Reception of Islam in Iran

Reposted on the occasion of the volume’s publication:

Crone, Patricia. 2016. The Iranian reception of Islam: The non-traditionalist strands (Islamic History and Civilization 130). Collected Studies in Three Volumes. Vol. 2 edited by Hanna Siurua. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

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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.

Sasanian royalist ideology

Sasanian royalist ideology and Zoroastrian millennialism

Lecture by François de Blois, University College London, at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge, Friday 06March, 5.30pm.

François de Blois has published widely on Semitic and Iranian languages and on the history of religions in the Near East in pre-modern times. Notably, he contributed to the multi-volume work Persian Literature, which had been initiated by C.A. Storey and published by the Royal Asiatic Society. He served as Professor of Iranian Studies at Hamburg University from 2002 to 2003. Currently he is a research fellow at University College London where he is engaged in a major project on al-Biruni’s Chronology and other Arabic texts on non-Islamic calendars. He is also a teaching fellow for Aramaic and Middle Iranian languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has been a frequent contributor to the Encyclopaedia of Islam.

All welcome. Refreshments from 5pm.

Ancient India & Iran Trust
23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG

A hoard from the time of Yazdgard III in Kirmān

coinAn important article by Heidemann, Riederer and Weber on a hoard of coins from the final years of the empire. I personally find the dipinti on the coins very interesting. Heidemann’s discussion of the hoard, his conclusions and Dieter Weber’s decipherment of the graffito are fascinating:

Heidemann, Stefan, Hosef Riederer and Dieter Weber. 2014. A hoard from the time of Yazdgard III in Kirmān. Iran 52. 79–124.

The analysis of a hoard from the time of the collapse of the Sasanian Empire offers new insights into the administrative situation within the realm of Yazdgard III during his presence in Kirmān. Interpreting die chains using old or newly engraved dies with the then anachronistic name of the previous shāhānshāh Khusrō II, and finding an unlikely variety of mint abbreviations and dates within one workshop, allows us to infer the processing of huge amounts of silver in an unregulated way, compared with the orderly mint administration before the battle of al-Qādisiyya. A rigorous numismatic conclusion makes the change to a centralised minting in Kirmān likely where coins, rather than the dies, were sent to the districts. The key dates of the hoard coincide with the battle of Nihāvand 642 and the beginning of the invasion of Kirmān. Many of the coins bear dipinti with legible Pahlavī inscriptions, highlighting a cultural way of marking coins at the end of the Sasanian Empire.

Read the article here.

Inside and out

Dijkstra, Jitse & Greg Fisher (eds.). 2014. Inside and Out: Interactions between Rome and the peoples on the Arabian and Egyptian frontiers in late antiquity (Late Antique History and Religion 8). Leuven: Peeters Publishers.
In recent years, exciting new discoveries of inscriptions and archaeological remains on the Arabian Peninsula have led to a re-evaluation of the peoples on the Arabian frontier, which through their extensive contacts with Rome and Persia are now seen as dynamic participants in the Late Antique world. The present volume contributes to this recent trend by focusing on the contrast between the ‘outside’ sources on the peoples of the frontier – the Roman view – and the ‘inside’ sources, that is, the precious material produced by the Arabs themselves, and by approaching these sources within an anthropological framework of how peripheral peoples face larger powers. For the first time, the situation on the Arabian frontier is also compared with that on the southern Egyptian frontier, where similar sources have been found of peoples such as the Blemmyes and Noubades. Thus, the volume offers a richly-documented examination of the frontier interactions in these two vibrant and critically-important areas of the Late Antique East.
 For more information, see the publisher’s website.

Mani at the court of the Persian kings

Gardner, Iain, Jason BeDuhn & Paul Dilley. 2014. Mani at the court of the Persian kings. Leiden: Brill.

For more information, see here.

The archaeology of Sasanian politics

The proceedings of the workshop The Archaeology of Sasanian Politics, organized by Richard Payne and Mehrnoush Soroush at ISAW, have now been published:

Payne, Richard & Mehrnoush Soroush (eds.). 2014. The archaeology of Sasanian politics. Journal of Ancient History 2(2).

For this issue of the journal, see here. Richard’s introductory notes to the volume are available as a free PDF. Karim Alizadeh’s Borderland projects of Sasanian Empire: Intersection of domestic and foreign policies can be found here.

Two reviews

Brody, Robert . 2014. Review of Shai Secunda: The Iranian Talmud. University of Pennsylvania Press. Zion 79(3). 435–437.

See also here for another review of Shai’s book.

Mokhtarian, Jason. 2014. Review of Shai Secunda & Steven Fine (eds.): Shoshannat Yaakov, Jewish and Iranian studies in honor of Yaakov Elman. Zion 79(3). 438–442.