Ritual and ritual text in the Zoroastrian tradition

I have a new article in a volume I edited with Adam Benkato for the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. More details on the volume will follow soon, but my article is already available on the Journal’s FirstView:

Zeini, Arash. 2021. Ritual and ritual text in the Zoroastrian tradition: The extent of Yasna 41. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

This article examines the extent of the concluding section (Y 41) of the Yasna Haptaŋhāiti in light of the manuscript evidence and the section’s divergent reception in a Middle Persian text known as the “Supplementary Texts to the Šāyest nē Šāyest” (Suppl.ŠnŠ). This investigation will entertain the possibility of an alternative ritual being described in the Suppl.ŠnŠ. Moreover, it argues that the manuscripts transmit the ritual text along with certain variations and repetitions while the descriptions of the extent of each section preserve the necessary boundaries of the text as a textual composition or unit.

Genetics and Iranian Studies

چندی پیش در مطلبی کوتاه درباره زبان‌شناسی تاریخی، با عنوان «آیا ایرانیان آریایی هستند؟»، به پژوهشهای ژنتیک اشاره کردم. در ادامه آن نوشته این دو کتاب را با توجه به این که هر دو به ایران هم میپردازند، اینجا معرفی می‌کنم.

پژوهش‌ در مورد ژنتیک، نژاد و دی‌ان‌ای باستانی ممکن است در ابتدا برای مطالعات ایرانشناسی و فعالیت ما در سایت BiblioIranica موضوعی فرعی به نظر برسد. اما نتایج این نوع مطالعات میتوانند نقش مهمی در درک بهتر ما از پرسش‌های پیچیده‌ای مانند مهاجرت، رابطه خانواده‌های زبانی و ملی گرایی ایرانی بازی کنند. دو کتاب زیر، این موضوعات را از دیدگاه‌های متفاوت مورد بحث قرار می‌دهند و هر دو در گوشه و کنار به ایران هم می‌پردازند.

Burton, Elise. 2020. Genetic crossroads. The Middle East and the science of human heredity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

On translation and exegesis

Zoroastrian Scholasticism in Late Antiquity

The following text first appeared on the blog of the Edinburg University Press on 4 August 2020. The original is here. I am reproducing it here without any textual alterations except some minor formatting.

On translation and exegesis in the Zoroastrian religious tradition

Zoroastrianism, now a minority faith in Iran and India, is an Iranian religion with a complex textual transmission reaching back to the remote antiquity.

The oldest layers of the surviving Zoroastrian texts are in Avestan language and commonly dated to the middle of the second millennium BCE. Exact dates and circumstances of composition, however, remain uncertain, so that little is known about the socio-political context from which these texts emerged. After two millennia of oral transmission, the texts were finally committed to writing, at a time when the language must have no longer been in active use.

Zoroastrian Scholasticism in Late Antiquity

It has been a great pleasure to work on the first proof of my forthcoming book, Zoroastrian Scholasticism in Late Antiquity, which will be published in the “Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia“, edited by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and published by the Edinburgh University Press, with the support of their fantastic editorial team at the EUP.

History of Humanities

Last week, I taught about Anquetil-Duperron, William Jones, the discovery of language similarity and the beginnings of IE Studies. Disciplines such as Iranian Studies or #Indology, as we know them today, would not have been possible without those efforts and contributions. I also made it a point to at least briefly discuss “genesis amnesia” and the critical examination of Oriental Studies offered by @tavak in

Reception of Islam in Iran

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.

On obnoxious creatures!

Some nifty and original observations by my 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.