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Almut Hintze, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Claudius Naumann (eds.). A Thousand Judgements, Festschrift for Maria Macuch

Behnam Ataei
Référence(s) :

Almut Hintze, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Claudius Naumann (eds.). A Thousand Judgements, Festschrift for Maria Macuch. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2019, XXIV + 394 p.

Texte intégral

1The present volume offers a collection of articles that encompass various topics including Iranian linguistics and philology, Judeo-Persian literature, Zoroastrian law and religion, Manichaeism, and the Babylonian Talmud. It serves as a tribute to the highly esteemed scholar Maria Macuch in recognition of her outstanding academic contributions. The book is framed by two excellent photographs of M. Macuch (pp. V, 395) and a brief preface by the editors, followed by a comprehensive list of Macuch’s numerous academic publications (pp. XI-XXII). The collection contains twenty-six articles written in English, French, and German, arranged alphabetically by the contributors’ names (this arrangement is maintained below).

2M. Á. Andrés-Toledo (p. 1-12) explores the ritual and juridical implications of Avestan apərənāiiūka- and its Pahlavi equivalent aburnāyag “minor, underage”, and examines the terms dahmō.kərəta- and š́iiaōϑnāuuarəz- associated with it. He also includes a noteworthy Pahlavi commentary from Nērangestān (22.5) that outlines the three criteria a minor must meet to officiate as Zōt: wisdom, knowledge of Yašt by heart, and performing Yazišn (regarding this passage, F. M. Kotwal & P. G. Kreyenbroek: The Hērbedestān and Nērangestān II: Nērangestān, Fragard 1. Paris 1995: 123, interpret the term Yašt as “liturgy”, and propose the more general meaning “act of worship” for Yazišn). At this point, it is worth mentioning that a parallel passage can be found in the 146th question of Rivāyat ī Ādur-Farrobay ī Farroxzādān (B. T. Anklesaria: The Pahlavi Rivāyat of Āturfarnbag and Farnbag-Srōš II: Introduction and Translation. Bombay 1969: 123) regarding a minor consecrating the Drōn knowing only the Yašt by heart. In response, Ādur-Farrobay ī Farroxzādān affirms that if the minor possesses wisdom and knows the Yašt and Nērang (the ritual directions) by heart, he is indeed qualified to officiate as priest. As indicated in Dādestān ī Dēnīg 46.9, expertise in Nērang is indispensable for the proper execution of Yazišn rituals.

3S. Azarnouche’s article “Les fonctions religieuses et la loi zoroastrienne: le cas du hērbed” (p. 13-23) draws upon a range of sources, including Pahlavi texts, Arabic works, and the Tabaristān archive, to provide a better understanding of the Hērbed’s role and responsibilities. Based on my research on Zoroastrian rituals in the Pahlavi texts, I would like to point out that further analysis of the Dādestān ī Dēnīg (particularly questions 43-46, 65, and 87) yield additional valuable insights into the Hērbed’s level of knowledge and function as master of ritual as compared to his disciple and ritual priest Hāwišt, and their respective economic interests and sources of income. Next is D. B. Buyaner’s discussion (pp. 25-42) of the importance of the careful handling of shed or cut hair, nails, and used toothpicks in Zoroastrianism, particularly in the context of ritual purity. The author notes similarities with similar practices in other Indo-European traditions. This is followed by A. Cantera’s article (pp. 43-50) on the interpretation of the hapax legomenon (Y9.26) pauruuanīm, an epithet of the sacred girdle offered to Haōma by Mazdā. Through an in-depth analysis of various sources and etymological studies, Cantera suggests that the meaning of this term is “tuft of wool”. I. Colditz’s article “Eine vergessene zoroastrische Märtyrerin?” (pp. 51-70) highlights the overlooked role of the female protagonist in Mādayān ī J̌ōšt ī Friyān (MJ̌F), Hufrih, who is the sister of Friyān and the wife of Axt. The author conducts a meticulous examination and draws attention to the role of female figures in other texts. For instance, she stresses the unknown marriage of Hufrih in MJ̌F and compares it to that of Saŋhauuāčī and Arənauuāčī, who were kidnapped by Aži-Dahāka and forced to marry him. (Saŋhauuāčī and Arənauuāčī are described as sisters or daughters of Jamšēd in New Persian, while the Middle Persian literature remains silent about them, except for one modern manuscript of the Pahlavi Vištāsp Yašt, where they are mentioned as two sisters of Jamšēd, See E. W. West: Pahlavi Literature. In W. Geiger & E. Kuhn (Eds.), Grundriss der Iranischen Philologie II. Straßburg 1896: 86).

