A more realistic explanation of Reza Khan's seizure of power can be achieved by examining the long-term social and political developments preceding and following the Constitutional Revolution in Iran. Special attention should be paid not only to the increasing ‘power chances’ of Reza Khan as a single person in Iranian society, but also to the increasing ‘power chances’ of his position in a hierarchical structured society. In particular, more light should be shed on the contribution of the ‘Constitutionalists’ themselves to this seizure of power and accordingly to the ‘failure’ of their own ‘Constitutional Monarchy. ‘A theoretical model can be developed by using this example, which can provide insight into institutional de‑democratisation processes in different structured societies. Similar de‑democratisation processes are already worked out based on social and political developments in France (1848–1852) and Germany (1918–1933).
The process of Reza Khan's rise to power in 1921 is not independent of the events leading up to and the aftermath of the 1906 ‘Constitutional Revolution’ in Iran. If this process is only to be explained in terms of the extraordinary capabilities of Reza Khan as a person or because of ‘the British conspiracy’, it corresponds little to the complex reality of social and political processes at empirical study of a longer-term perspective, is one able to come closer to the real structure of these processes. In the absence of a proper understanding of the events before and after the Constitutional Revolution, one is liable to succumb to voluntaristic and conspiratorial explanations of Reza Khan's rise to power. The more important question concerning the personality structure of a large number of people, especially the political actors, who contributed to these institutional de-democratisation processes is thereby neglected. This study suggests that the prevailing idealised image of the Constitutionalists as true democrats in literature about that period of Iranian history corresponds little to the reality of that time. A realistic consideration of the structure of these processes will support a more accurate depiction of the ‘Constitutional Era’ and later developments.
Placing fertility and birth rates in Iran within the paradigm of modernity and its social consequences deconstructs the myth of an Iranian demographic singularity in fertility behavior. A critical look at some common, unreflected categories used in the literature to define fertility changes, i.e., infant mortality, women's marriage age, education and employment, identifies the recent steep drop of the birthrate in Iran as a logical consequence of profound social changes over the past fifty years that are rooted in ideas and trends starting in the 19th century. With knowledge gained through ethnographic research in Iran I demonstrate how ethnographic insights into the ideational basis of fertility behavior deepen the understanding of complex socio-economic and cultural processes that astonish scholars who work with correlations based on quantitative data.
One of the few recent developments in Iran with a positive echo in the global press is the so-called ‘miracle’ of the recent rapid decline in the fertility rate. The miracle thesis says that nowhere has the birthrate dropped as fast as in the Islamic Republic, and this without heavy-handed government interference or heated speeches from podium and pulpit. Governmental sanctions were soft. For example, people found ways to circumvent the threat of a cut in health care benefits and raise in hospital birthing fees for any child after the third per family. The motivation to limit family size was not governmental force but facilitation of what people called ‘reasonable’ decisions and common sense. Like miracles in general, this demographic one is easier to describe than to explain.
The literature on this social phenomenon in Iran is rich on statistics and correlations but short on explanations, and shorter yet on socio-cultural frames in which this drastic drop makes sense. As the anthropological/ethnographic view is largely missing in the literature, I aim to sketch here the parameters for fertility dynamics in Iran that Agnes Loeffler and I have noted during our accumulated decade of residence in Iran between 1965 and 2006. Loeffler's main work was on medical topics in Shiraz; mine was ethnographic fieldwork mostly in the tribal province of Boir Ahmad, southwest Iran. We used standard qualitative ethnographic methodologies, including observations and discussions in health clinics.
Traditional conceptualizations of health and disease in Iran are based on the Galenic notions of the ‘humors,’ ascribe therapeutic efficacy to dietary and herbal interventions, and invest the individual ‘constitution’ with the ultimate authority for judging whether a particular therapeutic course is beneficial. Juxtaposed to this is allopathic medicine, which is based on universalizing assumptions about the nature of the human body and on statistical ‘proof’ of the efficacy of pharmaceutical interventions. Although philosophically at variance with one another, in Iran the two systems have become a syncretism, in which allopathic doctors openly accept Galenic principles, occasionally even making these the basis of their treatment recommendations, while arguments using allopathic concepts such as ‘metabolism’ and ‘antitoxins’ give authority to dietary or herbal treatments.
In Iran, customary habits of food and diet are integral to understandings of health and well being, furnishing explanations for states of health and guidance for prevention and treatment of health problems. These traditional conceptualizations of health, disease and therapy are materially, practically and epistemologically at variance with allopathic medical philosophies. Medical pluralisms exist all over the world, and by now every indigenous culture has had to come to terms with allopathic hegemony. While Iranians would argue that, in Iran, the two systems represent a true pluralism, or two fields of knowl- edge that are distinct and separate, and that patients can choose for themselves whether to follow allopathic or traditional advice, I argue that, at a fundamental level, the practice of medicine in Iran is a syncretism of allopathic and traditional concepts. Allopathic medicine answers to Iranian common sense and thereby becomes adapted to traditional conceptualizations of the body, health and disease.
