Persian manuscripts

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Paulo Botta

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Apr 28, 2011, 6:51:17 PM4/28/11
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Hello
 
I wonder if you know if any archive or research center would be interested in facilitating some images of persian manuscripts for a new publication on the iranian world that will be published in spanish for spain and latin america?
Regards
Paulo Botta

Jean G. VALENTIN

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Apr 28, 2011, 6:59:17 PM4/28/11
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Hello Paulo,
There is an interesting Gospel manuscript in the Royal Library of Brussels: Brussels B.R. II.55, dating from 1622. The Gospels in that manuscript seem to be translated from Syriac — I procured a microfilm years ago but never had the time to study it in depth. Nevertheless, reading a few passages here and there gave me the impression that its Vorlage is Syriac, but not the Peshitto. Perhaps a vetus syra in translation? This, if confirmed, would be quite a sensation.
I hope this can be of some help to you, or can attract the attention of someone who knows Persian better than me (and has more time!)
Sincerely yours,
Jean V.


Le 29-avr.-11 à 00:51, Paulo Botta a écrit :

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Jean G. VALENTIN
Bruxelles, Belgique
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"ce qui est trop simple est faux, ce qui est trop compliqué est inutilisable"

"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car."

Anton Pritula

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May 2, 2011, 9:24:33 AM5/2/11
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Dear Paulo,

just by eccident the Persian Christian MSs was my PhD topic. I published it later in Russian:

Christianstvo i persidskaya knizhnost’ XIII-XVIII vv. [Christianity and the Persian Manuscript Tradition in the 1317th  centuries, in Russian]. St Petersburg, 2004 (163 pp.).


It contains an English summary and an index of the existing Persian Christian MSs.

The most famous of them is of course the illumitated Persian Diatessaron (OR.81), in the Florence Library Medicea Laurenziana (transcr. in 1547 AD).
Catalogue entry:
Piemontese A.M. Catalogo dei manoscritti persiani conservati nelle biblioteche d'Italia. Roma. Libr. dello stato. № 5, 1989. P. 104, no. 140.

In the same catalogue you can find also several other Persian Chr. MSs.

The text of this Diatessaron MS was also published by G.Messina:

Messina G. Diatessaron persiano. I. Introduzione. II. Testo e Traduzione. Roma, 1951.


Also interesting are the Gospel (Pococke 241) in the Bodlean Library, Oxford (transcr. in 1341 AD)
and a Nestorian lectionary in the National Library in Paris (Persan 3) (transcr. 1374 AD).

According to my list the total is 123 Persian Chr. MSs, but it was several years ago, and since that time I have found some more, but anyway under 150.

Wish you all the best
Anton Pritula


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:51:17 -0300
Subject: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
From: jprb...@gmail.com
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William Hume

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May 2, 2011, 2:31:58 PM5/2/11
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Can anyone recommend to me the best importer/bookseller of Russian-language academic works into the US?  I haven't bought a Russian-language book since before the Soviet Union broke up.  I want to buy this book.  WSH


From: Anton Pritula <pritu...@hotmail.com>
To: nas...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Mon, May 2, 2011 6:24:33 AM
Subject: RE: [nascas] Persian manuscripts

Anton Pritula

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May 3, 2011, 9:38:12 AM5/3/11
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Well, I think I would load the PDF of the book in internet and give the links. At least the English summary (15 pp.), MSs index and the bibliography could be helpful.

I am also thinking of publishing it in English, but a little bit updated, as some new information came up since 2004, when it had appeared. May be, someone knows a publishing house, where it would be appropriate to do.

All the best
Anton Pritula

Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 11:31:58 -0700
From: william...@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
To: nas...@googlegroups.com

Anton Pritula

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May 3, 2011, 11:13:53 AM5/3/11
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Dear Colleagues,
here you can find my book on the Persian Christian MSs.


http://www.sendspace.com/file/km4sx1'

Pritula A. Christianstvo i persidskaya knizhnost’ XIII-XVIII vv. [Pritula A. Christianity and the Persian Manuscript Tradition in the 1317th  centuries; in Russian]. St Petersburg, 2004 (163 pp.).

It has an English summary and a MSs index. It was published in 2004, and there is some new literature, which cannot be found in the bibliography there.

