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Conf/Abstracts - 20 Years of Iran and the Caucasus: A Breakthrough, 21-23 October, 2016 Aghveran, Armenia

Publish Date: Oct 12, 2016


20 Years of Iran and the Caucasus :
A Breakthrough

International Conference
Dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of

21-23 October, 2016
Aghveran, Armenia


The Conference is organised by the International Journal Iran and the Caucasus - (BRILL, Leiden-Boston) in the Framework of the Celebration of its 20th Anniversary, in cooperation with Caucasian Centre for Iranian Studies, Yerevan; Russian-Armenian State University, Yerevan; Institute of Autochthonous Peoples of the Caucasian-Caspian Region, Yerevan; and ARMACAD.

Conference venue: Aghveran Crystal Resort - hotel, Aghveran,  Armenia




The birth of the Myth of Polish-Caucasian Brotherhood:
Is Poland Founded by People from the Caucasus?

Przemyslaw Adamczewski

During the presentation the issue of the creation of myth concerning the origin of Poles from Dagestani peoples will be touched. That myth was born in the theories of German historian from XVIII century, Gottfried Lengnich, who derived the Lachy (Lachy - the name used by the Eastern Slavs, as well as part of the Vikings, to determine the Poles) from Laz people and Colchians. However, the biggest increase of its popularity came in the Romantic era. Adam Mickiewicz paid great attention to the participation of Caucasian peoples, particularly from Dagestan, in the ethnogenesis of Poles. However, to understand the philosophy of history of A. Mickiewicz, it is needed to realize that the poet as historian opposed to "history of scholar" (scientific truth) "folk history" (the folk truth), in which he saw a higher value than in factual accuracy.

In the concept of A. Mickiewicz Lachy comes from the eastern Caucasus. In length of time, however, Lachy moved to Pannonia (A. Mickiewicz in his historiography identified the “Dagestani” Avars and “Pannonian” Avars). The arrived people subjugated the local Slavs and began to penetrate areas around the Carpathians. One group of people who came from the Caucasus, Zygii (the term Ζυγοί / Zygoi used by ancient Greeks for the ancestors of modern Adyghe), merged with a group of Western Slavs, giving rise to the Czechs. The second group crossed the Carpathians and subdued the local Slavic population. However, over time the descendants of newcomers took over the language and culture of the local Slavs, and began to be called "Poles". There was a symbolic division of the Slavdom: to the Eastern, where arrived one of the tribes of Varangian – Rus people, which gave rise to statehood of Eastern Slavs, and to the Western, where arrived the peoples of the Caucasus.

In Mickiewicz’s history coming of Lachy from the Caucasus in the territory of later Poland represented activity of providence of God. In the opinion of the Pole, while in the East was "the ark of truth and civilization" and form the steppes of the Volga and Don rivers attacks of Scythians threatened, Lachy were needed in the Caucasus. But when the "capital of faith and light" moved to the West and the threat of peace has dislocated from the Caucasian steppes to further East, from which it started expanding to Europe thought Greece, there is a need to build a broader protection. For this reason, Lachy moved to the Slavdom, to create a civilization barrier from sea to sea (in this case it was about the barrier extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea).

Today, historians reject the participation of the Dagestani peoples (or, more broadly – Caucasian peoples) in the ethnogenesis of the Poles. However, the myth of common descent formed the specific perception by the Polish of inhabitants of the Caucasus and influenced the conviction of the Polish-Caucasian unity.


The Impacts of Modernization and Westernization on Traditional Identity among the Pastoral Nomads of Iran

Sekandar Amanolahi

The pattern of identity in general is one of the basic elements of human's way of life (culture), which enables  human to categorize the variety of phenomena  in order to easily distinguish them from one another.

Identity is based on the use of symbols, standing for or representing something else. Traditionally, individual and tribal identities were based on several factors such as kinship, language, ethnicity, religion , geographical locality, etc. However, the factors of Modernization and Westernization have greatly affected the traditional patterns of identity among the nomadic tribes, as well as the traditional identity of the Iranians in general.

Modenization and Westernization have resulted in sedentarization of pastoral nomads, expansion of urbanism and modern education and, hence, occupational diversity and occupational opportunity. These circumstances have enhanced the individual   independence and his socio-geographical mobility. In the meantime, the modern government issues the identity card (shenasnameh), contain the name, family name, location and the date of birth. Currently, this is the formal identity card, which did not existed in traditional Iranian society. People are free to choose any family name they prefer. Consequently, people are no longer obliged to choose their family names from their kinfolk. There are other elements of identity, such as occupational title, employment identity card, etc.

In short, the traditional identity among the pastoral nomads has drastically changed.


Общественно-политическое, экономическое и религиозное влияние Исламской Республики Иран в регионе Большого Кавказа

Yana Amelina

Снятие с Ирана международных санкций стало катализатором активизации деятельности государственных и частных иранских представительств на постсоветском пространстве в целом и в Закавказье, на Северном Кавказе и в регионах Южного федерального округа РФ в частности. Нарастающие попытки усиления иранского влияния наблюдаются как в общественно-политической и экономической (где они особенно успешны), так и в религиозно-идеологической сфере (где они встречают организованное сопротивление со стороны местного традиционного ислама). Несмотря на объективные трудности, не способствующие быстрой реализации поставленной задачи, официальные и неофициальные структуры Ирана целенаправленно и планомерно продолжают свою деятельность, несущую, между тем, определенные угрозы и риски для региона. Данный доклад является частью обзорного аналитического доклада «Общественно-политическое, экономическое и религиозное влияние Исламской Республики Иран на постсоветском пространстве», подготовленного экспертами Кавказского геополитического клуба в III-IV кварталах 2016 г.


Persian Households in Babylonian Demon Trap Bowls

Maryam Amirdust

Babylonian incantation bowls, commonly known as Magic Bowls, were discovered in archaeological excavations in Mesopotamia, in the late 19th century. The area, currently in Iraq, was ruled by Sassanid Empire (3rd- 7th CE), and was the habitat of different cultural and religious communities, such as Jews, gnostic Mandeans or Manichaean, and of course, Zoroastrians. Considering their close contact, they possibly have shared a distinctive tradition of making amulets, which some would say is a Mesopotamian phenomenon. How these bowls were used is the subject of many debates; seven main theories have been discussed, from divination by means of water to a vessel buried with the dead, while it seems the simplest answer is protection against harmful demons or diseases.

According to Dan Levene, there are around 2000 bowls held in museums or private collections, of which only a few hundred have been deciphered. Yet the information within the incantation texts, written in Aramaic, Mandaic, Syriac and Middle Persian, is of high value. The name of the client, members of their families, the demons or diseases they would wish to ward off, and quotations from scriptures are mentioned. Nearly 20% of the bowls in which the client’s name can be read were likely commissioned for Persian households (Bowls with 3 or more Persian names are assumed to belong to families of Persian ethnicity). This paper seeks to trace the presumed Persian households by conducting an analytical and comparative examination of the textual structure of the bowls. Who were they and why did they seek the help of a sorcerer, of what ethnicities were these sorcerers, and more importantly, how did they hope to remedy the clients problems are among some of the questions that will be answered in this study.


A Story of a Christian Martyr of the Yezidi Origin (Updating the Project on the Spread of Christianity among the Yezidis)

Victoria Arakelova

Spread of Christianity is one of the sustainable trends among the Yezidis in the South Caucasus and Russia. This phenomenon, complicated and sometimes controversial in its nature, results in the emergence of new complex identities.

Contrary to the situation with multiple New Protestant movements,   the conversion of the Yezidis to Orthodox Christianity cannot be considered as result of active proselyte work, since no Orthodox missions preach particularly among the Yezidis.   The stories of conversion to Orthodox Christianity are mainly the stories of personal paths, representing kind of revelations.

The article updates the results of the projects on “Spread of Christianity among the Yezidis”, and particularly focuses on a principally new phenomenon – martyrdom among the converted Yezidis.  Inter alia, it discusses the story of Anna Kaloyan, a young Yezidi woman from South Russia (Rostov region), who accepted Christianity against the will of her parents and was killed by her father. Anna Kaloyan is approached as modern martyr, her graveyard being revered by Orthodox Christians in the region.


A Comparative Analysis of the Talishi Identities in Iran and Azerbaijan Republic

Victoria Arakelova

The Talishis is the fourth biggest ethnos of the South Caucasus after the Armenians, Azerbaijani Turks and Georgians, and the biggest stateless nation of the Caucaso-Iranian region. 

This historical division of the Talishis, representing now a divided nation living on the both sides of the Araxes river, i.e. in Azerbaijan Republic and Iran, took place in the first decades of the 19th century and resulted in strict differences traceable in various aspects of ethnic characteristics, culture, language, religion and, correspondingly, identity markers.

As a result we have two groups of Talishis: one living in the Iranian environment, never undergone assimilation policy, having developed their own culture within and as part of the common Iranian culture and thus being an organic part of Iran and having strong Iranian Talishi identity, and the other - the Talishis of Azerbaijan Republic, living in the dominating Turkic milieu, undergone state active assimilation policy, deprived of the opportunity to promote their cultural values,  and thus having specific identity markers, based primarily of their anti-Turkic vector and strivings for independence. Correspondingly, the idea of the Talish Lebensraum, and ultimately – the Talish statehood, has opposite approaches among the Talishis of Iran and Azerbaijan Republic.


The Talishi Issue Today: Statement of the Problem

Garnik Asatrian

The Talishi issue is among the most topical ones in all its aspects, and, particularly, in terms of rising of the Talishi self-consciousness among the Talishis of Azerbaijan Republic and the Diaspora, the latter having emerged as a result of emigration from Azerbaijan during several last decades.

The mentioned phenomenon reveals a huge cultural, intellectual, social, and political potential of the people, whose identity had been ignored for decades on their historical lands–part of the present-day Azerbaijan Republic.

The process of identity revival is accompanied by multiple cultural projects: opening of the Talishi Academy of Sciences in Minsk, publication of dictionaries, books in Talishi, as well as research papers on the Talishi Studies, opening of the National Television of Talyshistan, etc. 

The paper focuses on the analysis of the present day status of the Talyshi issue, peculiarities of this stage, and its perspectives.  


Дагестано-иранские взаимоотношения в после-надировскую эпоху и при первых Каджарах
(по дагестанским письменным источникам)

Timirlan Aytberov

Обращение к дагестанским источникам  (нарративным текстам и официальной переписке) вынуждает пересмотреть утвердившееся в мозгах людей мнение, что после кровопролитных сражений 30-х  - 40-х годов ХУ111в.  утвердилась в  душах этнических дагестанцев  неугосимая ненависть к Иранскому государству. Так, например, уже через три года после последнего похода Надир-шаха в горы Дагестана  наметились примиренческие настроения, причем с обоих сторон. Когда Надир-шах задумал  женить одного из своих сыновей  и, при этом,  провести "свадьбу" на армянской земле - в "Ереване",  в 1746 г.,  то на "землю", которая названа,  решили "кызылбашские" государственные структуры пригласить влиятельных  лиц из числа этнических дагестанцев, наряду с Теймуразом Багратиони и иными  авторитетными кахетинцами.  Приглашены были в Ереван, в 1746 г.,  если брать здесь этнических дагестанцев,  "главари" лишь тех общественных единиц,  население которых являлось и тогда  относительно покладистым, ибо имело давние торгово-экономические и политические связи с Закавказьем.  В тексте, который написал этнический дагестанец ХУ111в.,  названы конкретно: " главари"  Акушинской и Цудахарской общин, состоявших из десятков населенных пунктов, в которых преобладал даргинский язык, а также представители Елисуйского султанства,  где знать общалась по-аварски,  но были в числе приглашенных тогда в Ереван"главари" и других дагестанских "стран".

После убийства Надир-шаха приняли указанные взаимоотношения характер  весьма интенсивный.  Так, например, уже в 1748 г. иранский  генерал-губернатор  " Еревана" , коим был тогда  Амираслан Афшар, отвечая на "просьбы", поступившие от некоторых дагестанских "ханов", а также   от имени авароязычной  Джарской республики Закавказья, начал раздавать им документы  ( ракам ) на управление теми или иными территориями. Так, например,  авароязычные джарцы получили от генерал-губернатора Еревана, который в то время начал  уже претендовать на звание наместника  "Азербайджана",  документ на управление грузиноязычным округом Енисели, лежащим на  левом берегу Алазани. За это, в свою очередь,  должны были этнические дагестанцы оказывать военную помощь названному афшарцу.

Этнические дагестанцы поддерживали добрые отношения и с Ибрахим-мирзой  Афшаром  - племянником Надир-шаха,  то есть с сыном Ибрахим-хана, которого убили аварцы в Джарском ущелье в 1738 г. Так, известно, что этот Ибрахим-мирза, действуя на правах повелителя Ирана,  отдал в 1748 г. "приказ" знаменитому Сурхай-хану Казикумухскому,  "главарям"  Джарской республики, а также авароязычной знати закавказского Елису, чтобы оказывали бы они "помощь" Абдулла-беку Багратиони. К оказанию военной поддержки названному члену династии Багратионов, которого опекал тогда племянник Надир-шаха, носивший имя Ибрахим, подключился вскоре военачальник (белади) по имени Зубайдилав, происходивший из аварского  населенного пункта Унцукуль. В том же 1748 г.Ибрахим-мирза, действуя на правах уже "шаха" Ирана, подтвердил  правомочность всех тех документов-ракамов, которые годом раньше выдал этническим дагестанцам Амираслан - правитель  Еревана.

В после-надировскую эпоху  имели  также место взаимоотношения между этническими  дагестанцами и теми иранскими генерал-губернаторами, которые находились тогда в Закавказье в статусе наследственных ханов  и валиев.  Зафиксирован такой, например, случай касательно  Мухаммад-хана Каджара, которого называли убийцей Надир-шаха: когда он прибыл, в 1749 г.,  на " земли Еревана"  и начал "требовать", чтобы его " поставили начальником Еревана",  то  его " ереванский народ не принял". Тогда этот Мухаммад-хан обратился за "помощью"  к авароязычным  "джарцам", а также к валиям Карабаха и Шеки.  Те  " дали" Мухаммад-хану  войска, после чего ереванцы попросили помощи у Багратионов  - у Теймураза и Ираклия, которая, хотя и была оказана, но пользы не принесла.  Другой случай:  в 1757 г., в рамках борьбы за власть между Азад-ханом Афганским и хорасанцем Мухаммадхасан-ханом Каджаром, прибыл последний с войками своим в карабахский округ Джеваншир, но затем  испугался развития военно-политической  ситуации и двинулся в  направлении Хорасана, при том что в рядах враждебной  последнему гянджинской армии находилось тогда 300 " афганцев".  В дело оказались замешаны авароязычные джарцы, чье войско выступив  в 1755 г. " против"  Гянджы, форсировало Куру, в результате чего гянджинцы  "попросили" у них "мира". Сделали они это  на условии предоставления  Джару 300 туманов деньгами. а также нескольких  комплектов полного вооружения кавалериста, в возмещение за гибель при Шамхоре  от рук афганцев девяти джарцев - из состава банды грабителей. 

Закавказские аварцы хорошо знали ситуацию в Карабахе и вот интересно, что  к 1760 г., когда на Панах-хана Карабахского напал Фатаали-хан Афшар, прибывший из Урмие, стояло  - по записи этнического дагестанца ХУ111 в.,  -  в Нагорном Карабахе  " пять  крепких армянских селений", а также имелся армянский  " сигнах" ( сагънагъ ),  который захватили, в конце концов, урмийцы.  В том же году ( 1760 ) , после захвата грузинами Азад-хана Афганского, часть его людей, входивших ранее в состав армии Ирана,  которых гянджинцы собирались  тогда перебить, оказались, в конце концов,  в Джаре, куда они сами просились. 

В конце ХУ111 - начале Х1Х вв. Каджары -  как гласят дагестанские арабоязычные документы,  -  имели влиятельных сторонников  из числа этнических дагестанцев.  Это были, прежде всего : Сурхай-хан Казикумухский, под властью которого находились Лакия и Северный Лезгистан, Шайхали-хан Кубинско-Дербентский  (этнический даргинец, знавший язык и традиции своего народа)  и Султанахмад-хан Аварский. Бесполезным для Каджаров  человеком считался Махди-шамхал Тарковский.

Обращение к дагестанскм письменным  источникам помогает лучше и тоньше понять ряд вопросов, связанных с ирано-кавказскими отношениями ХУ111 - начала Х1Х вв.