Traditional medicine in Iran generally is comprised of two tightly related systems. One is derived from the Galenic notion of the ‘humors,’and pays attention to maintaining balance between various dichotomous conditions in the body, most prominently ‘hot’ (garm) and ‘cold’ (sard). The other, related to the humoral theory but not entirely corresponding to it, can loosely be called ‘herbal.’ This revolves around qualities inherent in foodstuffs other than their ‘hot’/garm or ‘cold’/sard properties, and requires particular and detailed attentiveness to diet.
With the Mongol invasion of Persia and the founding of the Ilkhanate in 1258, the stage was set for the sometimes difficult encounter between Islamic and Mongol law, which has often been described as a ‘clash.’ This paper will look at factors which smoothed the encounter by allowing co-existence and compromise between Mongol and Islamic law. While many Mongols were willing to allow Muslims to practice their own law, Muslim objections to Mongol legal practices were also tempered by several factors, including the previous acceptance of ‘secular’ forms of trial such as the mazalim; the source of law being in religion rather than the ruler, which allowed Islamic legal practices to easily continue; and the possibility interpreting events in moral rather than strictly religious terms. Thus, the attitudes of both the conquerors and the conquered contributed to Mongol rule creating relatively small and painless ripples in the Persian legal landscape.
When the Mongols invaded and came to rule Persia, they brought with them their own legal norms, but also had to confront the fact that in Persia there existed already a functioning legal system. How the Mongols reacted to this legal system, and how Muslims reacted to Mongol laws, is the subject of this paper.
The Mongol and Islamic legal systems were very different. Not only did they represent different cultures, they were also representative one of a sedentary way of life and the other of a nomadic way of life. The Muslims had a class of legal specialists and a voluminous literature surrounding the legal system; the Mongols initially had neither legal specialists nor writing, although they assiduously and even religiously respected certain norms and taboos, while serious disputes were more often than not solved by the aggrieved ‘taking the law into their own hands’ in vengeance.
Therefore it is not at all surprising that the encounter between Mongol and Muslim law is often described as a clash. Many authors simply assume the basic incompatibility of Islamic and Mongol law, and suggest that the influence of Mongol law faded with time. The idea that there existed a ‘Great Yasa’ i.e. codification of Mongol customary law to which the Mongols held strongly has reinforced the idea of the fundamental incompatibility of Mongol and Islamic law.
Interrelation between Timurids (1370–1506) and the Ottoman dynasty (1299–1923) was strong, especially in board of Timurid governor Ḥusayn Bāyqarā (1469–1510). Art and literature was developed in the epoch of Ḥusayn Bāyqarā in Hirat. The classic representative of Persian literature ‘Abd al-Rahman Jāmi (1414–1492) lived and created in Hirat's literary environment. Currently there are more than 1,200 manuscripts related to Jāmi's works copied in 15th–19th centuries in the manuscript fund of the library Sulaymaniya (Istanbul, Turkey). Relations between Hirat and Ottoman palaces were strong in Jāmi period too. The poets who came from Ottoman Empire to Hirat met with Jāmi and they carried away the manuscripts with their creative works to Istanbul. Three manuscripts with the personal seal of Bayezid II (1481–1512) of products of Jāmi are stored In Suleymaniya. It means that Bayezid II was especially interested in Jāmi's creative works.
This paper is based on my research on the influence of the Timurids (1370– 1506) on the Ottoman cultural milieu. The primary sources for this research come from various manuscript libraries in Istanbul. Although initially I thought that the scope of my research was not so extensive, it turned out that in several libraries of Istanbul there are more than 1,300 relevant manuscripts, i.e. works by major classical poets of the Timurid period, such as, ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmi (817–898/1414–1492) and Mir ‘Ali-Shēr Navā’i (844–906/1441–1501). Therefore, I have restricted the analysis to manuscripts produced during the reigns of the Ottoman Sultans Fatih Sultan Mehmed, known as Mehmed II (856–886/1453–1481), and Bayezid II (886–918/1481–1512). This period roughly corresponds to the interval between the beginning of the reign of the Timurid Sultan – Ḥusayn Bayqarā – which lasted from 873/1469 until 911/1506 – and the death of his son Badi’ al-Zamān Mirzā in 920/1514 in Istanbul. It also roughly corresponds to the time of the most intensive creative activity of Jāmi and Navā’i.
It is commonly admitted that the Timurids made a significant impact in the cultural history of the Muslim world, and that Timurid period is characterized by a high level of development in science, art, and literature. Mutual relations between the Timurids and the Ottomans were established in the beginning of the 9/15th century, and personal contacts and travels were quite common.
