The 17th-century manuscript M7709 (held in the Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia) includes an Armenian copy of the History of the City of Brass, to which an unknown scribe has added short poems about Alexander the Great. The final article of three that together present the Alexander poems of M7709 in full, with English translation, for the first time, this article focuses on the last fourteen: the deaths of Darius III and Alexander, and concluding poems. It adds commentary on the poems’ relationship to the corresponding part of the History of the City of Brass on each page, proposing textual reasons why the scribe added the poems where he did. Across the three articles, this commentary delves into textual relationships beyond the pages of M7709, linking the Armenian History of the City of Brass, Alexander Romance and other texts and traditions, to show how this manuscript is situated amid wider networks of circulating literature. As a microhistorical study, it seeks to provide illumination into the macrohistory of medieval and early modern literature in and beyond the Caucasus.
It is generally accepted that the etymology of the Gāndhārī and Sanskrit official title guśura(ka)- has to be sought within the Iranian sphere, but the details remain debatable. In this article, I first give an overview of recently discovered evidence for an early sound change of *w- > *γw- in some Iranian dialects from the Indo-Iranian borderlands. On this basis, I then propose to derive guśura(ka)- from a dialect form such as *γwazurg / *γwuzurg / *γuzurg < *wazr̥ka- ‘strong’. Two by-products of this article are a new Bactrian etymology for the Gāndhārī personal name G̱aṇavhryaka and some notes on the etymology of the Gāndhārī title sturaka-*.
This is an attempt to interpret the origin of the well-known South Caspian Iranian toponym, Lankarān (Lankōn in Talishi), the name of the capital of Talish (Tōlǝš), or Talishistan (Tōlǝšistōn), the ethnic homeland of the Talishis, covering today the southernmost part of Azerbaijan Republic, bordering Iran. In Azerbaijani Turkish, the historical habitat of this Iranian people is officially named Cǝnub bölgǝsi, i.e., “Southern region/zone”.
This paper retraces the history, activities, and contribution of an intellectual commune active in Quetta, Pakistan between 1950 and 1954: the ‘Laṭxāna commune’. Laṭxāna (Psht. ‘House of idleness’) is the name of a place in which Baluch, Pashtun, Urdu-speaking and Sindhi intellectuals settled in 1950. Laṭxāna’s intellectuals were in close contact with the Communist Party of Pakistan and its cultural branch, the Progressive Writers’ Association, and attempted to spread socialist or communist thought in Baluchistan. Following an agenda outlined by communist and progressive writers, they set out to develop literature in the languages of Baluchistan, launching a Baluchi literary association and a Pashto-language journal and publishing the first collections of modern Baluchi poetry. Laṭxāna’s members also promoted their outlook through journalism, and edited journals, such as Xāwar, Nawā-e waṭan and Ciltan. In 1954, the Laṭxāna intellectuals—who had so far been simple representatives of the Communists or Progressives in Baluchistan—started their own political movement. They created a political party and published a manifesto, which called for a socialist Baluchistan free from the influence of landowners and feudal leaders. Alongside ideological disagreements, the arrest of some of the commune’s prominent members finally led to the closure of Laṭxāna, but the group nevertheless had a long-lasting influence on Baluchistan’s political and intellectual landscape. In this paper, I shall discuss the commune’s literary, journalistic, and political contributions, notably through the accounts of its founding fathers, Mir Abdullah Jamaldini and Sain Kamal Khan Sherani.
It is a common belief that conflict, underlying the events described in the Martyrdom of Sukiaseans was based on apostasy. Yet, it is very likely that the fatal controversy between the Alan king and the Alan hermits, who converted to Christianity, his subjects, was caused by more complex set of factors without which it is impossible to adequately understand neither the essence of the conflict, nor the motives of its participants, nor the consequences to which it led. It seems that an integrated approach should pay a decisive role to developing an adequate methodology, according to which Martyrdom cannot be separated from Satenik’s wedding ceremony. It is only within the mytho-ritual framework of this wedding that five key motives, underlying the general plot of Martyrdom, can be singled out and explained.
Turkish–Islamic Synthesis has been an influential doctrine since the 1970s in Turkey. It emerged as a national/cultural reaction against the rising influence of the leftist and radical Islamist movements and has been discussed within these contexts. This study will expand the scope of the concept and offer Iran/Shi‘ism as a threat to Turkey’s national/religious integrity within the context of Turkish–Islamic Synthesis. The historical/ideological rivalry between the Sunni/Shi‘a and Turks/Iranians reached its peak after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. This study, which examines the issue with regards to the otherness and friend/enemy distinction perspectives, aims to include Iran and Shi‘ism in the discourse on Turkish–Islamic Synthesis and will use primary sources on the subject.
The aim of this paper is to reconsider some aspects of archaeology and historical geography related to the Urartian presence in the territory of modern-day Armenia in the light of the recent discovery of the important Iron Age site of Solak-1/Varsak. In particular, the possibility is put forward in this text that the ancient city of Dara(ni), mentioned in the Elar inscription made by Argišti I (CTU A 8–8), was not the small fortress of Elar, as was proposed before, but the great Iron Age site of Solak-1/Varsak.
The chronicle of Qasim Beg Hayati of Tabriz, written during the reign of Shah Tahmasp (d. 1576), provides new information on early Safavid history that is absent from the other Persian historical literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In particular, Hayati shows how important the Caucasus was for the rise of Shaykh Junayd (d. 1460) and Shaykh Haydar Safavi (d. 1488). Using plunder and slaves gained from raids on the Circassians and the Georgians, Junayd and Haydar maneuvered themselves into a position of leadership of their familial order to which they were not entitled by birth. The disastrous ends of both men meant that there could be little continuity in the movement, but they still placed their line at the head of the shrine of Ardabil, and bequeathed to the young Shah Isma’il (d. 1524) a few surviving veterans with valuable experience about campaigning.