A Poem on the Feminine Words in the Persian Dialect of Hamedan 

Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari
Faeghe Shahoseini

In the manuscript of an anthology dating back to the Qājār era and dedicated to the Central Library of the University of Tehran, there is a 24-verse poem named as Estelāhāt-e Zanān-e Hamedān (Words of the Women of Hamedān), in which the composer has introduced some words which are believed to have been used solely by the Hamedāni women of the late 19th century. Having been published as a picture by the late Iranologist Iraj Afshar, this poem provides us with valuable knowledge about the words of a dialect of Persian, which has not been even thoroughly studied in its modern sense, let alone the rather old words used in the poem. We also know very little about the words belonging to a particular gender in the Iranian dialects, therefore, this poem may shed some light on a less known field of Persian sociolinguistics. In this article, the entire poem will be provided, together with information on the meaning and the use of the words found in it.


Fereydanian: A Dialect of Georgian in Iran

Marina Beridze  
Lia Bakuradze

Descendants of the ethnic Georgians, having been deported from Georgia centuries ago, live in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were settled in various provinces of Persia at various periods of time: Mazandaran, Khorasan, Fars, Lorestan… Some of them remember their Georgian provenance, however, have forgotten the Georgian language.

Only a part of Georgians have preserved the Georgian language as a powerful marker of identity. They refer to themselves as Gurji; they are Muslims by religion and they speak Georgian.

They reside in the city of Fereydunshahr and surrounding villages: Chughruti, Jaqjaqi, Sibaki, Miandasht, boini, Dashkesana, and Afus.

The speech of the Georgians, living in this area, has been conceived of as a dialect of Georgian; it is referred to as Fereydanian.

Fereydanian has been a subject of research of a number of generations of Georgian scholars.

Arnold Chikobava, one of the first investigators of Fereydanian, initially was reluctant with referring to it as a dialect until other dialects (Kakhetian, Ingiloan, Kartlian…) of Georgian were studied profoundly (1923).

Later, it was identified as a Fereydanian subdialect of Kakhetian; then, it was assumed as an individual dialect (D. Chkhubianashvili, T. Uturgaidze, J. Giunashvili).

Fereydanian developed as isolated from Georgian.

Beginning from 2004, we actively got involved in the process of researching and documenting of Fereydanian. Analyses of comprehensive textual and lexical data demonstrated that inter-linguistic differentiation has been saliently expressed in Fereydanian. In order to describe and conceive of it, the spatial terms, like “Upper Fereydanian” and “Lower Fereydanian” (D. Chkhubianishvili), are not sufficient. It seems rather realistic that the basis of this differentiation can be distinct migration pasts of Georgian migrants.

The memory of the Georgians settle in Fereydan region, has preserved information that they came here under Shah Abbas; Georgia, European, Armenian and Persian historical sources are unanimous to state that Georgian were deported to Iran at various periods of time and from various regions (Kakheti, Saingilo – historical Hereti, Kartli, Tianeti, Meskheti, Tbilisi…). Similarly, kinds and types of settlement were varied (mass – non-mass, coercive – social…).

Data from historical sources conform to our standpoint that the Fereydanian dialect contains various dialectal layers. It seems that, for the course of centuries, intra-dialectal leveling took place in accordance with the law of balancing peculiar to “a dialect island” (V. Zhirmusnky), this eventually resulted in establishing of Fereydanian as an individual dialect.

Study of the Fereydanian dialect is necessary with a view to historical data as far as the reason of its peculiar character lies in the destiny and provenance of the people who speak the dialect.

Presently, the Georgian Dialect Corpus integrates Georgian dialect data, among them – Fereydanian  texts and dictionary; flexible tools of the Corpus allow to more clearly determine a place of the Fereydanian dialect within the common Georgian dialect areal, attitudes with other dialects and standard language, to identify archaic phenomena and borrowings.


Adaptation Advantages for Afgan Migrants in Sarhadd (Iranian Baluchistan)

Vahe Boyajian

The presentation focuses on certain aspects of the everyday life of Afghan refugees and migrants in the Sarhadd region of Iranian Sistan and Baluchistan province. It is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Sarhadd region of the abovementioned province in Iran in November-December, 2015, and October-November 2014.

An attempt is made to highlight the challenges the refugees face in the process of adaptation to the social realities in a foreign environment. During the process of the legalization of their stay in the Iranian province, the Afghan refugees face bureaucratic protractions. Many of them, deprived of any kind of identification documents, face the options either to be expelled back to Afghanistan, or, overcome the hardships of obtaining permission to stay. The Iranian state policy exercised in this regard is one to distribute the refugees and the migrants in various inland provinces of the country with a warrant not to leave their location for a certain period. Those who somehow manage to settle in Sarhadd region frequently find themselves in a hostile situation. They face the hardest ever challenge of integration into the Baluchi society where the social relations are regulated by tribal and clan priorities, spatial connections and segmentary lineage system on one hand, and the state administrative leverages, on the other. The derogatory attitude of the Baluch tribesmen towards the Afghans is often based on the ethnic affiliation of the migrants: most of them are not of Pashtun background, with whom the Baluch share almost identical behavioral code.


Some Observations about Two Iranisms in Old Georgian and their Middle-West-Iranian Etymons

David Buyaner

The paper aims at establishing etymology of some Middle-West-Iranian loanwords occurring in the Old Georgian hagiographic treatise Mokcevai Kartlisai („Conversion of Georgia“), namely xuara ‘Lord’ and Armazi i. e. the name of the supreme god of pre-Christian Georgia. On the basis of the data obtained through analysis of the Old Georgian text, new suggestions are made concerning the etymology of Pahlavi xwadāy as well as the origins and character of the pagan cult of the ruling elite of Iberian Kingdom on the eve of adoption of Christianity.


On the Tales of Creation recounted by the Yezidi singers: a reflection of mediaeval Sufism?

Johnny Cheung

Of all the Qewls, or “hymns, religious stories”, sung by the Qewwâl performers of the Yezidi community, those devoted to the Creation certainly belong to the more interesting ones, especially for researchers in comparative religion. They include Qewlê Zebûnî Meksûr ‘the Hymn of the Weak Broken One’, Qewlê Afirîna Dinyayê “the Hymn of the Creation of the World”, Qewlê Bê Elîf “the Hymn of B and A” (as collected by Kreyenbroek - Rashow 2005). They are clearly steeped in a Sufi environment.

For this talk, we shall look into certain specific Sufi themes and topoi that may also demarcate the age and place of the origin of the genre. In the first place, the role of divine Love in the Creation can be precisely pinpointed, as this concept was first developed by the Persian Sufi thinker Aḥmad al-Ǧazālī in the 12th century (Pourjavady 1986), following in the footsteps of his more prominent brother Muḥammad al-Ǧazālī (Iyā’ ‘ulūm al-dīn, cf. Gramlich 1984).

Another major point of discussion is the pearl as Symbol of the (un)created world, which is also encountered in neighbouring religious groups, notably the Yarsan / Ahl-e Haqq. Other typical recurrent Sufi themes that can be found in the Creation Qewls are references to (the circumstances of) Adam’s creation (cf. Busse 1986), certain Quranic / Biblical prophets (e.g. Yūnus), iconic Sufi personages, (e.g. Manṣūr al-Ḥallāj) and (divine) kingship.

Some of the motifs and themes may go back to older, pre-Islamic sources as well and often, these motifs have been preserved in Sufi literature too. The Sufi references and themes will be discussed here also on the basis of the works of Richard Gramlich (Gramlich 1984, 1987, 1992).

Selected bibliography:

- M. Alfateh 1999: Après la mort, la vie : la perle précieuse (Translation of Aḥmad al-Ǧazzālī, Durrah al-fāxirah fī kašf ʿulūm al-Āxirah). Paris: Impr. Dumas.

- H. Busse 2006: Islamische Erzählungen von Propheten und Gottesmännern, Qia al-anbiyāʾ oder ʿArāʾis al-mağālis von Abū Isāq Amad b. Muammad b. Ibrāhīm a-aʿlabī. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz.

- R. Gramlich 1984: Muammad al-Ġazzālis Lehre von den Stufen zur Gottesliebe. Wiesbaden: Steiner.

- R. Gramlich: Die Wunder der Freunde Gottes. Theologien und Erscheinungsformen des islamischen Heiligenwunders. 1987.

- R. Gramlich: Islamische Mystik. Sufische Texte aus zehn Jahrhunderten. 1992.

- Ph. G. Kreyenbroek - Kh. J. Rashow 2005: God and Sheikh Adi are Perfect. Sacred Poems and Religious Narratives from the Yezidi Tradition. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


Sebeos on the Tomb of the Prophet Daniel in Susa

Omar Coloru 

The historical work attributed to the bishop Sebeos (Patmut‘iwn Sebēosi, VIIth century) is well known for its interest in events concerning the Iranian world. As a matter of fact, it is the earliest source to provide valuable information (ch. 14) about the existence of the alleged tomb of the prophet Daniel in Susa in the Vth century CE, under the reign of the emperor Maurice (582-602). It does not come as a surprise that Sebeos has recorded such tradition as Daniel’s prophecy of the four beasts holds a central place in the narrative structure as well as in the historical conception of his work. The account of Sebeos acquires more importance if we think that the presence of the remains of the Biblical prophet in Susa will be attested again only in the IXth century by the historian Baladhuri. There is another point which seems not to have been received enough attention by the scholarship: Sebeos claims that the Iranian population considered the body venerated in Susa as that of their national hero Kay Khosrov. In the present contribution, I wish to present an historical framework of the traditions circulating about Daniel’s resting place in Iran and compare them with those concerning other Biblical figures, especially Salomon and David. By doing so, I wish to show that the passage of Sebeos witness a tradition that has its roots in the long history of the Jewish-Iranian relations.


An Iranian Experience in Yerevan:
A Pilot Study of Labor Migrants’ Perception of Local Reception

Leslie Diaz

Much of the research in the migration field that is produced in Armenia focuses on the rapid and steady outmigration of the local population and repatriation of the country by ethnic Armenians.

While these are indeed points to be studied, another important topic is that of the arrival of non-Armenians to the capital city. This is a case study of Iranian labor migrants currently living in Yerevan. This case study is based on information gathered from 17 individuals who participated in a semi-structured interview. The interviews conducted attempt to record the general perception of life held by these foreigners who are undeniably distinct from visiting tourists. Interviewees met the criteria of being Iranian of non-Armenian descent as well as having lived in Yerevan for more than one year. A snowball method was used to contact participants. Advertisements for participants consisted of posting multilingual printed announcements in the city within Iranian eateries, an Iranian product shop, and a higher education institution’s international student online listserv and social media page. There were 1520 questions asked by the interviewer with use of English to Farsi translation when necessary. The first bunch of the questions were formulated to capture basic residential information, with the second part focusing on impressions on their relationship with the local community. A positive correlation was hypothesized between the length of residence as a leading factor in integration and feelings of acceptance.

Results of the interviews overall maintain that while the capital city environment is ever improving, despite duration of residence, negative experiences are more common than not for Iranians. Ultimately, regardless of extant higher levels of integration reported by the participants there was no change in perceived adverse interactions with the local community. A larger sample size would strengthen the findings as well as provide more detail into subgroups such as those based on gender, age, and regional origin within the target population. The suggestion portion of the article is addressed to local Armenian and Iranian stakeholders who cover policy adjustment, sensitivity training of professionals in academic, governmental, and private sectors, as well as raising awareness of the local population.


(فعل آغازی در گویش‏های گیلانی(گیلکی و تالشی

Abdollah Ekbatan

فعل آغازی فعلی است که علاوه بر معنی اصلی خود،  آغاز کار یا عملی را بیان می‏کند. ساخت این فعل در دوره‏های مختلف  تاریخ زبان فارسی یکسان نبوده‏است. در دورة زبان‏های ایرانی باستان ساخت مستقلی از این فعل وجود دارد که به دوره‏های بعدی، یعنی زبان‏های ایرانی‏میانةغربی و زبان فارسیِ دری و فارسی جدید نرسیده‏است. در دورة ایرانی‏میانه برخی از بازمانده‏های ماده‏های آغازی ایرانی باستان، در پهلوی اشکانی ترفانی و فارسی میانة ترفانی به عنوان فعل لازم در برابر بازمانده‏های ماده‏های غیر آغازی ایرانی‏باستان به کار می‏روند. در شاخه‏های مختلف زبان ایرانی‏میانةغربی و ادامة آن در زبان‏های دری و فارسی نو، مفهومِ آغاز با فعل‏هایی بیان می‏شود که شروع کار یا عملی را می‏رسانند و تعداد آنها معدود است. این تحقیق ادامه تحقیق دیگری است که به صورت مستقل در باره گویش گالشی از مجموعه گویش‏های گیلان انجام شده است. در گویش گیلکی و تالشی واژگان بسیاری از دوره‏های باستان تا به امروز باقیمانده است، واژگانی که رد پای آن در زبان فارسی هم دیده نمی‏شود. در این تحقیق با درنظر گرفتن این ویژگیِ گویش‏های گیلانی  فرض شده است که بتوان ساخت‏هایی از فعل آغازی، که بیان کننده مفهوم آغاز باشد را پیدا کرد. پژوهش حاضر با بهره‏گیری از منابع کتابخانه‏ای و تحقیقات میدانی نشان می‏دهد که در انواع گویش‏های گیلانی ساخت‏های ویژه ای برای بیان مفهوم آغاز وجود دارد که نمونه آن در زبان فارسی وجود ندارد  و نیز فعل‏های لازمی هست که هر چند مفهوم آغاز را نمی رساند اما حرف ماده ساز آغازی از زبان ایرانی باستان در ساخت این گونه افعال باقیمانده‏است، بدون اینکه مفهوم آغاز را برساند. 


Banal Nationalism in Iran:
Daily Re-production of National and Religious Identity

Nail Elhan

Michael Billig, in his study on banal nationalism, made a significant contribution to literature on nationalism. He ‘saved’ nationalism debates from being debates on political ideology to a daily event that is not noticed but imposed. Banal nationalism operates with prosaic, routine words, which takes nations for granted, and which, in so doing, inhabit them. Small words, rather than grand memorable phrases, offer constant, but barely conscious, reminders of the homeland and make our national identity unforgettable. Rather than flags waved in national holidays or meetings, flags on public buildings, which can be seen by anybody, are the symbols of banal nationalism. However, his work is narrow because of focusing on national social groupings and neglect of other forms of group identity. Any group, party and regional or international organization also can use ‘banal’ ways of identity and sense of belonging. However, he does not mention sub-national, supra-national and regional identities. In addition, Billig’s nationalism ignores daily life of people. People and different groups sharing a common ethnicity, religion or ideology are not passive and unconscious in relation to banal nationalism. Individuals also daily and actively take part in making of nationhood. Moreover, he claims that banal nationalism is mostly seen in established nation-states in ‘West’.

In this study, I will explain that daily re-production of ‘Iranianness’ based on national identity and religious Shii identity. I will not broadly discuss the nationalism studies in Iran before or after the revolution. I will explain the re-production of religion, nation and nationalism in Iran through daily life and political discourses after the revolution in 1979. While doing these, I will benefit from Michael Billig’s study on banal nationalism, which defines nationalism as a fact that is produced daily rather than a political ideology. Nationalism in Iran is discussed through ethnic diversities inspired by hot nationalistic discourses. Role of Islam in policies of Iranian governments towards non-Persian identities in the country has become one of main fields of interest. In other words, nationalism studies on Iran interested in ethnic diversities that are prone to armed struggles or policies of governments towards nationalist separatists. From these points of views, studying daily nationalism in Iran and state’s role in daily reproduction of national identity will contribute to nationalism studies on Iran.

In this respect, this study will be composed of two parts: First Part, where there will be a brief introduction to Billig’s banal nationalism and criticisms to it; Second Part, where daily re-production of ‘Iranianness’ will be studied within the context of banal nationalism. In this part, banknotes, coins, and stamps will be studied as instruments of state’s policies of national identity and Iranianness. In the end, relationship between symbols and portraits on banknotes, coins and postage stamps with banal nationalism will be illustratively explained.


Касем Сулеймани: «живой мученик» современного Ирана.

Anton Evstratov

Командир бригады Аль-Кодс Корпуса стражей Исламской Революции генерал-майор Касем Сулеймани является одной из самых популярных фигур современного Ирана. Исключительность его популярности в том, что генерал  воспринимается не просто как национальный герой , успешный разведчик и эффективный военный командир, но и как сакральный персонаж. Аятолла Хаменеи назвал его "живым мучеником", что, учитывая наличие культа мученичества в шиитском исламе, является подчеркиванием заслуг генерала именно в религиозной плоскости. Сулеймани на данный момент предстает наследником и носителем традиций великих шиитских мучеников-воителей - Имама Али, Имама Хусейна, Абу-ль-Фазля Аббаса и др.,  являя собой важный  религиозно-пропагандистский фактор  в Исламской Республике Иран.