Notre recherche se propose l’étude des multiples points de rencontre entre le cinéma d'Abbas Kiarostami, celui de Roberto Rossellini et Jean-Luc Godard. Il ne s'agit pas de l'influence directe des cinéastes italien et français sur l'Iranien, mais d'une communauté de pensée, au-delà des époques, entre les trois cinéastes sur la représentation du réel et la façon de le monter, la fonction du cinéma, le rapport du film au spectateur et la morale conjointe de la vie et du cinéma. Une lecture comparée ne fait qu'affirmer la richesse du cinéma kiarostamien et illustrer encore le cinéma de Godard et Rossellini à la lumière des lectures conjointes. À cet effet, nous nous proposons de tenir le cinéma de Kiarostami au centre de notre lecture et d’établir des filiations avec le cinéma de Rossellini et Godard, en vue de vérifier les problématiques posées ci-dessous. Un certain nombre de films du cinéaste seront au programme et nous nous intéresserons surtout aux derniers films de Kiarostami parmi lesquels Copie conforme et Shirin.
Les trois grands axes que nous nous proposons de valider sont les suivants : Dans un premier temps, nous enregistrons que la figure de reprise est le composant essentiel de son cinéma : des éléments narratifs (personnages, décors et actions) défilent d'un film à l'autre, alors que les films reprennent constamment les motifs de ceux de Rossellini et Godard. En deuxième lieu notre recherche se propose l’étude d'un élément de la poétique kiarostamienne à savoir : la répétition. Les analyses filmiques s'appliquent à Copie conforme, film réalisé par Abbas Kiarostami en 2010. Enfin, notre travail se prête à l'examen de quelques concepts de modernité et de postmoderne à travers l’étude de Shirin, film sorti en 2008.
LE CINEMA DE KIAROSTAMI
Comme le libellé du titre l'indique, notre projet se porte sur trois réalisateurs dont Godard et Rossellini, qui appartiennent au cinéma français et italien, donc européen alors que le cinéaste Kiarostami est représentant du cinéma iranien. Le nom de ce dernier peut paraître au premier abord comme une note discordante et son cinéma en mésalliance avec celui de la nouvelle vague et le néoréalisme.
Among rich collections preserved at Georgian Depositories, Persian and Georgian-Persian historical documents present the most important records for the study of Iranian- Georgian political as well as social-economic interrelations. They belong to 16th–19th centuries and comprise over 1700 manuscripts.
In Georgian collections are found nearly 30 Persian documents from the Afshar period (1736–1796). Some of them remain unpublished up to the present. These documents reflect Nadir Shah's (Pers. Nāder Shāh) policy toward Georgia, inner social situation of East Georgia during the Qizilbashs.
The article deals with an unpublished document issued in 1737 by the commander of East Georgia, Sefi-Khan (Pers. Safi-Khān), kept at the National Center of Manuscripts of Georgia (Pd-53). The deed is an order according to which Sefi-Khan points out the mdivanbeg (Pers. Turkish divānbeyg) of the region, Kaikhosro Baratashvili to reconfirm villages to one of aristocracy representative's descendant.
The document presents valuable material for the study of historical and social interrelations of Late Medieval Georgia with Persia during the Afshars. It is also important as a typical example of style and structure of the Persian juridical act.
The cultural past of Georgia, while being a unified state, as well as divided into independent principalities clearly reflects tendencies and peculiarities of different historical periods significantly induced by political and cultural orientation of the country. Islamic Orient, and principally Medieval Iran, has become the most decisive phenomenon in Georgia's history since the 16th century. Political, social-economic and cultural interrelations of these countries were recorded in Persian, Georgian and bilingual – Georgian-Persian historicaldocuments, which present mostly important primary sources for the study of Iranian-Georgian (and in the main, Caucasian) issues as well as of the whole history of Near East.
These significant documents are preserved in rich collections of the Georgian National Antiquities and are dated by 16th–19th centuries, belonging to Safavid, Afshar, Zand and Qajar periods, comprising more over 1700 deeds.
They are kept at the depositories in Tbilisi – the National Center of Manuscripts (the fund Pd, 511 units), the National Archive of the Ministry of Justice (the funds N 1452 and N 1450, (1237 units) and the Museum of Art of Georgia (4 units). They are absolutely unique as regards their content, completeness, historical and artistic significance.
The Avestan socio-spatial ordering system comprised of four levels is discussed as a socio-ritual ordering system in this paper. It is proposed that its correspondence to the time ordering system, the watches of the day, in the Young Avestan texts is not according to the order of watches of day but is based on some ritual realities from this period. Furthermore, it is shown that the there is no evidence for a shift in the sequence of the watches of the day as it has been proposed so far. The evidence only suggests a change in the watch of the Yasna celebration from Ušahina watch to the Hāuuani watch.
