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Garnik Asatrian

The article is an attempt to interpret the toponym Bardeskan/Bardaskan, which is the name of a city and a šahrestān (“county”) located in the south of the Khorasan-e Razavi province in Iran, on the northern edge of the Great Salt desert (Kavīr-e namak). Parallelly, the author discusses also the origin of a number of other place-names from the same area.

David Leupold

More than a century years ago Talât Pasha declared famously that in the Eastern Provinces “The Armenian question does not exist anymore”. Today, far from being resolved, the former binary coding (Armenian/Turkish) is even further complicated by a third element— the ongoing Kurdish question (doza Kurdistanê). While most research and journalistic works frame the Armenian issue and the Kurdish issue as two separate events that merely coincide(d) in the same geographical space, this work explores their interdependence and the historical trajectories of two peoples fatally “tied together” across a spatio-temporal scale.

In my paper I identify two opposing lines of continuity through which both peoples are tied together: friendly and fatal ties. With regard to the first (friendly ties), I turn to the SSR Armenia and her role in fostering Kurdish culture and advancing Kurdish nationalism. Hereby, I argue that a marginalized community of Kurmanji-speakers—the Yezidis, previously othered as “devil-worshippers” (şeytanperest)— emerged as the vanguard in forging a novel, secularized Kurdish national identity. With regard to the latter (fatal ties), I link the irrevocable erasure of Ottoman Armenians to the emergence of an imagined “Northern Kurdistan” stretching over large parts of historic Armenia. This, finally, raises the question of Kurdish complicity in the Armenian Genocide—as state-mobilized regiments, tribal members and ordinary residents—in a geography where, as Recep Maraşlı put it, the descendants “are the children of both perpetrators and victims alike”.

Thomas Jügel

This article discusses the publications of two documentation projects of the Gorani varieties of Gawraǰū and Zarda. It offers a number of alternative interpretations, corrections and additions to the grammatical description of two understudied and highly endangered West Iranic varieties, which are under strong influence of neighbouring Kurdish dialects.

David B. Buyaner

The paper deals with the etymology of NP pōlād “steel” suggested by Ernst Herzfeld more than seventy years ago, but overlooked both by his contemporaries and by the following generations of scholars. Some slight emendations are proposed to Herzfeld’s reconstruction of the stages of borrowing from Middle Indian into Old Persian, without, however, diminishing his role as trailblazer.

Evgeny I. Zelenev and Milana Iliushina

This paper focuses on the theory and practice of jihād in the Mamlūk Sultanate, especially during the Circassian period (1382-1517). Some ideas of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), Ibn Kathīr (d. 1373), Ibn al-Naḥḥās (d. 1411), as well as scholars of the pre-Mamlūk epoch are taken in consideration. The authors explore the issue of understanding jihād as the responsibility of the community (farḍ al-kifāya) and/or personal duty (farḍ al-ʿayn) and the role of jihād ideology in the inner- and international Mamlūk politics.

Timirlan Aytberov and Shakhban Khapizov

The paper presents the publication of several inscriptions in the Arabic Kufic script carved on stone in the period of the 10th-13th centuries and discovered in the Avar ethnic area of Dagestan. All of them, except the first one, are published for the first time. This epigraphic material indicates that the process of the gradual spread of Islam started in Dagestan already at the end of the 10th century.

Victoria Arakelova

The paper is an attempt to analyse the emergence of virtual “alliances” based on imagined kinship between some ethnic groups and peoples of the Irano-Caucaso-Anatolian region. It focuses on several illustrative examples, particularly the case of the Talysh-Zaza rapprochement, which has been developed recently as a result of popular interpretation of the postulated theory of the Caspian-Aturpatakan language union, implying a close symbiosis, in the historical past, of the ancestors of the present-day speakers of several New Iranian dialects.

Ali Bahadori

This article, focused on the Persian Gobryas, the head of Patischorian tribe and a member of the mysterious circle bringing Darius I (the Great) to the throne called the “Seven” by Herodotus, aims to argue that the concept of seven families was originally derived from the tribal structure of the Achaemenid society rather than from traditions found in classical writers. Mainly based on the administrative Elamite texts from Persepolis, the paper attempts to add contextual and practical detail to the classical narrative about the status of the “Seven” in the Achaemenid imperial system. This data leads us to the Fahliyān region in southwestern Persia as the house of the Patischorians and shows how Gobryas and his house were involved in the political, economic and administrative structures of the Persian Achaemenid Empire especially during the reign of Darius. The case also provides a valuable context for the study of various aspects of social organization particularly the land tenure.

Editors Iran and the Caucasus