“Alt-Iranistik” has always been considered a small and exotic field, a so-called “Orchideenfach”. Despite its small size and the limited financial resources available for research, Alt-Iranistik is an unexpectedly vibrant field. The many job announcements of the past year will hopefully continue as a trend and create stable research and teaching environments for the many talented people active in the field. May there be more announcements like this:
At BiblioIranica, we usually do not comment on issues beyond our academic interests in ancient Iran. However, it would be wrong, if we did not express our disappointment after hearing the news of the closure of ‘small Humanities programmes’ at the University of Copenhagen. As the University Post reports, the “Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen will shut down five smaller study programmes permanently”. A full list of the threatened programmes, and the university’s plans are published here.
Oriental Studies have a long tradition in Denmark, and Danish scholars have made and continue to make significant contributions to Oriental and Iranian Studies. It is very distressing to read that some of the ‘small’ programmes will be closed, among which are Indology and Tibetology.
See the following links for the history of Iranian Studies in Denmark:
Institute for Iranian Philology: Although the Institute was founded only in 1961, it has a long prehistory, since it is the natural culmination of about 200 years of Iranian studies in the Kingdom of Denmark.
Professor Amélie Kuhrt, FBA – The King Speaks: The Persians and their Empire
The Achaemenid empire was created in the space of less than thirty years and dominated, with considerable success, a region stretching from Central Asia to the Aegean for around 200 years. How did the Persian kings and ruling elite visualise their immense power? How was that vision expressed? In this talk, Amélie Kuhrt, Professor Emeritus at University College London, aims to present an outline of the Persian image of their domain, concentrating on monuments and inscriptions from the royal centres and leaving aside the stories of outsiders, such as Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Jews.
The lecture will begin promptly at 5.30pm, followed by a reception.
Admission free. Booking not required.
Venue: Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Legal texts are among the more important sources for the reconstruction of the political and economic institutions, and cultural practices, of late antique Iran, as they considerably further our understanding of past social complexities that are decisively different than our own. This year’s Ehsan Yarshater Biennial Lectures shall provide a sweeping overview and detailed analysis of the principal fields of jurisprudence in Sasanian Iran (third to seventh centuries CE). The five lectures will be investigating the genesis of legal institutions that were instrumental in consolidating the social status of Sasanian élites, notably, the Zoroastrian clergy and the Iranian aristocracy.
Legal Sources and Instruments of Law
The opening lecture will provide an overview of the available legal material, dispersed in a great variety of sources, and discuss the many pitfalls Iranists encounter in reconstructing the Sasanian legal system.
Kinship Ties and Fictive Alliances
The second lecture examines questions pertaining to Family Law, in particular, the role of kinship ties that are of paramount importance in Sasanian jurisprudence. The lecture also elaborates on the significance of legal institutions within the context of marriage and succession.
Property and Inheritance
The third lecture explores the general concept of property, in particular,
how it gave rise to complex categories crucial to preserving the possessions of affluent élites, while ensuring that proprietary rights were preserved from one generation to the next.
Civil and Criminal Proceedings
The fourth lecture reviews the judicial system, the foundation upon which the privileges of the élites were built, and the position of religious minorities, the Jews and Christians, within the framework of the judiciary.
Sasanian Law and other Legal Systems
The final lecture discusses the impact of Iranian law on other important legal systems of the Near East, be it Rabbinic and Nestorian-Christian, or be it Islamic and especially Shi’ite, law.
I have just completed a monograph on the fifteenth century re-writing in Persian prose of the ubiquitous collection of Persian animal fables, the Kalila wa Dimna tales (Kashefi’s Anvar-e Sohayli. Rewriting Kalila-Dimna in Timurid Herat – forthcoming). My fifteenth-century work, named Anvar-i Suhayli, has suffered virulent criticism both in Iran and in the West and was virtually put in the dustbin of Persian studies. I am thus – how exciting ! – reviving and studying what is tantamount to a forgotten text. It is a Mirror for Princes, containing advice for youths (aged from 7 to 77) at Court. I have also worked on a series of essays related to this research (“Dimna’s Apologia. The Place of Morality in the Trial of a Rhetorical Genius”).
We are now accepting notes and reviews for the next issues of DABIR. Please contact us, if you would like to contribute a paper.
The journal accepts submissions on art history, archaeology, history, linguistics, literature, manuscript studies, numismatics, philology and religion, from Jaxartes to the Mediterranean and from the Sumerian period through to the Safavid era (3500 BCE–1500 CE). Work dealing with later periods can be considered on request.
Religious Studies presents: “Learning from the Magi: Zoroastrianism and the New Movement in Talmud Study” with Shai Secunda | Taube Center for Jewish Studies
Friday, May 15, 2015 – 12:15pm – 1:30pm
The lecture is part of a Zoroastrianism Studies Lecture Series sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University. For questions about the series, please contact Dr. Yuhan Vevaina (email@example.com).
The calendar and the system of timekeeping in Central Arabia at the beginning of Islamic history are discussed extensively in Arabic religious and scientific literature. My paper is an attempt, on the one hand, to confront these data with contemporaneous epigraphic and historic material and, on the other, to assess the arithmetical and astronomical plausibility of the data. This in turn sheds light on the problem of the chronology of early Islam and the reliability or otherwise of the sīra and maghāzī literature.