Category Archives: Books

A new etymological dictionary of Persian language

HassandoustHassandust, Mohammad. 2015. The etymological dictionary of Persian. 5 Vols. Tehran: Academy of Persian Language and Literature.

The Etymological Dictionary of Persian is the most comprehensive and up-to-date work in the field of Classical and Modern New Persian historical lexicology and etymology. Since the publication of P. Horn’s Grundriss der neupersischen Etymologie (1893) and H. Hübschman’s Persische Studien (1895), enormous progress has been made in the field, and many etymologies have been revised or proposed. This new etymological dictionary, with more than 5500 entries, covers the entire principal vocabulary of Persian lexicon of both Iranian and non-Iranian origin, as well as the inherited lexicon of Persian and synthesizes the achievements of Iranian, and Indo-European, comparative linguistics over the last century. It covers also the vocabularies from diffrent sources of the Persian language attested in Classical poetry, historical narratives, mediaeval Farhangs “dictionaries”, as well as the vocabularies from modern urban and daily vernaculars.

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Vom Aramäischen zum Alttürkischen

J. P. Laut, K. Röhrborn (eds.). 2014. Vom Aramäischen zum Alttürkischen: Fragen zur Übersetzung von manichäischen Texten (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften Zu Gottingen. Neue Folge, Band 29). De Gruyter.

Manichaeism claimed to be a world religion. Thus, the problem of translating the Holy Scriptures was of paramount importance. The twelve studies in this volume examine the linguistic and cultural diversity and unique features of the translated texts of Eastern Manichaeism. This book will be of great interest to scholars of religious studies and to researchers in the fields of cultural history and language contact.

For more information, see the ToC of this volume.

A concise history of the Achaemenid Empire

Waters, Matthew W. 2014. Ancient Persia: A concise history of the Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BCE. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

The Achaemenid Persian Empire, at its greatest territorial extent under Darius I (r. 522–486 BCE), held sway over territory stretching from the Indus River Valley to southeastern Europe and from the western Himalayas to northeast Africa. In this book, Matt Waters gives a detailed historical overview of the Achaemenid period while considering the manifold interpretive problems historians face in constructing and understanding its history. This book offers a Persian perspective even when relying on Greek textual sources and archaeological evidence. Waters situates the story of the Achaemenid Persians in the context of their predecessors in the mid-first millennium BCE and through their successors after the Macedonian conquest, constructing a compelling narrative of how the empire retained its vitality for more than two hundred years (c. 550–330 BCE) and left a massive imprint on Middle Eastern as well as Greek and European history.

For more information, see here the Preface to this volume and the ToC.

About the author:

Matt Waters is Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

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 ».

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From Old to New Persian

Utas, Bo. 2013. From Old to New Persian: Collected essays (Beiträge Zur Iranistik 38). Edited by Carina Jahani & Mehrdad Fallahzadeh. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.

In a long series of essays, written during almost half a century, Bo Utas analyses the development of West Iranian languages, particularly Old, Middle, and New Persian, from various perspectives. The focus is placed on the transition from Middle to New Persian and the final essays (hitherto partly unpublished) especially elucidate this process in the light of an interaction between oral and written language.
This book is the second volume of collected articles by Bo Utas. The first volume, Manuscript, Text and Literature. Collected Essays on Middle and New Persian Texts, was published on the occasion of his 70th birthday as no. 29 in the series Beiträge zur Iranistik in 2008.
The seventeen articles in the present volume cover a time span of about 2,500 years and encompass all the stages of Persian. It also contains two entirely new articles, “The Grammatical Transition from Middle to New Persian” and “Between Spoken and Written: The Formation of New Persian”, which sum up much of Bo Utas’ philological research.

For more information, see the preface to this volume and the ToC.
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The comprehensive history of Iran

Mousavi-Bojnourdi, Kazem (General Editor). 2015. The comprehensive history of Iran. 20. Vols. Tehran: The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia.

The Comprehensive History of Iran, a multi-volume survey of Iranian history in Persian language is published by The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (CGIE). The twenty volumes cover the history and historical geography, politic, culture and arts of the greater Iran, including all territories inhabited by or staying under the cultural influence of peoples of Iranian descent , from prehistoric times up to the Qajar dynasty. Many aspects of the religious, philosophical, economic, scientific, and artistic elements in Iranian civilization are studied in this series.

For more information, see the official website and the list of the contributors and the detailed Table of Contents (all in Persian).

