Book News


The Everlasting Flame : Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination

everlasting flame

The Everlasting Flame : Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination, edited by Sarah Stewart, with Firoza Punthakey Mistree, Ursula Sims-Williams, Almut Hintze, Pheroza J. Godrej.  London : I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd (in association with SOAS, University of London and in collaboration with the British Library), 2013. Series: International Library of Historical Studies,{DFF51E2F-C0BA-4928-ACC4-415188DCDEE8}

Hardback | ISBN 9781780768090 | 30 September 2013
Price £45.00
272 | 289 x 235mm | illustrations, maps, facsimilies (colour and black & white)

Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination’, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, from 11th October to 14th December 2014.

‘This richly illustrated book explores many important themes of Zoroastrianism: its rise during the second millennium BCE, its doctinres, rituals and teachings, its growth into the foremost faith of the Achaemenid and Parthian empires, its consolidation under the Sasanians, its expansion east to China, and its impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  From Iran to the west coast of India, the story continues with the maritime exodus of the Zoroastrians and their settlement as an immigrant community (now called ‘Parsis’) under British colonial rule.  With chapters by world-leading authorities, this is a vital record of the art, literature and culture of one of the world’s most fascinating religious traditions.’

A hardback copy of this book is available to view at the trust:                      Shelfmark: AIIT.b.118


AIIT Library has acquired two of the latest publications from the Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum: Manichaean texts in Syriac: First editions, new editions and studies, by Nils Arne Pedersen and John Møller Larsen, with contributions by Zsuzsanna Gulácsi and Myriam Krutzsch (Series Syriaca I) and Uygur Manichaean texts: texts, translations, commentary, Volume II: Liturgical texts, by Larry Clark (Series Turcica).  Both are published by Brepols (Turnhout, Belgium, ©2013).


A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the British Library acquired since the year 1913 and of collections in other libraries in the United Kingdom

A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the British Library acquired since the year 1913 and of collections in other libraries in the United Kingdom, by Dr Vrej Nersessian, formerly Head of the Christian Middle East section at the British Library.  British Library Publishing: 2012,

Hardback ISBN (2 vols) 978-0-7123-5829-3  |  2012                                               Price: £150.00                                                                                                              1200 pages | 276 x 219mm | 24 pages of colour  illustrations

This catalogue is the result of painstaking work over many years by the curator of Armenian manuscripts to identify and describe the Armenian manuscripts in the British Library’s collections acquired since 1913, as well as 13 other un-catalogued collections in libraries and museums in the UK such as the Bodleian, John Rylands and the Ancient India and Iran Trust.

The introduction provides a short history of each of the collections described and a separate section outlining the sources of Armenian iconography. There is an entry for each manuscript which gives full details – a description of the physical object and its present condition, the binding, provenance, contents, and details of any illustrations contained.

The British Library currently has a small exhibition of Armenian books and  manuscripts, entitled ‘Armenian Treasures from the British Library’ :

A display of Armenian treasures celebrating  the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, the designation of Yerevan as 2012-2013 World Book Capital and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the United Kingdom, is on show in the Ritblat Treasures Gallery until the end of January 2013.

On view are a number of exquisitely illuminated manuscripts and rare specimen of the earliest Armenian printed books the Library holds.

Armenian manuscriptArmenian MSS 10 – Moses Julayec’i’s Brief miscellany for the needs of philologists, 17th – 18th century (Ancient India & Iran Trust, Cambridge)

FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect

FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect, edited by Adrian Poole, Christine van Ruymbeke, William H. Martin and Sandra Mason.  London: Anthem Press, 2011.

