Categories
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.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Rome and Parthia: conflict and diplomacy from Sulla to Caracalla

3. Conflict and diplomacy between Rome and Persia from Ardashir to Philip I

4. Persian triumph, Roman defeat

5. The last years of the reign of Shapur I to the Persian invasion of Carus

6. The relationship between Rome and Persia during the reigns of Diocletian, Bahram II and Narseh

7. Rome and Persia during the reigns of Constantine and Shapur II

8. Conflict and diplomacy between Rome and Persia under Constantius II and Shapur II

9. The Persian invasion of the emperor Julian and its aftermath

10. Conclusion

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

Categories
Books

Dinars and Dirhams

Daryaee, Touraj, Judith A. Lerner & Virginie C. Rey (eds.). 2020. Dinars and Dirhams: Festschrift in honor of Michael L. Bates. Irvine: Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

The present volume is dedicated to Michael L. Bates, Curator Emeritus of Islamic Coins at the American Numismatic Society. For more than forty years, Michael has been a major figure in the field of Islamic numismatics through his writing, teaching, and being a resource for scholars, students and collectors. The list of contributors to this volume and the range of their contributions are testament to Michael’s continued and vital influence on numismatic and historical studies.

Categories
Books

Zagros Studies

Eidem, Jesper. 2020. Zagros studies: Proceedings of the NINO jubilee conference and other research on the Zagros region (PIHANS 130). Leuven: Peeters.

Zagros Studies contains nine articles on the archaeology and history of the Zagros Region in Iraq. Five of these are expanded versions of papers that were delivered at a conference celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) in December 2014. The other articles present results of the NINO archaeological project on the Rania Plain, and new investigations on the Shemshara Hills and other sites on the plain, which are threatened by Lake Dokan; a spectacular terracotta “tower” is published here for the first time.

Categories
Books

Handbook of Ancient Afro-Eurasian Economies

Reden, Sitta von (ed.). 2020. Handbook of ancient Afro-Eurasian economies. Volume 1: Contexts. Berlin: De Gruyter.

The notion of the “Silk Road” that the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen invented in the 19th century has lost attraction to scholars in light of large amounts of new evidence and new approaches. The handbook suggests new conceptual and methodological tools for researching ancient economic exchange in a global perspective with a strong focus on recent debates on the nature of pre-modern empires.The interdisciplinary team of Chinese, Indian and Graeco-Roman historians, archaeologists and anthropologists that has written this handbook compares different forms of economic development in agrarian and steppe regions in a period of accelerated empire formation during 300 BCE and 300 CE. It investigates inter-imperial zones and networks of exchange which were crucial for ancient Eurasian connections.Volume I provides a comparative history of the most important empires forming in Northern Africa, Europe and Asia between 300 BCE and 300 CE. It surveys a wide range of evidence that can be brought to bear on economic development in the these empires, and takes stock of the ways academic traditions have shaped different understandings of economic and imperial development as well as Silk-Road exchange in Russia, China, India and Western Graeco-Roman history.

Categories
Books

Methods and models in ancient history

Mæhle, Ingvar, Per Bjarne Ravnå & Eivind Heldaas Seland (eds.). 2020. Methods and models in ancient history: Essays in honor of Jørgen Christian Meyer (Papers and Monographs from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 9). Athens: Norwegian Institute at Athens.

According to the institute, the publications of the Norwegian Institute at Athens are available on-line at the digital collection of the Bergen University Library. However, we have been unable to find a download link for the above volume. Please check the above website for updates.

Two papers of closer interest to scholars of Iranian Studies are available from the authors’ academia.edu pages:

Categories
Books

The Legitimation of Conquest

Trampedach, Kai & Alexander Meeus (eds.). 2020. The legitimation of conquest: Monarchical representation and the art of government in the empire of Alexander the Great (Studies in Ancient Monarchies 7). Stuttgart: Fanz Steiner Verlag.

