Categories
Books

Judeo-Persian Writings: A Manifestation of Intellectual and Literary Life

Pirnazar, Nahid (ed.). 2021. Judeo-Persian Writings: A Manifestation of Intellectual and Literary Life (Iranian Studies 42). London: Routledge.

King Ahašveruš and the maidens, Šāhīn, Ardašir-nāme, Persia, 2nd half of the 17th century (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz)

Introducing Judeo-Persian writings, this original collection gives parallel samples in Judeo-Persian and Perso-Arabic script and translations in English. Judeo-Persian writings not only reflect the twenty-seven centuries of Jewish life in Iran, but they are also a testament to their intellectual, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions.

Such writings, found in the forms of verse or prose, are flavored with Judaic, Iranian and Islamic elements. The significant value of Judeo-Persian writing is found in the areas of linguistics, history and sociocultural and literary issues. The rhetorical forms and literary genres of epic, didactic, lyric and satirical poetry can be a valuable addition to the rich Iranian literary tradition and poetical arts. Also, as a Judaic literary contribution, the work is a representation of the literary activity of Middle Eastern Jews not so well recognized in Judaic global literature.

This book is a comprehensive introduction to the rich literary tradition of works written in Judeo-Persian and also serves as a guide to transliterate many other significant Judeo-Persian works that have not yet been transliterated into Perso-Arabic script. The collection will be of value to students and researchers interested in history, sociology and Iranian and Jewish studies.

Table of Contents

Part I Formation and History of Judeo-Persian

  • 1. An Overview of Iranian Jewish Intellectual History
  • 2. Thematic Contents of Judeo-Persian Literature: Literary Genres in Judeo-Persian Poetry
  • 3. Thematic Contents of Judeo-Persian Prose
  • Conclusion

Part II Samples of Judeo-Persian Writings

  • 1. Biblical Epic Poetry
  • 2. Historical Poetry
  • 3. Lyric Poetry
  • 4. Vernacular Poetry
  • 5. Mystic Poetry
  • 6. Didactic Poetry
  • 7. Panegyric Poetry
  • 8. Satirical Poetry
  • 9. Different Vocabularies and Ethnicities
  • 10. Literary Terms
  • 11. Epic Concepts and Legendary Heroes
  • 12. Zoroastrian Concepts
  • 13. Rhetorical Arts
  • 14. Rhythmic Embellished Prose
  • Bibliography
Categories
Books

The Judeo-Persian rendition of the Buddha biographies

Yasharpour, Dalia. 2021. The Prince and the Sufi: the Judeo-Persian rendition of the Buddha biographies (The Brill Reference Library of Judaism 62). Leiden: Brill.

The Prince and the Sufi is the literary composition of the seventeenth-century Judeo-Persian poet Elisha ben Shmūel. In The Prince and the Sufi: The Judeo-Persian Rendition of the Buddha Biographies, Dalia Yasharpour provides a thorough analysis of this popular work to show how the Buddha’s life story has undergone substantial transformation with the use of Jewish, Judeo-Persian and Persian-Islamic sources. The annotated edition of the text and the corresponding English translation are meticulous and insightful. This scholarly study makes available to readers an important branch in the genealogical tree of the Buddha Biographies.

Categories
Books

Persian Literature from Outside Iran

Perry, John (ed.). 2018. Persian Literature from Outside Iran: The Indian Subcontinent, Anatolia, Central Asia, and in Judeo-Persian (History of Persian Literature IX). London: I.B. Tauris.

After the fall of the Sassanian Empire and with it the gradual decline of Middle Persian as a literary language, New Persian literature emerged in Transoxiana, beyond the frontiers of present-day Iran, and was written and read in India even before it became firmly established in cities such as Isfahan on the Iranian plateau. Over the course of a millennium (ca. 900-1900 CE), Persian established itself as a contact vernacular and an international literary language from Sarajevo to Madras, with Persian poetry serving as a universal cultural cachet for literati both Muslim and non-Muslim. The role of Persian, beyond its early habitat of Iran and other Islamic lands, has long been recognized: European scholars first came to Persian via Turkey and British orientalists via India. Yet the universal popularity of poets such as Sa’di and Hafez of Shiraz and the ultimate rise of Iran to claim the centre of Persian writing and scholarship led to a relative neglect of the Persianate periphery until recently. This volume contributes to the scholarship of the Persianate fringe with the aid of the abundant material (notably in Tajik, Uzbek and Russian) long neglected by Western scholars and the perspectives of a new generation on this complex and important aspect of Persian literature.