4D. Durkin-Meisterernst’s study “Manichaean Book Quires” (p. 71-81) focuses on the structure, size and design of quires (a set of folded sheets, sewn together to form the pages of a book), as well as the layout of the Manichaean books from Turfan. He demonstrates that not only is there a wide range of page sizes, but there also appears to be a similar flexibility in quire sizes among the Turfan collection in comparison to the Manichaean collection found in Egypt or the Greek Cologne Mani Codex. This is followed by a discussion of the adaptation of the institution of temporary marriage from its original context in Zoroastrianism to Sasanian rabbinic culture, explored by Y. Elman in “The Torah of Temporary Marriage; A Study in Cultural History” (pp. 83-107). E. Filippone (pp. 109-126) delves into the ongoing discussion over the elusive meaning and functions of Old Persian tačara-, conventionally translated as ‘palace’ and associated with a prominent Achaemenid palace in Persepolis. In “Les <Mémoires> dans l’archive pehlevie de Berkeley/Berlin” (pp. 127-140), Ph. Gignoux examines nine Pahlavi documents of the ayādgār type, providing an edition and translation of Berk. 43-1, 65, 74, 226, 228, and Berl. 34, along with commentary and a glossary.

5In his article “Onomastica Irano-Iberica, II. The Name of a Zoroastrian Bishop(p. 141-160), J. Gippert aims to restore the original Middle Persian form of the name of a Zoroastrian bishop documented in Georgian as Binkar, renowned for spreading Zoroastrianism in 5th-century Georgia. Using various Old Georgian sources, he proposes *Šāhīnkār as a potential original form. In “Les données de géographie administrative sassanide dans le Šahrestānīhā-ī Ērānšahr(pp. 161-174), R. Gyselen conducts a reassessment of toponyms and terms by examining their correlation with information obtained from administrative seals.

6The heart of the Festschrift is where A. Hintze (p. 175-192) furnishes readers with a comprehensive biography of M. Macuch and an in-depth appraisal of her works. Although it might be expected for this article to be positioned at the beginning of the book, its placement is a result of adhering to the alphabetical order of the contributors’ names. In consequence, many publications by Macuch, listed in the bibliography pp. XI-XXII, are duplicated at the end of this article.

7T. Ilan and R. Kiperwasser (p. 193-207) focus on the concept of virgin pregnancy by examining an enigmatic passage from the Babylonian Talmud and Iranian Mythology for insights. The contribution by É. M. Jeremiás (pp. 209-224) analyzes the process of compounding words known as “tarkīb” across various domains, including Persian poetics, Ottoman commentarial, Indio-Persian lexicographical works, and Persian grammatical literature from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

8J. Josephson (p. 225-235) explores the application of Aristotle’s theory of the elements by the author of Dēnkard III 119, who employs logical reasoning to demonstrate the existence of two creative entities. Then, the translation and transcription of Nīrangestān chapter 23 by Y. Kiel and P.O. Skjærvø (pp. 237-261) provide an analysis of religious dissent from Zoroastrian norms and views prior to the dominance of Islam by discussing legal concerns related to apostasy and conversion through a comparison of Talmudic law and Islamic legislation. In “Die Pahlavi-Literatur des 9./10. Jahrhunderts und ihre frühe Kodex-Überlieferung (I)” (pp. 263-286), G. König meticulously examines the genealogy and familial connections of Pahlavi manuscripts. Tracing the movement of scribes and manuscripts among various cities and families, he reveals that the transmission of these manuscripts primarily occurred within a closely-knit network of high priests, predominantly in Bagdād, Fārs, Sīstān, and Xorāsān.