Hardback ISBN 978 0 85728 781 6  |  June 2011                                                Price: £60.00 /US$99.00                                                                                        296 pages | 229 x 152mm | 36+ colour and bw illustrations

‘This is the best volume now available on FitzGerald’s solicitous intelligence as translator and poet, his impleached arts of living and language, his sexual and religious ambivalences. Combining sensitive and sensible practical criticism with painstaking material and social histories of influence, it should attract further explorations of the alien vision and “new world of feeling” offered by the Rubáiyát’s conciliation of cultures.’
—Dr Christopher Decker, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Despite being one of the most popular and widely known poems in the world, Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám has suffered much neglect at the hands of the academic establishment. This volume, based on a conference in Cambridge in 2009, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the poem’s first publication (1859) and the bicentenary of the birth of FitzGerald (1809). It sets out to address the critical disregard, and explores the reasons behind the poem’s dual reception. Investigating the literary, textual and cultural contexts to which it belongs, this collection of essays locates the Rubáiyát within its contemporary intellectual milieu, unveils the key figures that helped create its global celebrity, and discusses the vigorous afterlife it has enjoyed.

Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence

Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence, edited by William H. Martin and Sandra Mason.  London: Anthem Press, 2011.

Paperback ISBN 978 0 85728 770 0  |  June 2011                                                Price: £9.99 /US$17.95                                                                                             182 pages | 216 x 140mm | 10+ bw illustrations

Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence presents the texts of the three main versions of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (the first, second and fourth editions) as they were first published, together with the poet’s original notes and prefaces. Offering readers the chance to evaluate each of FitzGerald’s alternative texts as a whole, this new compendium provides insight into how the poet annotated his verses, revised key lines and stanzas, and presented his work for public consumption.
An accompanying commentary discusses the lives and work of Khayyám and FitzGerald, and tells the fascinating story of the publication of the Rubáiyát and its rise to great fame and popularity. Featured analysis examines the poem’s message, its worldwide influence since its first publication and its continuing relevance in the twenty-first century. Further discussion also highlights the wide range of adaptations inspired by the text, and investigates the enduring contribution made by the Rubáiyát to English literature, art and music, from the time of its creation through to the present day.


Anthem Press Order Form

Recent publication: South India Under Vijayanagara

South India Under Vijayanagara : Art and Archaeology, edited by Anila Verghese and  Anna Dallapiccola. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010. OUP India
392 pages | 245 X 180mm
ISBN 978-0-19-806861-7 | Hardback | 13 January 2011

This volume brings together thirty years of research on both the Hampi-Vijayanagara site and the Vijayanagara Empire. Edited by Anila Verghese, Principal of Sophia College for Women, Mumbai, and Anna Dallapiccola, former Professor of Indian Art at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University and Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University, it includes 23 contributions by leading scholars. With 130 black and white and 30 colour illustrations, it is divided into two equal parts. The first concentrating on Hampi-Vijayanagara, investigates Vijayanagara scholarship, archaeological work, issues related to the conservation and heritage, photography, sculptures, and sacred topography. The second links the city with the wider regions of the empire. The themes explored include Ramayana and Vijayanagara paintings, development of regional architecture, temple inscriptions, Shaivite ascetic sculptures, portrait-sculpture, and Vijayanagara coinage.

This book will be of special interest to those concerned with Vijayanagara Empire, but also, more generally, to scholars and students of medieval Indian history, archaeology, architecture, and religion.

Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Carla Sinopoli: Vijayanagara Research: A Template for Interdisciplinary Scholarship on India
2. M.S. Nagaraja Rao: An Overview of Twenty-five Years of Archaeological Work at Hampi
3. John M. Fritz: The Hampi Archaeological Atlas Project
4. Kathleen D. Morrison: The Capital in Context: The Vijayanagara Metropolitan Survey
5. Nalini Thakur: Scholarship and Discourse in Responsible Heritage Site Management, Case: Hampi
6. B. Sarath Chandra: Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority and the Implementation of the Integrated Management Plan for Hampi: Processes at the Ground Level
7. Abha Narain Lambah: Public-Private Partnership in Conservation Projects at Hampi
8. George Michell: The Earliest Photographs of Hampi: Lessons to be Learned
9. S. Rajasekhara: Inscriptions Related to Monuments at Vijayanagara
10. Anna L. Dallapiccola: Sculptures on the Great Platform at Vijayanagara
11. Phillip B. Wagoner: Retrieving the Chalukyan Past at Sixteenth Century Vijayanagara: The Stepped Tank in the Royal Centre
12. Anila Verghese: The Sacred Topography of Hampi-Vijayanagara

