Browse results

Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)
Author: Mahnaz Moazami
Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.
In exploring ‘Abdul-Bahá’s visits to Britain, Brendan McNamara expands the jigsaw of our knowledge of how “the east came west”. More importantly, by exploring the visits through the motives of those that received him, The Reception of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Britain: East Comes West demonstrates that the “cultic milieu” thesis is incomplete. Focusing on a number of well-known Edwardian Protestant reformers, the book demonstrates that the arrival of eastern forms of religions in Britain penetrated more mainstream Christian forms. This process is set within significant developments in the early formation of the study of religions, the rise of science and orientalism. All these elements are shown to be linked together. Significantly the work argues that the advent of World War One changed the direction of new forms of religion leading to a ‘forgetfulness’ that has lasted until the present time.
Ḫvāndamīrs Ḥabīb as-siyar im Handschriftenzeitalter
Author: Philip Bockholt
In Geschichtsschreibung im Handschriftenzeitalter, Philip Bockholt addresses the question of how history was written in the premodern Islamic world, and offers new insights into one of the most important chronicles composed in Persian, Khvāndamīr’s universal history Ḥabīb al-siyar. Taking into account the political events which occurred in Iran and India around 1500, he examines the manuscript tradition of the work, and gives an in-depth analysis of how the author adapted his chronicle to the Shiʿi and Sunni religio-political outlook of his Safavid and Mughal overlords. Making use of new approaches in the fields of history and philology, Philip Bockholt convincingly proves how texts were transmitted and modified for various audiences during premodern times.

In Geschichtsschreibung im Handschriftenzeitalter untersucht Philip Bockholt am Beispiel von Ḫvāndamīrs Weltgeschichtschronik Ḥabīb as-siyar, wie Geschichte in der islamischen Vormoderne geschrieben wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der politischen Umbrüche in Iran und Indien um 1500 analysiert er die intentionale Ebene von Historiografie und zeigt auf, wie ein Historiker sein Werk in verschiedenen Fassungen sowohl für die Safaviden als auch die Moguln an schiitische und sunnitische Kontexte anpasste. Mit der Erforschung der Handschriftentradition eines der am häufigsten kopierten Geschichtswerke der islamischen Welt legt Philip Bockholt die Techniken des Autors offen, die Darstellung von Ereignissen im Sinne des jeweiligen Patrons zu verändern, wodurch Einblicke in den Prozess von Geschichtsschreibung sowie zu Textüberlieferung und Leserschaft im Handschriftenzeitalter möglich werden.
The Judeo-Persian Rendition of the Buddha Biographies
The Prince and the Sufi is the literary composition of the seventeenth-century Judeo-Persian poet Elisha ben Shmūel. In The Prince and the Sufi: The Judeo-Persian Rendition of the Buddha Biographies, Dalia Yasharpour provides a thorough analysis of this popular work to show how the Buddha's life story has undergone substantial transformation with the use of Jewish, Judeo-Persian and Persian-Islamic sources. The complete annotated edition of the text and the corresponding English translation are thorough and insightful. This scholarly study makes available to readers an important branch in the genealogical tree of the Buddha Biographies.
Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry
Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry explores the relationship between sexuality, politics, and spirituality in the lyric output of Saʿdi Shirazi (d. 1282 CE), one of the most revered masters of classical Persian literature. Relying on a variety of sources, including unpublished manuscripts, Domenico Ingenito reads the so-called “inimitable smoothness” of Saʿdi’s lyric style as a serene yet multifaceted window onto the uncanny beauty of the world, the human body, and the realm of the unseen.

The eight chapters of the book constitute the first attempt to study Sa‘di’s lyric meditations on beauty in the context of the major artistic and intellectual trends of his time. By mining unexplored connections between Islamic philosophy and mysticism, between obscene verses and courtly ideals of love, Ingenito approaches Sa‘di’s literary genius from the perspective of sacred homoeroticism and the psychology of performative lyricism in their historical context.
Editor: Elton L. Daniel
The Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. It also includes scholarly articles related to the reciprocal influences between Persia and its neighbors, extending from pre-history to the present. The disciplines represented include: anthropology, archaeology, geography, art history, ethnology, sociology, economics, history of religion, philosophy, mysticism, history of science and medicine, Islamic history, botany, zoology, folklore, development of agriculture and industry, political science, international relations, and diplomatic history.

Fascicle 6 of Volume XVI (pp. 561-672) starts with the article on Khomeini and ends with the entry on xiv. Ethnology of Qajar and Pahlavi Khorasan.
Author: Efraim Wust
The Yahuda Collection was bequeathed to the National Library of Israel by one of the twentieth century's most knowledgeable and important collectors, Abraham Shalom Yahuda (d. 1951). The rich and multifaceted collection of 1,186 manuscripts, spanning ten centuries, includes works representing the major Islamic disciplines and literary traditions. Highlights include illuminated manuscripts from Mamluk, Mughal, and Ottoman court libraries; rare, early copies of medieval scholarly treatises; and early modern autograph copies.

In this groundbreaking Arabic catalogue, Efraim Wust synthesizes the Islamic and Western manuscript traditions to enrich our understanding of the manuscripts and their compositions. His combined treatment of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts preserves the integrity of the collection and honors the multicultural history of the Islamic intellectual traditions.

Iran-Russia relations are highly affected by the shared interest of the two countries in confronting the influence of the United States in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. However, the development of the relationship between the two countries has been hampered by the ongoing legacy of historical antagonism between them, casting doubt and pessimism upon the prospect of more constructive bilateral relations. Two groups of internal and external factors are the main obstacles to the expansion of cooperation between Iran and Russia. First, the lack of economic overlap or affiliation between Iran’s dependent economy and Russia's energy exports, and the state-based nature of both economies, as well as their cultural and social differences. Second, despite the Nuclear Deal, the difficulties in relations between the West, Russia and Iran remain a barrier to the expansion of Iran-Russia cooperation.

In: Iran and the Caucasus

In the light of recent investigations by archaeologists and historians of art, several textile decorative patterns that have been uncritically attributed to Sasanian Persia in the past should be considered most likely Central Asian creations. Typical Iranian composite creatures, such as the so-called simurgh, had become very popular in Eurasia since the 7th century A.D. However, for some reason not completely clear, the so-called simurgh was not adopted by Central Asian Buddhists who, on the contrary, accepted other Iranian (possibly Sogdian) motifs, such as the wild boar head, the winged horse and birds holding a necklace in their beak within pearl roundel frames. The presence of such Iranian decorative motifs in monumental arts or objects of luxury arts (textiles, metalwork, glass, etc.) could be a valid instrument to propose better chronologies for excavated artifacts on a very wide area, which includes Persia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Tibetan Plateau as well.

In: Iran and the Caucasus