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Books

Baghdād

Scheiner, Jens & Isabel Toral (eds.). 2022. Baghdād: From its beginnings to the 14th century (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East 166). Leiden: Brill.

Baghdād: From its Beginnings to the 14th Century offers an exhaustive handbook that covers all possible themes connected to the history of this urban complex in Iraq, from its origins rooted in late antique Mesopotamia up to the aftermath of the Mongol invasion in 1258.
Against the common perception of a city founded 762 in a vacuum, which, after experiencing a heyday in a mythical “golden age” under the early ʿAbbāsids, entered since 900 a long period of decline that ended with a complete collapse by savage people from the East in 1258, the volume emphasizes the continuity of Baghdād’s urban life, and shows how it was marked by its destiny as caliphal seat and cultural hub.

From the publisher’s website
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Articles

They went to Tamukkan

Potts, Daniel T. 2022. ‘They went to Tamukkan:’ Some Observations on Bushehr, Borazjan and Overland Travel between the Persian Gulf and the Achaemenid Capitals. Motaleat-e Bastanshenasi-e Parseh 19: 14-38.

Fig. 1. Map of principal halts on the route between Bushehr and Shiraz, showing Persepolis and Pasargadae (courtesy Dr. Andrea Squitieri, Munich).

In recent years the Achaemenid sites in the Borazjan area have attracted a great deal of attention and their identification with Elamite Tamukkan/Greek Taocê has been widely accepted. Aside from the architectural interest of these sites, however, their location along what later became an important route linking the Persian Gulf and the Iranian plateau is significant. Whether travelling between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, or the earlier Achaemenid capitals (Pasargadae and Persepolis), Borazjan represents the first stage for travellers moving along this route. This study examines some of the logistical aspects of travel between Borazjan and the highlands, as well as the climatic extremes experienced by travellers during much of the year. The difficulties of traversing the route are illustrated with selections from 19th and early 20th century travellers accounts. The advantages of commencing or ending the journey at Shif, as opposed to Bushehr, are discussed with reference to numerous examples. The importance of mules as pack animals along the route is emphasized. Finally, the implications of the evidence marshaled for the burgeoning field of sensory studies are underscored.

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Articles

An Unknown Illuminated Judeo-Persian Manuscript of Nizāmī’s Khosrow and Shīrīn

Khosrow Discovers Shīrīn Bathing, From Pictorial Cycle of Eight Poetic Subjects, mid 18th century. Brooklyn Museum.

Carmeli, Orit. 2021. An Unknown Illuminated Judeo-Persian Manuscript of Nizāmī’s Khosrow and Shīrīn. Ars Judaica. The Bar Ilan Journal of Jewish Art 17(1). 131–140.

This is a brief presentation of the mid-seventeenth-century illuminated Judeo-Persian copy of Nizāmī’s Khosrow and Shīrīn from the collection of the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem. The Khamsa of Nizāmī Ganjavi (d. 1209) is one of the most famous medieval Persian love stories and one of the most admired poetical works ever written in the Persian language. Khosrow and Shīrīn (composed 1175/6-1191) is the second book in the Quinary and recounts the tragic love story of the Sasanian king Khosrow II Parviz and the Armenian princess Shīrīn. Nizāmī’s poetry, in addition to other works of Persian classical masters, was regarded by the Jews of Iran as an integral part of their literary and cultural heritage. Over the years these renowned poetical works were largely transliterated into Judeo-Persian and copies of the texts can be found in various public and private collections. The manuscript in question and other illuminated Judeo-Persian manuscripts clearly testify to their owners and patrons’ awareness of long-established Persian artistic tradition and cultural conventions, representing Jewish-Persian encounter in text and image.

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Books

Mélanges: James Howard-Johnston

Booth, Phil & Mary Whitby (eds.). 2022. Mélanges: James Howard-Johnston (Travaux et mémoires 26). Paris: Association des Amis du centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance.

Apart from a brief stint as a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, in 1968-9, James Howard-Johnston spent his entire academic career at Oxford University. After a period as Junior Research Lecturer at Christ Church from 1966-71, he was then University Lecturer in Byzantine Studies and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College until his retirement almost forty years later in 2009. In the mid-2000s he served briefly as interim president of Corpus. From 1972 to 1987 he was also passionately involved in local politics, serving as an Oxford City Councillor and Oxfordshire County Councillor. His retirement from politics was accompanied by a stream of publications that has continued to the present day.

