CoAv 2.0: Day One

In 2011, when we met for CoAv 1.0, a lot of time and attention were dedicated to organisational matters. Groups were formed, members expressed their interest in texts and types of activities, etc. We have come a long way, and CoAv 2.0 is dedicated to questions pertaining to the study of Zoroastrian manuscripts.

The first day started with a brief summary of each team’s activities since CoAv 1.0. The range of topics discussed on day one was impressive and included prolegomena, palaeography, orthography, colophons, scribal schools and mythologies behind the long liturgy. The Salamanca team, our hosts, presented their systematic approach to the study of the manuscripts. Individuals of this team each work on issues of palaeography, orthography and the colophons. The collective results will inform the forthcoming prolegomena to a new edition of the Avesta. Thanks to the efforts of Alberto Cantera and his collaborators a considerable number of previously unknown manuscripts have been uncovered, and our knowledge of their transmission is continuously improving. The combined results of the study of the colophons, palaeography and orthography bring also to light interesting details about the scribal culture of Iranian Zoroastrians and the community’s history. Around 65 manuscripts are now available online and many more will be made accessible in the near future.

Other participants discussed their work on the Sanskrit Yasna and computational methods for generating manuscript stemmas.

Corpus Avesticum 2.0

The second meeting of the European research network Corpus Avesticum 2.0 (CoAv) will take place in Salamanca. Between 28 and 30 November researchers from Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK will meet at Europe’s third oldest university to discuss various projects in preparation of a new edition of the Avesta.

CoAv 1.0, where the research network was formed, took place in 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Zoroastrians – has a multimedia-like feature on Zoroastrians in Iran. A quick scan of the first page does not reveal any date for the feature, but I think it could be from the year 2000 or so. It is available in an HTML and a flash version. Enjoy it:

Among the Zoroastrians –

Review: Die Schiiten

Vor etwa zehn Tagen habe ich beim Stöbern in der VUB “Die Schiiten” von Professor Heinz Halm entdeckt. Das Buch ist im Jahre 2005 in der Reihe WISSEN bei C. H. Beck erschienen. Bereits beim ersten Durchblättern fiel mir die klare Gliederung des Buches auf. Und das Inhaltsverzeichnis lockte mit Kapitelüberschriften wie: “Die Basis der Macht der Mollas” oder “Monarchie und Klerus als Rivalen”. Obwohl die Zeit nicht günstig war, konnte ich der Versuchung nicht widerstehen und mußte es kaufen.

Das Buch hält, was das Inhaltsverzeichnis indirekt verspricht. Das Thema wird sehr klar und wissenschaftlich angegangen. Die wichtigsten Themenbereiche werden angesprochen, und der Autor vermittelt eine sehr klare Übersicht über die geschichtliche Entwicklung der Schia. Neben der religionsgeschichtlichen Darstellung werden die Beziehungen zwischen den ethnisch verschiedenen Schiiten der Region dargestellt. Dabei wird die Bedeutung des Schiitentums für die iranische Revolution von 1979 und umgekehrt sehr deutlich. “Theologische” Grundsätze der Schia werden klar und verständlich beschrieben. Der Stil ist ansprechend und macht die Lektüre des Buches zum reinen wissenschaftlichen Genuß.

Eine komplexe religiöse Strömung auf 128 Seiten so klar und deutlich darzustellen, ist eine wahre Kunst.

Zoroastrian spam

Few days ago, a friend received her first Zoroastrian spam mail. I found it interesting, so here it goes:

From: Dr. Agathangelos Eutropius II <>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 22:51:09 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Zorastrianism Greetings

Direccion: calle Brazil 10, 28025 Madrid
Date: 15th 05 2007
Our Ref: ZG/1007MA

Zorastrianism Greetings,

The Mithras Association with guidiance of Mit(h)ra, has this day the 15th 05 2007 has granted you the sum of US$ 830,000:00 only as a tribute for the Spinoff of Zorastrianism celebration (Celebration of Light). After series of secret deliberations by the Abrahadabra Forums, eight (8) people were selected from around the globe to be benefactors of the Spinoff of Zorastrianism celebration free light aid.

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According to the Persian Wikipedia, I was one of the first advocates of FOSS in Iran. The little entry continues to claim that Chapar Shabdiz was the first Iranian company to base its commercial business plan on FOSS. It also mentions the FarsiKDE project, Shabdix GNU/Linux and!

Well FarsiKDE’s website expired long back and few days ago! expired too. I created! on April 20, 2001 and it expired on April 20, 2007.! was the first Iranian portal dedicated to FOSS and at a time, was very active. It’s gone now and with it FarsiKDE and Shabdix. We had a good time trying to create something that we believed could benefit Iran.

Old books

Yesterday I visited Ostad Lotfi. Once the meeting was over, I thought I should use the chance and take a walk around the University of Tehran. The book shops around the university are known for their access to rare books. Compared to some years ago, the area has changed drastically. There are so many people on the streets that you can barely walk straight. The streets around the Enqelab Square reminded me of India. A lot of the old book shops are gone and have been replaced with newer shops specialising in modern books or illegal copies of CDs.

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Iran’s oldest street

این نوشته‌ی جالب رو در یک وب‌گاه گردشگری قزوین پیدا کردم:
قدیمی ترین خیابان ایران در قزوین می‌باشد. نام این خیابان سپه است که از مسجد جامع قزوین به کاخ عالیقاپو منتهی می‌شود.