Social space is one of the significant categories of space in different cultures. In Zoroastrian, Young Avestan texts, it is mostly represented as a hierarchical structure comprising four levels nmāna-, vīs-, zaṇtu- and daŋ́hu-. In this paper, the structure of Young Avestan social space as a socio-ritual ordering system is discussed and it is proposed that its correspondence to a time ordering system in the Young Avestan texts is based on some ritual realities from this period.
The Young Avestan Religious Leadership Structure
The Avestan socio-spatial ordering system comprised of four levels is attested in Old Avestan texts: The four levels are designated either as nmāna-, vīs-, šōiϑra- and dax́iiu- or as xvaētu-, vərəzə̄na-, airiiamna- and dax́iiu-. From Old Avestan records, it arises, firstly, that Old Avestan society already had a socio-spatial ordering structure which was made up of four levels.
The Young Avestan socio-spatial structure appears to have acquired political connotations, with a representative for each social unit: nmānō.pati-, vīspati-, zaṇtupati- and daŋ́hupati-. Parallel to this, a hierarchy of (prototypical) religious leaders with five levels is testified in Young Avestan including nmāniia-, vīsiia-, zaṇtuma-, dāx́iiuma- and zaraϑuštrō.təma-. In the opening sections of the Yasna and in the Gāhs, this hierarchy of the prototypical religious authorities is set in correspondence to a time ordering system. The time ordering system which is used in these equivalents is one that divides the day into five watches (see table 1). In the following, the list of the equivalents of the (prototypical) religious authorities of the socio-spatial units on the one hand and the watches of the day on the other hand will be called the matrix of the watches-ratus.
Khusro I (531–579 AD) was the first king to have his silver coins marked with the date of issue and the mint name that usually corresponded to the first letters of the place name. From Shapur I (242–271 AD) to Wahram II (276–293 AD), no coins bore a date of issue, but mint names were clearly, although rarely, marked. The interim period – that is, from Narseh (293–302 AD) to Kawad I (488–496 AD, 499–531 AD) – was characterized by two systems of notation for the mint name which became increasingly common, as did the year of issue.
The mint network undoubtedly reflected the royal will, and very often a political reality. Through several case studies, this paper shows how a network of mints can be interpreted in the context of royal propaganda, the politics underlying mint locations, or factual history.
A map of the network of mints that were in operation for each year of the Sasanian period would constitute a source to answer many of the questions that are posed not only by numismatists – for example, on the territorial organization of the Sasanian institution of money – but also by historians.
However, many factors prevent us from creating such maps for the entire period. First, the data that are currently available are too incomplete for us to successfully undertake such a task and there are also other disadvantages related to the coinage itself, the most important of which is the absence of mint names and dates on numerous coins.
The indication on coins of a mint name did not become a standard practice until the second reign of Kawad I, around 500 AD. At that time, the year of issue was also routinely given, and we can therefore establish a list of active mints for each year from 500 to 651 AD. Unfortunately, such a list still cannot produce a map with the location of the mints because many uncertainties about the identity of the mints themselves remain. At that time, most mint names were long, and thus abbreviated, and the identification of these letters that make up a mint's signature with the name of the town or the region where the mint was located often remains hypothetical.
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 ‹‘SGDH›.
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.
Middle Persian (MP) namāz ‹‘SGDH, nm'c› ‘reverence, prostration, prayer’ is well attested in Zoroastrian Middle Persian (ZMP), Manichaean MP (MMP) as well as Pahlavi documents (PD). Since Hansen (1938: 25), a sequence of characters in the PDs have commonly been transliterated as ‹nc›, representing namāz. The vocalisation of ‹nc› is not disputed and its syntax in the context of the greeting formulae has been discussed by Weber in a number of publications. The questions at hand are whether these characters stand for a phonetic or heterographic spelling and whether they represent an abbreviation. In the following, I would like to offer a short overview of namāz in ZMP, before turning my attention to its spelling in the PDs.
Although not noted by MacKenzie (1990) in his dictionary, namāz can be compounded with the verb kardan ‘to do, make, act, perform’ and its derived forms to convey a meaning semantically closer to ‘to worship.’ In such cases it is semantically closer to NP namāz xwāndan:
MX 53 (1) pursīd dānāg ō mēnōy ī xrad (2) kū namāz ud stāyišn ī yazadān čiyōnkunišn … (5) ud hamgōnag padīrag māh ud ātaxš ī wahrām ayāb ātaxš ī ādarōgbāmdād ud nēm-rōz ud ēbārag namāz ud stāyišn kardan. (1) Dānāg asked MX: (2) How is the reverence and praise of the deities to be performed? … (5) And likewise, they are to be revered and praised in the morning, noon and evening, facing the moon and a wahrām fire or ādarōg fire.
