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Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology

Bianconi, Michele, Marta Capano, Domenica Romagno & Francesco Rovai (eds.). 2022. Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology: Contact, Variation, and Reconstruction (Brill’s Studies in Historical Linguistics, 18). Leiden: Brill.

Studying the Indo-European languages means having a privileged viewpoint on diachronic language change, because of their relative wealth of documentation, which spans over more than three millennia with almost no interruption, and their cultural position that they have enjoyed in human history.

The chapters in this volume investigate case-studies in several ancient Indo-European languages (Ancient Greek, Latin, Hittite, Luwian, Sanskrit, Avestan, Old Persian, Armenian, Albanian) through the lenses of contact, variation, and reconstruction, in an interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary way. This reveals at the same time the multiplicity and the unity of our discipline(s), both by showing what kind of results the adoption of modern theories on “old” material can yield, and by underlining the centrality and complexity of the text in any research related to ancient languages.

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Books

Comparison and Gradation in Indo-European

Keydana, Götz, Wolfgang Hock & Paul Widmer (eds.). 2021. Comparison and Gradation in Indo-European (The Mouton Handbooks of Indo-European Typology, 1). Berlin: De Gruyter.

The ability to compare is fundamental to human cognition. Expressing various types of comparison is thus essential to any language. The present volume presents detailed grammatical descriptions of how comparison and gradation are expressed in ancient Indo-European languages. The detailed chapters devoted to the individual languages go far beyond standard handbook knowledge. Each chapter is structured the same way to facilitate cross-reference and (typological) comparison. The data are presented in a top-down fashion and in a format easily accessible to the linguistic community.

The topics covered are similatives, equatives, comparatives, superlatives, elatives, and excessives. Each type of comparison is illustrated with glossed examples of all its attested grammatical realizations.
The book is an indispensable tool for typologists, historical linguists, and students of the syntax and morphosyntax of comparison.

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Persian Influence on Daniel and Jewish Apocalyptic Literature

Dobroruka, Vicente. 2022. Persian influence on Daniel and Jewish apocalyptic literature (Jewish and Christian Texts in Context and related Studies, 19). London: Bloomsbury.

Vicente Dobroruka explores Iranian influence on Second Temple Judaism, providing a new explanation of Persian culture and history in the context of biblical accounts by focusing on the spread of Zoroastrian ideas in the period c.300 BCE–200 CE.

Dobroruka begins his investigation with an overview of the problems posed by a dualistic worldview-he examines the Indo-European origins of Zarathushtra and his ideas, explores the long-term implications for the notion of free-will, and clarifies the lightness/darkness paradigm that originated in Persia. Following this, Dobroruka discusses a variety of concepts that illustrate this influence, such as the role of matter and the material world, aspects of dualism and the cosmic struggle, the perspectives on the rewards for the just and the opposing punishments for the wicked, the idea of an ‘Anointed One’, shamanistic visionary experience, the resurrection, and the concepts of Sheol and Paradise.

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The Reward of the Righteous. Festschrift in Honour of Almut Hintze

Cantera, Alberto, Maria Macuch, and Nicholas Sims-Williams (eds.). 2022. The reward of the righteouse. Festschrift in honour of Almut Hintze (Iranica 30). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

The volume is dedicated to one of the foremost scholars in the field of Zoroastrian and Iranian Studies, reflecting the broad range of scholarly interests and research work of the dedicatee. In addition to an appreciation of Almut Hintze’s work and a bibliography of her publications, the volume contains thirty-four contributions written by renowned specialists in their fields. These cover a wide range of topics, stretching from antiquity to the present, and offer many new insights and original perspectives on religious, linguistic and historical problems. The articles, which include many editions of previously unpublished texts, encompass studies on (1) The oldest Zoroastrian textual sources (A. Ahmadi; J. Kellens; A. Panaino; M. Schwartz); (2) The Zoroastrian ritual (A. Cantera; E. Filippone; F. Kotwal; J. Martínez Porro; C. Redard; Y. Vevaina); (3) Avestan manuscripts (G. König); (4) Zoroastrianism in the Middle Iranian and Islamic periods (Sh. Farridnejad; Sh. Shaked); (5) Pahlavi texts, documents and inscriptions (J. Choksy/M.U. Hasan; J. Josephson; M. Macuch; D. Weber); (6) Zoroastrian and Manichaean iconography (F. Grenet/M. Minardi; Y. Yoshida); (7) Manichaean texts in Middle Iranian languages (A. Benkato; I. Colditz; E. Morano/M. Shokri-Foumeshi/N. Sims-Williams; N. Sims-Williams/Bi Bo); (8) Iranian philology (M.A. Andrés-Toledo; Ph. Huyse; E. Jeremiás; P. Lurje; M. Maggi; É. Pirart; A. Rossi); (9) Historical and cultural studies (C. Cereti; J. Palsetia; J. Rose; A. Williams).