All the best
Anton Pritula


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:51:17 -0300
Subject: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
From: jprb...@gmail.com
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Roger Pearse

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May 4, 2011, 3:13:01 PM5/4/11
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Thank you very much indeed for these details, and for kindly uploading
your thesis. The 15 page summary in English at the back is very
interesting! Would you object if I posted a copy of the English
summary on my blog?

I don't know anything about the transmission of Christian literature
into Persian. I vaguely imagined that perhaps material from
translated from Christian Arabic. But it seems not?

Are the earliest translations into modern Persian, then? And ... are
they always in Arabic script but Persian language, or is a Persian
script ever used?

Are there any translations of material by the Fathers of the Church?
Sermons, perhaps?

I don't know anything about other academic publishers, but it seems to
me that such a work did ought to receive wider attention; and
publishing in English with a major publisher would seem to be a good
approach to take. Perhaps others on the list can advise Dr Pritula
who to approach.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

On May 3, 2:38 pm, Anton Pritula <pritula...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Well, I think I would load the PDF of the book in internet and give the links. At least the English summary (15 pp.), MSs index and the bibliography could be helpful.
>
> I am also thinking of publishing it in English, but a little bit updated, as some new information came up since 2004, when it had appeared. May be, someone knows a publishing house, where it would be appropriate to do.
>
> All the best
> Anton Pritula
> Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 11:31:58 -0700
> From: williamsnowh...@yahoo.com
> Subject: Re: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
> To: nas...@googlegroups.com
>
> Can anyone recommend to me the best importer/bookseller of Russian-language academic works into the US? I haven't bought a Russian-language book since before the Soviet Union broke up. I want to buy this book. WSH
>
> From: Anton Pritula <pritula...@hotmail.com>
> To: nas...@googlegroups.com
> Sent: Mon, May 2, 2011 6:24:33 AM
> Subject: RE: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
>
> Dear Paulo,
>
> just by eccident the Persian Christian MSs was my PhD topic. I published it later in Russian:
>
> Christianstvo i persidskaya knizhnost' XIII-XVIII vv. [Christianity and the Persian Manuscript Tradition in the 13-17th centuries, in Russian]. St Petersburg, 2004 (163 pp.).
> It contains an English summary and an index of the existing Persian Christian MSs.
>
> The most famous of them is of course the illumitated Persian Diatessaron (OR.81), in the Florence Library Medicea Laurenziana (transcr. in 1547 AD).
> Catalogue entry:
> Piemontese A.M. Catalogo dei manoscritti persiani conservati nelle biblioteche d'Italia. Roma. Libr. dello stato. No. 5, 1989. P. 104, no. 140.
> In the same catalogue you can find also several other Persian Chr. MSs.
>
> The text of this Diatessaron MS was also published by
> G.Messina:
>
> Messina G. Diatessaron persiano. I. Introduzione. II. Testo e Traduzione. Roma, 1951.
> Also interesting are the Gospel (Pococke 241) in the Bodlean Library, Oxford (transcr. in 1341 AD)
> and a Nestorian lectionary in the National Library in Paris (Persan 3) (transcr. 1374 AD).
>
> According to my list the total is 123 Persian Chr. MSs, but it was several years ago, and since that time I have found some more, but anyway under 150.
>
> Wish you all the best
> Anton Pritula
>
> Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:51:17 -0300
> Subject: [nascas] Persian manuscripts
> From: jprbo...@gmail.com
> To: nas...@googlegroups.com
>
> Hello
>
> I wonder if you know if any archive or research center would be interested in facilitating some images of persian manuscripts for a new publication on the iranian world that will be published in spanish for spain and latin america?
> Regards
> Paulo Botta
> jprbo...@hotmail.com
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Thomas A Carlson (tcarlson@Princeton.EDU)

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May 4, 2011, 3:33:00 PM5/4/11
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Dear Roger,

