Category Archives: Books

Final -y

Ferrer-Losilla, Juanjo. 2014. Final -y in Non-Manichaean Parthian and the Proto-Parthian ‘rhytmic law’  (Cahiers de Studia Iranica 52). Peeters Publishers.

This work traces the uses of the co-called “final -y” in Inscriptional Parthian, and provides the distributional rules that govern its presence or absence in certain words. Following the introduction, the bulk of this study consists of three main headings involving, firstly, the presentation of the Aramaeographic forms and the words outside the nominal inflexion, secondly, the classification of the nominal forms in connection with the final -y and, finally, a feasible history of the Parthian nominal inflection.

Persian kingship and architecture

Babaie, Sussan & Talinn Grigor (eds.). 2015. Persian kingship and architecture: Strategies of power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis. I.B.Tauris.

Since the Shah went into exile and the Islamic Republic was established in 1979 in the wake of the Iranian Revolution, the very idea of monarchy in Iran has been contentious. Yet, as Persian Kingship and Architecture argues, the institution of kingship has historically played a pivotal role in articulating the abstract notion of ‘Iran’ since antiquity. These ideas surrounding kingship and nation have, in turn, served as a unifying cultural force despite shifting political and religious allegiances. Through analyses of palaces, mausolea, art, architectural decoration and urban design the authors show how architecture was appropriated by different rulers as an integral part of their strategies of legitimising power. They refer to a variety of examples, from the monuments of Persepolis under the Achamenids, the Sassanian palaces at Kish, the Safavid public squares of Isfahan, the Qajar palaces at Shiraz and to the modernisation and urban agendas of the Pahlavis. Drawing on archaeology, ancient, medieval, early and modern architectural history, both Islamic and secular, this book is indispensable for all those interested in Iranian studies and visual culture.

For the ToC and having a look into this volume see here.

About the Editors:

Sussan Babaie is Lecturer in the Arts of Iran and Islam at The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, UK.

Talinn Grigor is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Brandeis University in Boston.

Iranische Personennamen

Hutter, Manfred. 2015. Iranische Personennamen in der Hebräischen Bibel (Iranisches Personennamenbuch Bd. 7 / Faszikel 2, Iranische Onomastik 14, Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-historischen Klasse 860). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Der Band verbucht insgesamt 54 Namen der Hebräischen Bibel (einschließlich der Abschnitte in Aramäisch), für die eine iranische Deutung sicher oder plausibel ist; ferner werden 17 Namen kritisch diskutiert, für die in der Forschung unterschiedliche iranische Herleitungen vorgeschlagen wurden, die jedoch abzulehnen sind. Mit dem Band liegt somit ein verlässliches Referenzwerk vor, durch das die Einträge dieser Namen in Ferdinand Justis „Iranischem Namenbuch“ (1895) und die Analyse von Isidor Scheftelowitz („Arisches im Alten Testament I“, Königsberg 1901), auf die in Studien zur Bibel im letzten Jahrhundert regelmäßig verwiesen wurde, überholt sind. Für alle 71 Namen werden – soweit eine Entsprechung vorliegt – für spätere Studien die Namensform der Septuaginta sowie die Belege nachgewiesen. Nach in der Regel kurzen Angaben zur Prosopographie liegt der Schwerpunkt des Textes in der Diskussion der etymologischen Deutungsmöglichkeit(en), wobei auch Herleitungen der Namen aus semitischem Sprachgut evaluiert werden. Ausführliche Register erschließen das onomastische Vergleichsmaterial. Neben dem Ertrag für die Iranistik ist der Band von besonderem Interesse für die Bibelwissenschaften.

Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne

03_J2_YH35Cantera, Alberto. 2014. Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: Pensées et travaux préliminaires (Cahiers de Studia Iranica 51). Peeters Publishers.

The long liturgy is the most important ceremony in Zoroastrian priestly tradition. Most extant Avestan texts have been composed for their performance within this liturgy. It is highly likely that it acquired its current form, in which it is still celebrated, during the Achaemenid period or even earlier. Like any living ceremony with a long history, it has several synchronic and diachronic variations. Nevertheless, current editions of the Avestan text recited in the liturgy do not take into account its ritual nature, synchronic variations or its evolution over time, or even the changes in the way the text itself is recited. The aim of this book is to report on the recent discoveries that raise doubts over the methodology used in current editions, and propose certain alternatives in order to further the debate.

Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, and Kidarite Coins

Jongeward, David & Joe Cribb. 2015. Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, and Kidarite Coins. American Numismatic Society.

