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Persian Calligraphy and related traditional arts of books make up the most important forms of Iranian-Islamic art, which are still living practiced traditions up to today. This volume puts together a first-of-a-kind handbook and contains the most important termini technici as well as expressions and techniques connected to the traditional art of Persian calligraphy (mostly Nastaʿlīq), calligraphy tools such as the reed pen, paper and ink as well as some related fields, like taẕhīb (illumination), tašʿīr (historiated painting), book binding, etc. The content is based on thirty prominent classical Persian treatises, composed between twelfth and twentieth centuries. All terms and expressions are followed by an English description and often accompanied by an illustration. These expressions, which are key to understanding old calligraphic treatises and many relevant sources on Islamic art, are meant to familiarise the reader with both common and forgotten techniques and terminology of calligraphic traditions. The volume addresses not only the artists and scholars of Iranian and Islamic art history, but also those, who are dealt with Islamic and Iranian manuscripts, manuscript cultures, codicology and palaeography.
Both the author and the editor of this volume are trained practicing calligraphers and illuminators, who learned the art of calligraphy and illumination through long, traditional study under masters of this art.
In his new monograph Early Arsakid Parthia (ca. 250-165 B.C.): At the Crossroads of Iranian, Hellenistic, and Central Asian History, Marek Jan Olbrycht explores the early history of the Arsakid Parthian state. Making use of literary and epigraphic evidence as well numismatic and archaeological sources, Olbrycht convincingly depicts how the Arsakid dynasty created a kingdom (248 B.C.-A.D. 226), small at first, which, within a century after its founding, came to dominate the Iranian Plateau and portions of Central Asia as well as Mesopotamia. The “Parthian genius” lay in the Arsakids’ ability to have blended their steppe legacy with that of sedentary Iranians, and to have absorbed post-Achaemenid Iranian and Seleukid socio-economic, political, and cultural traditions.
The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.
Author: Bruce Lincoln
In Religion, Culture, and Politics in Pre-Islamic Iran, Bruce Lincoln offers a vast overview on different aspects of the Indo-Iranian, Zoroastrian and Pre-Islamic mythologies, religions and cultural issues. The book is organized in four sections according to the body of evidence they engage most directly: Avestan, Old Persian, Pahlavi, and Iranian materials in comparison with other data, including studies of myths, especially those with cosmogonic implications, ritual practices, cosmological constructions of space and time, points of intersection between religion, ethics, law, and politics, ideological aspects of scientific and medical theorizing, social organization and gender relations, and other diverse topics.
Author: Ardeshir Atai
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has implemented Sharia-compliant banking and finance which makes it one of the few countries that has adopted Islamic banking. The post-war liberalization and privatization of the economy and subsequent deregulation had paved the ground for emergence of private banks and financial institutions which had been subject to strict government control and ownership of banks. Further reform of the banking sector included authorization for the establishment and operations of foreign-owned banks in Iran and ratification of international treaties for the reciprocal protection and promotion of capital investments. The most recent government reform plan concerning adoption of a comprehensive banking law aims to create a single regulator for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks and financial institutions. The implementation of the aforesaid banking reform will be instrumental for achieving a sound and safe banking system and restoring investor confidence in the Iranian banking and money markets.
vāndamīrs Ḥabīb as-siyar im Handschriftenzeitalter
Author: Philip Bockholt
In Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna, 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 Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna untersucht Philip Bockholt am Beispiel von Ḫ vāndamīrs 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.
Evolving Attitudes towards "Others" in Modern Shiʿi Thought and Practice
Author: Meir Litvak
In Know Thy Enemy, Meir Litvak analyzes the re-articulations of the “Others” in modern Shiʿism, as a novel way to examine the formulation of modern Shiʿi identity and place in the world. Among these others, which have transformed into "enemies" in the modern period are the West, apostates, Wahhabism, Jews, Baha'is and feminism.

Looking at the rhetorical themes that Shiʿi writers use, the book demonstrates the contrast between the collective positive “We” and the negative threatening "Other" as a major principle in the evolution of Shiʻism as the minority branch of Islam. It offers a complex view of Shiʿi identity combining a sense of victimhood and insecurity together with conviction of intellectual and moral superiority and long-term triumph.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
The Arabic treatise edited and translated here was written in the middle of the 9th century CE by ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī, a Christian convert to Islam and one of the most remarkable thinkers of his time. The text can be described as a manual towards the preservation of health, addressed directly to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil and his household. It represents not only the oldest extant specimen of its kind, but is also distinguished by its largely non-technical language, as well as by a narrative style that creates an unusual interface with classical Arabic prose literature. The Greek and Indian sources upon which aṭ-Ṭabarī relied testify to the synthetic and inclusive character of early Islamic medicine.
A Military History of Russia’s Move into the South Caucasus and the First Russo-Iranian War, 1801-1813
In From the Kur to the Aras George A. Bournoutian presents the first military history of the Russian advance into the South Caucasus in 1801 and the ensuing First Russo-Iran War (1804-1813) that was a crucial step in the Russian Empire’s eventual expansion into the Caucasus region. Using both Iranian and Russian primary sources, the work vividly describes the strategies, military capabilities and personalities that clashed for ten years, ending with the Treaty of Golestan. Numerous and illustrative maps, as well as informative appendices, add to a balanced view of a struggle between and ancient and an emerging empire.