The series Corpus Avesticum is designed to provide a forum for new editions of Avestan texts. It includes works by different authors on the transmission of the Avesta and editions of Avestan texts and their exegesis in Pahlavi and Sanskrit. The editions will be based on a fresh collation of the manuscripts available today and on a critical analysis of the manuscript tradition. Editions would vary according to the focus individual authors have chosen for their work.
The series comprises three types of works. The first type would be editions of the ritual Avesta. They provide the Avestan text of complete rituals together with a text-critical apparatus. The second type comprises editions of the Avestan, Pahlavi or Sanskrit versions of a text with translation, commentary and dictionary of that particular text. Depending on the size of the text, the edition would be either of a complete text, or of a constituent part of a larger text (such as, for example, part of the Yasna). The third type comprises analyses of the history and dependencies of the manuscripts.
The paper focuses on the 12th chapter of the *Saddharmaparikathā, a Buddhist homileticians’ guidebook containing sample sermons, dealing with the topic of gambling (dyūta). I edit, translate, and discuss the chapter with an introduction that includes a short overview of gambling in Sanskrit literature at large. The anonymous author is dismissive of gambling in all its forms, whether it is practised for material gain, for mere pleasure, and even if studied as an art. In spite of its exiguity, his discussion of the topic is, as far as we are aware, the most comprehensive in classical Buddhist literature.
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. This is the second of three articles that together present the Alexander poems of M7709 in full, with English translation, for the first time (see Part I in Iran and the Caucasus 25.4: 334–351), focusing on sixteen poems: the death of Alexander, and Alexander’s confrontation with emissaries of Darius III. 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.
The conference presentation that prompted the writing of this short communication formed a part of a new project entitled “A Study of the Foreign Relations of Ur III Mesopotamia,” which will study a wide range of textual data from the late third millennium BC to investigate the nature of Ur III foreign policy. After a general introduction to the project, the article offers a preliminary survey of Ur III year formulae as an accurate and reliable source of information on Ur III military and geopolitical state policy, demonstrating a distinct military emphasis on the eastern and northeastern regions of the state.
This article presents an edition of the Elamite version of the inscription A2Ha, which has always been considered too badly preserved to be read. Starting from the newly established text, some remarks will be made on the interpretation of the final word of the inscription (melkanra) and on its Old Persian counterpart (vidītu), which is found in the partially identical text A2Sa.
This essay scrutinizes the relationship between the procedure of extispicy and the concept of decision-making in ancient Mesopotamian assemblies. The term ‘procedure of extispicy’ refers to consulting the gods for decisions and questions, observing organs of a sacrificial animal, recognizing and decoding omen features on the organs, and rendering a final answer. Given the explicitness of Mesopotamian texts, according to which extispicy is the outcome of the counsels of the gods in the divine assembly on a specific question, it follows that the features appearing on the sacrificial animal reflect the views of the gods. This corresponds to the characteristics of decision-making by assemblies and councils, which has been common at both the divine and human levels in Mesopotamia. This argument is reinforced by the fact that the final answer of extispicy, unlike some divinatory methods, which are based on numbers and mathematics, is determined by the largest possible percentage of binary decision-making processes (yes/no) reflecting the procedure of achieving a consensus decision through unanimity or super-majority. However, super-majority in extispicy could be affected by a veto sign, proving another parallel with the procedure of consensus decision-making.
Dozens of temple records from Ur III Umma attest to the Sumerian expression dumu kar-ra. Previous literature interprets it as referring to children born out of wedlock, based on its connection to the term géme kar-kid/kìd (“prostitutes”). An examination of the records shows that dumu kar-ra never appears in the same context as prostitutes. Instead, it appeared among the votive gifts donated to gods by married women and professional men. The gender, age, or name of a dumu kar-ra is never specified in any case. The clues lead to the possibility that the dumu kar-ra could have been young foundlings that people picked up in the quay area and later brought to the temple for long-term care. The temple raised the foundlings with the sponsorship of the Umma government.