‘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’.
The Persian Empire in English Renaissance Writing, 1549-1622 studies the conception of Persia in the literary, political and pedagogic writings of Renaissance England and Britain. It argues that writers of all kinds debated the means and merits of English empire through their intellectual engagement with the ancient Persian empire. It studies the reception of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and the Histories of Herodotus, the bedrock of English conceptions of Persia and the Persian empire, in plays, poetry and political thought. Covering the period from the beginnings of Anglo-Persian relations under the auspices of the Muscovy Company in the 1560s and 1570s to the first Anglo-Persian military alliance in 1622, it traces the changing conception and uses of Persia – both Islamic and ancient – in the English literary and political imaginary, and demonstrates the contemporary uses of an idealized image of Persia rooted in the classical legacy.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Reading Persia in Renaissance England
Classical Persia: Making Kings and Empires
Romance Persia: ‘Nourse of Pompous Pride’
Staging Persia: ‘To ride in triumph through Persepolis’
Sherley Persia: ‘Agible things’
About the Author:
Jane Grogan is a Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, Ireland.
Arabs and Empires before Islam collates nearly 250 translated extracts from an extensive array of ancient sources which, from a variety of different perspectives, illuminate the history of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam. Drawn from a broad period between the eighth century BC and the Middle Ages, the sources include texts written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Persian, and Arabic, inscriptions in a variety of languages and alphabets, and discussions of archaeological sites from across the Near East. More than 20 international experts from the fields of archaeology, classics and ancient history, linguistics and philology, epigraphy, and art history, provide detailed commentary and analysis on this diverse selection of material.
About the author: Greg Fisher is Associate Professor in the College of the Humanities and the Department of History at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Dabrowa, Edward. 2014. The Arsacids: Gods or Godlike Creatures?. In Tommaso Gnoli and Federicomaria Muccioli (eds.), Divinizzazione, culto del sovrano e apoteosi Tra Antichità e Medioevo, Bononia University Press, 149-159.
Edward Dabrowa is a Polish historian, Professor who graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Jagiellonian University in 1972 and received the title of professor 1994. He is Currently head of the Department of Ancient History and the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Faculty of History at the Jagiellonian University
Ancient Persia in Western History is a measured rejoinder to the dominant narrative that considers the Graeco-Persian Wars to be merely the first round of an oft-repeated battle between the despotic ‘East’ and the broadly enlightened ‘West’. Sasan Samiei analyses the historiography which has skewed our understanding of this crucial era – contrasting the work of Edward Gibbon and Goethe, which venerated Classicism and Hellenistic history, with later writers such as John Linton Myres. Finally, Samiei explores the cross-cultural encounters which constituted the Achaemenid period itself, and repositions it as essential to the history of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Pasargadae is the location of the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Through the ages it was Islamised and the tomb was ascribed to the Mother of Solomon. It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that archaeological evidence demonstrated the relationship between the site and Cyrus and it was appropriated into conflicting political discourses on nationalism and Islamism while concurrently acknowledged as a national and then a World Heritages site. However, Pasargadae is neither an isolated World Heritage site, nor purely a symbol of abstract state politics. Pasargadae and its immediate vicinity constitute a living landscape occupied by villagers, nomads and tourists.This edited volume presents for the first time a broad, multi-disciplinary examination of Pasargadae by experts from both outside and within Iran. It specifically focuses on those disciplines that are absent from existing studies, such as ethnography, tourism and museum studies providing valuable insights into this fascinating place. In its totality, the book argues that to understand World Heritage sites and their problems fully, a holistic approach should be adopted, which considers the manifold of perspectives and issues. It also puts forward a novel approach to the question of heritage, representation and construction of collective identity from the framework of place.
Xerxes, Great King of the Persian Empire from 486–465 B.C., has gone down in history as an angry tyrant full of insane ambition. The stand of Leonidas and the 300 against his army at Thermopylae is a byword for courage, while the failure of Xerxes’ expedition has overshadowed all the other achievements of his twenty-two-year reign.In this lively and comprehensive new biography, Richard Stoneman shows how Xerxes, despite sympathetic treatment by the contemporary Greek writers Aeschylus and Herodotus, had his reputation destroyed by later Greek writers and by the propaganda of Alexander the Great. Stoneman draws on the latest research in Achaemenid studies and archaeology to present the ruler from the Persian perspective. This illuminating volume does not whitewash Xerxes’ failings but sets against them such triumphs as the architectural splendor of Persepolis and a consideration of Xerxes’ religious commitments. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of a man who ruled a vast and multicultural empire which the Greek communities of the West saw as the antithesis of their own values.
About the author: Richard Stoneman is Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Exeter, and the author of numerous books. He lives in Devon, UK.
International workshop organized by project C03 “Interaction and Change in Oriental Legal Systems. The Transfer of Normative Knowledge as Exemplified by Zoroastrian and Islamic Law (Seventh to Eleventh Centuries)” (Head: M. Macuch)
Legal systems are characterized by sophisticated technical languages that make use of a multitude of juridical terms to describe mostly complex circumstances. Whereas legal terms on the one hand have a stabilizing function and serve the jurists for the categorization and evaluation of cases – what is especially true for the tradition-oriented systems of the Late Antiquity like the Roman-Byzantine, Zoroastrian, Islamic, Jewish or Christian canonical laws – they show on the other hand constant changes in their historical development with regard to content and meaning. Besides such endogenous factors in the change of meaning, also exogenous sources as the adoption of a term from an alien law system and its recontextualization are conceivable. In both cases it results in intended or unintended shifts of meaning that may have an impact on other terms or elements of the system, depending on the relevance of the term. It is in particular this modification of Late Antique legal systems caused by changes of legal terms that is subject of the workshop. It targets on an exemplary more detailed description and analysis of the further development of particular legal terms within the systems as well as in their interrelation.
To register, please contact Dr. Iris Colditz: icolditz[at]campus.fu-berlin.de.
Maria Macuch (Berlin):
Welcome and Introduction
Panel 1: Rechtsbegriffe und -institutionen in transkulturellem Kontext
Johannes Pahlitzsch (Mainz):
„Die Entstehung des christlichen waqf“
Richard Payne (Chicago):
„Christianizing Stūrīh: Law, Reproduction, and Elite Formation in the Iranian Empire“
11:30 a.m. –12:15 p.m.
János Jany (Budapest):
„Transmitters of Legal Knowledge: Dadestan, Fatwa, Responsum“
Panel 2: Wandel von Rechtsbegriffen und Argumentationsformen im jüdischen und römischen Recht
Ronen Reichman (Heidelberg):
„‚Was die Schrift lehrt, geht aber doch aus einem Vernunftsargument hervor!‘: Über die Entwicklung eines (rechtspositivistischen [?]) Argumentationsmusters in der rabbinischen Literatur“
Anna Seelentag (Frankfurt/M.):
„Tutela und cura – Zur Annäherung zweier Rechtsbegriffe im römischen Recht“
Johannes Platschek (München):
„Arra in römischen Rechtstexten“
Thomas Rüfner (Trier):
„Ius, iudex, iurisdictio: Die Terminologie des römischen Prozessrechts in der Spätantike“