Printer Friendly

A Green Leaf: Papers in Honour of Professor Jes P. Asmussen.

By W. Sundermann, J. Duchesne-Guillemin and F. Vahman. Acta Iranica 28, deuxieme serie, Hommages et Opera Minora. Leiden: E. J. BRILL, 1988. Pp. xxix + 547, 24 plates. HFl 150, $75.

This is an extremely rich and multifaceted volume, a worthy tribute to the scholarship and personality of Jes P. Asmussen. The table of contents is followed by a useful alphabetical list of authors; a dedication signed by J. Duchesne-Guillemin, W. Sundermann, and F. Vahman; the biography and bibliography of the honorand; and the acknowledgment of the financial support of the Danish David Foundation. The articles are arranged according to subject matter, as indicated below.

I. Iranian texts and languages.

A) Old Iranian. G. Ito, in "Gathica XVI: On Yasna 32:16," proposes a number of new readings and interpretations of Gathic words: ainhya [i.e., anhiia] with ms. J3 instead of anhaiia, 1st sing. subj. of anhiia < [square root]ah "to throw," i.e., the manthra; usruiie < (*)as.uru- hapipiness" , "very wide."(1) J. Kellens, in "Une Variation du timbre de l'anaptyxe en vieil-avestique," examines the distribution of the forms siiao[theta]nanam, siiao[theta]nanam, siiao[theta][inverted e]nanam in Old Avestan: the third was the original one. R. Schmitt, "Achaemenideninschriften in griechischer literarischer Uberlieferung," concludes that none of the self-styled inscriptions of Cyrus the Great and Darius I, as reported by Greek authors, can be regarded as authentic. W. Skalmowski discusses "Old Persian vazraka-": < (*)varzda- < (*)vrzda-, cf. [square root!vas.(2) vrddha-, and the semantic development of OPes. vasna < [square root!vas.(2)

B) Middle Iranian. M. Back discusses the word "Kirdegan" of the Sasanian inscriptions, as well as its attestations in Book Pahlavi and Manichean texts, concluding that it means "liturgy, Gottesdienst"(3) < Avestan [square root]kar "to recite" but later influenced by [square root]kar "to do." H. W. Bailey derives garo of "Garo-[delta]aman" < [square root]gher "to enclose" (cf. Eng. garden, Lat. hortus), the whole meaning "enclosure, garden."(4) B. Hjerrild discusses "Zoroastrian Divorce" on the basis of passages from the Pahlavi law books: "We find the divorce laws subject to alteration and modification that reflect different exigencies at different times . . . . The Sasanian period reflects a tolerant and realistic point of view. . . . Subsequent considerations about divorce are no longer primarily legal: they become instead spiritual and moral" (p. 71). H. Humbach and Wang Shiping present a new edition of "Die pahlavi-chinesische Bilingue von Xi'an." The inscription, discovered in 1955, dates from 441 C.E. and was written on the tomb of the woman (*)Mahanos.(5) M. F. Kanga edits and translates "Epistle I Ch. XI of Manuscihr Yudanmiyan." M. Shaki, in "Pahlavica," discusses the Book Pahlavi word haspanwar "resting place" > Persian aspanur; awadag "generation," the derivation of which from Old Persian uvada "lineage"(6) cannot be correct, as intervocalic d would not survive in Middle Persian (other than in Avestan loanwords). He also discusses wslyn', which he regards as a misspelling of xwarayen, a legal term for a woman who arranges her own marriage.(7) A. Tafazzoli discusses a mention by al-Biruni of "The King's Seat in the Fire-Temple," transmitted as, to be read as dengahu.

