The Kapphiṇābhyudaya is a mahākāvya composed by Śivasvāmin in 9th century Kashmir. It represents a high point of the development of its genre. Once a prominent work, its study in modern times, particularly that of its more difficult parts, suffered because of the lack of a commentary. Finally, in the 1980s a manuscript of a commentary was discovered in Tibet, copies of which are now kept at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing. From these Ernst Steinkellner could prepare an ad hoc description in 2007. The present article’s chief contribution is an edition and annotated translation of the two short transcribed passages contained in Steinkellner’s description.
This article investigates the textual basis of the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata, an observance first attested in the tenth chapter of the Śivadharmaśāstra. Given the great variety in readings of the versions contained in manuscripts that are of distinctly variegated geographical provenance and age, it is argued that at least during the 6th to 7th centuries—and even possibly later—the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata had not yet developed a consistent form. The variable form of this particular vrata stands in stark contrast to its Vaiṣṇavite precursors that at the time of composition of the Śivadharmaśāstra had already developed into a standardized, canonical form. Hence, we argue, the regional variation of the manuscripts is indicative of a living, widespread Śaivite tradition that gives rise to different lines of transmission. Since the chief aim of this contribution is to display and study this variation, the kernel of this article consists of a ‘comparative edition’ of the tenth chapter of Śivadharmaśāstra, furnished with translation and philological commentary.
While the story of the Magadhan king Ajātaśatru’s seeking the Buddha’s advice on attacking the Vṛjis is well known and much studied, rather less known and little studied are stories of his war or conflict with the Vṛjis embedded in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes. This paper explores these lesser-known stories of Ajātaśatru’s warfare, primarily focusing on their function as narrative frames for monastic rules or exceptions (anāpatti) that have no necessary relation to war. It investigates the rationale behind Indian Buddhist jurists’ utilization of these stories to account for monastic legislation, and discusses the perceptions of war reflected therein. Moreover, the paper shows that Indian Buddhist jurists of different sects or schools do not seem to have shared the same stance on predicting warfare, some arguably more ambivalent than others, especially when a prediction proves wrong and is thus liable to shake the laity’s faith and/or harm the mutual trust between monks themselves.
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.
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”.
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.
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.