Tag Archives: Ancient Iran

Cross-Cultural Communication in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, and Western and South Asia

Canepa, Matthew P. 2017. “Cross-Cultural Communication in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, and Western and South Asia,” In Richard J. A. Talbert & Fred S. Naiden (eds.), Mercury’s Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World, 249-272, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This chapter explores the dynamics of cross-cultural communication, primarily among the kingdoms and empires of Western and South Asia after Alexander the Great. This period witnessed the rise, conflict, coexistence and fall of a succession of cross-continental empires, including that of the Seleucids (312-64 BCE) and Mauryas (321-185), as well as powerful regional powers with larger ambitions such as the Ptolemies of Egypt, the Diodotids and Euthymids of Bactria (ca. 25o–ca. 145), Sungas (185-73), and a variety of Indo-Greek kingdoms (ca. 185 BCE–ca. 10 CE). Several new Iranian-speaking elites, including the Parni, Saka, and Yuezhi, descended from the Central Asian steppes and eventually formed the Arsacid, Indo-Scythian, and Kusana empires, respectively. These Macedonian, Indian, and Iranian powers engendered an intensive period of diplomatic interaction and cultural exchange. While this chapter focuses first on peer-polity diplomatic communication, it also explores the relationship between direct, intentional communicative acts and the wider contexts of cross-cultural interaction in which they took place and to which they often contributed.

India and Iran in the Longue Durée

Patel, Alka & Touraj Daryaee (eds.). 2017. India and Iran in the Longue Durée. UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

This book is the result of a conference held at the University of California, Irvine, covering the contacts between Iran and India from antiquity to the modern period. The papers include historical, archeological and artistic aspects and influences between the two civiluzations.

Table of Contents:

  • Alka Patel & Touraj Daryaee: India and Iran in the Longue Durée
  • Osmund Bopearachchi: Achaemenids and Mauryans: Emergence of Coins and Plastic Arts in India
  • Grant Parker: Nested Histories:Alexander in Iran and India
  • Touraj Daryaee & Soodabeh Malekzadeh: The White Elephant: Notions of Kingship and Zoroastrian Demonology
  • Frantz Grenet: In Search of Missing Links: Iranian Royal Protocol from the Achaemenids to the Mughals
  • Ali Anooshahr: The Shaykh and the Shah: On the Five levels of Muhammad Ghaws Gwaliori
  • Sudipta Sen: Historian as Witness: Ghulam Husain Tabatabi and the Dawning of British Rule in India
  • Afshin Marashi: Parsi Textual Philianthropy: Print Commerce and the Revival of Zoroastrianism in Early 20th-Century Iran
  • Alka Patel: Text as Nationalist Object: Modern Persian-Language Historiography on the Ghurids (c. 1150-1215)

Issue seven of Anabasis

Issue seven of “Anabasis“, edited by Marek Jan Olbrycht is out now. Several papers and reviews of this issue are related to ancient Iran:

  •  Marek Jan Olbrycht: The Sacral Kingship of the Early Arsacids I. Fire Cult and Kingly Glory
  • Nikolaus L. Overtoom: The Rivalry of Rome and Parthia in the Sources from the Augustan Age to Late Antiquity
  • Martin Schottky: Vorarbeiten zu einer Königsliste Kaukasisch-Iberiens. 5. Im Schatten Schapurs II
  • Xiaoyan Qi: Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre, Empire, Authority, and Autonomy in Achaemenid Anatolia, Cam-bridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • Jeffrey D. Lerner: Robert Rollinger, Alexander und die großen Ströme. Die Flussüberquerungen im Lichte altorientalischer Pioniertechniken (Schwimmschläuche, Keleks und Pontonbrücken), Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 2013
  • Erich Kettenhofen: Rabbo l‘olmyn «Maître pour l‘Éternité». Florilège offert à Philippe Gignoux pour son 80e anniversaire. Textes réunis par Rika Gyselen et Christelle Jullien, Paris: Association pour l’avancement des Études Iraniennes, 2011

Persianism in Antiquity

Strootman, Rolf & Miguel John Versluys (eds.). 2017. Persianism in antiquity (Oriens et Occidens 25). Franz Steiner Verlag.

The socio-political and cultural memory of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire played a very important role in Antiquity and later ages. This book is the first to systematically chart these multiform ideas and associations over time and to define them in relation to one another, as Persianism. Hellenistic kings, Parthian monarchs, Romans and Sasanians: they all made a lot of meaning through the evolving concept of “Persia”, as the twenty-one papers in this rich volume illustrate at length.
Persianism underlies the notion of an East-West dichotomy that still pervades modern political rhetoric. In Antiquity and beyond, however, it also functioned in rather different ways, sometimes even as an alternative to Hellenism.