 بررسی سند فرمان ناصر­الدین­شاه مبنی بر حفظ باغ و عمارت عماد­الدوله

Maryam Fayyazi

اسناد بازمانده اما ناخوانده در دوره­های مختلف تاریخی یک کشور، همواره محملی بوده است برای کنکاشی تازه در باب اوضاع فرهنگی، سیاسی، اجتماعی و امثال آن. از آنجا که نگارش تاریخ تمدن هر جامعه­ بدون بررسی اسناد و مدارک به­جامانده از گذشته میسر نیست، مطالعه­ی تمامی این آثار ضروری می­نماید. پژوهش حاضر با هدف گشودن دریچه­ای به زمینه­های فرهنگی دوره­ی ناصرالدین­شاه صورت گرفته است تا پاسخی برای این دو پرسش بیابد که نخست، رویکرد ناصرالدین­شاه قاجار به زیردستان خود در اسناد به جا مانده از او چگونه بازتاب می­یابد و دیگر، باغ و عمارت عمادالدوله چه کارکردهایی داشته است. پژوهشگر با مطالعه­ی سندی تک­نسخه­ای که تاکنون مورد مطالعه قرار نگرفته، با استفاده از روش اسنادی و با استناد به منابع کتابخانه­ای پژوهش خود را سامان داده و در این رهگذر از روش توصیفی بهره برده است. یافته­های پژوهش دلالت بر آن دارد که امامقلی میرزا عمادالدوله –حاکم کرمانشاهان- از حکمرانان مورد وثوق ناصرالدین­شاه بود و شاه صیانت از آثار بر جای مانده از والی پیش­گفته را به ملازمان خود مورد تاکید قرار داده است. نیز عمارت عمادیه افزون بر کارکردهای زیبایی­شناسانه، دارای سه کارکرد اصلی سیاسی نظامی و اقتصادی بوده است.


On semantic category of (in)definiteness in Kurdish

Ketevan Gadilia

Kurdish is a general name of closely-related languages (Western branch of Iranian group of languages) that are spread on a vast geographical area of the Middle East – Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq; in Central Asia – Turkmenistan, and in the Caucasus – Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan.

Kurdish languages – two literary languages Kurmanji and Sorani, and the dialects represent an impressive diversity, that makes their classification problematic. The most prominent classifications offer two, three and even four groups of Kurdish languages. A typologically-oriented presentation deals with the category of definiteness and indefiniteness in Kurdish. In Kurdish this category is an innovation like in many other Iranian languages:

Kurmanji: -ak, -k indefiniteness (singular); -in, -n indefiniteness (plural)

Sorani: -(y)èk indefiniteness; -áka, -á definiteness;

Suleimani: -ē(k) indefiniteness;

Awromani/Avromani: -ew/ewi (m., singular), -ewa (f. singular);

Zaza(ki): -ē/-ē(n)

In the presentation it is used both diachronic and synchronic typological attitude. On the one hand, the comparison with the Persian and some other West and East Iranian languages allows to explore the specific features of “Kurdish (in)definiteness”. On the other hand, the typological attitude reveals certain universal resemblances.


MacKenzie D.N., The dialect of Awroman, Kobehavn, 1966

Wabby T., Sculpturs in Gunduk Cave. Bagdad, 1951

Thackston W.M., Sorani Kurdish. A reference grammar with selected readings. In:

Leezenberg M., Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish: Substratum or Prestige Borrowing?, Amsterdam, 1993.

Osnovi iranskogo yazikoznaniya, Moscow, 1997


«Узел Геракла» - Символ Зороастризма

Murtazali Gadjiev

Среди сасанидских гемм, хранящихся в различных собраниях (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée du Louvre, Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Museum и др., частные коллекции Ackerman, Pirousan, Saeedi, Azizbeglu, Sigilla), представлена небольшая серия инталий (мне известно 15 экз.), на которых в качестве центрального элемента изображено переплетение двух лент или шнуров, образующих «узел Геракла».

Эти геммы представляют несколько типов:

- тип A (8 экз.): ленты узла заканчиваются изображениями голов животных (баран, бык, козел, олень в различных сочетаниях; единожды – медведь, осел);

- тип B (1 экз.): одна из лент узла имеет на концах протомы животных (кони?), другая – расширяющиеся рифленые концы как на бантах ашхараванд;

- тип C (3 экз.): изображение узла, в одном случае с расширяющимися рифлеными концами, в другом – дополненное изображениями двух скорпионов, в третьем – с окаймляющими врезными полосками;

- тип D (2 экз.): ленты узла заканчиваются изображениями растений/цветков (плод граната?);

- тип E (1 экз.): узел выступает в качестве эмблемы/знака на груди изображенного мужчины.

Изображения «узла Геракла» известны также на сасанидском бронзовом жезле (собрание Метрополитен Музея, No. 66.215), один конец которого увенчан кистью руки, а другой – головой животного (баран?), ниже которого завязан узел, и на сасанидской декоративной штуковой панели из Киша (дворец II, помещение С), на которой концы лент узла завершаются пальмовыми листьями.

Исследователи не раз отмечали факты совпадения сюжетов, орнаментов, символов, их повторяемость на разнородных памятниках сасанидского искусства – в глиптике, торевтике, штуковой резьбе, скульптуре, подчеркивая роль канона и символики в эпоху Сасанидов. Можно полагать, что отмеченный изобразительный мотив – «узел Геракла», судя по представленным образцам, получил определенное распространение в сасанидском искусстве и эмблематике.

Образы животных, неоднократно представленные на рассматриваемых геммах (баран, бык, козел, олень) и каждый из которых был наделен определенным смысловым содержанием и выступал инкарнацией того или иного доброго божества (Хварны, Митры, Веретрагны и др.), являлись самыми популярными в сасанидской глиптике, представляли собой персонажей священной Авесты и были понятны зороастрийцам, несмотря на условность рисунка. Многочисленность представленных в Авесте «благих существ» и их ипостасей-перевоплощений, часто перекликающихся, затрудняет толкование тех или иных сюжетов на сасанидских геммах.

При интерпретации сюжетов с изображением «узла Геракла» важно иметь в виду то, что данный символ занимает центральное место, является ведущим, тогда как завершения лент могут иметь различный характер. И возникает необходимость раскрытия семантики именно этого изображения. Обращает внимание, что из пяти эпиграфичных гемм с изображением узла четыре имеют популярные религиозно-этические надписи, подчеркивающие идеологический смысл данного символа: ’pst’n ‘L yzd’n – «доверие богам (вера в богов)»; l’st l’ty – «праведность, великодушие»; l’sty – «праведность».

Можно было бы интерпретировать «узел Геракла» на сасанидских геммах как символ божества победы Веретрагны (ср.-перс. Варахран/Вахрам), памятуя о слиянии эллинистических и зороастрийских культов и божеств уже в Селевкидскую эпоху, об идентификации Геракла и Веретрагны. Но более верным будет рассматривать данный знак, как символ веры, символ зороастризма. Именно таким узлом завязывается священный пояс кусти (ср.-перс. kustīg) зороастрийцем, который повязывает его каждодневно как знак принадлежности к «праведной маздаяснийской вере» и оберег. В контексте сасанидской символики и эмблематики целесообразно именовать данный узел и его изображения как «узел кусти».




Did Mani Travel to Armenia?

Iain Garnder

This paper will present new evidence to resolve a long-standing problem in the biography of Mani, the founder of Manichaeism, who lived in Sasanian Iran during the third-century C.E. There are a number of important early references to Armenia in Manichaean texts. These include a Sogdian account of how Mār Gabryab brought the religion to Armenia (this contains the earliest known literary reference to the name of the capital city of Erevan, see W. Sundermann, “Iranische Lebensbeschreibungen Manis”, Acta Orientalia 36, 1974: 125‐49.); and various notices of Mani's own ‘Letter to Armenia’ in Arabic, Middle Persian and Sogdian. But the principal focus for this paper is to resolve the question as to whether Mani himself travelled to Armenia in the early 270s C.E. The account of his final travels, before his imprisonment and death under King Vahram I in Gondēšāpūr, has been the subject of sustained debate since late antiquity.

The early Christian polemical tradition represented by the Acts of Archelaus (ca. 330 C.E., extant in Latin, with parallels and elaborated traditions in Greek, Syriac, etc.) placed him in the mysterious Castellum Arabionis near the border of the Roman Empire, and in the nineteenth century it was common to locate this in Armenia. However, discoveries of primary Manichaean texts in Coptic and Middle Iranian languages in the twentieth century turned attention to sites in Mesopotamia (W.B. Henning, “Mani‘s Last Journey”, BSOAS 10, 1942: 941-953).

This paper aims to reconcile these accounts and will utilize a newly-edited Coptic source to demonstrate that Mani did indeed travel to Sasanian Armenia in the company of a local nobleman named Baat. See the provisional discussion in Iain Gardner, “Mani's Last Days” (in I. Gardner, J. BeDuhn, P. Dilley, Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings. Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex, E.J. Brill, Leiden-Boston 2015: 159-208).


Some Considerations on the so-called “Parthian Commonwealth”

Leonardo Gregoratti

In a contribution appeared in 2013 in a collected volume Hatra. Politics, Culture and Religion between Parthia and Rome, Stuttgart by Lucinda Dirven, the Dutch scholar Albert de Jong introduced the notion of “Parthian commonwealth” in order to “to locate those cultures that were within the orbit of the Parthian Empire, but were not inhabited mainly or chiefly by Parthians or other Iranians”. He made explicit reference to the elements of Parthian culture, personal names, loan words and administrative titles which emerge in Armenia, northern Mesopotamia and ancient Georgia. This paper, of course a very preliminary work for this vast topic, aims to enlarge the scope of the investigation trying to include other areas and other elements of Parthian culture in order to establish if it is possible to postulate the existence of a Parthian culture similar to and spreading in the same way of the well-known Hellenistic Greek one. Furthermore the possibility of applying this definition to the political situation of the Parthian empire and not only to its cultural sphere would be discussed.   


The Talishis and the Zazas

Gohar Hakobyan

Numerous lexical isoglosses we have found in Zāzāki and Ṭālešī confirm that despite the isolation from the South-Caspian Iranian dialect zone Zāzā  language has many commonalities with Ṭālešī.  Not only detailed analysis of Zāzāki and Ṭālešī dialects, but also a comparative study and their relationships with the neighboring languages yet to be conducted. This two languages share a series of important lexical, phonetic, and grammatical isoglosses with the dialects of the Near Caspian and Aturpatakan regions, irrespective of their North-West or South-West dialectal affiliation. This continuum of dialects can be conditionally defined as Near Caspian-Aturpatakan Sprachbund of the Iranian dialects.

The relationship of Zāzā people and Ṭālišis is illustrated not only in language level, but also in their social-cultural relationship. Moreover, studies on subjects such as Ṭāliši and Zāzā tribes, their ethnic history, folklore, beliefs are far from being complete.  The thorough study in this field will contribute to the illustration of ethno-demographic developments in this region.


Regulation and Containment the Case of Tehran's Red-Light District

Fatemeh Hosseini

During the 1960s and 1970s, Tehran was a sexually fragmented city. While the authorities and the police criminalized and prosecuted female prostitution in large areas of Tehran and its surroundings, they designated an “unofficial” walled district to serve the assumed sexual needs of Iranian men. Located in the southwest of Tehran, the red-light district known as Shahr-i No served as a heterotopic public venue for “illicit” forms of entertainment deemed suitable for men but inaccessible to the majority of Iranian women. Negotiating within unequal relations of power, female sex workers in Tehran’s red-light district strove to normalize their lives within a city that had categorically excluded them and a society that reduced their access to other sections of the city. 

In the process of exploring the lived experiences of women who worked in Tehran’s red-light district, this presentation also highlights the significance of this fragmented enclave to Iranian history and historiography. During the heyday of the anti-Shah Revolution of 1979, and surprisingly despite objections by some high-ranking clerics, the red-light district was burned to the ground and its inhabitants evacuated or jailed. As the Revolution of 1979 unraveled and played out in the urban landscape of Tehran, despite its popularity in popular culture, the red-light district served as the symbolic manifestation of Pahlavi corruption and decadence. In the process, it witnessed the wrath of the revolutionaries and apathy of the public. While Tehran’s red-light district is largely absent from modern Iranian historiography, I argue for the social and political significance of this contested urban space to the understanding of Iranian history and society. During politically significant moments, the imagined and real red-light district have served to shape popular imagination. In addition, The Pahlavi policies adopted in regards to controlling and maintaining sexuality and prostitution have also manifested along comparable lines in Tehran under the Islamic Republic, highlighting cultural continuities that remained intact in the face of substantial political change.

Kasnazani Shaykhs of Iraqi Kurdistan: Karamat and Religious Authority

Camilla Insom

The Kasnazani Qadiri Sufi Order was established in the mid-nineteenth century by Shaykh Karim al-

Kasnzazani in Kripchna, a small village in the current Sulaimaniyah province of Iraqi Kurdistan.

In the course of the last century, the Tariqa spread from the rural areas of Northern Kurdistan throughout Iraq, reaching Iran and the part of the Middle East, while progressively strengthening the centralized authority of its leader. Despite Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karim al-Kasnazani currently resides in Lebanon, one of the Tariqa’s largest Sufi lodge still stand in Sulaimaniyah, and its regional members regularly visit Kripchna, where are the tombs of the Kasnazani.

The religious authority of the Kasnazani Shaykhs is legitimized through their Baraka (divine blessing) publicly performed as Karamat (miraculous deeds), narrated in their hagiographical account and relentlessly proved by members of the community in the weekly ecstatic rituals. Accordingly, the denial of Karamat appears to be pivotal if challenged. The paper wants to explore the continuous manipulation of narrative on the Karamat of the Kasnazani Shaykhs focusing in particular on two communities: the rural community in he surrounding of Kripchna, where Imams have been openly preaching for two decades against the Shaykhs religious legitimacy, and a small Sulaimaniyah Sufi community, strongly effected by the rather recent centralization of religious authority. The ethnographic data have been collected during fieldwork research in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014/2015.


Dialectical Terms in Persian Medical Texts

Mahmoud Jaafari-Dehaghi    

Persian texts are considered as very valuable sources of words and terms from different Iranian dialects and the analysis of these texts can help linguists and other researchers to reach important and very valuable information about the language and culture of Iran.

The variety of these texts from different times and subject and also the place where they were written has made these texts more and more important to analyze. The study of these texts and the words which are from diverse Iranian dialects also help scholars from the field of ancient languages and culture to gain more information about the historical linguistics of the Persian language.

The question is that how does the study of different dialectal words and terms in Persian Medical texts help the historical linguistic study of Persian language?

In this research first different dialectal words and terms were collected from some medical texts such as Seydane, Zakhire, etc. Then these words were analyzed linguistically and grouped and then the historical changes occurred in each word was compared with the standard word change seen in most words.

The result shows that the historical change of each of these Iranian dialects can be traced in each of these selected words. Details of the exact changes have been explained in this paper.


The Grammatical Gender in Northern Kurdish in the Light of Freud’s Psychoanalysis

Jacek Jarmoszko

Kurdish seems to be one of the most interesting languages for research on the development of the grammatical gender in Iranian languages, and possibly even on its development in general. This interest follows from the fact that Kurdish has reached a peculiar stage in the process of losing the grammatical category. Specifically, the distribution of grammatical gender in Kurmanji is no longer determined by the historical development of inflectional endings, which have been lost in the citation forms. Nevertheless, gender has survived, for instance in oblique case endings and in the so-called izafet clitics (ravek). In Kurdish, objects are seen as either masculine or feminine basing mainly on rather general visual associations. These associations are thought processes which lack direct grounding in the linguistic reality, but still permeate it, having originated in the human psyche. Thus, gender is determined basing mainly on the shape of the object, hence also on its qualities and possible use. This in turn makes it possible to divide all intended objects into classes, which are associated with specific grammatical genders. Strikingly, these classes are analogous to the theory of the symbolism of dreams proposed by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900. Briefly, whatever Freud associates with the phallus is masculine in Kurdish, while whatever he associates with the vagina is feminine.

The aim of the present paper is to juxtapose the views of Kurdish grammarians (beginning with Celadet Alî Bedirxan, d. 1951) on the distribution of grammatical gender in Kurmanji with the findings of psychoanalysis on the symbolism of dreams. Simultaneously, the paper tries to explain the observable analogy through the coginitive theory, as well as to account for slight discrepancies noticed in the juxtaposition.


