Categories
Books

Culinary and Dining Practices in the Greater Iranian World

Farridnejad, Shervin, and Touraj Daryaee (eds). 2022. Food for gods, food for mortals. Culinary and dining practices in the greater Iranian eorld. University of California, Irvine.

Preparing, serving, and consuming food can be political, as it was arranged in the royal banquet of the great kings. It could also be considered as a ritual, both in the frame of the greater ritual practices in the banquets for the gods, as well as according to a set of family costumes and gestures, which endures from one generation to the next. All these aspects have been one of the major human’s activates during the history of the civilizations and have fascinated the scholars to investigate and decode the culinary customs of the peoples during the history. The contributions of this volume present a small collection of writings, which put focus on various aspects of culinary and dining practices in the Greater Iranian World from the ancient period to the contemporary religious feast of Sufi Orders in the Balkans. They aim to overview the recent developments in the field and discuss selected aspects of the rich variety of culinary practices.

Categories
Articles

Eating Meat: The Sin of Zoroastrian Primordial Heroes and Villains

Daryaee, Touraj. 2022. Eating meat: The sin of Zoroastrian primordial heroes and villains. In Caseau, Béatrice and Hervé Monchot (eds .), Religion et interdits alimentaires. Archéozoologie et sources littéraires (Orient & Méditerranée 38), 237–242. Leuven: Peeters.

This article dicusses the significance of meat consupmtion in Iranian mythology and the Zoroastrian tradition. The idea of meat consuption appeares in the earliest remains of the Iranian poetic tradition, namely the Gāthās of zarathustra. In these hymns there is a referenc to the premoridal culture hero, Yima /Jamšid who introduced the consumption of eating meat. However, by the time of the Zoroastrian commentators in late antiquity, Yma is absolved of the sin, and the Villain Aži Dahaka / Zohhak, is blamed for turning canibal, tricked by Ahreman, the evil spirit in the Zoroastrain tradition.

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Books

The Reward of the Righteous. Festschrift in Honour of Almut Hintze

Cantera, Alberto, Maria Macuch, and Nicholas Sims-Williams (eds.). 2022. The reward of the righteouse. Festschrift in honour of Almut Hintze (Iranica 30). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

The volume is dedicated to one of the foremost scholars in the field of Zoroastrian and Iranian Studies, reflecting the broad range of scholarly interests and research work of the dedicatee. In addition to an appreciation of Almut Hintze’s work and a bibliography of her publications, the volume contains thirty-four contributions written by renowned specialists in their fields. These cover a wide range of topics, stretching from antiquity to the present, and offer many new insights and original perspectives on religious, linguistic and historical problems. The articles, which include many editions of previously unpublished texts, encompass studies on (1) The oldest Zoroastrian textual sources (A. Ahmadi; J. Kellens; A. Panaino; M. Schwartz); (2) The Zoroastrian ritual (A. Cantera; E. Filippone; F. Kotwal; J. Martínez Porro; C. Redard; Y. Vevaina); (3) Avestan manuscripts (G. König); (4) Zoroastrianism in the Middle Iranian and Islamic periods (Sh. Farridnejad; Sh. Shaked); (5) Pahlavi texts, documents and inscriptions (J. Choksy/M.U. Hasan; J. Josephson; M. Macuch; D. Weber); (6) Zoroastrian and Manichaean iconography (F. Grenet/M. Minardi; Y. Yoshida); (7) Manichaean texts in Middle Iranian languages (A. Benkato; I. Colditz; E. Morano/M. Shokri-Foumeshi/N. Sims-Williams; N. Sims-Williams/Bi Bo); (8) Iranian philology (M.A. Andrés-Toledo; Ph. Huyse; E. Jeremiás; P. Lurje; M. Maggi; É. Pirart; A. Rossi); (9) Historical and cultural studies (C. Cereti; J. Palsetia; J. Rose; A. Williams).

Categories
Events

Summer Course in Zoroastrian Studies

The University of Bergen (Norway) and the Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies at SOAS, are jointly offering international students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of Zoroastrianism in modern and contemporary Iran.

The course will take place in Rome, starting 20 June 2022, and the deadline for applications is 27 March 2022. The instructors are Prof. Michael Stausberg (Univ. of Bergen), Dr Sarah Stewart (SOAS) and Dr Jenny Rose (Claremont University). You can find more information by visitng the summer school’s website.

Categories
Articles

The Image of the Zoroastrian God Srōsh

Grenet, Frantz & Michele Minardi. 2021. The image of the Zoroastrian god Srōsh: New elements. Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 27, 154-173.

Sogdian ossuary from Samarkand, ca. 7th century AD photo: F. Grenet

This paper presents new and decisive evidence relative to the identification of one of the colossal depictions of deities discovered by the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition (KAE) at Akchakhan-kala with the Avestan yazata Sraosha. Besides the therianthropic Sraošāvarez, the explicit Zoroastrian symbol that decorates the tunic of this god, new iconographic details are seen. One is the sraošō.caranā, which is a whip, “the instrument of Srōsh”, held in the hands of one of these “bird-priests” instead of the customary barsom. The symbols are presented and discussed in their historical context.