Throughout his career, James cultivated a number of interests, for example, the political and military history of Byzantium, the Eurasian steppe, and the Sassanid empire; Byzantine historiography; medieval law and commerce; and, perhaps most importantly, the history of warfare, and in particular the “world crisis” that dramatically and permanently reorganized the Middle East during the seventh century. Readers of James’s bibliography through 2022, which we include at the beginning of this volume, will perceive the simultaneous cultivation of all these interests, but also a growing preoccupation with the seventh century, which intensified from the 1990s onward and culminated in two masterpieces of scholarship produced during his retirement-or, as James would put it in his typical self-deprecating style, his “defuncation.” The first, Witnesses to a world crisis, represents the distillation of many years of deep reflection on the various sources of seventh-century political history, as well as a profound reflection on the rise of Islam and the Arab conquests. The second (of which Witnesses is in many ways the prequel), The Last Great War of Antiquity, is now the first comprehensive history of the final conflict between the Roman and Iranian empires, a great subject of which James has long been the acknowledged master.

Some related contributions to the Iranian Studies in this volume:

Ainslie, Roger, Mohammad Arman Ershadi & Davit Naskidashvili: Qalʿeh Kharabeh in northern Iran: a Sasanian military tent city for ten thousand mounted soldiers?

Booth, Phil: Egypt under the Sasanians (619–29): “stability, continuity, and tolerance”?

Greenwood, Tim: Adontz, Armenia and Iran in late antiquity.

Gyselen, Rika: La géographie administrative de l’Empire sassanide: ce que le Šahrestānīha-ye Ērānšahr ne dit pas.

McLynn, Neil: Ammianus Marcellinus and the making of Persian strategy.

Taylor, David G. K.: The Syriac version of Strategios’ History of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem.

Vevaina, Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw: The Coals Which Were His Guardians…’: The Hermeneutics of Heraclius’ Persian Campaign and a Faint Trace of the ‘Last Great War’ in Zoroastrian Literature.

Wiesehöfer, Josef: Alfred von Gutschmid, Theodor Nöldeke and the beginnings of the Sasanian Empire.

Zychowicz-Coghill, Edward: The Byzantinist of Isfahan: Ḥamza ibn al-Ḥasan on Greek and Roman history.

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Books

In Search of Iranian Continuity: From the Zoroastrian Tradition to the Islamic Mysticism

Azarnouche, Samra (ed.). 2022. À la recherche de la continuité iranienne: de la tradition zoroastrienne à la mystique islamique. Recueil de textes autour de l’œuvre de Marijan Molé (1924-1963). Turnhout: Brepols.

The work of the Polish-Slovenian Iranian scholar Marijan Molé (1924-1963) has had a profound influence on the religious sciences that can be observed to this day. In barely fifteen years (1948-1963), he was able to give unprecedented impetus to Iranian studies, thanks to the meticulous study of corpora ranging from the Avesta and Middle Persian Zoroastrian literature to treatises on Islamic mysticism, including Persian epics and mythical gestures. Too soon interrupted, the vast project that he had begun during his years of study in Krakow and which he pursued in Paris and Tehran had as its main axis the uncovering of a unitary system that would underpin the evolution of a religious doctrine over the long term, an “Iranian continuity”.

The recent discovery of his Nachlass (IRHT and BULAC, Paris) provides us with the opportunity to take stock of his legacy and to try to highlight the originality of his approach and his contribution to the history of ideas and to the intellectual debate on the religions of Iran, by identifying both the achievements and the dead ends, the innovations and the extensions.

The present volume gathers the contributions on Zoroastrianism and Islamic mysticism, presented at the international study day entitled “Between Mazdeism and Islam”, dedicated to the work of Marijan Molé, which was held on 24 June 2016 in Paris.