Table of contents

Introduction: Persian Language and Literature Beyond Iran and Islam (J. R. Perry)

PART 1: PERSIAN LITERATURE IN THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

  • Chapter 1: Establishment of Centers of Indo-Persian Court Poetry (Alyssa Gabbay)
  • Chapter 2: Teaching Of Persian In South Asia (T. Rahman)
  • Chapter 3: The Persian Language Sciences in India (J. R. Perry)
  • Chapter 4: Persian Historiography in India (B. Auer)
  • Chapter 5: Persian Literature of the Parsis in India (J. K. Choksy)
  • Chapter 6: Ismaili Literature in Persian in Central and South Asia (F. Daftary)
  • Chapter 7: Persian Medical Literature in South Asia (F. Speziale)
  • Chapter 8: Inscriptions and Art-Historical Writing (Y. Porter)

PART 2: PERSIAN LITERATURE IN ANATOLIA AND THE OTTOMAN REALMS, POST-TIMURID CENTRAL ASIA, TAJIKISTAN, MODERN AFGHANISTAN; JUDEO-PERSIAN LITERATURE

  • Chapter 9: Persian Literature in Anatolia and the Ottoman Realms (S. Kim)
  • Chapter 10: Persian Literature in Central Asia under Uzbek Rule (Ertugrul Ökten)
  • Chapter 11: Tajik Literature (K. Hitchins)
  • Chapter 12: Persian Literature in Modern Afghanistan (R. Farhadi And J. R. Perry)
  • Chapter 13: Judeo-Persian Literature (Vera Basch Moreen)
Categories
Articles

Polemical Aspects in an Early Judeo-Persian Bible Exegesis

Haim, Ofir. 2018. Polemical Aspects in an Early Judeo-Persian Bible Exegesis: The Commentary on the Story of  Ḥannah (RNL Yevr.-Arab. I 4608). Entangled  Religions 6(Special Issue: Historical Engagements and Interreligious Encounters-Jews and Christians in Premodern and Early Modern Asia and Africa). 163–200.
The article discusses the attitude towards Christians, Muslims, and the “foreign sciences” based on one of the only extant polemical texts written in Early Judeo-Persian—a passage from an unpublished commentary on story of Ḥannah preserved in the National Library of Russia (RNL Yevr.-Arab. I 4608). In addition, the article attempts to define the relation of this commentary to the broader intellectual environment of the medieval Jewish world. A close examination of this passage reveals a possible connection to Karaite exegetical work written in Judeo-Arabic during the tenth century, particularly those of Yefet ben ʿEli. Therefore, the article may serve as a case study of intellectual contact and transmission of knowledge between different Jewish groups in the Islamicate world.
Categories
Books

The Jews of Iran

Yeroushalmi, David. 2017. The Jews of Iran: Chapters in their history and cultural heritage (Bibliotheca Iranica : Judeo-Iranian and Jewish Studies Series 4). Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers.
The present work provides a historical overview of Jews living on Iranian soil and offers studies dealing with specific facets of their centuries old cultural heritage. Divided into two separate but closely related parts, the book consists of eight chapters. Part one, History and Community, includes four chapters that throw light on the history of Iran’s Jewish minority from the 8th-century BCE through the 20th century. The second part, Cultural Heritage, investigates some specific features of Jewish culture and tradition in Iran. These include Judeo-Persian literature and poetry, a typical Judeo-Persian treatment of a Jewish canonical text, and the character of Jewish education in pre-modern Iran.
Contents:

PART ONE: HISTORY AND COMMUNITY

  • Chapter 1: Jews on Iranian Soil: From the 8th Century B.C.E. through the Mongol Period in the 13th- 14th Centuries C.E.
  • Chapter 2: Iranian Jews in the Course of the 16th-20th Centuries
  • Chapter 3: The Jewish Communities of Iran at the Turn of the 20th Century
  • Chapter 4: Iranian Jews in Palestine-Israel: History and Communal Aspects

PART TWO: CULTURAL HERITAGE

  • Chapter 5: Judeo-Persian Literature
  • Chapter 6: The 15th-16th Century Poet ‘Emrani
  • Chapter 7: The Mishnah in Judeo-Persian Literature: The Case of the Tractate Abot
  • Chapter 8: Jewish Education in Pre-Modern Iran According to Contemporary Sources
Categories
Events

Art, Culture, Literature & Society in Qajar Iran

Art, Culture, Literature & Society in Iran during the Qadjar Era

Second Conference of Iranian Studies organized by the Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Berlin, June 30 – July 2, 2017

Read the detailed conference proframme here.