For the contributions, see the Table of Contents. The introductory essay to Persianism in Antiquity, entitled From culture to concept: The reception and appropriation of Persia in antiquity, is available through Rolf Strootman’s Academia page.

Source: Persianism in antiquity | Franz Steiner Verlag

Imagining the Ancients in the Iranian Popularization of Pre-Islamic History

Rezakhani, Khodadad. 2016. The present in the mind’s past: Imagining the ancients in the Iranian popularization of pre-Islamic history. In Sonja Brentjes, Taner Edis & Lutz Richter-Bernburg (eds.), 1001 distortions. How (not) to narrate history of science, medicine, and technology in non-Western cultures (Bibliotheca Academica – Reihe Orientalistik 25) 97–106. Herausgeber: Würzburg: Ergon.

 

Disability in Ancient Persia

Coloru, Omar. 2017. Ancient Persia and silent disability. In Christian Laes (ed.), Disability in antiquity, 61–74. London: Routledge.

Did disability ever exist in ancient Persia? This provocative question is justified by the scarcity of the documentary evidence the historians face when dealing with the pre-Islamic societies of the Iranian world. As a matter of fact, the tradition of theses populations have always been pre-eminently oral. The rock inscription of Darius I at Behistun, which represents the first text written in the Old Persian language, was only composed in the 6th century BCE, when the nearby Mesopotamian world could boast a diverse textual tradition dating back three millennia. […] Given the nature of the evidence, it is easy to feel discouraged about the possibility of having a clear and definite picture of the condition of the disabled in the Persian world. Nevertheless, we can try to explore the issue by surveying the available documents and comparing and contrasting them with external evidence from the classical world.

Omar Coloru, is an associate member of the laboratory ArScAN HAROC (Nanterre). His main research interests include Hellenistic history, history of Iran and pre-Islamic Central Asia, and the relations between the Greco-Roman and the Iranian worlds.

Zoroastrianism in the Levant

Abouzayd, Shafiq (ed.). 2014. Zoroastrianism in the Levant: Proceedings of conferences held in 2010 & 2012. ARAM 26(1).

Table of contents:

Patricia Crone: “Pre-existence in Iran: “Zoroastrians, ex-Christians Mu‘tazilites, and Jews on the human acquisition of bodies”

Oktor Skjærvø & Yaakov Elman: “Concepts of pollution in late Sasanian Iran. Does pollution need stairs, and dose it fill space?”

Maria Macuch: “The case against Mār Abā, the Catholicos, in the light of Sasanian law”

Sara Kuehn: “The dragon fighter: The influence of Zoroastrian ideas on Judaeo-Christian and Islamic iconography”

Geoffrey Herman: “Like a slave before his master: A Persian gesture of deference in Sasanian, Jewish, and Christian sources”

Michał Gawlikowski: “Zoroastrian echoes in the Mithraeum at Hawarte, Syria”

Vicente Dobroruka: “Zoroastrian apocalyptic and Hellenistic political propaganda”

Dan D.Y. Shapira: “Pahlavi Fire, Bundahishn 18”

Matteo Compareti: “The representation of Zoroastrian divinities in late Sasanian art and their description according to Avestan literature”

Bahman Moradian: “The day of Mihr, the month of Mihr and the ceremony of Mihrized in Yazd”

Ezio Albrile: “Hypnotica Iranica: Zoroastrian ecstasy in the West”

Andrew D. Magnusson: “On the origins of the prophet Muhammad’s charter to the family of Salman Al-Farisi”

Predrag Bukovec: “The soul’s judgement in Mandaeism: Iranian influences on Mandaean afterlife”

Daphna Arbel: “On human’s elevation, hubris, and fall from glory. Traditions of Yima/Jamshid and Enochmetatron – an indirect cultural dialogue?”

Vicente Dobroruka: “The order of metals in Daniel 2 and in Persian apocalyptic”

Myriam Wissa: “Pre-Islamic topos in Dhu’l-Nūn Al-Misrī’s teaching: A re-assessment of the Egyptian roots of the knowledge of the name of god and their interaction with Zoroastrianism in the Achaemenid period ”

David H. Sick: “The choice of Xerxes: A Zoroastrian interpretation of Herodotus 7.12-18”

Seleukid Royal Women

Seleukid Royal Women is introduced by our guest contributor Khodadad Rezakhani, a Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Iranian Studies, Free University of Berlin.

