14 January 2021
The Ancient India & Iran Trust Online Lecture
The Search for Lost Time: Insights on Zoroastrian Literature from the New Translation of the Bundahišn
Domenico Agostini (Tel Aviv University) and Samuel Thrope (National Library of Israel; University of Haifa)
Friday 12th February, 5:30pm (GMT)
The Middle Persian text known as the Bundahišn, composed in its current form sometime in the ninth century, is one of the most important Zoroastrian works on creation, cosmology and eschatology. A particularly wide-ranging work, with different chapters addressing subjects as diverse as astronomy, zoology, medicine, myth and music, the Bundahišn has long been the focus of scholarly research. However, as much as scholars have discussed individual chapters, the book has rarely been considered as a whole. Having now published the first complete English translation of the Bundahišn since Harold Bailey's doctoral thesis, in this talk we will share some of the insights we have gained about the Bundahišn and Zoroastrian literature more broadly. The talk will focus on questions of the book's genre, structure, language, and style, and will include readings of selected passages from the new translation.
Domenico Agostini is a senior lecturer in Ancient History at Tel Aviv University. He has been the recipient of the Prix Pirasteh in Persian Studies at the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris (2008) and the Polonsky Fellowship for Outstanding Postdoctoral Researchers (2013-2017). He has published extensively in the fields of Zoroastrianism and Middle Persian literature.
Samuel Thrope is Manager of the Maktoub Digitization Project at the National Library of Israel and a Research Fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa. His translation of Jalal Al-e Ahmad's Israel travelogue The Israeli Republic was published in 2017, and he is co-editor, with Roberta Cassagrande-Kim and Raquel Ukeles, of the 2018 exhibition catalogue Romance and Reason: Transformations of the Classical Past.