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A Middle Persian Text on
Late Antique Geography, Epic, and History
This volume is a transcription, translation (English and Persian), along with a copious commentary of the only surviving Middle Persian text on geography written in late Sasanian period which was finally redacted in the eighth century CE during the Abbasid caliphate. The text enumerates the different cities in Asia and the people who were responsible for their construction, some being mythical and other historical. The text is important not only for the study of administrative history, but more importantly sheds light on the historical and the mythical world of ancient Persia. The text provides several unique pieces of information on the Peshdadian and Kayanian dynasty and the Turanian villains which are not found in other Old and Middle Persian texts. The Shahrestaniha-ye Eranshahr also provides an important insight into the ancient Persian geographical and imperial world-view, specifically the concept of Eranshahr which according to our text spans from the Oxus to the Nile river. This view is echoed in the Persian epic material which is based on the Sasanian geographical view.
"The Pahlavi text edited and translated by
Touraj Darayee is one of the few ‘secular’ texts we have, and a previous
publication by Josef Markwart was published after his death. The new text and
translation takes into account new information available since the old edition
and is most welcome. The commentary is especially valuable and a great
improvement over past remarks on the text. It is a publication which can be
highly recommended to a variety of readers."
"In this excellent work, Touraj Daryaee presents
a small, but historically and ideologically highly significant secular Middle
Persian treatise not only through elegant English and Persian translations, but
also through his fascinating, systematic, and thoroughly updated introduction
and a matching commentary. It will be of great interest not only for
specialists, but also for anyone interested in the view of the Iranian world in
the centuries prior to the coming of Islam."