This catalogue presents all the Kushan coins in the American Numismatic Society, with selected illustrations, detailed descriptions and commentary. The production system of Kushan coinage is presented with major revisions of chronology and organization compared with previous publications. This presentation has been based on the latest coin-based research, including die studies and site find analysis. The coins are classified by ruler, metal, mint, production phase, denomination, type and variety. Introductory essays present the historical and cultural contexts of the kings and their coins. All the ANS gold coins and a selection of copper coins are illustrated. This catalogue also features two series of coins issued by the Kushano-Sasanian and the Kidarite Hun rulers of former Kushan territory because they followed and adapted the Kushan coinage system.

Farāmarz, the Sistāni hero

van Zutphen, Marjolijn. 2014. Farāmarz, the Sistāni hero: Texts and traditions of the Farāmarznāme and the Persian epic cycle. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

In Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero Marjolijn van Zutphen discusses the manuscripts, storylines and main themes of the shorter and the longer Farāmarznāme (c. 1100), in relation to Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāme and several other later maṡnawis about the warriors from Sistān (the Persian Epic Cycle). Farāmarz, a secondary figure of the Shāhnāme, gained importance in later epic traditions and as the invincible protagonist of both Farāmarznāmes reached a status that equalled, if not surpassed, that of his famous father Rostam.

A cultural history of Aramaic

Gzella, Holger. 2015. A cultural history of Aramaic: From the beginnings to the advent of Islam. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

Aramaic is a constant thread running through the various civilizations of the Near East, ancient and modern, from 1000 BCE to the present, and has been the language of small principalities, world empires, and a fair share of the Jewish-Christian tradition. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic history as a continuous evolution from its beginnings to the advent of Islam. For the first time the individual phases of the language, their socio-historical underpinnings, and the textual sources are discussed comprehensively in light of the latest linguistic and historical research and with ample attention to scribal traditions, multilingualism, and language as a marker of cultural self-awareness. Many new observations on Aramaic are thereby integrated into a coherent historical framework

Comparative Oriental manuscript studies

Bausi, Alessandro & Pier Giorgio Borbone, Françoise Briquel-Chatonnet, Paola Buzi, Jost Gippert, Caroline Macé, Marilena Maniaci, Zisis Melissakis, Laura Parodi, Witold Witakowski (eds.). 2015. Comparative Oriental manuscript studies: An introduction. COMSt.

The present introductory handbook on comparative oriental manuscript studies is the main achievement of the Research Networking Programme ‘Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies’ (COMSt), funded by the European Science Foundation from June 2009 to May 2014. Within the framework of the five-year programme, several hundred scholars from ‘central’ as well as ‘marginal’ fields related to manuscript study and research had the opportunity ofexchanging ideas and discussing diverse approaches, looking for common ground and a better understanding of the others’ reasons and methodology in manuscript studies: from codicology to palaeography, from textual criticism andscholarly editing to cataloguing as well as conservation and preservation issues, and always taking into account theincreasing importance of digital scholarship and the natural sciences.

Alberto Cantera and Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst discuss in this volume Zoroastrian manuscripts and the Turfan fragments.

The martyrs of Mount Ber’ain

Brock, Sebastian. 2014. The Martyrs of Mount Ber’ain (Persian Martyr Acts in Syriac: Text and Translation 4). Gorgias Press. With an introduction by Paul C. Dilley.

The blessed Simeon bar Sabba’e

Smith, Kyle. 2014. The martyrdom and history of blessed Simeon bar Sabba’e (Persian Martyr Acts in Syriac: Text and Translation 3). Gorgias Press.

Around the year 339 CE, Simeon bar Sabbae (the bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon on the Tigris) was killed by the Persian king Shapur II. Simeon was arrested for refusing to collect taxes from his flock, and he was beheaded for disobeying the king’s order to worship the sun. The bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon was no minor figure. In fact, Simeon’s martyr acts proclaim that he was the leader of the Christians of Persia and the protomartyr of Shapur’s forty-year persecution. Curiously, however, two very different versions of Simeon’s death exist. Each is presented here with an accompanying translation and notes.

Simeon’s Martyrdom and History are fundamental sources for chronicling the history of Christianity in Sasanian Persia. Together, these texts testify to the centrality of martyrdom literature in late ancient Syriac Christianity, and they show how Persian Christians forged their own political and religious identities amidst the ongoing Christianization of the Roman Empire.