Table of Contents

  • Chronologie de la vie de Marijan Molé (1924-1963)
  • Bibliographie de Marijan Molé
  • Gianroberto Scarcia: “Souvenir de Marijan Molé”
  • Anna Krasnowolska: “Marijan Molé’s Early Works and his Study of Persian Epics
  • Jean Kellens: “1956-1964: Le printemps des études gâthiques”
  • Philippe Swennen: “Marijan Molé à l’aube du nouveau comparatisme indo-iranien”
  • Shaul Shaked: “A Zoroastrian Anthropological Theology”
  • Antonio Panaino: “Le gētīg dans le mēnōg et le système chiliadique mazdéen selon la réflexion de Marijan Molé
  • Pierre lory: “Marijan Molé, ‘Azîz Nasafî et l’Homme Parfait”
  • Michel Tardieu: “Les Mystiques musulmans de Marijan Molé: contextes et enjeux”.
    • Appendice: Note brève sur le messalianisme
  • Florence Somer: “Marijan Molé et la «tradition jamaspienne»: le traité apocalyptique inédit des Aḥkām ī Jāmāsp”
  • Alexey Khismatulin: “Destiny of the Unpublished Works by Marijan Molé on the Naqshbandiya”.
    • Appendice: Description of “fonds Molé” (IRHT, Paris)
  • Appendice I: Marijan Molé: “Les origines de la geste sistanienne”
  • Appendice II: Correspondances
  • Appendice III: Description du fonds Marijan Molé (BULAC)
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Articles

Gayōmart and Adam

Panaino, Antonio. 2021. Gayōmart e Adamo. Simmetrie e Asimmetrie tra Zoroastrismo e mondo islamo-giudaico-cristiano. In Carlo Saccone (ed.), Adamo, il secondo Adamo, il nuovo Adamo (Quaderni di studi indo-mediterranei). Milano: Mimesis Edizioni.

The frequent and direct association between Gayōmart and Adam, well attested within the Arabo-Islamic literary tradition, hides a number of embarrassing ethnic and cultural problems emerging from the taboo of the incest and directly connected with the impending desire to accommodate the origin of humanity, as inevitably generated by a couple of siblings, within a moral covered scheme, and in spite of the totally different sexual ethics of the Mazdean tradition. In the framework of this operation, the comparison with the Zoroastrian customs, which emphasized the habit of the next-of-kin marriage, presented a serious problem of moral nature. Then, the necessary accommodation of the origin of humanity was given a special solution, in which the story of J̌im e J̌imāg or of Mašyā e Mašyāne had no particular weight, and were practically covered, while an isolated Gayōmart, devoid of any emphasis for the union with his own mother, was identified with Adam.

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Zoroastrians of Iran: A History of Transformation and Survival

Kestenberg Amighi, Jaenet. 2022. Zoroastrians of Iran: A History of Transformation and Survival. First. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers.

Zoroastrianism is both an ancient and still practiced religion. At its height it was the state religion of the Sasanian empire (224 to 651 AD) that ruled in the land of Persia. Arab conquest of the area destroyed that empire and a multitude eventually converted to Islam. Under Islamic rule Zoroastrians lived under severe restrictions, persecution while paying burdensome taxes. Many converted to Islam to escape these conditions and so Zoroastrian numbers dwindled. By 1850 no more than 8000 lived in their original homeland. Those who survived did see some periods of prosperity and eventually thrived under the secularizing rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925-41) and his son (1941-79) who promoted an Iranian nationalism that embraced the Zoroastrian heritage. The main challenge to Zoroastrian persistence was the increasing secularism of society. With the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran once again the nation’s Zoroastrians found themselves subject to myriad discriminations, even their touch deemed polluting. Islam permeated Iran to a degree not seen before. The present work offers a unique socio-political history of the challenges faced by the Zoroastrian community from the 19th to 21st centuries as they confronted and adapted to the dramatic changes before them. The author, Anthropologist Janet Kestenberg Amighi lived and researched among her Zoroastrian in-laws in Iran from 1971-1978 and subsequently visited post-revolutionary Iran several times. This work is based on scholarly research as well as over 120 interviews with Zoroastrians, amusing personal experiences and the knowledge and experiences of her collaborator Bahman Moradian, an Iranian Zoroastrian scholar and community activist. Their collaboration provides varied insights and analyses of the socio-cultural and political change we see happening over the decades. The diverse Zoroastrian community perspectives are well represented.

