Studies on Persian objects from Greece

Fleischmann, Kristina Esther. 2023. Die Faszination des Orientalischen. Studien zu persischen Objekten aus Griechenland und zum Einfluss der persischen auf die griechische Kultur 550–330 v. Chr. (AOAT 52). Münster: Ugarit.


Persian Cultures of Power

Canepa, Matthew P. (ed.). 2024. Persian cultures of power and the entanglement of the Afro-Eurasian world. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.

A cutting-edge analysis of 2,500 years of Persian visual, architectural, and material cultures of power and their role in connecting the world.

With the rise of the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE), Persian institutions of kingship became the model for legitimacy, authority, and prestige across three continents. Despite enormous upheavals, Iranian visual and political cultures connected an ever-wider swath of Afro-Eurasia over the next two millennia, exerting influence at key historical junctures. This book provides the first critical exploration of the role Persian cultures played in articulating the myriad ways power was expressed across Afro-Eurasia between the sixth century BCE and the nineteenth century CE.

Exploring topics such as royal cosmologies, fashion, banqueting, manuscript cultures, sacred landscapes, and inscriptions, the volume’s essays analyze the intellectual and political exchanges of art, architecture, ritual, and luxury material within and beyond the Persian world. They show how Perso-Iranian cultures offered neighbors and competitors raw material with which to formulate their own imperial aspirations. Unique among studies of Persia and Iran, this volume explores issues of change, renovation, and interconnectivity in these cultures over the longue durée.


Personal Names in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonia

Waerzeggers, Caroline & Melanie M. Groß (eds.). 2024. Personal names in cuneiform texts from Babylonia. An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Personal names provide fascinating testimony to Babylonia’s multi-ethnic society. This volume offers a practical introduction to the repertoire of personal names recorded in cuneiform texts from Babylonia in the first millennium BCE. In this period, individuals moved freely as well as involuntarily across the ancient Middle East, leaving traces of their presence in the archives of institutions and private persons in southern Mesopotamia. The multilingual nature of this name material poses challenges for students and researchers who want to access these data as part of their exploration of the social history of the region in the period. This volume offers guidelines and tools that will help readers navigate this difficult material. The title is also available Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Online resources

New issue of Indiran

The latest issue of Indiran, the newsletter of the Ancient India & Iran Trust, is now online.

Established in 1978, the Ancient India & Iran Trust occupies a unique position as an independent charity concerned with the study of early South Asia, Iran and Central Asia, promoting both scholarly research and popular interest in the area.

From About Us

An archive of past issues of Indiran, is available here.


Happy New Year

We wish all readers of BiblioIranica a happy new year. May you experience joy and happiness in 2024. And if you do, consider yourself lucky and privileged!

In 2023, our social media activities entered an age of confusion and darkness when Twitter/X and Jetpack decided that collaboration wasn’t part of their cosmic alignment. As if that was not enough, Jetpack started to charge for the ‘sharing’ feature. The one thing social media are supposed to foster, ended: collaboration. No hard feelings. I expected a social media meltdown, which is why we have always maintained the website as the main source. We anticipate a reduction in traffic to BiblioIranica in 2024, but hope that our readers will subscribe to our e-mail service and visit the site even if we no longer post on Twitter/X. We need your love and support.
Let us look at some statistics for 2023:

  • We made 115 announcements
  • We had 55,634 views across the site
  • These were generated by 35,843 unique visitors
  • We were most popular in USA, Germany and India
  • On 7 November 2013, we silently celebrated 10 years of posting on in the service of Iranian Studies. There will be another occasion to celebrate with our followers, when the website of BiblioIranica becomes 10.

This post is by me, Arash. I would like to think that I am speaking on behalf of my friends Shervin and Yazdan, without whose support we would have not made it this far.


A scribal school of forgers

Fattori, Marco. 2022. A scribal school of forgers in “Hamadān”. Rivista degli Studi Orientali XCV(3). 27–44.

In this article it is argued that the Old Persian inscriptions labelled AmH, AsH, D2Ha, D2Hb, A2Hc and A1I are all modern forgeries, whose production was inspired by the discovery of the genuine inscription DHa, published in 1926. First, an overview of the known information concerning the alleged finding of these objects is offered, pointing out that all the previous attempts to provide a historically plausible reconstruction of their original location and function are unconvincing or selfcontradictory. Subsequently, it is shown that all these inscriptions share some palaeographic features which are otherwise unattested in the corpus of authentic Old Persian inscriptions. Instead, these features only appear in some modern manuals available to the public in the years when these objects were reportedly found, which constitutes crucial evidence against their authenticity.