نقش جمهوری اسلامی ایران درخصوص همگرایی  قومی در منطقه قفقاز

Mahmoud Joneydi-Jaafari

منطقه قفقاز یکی از مراکز حوزه تمدن انسانی است ، قومیتهای گوناگونی در این منطقه زندگی می کنند . به نوشــته اســترابو، در حدود دو هزار ســال قبل حدود 70 قبيله، در اين منطقه زندگى مى كردند. در حال حاضر در اين منطقه حدود 50 گروه قومى وجود دارد كه به سه خانواده زبانى تقسيم مى شوند: خانواده زبان هاى قفقازى، هند و اروپايى و آلتايى.

در منطقه قفقاز جنوبی با توجه به تنوع اقوام و گوناگونی قومی باعث بوجود آمدن مشکلات خاصی در منطقه شده  است ، از جمله بحران گرجستان ، بحران قره باغ ، از آنجا که منطقه قفقاز  در قرن نوزده در جنگ های ایران و روسیه از ایران جدا شد اما هنوز باید آن را در دنیای فرهنگی ایران قرار داد و با توجه به اشتراکات تاریخی و فرهنگی  در این منطقه  و تنوع قومی و قرار گرفتن این منطقه  درمرزهای ایران ضروری به نظر می رسد که در این مقاله به  به تبیین تنوع قومی در این منطقه پرداخته شود و  همچنین نقش ایران در خصوص همگرایی قومی با در نظر گرفتن اشتراکات تاریخی و فرهنگی که بین قومیت ها وجود دارد مطالبی عنوان گردد .


Persian Art and the Armenians: Collectors, Scholars and Dealers in the Early Twentieth Century

Yuka Kadoi

 This paper overviews the role of Armenian collectors, scholars and dealers in the development of Persian art scholarship and connoisseurs during the early twentieth century. What came to be eventually categorised as “Persian art”—material remains from modern-day Iran, Central Asia and the Caucasus—had already received a certain recognition as collectable and displayable items by the end of the nineteenth century. Yet the value of Persian artefacts did particularly increase during the first decades of the twentieth century, thanks to a large involvement of collectors, scholars and dealers of Armenian origin who fled from Ottoman Turkey after the persecutions between 1890 and 1918. Some were first settled in Europe, chiefly in Paris, while many of them later established their own dealership in the USA, especially in New York. Their migration, along with objects and knowledge, also corresponds with the general shift of the centre of the art market from the old world to the new world during the inter-war period, when a number of art collections that accumulated in Europe gradually gave way to the emerging collectors in the United States.

Among the Armenian collectors of Persian art, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (1869-1955) can be singled out as a chief operator in the formation of a small but exclusive collection of Persian art in the early twentieth century. From the academic side, the work of Arménag Sakisian should be reassessed in a wide context of Persian art historiography. This paper, however, would also like to feature some of the powerful art dealers of Armenian origin who participated, in one way or another, in the image-making process of Persian art: Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), Dikran Garabed Kelekian (1868-1951), Vitall Benguiat (1859-1937), Kirkor Minassian (d. 1994), and the Indjoudjian brothers (Agop [1871-1951] and Meguerditch [1884-1927]). To trace their working relations with Euro-American museums provides a vivid picture as to how they were gifted players in the formation of Persian art collections worldwide before World War II.


Mental and Historical Wrong Stereotypes in Iran regarding the Political and Social Developments of Armenia: Necessity for a Change and Review

Vali Kaleji

Based on the historical, cultural and civilizational commonalities of Iran and Armenia, great efforts have been made in Iranian study centers and universities to know more of Armenia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Along with our Armenian compatriots, Iranians university centers and institutions also have done valuable works in the introduction of Armenian history, culture, civilization, poetry and music. These works played a very important role in the recognition of cultural and social dimensions of Armenian Society. But, the study of the process of political, intellectual and political developments of this country especially in the field of sociology, political economy and political psychology of Armenia is ignored in these efforts. The fact is that most of the scientific and research works during the two recent decades in university and study centers of Iran and Armenia in political and social fields have applied an "outward-looking" and have rarely attended to "inward-looking". While Max Weber believes that subjective meaning of the actor, which he calls "Versthen", should be understood. Therefore, we'll be able to have a proper realistic understanding of each other when we have real knowledge of the society of Iran and Armenia. Only in that case, we will have a better understanding of the foreign policy of the two countries regarding bilateral issues, and regional and global developments. Unfortunately, there are numerous serious gaps in this field which need to be actively and responsibly addressed. Close political relations between Iran and Armenia, and deep historical and cultural links between the two countries should not evoke the idea that they have great knowledge and awareness of each other. This lack of knowledge has formed some mental and historical stereotypes in the academic community, research centers and even executive organizations of the two countries regarding current political and social developments in Iran and Armenia. This issue requires to be attended to more seriously. In this article, some of the false and stereotypical perceptions in Iran from the level of democracy in Armenia, the status of Armenian political and classic parties, Armenian Diaspora Society and kind of its relation with the government of Armenia were addressed. Studying and reviewing these cases show the gap in the field of Armenian studies in Iran. This requires the attention of Iranian and Armenian researchers to draw a realistic image of the current political and social realities of Armenian Society.


«Черкесы» или аварцы Ирана: исторический экскурс и современное положение

Shakhban Khapizov

В начале ХVII века (1616 г.) большая часть населения Алазанской долины была выселена в Иран войсками иранского шаха Аббаса I. Особенно значительный ущерб понесла столица Кахети – город Загеми, располагавшийся на территории современного Закатальского района АР, недалеко от аварского сел. Тала. Загеми являлся административным и торгово-ремесленным центром Кахети в ХVI–XVII вв. и одной из резиденций кахетинских царей. Население Загеми в количестве 3 000 семей было поселено в Мазандеране.

Здесь оно довольно быстро было ассимилировано и к началу ХХ в. о них не сохранилось никаких сведений, однако судьба тех жителей Загеми и его окрестностей, которые оказались выселенными в Иран в любом случае представляет большой интерес для исследователей.


An Introduction to Lori Dialects Encyclopaedia

Kianoosh Kiani Haft Lang  
Shiva Piryaee

In this article, there’s an introduction to Lori dialects encyclopedia which is going to be an important part of the work supposed to be carried out in the Lor Shenasi department at the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia. This new department is going to gather, compile and publish a comprehensive encyclopedia on different aspects of Lors including their culture, customs and traditions, linguistic features, geographic spreading and etc.

There are very few works done so far in the field of Lori dialects, so in the encyclopedia of Lori dialects, we’re going to have a strict classification of all Lori dialects according to their linguistic features and their geographic spreading. By having this work done in the future, lots of obscure issues about the distinctive features of Lori dialects continuum, their linguistic classification and the main habitations of Lors will be determined apparently.


بررسی فرایند تحول در برخی ساختهای واژگانیِ فارسی، تالشی و گیلکی

Moharram Kishe-khale Rezayati

تمامی زبانها و گویشها با گذشت زمان دچار تحولات مختلف طبیعی و غیرطبیعی می‌شوند و از این نظر با هم فرقی ندارند. تفاوتها صرفاً در شیوة تحول و سرعت آنهاست که عمدتاً مبتنی بر موقعیتهای جغرافیایی، مناسبات اجتماعی، فرهنگی، اقتصادی و ... است. از این منطر، زبانهای رسمی و غالب به مناسبت تعاملات اجتماعی و روابط علمی، آموزشی، فرهنگی گسترده، بیشتر و سریعتر از زبانها و گویشهای محلی و قومی فرایند تحول را می‌گذرانند. از طرفی، سرعت تحول در تمام حوزه‌های زبانی یکسان نیست؛ مثلاً عناصر قاموسی نسبت‌به عناصر دستوری، اسامی نسبت‌به افعال، مفردات نسبت‌به ترکیبات، بیشتر و سریعتر دچار دگرگونی می‌شوند.

    در این مقاله می‌کوشیم با آوردن نمونه‌هایی از مشتقات و ترکیبات اسمی و وصفی در زبانهای فارسی، تالشی و گیلکی نشان دهیم که ساختمان این نوع کلمات علیرغم گذشت زمان نسبت‌به کلمات ساده کمتر در معرض تحول قرار گرفته‌اند و از این نظر می‌توانند دستمایه‌های بسیار ارزشمندی در مطالعات تاریخی زبانها در حوزه‌های مختلف آواشناسی، ریشه‌شناسی، رده‌شناسی و حتی معنی‌شناسی برای پژوهشگران زبانشناس فراهم آورد.  


Wīrāzʼs Extraterrestrial Adventure as a journey of self-discovery

Mateusz Klagisz

The Middle Persian “extraterrestrial travelogue” Ardā Wīrāz Nāmag is popularly referred to as the Iranian La Divina Commedia (e.g. Vahman 1986). The main (and only) reason is the thematic similarity of both texts. The most demonstrable difference between them is the structure of the journey. Dante Alighieri first descends to hell and later climbs via the inferno to paradise, while his Iranian counterpart – Wīrāz – first visits heaven and later goes down to hell. This simple difference can be classified as licentia poetica but there is an additional way to justify Wīrāzʼs seemingly illogical expedition into the unknown – Stanislav Grofʼs conception of the perinatal matrices, i.e. a theoretical model of describing the state of awareness before and during birth (e.g. Grof 1975; 1981). Although his conception has not been universally accepted, it is used successfully in modern Religious Studies to explain the basis and mechanism of shamanistic initiation. If we accept the idea that Wīrāz could be a quasi-shaman or at least was acquainted to some degree with shamanistic practices one question arises: how can we go one step further and follow the perinatal matrices of Grof that help us to elaborate the human ability to achieve the highest level of self-discovery / self-consciousness – i.e., the coalescence with the Universe / Absolute / God? According to Grof, the human journey into the Unknown traverses several harsh stages and must overcome various obstacles (on the way down) but finally, if an individual has enough strength and will, this person will experience a new life – (s)he is re-born (on the way up). Could the original story of Wīrāz, who finally stands in front of Ormazd (on the way up), be a vision of the overwhelming macro-cosmical might later equated with Ormazd? Is the pictorial cruelty of hell an end product of the cultural-and-religious adaptation of Wīrāzʼs angst and cognitive curiosity vis-à-vis the Unknown? Let these questions be a pretext to embark on an broader interdisciplinary discussion on Zoroastrianism itself.

گرویدن ارمنی‏ها به مسیحیت در زمان ساسانیان

Hasan Kohansal Vajargah

با تشکیل امپراتوری ساسانی در سال 224 میلادی، بنیانگذار این سلسله اردشیر اول با ایجاد حکومت مرکزی و رسمی کردن آئین زرتشت در پارس، تصمیم گرفت که حدود امپراتوری ساسانی را به زمان دوره هخامنشی برساند. از جمله سرزمین‏های قابل‏توجه ساسانی ارمنستان بود. رقابت‏های سیاسی و نظامی بر سر آن میان امپراتوری ساسانی و امپراتوری روم از قرن سوم میلادی شروع شد. پذیرش مسیحیت توسط ارمنی‏ها و بعد رومی‏ها در ابتدای قرن چهارم میلادی، باعث نزدیکی آن دو و تشدید رقابت سیاسی و نظامی میان ساسانی‏ها و رومی‏ها بر سر ارمنستان شد. در نهایت برای حل مشکل ارمنستان، امپراتوری روم و ساسانی ارمنستان را میان خود تقسیم کردند که سهم ساسانی در این میان چهارپنجم بود.

The Justice and Security Sector Reform in Georgia (2003-2016)

Marilisa Lorusso

Justice and security are intertwined sectors, being justice agencies enhancer and guarantors of security, and being personal security unreachable but within the framework of  a fair and effective justice system.

In the post-Soviet Republic of Georgia three waves of structural reforms tackled the legal, institutional and cultural legacy of the Soviet Union. The first was handled by a former Soviet official Eduard Shevardnadze, the second took shape after the Rose Revolution (2003) upon the impulse of Mikhail Saakashvili’s United Movement governments and the third one, still ongoing, started with the shift of power to the Georgian Dream led coalition.

The goal of the reforms is to turn Georgian security and justice sectors from state-focused to human-rights focused, to uproot the left-over of the Soviet system and to update the legal framework, state institutions and public officials’ ethics and training, consistently.

While this process is common to many post-Soviet states, the Georgian context poses peculiar challenges. The country has to struggle not only with the persistence anti-democratic beliefs, corruption practices and poor constitutional and more in general law capacity cultures - as other post-Soviet states -, but also with a post-conflict context, unsafe territorial integrity and virtually two regime and three powers transitions.

In such a complex context, the core topics of the analysis will be the anti-corruption and police reforms, promoted and implemented at the dawn of the United National Movement and the present civil servant reform. This narrow selection is led by the research’s main purpose to investigate how the first wave of legal reforms impacted the post-Soviet institutional stagnation, and how this opened the path to the present whole-of-system transition towards a consistent human-centered discourse in Georgian law-making. 

The methodology to investigate these issues will be partly theoretical and partly based on interviews. For the latter, the author is working in contact with foreign and local experts charged with whole-of-government reforms and for the former relies on sound academic literature (see D. Darchiashvili, 2008; G. Simons, 2012; M. Vashakmadze, 2014) and International organizations sources (inter alia EU and OSCE justice sector reforms programs 2004-2016).

The research question which needs to be answered is whether the legal reforms in the years 2003-2016, taking into consideration the complicated Georgian context, can be assessed positively in terms of amending the Soviet habits of informal processes, political interference in justice and security sectors, and persistence of the past in justice and security agents’ mindsets.

Finally, the generational turnover and the rise of a new cohort of officials will be evaluated in terms of impact, effectiveness and state institutions’ resistance.


Iran Policy in the South Caucasus

Maia Manchkhashvili

Iran is one interesting political player in Transcaucasia region. Though not very active, like Russia or Turkey, but still considerable power.

Caucasian policy is one of the weakest/passive direction in Iran foreign policy, and Transcaucasia is not considered among the priorities of that country. Nevertheless, it does not mean Iran is not interested in Transcaucasia region; just on the contrary, Iran is quite interested in, but affected by particular internal and external factors this direction of policy for Iran is not activated yet.

In Caucasian policy of Iran mostly economic and trading relations are highlighted, though, considering foreign trading turnover data of the countries in this region, Iran mostly fails to be on the list of the first five.

The matter is that after removal of special sanctions, foreign policy of Iran faces different challenges and goals and Iran is involved in dealing with these issues. Currently, the most important tasks for Iran are settling relations with the West and realization of alternative draft routes for import of the natural resources, as well as dealing with the happenings with Russia, Turkey and Middle East.

In this paper, we will deal with specifics and trends of Transcaucasia policy of Iran.


ریخت‏شناسی قصه‏های ترکمن براساس الگوی ریخت‏شناسی ولادیمیر پراپ

Seyyed Mojtaba Mir-Miran
Alale Abedi Balajaddeh

ریخت‏شناسی قصه‏های عامیانه یکی از رویکردهای تحلیل ساختاری قصه‏های فولکلوریک است که بر‏پایه‏ی نظریه‏ی ولادیمیر پراپ زبان‏شناس فرمالیست روسی تکوین یافته که به بررسی قواعد صوری و توصیف حکایت‏ها  بر اساس واحد‏های تشکیل دهنده آن‏ها و مناسبات این واحدها با یکدیگر و با کل حکایت می‏پردازد شناخت قصه‏های عامیانه هر قوم و خوانش آن بر اساس تئوری نظریه پردازان مختلف می تواند به  شناخت هویت فرهنگی قومی کمک کند. ازین‏رو در این پژوهش قصه‏های عامیانه ترکمن‏های شمال ایران مورد بررسی قرار گرفته است روش پژوهش با استفاده از منابع کتابخانه‏ای توصیفی- تحلیلی است. با فرض این که الگوی ریخت‏شناسی ولادیمیر پراپ با ساختار هریک از قصه‏های ترکمنی مطابقت دارد در این پژوهش به تحلیل ساختاری این قصه‏ها می‏پردازیم. و نشان می‏دهیم که این قصه‏ها طرح‏هایی همگون داشته که قابلیت انطباق با الگوی پراپ را دارند.


(بازارهای هفتگی شمال ایران و کارکردهای فرهنگی و اقتصادی آن (مطالعه موردی گیلان

Anush Moradi

بازارهای هفتگی در گیلان سابقه ای طولانی دارند و از قدیم الایام اهمیت خاصی در فرهنگ و اقتصاد مردم شمال داشته  است و به عنوان قطب مهم اقتصادی این پهنه شمار می آیند. تنوع و فراوانی عرضه محصولات کشاورزی ، دامی و صنایع دستی ، تبادل کالا و فروش محصولات روستایی ، جنبه های فرهنگی و انسان شناسی  از جمله ویژگی های بازارهای هفتگی گیلان است . در این مقاله ضمن شناخت وضعیت بازارهای بومی – محلی شرق گیلان ( رودسر ) نقش آنها در رونق اقتصادی منطقه ، كاركرد های فرهنگي ، اجتماعي ، انسان شناسی و گردشگری  مورد بررسی و تحلیل قرار خواهد گرفت و با نگاه کاربردی مشکلات ، تنگناه ها وراه های کار آمدی وبازدهی اقتصادی بیشتر  بازارهای بومی – محلی هفتگی موردمطالعه قرار می گیرد.