C) Other Middle Iranian languages, Irano-Aramaica. W. Eilers, in "Euphonisches i und der aramaische Emphaticus auf -ya," surveys in characteristic manner a "universal" linguistic phenomenon. R. Emmerick edits and translates "Some Verses from the Lankavatarasutra in Khotanese" included in the 10th-century Khotanese miscellany of Buddhist doctrinal texts, the Manjusrinairatmyavatarasutra. The Sanskrit and Tibetan texts are compared. J. Greenfield discusses the expression "Nergol dhspt," connecting the Iranian title dhspt with the Iranian loanwords in Armenian dahc and dahcpat, "executioner, chief executioner," a reference to Nergal's function as "keeper of the underworld and the god of pestilence" (p. 141). N. Sims-Williams, in "Syro-Sogdica III: Syriac Elements in Sogdian," gives a list of all the Syriac words in Christian Sogdian texts and discusses their morphology. P. O. Skjaervo edits and translates "The Khotanese Hrdayasutra," a prajnaparamita text.(8) The Khotanese translation is from the "longer" version. The Sanskrit and Tibetan texts are compared, and a glossary and excerpts from a Late Khotanese (10th century?) commentary on the sutra are included. W. Sundermann, in "Der Schuler fragt den Lehrer," edits and translates "a collection of Biblical puzzles in Sogdian," as the subtitle says. A glossary is included.

D) New Iranian. B. Alavi, in "Neologismen in der modernenpersischen Schriftsprache," surveys the efforts to develop a modern Persian technical terminology for translations from European languages in various modern fields such as sociology, philosophy, and politics. J. Becka discusses the work of the Bukharan Jewish poet Mordexay Hiyo Bacayev, "A Continuator of Judeo-Persian Literature." G. Lazard, in "Remarques sur le fragment judeo-persan de Dandan-Uiliq," returns to a Judeo-Persian letter repeatedly discussed in modem times. He discusses yzyd "God," for iezi[delta] or izi[delta]; kwdh "Lord," for xu[delta]a, xu[delta]ah, or xu[delta]ah; and y, which he interprets as the hortative particle e < Middle Persian ew.(9) M. Lorenz, in "Die Anfange der Pasto-literatur," discusses several aspects of the Peta Xazana, or "Hidden Treasure," which--it has been claimed--contains the oldest Pashto poem preserved. Lorenz ranges himself with those who reject the opinion that the work is a falsification but recognizes that more research is needed to determine its exact nature.(10) S. Shaked publishes "An Early Geniza Fragment in an Unknown Iranian Dialect," a Judeo-Iranian text containing instruction in an Iranian language for how to use certain Aramaic magical formulas. The Iranian language clearly belongs to the group of Central dialects, and the fragment is therefore one of the oldest (10th-12th centuries) specimens of these dialects.(11) B. Utas discusses "The Manuscript Tradition of Misbah ul-arvah and the Application of the Stemmatic Method to New Persian Texts." F. Vahman publishes "Two Baxtiari Prose Texts: Stories of the Fools." E. Yarshater discusses "Approaches to the Translation of Persian Poetry."

II. Religious science.

A) Zoroastrianism. M. Boyce, in "The Lady and the Scribe: Some Further Reflections on Anahit and Tir," elaborates on some of her previously published discussions of the early Iranian pantheon. G. Gnoli's "A Note on the Magi and Eudemus of Rhodes" contains reflections on the use of the term "Aryan" and the Zurvanism of the Achaemenids. S. S. Hartman, in "Questions au sujet du <<temps>> de l'Avesta," discusses various aspects of the Avestan terms "unlimited" and "limited time." F. M. Kotwal publishes a Pahlavi text pertaining to the nawar ceremony: "Initiation into the Zoroastrian Priesthood: Present Parsi Practice and an Old Pahlavi Text."

