On obnoxious creatures!

Some nifty and original observations by my colleague and friend Shervin Farridnejad on a passage in the Nērangestān, discussing the priestly duty concerning the care of xrafstars, commonly referred to as obnoxious creatures:

Farridnejad, Shervin. 2015. Take care of the xrafstars! A note on Nēr. 7.5. DABIR 1(1). 11–13.

 

<nc> in the Pahlavi Documents

namāz in P 196
namāz in P 196

Zeini, Arash. 2015. Preliminary Remarks on Middle Persian <nc> in the Pahlavi Documents. In Anna Krasnowolska & Renata Rusek-Kowalska (eds.), Studies on the Iranian World I: Before Islam, 67–73. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press.

 

In the Pahlavi documents we find a sequence of characters that are commonly transliterated as 〈nc〉, representing Middle Persian namāz `reverence’. The vocalisation as namāz, a word most commonly found in the greeting formulae of letters, is not disputed. The question is rather whether these characters stand for a phonetic, albeit abbreviated, spelling of namāz or whether they constitute an abbreviation that developed out of the heterogram 〈ʿSGDH〉.
In light of recent developments in the field and the rather sizeable evidence, I will revisit the arguments brought forward thus far and propose a new interpretation.

Carpets in ancient Central Asia

He, Zhang. 2015. The terminology for carpets in ancient Central Asia. Sino-Platonic Papers 257. 1–35.

This study seeks to gather and clarify the terminology for carpets used by peoples of Central Asia from about 300 BCE to 1000 CE time, including terms in Kharoṣṭhi, Khotanese, Sanskrit and its relatives, plus Persian, Sogdian, Chinese, and Turkic.

Sasanian Persia and the Silk Road

Alram, Michael. 2015. The cultural impact of Sasanian Persia along the Silk Road – Aspects of continuity. e-Sasanika 14.

The paper focuses on the Sasanian Empire’s impact on its surrounding world and explores the question of why its cultural achievements had such a long-lasting influence far beyond the borders of the Iranian lands, even after the decline of the dynasty. This relates to the role of the Sasanians in international trade and their political aim of controlling the land and maritime trade networks that connected Iran with the Mediterranean world, Central Asia, China, India, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Direct link to the article is Alram Sasanian Persia.

Zoroastrianism in India

Parsi Mumbai: The legacy of Zoroastrianism in India’s urban babric, published by the Ajam Media Collective, is a nicely written piece on Parsis in India, documented with many photos. Although Cafe Mondegar is not mentioned, the publication of the article coincides with the news that Mondegar might face eviction.

Amǝṣ̌as Spǝṇtas

Kellens, Jean. 2014. Sur l’origine des Amǝṣ̌as Spǝṇtas. Studia Iranica 43(2). 163-175.

The group of the seven Aməšas Spəṇtas of the Young Avesta is not yet constituted in Old Avesta, but its members are joined together once in each polyhâtic Gāthā as a special phase of the liturgical process by the intervention of certain mediatory entities.

A coin of Shāpūr I

Shavarebi, Ehsan. 2014. Some remarks on a newly-discovered coin type of Shāpūr I. Studia Iranica 43(2). 281–290.

In this paper a unique gold coin of Shāpūr I, first published by Michael Alram, is reexamined from some iconographic details as well as from an epigraphic point of view, comparing the legend of the coin’s obverse with the Sasanian royal inscriptions.

Ohrmazd’s better judgement

Agostini, Domenico, Eva Kiesele & Shai Secunda. 2014. Ohrmazd’s better judgement (meh-dādestānīh). A Middle Persian legal and theological discourse. Studia Iranica 43(2). 177–202.

This article presents a transcription, translation, commentary, and discussion of a ritual and theological passage taken from the long-neglected Middle Persian work, the Zand ī fragard ī Jud-dēw-dād. The selection is notable for the way it mixes theological and ritual forms of discourse while considering situations in which impure or Evil things, like corpses, wolves, and sins, naturally come into contact with pure and Good elements, like water, fire, and good deeds. Along with explaining this rich text and its various textual parallels, the article considers the potential research value of the Zand ī fragard ī Jud-dēw-dād for Iranists and scholars of late antique religious literature.

Palmyra: Trade families, city and territory

Gregoratti, Leonardo. 2015. Palmyra: trade families, city and territory through the epigraphic sources. In Giorgio Affanni, Cristina Baccarin, Laura Cordera, Angelo Di Michele & Katia Gavagnin (eds.), Broadening Horizons 4, Conference of young researchers working in the Ancient Near East, Egypt and Central Asia, University of Torino, October 2011 (British Archaeological Reports International Series 2698), 55–59 . Oxford: Archaeopress.