The series consists of 20 volumes: Continue reading The comprehensive history of Iran

A reader in Modern Persian

Delshad, Farshid. 2015. Textbuch modernes Persisch. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

The Textbook Modern Persian contains thirty selected readings about contemporary Iran from various disciplinary perspectives including: literature, philosophy, theology, mysticism, society, politics, history, geography, sports, cuisine, mythology and computational linguistics. Each chapter of the book includes an introduction to the topic, a rating of the complexity of the text (from A2 to C2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the philological acquisition of lexical fields within the chapter, and a selected bibliography of additional material on the subject matter. The text also includes a concise trilingual glossary (Persian-German-English), a conjugation sample, a detailed list of all common infinitives in Modern Persian, and English abstracts for each of the thirty textbook units. This book is ideal for students taking Persian language courses, as well as for anyone interested in contemporary Persian language, literature and culture.

For more information read the preface to this volume and a sample chapter as well as see the ToC.
About the author:
Farshid Delshad received his PhD in Historical Comparative Linguistics from the German University of Friedrich-Schiller. He is currently working in Germany and in the United States as an associate scholar for Languages and Cultures of the Muslim World.

The Pahlavi Yasna of the Gāθās and Yasna Haptaŋhāiti

Malandra, William W. & Pallan Ichaporia (eds.). 2013. The Pahlavi Yasna of the Gāthās and Yasna Haptaŋhāiti. Wiesbaden: Reichert. 2nd ed., corrected.

As the title suggests the book is a study of the Pahlavi Yasna, a Middle Persian (Pahlavi) gloss on the liturgical text, the Yasna. The study is restricted to the Gāthās or Hymns of Zarathustra (Zoroaster) and to the Yasna Haptaŋhāiti, a prose text composed in the same dialect of Avestan. There are three main sections: Introduction, The Text, and Glossary. In addition there are two Appenices: I Parallel Text of the Avestan and Pahalvi Gloss; II The ašәm vohū and its Variants in the Dēnkart. The Introduction is a text-critical study of the Pahlavi Yasna which addresses the main issues of the nature of the text, its authorship and dating, and its relationship to parallels in the Dēnkard. In the presentation of the text, the position is taken that the fundamental text is a nearly word-by-word gloss on the original Avestan. That is, it is not a translation as we might understand the term. Interspersed in the gloss are miscellaneous comments inserted by later hands to illuminate certain words and passages. Appendix I is provided to portray how the glosses line up with the Avestan, ignoring the later comments. The text itself is based on the 1946 critical edition of B. N. Dhabhar given in the Pahlavi script and to which we have provided many improvements. In footnotes we have cited all the parallel passages from the Dēnkard. These reveal that there were exegetical traditions other than the official Pahlavi Yasna. Although Dhabhar’s edition included a glossary, it is not up to the philological standards of current scholarship. There is deliberately no translation into English, as a running gloss of this sort does not lend itself to a coherent translation.
The contribution to the fields of Middle Persian and Zoroastrian studies is really threefold: 1) to establish a reliable text in Roman transliteration; 2) to provide an extensive glossary of all lexical items; 3) to contribute to an understanding of the nature and formation of the text. The intended readership is primarily scholars and students who have some acquaintance with Pahlavi and have an interest in the history of Zoroastrianism.

For more information see the ToC and read both the Preface to this volume as well as a Sample Chapter.
About the authors:
William W. Malandra is Associate Professor of Indo-Iranian Philology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Pallan R. Ichaporia has BA in Avesta/Pahlavi from Bombay University and attended Columbia University for Post Graduate Study in Iranian Languages under James Russell. He obtained doctorate in Business Administration from Oklahoma.

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.

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The policy of Darius and Xerxes

Vasilev, Miroslav Ivanov. 2015. The policy of Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia (Mnemosyne Supplements. History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity 379). Leiden: Brill.

The campaigns of the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes in Europe led to the subjugation of part of the southern Thrace and Greek cities situated between Byzantium and Strymon River, along with the subordination of Macedonia. While the relations between Persians and Greeks are well developed by numerous publications, including many monographs, the Policy Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia appears undeservedly neglected.

In The Policy of Darius and Xerxes towards Thrace and Macedonia Miroslav Vasilev analyses in detail the policy of the Persian kings towards their European possessions in the years 514–465 BC.

For more information and take a look inside the book see here.

 
Miroslav Ivanov Vasilev, PhD (2010), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, is an independent researcher. He has published articles concerning early Macedonian history (before Philip II), includingThe military-political campaign of Sitalces against Perdiccas II and the Chalcidians (431–429 B.C.), Živa Antika, Skopje 2011.