9M. Lorenz presents a concise biography (p. 287-289, in German) of the life and scholarly endeavors of Ignatius Pietraszewski, a Polish Iranist based in Berlin. The contribution by M. Maggi (pp. 291-309) examines a problematic passage in the Khotanese Book of Zambasta (2.139) that contains three hapax legomena. Through a thorough exploration of etymological research and drawing on literary parallels in Indian literature, Maggi provides a deeper understanding of the passage, suggesting that the meaning: “Whoever injures one arm of mine (or) sprinkles one with grain musk, towards both is my mind always equally well-disposed, Bhadra”. In “Vom ersten bis zum 30. Tag: Ein Blatt mit soghdischen prognostischen und medizinischen Kalendertexten” (pp. 311-330) E. Morano and Ch. Reck present the transliteration and translation of two previously unpublished Manichaean-Sogdian texts. Adducing Turkish and Chinese sources, they provide insights into these texts, which feature a calendar with predictions and medical recommendations for a 30-day month.

10A. Panaino (p. 331-344) observes the connection between the Avestan concept of Daēnā- and the ritual thoughts, words, and actions of the sacrificers. This connection is seen as reflecting the origins of the institution of xaētuuadaϑa-. In “Iranian Words in čam°” (pp. 345-356), A. V. Rossi explores Middle and New Iranian words that can be derived from this verbal root meaning “to stride, step”. M. Schwartz and A. M. Ramer (pp. 357-362) suggest that the account of the Scythian king Idánthursos’ response to Darius in Herodotus is an instance of punning and verbal humor in the Scythian language. Additionally, they present a reconstruction of the Old Iranian forms underlying the Graecized names Ἰδάνθυρσος and Ἀγάθυρσοι, viz. *hiϑām-ϑr(a)uš(a)- “making the ally prosper” and *haxā-ϑr(a)uš(a)- “making the friend/socius prosper”, respectively. Furthermore, they provide an interpretation for Pahlavi asp-bālāy “the height of a horse”, which is the gloss for the Avestan term ārštiiō.barəza- “having the height of an ārštiia- (spear)”.

11N. Sims-Williams (p. 363-372) publishes two Manichaean Sogdian fragments (M 117 and M 765k) containing a maxim attributed to the (Armenian, Slavonic, and Syriac) Wisdom of Aḥiqar that is also found in the Pahlavi text Handarz ī Ādurbād. The transliteration and translation of the fragments is accompanied by a commentary. The financial activities of Windād-Burzmihr, a Zoroastrian entrepreneur in the 7th century, are the topic of D. Weber (pp. 373-384), who analyses documents from the Berkeley Pahlavi Archive, specifically Berk. 101 and 227. In the final work of the volume, Y. Yoshida (pp. 385-394) examines the interpretation of certain words found in two Judeo-Persian letters from the late 8th century in Khotan: the well-known letter from Dandan-Uilik and a letter from Chinese Turkestan that was discovered in 2004. The author conducts an examination of the Chinese and Sogdian elements present in these letters, offering valuable insights into their linguistic and cultural significance; he also provides a commentary on the identity of a man referred to as dyhgʾn.

12The volume is presented in excellent quality in terms of paper, binding, and layout, all of which befits a great scholar of Iranian studies. It has benefited from thorough proofreading, resulting in an almost complete absence of typographical errors. One critical aspect is that the list of abbreviations (pp. XXIII-XXIV) falls short of encompassing the vast array of abbreviations employed by the authors throughout the volume. Furthermore, it would have been more fitting if a few contributions had undergone editing to align them to the referencing system that is employed in the majority of the articles.

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Behnam Ataei, « Almut Hintze, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Claudius Naumann (eds.). A Thousand Judgements, Festschrift for Maria Macuch »Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 42-43 | 2021, document 4, mis en ligne le 30 décembre 2021, consulté le 18 juillet 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/56765 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.56765

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Behnam Ataei

Freie Universität, Berlin

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