Conference Programme:

Language and Literature

  • Roxane Haag-Higuchi: “Umkehr und Erwachen: zur Literaturgeschichte der Qadscharenzeit”
  • Karolina Rakowiska: “Das Bild der Frau in der Literatur zur Zeit der Qadscharen Dynastie”
  • Bert G. Fragner: “Das Zeitalter der Qadscharen im Urteil von Historikern und Geschichtsschreibern während der letzten 150 Jahre”
  • Documentary Film: “Die Geschichte des Journalismus im Iran”
  • Eva Orthmann: “Der grenzüberschreitende Einfluss des Persischen”
  • Saiid Firuzabadi: “Joseph von Hammer-Purgstalls Beitrag zur Bekanntmachung der persischen Literatur in der Zeit der Qadscharen-Dynastie”

Art History

  • Shervin Farridnejad: “Judeo-Persian Miniatur Painting and Illustrated Manuscripts from late 17th to early 20th centuries”
  • Negar Habibi: “Landschaftsmalerei während der Q adscharen-Dynastie (von Malereien im europäischen Stil bis zu Kamal-ol-Molk)”
  • Kianusch Mootaghedi: “Analyse der siebenfarbigen Kacheln der Qadscharen-Epoche”
  • Nicoletta Fazio: “Too Modern for the Showcase? How Qajar Art made it in the Museum”
  • Boris von Brauchitsch: “Die Kunst der Fotografie im Vergleich: Analyse zweier Fotoalben vom Golestan-Palast”

Maps and Travelogues

  • Birgitt Hoffmann: “Reiseberichte aus der Qadscharen-Epoche”
  • Christine Nölle-Karimi: “Qajar Envoys in Khiva”

Cities

  • Heinz Gaube: “Kaschan zur Zeit der Qadscharen”
  • Sima Taefi: “Teheran, eine glanzvolle Erinnerung an die Qadscharen-Epoche”

Politic

  • Seyed Ali Moujani: „Die Nation der Schia“ und der „Märtyrerkönig“ – Nāserad-Din Schahs Politik bezüglich der heiligen Stätten in Irak”
  • Oliver Bast : “Die Qadscharen und Europa während des ersten Weltkrieges”
  • Ali Bahramian: “Der Übergang von der Schrift zum Druck in der Zeit der Qadscharen-Dynastie”
  • Ulrich Marzolph: “Lithographie in der Zeit der Qadscharen-Dynastie”

Workshops

  • Thomas Ogger/Sayfollah Shokri: “Iranian Music Instrumenst”
  • Hamid Reza Shureshi: “Calligraphy Workshop”

 

Categories
Journal

Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26

Issue 26 of the Bulletin of the Asia Institute will be published in December. The information on this issue is not yet available on the journal’s website, but the content has been circulated. We are publishing the table of content based on a request by the journal.

Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26

December 2016

Articles

  • Zsuzsanna Gulácsi and Jason BeDuhn, “The Religion of Wirkak and Wiyusi: The Zoroastrian Iconographic Program on a Sogdian Sarcophagus from Sixth-Century X’ian
  • Harry Falk, “’Buddhist’ Metalware from Gandhara”
  • Dieter Weber, “Studies in Some Documents from the ‘Pahlavi Archive’”
  • Martin Schwartz, “Pahlavi = Adiantum capillus-veneris L.: Ethnobotany, Etymology, and Iranian Cultural History”
  • Ofir Haim, “An Early Judeo-Persian Letter Sent from Ghazna to Bāmiyān (Ms. Heb. 4°8333.29)”
  • Siam Bhayro, “Sergius of Reš ʿAyna’s Syriac Translations of Galen: Their Scope, Motivation, and Influence”
  • David Frendo, “Alexander’s Anti-Persian Rhetoric and the Destruction of the Achaemenid Empire: A Re-examination of the Sources”
  • Michele Minardi, “New Data on the Central Monument of Akchakhan-kala”

Shorter Notice

  • Ali Mousavi, ”Shahyar Adle (1944–2015)”

Reviews

  • CANTERA. Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: Pensées et travaux préliminaires (Skjærvø)
  • HILL. Through the Jade Gate—China to Rome. A Study of the Silk Routes 1st to 2nd Centuries CE (Dien)
  • BAUMER. The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads (Rose)
  • WHITFIELD. Life along the Silk Road (Rose)
  • FALK, ED. Kushan Histories: Literary Sources and Selected Papers from a Symposium at Berlin, December 5 to 7, 2013 (Bromberg)
  • SHAYEGAN. Aspects of History and Epic in Ancient Iran: From Gaumāta to Wahnām (Brosius)
  • JULLIEN, ED. Husraw Ier: Reconstructions d’un règne. Sources et documents (Choksy and Dubeansky)

Books Received

Abbreviations

198 + v. pp.