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Books

Narrating power and authority in late antique and medieval hagiography

Dabiri, Ghazzal (ed.). 2021. Narrating power and authority in late antique and medieval hagiography across East and West. Turnhout: Brepols.

This collection of essays explores the multifaceted representation of power and authority in a variety of late antique and medieval hagiographical narratives (Lives, Martyr Acts, oneiric and miraculous accounts). The narratives under analysis, written in some of the major languages of the Islamicate world and the Christian East and Christian West — Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Greek, Latin, Middle Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Persian — prominently feature a diverse range of historical and fictional figures from a wide cross-section of society — from female lay saints in Italy and Zoroastrians in Sasanian and Islamic Iran to apostles and bishops and emperors and caliphs. Each chapter investigates how power and authority were narrated from above (courts/saints) and below (saints/laity) and, by extension, navigated in various communities. As each chapter delves into the specific literary and social scene of a particular time, place, or hagiographer, the volume as a whole offers a broad view; it brings to the fore important shared literary and social historical aspects such as the possible itineraries of popular narratives and motifs across Eurasia and commonly held notions in the religio-political thought worlds of hagiographers and their communities. Through close readings and varied analyses, this collection contributes to the burgeoning interest in reading hagiography as literature while it offers new perspectives on the social and religious history of late antique and medieval communities.

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Events

How Did the Ancient Iranians Coordinate Space?

Kianoosh Rezania: “How Did the Ancient Iranians Coordinate Space? On the Old Iranian Absolute Frame of Reference”

Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series

For verbal expression and nonverbal cognitive processing of spatial relations between two objects, the speakers of a language use different frames of reference. (Psycho)linguistics classifies these into three main groups: intrinsic, relative, and absolute. This lecture aims to identify the old Iranian absolute frame of reference. After a short explanation of different frames of reference, the presentation will examine four sorts of evidence to this end: Avestan and Old Persian textual testimonies, the direction of Zoroastrian ritual in the Old Iranian period, and the direction of some significant Achaemenid architectural constructions. The lecture will show that the ancient Iranians did not use the four geocentric cardinal points of east, west, south and north as the cardinal directions of their absolute frame of reference, as research has implicitly taken for granted so far. The evidence, conversely, suggests that the old Iranian absolute frame of reference was constituted by the sunrise and sunset points of the winter and summer solstices.

Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series

Date: February 23; Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Categories
Events

Current Trends in Avestan Studies

This lecture discusses the major progress made in our understanding of the Avestan corpus/texts in the last years. Based on her recent publication co-written with Jean Kellens, L’introduction à l’Avesta, Céline Redard introduces the new vision of the Avesta, leading to the new editions currently undertaken. The important ritual aspect will also be underlined, with some concrete examples taken from her books The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8, and The Gujarati Ritual Directions of the Paragnā, Yasna and Visperad Ceremonies (co-written with Kerman Daruwalla).

From the lecture’s poster

This lecture is scheduled for 16 February 2022. For more details, see the poster of the lecture.

Categories
Journal

Studia Iranica 49 (2)

The second issue of Studia Iranica 49 (2020) is out. For a table of contents and access to individual articles, see below or visit this page.

  • Enrico G. Raffaelli: Day-Name Titles, Content Titles, Mixed Titles. The Different Appellations of the Avestan Yašts 5, 8, 9, 15, 18 and 19
  • Jaime Martínez-Porro: The Written Transmission of the Vištāsp Yašt Ceremony
  • Paola Orsatti: The New Persian Perfect of the kard-astam Type. Materials for a Historical-Linguistic Interpretation
  • Willem Floor: The Gates of Isfahan in the Safavid and Qajar Periods
  • Christian Bromberger: Le statut des femmes au Gilān. Un sujet controversé
  • Comptes rendus

Categories
Journal

Zoroastrianism Special

Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021. Guest Editor Shernaz Cama.

The newest issue of the Journal of the Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021, guest-edited by Shernaz Cama is dedicated to the Zoroastrisn Studies.

Recent discoveries by international teams from varying backgrounds of academic study have found rich artistic and linguistic material along the Silk Route. So far, these discoveries remain in volumes on Zoroastrian studies. This edition of the Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies brings some of these findings to a wider audience. This will help make links between multicultural concepts, oral traditions as well as iconography. These multicultural links will be taken forward to a much later colonial and post-colonial period of history when adaptation and absorbing new influences once again becomes vital to the creation of a Parsi Zoroastrian culture. It is this multiculturalism, the ability to straddle different geographies and adapt to historical circumstances, while maintaining a core essence, which has been a feature of the Zoroastrian identity throughout its long history.