The Turkish-Iranian Emigration to the Mughal Empire (1544-1739)

Marc Morato

The aim of this paper is to analyze the Turkish Iranian emigration in the Mughal Empire, through though the Maathir al Umara: the official compendium of Mughal biographies. Since the reasons for emigration and its success varied over the years of coexistence between the Safavid and Mughal empires, I have chosen to classify the almost 200 years of study into three phases.

A first period would begin with the exile of the Mughal emperor, Humayun, to the Court of Shah Safavid Tahmasp and his subsequent return to India in 1544, until the eve of the ascent to the Iranian throne of Shah Abbas, after years of internal conflict between Turkish qizilbash factions. The second period begins with the accession of Abbas (1587) and his fierce centralist policy. One characteristic of this period was the enormous growth of both empires, with the reigns of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan on the one hand, and Abbas, Safi and Abbas II on the other. The final marker for this second period is the Mughal civil war between the sons of Shah Jahan that would end the triumph of Aurangzeb (1658), and the death of Shah Abbas II (1666). Finally, the third period would be marked by the definitive decline of the Safavid dynasty with the looting of Isfahan, the imperial capital, in 1722. The migrations relating to the power struggle in Iran between Turkish factions, the rise of the Afshar qizilbash and the looting of Delhi (1739) would also be included in the paper.

One of the central points which the paper will focus on will be whether or not the emigration really was favorable for the Turkish-Iranian people, if the reasons for the emigration were political or economic (and mention which clans had most to do with the emigrants) and whether the following generations of Turkish-iranians born in India maintained the status of newcomers or were lost relevance in the Mughal Court. The paper will also mention which kinds of roles were entrusted to these migrants within the Mughal Empire, whether or not they took the classic role of “men of the sword” (as opposed to the Tajiks who were known as “Men of letters”) and determine whether they took with them to India the political rivalries which existed in Iran, and if their former allegiance to the Safavid family made them Twelver Shiite or Sunni.


بازتاب ماکیان داری در ضرب المثل های گیلان

Seyyed Hashem Mousavi

ماکیان داری در زندگی فرهنگی، اجتماعی، اقتصادی مردم گیلان حضور و نقش قابل توجهی دارد. بازتاب بسیار وسیع ماکیان و تخم آن ها در فولکلور و فرهنگ مردم گیلان صحت این مدعا را اثبات می کند. مقالۀ حاضر بازتاب ماکیان داری را در ضرب المثل های گیلکی و تالشی ایرانیان گیلانی آینگی می کند.


Georgia in the Foreign Policy of Powers in Early 19th  Century

Irène Natchkebia

In current paper we focused on the information (from 1796 to 1807) about Eastern Georgia by French diplomats kept in the Archives of France. According to this information, the kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti was mentioned as a beautiful country under the governance of Persia, which entered in the Russian dominion in 1783. The fact that the new ally of Georgia, Russia, did not take part in this war against Agha Mohammad Khan’s invasion in Tiflis (1795) was assessed by Frenchman as the barbarian policy of Russia towards Georgia.

Among archive documents especially important is the Draft of Franco-Persian Treaty composed in Warsaw in April, 1807, which preceded the Franco-Persian Treaty concluded in Finkenstein on May 4, 1807. Formulation of the issue of Georgia given in the articles 3 and 4 of the Draft differs from the corresponding articles of the Treaty. This document, which in fact was the first military and political agreement between European State and Persia at the beginning of the 19th century, attached to Georgia international importance. In this context it was not accidental that information about Georgia published in in the official French newspapers in March and April of 1807 had preceded conclusion of the Finkenstein Treaty, and thus served the interests of the French government. This testifies importance of the powerful weapon of propaganda in influencing public opinion; Napoleon was perfectly aware of this and took advantage of it when he needed to.

After concluding of Franco-Russian Treaty in Tilsit on July 7, 1807, Georgia, which had already been part of the Russian Empire, lost its importance for France, but still remained lucrative for Persia. The paper analyses the significance of the Georgian question for the Tehran court during the diplomatic talks with the Plenipotentiary Minister of France General Gardane (1807-1809), and the British Ambassador Sir Harford Jones (1809-1810), as well as shed light on the role of Tiflis in talks between Mirza Abol-Hassan Khan, the ambassador of Fath-Ali Shah, and the British government in 1809-1810.


The Yezidi Genocide

Peter Nicolaus

Two years after their heartland of Sinjar was overrun by the terror militias of ISIS, the Yezidi community continues to be targeted by them for a range of crimes. Thousands of men, women and children have been killed, are missing, or remain in captivity where they are subjected to unspeakable sexual and physical abuse. Those forced to convert to Islam remain under close supervision by ISIL. Many men who refused to convert have been murdered, while women and young girls and boys, have been sold as slaves to ISIS fighters. Places of religious and cultural significance have been systematically destroyed.

The present contribution tries to summarise and quantify the atrocities against the Yezidi and other ethnic and religious communities, to explain the view of fundamentalist Islam upheld by ISIS, and to elaborate on the acceptance of ISIS terror in the territories controlled by them. It further describes how survivors escaped, and how they are received and treated by the Yezidi community and State authorities. Finally, the contribution concludes by agreeing with Ms. Nadia Murad, a Yezidi survivor and appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador, who on 19th September 2016, at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants slammed the world for failing to save the Yezidis: “If beheading, sexual enslavement, child rape, and all those acts will not force you to act, what will?”


Calendar as an Identity Marker on the Example of Zoroastrian Community in Iran

Paulina Niechciał

The paper focuses on the usage of contemporary Zoroastrian calendar in Iran as an identity marker, with the main focus on the Zoroastrian community of Tehran. Facing the Muslim-dominated society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Zoroastrian minority employs different symbols, values, ideas and elements of material culture to maintain its distinctiveness and strengthen its collective identity – one of them is a calendar. Although in the 1940s Zoroastrians officially adopted organization of time used in the country, they still recall gāhshomori-ye yazdegardi using the coronation year of the last Zoroastrian king, Yazdegerd III (632 CE), as the first year for dating the calendar instead of the year in which the Hijra occurred (622 CE). Sometimes Iranian Zoroastrians also refer to the year of 1738 BCE as the beginning of the calendar, believed to be the year of birth of the Prophet Zoroaster.

Modern Zoroastrian calendars (called sālnamā instead of an Arabic loanword taqvim, usually used in Persian) have been issued since the 1950s by Rāsti publisher in Tehran, and recently also by other institutions. They provide not only dates of rituals of a Zoroastrian year (sāl-e zartoshti), but also information on religious beliefs and practices, as well as Zoroastrian community itself. In contrast to the official solar calendar of Iran, contemporary Zoroastrian calendars retain former division within a month, in which every day has a different name. Now calendars (sometimes richly illustrated) are very popular both in a pocket and a wall form among Zoroastrians, promoted as distinctive material artifacts of the community members. In the paper I will briefly comment on the structure of Zoroastrians’ organization of time (for example their celebrations officially recognized by Iranian authorities) and analyze the usage of calendars and iconographic symbols used in them, as well as a specific time-reckoning as identity markers. I will also discuss the meaning of these issues in the context of identity of a religious minority.


تاثیر روسیه بر فرهنگ و آموزش نوین در گیلان

Abbas Panahi

در مقاله حاضر نگارنده قصد دارد تا با نگاهی تحلیلی تاثیر روسیه بر ساختار فرهنگی نوین گیلان را مورد بررسی و تجزیه و تحلیل قرار دهد. روابط روسیه با گیلان به سده های بسیار دور می رسد،اما مناسبات نوین گیلان و روسیه به دوره امپراتوری تزار پطر کبیر باز می گردد. از این زمان روابط گیلان و روسیه وارد مرحله جدیدی می شود و با شروع سده نوزدهم میلادی به جهت تمایل دولت های اروپایی و روسیه به روابط گسترده با ایران،گیلان به عنوان دروازه ورود به ایران مورد توجه ویژه دولت های اروپایی به ویژه روسیه قرار می گیرد. از سوی دیگر تاسیس کنسول‌گری روسیه در گیلان، مهاجرت کارگزاران روسی به رشت و انزلی، رفت و آمد تجار و بازرگانان به بادکوبه، تاسیس نخستین مدارس به شیوه نوین و تدریس و رواج زبان روسی، سبب شد تا فرهنگ گیلان تحت تاثیر فرهنگ روسیه و اروپا دچار تغییرات  اساسی شود. به گونه ای که اروپاییان در بازدید از شهر رشت این شهر را همانند یک شهر مدرن اروپایی توصیف می کنند. تاثیرات فرهنگی ناشی از حضور روس ها در گیلان سبب تغییر در شیوه آموزش، نحوه لباس پوشیدن و اجرای نمایش های بومی و گویش محلی گردید، به نحوی که می توان اظهار داشت، گیلان در دوره قاجار بسیار سریع‌تر از سایر نقاط ایران، متمایل به فرهنگ اروپایی گردید و به عنوان دروازه اروپا، از اواسط دوره قاجار از روسیه و فرهنگ اروپایی آن تاثیر پذیرفت. این پژوهش با استفاده از روش توصیفی - تحلیلی به بررسی تاثیرات روسیه بر فرهنگ گیلان در عصر قاجار در حوزه های فرهنگی می پردازد.


تجزیه و تحلیل اندیشه های سیاسی ایرانشهری در آراء و افکارسعدی

Abbas Panahi
Maryam Shadmohammadi

با آن که سعدی در عصر رکود عقل گرایی و در دوره مغولان می زیست، اما با استفاده از ذخایر گرانبهای ادبیات فارسی در آثار خود به تبیین اندیشه ها و آرای خود درباره نظام سیاسی عصر و اندیشه سیاسی ایرانشهری پرداخت. از این منظر می توان گلستان و بوستان سعدی را یکی از موثرترین آثار ادب فارسی دانست. نگرش سعدی به  سیاست،حکمت عملی و اخلاق، انتزاعی، تجویزی و آرمانی نبود. او برخلاف آثار پیش از خود نظیر  کلیله و دمنه و مرزبان نامه که از زبان حیوانات سعی در بیان روابط انسانی و حکمت عملی داشتند،انسان ها را در حکایت های خود مورد مخاطب قرار داد و آراء و اندیشه های خود را از زبان آنها بیان نمود. سعدی در گلستان و بوستان در روابط شاهان و امیران با رعایا باریک بینانه تأمل می کند و از اندرزهای کلی و انتزاعی اخلاق زاهدانه و فیلسوفانه پرهیز می کندو بجای پرداختن به مدینه فاضله از عدالت محور سخن می گوید. یکی از محوری ترین مباحث فکری سعدی در آثارش توجه ویژه او به مساله عدالت در جامعه است که در صورت انجام آن از سوی طبقات فرا دست جامعه موجب؛آسایش و رفاه مردم،بی نیازی اقتصادی ،رفع ظلم در جامعه، رفاه مردم و عاقبت به خیري حاکمان در سـراي فـانی و می شود.. نگارنده در مقاله حاضر با استناد به آثار سعدی سعی در تجزیه و تحلیل اندیشه سیاسی اش و ارائه حاکمیت آرمانی و عدالت پیشه از سوی او می پردازد. روش پژوهش در این مقاله کتابخانه ای و به شیوه تحلیلی انجام می پذیرد.


(چالش موضوع متون نمایشی در مشرق (ترکیه، ایران وبلاد شام

Parchegani Fatemeh

پیدایش هر نوع آثار هنری/ ادبی در جامعه، همراه با چالش­هایی است که هنرمندان و ادیبان با آن روبرو شده، سعی در یافتن راهی برای گذر از مرحله چالش دارند. نمایش نیز به عنوان گونه­ای از هنر و ادبیات از این قاعده بیرون نیست.

   نمایشنامه­نویسان پیشگام مشرق  زمین که در قرن نوزدهم اقدام به نوشتن آثاری به سبک مدرن کردند، با چالش­هایی روبرو بودند که از یک سو به متن نمایشی و از سوی دیگر به فنون اجرای نمایشنامه مربوط می­شد.

   ابراهیم شناسی و نامق کمال در ترکیه، میرزا فتح علی آخوندزاده و میرزا آقا تبریزی در ایران، مارون نقّاش در لبنان و ابوخلیل قبّانی در سوریه، نمایشنامه نویسان پیشگامی بودند که متونی را بر اساس تکنیک های مدرن نمایشنامه نویسی می­نگاشتند.

بررسی محتوای نمایشنامه­های این کشورها در عصر نهضت، نشان دهنده توجه آنان به موضوعات مختلفی از جمله مضامین اجتماعی، سیاسی، تاریخی، ملی و تراژیک است. اين موضوعات، همگی به انسان و مسائل انسانی چه به عنوان فرد و چه به عنوان بخشی از ساختار اجتماعی مرتبط می­باشد. بررسی­های به عمل آمده نشان از آن دارد که موضوعات اجتماعی، بیشترین بهره را در بخش مضامین نمایشنامه­های این دوره دارد. علاوه بر این، موضوعات نمایشی در کشورهای مختلف از تنوعی برخوردار است که ناشی از تفاوت در دیدگاه نمایشنامه نویسان نسبت به نمایشنامه، کارکرد متنوع این متن هنری در جوامع مختلف و همچنین تفاوت در ذائقه مخاطبان را باید از عوامل اصلی آن برشمرد.

   پژوهش حاضر بر آن است تا به بررسی این چالش در کشورهای مدنظر پرداخته، عوامل و بازخوردهای مختلف آن را تحلیل نماید. نتایج به دست آمده نشان می­دهد اصلی­ترین عامل شکل­گیری و توسعه مضامین نمایش­نامه­ها را باید در مبانی و مسائل انسانی جستجو کرد.




The Beginnings of Pashto Narrative Prose

Mikhail Pelevin

The earliest extant Pashto prose texts dating from the second half of the 16th and the first decades of the 17th centuries are few theosophical and theological treatises written entirely in rhythmical and rhymed phrases, i. e. in the style of saj‘, with only rudimentary elements of narration, as in the critical “biography” of the Roshānī mystic Bāyazīd Anṣārī in Akhūnd Darweza’s Makhzan al-islām (1605). The first literarily significant Pashto work in plain free prose is Dastār-nāma (1665) by Khūshhāl Khān Khatak; however, didactical discourse of this “Fürstenspiegel” book does not aim at actual narration which is reduced here to several short passages, e. g. in the chapter on tribal lineages where the author recounts a couple of genealogical legends.

True beginnings of Pashto free prose storytelling are to be found in The Khataks Chronicle – the original part of Afżal Khān Khatak’s Tārīkh-i muraṣṣa‘ (finished in 1724). Apart from brief and extremely discrete records of various facts from tribal history and current developments the texts of The Chronicle contain quite many (over 30) genuine narratives focused on particular episodes. Despite their overall small sizes these stories are distinguished by strikingly realistic depiction of incidents and such features peculiar to creative narration as accessory detailing, spontaneous descriptiveness and emotiveness. Storytelling technique in these narratives is achieved through deliberate compression of time in the kea moments of action, accentuated and even quasi-psychological portrayal of personages, extensive use of direct speech with a range of stylistic timbres. Although the Pashto language in these stories, like in all other texts of The Chronicle, is often rather raw and clumsy, it approaches natural vernacular and lacks artificiality caused by excessive metaphoric and figurative ornamentation. In fact, all The Chronicle’s narratives may be qualified as the products of oral recounting transferred into written form. Most of the stories, being fragments from the everyday notes of Afżal Khān and his grandfather Khūshhāl Khān, belong to the genre of diaries and memoirs which gained popularity in Mogul India after the appearance of Bābur-nāma (finished in 1529). The foundations of Pashto narrative prose laid by the Khatak tribal rulers in The Chronicle were restored only two hundred years later, in the middle of the 20th century, by the Pashtun intellectuals of the so called “awakened youth” generation.

The paper will outline the main subjects of The Chronicle’s stories grouped into three categories (everyday life, incidents, wars) and discuss the most efficient narration techniques. Extracted from the body of The Chronicle these stories would make up a unique collection of literary miniatures illustrating the diverse realities of Pashtun tribal life varied from hunting, traveling, engaging in daily accidents and small confrontations to participation in full-scale military conflicts.


