Vol. 46/1 (2017)

En hommage à notre collègue et ami membre du comité de rédaction Jean Calmard, 19 décembre 1931, Paris – 2 mai 2017, Paris, p. 7-8.

• SINISI, Fabrizio, “A Seal Imprint from Old Nisa and the (Apollonian) Iconography of Mithra”, p. 9-30.

A seal impression from Old Nisa / Mithradatkart bearing the image of a deity is reexamined. It is suggested that the figure is depicted in the guise of Apollo in order to portray the Zoroastrian god Mithra. Other images of Apollonian derivation are discussed to track the iconographic development of the solar traits of Mithra.

• VIREDAZ, Rémy, “Trois étymologies ossètes: rasyg, ævzist, ærx°y”, p. 31-48.

1. Ossetic rasyg/rasug ‘drunk’, Hungarian részeg ‘id.’, are not of Finno-Ugric descent. Rather, they represent an Old Iranian *frāsūka-, from *fra-sū- ‘swell, inflate’, cf. Old IndicŚAVI. That would be a frozen metaphorical use of ‘swollen’ in the sense of ‘full up’. The question of a possible relation with Old Indic plā́śuka- (uncertain meaning) and prāśū-‘stronger’ is left open.
2. Ossetic ævzist/ævzestæ ‘silver’ < Alanic *azwēst(a) cannot easily be akin with or borrowed from early Slavic dzvězda ‘star’ or represent *ịz-wahištā- vel sim. A derivation from Greek ἄσβεστος ‘unquenched’ seems possible, although the semantic link is hypothetical.

3. Ossetic ærx°y/ærxi ‘copper’, with its unique phonetic correspondence, is likely to reflect Old Iranian *xruwant- ‘bloody’ > Proto-Ossetic *arxuw/*arxiw. The old adjective would at first have taken the meaning ‘red’.

• MAHENDRARAJAH, Shivan, “Tamerlane’s Conquest of Herat and the ‘Politics of Notables’”, p. 49-76.

Jean Aubin (1963) analyzed Tamerlane’s (Temür’s) capture of cities. This paper extends his study by focusing on the actions of notables (a‘yān) of Khurasan, and Herat specifically, to the existential threat posed by Temür. Boaz Shoshan (1986), the ‘politics of notables’, offers an analytical framework. Led by Sufis, Zayn al-Dīn Taybādī and heirs of Aḥmad-i Jām, notables secretly communicated with Temür to offer him support for the conquest of Khurasan. They feared that the Kart king’s decision to resist Temür would lead to rapine and ruin, as happened with Chinggis Khan in 619/1222. Moreover, the Sufis of Jām, sensing the demise of their Kartid patrons, sought a new patron in Temür. Taybādī and the Kartid vizier, Mu‘īn al-Dīn Jāmī, were instrumental in the plans to surrender Herat; and to attract Temür to Aḥmad-i Jām’s saint cult. Their letters to Temür, and Taybādī’s hagiography, offer insights into how a‘yān acted during a crisis, fostered the commonweal, and prevented a ‘general massacre’ (qaṭl-i ‘āmm).

• BHALLOO, Zahir, REZAI, Omid, “A Sharī’a Court Document from Neyrīz, Fārs (1303/1886)”, p. 77-106.

This article presents a preliminary study of how an Imamite Shīʻī sharīʻa court in Iran in the Qājār period (1796-1925) issued a judicial decision in a lawsuit relating to religiously endowed property (vaqf). After an introduction to the state of research on sharīʻa court documents from Qājār Iran, we study how the scribe of an Imamite Shīʻī sharīʻa court in Neyrīz, a small town in the south-west province of Fārs, recorded details of a vaqf lawsuit onto a cotton document. Next, based on a comparative analysis between the Neyrīz sharīʻacourt document and some previously edited Qājār sharīʻa court documents, we distinguish between the decision of a judge at the end of a lawsuit and the judge’s notarial certification of a claim based on the evidence of one party. We demonstrate that the recording procedures of the Neyrīz sharīʻa court leave no room for doubt that the judge issued a decision after he reviewed the evidence of both sides. This was important in order to ensure effective closure of the lawsuit in the decentralized Qājār judicial system. The article concludes with an edition and a facsimile of the Neyrīz sharīʻa court document.

