Categories
Books

The Persian Wars: A Historical Commentary

Greatrex, Geoffrey. 2022. Procopius of Caesarea: The Persian Wars – A Historical Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Procopius was the major historian of the reign of Justinian and one of the most important historians of Late Antiquity. This is the first extensive commentary on his Persian Wars since the nineteenth century. The work is among the most varied of the author, incorporating the history and geography not only of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, but also of southern Arabia and Ethiopia, Iran and Central Asia, and Constantinople itself. Each major section is introduced by a section on the history of the events concerned and on the treatment of these events by Procopius and other sources. The volume is equipped with an introduction, three appendices, and numerous maps and plans. All sections of the work that are commented on are translated. The book will therefore be of use to specialists and the general reader alike.

Categories
Books

Procopius of Caesarea: The Persian Wars

Greatrex, Geoffrey (ed.). 2022. Procopius of Caesarea: The Persian Wars: Translation, with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Procopius was the major historian of the reign of Justinian and one of the most important historians of Late Antiquity. This is the first stand-alone English translation of his work Persian Wars. It offers a new translation, which has at its basis one published fifty years ago by Averil Cameron. The Persian Wars, despite the title, is a wide-ranging work that reports the history and geography not only of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, but also of southern Arabia and Ethiopia, Iran and Central Asia, and Constantinople itself. This book is equipped with notes, maps and plans, an introduction, and a translation of a further Greek text, that of Nonnosus, which overlaps with Procopius’. It will be of benefit to specialists and the general reader alike.

Categories
Books

Military Diasporas

Christ, G., P. Sänger & M.Carr (Eds.). 2022. Military Diasporas: Building of Empire in the Middle East and Europe (550 BCE-1500 CE). London: Routledge.

Military Diasporas proposes a new research approach to analyse the role of foreign military personnel as composite and partly imagined para-ethnic groups.

Two chapters contribute to ancient Iranian history:

Categories
Books

Études avestiques et mazdéennes vol. 9

Kellens, Jean. 2022. Études avestiques et mazdéennes vol. 9: Complémentarité des deux dernières Gâthâs (Y51 et Y53-54.1) (Persika 24). Leuven: Peeters.

Les principes directeurs qui ont guidé mes articles de 2013 et de 2014 sur la Gâthâ ahunauuaitī, le volume 6 de cette collection sur la Gâthâ uštauuaitī et le volume 7 sur la Gâthâ spentā.mainiiu n’ont pas varié. La Gâthâ toute entière est l’unité textuelle, chacune fait fonction de récitatif liturgique et pratique une combinaison de spectacle et de mobilité du discours qui composent une sorte de dramaturgie.

Categories
Books

The Scythian Empire

Beckwith, Christopher I. 2022. The Scythian Empire: Central Eurasia and the Birth of the Classical Age from Persia to China. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press.

In the late 8th and early 7th centuries BCE, Scythian warriors conquered and unified most of the vast Eurasian continent, creating an innovative empire that would give birth to the age of philosophy and the Classical age across the ancient world—in the West, the Near East, India, and China. Mobile horse herders who lived with their cats in wheeled felt tents, the Scythians made stunning contributions to world civilization—from capital cities and strikingly elegant dress to political organization and the world-changing ideas of Buddha, Zoroaster, and Laotzu—Scythians all. In The Scythian Empire, Christopher I. Beckwith presents a major new history of a fascinating but often forgotten empire that changed the course of history.

At its height, the Scythian Empire stretched west from Mongolia and ancient northeast China to northwest Iran and the Danube River, and in Central Asia reached as far south as the Arabian Sea. The Scythians also ruled Media and Chao, crucial frontier states of ancient Iran and China. By ruling over and marrying the local peoples, the Scythians created new cultures that were creole Scythian in their speech, dress, weaponry, and feudal socio-political structure. As they spread their language, ideas, and culture across the ancient world, the Scythians laid the foundations for the very first Persian, Indian, and Chinese empires.

Categories
Books

The World of the Ancient Silk Road

Liu, Xinru (ed.). 2023. The World of the Ancient Silk Road. London: Routledge.

This volume explores human migration, communication, and cross-cultural exchange on the Silk Road, a complex network of trade routes spanning the Eurasian continent and beyond. It covers thousands of years of human history, from the 3rd millennium BCE to the early 2nd millennium CE.

Consolidating archaeological discoveries, historical analyses, and linguistic studies in one comprehensive volume, The World of the Ancient Silk Road brings to light diverse perspectives from scholars who have lived and worked across this vast region, many of which are published here in English for the first time. It contains extensive references of primary and secondary sources in their original languages and scripts. From Early Bronze Age cultures to the rise of regional Islamic empires, from the Mediterranean to the Yellow River basin, this multidisciplinary volume seeks to offer new insights and expand Silk Road studies to the Anglophone world.

Categories
Books

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.

Categories
Books

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.

Categories
Books

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.

Categories
Articles

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.