تحلیل شعر اسماعیل خوئی و مظفر النواب بر مبنای تفکر انتقادی و نقد جامعه شناختی

Farhad Rajabi

آغاز قرن بیستم در ادبیات مشرق­زمین، همراه با رویکردی اجتماعی است؛ ادبیات و به ویژه شعر می­کوشد راهی به سمت واقعیت­های زندگی مردم بگشاید و با حضور در عرصه­های ملموس جامعه، تا حد امکان از خیالپردازی­های صرف گذشته فاصله گیرد. این مهم در نیمه دوم قرن بیستم، در اثر ارتقاء سطح آگاهی­های اجتماعی، با انقلاب­ها و مبارزات مردم مقارن می­گردد و به همین دلیل، واقعگرایی رنگ غالب هنر و به ویژه شعر می­شود. شاعران نه به عنوان شیفتگان امور انتزاعی، بلکه در شولای پرچمداران مبارزه با استبداد و استعمار، ضمن حفظ چارچوب هنری، شعر را به عرصه­ای برای بیان واقعیت­ها و ابزاری جهت تحریک مردم در بدست آوردن آزادی­­های انسانی تبدیل می­نمایند.

   اسماعیل خوئی و مظفر النواب، شاعران معاصر ایرانی و عراقی، به عنوان نمایندگان این جریان هنری، برآنند تا با عبور از جریان رمانتیسم از خاک و خشم و اندوه جامعه خود سخن گویند. دو شاعر، تحت تأثیر شرایط اجتماعی و نظام طبقاتی حاکم به شیوه تفکر انتقادی روی آورده با استفاده از سمبل­ها و نمادهای مردم شناسیک جامعه ایران و عراق، فصلی تازه را بر تاریخ شعر فارسی و عربی می­افزایند.

   نتایج این تحقیق نشان می­دهد، تحولات اجتماعی همراه با جریان نوگرایی در اندیشه و هنر جامعه ایران و عراق در شکل­گیری نوعی هنر اجتماعی در  دو سرزمین، مؤثر بوده که می­توان  بر مبنای نگرش­های مردم­شناسی و جامعه­شناسی، آن­ها را مورد بحث و بررسی قرار داد و متن اشعار اسماعیل خوئی و مظفر النواب نیز مصداقی است بر این مدعا.


زیست جهان باورهای­گالشی

Mahmoud Ranjbar  
Ali Safaee

یکی از راه­های شناخت نحوه تفکر مردم یک سرزمین، بررسی فرهنگ  و ادب شفاهی آنان است. نحوه تعامل مردم با چیستی و چگونگی رویدادها و پدیده­های حیات در باورهای آنان منعکس می­شود. در واقع باورها پاسخی روشن و علمی به همه مجهولات بشری در مقطع زمانی خاصی بوده است که بعدها صرفاً به عنوان پاسخ  به حساب نیامد، بلکه به عنوان قوانینی نانوشته شدند که نقش بارزی در اعتقادات، باورها و تصمیم­گیری های جوامع داشتند. بررسی نگرش مردم در دوره­های مختلف و کیفیت اقناع آنان به واسطه باورها نیازمند بررسی دقیق وعلمی آنهاست. نخستین اقدام عملی؛ جمع آوری وطبقه بندی مناسب هریک از گونه های آن است. در این پژوهش، تعداد چهل باور مردم  شهرستان رامسر مورد بررسی قرار گرفته است. این نوشتار به دو بخش تقسیم شده است: در بخش نخستین با استناد به نظریة «کوچ» که با طرح کوچ درونمایه­ها واشکال ادبیات شفاهی رواج داشته است، با بیان شواهدی از بن مایه های جغرافیایی، تاریخی و فرهنگی میزان خویشاوندی هریک از آنها نشان داده شده است.در بخش دوم با بهره­گیری از شیوة ساختاری نوع بنیادین مجموع باورها با شیوه­ای تقلیل­گرایانه دسته­بندی شده است. در بررسی این بخش، با شناسایی روابط کلی میان این مجموعه، به بررسی نظام و قوانین موجود بین آنها پرداخته شده است. در مجموع به این نتیجه رسیده­ایم؛ که ساختار کلی این باورها در بردارنده شیوة زندگی و پدیدة ذوقی مردم این ناحیه است. این رابطه، تشابه قابل توجهی بین شکل و معنای باورها را ارایه داده است که می تواند مورد توجه مردم شناسان قرار گیرد. با شناسایی انواع  باورها از منظر ساختار کلی و رابطه های درونی آنها، می­توان نظام طبقه­بندی آنها را نیز مشخص نمود.


Gwrobandak’s Voyage: Revisiting the “State of Mixture” in Late Antiquity

Stephen Rapp

Building upon my recent monograph The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature (Ashgate, 2014), I shall discuss an anonymous Georgian hagiographical text devoted to a Christianized Iranian named Gwrobandak-Evstat‛i. In particular, I shall explore the spiritual, cultural, and physical journey of this figure, beginning with Gwrobandak’s training to assume his father’s place as a Zoroastrian mowbed in the northern Iranian city of Ganzak; his membership in one of Gandzak’s Manichaean congregations; and eventually his migration to eastern Georgia (K‛art‛li), conversion to Christianity, and his deliberate taking of a Christian wife and a Christian name (cf. Gk. Eustathios). The transformation of Gwrobandak to Evstat‛i illumines the process of religious conversion in pre-modern cosmopolitan environments. At the same time, Gwrobandak-Evstat‛i’s experiences reveal the durable Iranian socio-cultural fabric stretching across southern Caucasia and, in particular, the long-term accommodation of Iranian/Zoroastrian, Caucasian, and Christian society. Other aspects of this nexus are exposed by the very language deployed by the anonymous hagiographer, one that is studded with Middle Iranian terminology. When this text’s contents and structure are properly contextualized, the vita of Gwrobandak-Evstat‛i emerges not only as a principal source for the early church in eastern Georgia but also for the whole of late antique Caucasia—an area which, despite intensive Christianization from the early fourth century, remained a fundamental part of the Iranian world for centuries to come. In order to better understand Caucasia’s cross-cultural and cosmopolitan dimensions, I shall apply aspects of Richard Payne’s insightful notion of a “state of mixture” to this northern part of the Iranian Commonwealth.


Sura mihbetê. The Idea of Love in the Yezidi Cosmogony and the Discussion on the Ontology of Love in Early Sufism

Artur Rodziewicz

In the very first stages of the cosmogony described in the Yezidi sacred hymns, quewles, except God and the Pearl there is also Love mentioned. It is consistently and exclusively expressed by a word mihbet. This consequence allows to assume that the author or authors of the hymns deliberately selected the term.

In my paper I will try to post a question whether in the Yezidi quewles we are dealing with reflexes of the old ongoing controversy among the first Sufis such as Mansur al-Hallaj, Abu al-Ḥasan al-Daylami or Ruzbihan Baqli on the theological status of Love? The controversy that was also connected with the debate over the terminological distinction between ishq (arab.)/ eshq (pers.) and mahabba (arab.)/ mohabbat (pers.) This question seems to be important also for the reason that the codifier of the Yezidism, Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, who is believed to be the author of some important quewles, before settling in Lalish, had been studing in Baghdad and had been a disciple of Ahmad al-Ghazali – the author of Sawaneh, the oldest Persian Sufi treatise on love.


The Culture of Courtesy and Conciliation. Sa’di on the Virtue of Speech and Silence

Magdalena Rodziewicz

Persian moral literature belonging to the so called adab tradition is an extremely wide one. Till today, Persian poet Sa’di form Shiraz is considered to be one of the most prominent representatives of this tradition. His works full of moralizing anecdotes are well known and read by Iranians even today and constitute an important reference point for proper conduct in their everyday life.

One of the most significant virtues, which Sa’di devotes his attention to is  the virtue of speech (adab-e sokhbat), of which an integral part is silence (khamushi). In Sa’di’s opinion reasonable and proper words, as well as appropriate silence shape the relationship between people and help to avoid conflicts and open disputes, which according to him, not only destroy man himself by exposing his flaws and imperfections of character, thus destroying his reputation, but also undermine the basis of social life, generating hostility between people. Sa’di urges that in dealing with people one should use mild and gentle speech and in response to aggression and rudeness always behave in a conciliatory manner.

Striving to diminish negative emotions between people Sa’di considers a sign of intelligence and a testimony of high esteem. In his opinion mild-mannered people of an gentle face are not only closer to God, but their status in the society is higher. Therefore “consent” and “agreement” become the key values. They arise from the particular attitude of modesty and courtesy (tavaze’), which does not manifest itself in humility, but exalts man and builds his reputation and dignity in the eyes of the others. Sa’di is convinced that kind words form an invisible veil between people, which should be preserved, as it is one of the most important conditions for maintaining correct relationships between people.

Being a humanist and a God-lover Sa’di deliberates on the culture of human behaviour (honar e-adam). Analysis of Sa’di’s perspective on the role of speech and silence in human life allows to reconstruct his philosophy of human relations whose traces can be seen in contemporary Persian customs, of which an important element is the system of politeness defined as ta' arof.


بررسی تطبیقی ریشه افعال زبان‌های تاتی، تالشی و گیلکی

Jahandust Sabzalipur

ریشه‌ یا مهمترین جزء فعل، بخش دربرگیرندۀ معنای آن فعل است که همواره در تمام مشتقات حاصل از آن ریشه، به نوعی حضورش قابل مشاهده است. با شناخت ریشه فعل می‌توان بسیاری از اجزای فعل را شناخت. در زبان‌های حاشیۀ خزر که از زبان‌های شاخه شمال‌غربی هستند، فعل‌هایی وجود دارند که بسیار قدیمی‌اند. از بین این دسته از زبان‌ها، تاتی، تالشی و گیلکی برای این پژوهش انتخاب شده‌اند. برای انجام نخست فهرستی از مصادر سی /30  گونة زبانی از گونه‌های زبان‌های مورد نظر (یعنی از هر زبان ده / 10 گونه) جمع آوری شده که قریب به 14 هزار مصدر بوده است. در مرحله بعد ریشه هر کدام از این مصادر استخراج شده است.


بازنمایی گفتمان جنسیت در ادبیات عامیانه ایران

Ali Safaee
Mahmoud Ranjbar 

ظهور و بروز زن در مناسبات اجتماعی ایران یکی از مباحث تأمل برانگیز  جامعه شناسان بوده است. یکی از روش های  علمی  تحلیل گفتمان از منظر نورمن فرکلاف  است. در این روش جوامع به دو طبقه استثمارگر و استثمار شونده تقسیم می شوند. فرکلاف با تمرکز بر زبان روابط بین این دو را برای رسیدن به ایجاد آگاهی بررسی می کند. وی تحلیل  گفتمانی زبان را آنچنان برجسته می داند  که ریشه  بسیاری از تغییراتاقتصادی و اجتماعی را در نهاد زبان و گفتمان  می داند.بازتاب روابط استثماری در جوامع با تمرکز بر متونی که از طبقه میانه جامعه پدید آمده است، وجوهی تازه از دگرگونی های نمادین و غیر نمادین جوامع را نشان می دهد. ادبیات عامیانه به عنوان  با زبانی‌ ساده و بی پیرایه حالات‌ و انديشه‌هاي‌ عوام‌ را نمایان می سازد. در این ادبیات نوع نگرش جامعه به زنان و نحوه حضور آنان در اجتماع پدیدار می­شود. در این پژوهش به روشی توصیفی تحلیلی در نظر است با رویکرد تحلیل گفتمان  چگونگی ذهنیت سوژه­ای به نام زن در ادبیات عامیانه ایران و مشخصاً در زبانزدهای گالشی را نشان دهیم.


نگرش بر احساس حقارت نسل جدید از سخن گفتن به زبان مادری بخصوص در زبان گیلکی

Ebrahim Safari
Roshanak Goldust

نابودی هـر زبانی به معـنای نابودی گروه بـزرگی از مفاهـیم ، انـدیشه ها ، ذهـنـیـت ها و در یک کـلام یـک فرهنگ است .پژوهش حاضر نشان می دهد که با توسعه ی ارتباطات و نفوذ رسانه ها و سهولت دسترسی به اطلاعات صنعتی شدن ، مهاجرت ، گسترش شهرنشینی ، ازدیاد اقـشار تحـصیل کرده و غیره ... گویش های محلی – قومی به ویـژه در کشورهای در حال توسعه رو به زوال و نابودی انـد . در این مقاله  گـیلکی نیز از این وضعـیت جـدا نـیـسـت .بايـد بـپـذيـرم كه اين زبان كهـن در يكي از حـساس تـرين مراحـل عـمر هـزاران سـاله خـود دارد و متاسفانه  با وضعی اسفناک به سوی نابودی گام برمی دارد ، در واقع اگر وضع به هـمـین منوال پیش رود طولی نخواهد کشید که گیلکی خواهد مرد یا از بین خواهدرفت.نتایج این تحقیق نشان می دهد درحال حاضر بحث مرگ گویش ها ولهجه ها بحثی کاملا علمی و پذیرفته شده است  به طوریـکه بـسیاری از زبانشناسان برجسته دـنیامعتـقدند درطول سال با مرگ بسیاری ازلهجه ها وزبان های بومی درجهان مواجهند آنها معتقدنددر کشورهای شرق آسیا این مرگ لهجه ها و گویش ها بیشـتر است . به طوریکه فرهنگ جهانـی به راحتی جایگزین فرهنگ های بومی شده و آنها را تهی می کند و به مرگ آنها می انجامد .

دراین مقاله کوشش شده است به موضوعات گوناگون اعم ازدلایل ازبین رفتن زبـان مادری ودربخش دیـگربه مرگ گویش ها و لهجه ها در سایه بی توجهی و احساس حقارت نسل جدید پرداخته شده و مهاجرت های پی درپی از جمله زوال از بین رفتن آنها است پرداخته شود. وراهکارهای مناسب برای جلوگیری ازنابودی آنها است نیزمی پردازد.


China’s role on Iran’s nuclear issue: Views from Beijing and Tehran

Mher Sahakyan

The main aim of this paper is to describe views from Beijing and Tehran on China’s role on Iran’s nuclear issue.

China made important contributions toward resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. On the one hand, with the help of Russia and the EU, China can prevent the US from starting a war with Iran. On the other hand, it can press Iran to continue negotiations and make concessions. As a result, on July 14, 2015, the P5+1 and Iran signed a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

China is developing economic relations with Iran because it is interested in growing its influence in the “Silk Road Economic Belt” in the Middle East. Using its “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative, China has sought to weaken Russian and US influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, which have rich energy resources. Independent players such as Iran are mostly welcomed by China as they make decisions in their foreign affairs without US interference. Iran’s independent policy provides guarantee to China that Iran would supply to China with energy resources in the event of a Sino-American confrontation.

From China’s perspective, if Iran is broken and weakened by the West, Tehran will fall under the influence of the US. A safe and stable Iran means a safe and stable Persian Gulf, which is the main conduit through which China imports Middle Eastern energy resources.

China has benefitted from Iran-US confrontations; both countries need Chinese support in the UNSC. To receive this support, they must make profitable offers to China. For instance, Iran and the US compete with one another for Chinese support on the Iranian nuclear issue; Iran has asked China to block sanctions or weaken them in the UNSC, and the US has attempted to gain China’s full support on sanctions for Iran.

Anyway, it is important to mention that the US is the first trade partner of China and EU is the second trade partner of China, so in Iranian nuclear issue China tries not to choose any sides, but it is clear that for Iran China would not start confrontations with its first and second most important trade partners.

The Iranians distrust the US; they believe that China is a responsible power that could play a constructive role in the negotiations regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. There were several differences and similarities during the presidency of Khatami, Ahmadinejad and Rouhani on China’s role on Iran’s nuclear issue, which will be described in this paper.


Late medieval Christian temple of Nuzhal in the landscape of the Ossetian ethnic tradition

Tamerlan Salbiev

It is recognized that in today's globalized world study of traditional cultures inevitably  involves setting at the heart of it their identity. This cultural identity is not simply understood as a set of distinctive features, but as "the ability to live together", that is, an interaction. From this point of view for the study of Ossetian cultural heritage of utmost interest, of course, proves to be the interaction of the native Indo-European (Aryan) religious tradition with the world religions in general and Christianity in particular. A very promising object for such an investigation seems to be late medieval Christian church of Nuzhal village, dating from the end of XIII - beginning of XIV centuries. It is a well-known unique architectural monument extant in its original form. After the loss of connection with the church organization, it became a traditional place of worship, as evidenced by extant offerings in the form of heads of sacrificial animals and a number of other features. This choice, as it seems, allows one to consider the interaction of two religious traditions comprehensively and systematically.

