de ces découvertes: celles réparties dans les collections iraniennes. Il offre ainsi une source de référence pour de futures recherches sur les aegyptiaca de Perse conservés à l’extérieur de l’Iran mais aussi pour toutes les études portant sur les relations égypto-perses sous l’Empire achéménide.

La première partie de cet ouvrage est consacrée à la présentation des principaux sites archéologiques d’où proviennent les objets étudiés et à l’historique des fouilles. Dans une deuxième partie les données textuelles connues sur la présence égyptienne en Perse sont décrites. La troisième partie aborde les principaux musées iraniens conservant les pièces égyptiennes et égyptianisantes. Le catalogue des objets représente la quatrième et la plus grande partie du volume et propose un classement raisonné des découvertes sous quatre groupes typologiques.

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Books

The Edict of Cyrus and Notions of Restoration in Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles

Gilhooley, Andrew M. 2020. The edict of Cyrus and notions of restoration in Ezra-Nehemiah and chronicles. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press.

The Edict of Cyrus, both opening Ezra-Nehemiah (Ezra 1:1-4) and closing Chronicles (2 Chron. 36:22-23), serves a different role in each book. In Ezra–Nehemiah, it is a command resulting in a restoration event that has failed, whereas in Chronicles it is a command anticipating a successful future restoration event. In the context of canon, these different uses of the edict are theologically significant, especially in formulating ideas of hope for the future in Chronicles.

While Chronicles is aware that a historical restoration transpired sometime in the past (1 Chron. 3:19-24; 9:2-44), it shares the sentiment of Ezra–Nehemiah, that the return was something of a failure. Through compositional analysis, Gilhooley argues that the edict closing Chronicles portrays the true, or rather, complete restoration not as a past event to be reflected upon but rather one to be anticipated sometime in the future—at a time when Israel was expected to see the establishment of a new glorified temple, political independence, release from servitude, and the blessings of new creation and of new cultic order.

Reading Chronicles as the last book of the Old Testament in accordance with various Jewish witnesses, we find that the edict is transformed into a programmatic conclusion to the canon. Accordingly, the eschatological return to Zion and reconstruction of the temple appear to be dominating concerns of the canonical editors. These verses that bring to an end both Chronicles and the Old Testament as a whole may also be read in dialogue with canon-conscious structural markers elsewhere and, therefore, could be formative in constructing a canonical theology.

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Articles

Being Mithraist

Mazhjoo, Nina. 2020. Being Mithraist: Embracing ‘other’ in the Roman cultural milieu. In Aaron W. Irvin (ed.), Community and identity at the edges of the classical world, 139-153. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

The Mithraic bull-slaying scene

This chapter suggests a new approach to the study of Mithraic visual language and the cultic iconography of the god in particular. It argues that the Roman Mithraists were enthusiastic for stressing the Persian provenance of their god via cultic iconography and visual language. The chapter takes a closer look at the Mithraic tauroctony and the Roman representation of the god. It examines the cultic imagery of Mithras to explore how the Roman Mithraists incorporated the Greek imagery of “handsome Oriental”. The chapter demonstrates that the Roman imagery of Mithras was a conscious choice that the Roman Mithraists made to historicize their novel cult. It proposes that the Roman imagery of the god Mithras should be deciphered as a deliberate cultural borrowing in relation to the cultural strategy and socio‐political context of the Roman Empire. The Roman mystery cult of Mithras strongly relied on Roman attitudes and romantic visions of Persia and the Parthians.

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Books

Iranian Studies in Honour of Adriano V. Rossi

Badalkhan, Sabir, Gian Pietro Basello and Matteo de Chiara (eds.). 2020. Iranian studies in honour of Adriano V. Rossi. Napoli: UniorPress.

Iranian Studies in Honour of Adriano V. Rossi collects more than fifty essays by foremost scholars and young researchers from South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the USA. The topics range from Iranian philology and linguistics to history and archaeology. This two-part Festschrift is offered to Adriano V. Rossi by the Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies of “L’Orientale” University of Naples (Italy) and is introduced with a foreword by Elda Morlicchio (Rector) and Michele Bernardini (Head of the Depart ment).

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Books

Societies at War

Ruffing, Kai, Kerstin Dross-Krüpe, Sebastian Fink & Robert Rollinger (Eds.). 2020. Societies at war: Proceedings of the 10th symposium of the Melammu project held in Kassel September 26-28 2016 & Proceedings of the 8th symposium of the Melammu project held in Kiel November 11-15 2014 (MELAMMU, 10). Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

War and war-related issues have attracted an increasing attention within current historical and archaeological research, not least in response to recent global political events. Another reason for this growing interest is probably a general trend towards Modern Military History that has drawn academic attention to war-related issues through all cultures and epochs, going beyond Clausewitz’s argument of war as a continuation of politics by other means. The present vol-ume is committed to this broad approach by examining and comparing phenomena related to ancient warfare from the perspective of Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Classical Studies. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, which prevented the organizers from editing their own proceedings, some papers of the 8th Symposium of the Melammu Project, held at Kiel on the subject “Iranian Worlds”, have been added to this volume in their own section.

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Books

Dynastic Deeds

Poggio, Alessandro. 2020. Dynastic Deeds: Hunt scenes in the funerary imagery of the Achaemenid Eastern Mediterranean. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.

This study adopts a transregional approach that focuses on connectivity dynamics in order to present a wider picture of artistic, cultural and political phenomena in the Mediterranean. It examines dynastic funerary art at the end of the fifth century and in the fourth century BC by focusing – through a wide range of evidence – on what funerary images can reveal about the societies that produced them. It analyses renowned dynastic tombs from south-western Anatolia (present-day Turkey) such as the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Nereid Monument of Xanthos, but also from Phoenicia (present-day Lebanon). A common element among the similarities displayed by these tombs is the nearly constant presence of the multiple-quarry hunt iconography, which consists of prey from different species depicted in one figurative programme. The Eastern Mediterranean under Persian Achaemenid rule is portrayed as an interconnected cultural and political area with specific features instead of merely being an area between the Greek and Persian worlds. << Less

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Books

Rome and Persia at War

Edwell, Peter. 2020. Rome and Persia at War: Imperial Competition and Contact, 193-363 CE. New York and London: Routledge.

This book focuses on conflict, diplomacy and religion as factors in the relationship between Rome and Sasanian Persia in the third and fourth centuries AD. During this period, military conflict between Rome and Sasanian Persia was at a level and depth not seen mostly during the Parthian period. At the same time, contact between the two empires increased markedly and contributed in part to an increased level of conflict. Edwell examines both war and peace – diplomacy, trade and religious contact – as the means through which these two powers competed, and by which they sought to gain, maintain and develop control of territories and peoples who were the source of dispute between the two empires. The volume also analyses internal factors in both empires that influenced conflict and competition between them, while the roles of regional powers such as the Armenians, Palmyrenes and Arabs in conflict and contact between the two “super powers” receive special attention. Using a broad array of sources, this book gives special attention to the numismatic evidence as it has tended to be overshadowed in modern studies by the literary and epigraphic sources.

This is the first monograph in English to undertake an in-depth and critical analysis of competition and contact between Rome and the early Sasanians in the Near East in the third and fourth centuries AD using literary, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphic evidence, and one which includes the complete range of mechanisms by which the two powers competed. It is an invaluable study for anyone working on Rome, Persia and the wider Near East in Late Antiquity.

Categories
Journal

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
Categories
Books

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.