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.

Table of Contents:

  • Front Matter
  • Preliminary Material
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication
  • Motto
  • Foreword (Author: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald)
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Introduction (Authors: Michele Bianconi and Marta Capano)
  • Chapter 1 Divine Witnesses in Greece and Anatolia: Iliad 3.276–280 between Contact, Variation, and Reconstruction (Author: Michele Bianconi)
  • Chapter 2 Achaemenid Elamite and Old Persian Indefinites: A Comparative View (Author: Juan E. Briceño Villalobos)
  • Chapter 3 Phenomena of Spirantization and Language Contact in Greek Sicilian Inscriptions: The Case of ΤΡΙΑΙΝΤΑ (Author: Marta Capano)
  • Chapter 4 Egyptian Greek: A Contact Variety Author: Sonja Dahlgren Chapter 5 Substrate Matters (Author: Franco Fanciullo)
  • Chapter 6 Natural Language Use and Bilingual Interference: Verbal Complementation Patterns in Post-Classical Greek (Author: Victoria Fendel)
  • Chapter 7 Where Does Dionysus Ὕης Come From? (Author: Laura Massetti)
  • Chapter 8 Alignment Change and Changing Alignments: Armenian Syntax and the First ‘Death’ of Parthian (Author: Robin Meyer)
  • Chapter 9 Rewriting the Law: Diachronic Variation and Register in Greek and Hittite Legal Language (Author: Katharine Shields)
  • Chapter 10 Lexical Variation in Young Avestan: the Problem of the ‘Ahuric’ and ‘Daevic’ Vocabularies Revisited (Author: Elizabeth Tucker)
  • Chapter 11 Greek ἄγυρις ‘gathering’ between Dialectology and Indo-European Reconstruction (Author: Roberto Batisti)
  • Chapter 12 Here’s to a Long Life! Albanian Reflections of Proto-Indo-European Semantics (Author: Brian D. Joseph)
  • Back Matter
  • Index

A Companion to Procopius of Caesarea

Meier, Mischa & Federico Montinaro (eds.). 2021. A companion to Procopius of Caesarea (Brill’s Companions to the Byzantine World 11). Leiden: Brill.

This volume offers an extensive introduction to 6th-century Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea, widely regarded as one of the last great historians of Antiquity. Procopius’ monumental oeuvre is our main contemporary source for an array of highly significant historical developments during the reign of Justinian I (527-565), ranging from warfare with Persia in the East and the reconquest of large parts of the Western Empire from the Goths and Vandals to aspects of social and economic history.

From the publisher website

Henning Börm has made the uncorrected proof of his article, Procopius and the East, available.


The fall of Babylon

Joannès, Francis. 2022. La chute de Babylone: 12 octobre 539 avant notre ere. Paris: Fallandier.

Le 12 octobre 539 avant notre ère, l’antique et splendide ville de Babylone tombe aux mains du roi perse Cyrus le Grand en à peine une nuit. Capitale déchue d’un empire qui s’étendait des rives de l’Euphrate à la Méditerranée et des monts du Taurus aux confins de l’Arabie, Babylone va devenir une cité de second rang pour le restant de son histoire.

Le nom et la localisation de Babylone, cité vieille de 4 000 ans, sont universellement connus. Mais qu’en est-il des événements souvent dramatiques qui jalonnent son histoire ? Sait-on que son magnifique empire n’était qu’un colosse aux pieds d’argile ? Et que le roi Nabonide, dernier souverain du pays « entre les fleuves », s’est révélé l’antithèse de son prédécesseur, le grand Nabuchodonosor ? Usurpateur, conquérant perdu dans les sables de l’Arabie, partisan du dieu de la Lune au détriment de Bêl-Marduk, le roi des dieux, chef du panthéon babylonien, Nabonide n’a sans doute pas bénéficié du soutien inconditionnel de ses sujets.

