How Did the Ancient Iranians Coordinate Space? On the Old Iranian Absolute Frame of Reference

Published: February 23, 2022

For verbal expression and nonverbal cognitive processing of spatial relations between two objects, the speakers of a language use different frames of reference. (Psycho)linguistics classifies these into three main groups: intrinsic, relative, and absolute. This lecture aims to identify the old Iranian absolute frame of reference. After a short explanation of different frames of reference,…

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Current Trends in Avestan Studies

Published: February 16, 2022

Current Trends in Avestan Studies This lecture discusses the major progress made in our understanding of the Avestan corpus/texts in the last years. Based on her recent publication co-written with Jean Kellens, L’introduction à l’Avesta, Céline Redard introduces the new vision of the Avesta, leading to the new editions currently undertaken. The important ritual aspect…

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Greek ‘Concubines’ and Achaemenid Dynastic Politics

Published: January 19, 2022

Greek ‘Concubines’ and Achaemenid Dynastic Politics The civil war of 401 BC between Cyrus the Younger and his older brother King Artaxerxes II (r. 405/4-359/8 BC) is well known to Achaemenid historians, thanks especially to the famous account of Xenophon’s Anabasis.  While the military aspects of this conflict have been much studied, this lecture focuses on the two Ionian Greek women…

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The Achaemenid Persian Empire: A Two Volume Companion

Published: November 5, 2021

Often called the first world empire, the Achaemenid Empire is rooted in older Near Eastern traditions. A Companion to the Achaemenid Persian Empire offers a perspective in which the history of the empire is embedded in the preceding and subsequent epochs. In this way, the traditions that shaped the Achaemenid Empire become as visible as…

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The Yasna Ritual in Performance

Published: May 13, 2021

The Yasna Ritual in Performance Up to the present day Zoroastrian priests perform a millennia old ritual, the Yasna, in which the recitation of ancient Avestan texts accompanies the performance of ritual actions. Using new visual source material of images and film clips, this lecture discusses the performance of the Yasna and its significance for…

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Narseh’s Diadem: Religion, Royalty, and Power under the Early Sasanians

Published: February 19, 2021

Narseh’s Diadem: Religion, Royalty, and Power under the Early Sasanians This talk focuses on the Sasanian king Narseh (293-302 CE), who celebrated his accession to the throne through the bilingual inscription (Middle Persian and Parthian) and commemorative monument built in Paikuli, the site currently studied by the archaeological mission of Sapienza-University of Rome: The Italian…

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