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Books

The History and Culture of Iran and Central Asia

Tor, Deborah & Minoru Inaba (eds.). 2022. The history and culture of Iran and Central Asia: From the pre-Islamic to the Islamic period. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press.

This volume examines the major cultural, religious, political, and urban changes that took place in the Iranian world of Inner and Central Asia in the transition from the pre-Islamic to the Islamic periods.

One of the major civilizations of the first millennium was that of the Iranian linguistic and cultural world, which stretched from today’s Iraq to what is now the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. No other region of the world underwent such radical transformation, which fundamentally altered the course of world history, as this area did during the centuries of transition from the pre-Islamic to the Islamic period. This transformation included the religious victory of Islam over Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, and the other religions of the area; the military and political wresting of Inner Asia from the Chinese to the Islamic sphere of primary cultural influence; and the shifting of Central Asia from a culturally and demographically Iranian civilization to a Turkic one. This book contains essays by many of the preeminent scholars working in the fields of archeology, history, linguistics, and literature of both the pre-Islamic and the Islamic-era Iranian world, shedding light on some of the most significant aspects of the major changes that this important portion of the Asian continent underwent during this tumultuous era in its history. This collection of cutting-edge research will be read by scholars of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Iranian, and Islamic studies and archaeology.

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Iran and the Caucasus

The latest issue of Iran and the Caucasus (26.1) contains several interesting contributions.

Table of contents:

  • Preliminary Material (Editors)
  • Far away from Pārsa: Empire, Borders, and Ideology in Achaemenid Bactria (Marco Ferrario)
  • A Copper Statuette from South-Eastern Iran (3rd Millennium B.C.) (Nasir Eskandari, Mojgan Shafiee, Ali Akbar Mesgar, Federico Zorzi, &Massimo Vidale)
  • On the Emergence of the Iranian Apocalypse Between the Sixth and Seventh Centuries (Domenico Agostini)
  • Armeno-Iranica, Indo-Europaeica, and Gathica (Martin Schwartz)
  • An Etymological Note on YAv. mūra-: Is it Really “Idiot, Stupid, Foolish”? (Sara Belelli)
  • New Persian yādgār (Nadereh Nafisi)
  • The Ethno-Religious Contradictions as Threats to the North Caucasus Stability and Integration (Maxim Popov)
  • Review of Pierre Briant, From Cyrus to Seleukos: Studies in Achaemenid and Hellenistic History, Ancient Iran Series, vol. 5: “UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies”, 2018. 327pp (Yervand Margaryan)
  • Review of L’épopée caucasienne des Nartes. Cycles d’Ossétie, Traduits de l’ossète et commentés par Lora Arys-Djanaïéva et Iaroslav Lebedynsky, Paris: “L’Harmattan”, 2019. 325 pp. (Matteo De Chiara)

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A Universal History from the Late Sasanian Empire

Häberl, Charles G. 2022. The book of kings and the explanations of this world. A universal history from the late Sasanian Empire. Liverpool University Press.

