TRUST CLOSED MONDAY 7th JULY 2014

*****The Trust will be CLOSED ON Monday 7th July as the Tour de France will be in Cambridge that day.  Open again as usual from Tuesday 8th July*****

AIIT Newsletter Indiran Spring/Summer 2014

The latest issue of our newsletter focuses on recent events and developments at the Trust and includes an interview with our new Honorary Fellow Professor Maria Macuch by Almut Hintze and an illustrated article by Ursula Sims-Williams on the exhibition The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination, a major exhibition at SOAS co-curated by two of our Trustees and to which the Trust lent a number of items. We hope you enjoy this issue. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any suggestions for news items or stories you would like to see in future editions!

To view, click here: Indiran 9

Summer Garden Party 2014

Over 120 people attended the Trust’s annual Summer Garden Party on Sunday 1st June.  The weather was unusually kind!

Reminder: Friday Lecture – Toraj Daryaee, 23rd May 5.30pm

Friday Lectures – Easter Term 2014

23 May: Touraj Daryaee (UCI)

The Sasanian Empire as a Garden: The Walls and Rivers of the Sasanian Empire


This lecture looks at the physical and ideological boundaries which the Sasanians created for the idea of Iranshahr. In this late antique construct, inside the empire, protected by walls and rivers was imagined as a garden where order and beauty was in existence. Outside of the walls and the rivers it was seen as place of wilderness and disorder. This binary division was at the centre of Sasanian ideology which projected peace and power inside, while danger for its people lay outside of its boundaries.

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5.30pm, 23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, CB2 8BG

Refreshments from 5pm

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Indo-Iranian and Indo-European – a symposium in honour of Dr Elizabeth Tucker, Oxford, 21 June 2014

Oxfordseminar

Lecture Reminder : Friday 9th May

Don’t Forget: This Friday’s lecture at AIIT is by Nina Mirnig on The Religious Centre of Pashupatinah: Early Nepalese Shaiva Inscriptions in Context.  Refreshments from 5pm, lecture begins at 5.30pm – all welcome!

 

 

MAY BANK HOLIDAY CLOSURE 2014

*****The Trust will be CLOSED ON Monday 4th May.  Open again as usual from Tuesday 5th May*****

Bactria and the transition to Islam — a workshop: final announcement

Bactria and the transition to Islam — a workshop

Saturday 10th May – Sunday 11th May, 2014

Ancient India and Iran Trust,                                                                                 23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, CB2 8BG

in association with the Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project, University of Oxford

ArabicDoc

During the last couple of years, researchers connected with the Oxford Balkh project (www.balkhheritage.org) have been researching the history of Balkh in the early Islamic era on the basis of archaeological and textual sources. At the same time, other scholars and teams have been studying an ever-increasing quantity of manuscripts, coins, pottery and other materials from pre-Islamic and early Islamic Bactria. These materials include texts in several languages: Arabic, Bactrian, Chinese and others. The translation of these texts and the analysis of these materials is shedding new light on the history of this important region in a period of transition. The aim of this seminar is to bring together the various groups of researchers interested in the history and culture of the period immediately before and after the Arab conquest and to discover whether their results are compatible and mutually illuminating.

Provisional Programme

Saturday afternoon, 2 pm

Frantz Grenet: Religious coexistence in Bactria-Tukharistan on the eve of the Islamic conquest: new material and new perspectives

Nicholas Sims-Williams: Geography and chronology of the Bactrian documents

François de Blois: Tax years and calendar years in the Bactrian and Arabic documents from Afghanistan

Geoffrey Khan: The Arabic documents from early Islamic Khurasan

Étienne de la Vaissière: ‘From Bactra to Balkh’ revisited, octagonally

Sunday morning, 10 am

Stefan Heidemann: Balkh: Coin Finds, Urban History, and Methodological Challenges

Edmund Herzig:  Balkh and the ‘Islamic City’ debate

Arezou Azad:  Sacred landscape in medieval Balkh

Shaul Shaked:  Eleventh-century Khorasan in the newly discovered documents from Bamiyan

There will be no charge for participation in the workshop, but since numbers are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Those who would like to take part are advised to register their interest as soon as possible by contacting Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams ns5@soas.ac.uk

The workshop will begin with lunch at 1 p.m. on Saturday 10th May and end after lunch on Sunday 11th May (both meals provided free of charge to all participants).