13. Alexandra Mack: Power Relationships as Seen through Vijayanagara Era Temple Inscriptions
14. Anila Verghese: Development of the Gopura in South Indian Temple Art
15. Anna L. Dallapiccola: Ramayana in Southern Indian Art: Themes and Variations
16. John Henry Rice: The Chaturmukha Temples of Kanara: Architectural Assertions of Autonomy
18. S.K. Aruni: An Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Yelahanka Nada Prabhus
19. Richard Shaw: Important Associations of Shaivite Ascetic Iconography between Srisailam, Hampi-Vijayanagara and Sringeri
20. Crispin Branfoot: In a Land of Kings: Donors, Elites and Temple Sculpture
21. Brigitte Khan Majlis: Gandabherunda Images on Textiles and Monuments of South India
22. Anna L. Dallapiccola: Notes on Vijayanagara Painting
23. Barbara Mears: Propaganda and Power: The Coinage of Vijayanagara Considered in Context


Bulletin of  The Asia Institute vol. 20 (2010)

M. A. Amir-Moezzi
,Icone et contemplation: Entre l’art populaire et le soufisme dans le shi’isme imamite
David Fremdo
, Emending a name: Theophylact Simocatta’s Version of the Correspondence between Khusrau II and Bahram Chobin
Yaakov Elman,
The Other in the Mirror: Questions of Identity, Conversion, and Exogamy in the Fifth-Century Iranian Empire, Part Two
Shaul Shaked
, Aramaic Loan-words in Middle Persian
Dieter Weber
,Two Pahlavi Letters from the Time of Hormizd V (A.D. 631-632)
M. Rahim Shayegan
, Bardiya and Gautama: An Achaemenid Enigma Reconsidered
Farrokh Saidi,
The Two versions of the Achaemenid throne
Frantz Grenet
, Iranian Gods in Hindu Garb: The Zoroastrian Pantheon of the Bactrians and Sogdians, Second-Eighth Centuries
Pratapaditya Pal,
Reflections on the Gandhara Bodhisattva Images
Ernie Haerinck and Bruno Overlaet
, The Luristan Excavation Documents, A Publication Project

TO ORDER: $75 Individuals; $90 Institutions + shipping
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The Silk Road, volume 8 (2010)

This issue of The Silk Road includes an interesting report on excavations of Uighur mausolea in Mongolia. The hydraulic systems of the Turfan Oasis are the subject of the next article, where particular attention is given to the qanat system of underground channels. Further articles describe recent excavations in western Mongolia, yielding important new evidence about the bows and arrows used by the nomadic Xiongnu some 2000 years ago, and an overview of the Khotan antiquities trade in the late 19th and early 20th century which explores new evidence relating to one of the key figures in that trade, Badruddin Khan, and describes material collected by the British Consul in Xinjiang, C. P. Skrine. The remainder of this volume is of bibliographic value, beginning with a long article reviewing work on settlement archaeology in “Greater Mongolia,” following which are several book notices. As a bonus, this volume contains a photographic essay highlighting treasures from the National Museum in Tehran.

The Silk Road, is published annually by the Silkroad Foundation. Volume 8 can be downloaded free from:


Steppe: a Central Asian Panorama

Issue 8 of Steppe includes a number of articles of special interest, notably Thomas Loy’s account of the Yaghnob valley, accompanied by 16 pages of stunning photography by Helen Bodian. Situated in a concealed valley between the Hisar and Zarafshan mountain ranges about 60 km north of Dushanbe in Tajikistan, the Yaghnobi people have survived with their own language which is closely related to the pre-Islamic Iranian language Sogdian. In the early 70s, however, the entire population was forcibly resettled in the plains to work on cotton plantations. A comparatively small number of families subsequently returned to their homeland, but today there are only 400-500 Yaghnobis living in the Yaghnob valley.

This issue of Steppe also includes an interview with Carla Grissman who went to Kabul in the late 1970s and stayed there for two decades working at the National Museum, and articles on the Tashkent metro, and the extinct Caspian tiger and its close surviving relative the Amur tiger from Siberia.