Francis Joannès, spécialiste de l’histoire de la Mésopotamie antique, mène l’enquête pour dénouer les fils de l’effondrement soudain de Babylone. Ce faisant, il nous décrit toute une civilisation, sa géographie, sa société et sa culture. Il fait revivre le roi Nabonide lui-même, tout comme ses sujets, notables urbains, hommes d’affaires, esclaves domestiques ou simples travailleurs au service des grands temples.


Alexander III between east and west

Degen, Julian. 2022. Alexander III. zwischen Ost und West: Indigene Traditionen und Herrschaftsinszenierung im makedonischen Weltimperium (Oriens et Occidens 39). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.

Die Faszination an Alexander III. (dem Großen) ist nach wie vor ungebrochen, obwohl mittlerweile zahlreiche biographische Darstellungen vorliegen. Ein kaum berücksichtigter Aspekt seiner Herrschaft ist das von ihm geschaffene Imperium, das sich über Makedonien, Griechenland und einen Großteil des Achaimenidenreichs erstreckte. Um das größte Imperium seiner Zeit zu schaffen, musste Alexander nicht nur auf dem Schlachtfeld erfolgreich sein, sondern sich gegenüber lokalen Vorstellungen von legitimer Herrschaft positionieren.

Julian Degen analysiert ein vielschichtiges und heterogenes Quellencorpus, das nicht nur aus der griechisch-römischen Alexanderhistoriographie besteht, sondern auch griechische Inschriften und altorientalische Texte umfasst. Durch die Einordnung dieser bislang vernachlässigten Quellen in den größeren Kontext des Imperiumsdiskurses des ersten vorchristlichen Jahrtausends kann Degen die teilweise nur schwer verständlichen Handlungen und Praktiken Alexanders vor neuen Hintergründen interpretieren. So betrachtet er Alexander nicht mehr als historisches “Einzelphänomen”, sondern stellt seine Herrschaft in den großen Zusammenhang imperialer Herrschaft, die durch ihn wesentlich dynamisiert und transformiert wurde.


Elephantine Revisited

Folmer, Margaretha (ed.). 2022. Elephantine revisited: New insights into the Judean community and its neighbors. Pennsylvania: Eisenbrauns.

The Judean community at Elephantine has long fascinated historians of the Persian period. This book, with its stellar assemblage of important scholarly voices, provides substantive new insights and approaches that will advance the study of this well-known but not entirely understood community from fifth-century BCE Egypt.

Since Bezalel Porten’s pioneering Archives from Elephantine, published in 1968, the discourse on the subject of the community of Elephantine during the Persian period has changed considerably, due to new data from excavations, the discovery and publication of previously unknown texts, and original scholarly insights and avenues of inquiry. Running the gamut from archaeological to linguistic investigations and encompassing legal, literary, religious, and other aspects of life in this Judean community, this volume stands at a crossroads of research that extends from Hebrew Bible studies to the history of early Jewish communities. It also features fourteen new Aramaic ostraca from Aswan. The volume will appeal to students and scholars of the Hebrew Bible and ancient Judaism, as well as to a wider audience of Egyptologists, Semitists, and specialists in ancient Near Eastern studies.


Iranica Antiqua, Volume 56

The table of contents of the latest issue (56) of the journal Iranica Antiqua:

  • RENETTE, Steve, KHAYANI, Ali, LEVINE, Louis D.: Chogha Maran. A Local Center of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age in the Central Zagros
  • YEGANEH JAMSHIDI, Sepideh: Correlation of Sealings and Content on Proto-Elamite Tablets. Four Unpublished Sealings in the National Museum of Iran
  • BRITE, Elizabeth Baker: Khorezm’s Dark Age in the 3rd to 6th Centuries CE
  • FATTAHI, Morteza, SHARIFI, Mahnaz: OSL Dating of Submerged Ancient Jareh Bridge-Dam (South-West of Iran)
  • YOUSOFVAND, Younos, NEISTANI, Javad: The Cobblestone Road of Mirorah. Evidence from the Late Sassanid and Early Islamic Centuries’ Road-Building in Western Iran (Luristān Province)
  • ASKARPOUR, Vahid, KHALILI, Mohaddese, MOTTAGHI, Neshat, SANGARI, Esmaeil, MOGHADDAS, Amirhossein: Bull Sacrifice at Esfanjān, a Case of Ritual Syncretism


Iranian Studies (vol. 55, issue 1)

Vol. 55 (2022), issue 1, of Iranian Studies has now been published.

