»Die Welt von Gestern«

Yesterday, I chanced upon the English translation of Stefan Zweig’s memoirs, The World of Yesterday. Looking through the book, I found Shakespeare’s brilliant words in the epigraph: »Let’s withdraw, and meet the time as it seeks us.« Anyone familiar with Stefan Zweig’s decision to end his life together with his wife will read »let’s withdraw« with a sense of foreboding. However, the German original, at least in the recent printed editions that I know, quote this line from act 4, scene 3 of Cymbeline differently: »Begegnen wir der Zeit, wie sie uns sucht.« What a difference »let’s withdraw« makes here.

Categorised as Blog

Rise of the Sasanian Empire

I don’t know The Collector, having only recently been alerted to it by Google, but their article entitled Rise of the Sasanian Empire: The Persians (205-310 CE) looks interesting. I have not had a chance to read the article in detail, but it looks generally good and offers photos to illustrate the art and archaeology of the empire.

The site brings you ‘Daily Articles on Ancient History, Philosophy, Art & Artists by Leading Authors. Trusted by Scholars, Classrooms & Enthusiasts’. They have articles on the Achaemenid kings, Cyrus The Great, the Parthians , Zoroastrianism and even on The “Communists” of Ancient Iran: Mazdak and the Khurramites.

A Lost Parsi Fire Temple

A short report with some photos in India Times on The Lost Parsi Fire Temple Of Kolkata’s Ezra Street.

The Parsi community’s connection with Kolkata dates back to more than 240 years. Relying on the written records, in 1767, Dadabhai Behramji became the first Parsi who settled in Kolkata. He was friends with John Cartier, who was appointed as the Governor of Bengal back then.

From the article

Interreligious Dialogue in Medieval Bamiyan

This blog first appeared on the website of the Invisible East Programme.

Historical documents, as opposed to narrative and religious primary source material, are an invaluable resource for the historical study of daily life and ordinary people. Micro-historical research, thus moves away from panoptic imperial historiography and often focuses on the history of smaller states, economies and even private lives. In general, and if enough documentary material exists, the micro-histories offer a more singular but perhaps more precise view. Documentary materials abound in some cultures and languages allowing in-depth examinations of various kinds, whereas in some other regions they can be a rarity. Ginzburg (2013), for instance, drew in his classic micro-historical study of the miller Menocchio’s cosmogony on the protocols of the inquisition trials in the sixteenth century Italy1. Ginzburg’s study provides rare insights into the beliefs and the intellectual life of ordinary people. Rose (2021), in another widely recognised examination of ordinary life, queries a vast array of documentary material to understand and approach the intellectual life of the British working classes of the early twentieth century2. Despite the differences in academic discipline—one is a historical study while the other is sociological— both authors draw on material other than narrative, religious or royal sources3. Unfortunately, not every discipline can rely on documentary material that sheds light on to daily life.

Bahari Research Fellow

As of today, I continue my work at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford, as a senior ‘Bahari Research Fellow’. I resume work on my usual research topics: Zoroastrianism in late antiquity and epistolary traditions within the Iranian world. I’m grateful to Yuhan Vevaina for the friendship, opportunity & the exceptionally fruitful collaboration.

Categorised as Blog

Were Sogdians Iranian?

This question is being discussed on Twitter, and I was tagged to respond. I honestly don’t know how to do it in a meaningful way on Twitter, as embedded responses are often lost and not seen. I stay away from sub-tweets and believe this topic is too hot to be touched on Twitter anyway :) Below is my simple view:

Categorised as Blog Tagged

Not on Twitter

I have been thinking about leaving Twitter for a while now. Not for one, but for many reasons which are not important. I joined Twitter in 2013 and a couple of years later deleted my Facebook account. I have never regretted that decision and feel the time has come to make a soft exit on Twitter. My Twitter app has been under focus mode and timer restrictions, so called digital well-being, for a long time, so that I could reduce my interaction with the platform. I will not delete my account, but have now logged out of the app. I will continue to share the BiblioIranica posts on my profile and might share any post that I write here on my Twitter. But I will not engage with the timeline and will not read direct messages.

If you like to get in touch, please do so on e-mail. I love to hear from you, but social media are not really for me.

Categorised as Blog

Zoroastrian Scholasticism

The paperback of my book is here! You can order a copy from the Edinburgh University Press. I am grateful to the series editor, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, for giving this book a home and to the editors at the EUP for guiding me through the publication process.

I list the reviews of my book here, and wrote for the EUP a blog about the content of the book and my approach which you can read here.

Now, I get ready for my next book.