The exceptional place women held in Manichaeism, in everyday life or myth, is the object of this book. Relying on firsthand Manichaean texts in several languages and on polemical sources, as well as on iconography, the various papers analyze aspects of women’s social engagement by spreading Mani’s doctrine, working to support the community, or corresponding with other Manichaean groups. Topics such as women’s relation to the body and elect or hearer status are also investigated. The major role played by female entities in the myth is enlightened through occidental and oriental texts and paintings discovered in Central Asia and China.
The metal plaque of Haft Tappeh was found more than 60 years ago, and except for a few scenes on terracotta plaques and cylinder seals from both Elam and Mesopotamia with similar but not identical settings, it still has no known parallels in metal and remains a unique example of Elamite art. The present article is a study of this object from the heartland of the Elamite kingdom in the Khuzestan Plain. It revisits the scenic plaque and attempts to correct some of the misunderstandings regarding the identification of its iconography and symbology based on new photos, X-ray images, and lab analysis. The article also tries to place the plaque in its proper spatial and temporal context, using comparative methods and chemical and isotope analysis.
It has become controversial to use the word ‘harem’ to designate the wives and concubines of the Great King of the Persian Empire, but differing attitudes may be observed among scholars, from rejecting this term to claiming it for use, most often without a detailed justification. Although it seems at first sight to be helpful, the present paper argues against using the word ‘harem’ by highlighting its major interpretative drawbacks: (1) its definition is unstable and unclear; (2) it creates confusion between the different categories of women who are distinguished in our evidence; (3) it is misleading, since it imposes on antiquity western representations mainly linked with Ottoman sultans; (4) it has strong modern connotations, and implies value judgments which are not suitable for a sound historical analysis; (5) it feeds a form of orientalism, since it fosters the idea that the Orient does exist, that it is the opposite of the Occident of the western speaker, and that it has not changed for more than two thousand years. It is lastly argued that this notion of a Persian ‘harem’ does not date back to the Greeks, who had neither a similar word nor similar representations and value judgments, nor the same feeling of otherness in respect to the Persians.
Semiramis, die legendäre Königin von Babylon, gehörte bis in das 20. Jahrhundert hinein zu den bekanntesten und am stärksten rezipierten Gestalten der antiken Welt. Als Frau, die von Babylon aus das Großreich der Assyrer regierte und erfolgreiche Eroberungskriege führte, wurde sie in einer Vielzahl antiker Quellentexte teils mit Bewunderung, teils mit tiefer Abscheu beschrieben. Schnell avancierte sie so zum Paradigma – einerseits für das weibliche Geschlecht, andererseits für die Ausübung von Macht, aber auch für den antiken ‚Orient‘ im Allgemeinen. Semiramis findet sich in der Folge in nahezu allen Literatur- und Kunstgattungen der Spätantike, des Mittelalters, der Renaissance und der Frühen Neuzeit und erhielt so einen festen Platz im kulturellen Gedächtnis der westlichen Welt. An ihr wurden über die Epochen hinweg Weiblichkeit und Herrschaft miteinander verknüpft, Transgressionen von weiblichen Handlungsräumen thematisiert, Geschlechterordnungen und Geschlechternormen verhandelt und Handlungsspielräume für das weibliche Geschlecht reflektiert.
Kerstin Droß-Krüpe folgt den Spuren der Semiramis durch die Jahrhunderte – von der griechischen Historiographie des 5. Jahrhunderts v.Chr. bis auf die Opernbühnen des Barock. Sie kombiniert so eine historisch-kritische Aufarbeitung des in den antiken Quellentexten präsentierten Semiramisbildes mit der späteren Wahrnehmung, Aneignung und Verargumentierung der Semiramis als Figur der Erinnerung.