This is the journal’s inaugural issue published by the Cambridge University Press. Some or all of the articles were previously hosted at Taylor & Francis.


Studies on the History of the Achaimenids

Wiesehöfer, Josef. 2022. Iran – Zentralasien – Mittelmeer Gesammelte Schriften, Teil I: Studien zur Geschichte der Achaimeniden. (Philippika – Altertumswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen). (Ed.) Robert Rollinger & Kai Ruffing. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Josef Wiesehöfer is one of the leading German-speaking historians of ancient history and is a world-renowned scholar, who has made outstanding achievements in his fields of research. In keeping with the diversity of his research interests, especially in the field of Iran and the Iranian Great Empires as well as the history of scholarship of the field, four thematically volumes of his “Kleine Schriften” are planned. These Kleine Schriften are intended to provide an insight into his scholarly work and contain a selection of the 250 scholarly articles Wiesehöfer has published to date in over 45 years of research.

Volume 1, edited by Robert Rollinger and Kai Ruffing, focuses on the history of the Achaimenid Empire and brings together 14 essays, some of which were published in more remote places. The contributions are indexed and Josef Wiesehöfer himself has added a short commentary on the progress of research. The following volumes will be devoted to Hellenism and the Arsacids, the Sasanian and finally the history of scholarship of the field.

Books Journal

Sometimes Sasanian, Always Ēr

Gyselen, Rika (ed.). 2022. Sometimes Sasanian, Always Ēr (Res Orientales 29). Bures-sur-Yvette: Groupe pour l’Étude de la Civilisation du Moyen-Orient.

Volume 29 of the Res Orientales, edited by Rika Gyselen is now published. The preface to this volume is available online here.

Table of Contents:

Rika Gyselen: “Un objet insolite avec une inscription moyen-perse”

Mateusz M. P. Klagisz: “Bābāye Dehqān in Central Asian ethnography , and the literary and iconographic motif of the ploughman with two oxen in Sasanian times”

Yousef Moradi an d Almut Hintze: “The main administrative seal of the sanctuary of A.dur Gusnasp and some other sealings from Takt-e Solayman”

L’archive du Tabarestan (VIII° siècle de notre ère)

Dieter Weber: “Pahlavi Legal Documents from Tabarestan: The Documents Tab.16, 19, 20, 22bis and 25: A Philological Approach”

Maria Macuch: “Pahlavi Legal Docun1ents from Tabarestan: The Juristic Context of Tab.16, 19, 20, 22bis and 25”

Maria Macuch: “Pahlavi Legal Documents from Tabarestan: The Juristic Context of Tab.12 and 26”


Empires to be remembered

Gehler, Michael & Robert Rollinger (eds.). 2022. Empires to be remembered. Ancient Worlds through Modern Times. Wiesbaden: Springer.

By applying a comparative approach the volume focuses on a select group of „empires“ which are generally not in the focus of empires studies. They are studied in detail and analyzed due to a strict concept that takes into account real history and reception history as well. Reception history becomes more and more an important element in empire studies although this topic is still often more or less underdeveloped. The volume singles out a series of such “forgotten empires”. It aims to provide a methodologically clearly structured as well as a uniform and consistent approach. It develops a general set of questions that help to compare and distinguish these entities. This way the volume intends to examine and to illuminate empires that are generally ignored by modern scholarship.