Similarly, in Gizistag Abāliš
harw kas bāmdād ka az wistarag abar āxēzed dast nē šōyed namāz (ī) yazad (ud)stāyišn ī yazadān nē kunēd …
The Sasanian law book Mādayān-ī Hazār Dādestān (MHD) is one of the most important and intriguing sources for the understanding of the Middle Persian legal system and comprises manifold references to juridical authorities and officials of different hierarchical levels who can be considered as contemporary witnesses with valuable insights in many aspects of the Sasanian institutions and society. On a closer look, the text also reveals a dense network of relationships, opposing and congruent opinions, thematic similarities and even direct references which imply the existence of several well connected communities of authorities who apparently shared a common background and flourished at the same period. This article focuses on a small selection of characters to depict some of the characteristics shown by these authorities.
Obwohl über das Mādayān-ī Hazār Dādestān (MHD) bereits einige Arbeiten verfasst wurden, bietet der Text vielfältige Möglichkeiten für weitere Analysen, die uns insbesondere der Sassaniden-Zeit ein Stück näher bringen und uns helfen, die damalige Gesellschaft zu verstehen. Einen wichtigen Aspekt stellen in diesem Zusammenhang die regelmäßig namentlich genannten damaligen Rechtsgelehrten dar, welche die im MHD geschilderten juristischen Fragestellungen kommentiert haben oder selbst aktive Teilnehmer des damaligen Rechtssystems waren. Quasi als Zeitzeugen stellen diese Autoritäten somit eine wichtige Quelle für das Wissen um den Aufbau und das Wesen der damaligen Gesellschaft dar, die das MHD auch über den juristischen Aspekt hinaus überaus wertvoll machen. Der folgende Beitrag versucht daher gezielt an einigen ausgewählten Beispielen, diese Autoritäten näher zu beleuchten, Charakteristiken zu identifizieren und sie falls möglich auch zu datieren.
DAS MĀDAYĀN-Ī HAZĀR DĀDASTĀN
Das Rechtsbuch Mādayān-ī Hazār Dādastān (Buch der tausend Entscheidungen) des Farroxmard ī Wahrāmān ist eine Kompilation verschiedener juristischer Texte, Gerichtsakten und Kommentare verschiedener Rechtsgelehrter, welche primär der sassanidischen Periode zugeordnet werden können. Das umfangreiche Vorwissen, welches beim Leser vorausgesetzt wird, impliziert, dass es als ein juristisches Fachbuch mit einer klar definierten Zielgruppe erdacht wurde. Im Unterschied zu heutigen Gesetzesbüchern handelt es sich weniger um ein kodifiziertes Rechtsbuch, sondern eher um eine Sammlung von Einzelfallentscheidungen, welche sich nicht selten sogar widersprechen. Theologische Fragestellungen, wie sie u.a. im Zand erörtert werden, werden hingegen kaum thematisiert.
Ancient myths, retold by generation after generation, gradually lose some of their typical features i.e. god-like characters, super-naturalness and sanctity. This process results in stories containing ancient motifs and archetypes. In this research, the fictional structure of Ayādgār ī Zarērān – a story deriving from an ancient myth – will be examined. This structure includes the elements of theme, verisimilitude, plot, Freytag's pyramid, conflict, characterization, viewpoint, setting and tone of voice. Additionally universal archetypes present in the text will be analyzed. Accordingly, the narrative features of the text are presented, and the foundation of narration in ancient Iran is shown and its qualities are illustrated.
Middle Persian (Pahlavi) refers to the Persian language between c. 300 B.C. and c. 950 A.C. The literary remains from this long period are few and of secular works only fugitive pieces survive. These books, in the vast majority of cases, safeguard older materials going back to the Sasanian period and, in some cases, even earlier. The surviving Pahlavi literature preserves part of the literary heritage of the late Sasanian period, with a great prevalence of religious books. As Mary Boyce writes: ‘The state of Zoroastrian writings in Middle Persian (Pahlavi) is paradoxical in that they represent the literature of a religious minority in its country of origin, where it was once supreme.’
In pre-Islamic Iran, writing down either literary or religious texts was not common. Texts were transmitted orally from one generation to the next; it was not considered necessary to write them down. Only official, political and financial documents were considered worthy of being written. One of the reasons which persuaded the Sasanians to consider writing down their oral literature is the radical change in themes and literary fashions brought about by the Arab conquest and the other should be the fact that only during the latter part of this period, the Sasanian epoch (c. 224–652 A.C.), did Persian literature begin to evolve from an oral (uzwānīg) to a written (nibēsišnīg) form.