The original publication can be accessed via this DOI.


The making of Syriac Jerusalem & Soul and body diseases

Two books that have been published in 2023 and will be of interest to the readers of our site:

Popa, Catalin-Stefan. 2023. The making of Syriac Jerusalem: Representations of the Holy City in Syriac literature of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Routledge Studies in the Early Christian World). London and New York: Routledge.

This book discusses hagiographic, historiographical, hymnological, and theological sources that contributed to the formation of the sacred picture of the physical as well as metaphysical Jerusalem in the literature of two Eastern Christian denominations, East and West Syrians.

Popa, Catalin-Stefan (ed.). 2023. Soul and body diseases, remedies and healing in Middle Eastern religious cultures and traditions (Studies on the Children of Abraham 10) Leiden: Brill.

Aiming to develop a less studied literary genre, this book provides a well-rounded picture of spiritual and physical diseases and their remedies as they were ingrained in the imagination and practices of Middle Eastern Abrahamic cultures, with a special emphasis of Christian communities (Greeks/Byzantines, Syrians, Armenians, Georgians, Ethiopians). The volume traces traditions dealing with the onset of a disease in the body and soul, the search for remedy, the maintenance of healing, and the engagement of these processes with faith—either through their affirmation in the public sphere or remaining within the personal framework, as in monastic traditions. A recurring presence in religious literature and the history of the intellectual world, the confrontation between disease and healing may well still be current for our modern understanding of the paths to seeking and maintaining the health of one’s body and soul, without excluding the factor of faith as a core principle.


A new Middle Persian document from Hastijan

Asefi, Nima. 2023. A new Middle Persian document from Hastijan belonging to the Farroxzād family. Berkeley Working Papers in Middle Iranian Philology 1(3), 1–14.

This study publishes a first edition of a newly-discovered Middle Persian document located in a private collection but stemming from the area of Hastijan, Iran. It is related to the ‘Pahlavi Archive’, the majority of which is held in the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, and the contents concern the family of a certain Farroxzād, mentioned in several other documents in the archive.


Sasanian Studies 2

Farridnejad, Shervin & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2023. Sasanian studies: Late antique Iranian world | Sasanidische Studien: Spätantike iranische Welt. Vol. 2. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Sasanian Studies: Late Antique Iranian World is a refereed journal that publishes papers on any aspect of the Sasanian Empire and ist neighboring late antiquity civilizations. The journal welcomes essays on archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history, numismatics, religion and any other disciplines which focuse on the Sasanian world. This annual publication focuses especially on recent discoveries in the field, historiographical studies, as well as editions and translations of texts and inscriptions. We aim to facilitate dialogue and contact among scholars of Sasanian Studies around the world. The journal will publish papers mainly in English, but also in German, French, Italian and may also consider Persian and Arabic.

From the contents:
  • Nima Asefi, Āzādmard in the Pahlavi Archive of Hastijan
  • Iris Colditz, Landesrecht vs. lokales Recht? Fragen an das sasanidische Rechtsbuch Hazār dādestān
  • Götz König, Zur Bedeutung der Sternenlehre in den Rezensionen des Bundahišn und für deren historische Beurteilung
  • Katarzyna Maksymiuk, The Titles of the (h)argbed, the artēštārān sālār and the spāhbed in the Iranian and Non-Iranian Sources
  • Daniel T. Potts, A Contribution to the Location of the Late Antique Settlements Known as Rēw-Ardašīr or Rēšahr
  • Robert Rollinger & Josef Wiesehöfer, Emperor Valerian and Ilu-bi’dī of Hamath. Persian Cruelty, and the Persistence of Ancient Near Eastern Traditions
  • Dieter Weber, Cooking in 7th Century Iran

The full table of contents is available from the website.


Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana

Fattori, Marco. 2023. Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana. Textual Observations on some Achaemenid Inscriptions from Susa. Arta 2023.003.

This article presents some new philological observations on three Achaemenid texts from Susa (DSe, DSi, A2Se) based on a new inspection of the inscriptions. These include the edition of previously unpublished fragments and the attribution of previously misplaced fragments to the texts under examination. For each inscription, a brief epigraphic, philological and linguistic commentary is provided.