Since the 1920s, the so-called “return to the roots”, has become a hegemonic discourse in Iran. Whereas the Pahlavi regimes (1925–1979) propagated the myth of the lost idyll of pre-Islamic Iran representing themselves as the true inheritors of those monarchies, the Islamists adopted a respective approach in regard to Islam. As a result, a similar fairytale was made about the early Islamic community. Such claims, as it were, are not so much about the past as they are about the present. So is this study. By delving into the past, it questions the widespread nostalgic notions considering the pre-Islamic era as a lost utopia, wherein women were free from the restrictions “imposed by Islam”. In point of fact such past is a fabrication. In the majority of cases, therefore, the revival projects invent traditions to legitimize current political agendas.
Table of Contents:
A Note on Persian and Arabic Transliteration and Translation Preface Introduction Chapter I: Women in the Sasanian Zoroastrianism Chapter II: Zoroastrian Dadestan: From Sasanian Era to Islam Chapter III: Purification Chapter IV: Islam and Menstruation Chapter V: Sexual Relations in Zoroastrianism and Islam Epilogue Bibliography Glossary
This volume investigates how ancient women, and particularly powerful women, such as queens and empresses, have been re-imagined in Western (and not only Western) arts; highlights how this re-imagination and re-visualization is, more often than not, the product of Orientalist stereotypes – even when dealing with women who had nothing to do with Eastern regions; and compares these images with examples of Eastern gaze on the same women. Through the chapters in this volume, readers will discover the similarities and differences in the ways in which women in power were and still are described and decried by their opponents.
Since the 1920s, the so-called »return to the roots«, has become a hegemonic discourse in Iran. Whereas the Pahlavi regimes (1925–1979) propagated the myth of the lost idyll of pre-Islamic Iran representing themselves as the true inheritors of those monarchies, the Islamists adopted a respective approach in regard to Islam.
As a result, a similar fairytale was made about the early Islamic community. Such claims, as it were, are not so much about the past as they are about the present. So is this study.
By delving into the past, it questions the widespread nostalgic notions considering the pre-Islamic era as a lost utopia, wherein women were free from the restrictions »imposed by Islam«. In point of fact such past is a fabrication. In the majority of cases, therefore, the revival projects invent traditions to legitimize current political agendas.
The historians of ancient Greece, as part of the elite of Greek communities, of their own time. By studying the works of these historians one can become familiar with these traditions and the common view on the world in Greek culture regarding various issues and concepts. The purpose of this paper is to study and analyze the Greek approach to women and the effect of this approach on the way the history of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. ((550 – ca. 330 BC) was written. Our central theme in this paper is the question of the connection between the Greek perspective on women and the reliability of narratives related to women in the accounts of Achaemenid history by Greek historians.
The second volume of the Handbook of Iranian Studies follows the concept of the first volume and develops it further. It follows the division of the first volume (for the first Volume see here) into eight discipline-defined sections and completes the research overview of the first volume in a comprehensive way with about 50 articles. Thus, in the second part, the few gaps of the first volume are closed in eight sections, and the “Iranian Philosophy and Sciences” are added in a ninth section. The view is also directed increasingly at the geographical periphery of the Iranian world. Several articles deal with the history, culture and present of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kurdistan and other regions. The second volume of the handbook of Iranian Studies, in addition to the first volume, also provides research reports. In the second volume, specialized research reports on certain areas are added in the second volume, such as “Persian Literature”: Contributions to Iranian exile and travel literature, current innovative topics such as gender, bio-ethics, the Internet and new media.
You can see the table of the contents of this volume here.
About the Editor:
Ludwig Paul is professor of Iranian Studies at the Asien-Afrika-Institut, Universität Hamburg. He is a scholar of Iranian Linguistic, dialektology as well as Iranian modern history.
Women in the Ancient Near East offers a lucid account of the daily life of women in Mesopotamia from the third millennium BCE until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. The book systematically presents the lives of women emerging from the available cuneiform material and discusses modern scholarly opinion. Stol’s book is the first full-scale treatment of the history of women in the Ancient Near East.
Marten Stol is a professor at the Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
This is an open access publication. The volume is available from the above link.