Within a single decade (334–325 BC) Alexander III of Macedon conquered much of the known world of his time, creating an empire that stretched from the Balkans to India and southern Egypt. His clear intention of establishing permanent dominion over this huge and culturally diverse territory raises questions about whether and how he tried to legitimate his position and about the reactions of various groups subject to his rule: Macedonians, Greeks, the army, indigenous elites. Starting from Max Weber’s “Herrschaftssoziologie”, the 15 authors discuss Alexander’s strategies of legitimation as well as the motives his subjects may have had for offering him obedience. The analysis of monarchical representation and political communication in these case-studies on symbolic performances and economic, administrative and religious measures sheds new light on the reasons for the swift Macedonian conquest: It appears that Alexander and his staff owed their success not only to their military talent but also to their communication skills and their capacity to cater to the expectations of their audiences.

Categories
Books

Gandhāran Art Connections

Rienjang, Wannaporn & Peter Stewarrt (eds.). 2020. The global connections of Gandhāran art. Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing.

This volume is the third set of proceedings of the project’s annual workshop, and the first to address directly the question of cross-cultural influence on and by Gandhāran art. The contributors wrestle with old controversies, particularly the notion that Gandhāran art is a legacy of Hellenistic Greek rule in Central Asia and the growing consensus around the important role of the Roman Empire in shaping it. But they also seek to present a more complex and expansive view of the networks in which Gandhāra was embedded. Adopting a global perspective on the subject, they examine aspects of Gandhāra’s connections both within and beyond South Asia and Central Asia, including the profound influence which Gandhāran art itself had on the development of Buddhist art in China and India.

Proceedings of the Third International Workshop of the Gandhāra Connections Project, University of Oxford, 18th-19th March, 2019. Like the previous volumes, this book is open access and available from the publisher’s website linked above.

Categories
Books

The Archaeology of Mithraism

McCarty, Matthew & Mariana Egri (eds.). 2020. The archaeology of Mithraism: New finds and approaches to Mithras-worship (Babesch Supplements 39). Leuven: Peeters.

Over the course of the second century CE, worship of the Persianate god Mithras swept across the whole of the Roman Empire. With its distinctive traces preserved in the material record—including cave-like sanctuaries and images of Mithras stabbing a bull—the cult has long been examined to reconstruct the thought-systems of Mithraism, its theology, through such monumental trappings. This volume starts from the premise that, like much “religion” in the Roman world, the cult of Mithras must be examined through its practices, the ritual craft knowledge which enabled those rites, and the social structures thus created. What did Mithras-worshippers do? How do we explain the unity and diversity of practices observed? Archaeology has the potential to answer these questions and shed new light on Mithras-worship. Presenting new discoveries, higher resolution archaeological data on finds and assemblages, and re-evaluations of older discoveries, this volume charts new paths forward in understanding one of the Roman Empire’s most distinctive cults.

Categories
Books

Maniiu et la mythologie protozoroastrienne

Pirart, Éric. 2020. Maniiu et la mythologie protozoroastrienne: Étude de textes vieil-avestiques (Acta Iranica 59). Leuven: Peeters.

Dieux et déesses aniconiques, abstraits, souvent anonymes, imbriqués les uns dans les autres, impliqués dans les rouages d’un rite méconnu, tel est le monde mythologique d’un Zarathushtra des origines, lorsque l’auteur des Cantates vieil-avestiques disait encore «lui et moi». Toutes les péripéties mythiques sont techniques, dictées par la haute idée que le poète se fait du grand dieu Ahura Mazda. Avec la certitude que le Roi vêtu du ciel a dispensé la connaissance à Zarathushtra, le poète officiant développe le Maniiu, l’idée, le sentiment, la conviction que, pour retrouver au-delà de la mort la vache qui a pu le nourrir, la science divine lui sera bien utile. En effet, elle régit la façon de conjuguer toutes les pièces, concrètes et abstraites, de la célébration cultuelle, un insaisissable complexe dont l’harmonieuse réussite portant le nom d’Asa donnera à la divinité les moyens de jouer son rôle.