Too Many Maiden Castles

a ruined stone castle on a rocky hilltop silhouetted against the sky
Dokhtar castle alias Firuzabad in Iran. Photo by Hadi Karimi from Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. I miss Iran.

Fans of classic Nintento games know that sometimes the princess is in another castle. People researching sites called Maiden Castle have to figure out which of the sites called that in Farsi, Arabic, or English they mean.

Read more

Cross-Post: Persika

Prolific ancient historian and Iranologist Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones’ latest venture onto the Internet is a vlog on ancient Iran called Persika: Persian Things. Check it out!

Cross-Post: New Manouchehr Khorasani Book Crowdfunding

Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani needs funds to print his latest book, on black-powder firearms in Iranian museums. The title will be Persian Fire and Steel: Historical Firearms of Iran. His earlier book, Arms and Armour from Iran, contains a wonderful assortment of information drawn from books and articles in half a dozen languages. It also... Continue reading: Cross-Post: New Manouchehr Khorasani Book Crowdfunding

A Paradise

The steel gate to a cinderblock compound in Fars
The gate to the Izadi paradise. As a prosperous country family, their walls are all cinderblocks, not mud brick or fieldstone.

παράδεισ-ος -ου, masuline noun, from Avestan pairidaēza-, Old Persian +paridaida-, Median +paridaiza- (walled-around, i.e., a walled garden), an enclosed park or pleasure-ground …

Dictionaries rarely have room to illustrate many entries, even when this works better than a written definition. On this blog, however, I am free to use more pictures than words!

Read more

A Sasanid Rock Relief

A relief of an enthroned king carved into a cliff over a natural spring
An overview of the relief at the spring, with some Franks admiring it. Photo by Sean Manning, May 2016.

On Friday morning a week ago, thick snow was falling on the green leaves in Innsbruck, and someone posted to the agade mailing list that Yale proposes to dissolve the Yale Babylonian Collection as an institution, reassign its curator to other work, and transfer it from the Sterling Library to closed storage where it will not be immediately accessible to scholarly visitors. I suppose that an institution with investments worth 25 billion dollars finds it difficult to afford such luxuries, gathered as they were in a softer time when workers could earn several dollars for a 12-hour shift in a steel factory. If you want to learn more you can find the petition Save the Yale Babylonian Collection on This week I want to tell a story about another community with heritage to protect and make accessible.

Read more

paypal logo
patreon logo