At one time there was a larger corpus of Persian Christian materials. In Middle Persian there were some psalms, translations from Syriac Christian authors (including Abraham of Nathpar and Abraham of Kashkar, both translated by Job the Persian), a liturgy (mentioned by John of Dalyatha in a letter), and a law-book by Ishobokht of Rewardashir apparently composed in Persian, but which only survives in Syriac translation. In Sogdian some has survived, including parts of the Psalms and New Testament, some saints' lives, and some monastic literature, an overview of which is provided at the end of Baum & Winkler, The Church of the East: A Concise History (London, 2003), 168-170. Dr. Pritula's excellent work only concerns materials translated into neo-Persian, that is, Persian written in (modified) Arabic script. Of this, if I remember correctly (it has been a while since I've looked at this!), almost all that survives from before the Jesuit missions c.1600 is biblical, althoug
h more was at one time written in Persian, for example the lost original travel account of Rabban Sauma's trip to Europe, which the editor/translator mentioned at the end of the account of Rabban Sauma's voyage in the Syriac "History of Mar Yahballaha and of Rabban Sauma" (edited by Bedjan, translated into English by Budge, recently re-edited by Pier Giorgio Borbone).

For my own reference, and possible future use, I am keeping a list of known (including lost) works in Christian Persian, so if others know of additional works I am very happy to hear of them!

Best,
Thomas.

Sasha Treiger

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May 4, 2011, 4:27:08 PM5/4/11
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Dear Roger and Colleagues,
 
For Biblical material in Iranian languages (incl. Middle-Persian, Sogdian, and Neo-Persian) the entry "Bible" in the Enclyclopaedia Iranica is very helpful. It is in eight parts, as follows:
 
  • BIBLE i. As a Source for Median and Achaemenid History

    M. A. Dandamayev

    The old biblical texts arose in various historic periods. Except for some parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel, composed in Aramaic, all these texts are written in Hebrew.

  • BIBLE ii. Persian Elements in the Bible

    Morton Smith

    Identification of Persian elements in the Bible is difficult because: (1) mobody knows just what was “Persian” when the biblical books were being written. (2) many things then “Persian” were also elements of other cultures.

  • BIBLE iii. Chronology of Translations

    Kenneth J. Thomas

    1. Middle Iranian translations. 4th century. Statement by John Chrysostom (Homily on John) that doctrines of Christ had been translated into the languages of the Persians. 5th century. Statement by Theodoret (Graecarum affect­ionum curatio IX.936) that Persians regarded the Gospels as divine revelation. ...

  • BIBLE iv. Middle Persian Translations

    Shaul Shaked

    The only extant Middle Persian Bible version is represented by fragments of a translation of the Psalms found at the ruin of the Nestorian monastery at Bulayïq near Turfan.

  • BIBLE v. Sogdian Translations

    Nicholas Sims-Williams

    The following manuscripts containing biblical texts in Sogdian have been made known. None of them survives in anything like complete form, and some are mere fragments.

  • BIBLE vi. Judeo-Persian Translations

    Jes P. Asmussen

    Judeo-Persian or Jewish-Persian is the common designation for, Persian written with Hebrew characters. Among the earliest and most important Judeo-Persian texts are the Bible translations.

  • BIBLE vii. Persian Translations

    Kenneth J. Thomas and Fereydun Vahman

    The Pentateuch, the books of the prophets, and the writings (Heb. ketūbīm), including the Psalms, from the Hebrew scriptures, collectively known as the Old Testament, and the Gospels and other writings in Greek, collectively known as the New Testament, have all been translated into Persian.

  • BIBLE viii. Translations into other Modern Iranian Languages

    Kenneth J. Thomas

    John Leyden, a gifted Scottish linguist and poet who went to Calcutta in 1803 as a surgeon’s assistant for the East India Company and subsequently became a professor at the College of Fort William, was involved in translating the Gospels into a number of languages, including both Pashto and Bal­uchi.

All of them are accessible online here:
 
 
There is more relevant material scattered through the Encyclopaedia (which is still in progress). There is a "search" function on the website which will take you to some of it.
 
As for publishing Dr Pritula's excellent thesis in English, I think Gorgias would be one obvious choice.
 