Coskun, Altay & Alex McAuley (eds.). 2016. Seleukid royal women: Creation, representation and distortion of Hellenistic queenship in the Seleukid Empire (Historia, Einzelschriften 240). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

Khodadad writes:

‘The study of any period of ancient history of Iran away from political history is a welcomed change in scholarship. The arrival of this volume, edited by two of the most prominent scholars of the Hellenistic period and in a framing that embraces the multi-cultural nature of the Seleukid kingship is a most exciting development that needs to be celebrated. It should also be considered as a blue-print for future studies of similar calibre and scope in other periods of the history of the region. Hopefully, the proliferation of such studies would bring the history of “in-between” (to quote the prologue) more to the attention of the general audiences, as well as the scholars, of the ancient world. Perhaps the volume could have benefited from more in-depth studies of the majority of the (non-Greek speaking) areas of the Seleukid domains, a lacuna which is perhaps more a fault of the experts of these non-Greek speaking in-betweens than the erudite editors of the volume’.

Continue reading Seleukid Royal Women

Iranian Studies in Honor of Pierre Lecoq

Achaemenid Royal Archers, Coloured glazed terracotta brick panels, Susa, around 510 BC © Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Achaemenid Royal Archers, Coloured glazed terracotta brick panels, Susa, around 510 BC © Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Redard, Céline (ed.). 2016. Des contrées avestiques à Mahabad, via Bisotun. Etudes offertes en hommage à Pierre Lecoq. (Civilisations Du Proche-Orient Série III. Religion et Culture 2). Paris: Recherches et Publications.

This  volume is dedicated to Pierre Lecoq, one of the prolific and renowned scholars of Ancient Iranian and Orietal Studies. The book consists of seventeen papers written by some of the foremost scholars in the field of Iranian Studies, essentially concerned with different aspects of Ancient Iranian Art, Archaeology, History, Numismatics and Religion, reflecting Pierre Lecoq’s scholarly interests.
Table of Contents:
  • Bibliographie de Pierre Lecoq
  • Gilbert Lazard:  “Pour saluer Pierre Lecoq”
  • Rudiger Schmitt: “Zur altpersischen Grammatik und Inschriftenkunde”
  • Adriano V. Rossi: “Considérations sur le § 14 de DB et sur Āyadana-/ANzí-ia-an ANna-ap-pan-na É.˹MEŠ˺ šá DINGIR.MEŠ
  • Ela Filippone: “Goat-Skins, Horses and Camels: How did Darius’
    Army Cross the Tigris?”
  • Rémy Boucharlat: “À propos de parayadām et paradis perse : perpléxité de l’archéologue et perspectives”
  • Margaret Cool Root: “Tales of Translation: Leroy Waterman, Biblical Studies, and an Achaemenid Royal-Name Alabastron from Seleucia”
  • Jan Tavernier: “À propos de quelques noms iraniens dans les
    inscriptions lyciennes”
  • Georges-Jean Pinault: “Ariyāramna, the Pious Lord”
  • Jean Haudry: “Le rejeton des eaux”
  • Philippe Swennen: “Le Yasna Haptaŋhāiti entre deux existences”
  • Jean Kellens: “Stratégies du Mihr Yašt
  • Antonio Panaino: “Later Avestan maɣauua– (?) and the (Mis)Adventures of a ‘Pseudo-Ascetic’”
  • Céline Redard: “Le fragment Westergaard 10”
  • Enrico Raffaelli: “The Amǝša Spǝṇtas and Their Helpers: The
    Zoroastrian ham-kārs”
  • Rika Gyselen: “Noeud d’Héraclès, noeuds lunaires et sceaux
    sassanides”
  • Agnès Lenepveu-Hotz: “L’emploi de mar … rā chez Firdausī: simple raison métrique ou cause linguistique?”
  • Halkawt Hakem: “Kurdistān, Le journal de la République de Mahabad (1946)”
About the Editor:
Céline Redard (PhD 2010) is a scholor of Ancient Iranian Languages and a Research Assistant at the Université de Liège, Département des Sciences de l’Antiquité, Langues et religions du monde indo-iranien ancien.

Les origines du dualisme mazdéen

Kellens, Jean. 2015. Les origines du dualisme mazdéen. In Jourdan Fabienne  & Anca Vasiliu (eds.), Dualismes: Doctrines religieuses et traditions philosophiques (χώρα Hors-série/2015), 21–29.

The discussions about the origin of mazdean dualism are concentrated upon the interpretation of the Gathic stanza Y30.3 which opposes two mental powers called mainiiu and usually translated by «spirit». The divergence of the understandings led to a controversy on the nature of this dualistic opposition : is it philosophical, cosmic or religious? Do these various distinctions remain relevant now we know that this stanza is not a piece of a sermon, but of a liturgical recitative?