Steppe 8 (winter 2010/2011)
Price: £10. ISSN 1752-2412;ISBN 978-0-9555774-6-8
Online subscriptions and back issues available at


Bactrian personal names

Sims-Williams, Nicholas. Bactrian Personal Names. Wien: Verl. d. Österr. Akad. d. Wiss, 2010 (Iranisches Personennamenbuch 2: Mitteliranische Personennamen fasc. 7)
isbn: 978-3-7001-6841-6

Bactrian was the principal language of administration in what is now Afghanistan from the time of the Kushan empire (1st to 3rd centuries C.E.) until the early Islamic period. The surviving Bactrian inscriptions and documents, coins and countermarks, seals and sealings attest a large number of personal names, whose various linguistic origins—Persian, Sogdian, Indian, Hunnic, Turkish, and of course native Bactrian—mirror the variety of peoples and religions which combined to form the unique culture of this region during the 1st millennium C.E.

In this comprehensive study, Nicholas Sims-Williams analyses the etymology, structure and meaning of the names themselves and where possible identifies the persons who bore them. It is of interest both to specialists in onomastics and to linguists and historians concerned with the languages and culture of pre-Islamic Afghanistan and neighbouring regions.


Bulletin of  The Asia Institute vol. 19: Iranian and Zoroastrian Studies in Honor of Prods Oktor Skjaervø

Volume 19 of the Bulletin of the Asia Institute is dedicated to P.O. Skjaervø, Aga Khan Professor of Iranian  at Harvard University, and author of numerous works on the languages, history and religions of Central Asia and Iran. This volume contains 28 articles by a team of international scholars and is edited by Carol Altman Bromberg with Nicholas and Ursula Sims-Williams.

Carol Altman Bromberg
Ursula Sims-Williams
,Prods Oktor Skjærvø
Duan Qing,
“Mulberry” in Khotanese: A New Khotanese Loan Deed in the Hetian Museum
Yaakov Elman,
The Other in the Mirror: Iranians and Jews View One Another: Questions of Identity, Conversion, and Exogamy in the Fifth-Century Iranian Empire, Part One
Richard N. Frye
,Church and State in Iranian History
Rika Gyselen,
Vahrām III (293) and the Rock Relief of Naqsh-i Rustam II: A Contribution to the Iconography of Sasanian Crown Princes in the Third Century
Valerie Hansen
,The Tribute Trade with Khotan in Light of Materials Found at the Dunhuang Library Cave
Prudence O. Harper
,From Earth to Heaven: Speculations on the Significance of the Form of the Achaemenid Censer
Almut Hintze
,The Cow that Came from the Moon: The Avestan Expression māhgaociθra
Stephanie W. Jamison,
Poetic Self-Reference in the Rig Veda and the Persona of Zarathustra
Jean Kellens
, Philippe Swennen,Le sacrifice et la nature humaine
Hiroshi Kumamoto
,Paul Pelliot and the Deśanā-parivarta of the Suvarṇabhāsa-sūtra
Judith A. Lerner
,An Alan Seal
Maria Macuch,
The Herbēdestān as a Legal Source: A Section on the Inheritance of a Convert to Zoroastrianism
Mauro Maggi
,Annotations on the Book of Zambasta, II: Khotanese maṃkyā
Antonio Panaino,
Sheep, Wheat, and Wine: An Achaemenian Antecedent of the Sasanian Sacrifices pad ruwān
Rong Xinjiang
,The Name of the So-called “Tumshuqese” Language
James R. Russell
,The Demon Weed
Lore Sander,
Remarks on the Formal Brahmi Script from the Southern Silk Route
Martin Schwartz
,Apollo and Khshathrapati, the Median Nergal, at Xanthos
Shai Secunda
,Studying with a Magus/Like Giving a Tongue to a Wolf
Shaul Shaked
,Aramaic Loan-words in Middle Persian
M. Rahim Shayegan
,Nugae Epigraphicae
Daniel Jensen Sheffield,
The Wizirgerd ī Dēnīg and the Evil Spirit: Questions of Authenticity in Post-Classical Zoroastrianism
Nicholas Sims-Williams
,Before the Quarrel: A Bactrian Purchase Contract
Ursula Sims-Williams,
The Strange Story of Samuel Guise: An 18th-Century Collection of Zoroastrian Manuscripts
Werner Sundermann
, The Emperor’s New Clothes
Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina
, Resurrecting the Resurrection: Eschatology and Exegesis in Late Antique Zoroastrianism
Dieter Weber
, A Pahlavi Papyrus from Islamic Times
Yutaka Yoshida
, Viśa’ Śūra’s Corpse Discovered?

