Iran and the West: Converging Perspectives

1–3 July 2015, University of Warwick
Call for papers.

Introductory speaker: Dr James Hodkinson, the University of Warwick
Keynote speaker: Prof Ali Ansari, the University of St Andrews.

The conference cordially invites scholars from diverse fields to contribute towards a wide-ranging interdisciplinary conference which aims to further our understanding of Iranian perceptions of the West and Westerners and Western perceptions of Iran and Iranians, from c. 500 BC until the present day. The aim of this conference is to improve our understanding of Iranian and Western cultural perceptions of the other’s culture, people, and politics, both from popular and elite viewpoints, and the points of convergence and divergence between them.

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Animals in Ancient Material Cultures: Conference at the Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam

Call for Papers:

Animals in Ancient Material Cultures

Conference at the Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam

In the wake of recent interest on both sides of the Atlantic in the subject of Animals in Antiquity, papers are invited for an international conference to be held at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam on 15 – 16 October 2015. Speakers from all disciplines are welcomed to present papers on the theme of Animals in Ancient Material Cultures, broadly from ca. 5000 BCE to 500 CE, from the Near East to Europe. The focus of the papers will be on representations of animals in the material world and visual evidence of archaeological objects and/or works of art. Speakers are encouraged to make ample reference to objects from the collection of the Allard Pierson Museum.


In the margins of the Rabbinic curriculum

Kiel, Yishai . 2015. In the margins of the Rabbinic curriculum: Mastering ʿUqṣin in the light of Zoroastrian intellectual culture. Journal for the Study of Judaism  46( 2): 251 – 281.

The study situates the Babylonian rabbinic discussion concerning the spread of ritual pollution in produce in a broader cultural and intellectual context, by synoptically examining the rabbinic discussion against the backdrop of contemporaneous Zoroastrian legal discourse. It is suggested that the intimate affinity exhibited between the Babylonian rabbinic and Pahlavi discussions of produce contamination supports a fresh examination of the cultural significance of tractate ʿUqtzin in the Babylonian Talmud and the implications of its mastery on the intellectual and cultural identity of the Babylonian rabbis. The study posits that the self-reflective Talmudic reference to the knowledge and interest later generations of Babylonian rabbis possessed in tractate ʿUqtzin and the spread of ritual pollution in produce reflects the relative significance of these topics in the broader intellectual agenda of the Sasanian period. The later Babylonian rabbis boasted about their knowledge of tractate ʿUqtzin, which extended far beyond the capacity of earlier generations, precisely because this topic best reflected the intellectual currents of their time.


Autorité des auteurs antiques

Gorea, M. & M. Tardieu (eds.). 2014. Autorité des auteurs antiques: entre anonymat, masques et authenticité. Brepols.

Les études réunies dans le volume posent la question de la place de l’auteur dans l’Antiquité et de comprendre d’où émanait l’autorité d’une œuvre.

Il n’est pas certain qu’il faille renoncer, dans le cas de la littérature ancienne, aux notions d’originalité, de style en tant que singularité ou expression propre de l’auteur, ou d’autonomie du littéraire. Dans la dialectique invention-fidélité au modèle, le mérite d’un auteur consistait à promouvoir une variante surprenante d’une histoire pourtant notoire, quoique peu répandue dans l’espace où il l’implante précisément et l’adapte. L’originalité consistait à rejoindre le dénouement connu par une voie inédite.

À défaut de toujours pouvoir retrouver la trace des auteurs réels de certains écrits anciens, surtout de ceux dont l’œuvre s’est vue attribuer une autorité de norme collective, à défaut de savoir d’où ils venaient et quelle était l’expérience qu’ils ont vécue ou l’histoire réelle qu’ils ont mise en mots, les contributions de ce volume s’interrogent sur le rapport des auteurs de textes religieux, mythologiques ou littéraires aux valeurs qui firent autorité ou qui sont à l’origine de leur « autorité ».


A new inscription of Xerxes? One more forgery

Schmitt, Rüdiger. 2015. A new inscription of Xerxes? One more forgeryARTA: Achaemenid Research on Texts and Archaeology 3. 1–8.

In 2007, a complete collection of inauthentic inscriptions in Old Persian cuneiform script was published. It described and discussed, in detail, (1) ancient texts not originating from the king, who was their supposed author, as well as (2) modern forgeries designed to mislead, and (3) imitations of cuneiform inscriptions fabricated more for ‘fun’ than any more serious intent. Since then, the number of such forged inscriptions has increased. There is now a tapestry including an Old Persian text, which turned out to be an adaptation of Xerxes’ Persepolis inscription XPe. A silver tablet purporting to be that of Darius I’s co-conspirator Otanes is a blatant forgery given the serious grammatical mistakes in the Old Persian . Such forged inscriptions are found on a variety of objects and, in virtually every case, display their individual peculiarities.


The Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian sources in the comprehensive book of Rhazes

Kahl, Oliver. 2015. The Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian sources in the comprehensive book of Rhazes. Brill.

This work offers a critical analysis of the Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian sources in Rhazes’ (d. 925 CE) Comprehensive Book (or al-Kitāb al-Ḥāwī), a hugely famous and highly unusual medico-pharmaceutical encyclopedia originally written in Arabic. All text material appears in full Arabic with English translations throughout, whilst the traceable Indian fragments are represented here, for the first time, in both the original Sanskrit and corresponding English translations. The philological core of the book is framed by a detailed introductory study on the transmission of Indian, Syrian and Iranian medicine and pharmacy to the Arabs, and by extensive bilingual glossaries of relevant Arabic and Sanskrit terms as well as Latin botanical identifications.


Iranica Antiqua, Volume 50

Iranica Antiqua is one of the leading scholarly journals covering studies on the civilization of pre-Islamic Iran in its broadest sense. This annual publication, edited by the Department for Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Gent University, Belgium, contains preliminary excavation reports, contributions on archaeological problems, studies on different aspects of history, institutions, religion, epigraphy, numismatics and history of art of ancient Iran, as well as on cultural exchanges and relations between Iran and its neighbours. 


Consejo Ibero-Safavid de Estudios Históricos

 Consejo Ibero-Safavid de Estudios Históricos. International Conference. MISSIONARIES IN THE SAFAVID WORLD


Institute of History, CSIC.
C/Albasanz 26-28, 28037 Madrid.
10 – 11 March 2016.
Directed by Enrique García Hernán, José Cutillas and Rudi Matthee.

Proposals for papers should be sent to Dr. José Cutillas with abstract (600 words) and cv (300 words), until 31st December 2015

More information, please download the document Diptico.


Tomb of two Elamite princesses

tomb-Elamite-princeseesShishegar, Arman. 2015. Tomb of the two Elamite princesses: Of the house of King Shutur-Nahunte son of Indada. Neo-Elamite period, phase IIIB (ca. 585–539 B.C.). Tehran: Pažuhešgāh-e Sāzmān-e Mirās̱-e Farhangi.

This book, published in Persian, is an archaeological report of a tomb excavated in the village of Jubaji,  south-east of Ramhormoz, on the eastern boundary of the province of Khuzestan, south-western Iran. In April 2007, during the digging of a water channel by Khuzestan Water and Power Authority, a subterranean Tombstone was discovered but unfortunately was almost entirely ruined. Later, an excavation team directed by Arman Shishegar was immediately dispatched to the site to carry out rescue excavation. The tomb was completely excavated in three months. The tomb belongs to two Elamite Princesses from the house of a Neo-Elamite king: Shutur-Nahunte son of Indada.