Steppe: a Central Asian Panorama

Ursula Sims-Williams Book Notes Leave a Comment

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 …

New Publications

Jo Salisbury Book Notes Leave a Comment

July saw the publication, by Anthem Press, of two important volumes about Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect (edited by Adrian Poole, Christine van Ruymbeke, William H. Martin and Sandra Mason) is based on a 2009 conference in Cambridge and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first publication of FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát (1859) and the bicentenary of his birth (1859). Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence (Edited by William H. Martin and Sandra Mason) presents the texts …

The Library of Sir Roger Stevens

Jo Salisbury Book Notes 1 Comment

The Trust has recently been given a collection of books on Iran owned previously by Sir Roger Stevens (1906-1980). Sir Roger went to Iran in 1954 as Britain’s first ambassador after a two year break—the result of nationalization of the oil industry—and played a key role in rebuilding diplomatic relations. Although he served there for only four years, his enthusiasm for the people, art and history of Iran never left him. His main work was The Land of the Great Sophy (1962), but he also wrote on European travellers in …

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

Ursula Sims-Williams Book Notes Leave a Comment

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. Contents Carol Altman Bromberg, Introduction 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 …

Bactrian personal names

Ursula Sims-Williams Book Notes Leave a Comment

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 …