• ABAÏ, Andia, RINGGENBERG, Patrick, “Mashhad décrite par les voyageurs occidentaux avant l’époque pahlavi. Un bilan”, p. 107-123.

This article is a synthetic survey of the accounts of European travellers (military, diplomats or writers), English speaking for the majority, who spoke about Mashhad, a pilgrimage city in Iranian Khorāsān, hosting the grave of the eighth Shia Imam, ‘Ali al-Reżā. Embracing the 1404-1907 range, it focuses in particular on the accounts of the nineteenth century, raising both the qualities and relevance on that subject, and their historical, literary and subjective limits. It appears that, despite their necessarily fragmentary and contextual visions, their descriptions of the city and its activities provide valuable information, often circumstantial and detailed, also evocative and stimulating.

• ĀYATI, Akram, TALĀI, Mehrnāz, “L’épanouissement du postmodernisme en Iran à travers l’œuvre de Moḥammad Ḥasan Šahsavāri”, p. 125-142.

The late arrival of postmodern American and French novels in Iran explains, clearly, the delay of Persian literature in creating works that would reflect the postmodern world where man has no knowledge of himself. Despite the efforts of young writers, postmodern works have barely succeeded in implementing features of the postmodern novel, and they seem to be rather formal imitations of foreign works. This paper aims to follow the progress of this literary movement in Persian literature and to show, through one of Moḥammad Ḥasan Šahsavāri’s works entitled The Possible Night (Šab-e Momken) (1971), as a successful example of this kind, how the distinguishing characteristics of postmodernism arise in the Persian novel and to what extent Šahsavāri’s work is a postmodernist piece of literature. We will explain the mechanisms that the writer activates — on the narrative level as well as the socio-cultural context — in order to prove that this work can appear as a postmodern work.

COMPTES RENDUS p. 145-154.

Vol. 46/2 (2017)

• POTTS, D., “Partia Persorum, India Dimirica-Evilat and Idia Thermantica-Elamitis in the Cosmographia of Ravennas Anonymous”, p. 163-192.

This study examines the toponyms largely within the Iranian sphere (excluding Central Asia) that are recorded in the Cosmographia of the Anonymous Geographer of Ravenna. Previous identifications are examined and evaluated. Based upon the most probable toponymic identifications, the internal logic of sequences of toponyms is considered, and these sequences are compared with those of the older Tabula Peutingeriana.

• COURTIEU, G., “L’Arc des Arsacides en dépit du bon sens”, p. 193-203.

This study intents to show that the image of the Royal Archer, ubiquitous on Arsacid coinage, should be examined by its technical aspects: first, the bow’s shape, which most of the time corresponds to an asymmetrical model, whose use needs to be explained; second, how this weapon is held: the archer holds it with one arm, imbalanced, the bowstring facing up, which is impossible to explain other than the composite bow’s checking, taking the string as a mark.

• DICKENS, M., “Syriac Inscriptions near Urgut”, p. 205-260.

Cet article examine plus de 160 inscriptions en écriture syriaque laissées par des chrétiens sur des falaises à proximité d’une église récemment fouillée située près d’Urgut (Ouzbékistan). Il en donne le texte original et la traduction ; la grande majorité d’entre elles est de nature onomastique. L’article se termine par une analyse des noms en question, qui reflètent le creuset culturel que constituait l’Asie centrale médiévale.

• CALMARD, J., “Une dame française à la cour de Perse: Louise de la Marnierre (Paris, 1781-Shiraz, 1840)”, p. 261-311.

An anonymous Persian manuscript, kept at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and relating a travel in Southern Persia made by a French lady in the years 1836-37, remained a puzzling question for a long time. I identified that person, often mentioned as “Madame de la Marinière”, as being Louise Phélippes de la Marnierre (1781-1840). The French government became too late aware of her presence in Persia, with the short diplomatic mission of Comte de Sercey (1839-40). He could do nothing to help her and she soon died at Shiraz. She is however considered as having maintained French presence in Persia in the absence of any diplomatic representation. Apart from her genealogy, we ignore nearly everything about her childhood and the years preceding her arrival at Tabriz in 1819 where her Napolitan husband, Doctor Castaldi died in 1820. This article is a biographical essay on that French noble woman. Available documentation is given in Appendix: testimonies, personal names, genealogy, archival material, hypothetic portrait.

• Jean Calmard (1931-2017), par M. Szuppe, p. 315-318.

COMPTES RENDUS p. 321-326.