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Events Online resources

The Sogdians

The exhibition, The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads, explores Sogdian art through existing material culture. It focuses on the golden age of the Sogdians, from the fourth to the eighth centuries CE. Various dimensions of Sogdian culture, from art, music, and feasting to religious and funerary practices, are presented in this digital exhibition. New 3-D models of metalwork objects, photographs of archaeological sites, high resolution images and international scholarship reveal new details about this period.

In 2019 the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery lunched a digital exhibition devoted to the Sogdians, major traders of the ancient Silk Roads, organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s Asian art museums in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU), XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement (NYU), the Bard Graduate Center, and the Association Sauvegarde Peinture Afrasiab.

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BiblioIranica Online resources

Publications on Sogdian

We are delighted to host another article by Adam Benkato, our long-standing collaborator and friend.

In Some Data on Publications on Sogdian, Adam uses his extensive bibliography of Sogdian philology, containing 624 entries for publications from 1904 to 2020, to show ‘how a field has grown or developed over time’.

He had previously published this article on his own website but has now moved it to Bibliographia Iranica, where we are planning to host a series of publications on bibliographies. Stay tuned for more from Adam and others.

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Articles Online resources

Kujula Kadphises and his title Kushan Yavuga

Cribb, Joe. 2018. Kujula Kadphises and his title Kushan Yavuga (Sino-Platonic Papers 280). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

This paper sets out to examine the use of the term in the Chinese chronicles of the period of the Kushan xihou and in coin and stone inscriptions of Kujula Kadphises to illustrate the function of this title for him and interrogate the contextual evidence from these sources for the meaning of this title and its likely origins.

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Articles Online resources

The Sinicization of Indo-Iranian Astrology in Medieval China

Kotyk, Jeffrey. 2018. The sinicization of Indo-Iranian astrology in medieval China (Sino-Platonic Papers 282). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

This study explores the introduction and development of foreign systems of astrology in medieval China (Tang to Ming periods), in particular the practice of horoscopy, and how such models were implemented within a Chinese astronomical framework. It is argued that the basic character of such horoscopy was in large part Dorothean, rather than Ptolemaic. It is furthermore demonstrated that Chinese horoscopy was as much an heir to Persian systems of horoscopy as was the Islamicate, a point that has yet to be recognized. The paper also demonstrates the enduring impact of horoscopy within the culture of Chinese divination.

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Articles Online resources

Iran and America: A forgotten friendship

Potts, Daniel Thomas. 2018. Iran and America: A forgotten friendship. The Conversation.

As President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Iran heats up again, it is worth recalling a time when the two countries had a distinctly different relationship.

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Events Online resources

Two Job offers at the Ruhr-University of Bochum

The Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of the Ruhr-University of Bochum has advertised two positions for postdoctoral or doctoral research associates related but not restricted to Iranian Studies.

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Articles Online resources

Chinese Sources and the Sasanians

This article is currently published in the online publication section of Iranian Studies, thus the journal's reference as volume 0, issue 0. I am unsure whether in time it will become part of the printed version or not.

Zanous, Hamidreza Pasha & Esmaeil Sangari. 2018. The last Sasanians in Chinese literary sources: Recently identified statue head of a Sasanian prince at the Qianling mausoleum. Iranian Studies 0(0). 1–17.

Qianling Mausoleum (乾陵) which is located in the northwest of Xi’an, is the tomb of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (唐高宗, r. 649–83 AD) and his Empress Wu Zetian (武則天, r. 690–705 AD). In this mausoleum, there are two statues of Pērōz, son of Yazdegird III (632–51 AD), and another Persian nobleman who have been recognized by western scholars. However, scholars’ attention has been limited to a general and mistaken description of the statues. This paper reassesses both statues in order to give some new insight into the head of one of the statues found at the Qianling Mausoleum.

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Online resources

The Arshama project

The Arshama Project is not new, but since it is a valuable resource for the study of Achaemenid history, we would like to introduce it briefly.

The parchment letters of the Persian prince Arshama to Nakhthor, the steward of his estates in Egypt, are rare survivors from the ancient Achaemenid empire. These fascinating documents offer a vivid snapshot of linguistic, social, economic, cultural, organisational and political aspects of the Achaemenid empire as lived by a member of the elite and his entourage. The letters give unique insight into cultivation and administration, unrest and control, privileged lifestyles and long-distance travel. Arshama’s letters to Nakhthor, two leather bags and clay sealings, entered the Bodleian Library in 1944. These pages are a result of a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and scholars from the AHRC funded project Communication, Language and Power in the Achaemenid Empire: The correspondence of the satrap Arshama.

The result of the project, a volume entitled The Arshama Letters from the Bodleian Library, is openly accessible on the Publications tab.

More information can be found here and on the Arshama project website.

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Articles Online resources

Parthian kingship

Edward Dąbrowa, “Kingship ii. Parthian Period,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2016, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/kingship-02-parthian-period (accessed on 25 July 2016).

Parthian kingship started with the Arsacids monarchy and was an original form of Oriental kingship. The royal ideology was created by combining elements of different provenance; Greek elements were systematically removed or relegated to be replaced by Iranian traditions.

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Online resources Reviews

Review: The Sasanian world through Georgian eyes

McCollum, Adam Carter. 2015. Review of Stephen H. Rapp Jr: The Sasanian world through Georgian eyes. Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in late antique Georgian literature. SEHEPUNKTE 15(9).

The bibliographic information for the book under review is:

Rapp, Stephen. 2014. The Sasanian world through Georgian eyes. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.