Yours
Sasha
 

William Hume

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May 4, 2011, 6:21:22 PM5/4/11
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Dear Professors Carlson & Pearse,
May I add, as a sort of "marginal" consideration, my understanding that there is a fair amount of Manichaean literature that survives in Middle Persian?
Up until Prof. Ludwin KOENEN of University of Michigan published the Coptic "Life of Mani", in which it was made clear that Mani grew up as an Elkasite Gnostic, most of the ORientalist community was of the opinion that the Christian Manichaeism, which had been described by ST. Augustine of Hippo, was a sort of syncretic or altered form of an earlier dualist/Zoroastrian sect from Iran. Now we all know better.  As a result, every little bit of Manichaean text in Middle Persian coming from the "two Iraqs", so to speak, needs to be critically reexamined.
I realize that Manichaen literature is technically outside the purview of this group's interest in Eastern Apostolic traditions, but somebody needs to do the work.  The top Western expert in Iranian languages written in "nasty ambiguous Aramaic/ Parthic script" is most likely still Roger Emmerich.  And the former Soviet Union had quite a few scholars who were crack scholars in Middle Persian, because of all of the inscriptional (cuneiform) and later Middle-Persian-Script Central ASian materials.
     Speaking of Middle-Persian-Script languages: let us all constantly keep in mind that the Dun Huang & Turfan materials are not fully excavated, and what has been excavated has not been fully described, much less catalogued.  Those materials have yielded plenty of Manichaean materials.  I have an extremely vague recollection that there were even Nestorian materials found, in Iranian-branch languages like Khotanese Saka, and so on.
 
    I would ask you all to consider this: the modern priests of Zoroastrianism who live in India speak fluent Persian.  But the medieval Zoroastrian works are kept written in Middle Persian, which served as their "Latin", so to speak.  [There are some mss. of the Avesta which are written in Arabo-Persian script, but that is another can of worms.]
    Now consider this: Nestorian priests in India, and other points farther east, also speak Persian.  But they keep their works in Nestorian Syriac.  Even abandoned Nestorian temples from the Cantonese area of China have yielded only Syriac materials.... and never anything in Arabo-Persian script.  Again, the priests chose to use a sort of "Latin", rather than Arabo-Persian script.
    Now let us consider the use of Garshuni font for Arabic texts.  Many would say that it was for the salutary purpose of maintaining and encouraging Syriac literacy in the Syrian churches.  Others, i.e., I, would say that it was used to keep Muslims from readily accessing the content of the Christian writings.  And it may reflect a deeper resistance to Arab Muslim cultural hegemony.  The Arabic script represented oppression.
    I think that the foregoing considerations go a long way to explain the dearth of Arabo-Persian font manuscripts.
 
    Now, here is a question I have been puzzling over: did the Syrian churches ever use the Syriac font to transcribe Persian works (including Persian translations)?  If so, what are such texts called?  [Perhaps the Answer is in Dr. PRITULA's book??]  For all I know, maybe there are uncatalogued "Garshuni" works that will turn out to be written in Persian, rather than ARabic.
   I guess I have wandered a bit far from Arabic.  Is there a NAS-CIPS [=Christian Iranian-Persian Studies] group within the AOS??
   Best wishes, WSH


From: "Thomas A Carlson (tcar...@Princeton.EDU)" <tcar...@Princeton.EDU>
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Sent: Wed, May 4, 2011 12:33:00 PM
Subject: Re: [nascas] Re: Persian manuscripts

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Roger Pearse

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May 5, 2011, 2:16:48 PM5/5/11
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This is most interesting, and the Encyclopedia Iranica articles which
Sasha thoughtfully referenced give some bibliography.

Can anyone suggest somewhere to start, bibliographically, for those
who want to approach the subject of Christian literature in Middle
Persian?

All the best,

Roger Pearse

On May 4, 8:33 pm, "Thomas A Carlson (tcarl...@Princeton.EDU)"
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Roger Pearse

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May 5, 2011, 2:33:23 PM5/5/11
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This is very interesting also, although as you say we drift somewhat
from the focus of the group.