Of decisive importance in this case rightfully get extant temple painting and, above all, a set of murals – the canonical Deesis (δέησις) composition represented by a number of easily recognizable characters. It seems that it may well be compared with the Ossetian ritual supplications called k°uvd that also means “prayer”. This is shown not only the identity of their names, but also in their lying plot basis. The main basis of comparison, of course, becomes a mythology, as in the first case we have the story of Judgment, and the second – a reliably established plot of Creation. Thus it becomes possible to compare the roles performed by the participants of the Ossetian ritual prayer and the characters that form the Deesis, subject to the provisions of these characters in space and in relation to each other, the attributes they use and characteristics functions they perform.

From the perspective of ceremony one should also take into account the structure and contents of the Divine Liturgy, which serves as a sort of audio complement to the visual range of the temple. Thus, we can assume that the main form, in which the tradition was clothed, can be defined as the so called popular Christianity, which was adopted by traditional culture through its mythologizing. It seems that the key role should be assigned to the Ossetian (Aryan) cosmogonic myth, which describes not only process when chaos is brought to the original cosmic order, but also the completion of the cycle, when “in the end of times” the universe again returns to its starting point. In this case, Christianity is presented as a universal teaching of religious and historical character, dressed in a written form of a foreign language, while tradition is based on word of oral ethnic myth, providing not only the internal unity of the whole tradition, but also cultural and historical continuity, for example, with the Scythian pantheon described by Herodotus, as well as ancient Zoroastrian rituals.


Armenians, Mongols, fidā’īs and the Fall of the Nizārī Ismaili State in Persia

Miklós Sárközy

As far as Armenian-Ismaili relations on the eve of the fall of the Nizārī Ismaili State are concerned, our Armenian sources suggest tense relations between Armenian princes, their Mongol overlords and Ismailis before 654/1256. The possible reason for this hostile attitude towards Armenians by Nizārī Ismailis was because of the role played by some Armenian princes in Mongol service. Armenian provinces both in south Caucasus and in Cilicia were heavily occupied by the invading Mongol forces after 620/1223 and served as auxiliary military forces and food-suppliers for the there-stationed Mongol armies. According to the 13th century Armenian historian Smbat Sparapet, Armenian King Hetcum of Cilicia had to be disguised as a cattle-driver when he travelled through Ismaili-populated areas in Cappadocia in 651/1253, this being due to the hostile attitude of the Ismailis towards him on his way to Möngke Khan’s court.

As for the Nizārī-Mongol contacts, by 641/1243, the Mongols had successfully eliminated the Khwārizmians (with substantial Nizārī support), the Rūm Saljūqs and had secured the areas of Transcaucasia and the Iranian lands for themselves. At that point their relations with the Nizārīs, their former allies began to sour.

Only years after these events several Nizārī envoys were reportedly reproached and treated contemptuously at least twice in Qara-Qorum by the Mongols, once in 644/1246, at Güyük’s enthronement and again in 649/1251, when Möngke Khan acceeded to the Mongol throne. Following the 644/1246 incident, Güyük sent Mongol military reinforcements to the Middle East. In 649/1251, Baiju, the military commander of the Mongol armies in the Middle East, sent a complaining message to Möngke about the dangerous behaviour of the Nizārīs; meanwhile, Shams al-Dīn, the qāḍī of Qazwīn, incited Möngke and his court in Qara-Qorum against the Nizārīs.

The last but probably most dramatic step in Mongol- Nizārī relations was the alleged Nizārī murder of of Chaghatai Qorchi, the chief military commander of the Iranian lands and the South Caucasus around 647/1249. The murder of Chaghatai Qorchi by Nizārī fidā’īs was to divert or weaken Mongol military manoeuvres against the Nizārīs, a momentum mentioned by Armenian chroniclers, the newly emerged Ismaili mathnawi, the Dīwān-i Qā’imiyyāt, a recently rediscovered medieval Ismaili mathnawi composed in Alamut as well as Rashid al-Din.

Nizārīs became gradually isolated after 629/1231 when the Mongol forces operating in the Southern Caucasus and Persia had subdued all the other local kingdoms. The Nizārī murder of Chaghatai Qorchi, the Mongol commander of Armenian lands after 647/1249 alarmed Mongol forces towards the final elimination of the Nizārī Ismaili state.

Опыт Изучения Историко-Культурного Содержания, Типологии Проявлений и Локальных Особенностей Оролатрии у Народов Кавказа[1]

Magomedhabib Seferbekov

В условиях урбанизации и глобализации важное и актуальное значение приобретает сохранение этнической идентичности народов Кавказа. Одним из компонентов этой идентичности являются реликты и отголоски феноменов традиционной духовной культуры. Они включают в себя и домонотеистические верования и обряды. Особое место среди них занимает оролатрия – культ гор – универсальное явление, свойственное большинству народов мира: индусы поклонялись горе Меру, древние евреи – Синаю и Сиону, алтайские народы – Сумеру, китайцы – Юйшань, японцы – Фудзи, древние греки – Олимпу и т.д.

      В мифологиях и верованиях народов Кавказа функции горы, как элемента сакрального пространства, были многообразны. Мифологические функции горы заключались в признании ее местом соединения неба и земли, центром или оси мира, обители богов и демонов. Вершины гор рассматривались как пуп земли, а иногда – как вход в тоннель, откуда начиналась дорога в царство мертвых. Гора выступала в качестве наиболее распространенного варианта трансформации древа мирового. Она часто воспринималась как образ мира, модель вселенной, в которой отражены все основные элементы и параметры космического устройства. Мировая гора была трехчлена: на ее вершине обитали боги, под горой (или в ее нижней части) – принадлежащие к царству смерти злые духи, на земле (посередине) – люди. Гора рассматривалась местом общения человека с богами, а вершина горы ассоциировалась с солнцем, дождем и богами-громовержцами.

      Как уже указывалось, гора являлась обиталищем и богов, и демонов. Эта двойственность объяснялась отнесением горы к верхней сфере трехчленной картины мира по вертикали. Принадлежность же горы к локусам персонажей низшей мифологии объяснялась ее принадлежностью к неосвоенному и враждебному человеку пространству.

      Гора использовалась в обрядах вызывания дождя и солнца и в народной медицине, была местом проведения календарных и аграрных праздников. На вершинах гор, их склонах, горных перевалах располагались культовые сооружения, трансформировавшиеся впоследствии в места христианского и мусульманского религиозного культа. Горные хребты рассматривались и как границы миров.

      На Кавказе культ гор носил региональный характер. В Дагестане у народностей аваро-андо-дидойской этноязыковой общности почитались горы «Бахарган», «Моду», «ЦIобол-гохI», «Ханибалъ», «Кьили-мегIер» («Седло-гора»), «Аддала-шухгель-мегIер», «Лъамир», «Киделишан» («Кукольная гора»),  у народностей лезгинской этноязыковой общности – «Шалбуздаг», у лакцев – «ВацIилу», у кайтагцев и агульцев – «Джуфу-даг», у табасаранцев – пещера «Дюрхъ». В Ингушетии священными были горы, которые наделялись сакральными качествами и свойствами: «Казбек» («Бешлоам»), «Столовая гора» («Мятлоам»), «Цайлоам». Абхазы почитали гору «Дыдрипш», армяне – «Арарат», грузины – «Казбеги». В Южной Осетии считали священной вершину горы «Брут-Сабзеш».

      Изучением культа гор в различных его проявлениях у отдельных народов Кавказа занимались Б.К. Далгат, Г.Ф. Чурсин, И.В. Мегрелидзе, Е.Б. Вирсаладзе, Ш.Д. Инал-Ипа, М.А. Агларов, Г.А. Гаджиев, М.М. Зязиков, А.Б. Крылов, С.А. Ляушева, А.Е. Тер-Саркисян  и др.

      Исследованием же мифологических, обрядовых и символических функций гор у  народов Кавказа с выявлением историко-культурного содержания оролатрии, типологии проявления и региональных особенностей культа гор занимаемся мы. Наши исследования направлены на историко-этнографическое исследование большинства почитаемых гор у народов Кавказа с выявлением их мифологических, обрядовых и символических функций. Результаты наших исследования позволят представить более полную картину традиционной духовной культуры народов Кавказа, раскрыть причины сохранения реликтов оролатрии в наши дни, получить новые данные о метеорологической, промысловой, лечебной и других видах магии и связанных с горами мифологических персонажах пантеона и пандемониума кавказцев, что явится важным вкладом в кавказоведение.

[1] Публикация подготовлена в рамках поддержанного РГНФ научного проекта №16-01-00038


К Итогам 20-летнего Изучения Мифологических Персонажей Народов Дагестана[1]

Ruslan Seferbekov

На протяжении 1995-2015 гг. мы проводили исследования праздников, обрядов, обычаев, верований, мифологии, фольклора лексики и фразеологии с целью выявления персонажей гипотетически реконструируемого былого пантеона и пандемониума народов Дагестана. На основе разработанных нами критериев (базовых оснований) мифологические персонажи были классифицированы по следующим признакам: пространственно-временные параметры, критерий иерархичности и этнотерриториальной масштабности влияния, гендерный признак, этические категории. Исходя из предложенной классификации, персонажи пантеона народов Дагестана состояли из верховного бога и отраслевых божеств – персонифицируемых небесных светил, атмосферных явлений и стихий (солнце и луна, радуга, ветер, боги дождя и солнца и их олицетворения, вода); хозяев леса,  зверей и охоты; аграрных божеств; олицетворяемых времен года; патронов сельской общины. Персонажи низшей мифологии народов Дагестана предстали в следующем виде –  домовые змеи; домовые; демоны-антагонисты беременных, рожениц и новорожденных; демоны болезней; демоны кладбища; ведьмы.

Изучение праздников, обрядов, обычаев, верований, мифологии, фольклора, лексики и фразеологии привело нас к выводу, что у дагестанцев, как и у других народов Северного Кавказа, вплоть до принятия монотеистических религий, существовал пантеон и пандемониум, сложившийся из мифологических персонажей времен культа природы и периода разложения первобытного общества и формирования раннеклассового общества. Исследование  мифологических персонажей народов Дагестана, привело к выводу, что они сформировались в разное время, и опосредованно отражают процессы, происходившие в обществе (разложение первобытного общества, политогенез, переход от варварства к цивилизации, переворот в положении полов, переход от присваивающего к производящему хозяйству). С формированием производящего комплексного земледельческо-скотоводческого хозяйства появляются аграрные божества и патроны ремесел (прежде всего, связанные с металлургией). На стадии активного разложения первобытно-родовых отношений, развития потестарной организации и формирования раннеклассового общества в конце I тыс. до н.э. – начале I тыс. н.э. завершается процесс низложения «старых богов» и создания нового пантеона во главе с Богом-отцом. В Дагестане этот процесс имел некоторое своеобразие и специфику, обусловленные особенностями социально-экономического и культурно-исторического развития местного общества, переход которого на новую ступень развития, от варварства к цивилизации, происходил не на основе раннеземледельческой экономики и металлургии бронзы, а на базе достижений железного века. Относительно позднее зарождение дагестанского пантеона и пандемониума определило своеобразие его состава и структуры – неполноту, отраслевую бедность, иерархическую неразработанность власти верховного божества над другими богами и т.д. Отсутствие четко структурированной иерархии в пантеоне дагестанцев находит свое объяснение в незавершенности процесса классообразования и формирования строго дифференцированного общества ко времени проникновения монотеистических религий, в существовании двух диаметрально противоположных, полярных тенденций в процессе социально-экономического развития общества – демократической (гражданской) и деспотической (монархической). Дробность и незавершенность полностью структурированного и состоящего из верховного бога и отраслевых божеств и демонов пантеона и пандемониума народов Дагестана объясняется и незавершенностью процесса формирования самих многочисленных дагестанских этносов.  

На незавершенность процесса сложения упорядоченной, иерархически выверенной религиозно-мифологической системы, свойственной и системам других северокавказских народов, повлияло в меньшей степени раннее проникновение христианства (с IV в.) и в главной мере последующее (с середины VII в.) распространение (порой – насильственное) ислама, который окончательно прервал происходивший естественный процесс формирования законченной структуры пантеона и пандемониума народов Дагестана. Тем не менее, ислам с его мощным, многовекторным и многовековым влиянием не смог искоренить языческие представления дагестанцев, четкие и ясные реликты которых сохранились до наших дней.

[1] Публикация подготовлена в рамках поддержанного РГНФ научного проекта №16-01-00038


Источниковедение суфизма: «Критика «салафизма» в трудах дагестанских суфийских шейхов начала XX вв.»

Magomed Shekhmagomedov

В начале XX столетия в религиозную среду мусульман Северного Кавказа стали активно проникать идеи «салафизма», распространявшиеся через т.н. «джадидов», сторонников религиозного реформаторства. Эти идеи встретили резкое неприятие дагестанских ученых-богословов, в основном в лице суфийских шейхов, которые написали целый ряд сочинений на арабском языке с опровержением учения «салафитов».

Одним из первых, кто выступил с резкой критикой новых идей, стал известный шейх накшубандийского и шазилийского тарикатов Хасан-Хелми ал-Кахи. В одном из своих сочинений «Ас-Сифр ал-асна фи ар-рабита ал-хусна» (Книга о прекрасной рабите) ал-Кахи обосновывает дозволенность с точки зрения шариата одной из основных составляющих суфизма - «рабита», которая, согласно идеологии «салафитов», приравнивалась идолопоклонству.

Эстафету из рук ал-Кахи принял Мухаммад ал-Асали, который является автором трех сочинений, самым ранним из которых считается «Ал-Аджвиба ал-асалийа фи радд шубухат ал-ваххабийа» (Ответы ассабца в опровержение ваххабитских смут). Сочинение написано в полемическом жанре и имеет конкретного адресата - Мухаммада б. Абдурашидни, выступавшего с резкими выпадами в адрес последователей суфизма.

Другое сочинение Мухаммад ал-Асали, «Ал-Ажвибату ал-бахийа фи исбат шафаат хайр ал-барийя» (Великолепные ответы в подтверждение заступничества лучшего из людей), является фундаментальным трудом, в котором он критикует идеи «салафизма». В предисловии ал-Асали пишет, что «один из числа ваххабитской общины» написал обращение «достойному ученому» Мухаммадали ал-Урми, в котором «поносил шейхов, обвиняя в ереси всякого, кто последует по их пути». Последний, видимо, обратился к автору за разъяснениями по поводу обвинений, которыми «салафит» клеймит суфиев.

В своей работе ал-Асали подробно раскрывает сущность ваххабизма и дает историческую справку об основателях этого учения ибн Таймийа, Мухаммаде б. Абдулваххабе, ибн ал-Кайиме ал-Джавзийа. Также автор подробно излагает суть суфийского учения (‘илм ат-тасаввуф), дает разъяснения терминам «шариат», «тарикат» и «хакикат». Обосновывая с точки зрения шариата желательность «обучения у шейхов», он приводит свои доказательства того, что «шейхство и муридизм» имеют законное обоснование в Коране и Сунне пророка.

Другое сочинение ал-Асали, «Ал-Фараид ал-вахбийа фи радд шубухат ал-ваххабийа» (Божественные дары в опровержение ваххабитских смут), также написанное в защиту идей суфийского учения, является дополнением к одной из работ своего наставника ал-Кахи, написанное им в виде ответов на выпады одного из «противников истины» в адрес суфизма.

Анализ упомянутых трудов дагестанских суфийских шейхов дает подробное представление о характере и содержании идеологического противостояния дагестанских суфиев и «салафитов».


Metaphor of Colour in Concepts of Emotions

Sabrina Shikhalieva

In the linguistic theory the idea of compatibility of colour and emotion had a hard fate, and the attitude of linguists towards the description of a mental text has been changing in accordance with the acceptance of the importance of motivated notions. Somehow conceptualizing the compatibility of colours and emotions it may be said that in the linguistic theory two approaches to the description, which are called metaphor, have been formed.

Emotions unavailable to direct observation are known to be conveyed by an entry of motivated denotations. Let us proceed to the analysis of colour naming based on anthroponomical material - "name = stone*colour of stone"; "name=metal - colour of metal"; "name=phytomin - phytomin colour". For instance, masculine proper name Ka-ra-han means in the translation <lit. a black knyaz> , masculine proper name Jakyt means in the translation <lit. sapphire or ruby colour>; feminine proper name Zhava-hi-r  means <lit. diamond colour>, Gevher  means <lit. pearl colour>, Benevša means <lit. lilac>, Zernijar <lit. gold and red>, Jarχanum <lit. a red lady>, Zumryt <lit. emerald colour>, Mahi <lit. made out of ivory>,  Merzhan <lit. coral colour>, Kizil <lit. gold>. The arrangement of motivated denotations, taking into consideration a text of two-member names, not only reveals a rhyming unit of the Caucasian society, but also a group of a privileged class "anthroponym*gemstone and metal colours". More active units of motivated denotations have the following explanation: either the speaker points to the situation known for the addressee, or compares that situation with another one similar to it known to the addressee. So, for instance, a rhyming unit of motivated denotations in Tabasaran, Kumyk and Nogai languages defines a notion of the anthroponomical class Gulgez "1. a feminine proper name"; 2. a botanical term "rose"; 3. a phraseological unit "a loved one"; a rhyming unit of motivated denotations in Agul, Lezghin and Azerbaijanian languages defines the notion of the anthropological class Aslan "1. a masculine proper name"; 2. a zoological term "lion"; 3. a phraseological unit "a brave man"; in Andian, Avar and Bezhita languages a notion of the anthroponomical class Mesedu is defined "1. a feminine proper name"; 2. a chemical term "gold"; 3. a phraseological unit "a priceless person". Here the semantics of a colour  actualizes not only an element of a personal name, but also represents a metaphorical nomination.