B) Manichean and Gnostic studies. U. Bianchi, in "Sur la question des deux ames de l'homme dans le manicheisme," reexamines the significance of St. Augustine's statement, duae animae vel duae mentes "two souls or two minds," one good and one bad, the bad one being the origin of sin. Bianchi proposes that the two animae are the soul as consubstantial with the deity (essential dimension), the second the soul as dispersed and exiled in the world (existential dimension).(12) A. Bohlig, in "Zum Selbstverstandnis des Manichaismus," examines the Manicheans' view of themselves and points out, along the way, the Gnostic models, especially the Valentinian system, for various elements of the faith. H. J. W. Drijvers discusses "Marcion's Reading of Gal. 4.8: Philosophical Background and Influence on Manicheism," showing the relationship between Marcion's, Bardesanes', and Mani's conceptions of he creator god and matter (hyle). J. Duchesne-Guillemin, in "On the Origin of Gnosticism," gives a resume Of S. Petrement's Le Dieu separe (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1984; English translation by Carol Harrison, A Separate God: The Origins and Teachings of Gnosticism [San Francisco: Harper, 1990]). H.-J, Klimkeit, in "Das Tor als Symbol im Manichaismus," discusses the image of the gate, which Manicheism took over from Gnosticism and which symbolizes liberation and redemption. Gates play a role on the cosmic level, in the (macro)cosmic structure made by the Living Spirit, as doors leading out from the world, and on the microcosmic level, as the doors of the senses, which lead out to the world and which one should endeavor to close. S. N. Lieu collects the "Sources on the Diffusion of Manichaeism in the Roman Empire," which were later fully exploited in his book, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China: A Historical Survey (Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1985).

C) Christianity and Islam. Ph. Gignoux, in "Les Antecedents nestoriens de la Chahada," traces the history of the Islamic formula, "there is no god other than God," in pre-Islamic sources: a coin with the formula inscribed in Pahlavi, in the early Christian Pseudo-Clementine Homilies (4th century), the Gnostic Secrets of John (late 2nd century), and the Syriac acts of the martyrs (5th-6th centuries). T. Olson discusses the "Imagery of Divine Epiphany in Nusairi Scriptures."

D) Buddhism. J. W. de Jong discusses "Buddhism and the Equality of the Four Castes." C. Lindtner, in "Buddhist References to Old Iranian Religion," presents numerous references to the teachings of yonaka-deva, "the god of the Yonakas," said to have been created by Brahma, and the maga-sastra, "code of the Maga," or that of the parasikas, "Parsis," in Bhavya's Tarkajvala (6th century C.E.) probably derived from a Kashmirian 2nd-century Sarvastivada compendium, the Mahavibhasa. Lindtner identifies yonaka-deva with Mi[theta]ra and Brahma with Ahura Mazda but quotes in a note (p. 443) an opinion of W. Sundermann's that they may also be Zurwan and Ahura Mazda, respectively. P. Zieme, in "Das Pravaranasutra in altturkischer Uberlieferung," publishes and discusses Old Turkish parallels to a text containing instructions for a Buddhist confession ritual.

III. History, geography, ethnography, mythology.

A) History and geography. M. Dandamayev and V. Livshits, in "Zattumesu, a Magus in Babylonia," propose to interpret this name, attested in the Murasu documents (2nd half of the 5th century B.C.E.), as Old Iranian (*)Zantu-vaisa- "a servant of the tribe." R. N. Frye discusses "Minorities in the History of the Near East." W. Hinz, in "Grosskonig Darius und sein Untertan," discusses the content of Darius's exhortation to the marika, his "subject." G. S. Jakobsdottir publishes and translates "An Icelandic Manuscript on Iran" from the late 18th century. O. Klima, in "Samo: `Nationale Francos,"' discusses the Avars and their king Samo (mid-7th century), probably "one of the Syrian subjects of the Frankish king" (p. 490). D. Weber, in "Zu einigen iranischen Ortsnamen bei Ptolemaios," discusses two place-names: Tribazina < *tri-bajina "of the three temples" and Rizana <*Ricana < [square root]raik "to flow."