$80 + shipping Individual orders

For more information, please contact: bai34@comcast.net

Categories
Books

Pahlavi and Judeo-Persian Bible Manuscripts

The Pahlavi Psalter. Ps 5 recto: Psalms 121 (opening is missing) and 122; discovered at Bulayïq/ Turfan oasis. © Turfanforschung (BBAW), Digitales Turfan-Archiv
The Pahlavi Psalter. Ps 5 recto: Psalms 121 (opening is missing) and 122; discovered at Bulayïq/ Turfan oasis.
© Turfanforschung (BBAW), Digitales Turfan-Archiv

Pehlivanian, Meliné, Christoph Rauch & Ronny Vollandt (eds.). 2016. Orientalische Bibelhandschriften aus der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK. Eine illustrierte Geschichte. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

The volume presents an illustrated history of the Oriental Bible Manuscripts from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. It includes discriptions of the manuscripts which are among the oldest and most fascinating items in the Oriental Collection of the State Library of Berlin. The overwhelming majority of the manuscripts presented here come from the very cradle of the Abrahamic religions. The texts range across more than 1,500 years of Christian and Jewish history in the Near and Middle East and Africa, from Late Antiquity to the 19th century.
They are written documents which have, not least, also left
traces in the Islamic tradition. Another concern of the volume is to allow readers insights into the extremely extensive and varied collection of Oriental manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, whose outstanding treasures are in many cases only known to specialists in the field. The biblical texts, written on leather, parchment, papyrus, and paper bear witness not only to the complexity of the religious and theological traditions, but also impressively document the diversity of materials to be found in the Oriental manuscript culture, and not least the artistic achievements of the “Peoples of the Book”.

Some most related chapters of this book regarding the Iranian Studies are:

  • Dennis Halft OP: “The ‘Book of Books’ in Persian” (pp. 150-154)
  • Dennis Halft OP: “A Persian Gospel Manuscript and the London Polyglot” (pp. 155-157.)
  • Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst: “A Middle Persian Pahlavi Psalter-Fragment in the Berlin Turfan Collection” (pp. 114-116).
  • Simone-Christiane Raschmann: “Christian Texts from Central Asia in the Berlin Turfan Collection” (pp. 105-113).
  • Friederike Weis: “Illustrated Persian Tales of the Prophets (Qis.as. al-anbiyāʾ) (pp. 163-172).
Categories
Books

The Bible as a Judeo-Persian Epic

Moreen 2016Moreen, Vera Basch. 2016. The Bible as a Judeo-Persian epic: An illustrated manuscript of ʿImrānī’s Fatḥ-Nāma. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East.
Shervin Farridnejad writes:
ʿImrānī, one of the great Judeo-Persian poets, was probably born in Isfahan in 1454 and died in Kashan after 1536. Inspired by Shāhīn, the other great JP poet, ʿImrānī’s works concentrate on the post-Mosaic era from Joshua to the period of David and Solomon. Among his 12 poetic works, Fatḥ-Nāma “The Book of the Conquest” is his first and remains one of his important works.  He began the composition that comprises approximately ten thousand couplets in 1474. The content of this masnavī (narrative poem in rhyming couplets) deals with the legend of the conquest of the Holy Land by Joshua as well as events from  Joshua to the reign of Solomon.
Categories
Journal

Judeo-Persian Literature

Iran Name 1,2Iran Nameh, New Series, Volume 1, Number 2 (Summer 2016)

The second issue of Iran Nameh, New Series, Volume 1, Number 2 (Summer 2016), a memorial volume in honour of Professor Amnon Netzer (1934-2008), the Iranian-Jewish historian and researcher of Iranian Jewry and Judeo-Persian Literature is published. The volume comprises bilingual Persian and English contributions on different aspects of Judeo-Persian Literature and Iranian Jewry.

Table of Contents