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Articles

Truth, falsehood and lies in the Indo-Iranian world

Haudry, Jean. 2014. Vérité, fausseté et mensonge dans le monde indo-iranien. Journal Asiatique 302 (2), 349–364.

Aside from the inherited designation of truth and its contrary by means of the root of the verb ‘to be’, *sánt-, *satyá-: *ásant-, *asatyá-, Indo-Iranian has an antonymic couple of notions whose expression is asymmetrical: one, *árta-/*ṛtá-, is purely nominal; the other expressed by the root*dhr(a)ugh- furnishes both nominal and verbal forms. Since this root is generally considered to mean ‘to deceive’, *árta-/*ṛtá-, whose meaning is much debated must, one way or another, be linked with the idea of ‘truth’. The original operative field of those notions may be found. In a non dogmatic conception of religion, it cannot be the doctrine. The frequent meaning of ‘to do harm, to prejudice’ of the representatives of the root *dhr(a)ugh- points to the notions of ‘truthfulness’, ‘loyalty’ with their opposites, in a state of the society in which those values and the behaviours which are connected to them are essential.

 

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Articles

La Gâthâ Ahunauuaitī dans l’attente de l’aube

Kellens, Jean. 2014.  La Gâthâ Ahunauuaitī dans l’attente de l’aubeJournal Asiatique 302 (2), 259–302.

 

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Articles

Scythian messages for Darius the Great

Delpech, François. 2015. Objets sacrées et armes parlantes: Le message des Scythes à Darius entre le mythe d’origine et l’historiographieJournal Asiatique 303 (1),  25–46.

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Articles

Mehrgān at Persepolis

Bahadori, Ali. 2015.  Persepolitan ceremonies: The case of Mehrgān. Ancient West & East 14. 51–71.

The celebration of the Mehrgān at Persepolis is a hypothesis that has never been discussed in detail. The present paper explores evidence for the presence of the Mithra cult at the Achaemenid court and, consequently, for celebration of the Mehrgān at Persepolis.

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Articles

A Newly Discovered Iron Age Site at Sarrez

Melirad, Sheler & Abbas Razmpoush. 2015. A newly discovered Iron Age site at Sarrez, Iranian KurdistanAncient Near Eastern Studies 52. 207–216.

Sarrez is an ancient site in Kurdistan Province, Iran, near the present-day country town of Kamyaran. This site was discovered accidentally during dam construction activities. It has yielded some metal artefacts, potsherds and bones that are comparable to Iron Age III instances. The collection in its entirety is discussed in this article. One of the main objects from Sarrez is a decorated beaker with a scene on its wall that is comparable in many ways to examples of Neo-Assyrian art. The purpose of this paper is to publish and date the metal objects of the Sarrez collection based on this bronze beaker, which is one the few beakers from western Iran which has been found in a secure context.

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Articles

Achaemenid pottery from Dahan-e Gholaman

Zehbari, Zohreh, Reza Mehr Afarin & Seyyed Rasul Musavi Haji. 2015. Studies on the structural characteristics of Achaemenid pottery from Dahan-e GholamanAncient Near Eastern Studies 52. 217–259.

The Achaemenid site of Dahan-E Gholaman lies 44 km southeast of Zabol, eastern Iran. Recovered archaeological records and evidence, including residential, public, and administrative-religious structures, indicate pre-planned and intense urbanisation. Unfortunately, the pottery from Dahan-E Gholaman has not been paid the attention it is due, even though pottery from the site has been studied. The studies show that innovation and demands on the pottery industry created local types of beakers, jars, jugs, and bowls and so on. Research on the pottery characteristics shows that the potters of this site were skilled in controlling the kiln temperature and were able to produce high quality wares, while various forms were commonly in use at the site.

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Articles

Rethinking Sasanian Iconoclasm

Shenkar, Michael. 2015. Rethinking Sasanian Iconoclasm. Journal of the American Oriental Society 135(3). 471–498.