TO ORDER: $75 Individuals; $90 Institutions + shipping
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Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology Volume 3 (2008)

Edited by Dr. Judith A. Lerner (New York) and Dr. Lilla Russell-Smith (Berlin)
Guest editor: Ursula Sims-Williams

Turnhout, Belgium: Produced by the Circle of Inner Asian Art for Brepols Publishers. ISBN 978-2-503-52804-5
Annual subscription print version: € 71 (inclusive shipping)
Individual backlist volumes in print format: € 66

This volume, guest edited by Ursula Sims-Williams, presents a collection of papers on the history, archaeology and culture of the Kingdom of Khotan before 1000 AD.   Articles by  Zhang Guangda and Rong Xinjiang, Hiroshi Kumamoto, and  Prods Oktor Skjærvø, are fundamental for Khotanese historical studies, providing a much-needed re-examination of the primary sources, while in the archaeological field, the articles by Zhao Feng with Wang Le and Zhang Yuzhong with Qu Tao and Liu Guorui make recent discoveries accessible for the first time outside China. Similarly, Duan Qing’s article and the joint study by Rong Xinjiang and Wen Xin present new documentary Chinese-Khotanese material adding further dimensions to our interpretation of historical events. Tsuguhito Takeuchi’s contribution covers the administration of Khotan specifically during the Tibetan period, while those of Giuliana Martini and Mauro Maggi with Anna Filigenzi relate to Buddhism in Khotan and Buddhist iconography and patronage.

Philip DENWOOD, “The Tibetans in the West, Part I
Géza FEHÉRVÁRI, “The Lions of Ghazni”
Imre GALAMBOS, “The Third Ōtani Expedition at Dunhuang: Acquisition of the Japanese Collection of Dunhuang Manuscripts”
Sascha PRIEWE, “The ‘Stein Loan Collection’: Ceramics and Buddhist Art from the Silk Roads in the Victoria and Albert Museum”
Elizabeth Rosen STONE, “Some Begram Ivories and the South Indian Narrative Tradition: New Evidence”
DUAN Qing, “Bisā- and Hālaa- in a New Chinese-Khotanese Bilingual Document”
Hiroshi KUMAMOTO, “A St. Petersburg Bilingual Document and Problems of the Chronology of Khotan”
Mauro MAGGI and Anna FILIGENZI, “Pelliot tibétain 2222: a Dunhuang Painting with a Khotanese Inscription”
Giuliana MARTINI, “Tracing the sources of the Book of Zambasta: the Case of the Yakṣa Painter Simile and the Ratnakūṭa”
RONG Xinjiang and WEN Xin, “Newly Discovered Chinese-Khotanese Bilingual Tallies”
Prods Oktor SKJÆRVØ, “The End of Eighth-Century Khotan in Its Texts” Tsuguhito TAKEUCHI, “Tshar, srang, and tshan: Administrative Units in Tibetan-ruled Khotan”
ZHANG Guangda and RONG Xinjiang, “On the Dating of Khotanese Documents from the Area of Khotan”
ZHANG Yuzhong, QU Tao and LIU Guorui, “A Newly Discovered Buddhist Temple and Wall Paintings at Dandan-Uiliq in Xinjiang”
ZHAO Feng and WANG Le, “Textiles and Clothing Excavated from the Tombs of Buzak in Khotan”

2 responses to “Book News

  1. DR.Chandrasekar .MS FMAS

    its nice to see ….whose knows the ancient tamil history 10000bc . mallar (INDIRAN FAMILY ) devendrakula vellalar (pallan)

  2. Pingback: New Publications | Ancient India & Iran Trust

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