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The Arabic historiographical tradition is considered to be one of the most important textual sources for the reconstruction of Sāsānian history. Historians such as al-Ṭabarī, al- Masʿūdī or al-Thaʿālibī explicitly claimed to have used older material of Persian origin. The basis of their accounts seem to have been translations, excerpts and adaptations of translations, which commonly are traced back to the Middle-Persian “Book of Kings”, the Khwadāynāmag. While it may be assumed a scientific consensus that there were in the late Sāsānian period books dealing with Iran’s history, the opaque character of this historical tradition has repeatedly given rise to scientific controversy over the question of whether there was one or several books bearing the title Khwadāynāmag, when the content was first written down, whether the tradition could be regarded as sound or not, which earlier sources finally became a part of the Khwadāynamag, etc. In the following, two inspiring recent contributions to the research on the Khwadāynāmag will be presented.

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In: Iran and the Caucasus

This article discusses potential Zoroastrian prefigurations concerning the Qurʾānic imagination of tormenting and distasteful food in hell. Although research on paradise and hell in the Qurʾān and the Islamic tradition has recently undergone a significant revival, recognizing potential allusions to Jewish, Christian, and—to a lesser extent—ancient Arabic traditions, Zoroastrian texts continue to be largely neglected. While scholars have argued that the banquet scenes in hell have no antecedents in Jewish or Christian literature and should therefore be understood as echoing or rather inverting and perverting ancient Arabic evocations of generous hospitality, some remarkable parallels in the Zoroastrian tradition will be brought to attention here. It is thus intended to argue for the plausibility of a reflection of Zoroastrian ideas in the Qurʾānic milieu, particulary in relation to eschatological ideas.

In: Iran and the Caucasus