This article presents a detailed reconsideration of the well-established and canonized theory of “Sasanian iconoclasm” postulated by Mary Boyce in 1975. The Sasanians did not develop any prohibition against anthropomorphic representations of the gods, and in the surviving Zoroastrian literature and inscriptions there is no evidence of either theological disputes over idols or of a deliberate eradication of them by the Persian kings. Sasanian cult was aniconic, but the historical and archaeological evidence clearly demonstrates that Sasanian visual culture was anything but iconoclastic. It seems that the Persian iconoclastic identity was constructed in the early Sasanian period as a response to the challenges posed by Christianity. By joining the common monotheistic discourse against idolatry, the Zoroastrian clergy adopted the conventions of the world in which they lived.
Attacks against “idols” and “idolatry” should be understood in the context of internal and external polemical discourse against beliefs deemed to be erroneous by the Zoroastrian priesthood.

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Books

Seven Epic Poems

Ghafouri, Reza. 2015. Haft Manẓūmeh-ye Ḥamāsī (Seven Epic Poems). Bīzhan Nāmeh, Kuk Kūhzād Nāmeh, Babr-e Bayān, Patyāreh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Kūtāh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Boland, and Razm Nāmeh-ye Shakāvandkūh. Tehran: Miras-e Maktoob.

The present volume is a collection of seven epic poems, including Bīzhan Nāmeh, Kuk Kūhzād Nāmeh, Dāstān-e Babr-e Bayān, Dāstān-e Patyāreh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Kūtāh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Boland, and Razm Nāmeh-ye Shakāvandkūh.

No biographical data have survived on the composers of the above poems in literary or historical sources. The late Zabihullah Safa and Jalal Khaleghi attribute the Kuk Kūhzād Nāmeh, Dāstān-e Babr-e Bayān, Dāstān-e Patyāreh and Razm Nāmeh-ye Shakāvandkūh to the 5th/6th centuries Hijrī. The Bīzhan Nāmeh was composed by ‘Atā’ī, who most probably lived in 10th century Hijrī. Linguistic features indicate that the Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Kūtāh and Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Boland could have not been composed earlier than the 9th/10th centuries Hijrī.

A Persian report on this volume is available here.

In Original:

هفت منظومۀ حماسی (بیژن‌نامه، کک کوه‌زادنامه، ببر بیان، پتیاره، تهمینه نامۀ کوتاه، تهمینه نامۀ بلند، رزم نامۀ شکاوند کوه)، تصحیح و تحقیق رضا غفوری، ۱۳۹۴، تهران: میراث مکتوب.

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Articles

A Hoard of Silver Rhyta of the Achaemenid Circle from Erebuni

Treister, Mikhail Yu.2015. A Hoard of Silver Rhyta of the Achaemenid Circle from ErebuniAncient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 21 (1), 23-119.

This paper is devoted to a treasure found in 1968. The hoard in “a large jug”, consisting of three silver rhyta, a silver goblet and a fifth, now missing object, was found during construction works at the foothill of the Erebuni citadel. The silver vessels were preserved in a jug in a flattened condition. Every piece of the Treasure is discussed in detail. Descriptions of the vessels are provided in a catalogue section. The results of our analysis do not contradict the suggestion that the Treasure was possibly hidden in ca. 330 bc, thus assigning it a date more or less the same as that of the hoard from Pasargadae, which was also hidden in a clay vessel and most probably, like the Erebuni Treasure, coincided with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.

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Articles

Parthian Cities and Strongholds in Turkmenistan

Olbrycht, Marek Jan. 2015. Parthian cities and strongholds in TurkmenistanInternational Journal of Eurasian Studies 2. 117–125.

The Arsacid empire (247 BC – AD 226) emerged as the result of a nomadic invasion in northeastern Iran and in southern Turkmenistan. The Arsacids attached great importance to the erection of fortifications and strongholds. Justin’s account on Arsaces I (247-211/210 BC) shows the unexpected triumph of a leader from the steppes in northeastern Iran and focuses on two aspects: that Arsaces raised a large army (41.4.8) and that he built fortresses and strengthened the cities (41.5.1). No less emphatic about it is Ammianus Marcellinus 23.6.4 who relates that Arsaces “filled Persia with cities, with fortified camps, and with strongholds”. Fortified centers made the dynasty’s basis in the course of internal consolidation of the kingdom, at the same time having become the elements of a defense system against the aggression of the neighboring powers, including the Seleucid monarchy, Graeco-Bactria, and some nomadic tribes of Central Asia. This paper shall point to some questions concerning cities and strongholds in Parthia proper, including the location of Dara, Nisaia, Asaak, Alexandropolis, and the development of Old Nisa as well as New Nisa.