B) Ethnology and mythology. G. S. Asatrian and N. Kh. Gevorgian, in "Zaza Miscellany: Notes on Some Religious Customs and Institutions," publish materials from "the archives of Gevorg Halajyan--a former inhabitant of Dersim--kept in the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian Soviet Republic" (p. 499). A. D. H. Bivar, in "The Allegory of Astyages," concludes that the Iranian "legend of Azidahaka . . . arose initially from the reality of the Caspian sturgeon" (p. 513) and that it was later reinterpreted allegorically (though not etymologically) to refer to various harsh rulers, among them Astyages. J. R. Russell describes "The Rite of Muskil Asan Behram Yazad amongst the Parsis of Navsiri, India." F. Thiesen discusses "A ghazal by Badrun-Nisa Biban,'" a Pakistani poetess of the 20th century. F. Thordarson discusses "The Scythian Funeral Customs. Some Notes on Herodotus IV, 71-75," comparing recent archaeological discoveries and the Ossetic Baekh faeldisyn ritual. (1) But "wide" is vouru- in Avestan. (2) P. 40: Pers. bala is not <[square root]vrd but (*) bard-, Av. bar[inverted e]z-"high." (3) P. 48 No. (13): KNRb 8 wgwnms means "thus he (showed) me," or better, in my opinion, emend to wgwnms(n) "thus they (i.e., the gods, showed) me." Thus also Ph. Gignoux, Les Quatre Inscriptions du mage Kirdir: Textes et concordances, Studia Iranica, cahier 9 (Paris: Union Academique Internationale; Association pour l'Avancement des Etudes Iraniennes, 1991), 37. On p. 49, Back suggests" dwyn mhly might mean "customary hymn" (or the like) and refers to the Avesta. (4) Khot. gramna occurs once in the Khotanese summary of the Ramayana, where its meaning is not clear from the context. Emmerick, in a new unpublished translation, takes it to be from gran- "to growl," also attested in the Jatakastava. (5) The conclusion of the inscription: "And may her place (gah) be with Ohrmazd and the Amahraspands in the luminous(?) Garodman and the best existences (pahlom axwan)" indicates that she was a Zoroastrian rather than a Manichean, as, to my knowledge, pahlom axwan (transl. of Avestan vahist[inverted e]m ahum) is not found in Persian Manichean texts. (6) The word should probably be read as (*)uvadatam; see J. Harmatta, "The Bisitun Inscription and the Introduction of the Old Persian Cuneiform Script," Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 14 (1966): 280. (7) Another possible derivation might be from Avestan *x(sup.v)a-[theta]raiia-"protecting her own (rights?)." (8) On the probable Chinese origin of this text see J. Nattier, "The Heart Sutra: A Chinese Apocryphal Text?" Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (forthcoming). (9) Lazard does not explain why we find e . . . basad, with the subjunctive rather than the indicative, which is the usual form (bottom of p. 209). We can, however, compare the Manichean Middle Persian usage, where ew beh "may he be, amen" is the only instance in which the optative is used after ew. (10) See now also L. S. Loi, II tesoro nascosto degli afghani (Bologna: Il Cavaliere Azzurro, 1987). (11) One might consider naming it "Judeo-Median," as opposed to "Judeo-Persian." Shaked has published further such fragments in "Judeo-Median" in Iranica Varia: Papers in Honor of Professor Ehsan Yarsater, Acta Iranica 30 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990), 230-39. On the Central dialects see P. Lecoq in Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, ed. R. Schmitt (Wiesbaden: 1989), 313-26; and G. Windfuhr, "Central Dialects," in Encyclopaedia Iranica (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda Publishers,

1991), 3:242-52. (12) It seems Strange that the soul even in its second aspect would be the origin of sin. It seems to me more likely that Augustine is referring to the doctrine of the "mentality" of the body)," Middle Persian menogih (i tan), which is part of man as a creation of the forces of darkness and with which the "soul," Middle Persian gyan, is mixed "like silver in copper." See F. C. Andreas, Mitteliranische Manichaica aus Chinesisch-Turkistan II, Sonderausgabe aus den Sitzungsberichten der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, 1933, vii (Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Kommission bei Walter de Gruyter, 1933), 299-300.
COPYRIGHT 1994 American Oriental Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Skjaervo, Prods Oktor
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1994
Previous Article:The Cities of Seleukid Syria.
Next Article:Gott und Gotter im alten Agypten.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters