image of MPCD Guest Lectures

MPCD Guest Lectures

CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)

Dr. Carlo Marchetti (University of Rome, 'La Sapienza')
"Interdisciplinary Approaches to Middle Persian Studies"
Almost two hundred years have passed since the start of methodologically grounded investigations on Zoroastrian Middle Persian (Book Pahlavi). Yet, a comprehensive approach to all the aspects involved in this research, albeit firmly rooted in solid theoretical frames, is still being refined. This presentation wishes to provide some reflections concerning three general aspects, highlighted by some notable examples: philological problems relating to critical textual editions (morphology, lexicon, syntax), specifically from manuscript MK; palaeographical studies on Pahlavi codices, in particular, K20 and MK; Zoroastrian manuscript production and transmission, regarding especially the information preserved in (multilingual) colophons attributed to Mihraban i Kayhusraw. The general perspective used to tackle these three issues is to consider manuscripts not only for their literary contents but also as transmitters of cultural evidences, as the two aspects are mutually intertwined. While in other comparable fields of study (e.g. Sanskrit, Avestan, Greek, Latin), such general aspects have become disciplines in their own regard, a Pahlavi researcher still needs to be proficient in all of them to present a coherent result, be it a critical edition, the description of a manuscript, or the study of a cultural/religious context.

Angelica Gaspari (PhD Candidate University of Rome, 'La Sapienza')
"Manuščhir on Movement"
Manušchir’s Dadestan i Denig is a complicated and multifaceted text in which identifying the sources of the author and the references to his contemporary milieu can be extremely challenging. In this talk, I will discuss a very unique question, pursišn 90. We will analyze the question, underline the differences with other texts, try to understand the source of Manušchir and try and prove not only that Manušchir’s idea of movement is of apparent Aristotelian descent (Physica III, VI and VIII; De Caelo I) but also that chapters 5 to 9 are probably a translation from Greek. This section of the Dadestan i Denig was previously edited by B.T. Anklesaria in 1964.

However, the edition lacked an exhaustive commentary, which is probably why this question still has not received the interest it deserves. Manušchir replies to a question regarding the nature and the disposition of the sky, but after a short reply, the focus of the author shifts to movement. In chapter three, there is a brief account of how things began to move after the Druz’s attack; it is important to note that the adjective that the author uses to express the idea of movement linked to the Evil Spirit is candenag. In chapter four, we find the first reference to the danagan (danagan ciyon-šan guft ku), whose opinion is quoted to explain motion, and again, the term used is candenag. The most interesting part of the question begins in chapter five and continues until chapter nine, where danagan is mentioned again (ce rošn o danagan tisan parwarend). It’s clear from the structure of the question that in these chapters Manušchir is quoting a source, the ideas change and so does the terms used. For 37 times in just four chapters, we find an incredible variety of nouns and verbs created from the root jumb-. The idea expressed in these chapters is linked to, but different from the chapters in Denkard III on movement (147,371,380 ).


Photograph of Prof. Dr. Kianoosh Rezania

Prof. Dr. Kianoosh Rezania

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 1.10
+49 234 32-21979