Not only stylistics devices of a language point to a vivid connection between a person and colours of environment, but also a speech background enabling to represent a metaphorical nomination. For instance, to describe "a green colour" in Tabasaran language an emotional speech background bitran_yler_ajir <lit.having eyes of a snake> is used; in Darghin language - an emotional speech background gatnala <lit. like eyes of a cat>. This subjective estimation encodes a unit of a metaphorical nomination. The units with similar elements of proper names but with different nominates "an anthroponym*a colour" come up in the languages of different nations of the Caspian and the Caucasus regions, in particular of the Tabasaran, the Agul, the Uzbek, the Kirghiz and the Turkmen: Tel-l-i <lit. decorated with gold>, efte-li <lit. peachy>, Ars-l-an <lit. made out of silver>, Dzej-r-an <lit. like a mountain meadow>, Ana-r-a <lit. like pomegranate>.

Given metaphorical nominates are structured, the cause of emotions and its effect are distinguished in them. The nominates of the metaphorical pattern "anthroponym*emotion*colour" are popularized in the translation theory and are used in anthroponymic associations ( usual and occasional).  And herein lies, in our opinion, one of the main perceptions of the colour metric system in the concept of the emotion.


Georgian Mamluks in International Relations: Caucasian Diaspora and Balance of Power in the Ottoman Imperium 1700-1850

Jason  Strakes

While various studies have been produced by Orientalists on the role of Mamluks of ethnic Georgian origin in Ottoman and Middle East history, few have systematically examined the function of alliance politics in their dealings with the Sublime Porte as well their conduct of diplomacy with other states. The present study adopts the conceptual framework developed by Stuart Kaufman et al (2007) for analyzing the “balance of power” in premodern and non-European historical settings for this purpose. It examines the participation of Georgian Mamluks in international relations and their formation of alliances with the Kingdom of Kartli-Kahketi, Safavid and Qajar Persia, Czarist Russia, and the European powers (Great Britain, the Republic of Venice and Napoleonic France) in pursuit of independence from, neutrality toward or alignment with the central government. The case studies seek to identify how this behavior was affected by variables such as accumulation of resources against threats, collective action, emergence of new powers, identity, ideas, regime type and administrative capacity of Mamluk rulers. This approach is applied comparatively to the successive Georgian Mamluk dynasties in the Ottoman beylicates of Egypt, Tunisia, the Levant, and Iraq during the period between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The analysis seeks to address the following research questions: How do Georgian Mamluks present an example of shifts in orientation from vassals or satrapies to semi-autonomous units within an imperial international order, and what alliance patterns or strategies did they exhibit and/or pursue over time? How did the alliance/balancing behavior of Georgian Mamluks compare and contrast across the Ottoman territories?  In addition, it highlights the relevance of the findings by relating them to contemporary issues of major power intervention or “shadows of empire” in the Middle East and North Africa, from the 2003 U.S.-British invasion of Iraq to the 2015 Russian bombing campaign in Syria. Under what circumstances do local regimes act as willful clients of larger states, or seek greater autonomy from major power patrons? Lastly, the study will consider Georgian Mamluks as a Caucasian diaspora and its significance as a factor linking the two regions in Ottoman/Middle East history.


Religious Practices of Armenian Descendants from Dersim

Annika Törne

In the course of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and during the forced resettlement in 1938 Christian Armenians from Dersim were forcibly converted to Islam. In the highlands of Dersim province Armenians adopted a regional distinctive form of Alevism in order to survive.

Adopting a discourse analytical method I draw on autobiographical accounts from interviews I conducted between 2011 and 2014 with descendants of Armenians originating from Dersim, today living in Dersim, Istanbul and Germany.

In this paper I focus on their accounts of religious practices that they adopted in the course of their life in the post-Genocide society of Turkey and in the Diaspora.

How did Armenians from Dersim who were forcibly converted adopt the new religious practices and in how far did they maintain or transform former religious practices? In how far did they impart corresponding knowledge to their descendants? How do the descendants make sense of these religious practices today?

In my analysis I highlight how they construct religious differences and how they locate themselves. Thereby I try to trace strategies of appropriation and self-assertion adopted by the Armenian descendants to sound out the limits of representation in view of the hegemonic discourse of denial. Finally I draw some conclusions on the perspectives and limits for re-constructing a collective memory among the Armenian descendants in the Republic of Turkey and in the diaspora.


Strabo's Armenia

Giusto Traina

This paper considers the main aspects of Strabo’s Armenia: the historical setting, Armenia’s place in the oikoumenē, the ethnē and languages, and the types of human communities. Intending to give the Romans and the Greeks of Asia Minor an image of the Eastern world perceived through the conceptual grid of a Greek mind, Strabo applied the same categories to the Armenian land. But Armenia’ description in book 11 of the Geography is also one of the main pieces of evidence on the kingdom of Greater Armenia. As for the earlier periods, as Alexander never set foot in the Caucasus, the Geographer does not produce many historical elements. But after the creation of the kingdom of Greater Armenia (after 188 BCE), Strabo provides us with valuable historical evidence. Oddly enough for a man from Pontos, Strabo apparently has a mitigated interest in his Armenian neighbours (although he may have given more details in his lost historical work). Nonetheless, he is the sole author to provide us with a sketch of the Artaxiad dynasty as seen from a Mediterranean perspective. Strabo pays a special attention to the foundation by Artašēs (Artaxias), who allegedly worked for a linguistic unification of Armenia; moreover, he is gives a remarkable account of the spectacular rise and fall of Tigran the Great. In fact, his sources mostly date the campaigns of the 1st century BCE against this king, when the Romans actually discovered the land of Armenia.


Image or Knowledge? Roman representations of Caucasus (I-II cent. A.D.)

Anne Vial-Logeay

As has been recently noticed, we still « lack a critical investigation of the image of Albania seen through Roman eyes » (cf. G. Traina, « Roman representations of Caucasian Albania », in Albania Caucasica, A.K. Alikberov, M. S. Gadjiev eds, Moscow, Institute of Oriental Studies, 2015, pp. 42-47 ; p. 42).  Such a remark applies not only to Albania, but also, more generally, to the whole region of Caucasus. This communication thus aims at studying Roman representations of Caucasus shortly after the period already studied by G. Traina in the article mentioned above, and concentrate upon the end of Ist cent. A.D. and the beginning the Second cent. A.D., that is, mainly, the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the Antonine emperors. This period ranges from emperor Nero’s military expeditions to the Gates of Caucasus to emperor Trajan’s war against the Parthian Empire, which ended with annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia, and thus expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. Even though a Greek author, Strabo of Amaseia (early first century A.D.), described the Caucasus and Central Asia in the eleventh book of his Geography, this contribution passed somehow almost unnoticed for a while in the Roman Empire, and the knowledge which was available at that time still relied upon Hellenistic tradition and remained scant and scarce. The history of knowledge of Caucasus was (and still is) a complicated one: it would be interesting then to look closely at the authors of that period, in order to a) study how these new contacts ended in integrating (or not) further information to the already existant Roman knowledge about the region, and then b) confront the geographical and geopolitical information provided by those expeditions and military campaigns, to the representations of Caucasus in Roman literature. What was the mental image the Romans had of the Caucasus, and how did this, or maybe these image(s) reflect precise knowledge or rather a vague picture, dealing with mythical peoples, and barbarian lands ? Consequently, the communication will end with some few considerations examining the consistence of the Caucasian image(s) elaborated by the Graeco-Roman tradition in Western European literature.


Living the life of the Prophet: Zarathustra's vita as a reference point in Pahlavi Literature

Matthias Weinreich

A characteristic feature shared by Zoroastrianism with other belief systems, including Christianity and Islam, is that it endows its (alleged) founder with the status of an ideal being, whose thoughts, words and actions are expected to be admired and emulated by the faithful. An important precondition for the formation and functioning of such a role model in the Old Iranian religion is the existence of exemplary stories related to prophet Zarathustra's life and deeds. Fragments of such accounts are already to be found in the Avesta and in the works of early Greek and Latin authors. Later times witness the composition of contiguous collections of related hagiographical data, such as the Middle Persian Dēnkard 7.1-5 and the New Persian Zardušt-nāme. Our presentation attempts to explain in which way and for what reason Zarathustra's vita has been interwoven with the well-known Pahlavi story relating the mytho-historical encounter between the righteous, God-fearing youth Jōišt ī Friyān and his ruthless adversary, the evil sorcerer Axt.


Silver Maces and Faraway Places: Georgia, Georgians, and Late-Safavid Cultural Memory 

Barry Wood

Georgians played an important role in seventeenth-century Iran, and we are coming to understand better their situation and significance. In particular, recent research (especially by H. Maeda) has deprecated the traditional understanding of gholām-formation, according to which Georgians recruited into Safavid service were deracinated military slaves, and has suggested instead a broad integration of Georgian noble families into the Safavid ruling class.

In exploring this new view of the Georgians at court, it is interesting to note how they intersect with another important phenomenon of late-Safavid culture, namely the “Anonymous Histories of Shah Ismaʿil.” These are nostalgic stories about the heroic early years of the Safavid dynasty, including tales of the ancestors at Ardabil but focusing mainly on the battles and adventures of Shah Ismaʿil and his Qizilbash followers. The earliest manuscripts date to the 1670s or 1680s and include at least one illustrated royal copy. These “histories” have also been shown to have exerted a strong influence on the text of the manuscript formerly known as the “Ross Anonymous” (British Library, Or. 3248).

Conventional wisdom has held, since the identification of the “Ross Anonymous” as the Jahāngoshāʾi-ye Khāqān by a (Georgian) court official named Bijan, that the Anonymous Histories were tales recited for the entertainment of the Georgian gholāms at the late-Safavid court. I have recently argued against this view, claiming instead that the Anonymous Histories represent a development out of the family lore of the Qizilbash tribes (whose derring-do would not have impressed the Georgians, with whom Qizilbash relations were fraught). Yet Georgia and Georgians formed part of the milieu in which the Anonymous Histories would have formed, both as actual individuals at court and as a presence in the imaginations of the storytellers. Indeed, the Anonymous Histories include two substantial mentions of Georgia and Georgians, one from the early years at Ardabil, the other an episode late in Shah Ismaʿil’s life, when a revolt erupted in Georgia and the Shah sent a Qizilbash commander to quell it. The details of these stories, which range from historically plausible to colorful and fantastic, vary among the manuscripts and develop over the years between tellings.

In this paper I examine the content, context, and evolution of these stories with a view to shedding light on three issues: the historical value of the tales vis-à-vis Safavid-Georgian relations, the physical presence of flesh-and-blood Georgians (including Bijan) in the milieu that produced the tales, and the mental presence of Georgians as figures in the collective memory being recorded in the tales.


Genetic Landscape of the Armenian Highland

Levon Yepiskoposyan

West Asia, located between Africa, Asia and Europe, was a key region for prehistorical and historical inter-continental human migrations. Within West Asia, the Armenian plateau and Transcaucasia are the most likely candidates for the source region for this migration.

The area was populated by multiple groups, but starting from middle of the first millennia BC, historical records indicate that Armenians predominated in this region. The historical area of the Armenians was much larger than the current boundaries of the Armenian state. To study the genetic composition of the Armenian highland, one needs to sample both the present-day population of Armenia and different groups of the Armenian Diaspora.

According to a recent study, the modern Armenian gene pool consists of signals of an origin from a mixture of various populations taking place from 3000 to 2000 BCE. Admixture signals dramatically decrease after 1200 BCE, when Bronze Age civilizations in the region suddenly collapsed. Armenians had no significant mixture with other populations also in their recent history and have thus been genetically isolated during last 3000-3500 years ago. Of the primary reasons that have impeded genetic contact of Armenians with foreigners, the highland geography, early adoption of Christianity, and the formation of a strong ethnic and cultural identity can be considered the most likely.

Many details were revealed while mapping genetic distances from the Armenians and neighboring populations. The map of averaged Armenian population demonstrates that the area of highest genetic similarity fits the territory of the ancient, or historical, Armenia. This indicates that the gene pool has been preserved in this area, though much of it is currently populated by self indentified Turks and Kurds: the western Armenian Highland substratum assimilated by Turkish populations was likely represented by Armenians who lived there during several millennia.


On Some Areal Semantic Parallels to the Armenian Epic

Suren Zolyan

The epic of Caucasian peoples has exemplified how old and deep contacts between them can be. The epic is rightly considered as a manifestation of the very identity of the people. Similarities between epics demonstrate the interaction of countless actors and widespread communication between masses of common peoples. One could assume that from ancient times there was a bizarre chain of contacts and exchanges between the whole region, and it had a great impact on the formation of the cultural national/ethnic identities of local peoples.

The parallel between the Mher from the Armenian epic and Iranian Mihr (Mithra) lies on the surface and was mentioned  from the very beginning.   At the same time the different explanations were made in order to elucidate the semantic dependence between Mher-Lion and Mher the Little. In spite of the fact, that in most versions only one of them appeared, these characters represent the substantial and significantly  differentiated elements of the semantic structure of the epic.  As it was shrewdly pointed by Joseph Orbeli, the image of this deity in the epic is split into two characters: if Mher-Lion corresponds to the rising sun, Mher the Little  correlates with the setting sun (let's add - midnight black sun, which correlates with death and burial). The parallels between Mher-Lion and  Iranian Mihr are obvious, but in the case of Mher the Little this is  not convincing enough.  However, for the reconstruction of the semantics of the cave, one should refer to another  prototype of Mher. In this case, Mher the Little inherited some attributes of the god Mithra from a Roman (exclusively male) cult - the deity born to a rock without female interference. Mithra's birth from inseminated stone without women has a semantic structure which represents the total inversion of the initial episode in the Armenian epic (the birth of twins). Such a duality can be considered as a typical for the Armenian identity some peculiar syntheses between Eastern and Western traditions. 

This also reminds the birth of Sosruko (Sosryko, Sozyrko, Sasrykva) - the main hero of the North-Caucasian epic about Narts. Sosruko was born out of the stone inseminated by a mythical giant shepherd. This corresponds with the episode of the captivity of the Alanian Princess Satenik by the Armenian king Artashes and further marriage between them. This it was reported by Movses Khorenatsi as a historical event which had some reflection in Armenian wedding songs.

The opposite approach also is fruitful – the Nartic epic allows to explain some episodes which are not clear in the Armenian epic. For example, the final episode of detaining in the cave of the last Sassoonian hero Mher has evident parallels in the North-Caucasian mythology,  the magical "Pataraz" cross which had protected heroes from Sassoun and was sometimes used as a weapon refers to the name of the Nartian hero Patraz/Batraz with his magical sword, etc.

We intend to demonstrate some other   semantic embodiments and transformations in order to explicate the interconnections between epics. It is worth mentioning that parallels and similarities are structural and it would be wrong to explain them as a result of occasional loans, particular coincidence or universal typological patterns. The similarities are more evident if they are considered on the deep, but not surface (textual) semantic and cognitive level. 


Yezidis’ Inscriptions

Roman Żuchowicz

Recent scholars have little interests in inscriptions made by Yezidis. Only those texts from main temple in Lalish were published and use as a source for dating entire shrine complex (for example, by Açikyildiz B., 2009). After the first year of fieldwork (which covered mostly the arena of Shekhan), I collected few dozens of inscriptions, most of them are really hard for proper dating. Despite of that fact, I think investigating Yezidis epigraphical habit still could give many interesting answers on many fields (literacy, onomastics, some customs). Some of them could be used for studying bilingualism in Yezidis society.  The tree most curious inscriptions are even bialphabetical. I would like to present results of my preliminary research. I’d like to talk about idea of gathering all Yezidis inscriptions into a Corpus, and searchable internet database in XML. Moreover, I would like to discuss the project for making it more useful for researchers interested in Yezidis studies, which are not common with epigraphy.

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