Nicholas Sims-Williams, AIIT (Cambridge)

Edmund Herzig, BACH (Oxford)

Bactria and the Transition to Islam — a workshop: 10 – 11 May, 2014

This workshop will be held on Saturday 10th May – Sunday 11th May, 2014 at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, 23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG, in association with the Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project, University of Oxford.

During the last couple of years, researchers connected with the Oxford Balkh project (www.balkhheritage.org) have been researching the history of Balkh in the early Islamic era on the basis of archaeological and textual sources. At the same time, other scholars and teams have been studying an ever-increasing quantity of manuscripts, coins, pottery and other materials from pre-Islamic and early Islamic Bactria. These materials include texts in several languages: Arabic, Bactrian, Chinese and others. The translation of these texts and the analysis of these materials is shedding new light on the history of this important region in a period of transition. The aim of this seminar is to bring together the various groups of researchers interested in the history and culture of the period immediately before and after the Arab conquest and to discover whether their results are compatible and mutually illuminating.

Confirmed participants/speakers include: Arezou Azad, François de Blois, Joe Cribb, Frantz Grenet, Stefan Heidemann, Edmund Herzig, Hugh Kennedy, Geoffrey Khan, Shaul Shaked, Nicholas Sims-Williams.

There will be no charge for participation in the workshop, but since numbers are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Those who would like to take part are advised to register their interest as soon as possible by contacting Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams: ns5@soas.ac.uk

The workshop will begin with lunch at 1 p.m. on Saturday 10th May and end after lunch on Sunday 11th May (both meals provided free of charge to all participants).

Nicholas Sims-Williams, AIIT (Cambridge)

Edmund Herzig, BACH (Oxford)

Ancient India and Iran Trust Easter Term Lectures

25 April: Geoffrey Greatrex (Ottawa)

  Procopius’ Persian Tales: entertainment, history or morality fable?


Geoffrey Greatrex will consider the opening chapters of the Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea’s Persian Wars, in which he introduces his theme, the wars fought between the Romans and Sasanian Persians in the sixth century A.D. He recounts a series of intriguing stories about the Persian court and Persian history in the fifth and early sixth centuries. The puzzle remains as to how seriously these tales should be taken…
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9 May: Nina Mirnig

The Religious Centre of Paśupatināth: Early Nepalese Śaiva Inscriptions in Context

The Paśupatināth temple in Kathmandu, dedicated to the deity Śiva Paśupati, is Nepal’s national shrine. The existence of this site and local Śaiva religious activities can be traced back to as early as the fifth century CE, and at the beginning of the seventh century the famous ruler Aṃśuvarman (fl. 605-621) introduced Paśupati into Nepal’s political rhetoric for centuries to come by styling himself as “favoured by the Venerable Lord Paśupati” in each of his inscriptions. The talk will address the formative period of early Śaivism in the Kathmandu Valley during the so-called Licchavi period (ca. 300-879 CE), and in particular focus on the rise of the Śaiva Pāśupatas in the kingdom’s religio-political landscape, using mainly inscriptions, but also some textual and iconographical material.

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 – Special Event for Friends of the Trust –

16 May: Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS)

Go east, young man! A personal journey

In this informal talk the Chair of the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Nicholas Sims-Williams will describe his research on the Sogdian language and literature, in particular on the Christian texts from the Turfan oasis in Western China, and will try to answer a question which he is often asked: What led you to study such an obscure subject?

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23 May: Touraj Daryaee (UCI)

The Sasanian Empire as a Garden: The Walls and Rivers of the Sasanian Empire


This lecture looks at the physical and ideological boundaries which the Sasanians created for the idea of Iranshahr. In this late antique construct, inside the empire, protected by walls and rivers was imagined as a garden where order and beauty was in existence. Outside of the walls and the rivers it was seen as place of wilderness and disorder. This binary division was at the centre of Sasanian ideology which projected peace and power inside, while danger for its people lay outside of its boundaries.

Lectures begin at 5.30pm with refreshments from 5pm.

23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG

Please note:  For the Friends’ event on 16 May, booking is required.  To book, or to become a Friend, please contact the Administrator  tel. 01223 356841 or e-mail: infor@indiran.org