Several different literary genres are represented in Middle Persian literature, and the vast majority of them relate to religious themes. Works of fiction include historical novels, stories, fables, folk and fairy tales. In spite of the fact that sole literary texts did not survive; some small books, that are not considered to be completely religious, have survived.
Central Asian Manichaean parables are mostly based on the model of Buddhist tales. But studies on the parable ‘On the Religion and the Ocean’ in the Sogdian ‘Book of Parables’ (āzand-nāme) have uncovered parallels with the Middle Persian text on the ‘Ten Advantages of the Religion’ belonging to a hagiographic sermon as well as with the Coptic Kephalaion 151. Consequently, the core of this story must have been part of the earliest Manichaean tradition. This paper asks whether the ‘Parable of the Two Snakes’ on the very same scroll is also dependent on early Manichaean texts or even on one of Mani's own scriptures. We will see that the snake-parable shares a number of dogmatic features and keywords with the Šābuhragān and related texts. Mani's book was widespread in the East and could have inspired the Manichaean Central Asian storytellers.
As the extant Manichaean literature shows, the Manichaeans liked to dress their dogmatic teachings up in parables and allegories. According to their literary form, two kinds of parables1 can be distinguished: those incorporated into didactic sermons and following the tradition of the Christian Gospel, and parables as a distinct literary category strongly inspired by Buddhist Jātakaand Avadāna-stories, often transmitted as parable collections. Despite this literary classification, the narrative motives of the parables were not restricted to certain areas but wandered around between East and West.
The Manichaean Sogdian ‘Book of Parables’ (āzand-nāme) in Sogdian script is an appropriate example for such intercultural and intertextual relations. According to its colophon, the text was recorded from oral recitation and contained originally about twelve parables of which only two and the end of a third one are extant. One of the fully preserved parables is that ‘On the Religion and the Ocean,’ an adaptation of the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra and similar Buddhist texts with an allegory of the world ocean. Recent studies6 have clearly demonstrated parallels with the Middle Persian text on the ‘Ten Advantages of Mani's Religion’ as well as with the Coptic Kephalaion 151. Consequently, the core of this story must have been part of the earliest Manichaean tradition.
This raises the question whether the other parables in the very same book might also depend on early Manichaean texts.
Three fragments of the Buddhist Sogdian part of the Berlin Turfan collection preserve a commentary or explanation of a Vinaya-text, identified by Yoshida Yutaka. The keywords allow the conclusion that these three fragments originate from successive pages and contain the §§ 19–24 of the Vinaya-text about the 90 Pātayantika-Dharma. One part mentions two as yet unknown words. 1. krpyc is well attested in Old Turkic and in Russian. We hope to explain it as a word of Sogdian origin. 2. ‘rs’ could be an Arabic word. But the meaning remains uncertain.
The work on the catalogue of the Buddhist Sogdian manuscripts of the Berlin Turfan collection continues to advance. There are approximately 500 Buddhist Sogdian fragments. Most of them are very badly damaged; an identification is therefore very difficult. Here an example of my recent work shall be presented.
The three fragments, So 10921, So 19530a and So 19530b are written in the same hand and have a similar form. For the photographs see: http://www. bbaw.de/forschung/turfanforschung/dta/so/dta_so_index.htm.
For many years, only two fragments were known: So 10921 and So 19530. In 1999 Yoshida Yutaka investigated the Buddhist Sogdian fragments in the Berlin Turfan collection and discovered that two fragments of the same form actually were put under the same glass one on the top of the other. The fragments were separated by the restoration department of the Berlin State Library. A caption became visible. Helped by this caption Yoshida Yutaka was able to identify the text as part of a Vinayavibhaṅga. These are texts with explanations of monastic rules. He found the matching passage in the 32nd book of the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya-vibhaṅga, T.T. 1442, vol. 23, 803c. The Sogdian text does not agree with the Chinese text in detail, but keywords are corresponding. For example So 19530a contains the end of the § 21 and the beginning of § 22 of the Vinaya text as published by Yoshida Yutaka.
The paragraphs referred to belong to the 90 Pātayantika Dharmas of the Prātimokṣa of the Sarvāstivāda (Sv.) as they are preserved in several languages.
These are the paragraphs in question
‘Sv. V. 19: Whatsoever Bhikṣu knowing there are creatures in the water shall sprinkle it on grass or on clay or shall cause other to do the same – that is a Pātayantika.’
In the 1st century AD the rise of Artabanus II to the throne of Parthia marks the first substantial attempt to reaffirm the power of the ruling dynasty after decades of crisis. This monarch tried to build up a reformed government system capable of reassigning to the Great King some of his traditional prerogatives through the alliance with political entities alternative to the nobility. The agreement with the Jewish communities proved to be the most effective while the parallel efforts made with the Greek communities resulted at the end in a failure. The new dynasty which came to the throne with Vologaeses I followed the path traced by Artabanus, improving his strategy. Purpose of this paper is to show how much the consolidation of the Arsacid monarchy achieved by Vologaeses owed to the political solutions spotted by Artabanus some years before.
Starting from the publication in 1938 of Debevoise's book Political History of Parthia the Parthian empire gradually began to emerge from the shadows of history to became a better defined political subject whose role and historical importance were no less worth studying than those of the more famous oriental empires which preceded it, like the Achaemenid one, or followed like the Sasanid kingdom.
Of course Debevoise's work presented some indisputable limits. Among these the almost exclusive use of Roman sources, both Greek and Latin. In 53 BC in northern Mesopotamia the Roman legions led by the triumvir Crassus suffered a disastrous defeat. From that time on until the early decades of the 3rd century A.D., the Parthians were considered the only political power which was able to oppose Rome's expansionist goals in the East. This political situation had a significant influence on how the Parthians were perceived by the western people. In fact most of what is nowadays known about the Parthian kingdom history and structure is mainly based on the incomplete and largely stereotyped accounts drawn up by Roman and Greek imperial writers. Since they saw the Arsacids as the ‘eastern enemies’ their interest in their state remained restricted to the provinces of this vast domain lying closer to the Roman borders and to the historical episodes more closely connected with Rome's policy in Western Asia.
Since Debevoise an increasing number of scholars have dealt with Parthian antiquities.
Gray and Atkinson (2003) dated the initial Indo-European divergence to 7000 BC, but Dyen, Krushkal and others (1992) put it at 3000 BC. This led them to opposite conclusions on the IE homeland. Starostin and Burlak (2005) thought that the disintegration of the IE protolanguage took place in the 3rd millennium BC, but they did not specify where, whether in Anatolia or on the European steppes.
Resolving these problems requires a comparison of linguistic and archaeological data. The common Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word ‘metal’ (cuprum), old Indo-Aryan (IA) ajra- ‘non-cultivated field, pasture’ and PIE agros- ‘pasture’ (Burlak, Starostin 2005, p. 241), the existence of words for cattle, sheep, goat and pig (which fell out of IA and means ‘wild boar’), the horse and its cult, as well as words for oar, wheel and transport, astronomical terms such as ‘Milky Way’, and ‘Coachman’ (Nikonov 1980) all suggest a location for the Indo-European homeland on the banks of major rivers, and reveal the role of wheeled transport in their rapid migrations.
The Iranian languages belong to the Indo-Iranian (IIr) branch of the Indo- European (IE) group. The Old Iranian language was discovered by the French scholar Anquetil-Duperron, who in 1771 published a translation of the Parsees’ religious text, the Avesta. In 1786 the English linguist William Jones demonstrated the links between Sanskrit, Latin, Greek and the Germanic languages. This marked the beginning of Indo-European linguistic studies. However, for 250 years the location of the IE homeland has remained an unsolved problem.
The German scholar August Schleicher (1821–1868) reconstructed the IE protolanguage. His compatriot Otto Schrader (1901) placed the IE homeland in Europe between the Rhein, the Danube and the Dnieper on the basis of certain words connected with the local environment, including the names of wild animals, birds, trees, terms relating to the climate and toponyms in the area. He placed the Indo-Iranians on the Eurasian steppes because of the absence in IIr of words for spruce, pine tree, marsh etc.
Many reconstructions of the IE language tree and the split of PIE have been proposed, and the works of J.P. Mallory (1989; 2002) are now prominent in the field.
There is hardly any doubt to be found that nutrition and culinary aspects play an essential role in debates referring to the process of modernization. In this paper, texts of three Persian cookbooks – one from Iran, one from Afghanistan and one from Tajikistan – will be presented as indicators and even as circumstantial proofs for different ways into modernity, in three different countries: Tabbâxi-ye Nejât, by Nejâto d-doule (Tehran, early 20th century), Tabx-e ta’âm barâ-ye maktab-e fonun-e harbiye, written by General as-Sayyid Mahmud Sâmi (Kabul 1337 h.), and Taomhoi tojikî, by S.A. Aminov (Stalinobod 1959).
This contribution is dedicated to the memory of the great master of Iranian Studies throughout the second half of the twentieth century until the year he passed away – the unforgettable professor Iraj Afshar, an incomparable scholar and also a precious personal friend of mine. The services he rendered to the expansion of knowledge concerning cultural affairs of his homeland, Iran, are countless, and his manifold contributions to the field of Iranian Studies as an international and world-wide discipline of learnedness cannot be overestimated.
Among many other themes, he deserves our thankful feelings with regard to his important stimulations for research concerning popular material and everyday's culture of Iran in past and present. It has been roughly more than thirty years ago when I got knowledge about his edition of two manuscripts containing texts of historical cookbooks in Persian language originating from the 16th century – one having been written by a cook who was employed at the court of Shāh Esmā‘īl I – the founder of the Safavid dynasty – and the other one also by a professional courtly cook who worked at the service of Shāh ‘Abbās I. Some years later – at the occasion of the 22nd ‘Deutscher Orientalistentag’ at the University of Tübingen (1983) – I had decided to present a paper on the genre of Persian cookbooks dealing with this kind of texts methodically treating them as sources of important relevance for what had not yet been generally called ‘cultural sciences’, at that time. Subsequently, I had made fascinating experiences in due course by continuously studying and analysing Persian cookbooks from the 16th until the 20th centuries: Jack Goody, Pierre Bourdieu, and Norbert Elias were some of the authors on whom I relied substantially in order to raise serious questions to ‘my’ texts.
This paper discusses a feature of the narrative style of the Persion fiction writer Zōyā Pīrzād in her first collection of short stories ‘Like all the afternoons’ (1991), namely subversive narrative strategies, i.e. strategies with a potential to counteract the story as it is told expressly by the narrator. The short stories ‘The rabbit and the tomato’, ‘The neighbours’, and especially ‘The stain’ are discussed in view of narrative elements applied to that effect (mise en abyme, parallel settings, title focus, unreliable narrator). The ambiguity of the short stories’ contents resulting from subversive narrative strategies is proposed as a factor contributing to Pīrzād's success with the readers.
The works of the Persian fiction writer Zōyā Pīrzād (born in Ābādān 1952; in the following ZP) have received considerable attention. The many reprints, translations, and prizes awarded to her works2 are all indicators of the favourable reception both by readers and institutions of literary criticism.3 One point of scholarly interest is ZP's narrative style, especially in her later works, but also in her earlier ones, including the one focused on here, her first collection of short stories Mes̱l-e hame-ye ʻaṣrhā ‘Like all the afternoons.’
One typical feature of ZP's style is that protagonists are characterized by hints at mental processes via gestures rather than by naming them. Another feature proposed here is that the characterizations of some protagonists are conveyed even more implicitly: by narratives that subvert the portraits presented on the surface. Such strategies on the level of the narrative that compromise the situations described by the narration are what is referred to here as subversive narrative strategies, and subversive narrative strategies in Mes̱l-e hame-ye ʻaṣrhā will be our object.
Mes̱l-e hame-ye ʻaṣrhā contains (depending on the edition) 15 to 18 short stories; they cover 2 to 7 pages in length and are told by various types of narrators; most of them are realist depictions of fictitious realities, with rare resorts to the fantastic; they evolve around one to four central characters – most, but not all of which are women; the majority is set indoors, but there are also some outdoor settings such as a staircase and an antique store.
The article is a short analysis of Rahim-Zâde Safavi's Dâstân-e Shahr Bânu (published in 1931) a historical novel. The historical novels of the period, i.e. the period of the reign of Rezâ Shâh Pahlavi, are often thought to be part of a nationalist discourse, in which a strong adherence to pre-Islamic times and a certain anti-Islamic and anti- Arabic sentiment was predominant. We shall see, however, that Dâstân-e Shahr Bânu is not just a reproduction of the Rezâ Shâh Pahlavi discourse but something more: An attempt to reconcile the Iranian pre-Islamic past with the nation's (Shi'a) Islamic past and thus an attempt to forge a new Iranian-Islamic national identity.
The Iranian historical novel is richly represented in the first four or five decades of the 20th century. The first one was probably Mohammad Bâqer Khosravi's Shams va Toghrâ (published between 1908 and 1910 in three parts). Later on, in the Rezâ Shâh period (reign 1925–1941), other, and one might say, more sophisticated forms of the historical novel were written. One of those is Rahim- Zâde Safavi's Dâstân-e Shahr Bânu (published in 1931) which I will present in this paper. My presentation will focus on the ways in which the historical novel attempts to interpret the Iranian past – in this case the late Sasanian period – and how this interpretation is a contribution to (in my opinion) creating a ‘new’ Iranian national identity along the guidelines formed by the new regime under Rezâ Shâh's command. A main part of these guidelines were a strong adherence to pre-Islamic times and a certain anti-Islamic and anti-Arabic sentiment. We shall see, however, that Dâstân-e Shahr Bânu is not just a reproduction of the Rezâ Shâh Pahlavi discourse but something more: An attempt to reconcile the Iranian pre-Islamic past with the nation's (Shi'a) Islamic past and thus an attempt to forge a new Iranian-Islamic national identity.
I will begin my presentation of Dâstân-e Shahr Bânu with some reflections on both the historical novel as a genre and on its Iranian setting in the early 20th century.
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