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  • Author or Editor: Matthias Weinreich x
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The present study investigates the intertextual relationship between the Pahlavi “Story of Jōišt ī Friyān” and the biography of Zarathustra, as recorded in pre-modern Zoroastrian sources. The first part of the study contains the presentation and analysis of intertextual fragments within the Pahlavi tale, which can be discerned as referencing the Zoroastrian prophet’s life and deeds, forging an associative link between the central character of the story and the image of Zarathustra. The second part provides an attempt to explain why the author of the story might have considered such a link necessary and what could have inspired him to choose Zarathustra’s image and associate it with his protagonist.

In: Iran and the Caucasus

The paper presents a comparative analysis of the Pahlavi “Story of Jōišt ī Friyān”, comparing it with three other tales, which span several hundred years and belong to several cultural traditions. By isolating structural and content-related features from the narrative core of these tales and setting them into relation with each other, the present author attempts to answer the following questions. Are there meaningful parallels between these four tales, which would suggest literary borrowing? And, if there are, would it be possible to identify one of them as the primary source of the others? The study is intended to contribute to our understanding of the process of literary exchange between Zoroastrians and Muslims in early Mediaeval Iran.

In: Iran and the Caucasus

Abstract

The current paper is an invitation to a virtual journey to Gilgit-Baltistan (former Northern Areas), a high mountain region in the north of Pakistan, endowed with an amazing variety of languages spoken on its territory. The travel itinerary includes stops at Skardu (Baltistan), Gojal (upper Hunza valley), Karimabad (central Hunza valley), Taus (Yasin valley) and Gilgit town. At each destination the traveller is introduced to the languages used by its inhabitants: Balti, Wakhi, Burushaski, Domaakí, Pashto and Shina. Local personalities, scholars and a foreign researcher share key information about their language's geographical distribution, speaker numbers and dialectal division. Special attention is given to expositions of the language attitude of the concerned speaker communities, as well as to the description of local efforts directed at creating language-specific alphabets and the promotion of mother tongue education. The interlocutors' narratives are complemented by black-and-white photographs and references to recent academic publications dedicated to the languages and peoples of Gilgit-Baltistan.

In: Studies on Iran and The Caucasus

The article provides a literary analysis of three Middle Persian tales: the Story of Jōišt ī Friyān, the Memorial of Zarēr, and the Explanation of Chess and the Invention of Backgammon. Similar to most works of Zoroastrian narrative literature, composed in the late Sasanian and early Islamic era, they are based on oral traditions and contain numerous references to personalities and events also familiar from other Iranian sources. But, different from comparable stories belonging to the same context and time, they are thematically closely interwoven with the Zoroastrian cosmological myth. The reason for this striking intertextual connection is sought in their authors’ intent to provide didactic narratives for religious instruction to an audience hoping for eschatological deliverance from social oppression and spiritual evil.

In: Iran and the Caucasus

Abstract

The paper is devoted to the phenomenon of mother tongue change, which is known as the most common course of language death. The languages under consideration are Domaakí, with ca. 350 speakers in the Nager and Hunza Valleys, and Pashto, as spoken by permanent migrants in ca. 150 households scattered all over the Northern Areas. By analysing and comparing the social environment of both speech communities the author attempts to illustrate the importance of the speakers' attitude towards their own mother tongue in the process of language shift.

In: Iran and the Caucasus

Abstract

Der nachfolgende Beitrag entstand im Ergebnis von Feldforschungsaktivitäten, die ich in den Jahren 1993-1995 im Rahmen des DFG Schwerpunktprogramms "Kulturraum Karakorum" und mit der Gewährung einer Sachbeihilfe seitens der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft wahrnehmen konnte. Ich möchte an dieser Stelle der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft sowie den am Programm beteiligten Kollegen Prof. Dr. Manfred Lorenz, Prof. Dr. Horst Grienig, Prof. Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann, Dr. Jens-Peter Jakobsen, Herrn Reinhard Fischer, Dr. Wolfgang Holzwarth und Dr. Erhard Bauer für die mir erwiesene Hilfe und Unterstützung danken.

In: Iran and the Caucasus