The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran are adherents of the last surviving Gnostic tradition from the period of Late Antiquity, and the Book of Kings is the capstone to one of their most sacred scriptures. A universal history in four parts, it concisely outlines the entire 480,000 year span of the material world, from its creation to its destruction in the maw of the great Leviathan, with details including a succession of antediluvian cataclysms that have previously wiped out all human life, the reigns of the kings who have reigned over humanity and are still yet to reign, a lament on the end of pagan antiquity under the reign of the Arabs, and the apocalyptic drama attending those who have the misfortune to live at the end of the world era. For the first time ever, this work appears in English in its entirety, complete and unabridged, and directly translated from original Mandaic manuscripts, with the events mentioned within it coordinated with our calendar. It also includes an extensive commentary illustrating its relationship to contemporary historical writing and with the sacred literature of Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other neighbouring religious communities living under Sasanian rule.

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The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire

Matthews, Roger & Hassan Fazeli Nashli. 2022. The archaeology of Iran from the palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire. London: Routledge.

The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Archaemenid Empire is the first modern academic study to provide a synthetic, diachronic analysis of the archaeology and early history of all of Iran from the Palaeolithic period to the end of the Achaemenid Empire at 330 BC.

Drawing on the authors’ deep experience and engagement in the world of Iranian archaeology, and in particular on Iran-based academic networks and collaborations, this book situates the archaeological evidence from Iran within a framework of issues and debates of relevance today. Such topics include human–environment interactions, climate change and societal fragility, the challenges of urban living, individual and social identity, gender roles and status, the development of technology and craft specialisation and the significance of early bureaucratic practices such as counting, writing and sealing within the context of evolving societal formations.

Richly adorned with more than 500 illustrations, many of them in colour, and accompanied by a bibliography with more than 3000 entries, this book will be appreciated as a major research resource for anyone concerned to learn more about the role of ancient Iran in shaping the modern world.

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Books

Chogha Zanbil // چغازنبیل

مفیدی نصرآبادی، بهزاد. ۱۴۰۰. چغازنبیل: بافت شهری و جنبه‌های معماری در ایلام باستان. تهران: انتشارات دکتر محمود افشار.

Mofidi Nasrabadi, Behzad. 2022. Chogh Zanbil: Bāft-e shahrī va janbah-hā-ye meʻmārī dar Īlām-e bāstān [Chogha Zanbil: The Urban Environment and Architectural Features in Ancient Elam]. Tehran: Dr. Mahmoud Afshar Publication.

کتاب چغازنبیل: بافت شهری و جنبه‌های معماری در ایلام باستان شرح مفصلی از ساختار بناها در چغازنبیل از جمله زیگورات، معابد خدایان گوناگون، کاخ‌ها و دیگر فضاهای موجود در این محوطه را به دست می‌دهد. این اثر که پژوهش‌های پیشین نویسنده در این خصوص به زبان آلمانی را گرد آورده و آنها را به زبان فارسی ارائه می‌دهد، ملاحظاتی مفید نحوه سکونت و اقتصاد شهری و همچنین طراحی و برآورد حجم کارهای ساختمانی اجراشده را نیز شامل می‌شود. علاوه بر آن، زمینه‌های تاریخی، جغرافیایی و آیینی شکل‌گیری فضای شهری در چغازنبیل نیز به طرز مبسوطی به بحث گذاشته شده است. کتاب حاضر از حیث ارائه تصویری کامل از موضوع مورد بحث حائز اهمیت است.

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Books

Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology

Bianconi, Michele, Marta Capano, Domenica Romagno & Francesco Rovai (eds.). 2022. Ancient Indo-European languages between linguistics and philology: Contact, variation, and reconstruction (Brill’s Studies in Historical Linguistics, 18). Leiden: Brill.

Studying the Indo-European languages means having a privileged viewpoint on diachronic language change, because of their relative wealth of documentation, which spans over more than three millennia with almost no interruption, and their cultural position that they have enjoyed in human history.

The chapters in this volume investigate case-studies in several ancient Indo-European languages (Ancient Greek, Latin, Hittite, Luwian, Sanskrit, Avestan, Old Persian, Armenian, Albanian) through the lenses of contact, variation, and reconstruction, in an interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary way. This reveals at the same time the multiplicity and the unity of our discipline(s), both by showing what kind of results the adoption of modern theories on “old” material can yield, and by underlining the centrality and complexity of the text in any research related to ancient languages.