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Articles

Greek Historians, Persika and the Persian Empire

Thomas, Rosalind. 2022. Greek Historians, Persika and the Persian Empire (late 5th.c. – 4th.c.). In: Efi Papadodima (ed.), Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II, 119-138. Berlin: De Gruyter.

The chapter discusses the ways in which various Greek writers en-gaged with the complexities of the Persian Empire, especially Herodotus, Xenophon, Aristotle, and some fourth-century writers (fragmentary) of Persika. It examines the tension between Greek hostility towards Persia and the conventional stereotypes, and their need to understand more about the Empire in a new form of ethnography. New insights into the Persian Empire (and new evidence) encourage returning to the Greek writers afresh and examining them from different angles: the chapter argues that amidst the clichés, there was also a seriousness and urgency in the fourth century about trying to understand the Persian Empire and its monarchy.

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Articles

God is in the Detail

Henkelman, Wouter. F.M. 2022. God is in the Detail: The Divine Determinative and the Expression of Animacy in Elamite with an Appendix on the Achaemenid Calendar. In: Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum & Ingo Schrakamp (eds.), Transfer, Adaption und Neukonfiguration von Schrift- und Sprachwissen im Alten Orient (Episteme, 25), 405-477. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Instead of giving an abstract of the above-cited paper, a detailed table of its contents will follow:

1. Introduction

1.1. Of Aryan dictators and Elamite Tape Recorders

1.2. Iranian Elamite

2. Redefining the Divine?

3. Months as Divine or Numinous Beings

4. Semantic Animacy in Middle and Neo-Elamite

4.1. Semantic Animacy Expressed by Determinatives

4.2. Expression of Semantic Animacy by Primary Nominal Suffixes

4.3. Expression of Semantic Animacy by Animate Concord

4.4. Animacy in Elam: An Interim Summary

5. The Months of Achaemenid Pārsa

5.1. Cultural Preferences from Persepolis to the Fahliyān

5.2. Continuity and Change

5.3. The Importance of the Old Iranian Month Names

6. Appendix: the Achaemenid Calendar

6.1. A Multilingual Calendar

6.2. A Calendar for the Empire

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Books

Making Peace in the Ancient World

Lanfranchi, Giovanni B., Simonetta Ponchia and Robert Rollinger (eds.). 2022. Making Peace in the Ancient World: Proceedings of the 7th Melammu Workshop, Padova, 5–7 November 2018 (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 5). Münster: Zaphon.

Table of Contents

Giovanni B. Lanfranchi / Simonetta Ponchia / Robert Rollinger: Introduction

Antonio Daniele: Saluto dell’Accademia Galileiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Padova

I Key Note Lectures

Paolo Matthiae: The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq and the Perspective of a Rebirth

Marc Van De Mieroop: Making Peace in the Ancient Near East

Kurt A. Raaflaub: Making and Experiencing Peace in the Ancient World

II Ancient Near East and Egypt

Manfred Bietak: The Antagonism between Animosity and Peace-making in Ancient Egypt: Between Ideology and Practical Foreign Policy: An Extended Synopsis

Seth Richardson: Raiders, Neighbours, and Night-time: “Hybrid Peace” in Babylonia

Stefano de Martino: Making Peace in the Hittite Kingdom

Salvatore Gaspa: Making Peace in the Ancient Near East of the First Millennium BCE: The Case of the Assyrian Empire

Martti Nissinen: Peace and Peacemaking in the Hebrew Bible

Ann C. Gunter: Commemorating the End of Conflict in the Ancient Near East: Material Perspectives

Matthew Waters: Peace in Pieces: Making Peace in Elam

Josef Wiesehöfer: Peace and Views of Peace in Achaemenid Iran

III The Mediterranean Worlds and Beyond

Christoph Schäfer: Making Peace in the Hellenistic World

Wolfgang Spickermann: Problems of Making Peace in the Roman Republic: The Case of Appius Claudius Caecus and King Pyrrhus

Sven Günther: Frames of Making Peace and Treaties in the Roman Empire

Umberto Roberto: Making Peace with the Goths and the Burial of Athanaric in Constantinople (January 381): A Note on Jordanes, Getica 28, 142–145

Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Many Eyes of the World? Making Peace between Byzantium and Other Empires, 600–1200 CE

Index