Could you say a little more about what exists in Middle Persian of
Manichaean writings, or point me to a source? The Cologne Mani Codex
is in Coptic, of course.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

> From: "Thomas A Carlson (tcarl...@Princeton.EDU)" <tcarl...@Princeton.EDU>
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William Hume

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May 5, 2011, 4:22:09 PM5/5/11
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Dear Prof. Pearse:
Go straight to the horse, and ask for a source,
He'll give you an answer that you'll endorse:
 
Mary BOYCE, A Reader in Manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian
Mary BOYCE, Manichaean Hymn-Cycles
ANDREAS-HENNING, Mitteliranische Manichaica
D. Durkin-Meisterernst, Dictionary of Manichaean Texts, Volume III, 1: Texts from Central Asia and China (Texts in Middle Persian and Parthian), in series CORPUS FONTIUM MANICHAEORUM
 
See, also:
SOAS: NME: Manichaean dictionary project, www.soas.ac.uk/nme/research/manichaeandict
Turfanforschung:   www.bbaw.de/bbaw/Forschung/ ..../ turfanforschung/de/MIRTEXT
[MIR= Mittel Iranische/ Middle Iranian]
I need to qualify my comment earlier: Roger EMMERICH is Top Dog in all al of the non-Middle-Persian languages that are written in the same nasty ambiguous script.  Mary BOYCE is Top Dog as to Middle Persian proper.  She has also published extensively in medieval Zoroastrian texts in Middle Persian.
 
Best wishes, Wilbur


From: Roger Pearse <roger....@googlemail.com>

To: North American Society for Christian Arabic Studies <nas...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 11:33:23 AM

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Anton Pritula

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May 6, 2011, 11:37:19 AM5/6/11
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Dear Colleagues,

I think, the information in Encyclopedia Iranica is almost complete, and Sasha rendered it adequately.

The works by Nikolas Sims-Williams, his Siro-Sogdica (mostly in OCP), are very important, especially when no Syriac original exists now, like a memra on the three periods of monastic life: N.Sims-Williams. Syro-Sogdica I: An Anonymous Homily on the Three Periods of the Solitary Life. In: OCP 47 (1981), pp. 441-446.
 
 or when a Sogdian translation contains some more archaic version, than in the surviving Syriac texts, like St. George Passion: Gerschevitsch I. One Sogdian St.George Passion, in Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1946, p. 179-184.

The general review of the Sog. Christ lit. is given in:
O.Hansen. Die Christliche Literatur der Sogdier. In: HOr, I. Abteilung IV. Band, 2/1. Leiden, 1968, p. 91-9.

Yes, most of the Persian Christian MSs before the Jesuit activities are purely biblical. But the way they were translated is sometimes interesting. Such as in the Persian Diatessaron there are many traces of non canonic Gospels, and sometimes literal rendering of Arabic and Syriac models. The translater probably used a Syriac Diatessaron, which did not survived, and used also other versions like the Arabic Diatessaron, published:
Marmarji A.-S. Diatessaron de Tatian. Beyrouth, 1935.

There are also many local Persian peculiarities, like in Mt 23:24: You drive a masquito away, but swallow camals carawan after a carawan...

If someone is interested in it, I can bring some more interesting examples, how the Bible text was "reworked" by persian translators. Such things seem to be important, because one can undestend the religious life of the Сhristians at periphery.
Anton


> Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 11:16:48 -0700

> Subject: [nascas] Re: Persian manuscripts

Roger Pearse

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May 7, 2011, 4:31:25 PM5/7/11
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Thank you very much! It's also very useful to know who it is that is
working in the field.

Roger Pearse (just Mr).

On May 5, 9:22 pm, William Hume <williamsnowh...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Dear Prof. Pearse:
> Go straight to the horse, and ask for a source,
> He'll give you an answer that you'll endorse:
>
> Mary BOYCE, A Reader in Manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian
> Mary BOYCE, Manichaean Hymn-Cycles
> ANDREAS-HENNING, Mitteliranische Manichaica
> D. Durkin-Meisterernst, Dictionary of Manichaean Texts, Volume III, 1: Texts
> from Central Asia and China (Texts in Middle Persian and Parthian), in series
> CORPUS FONTIUM MANICHAEORUM
>
> See, also:
> SOAS: NME: Manichaean dictionary project,www.soas.ac.uk/nme/research/manichaeandict
> Turfanforschung:  www.bbaw.de/bbaw/Forschung/..../ turfanforschung/de/MIRTEXT
> [MIR= Mittel Iranische/ Middle Iranian]
>
> I need to qualify my comment earlier: Roger EMMERICH is Top Dog in all al of the
> non-Middle-Persian languages that are written in the same nasty ambiguous
> script.  Mary BOYCE is Top Dog as to Middle Persian proper.  She has also
> published extensively in medieval Zoroastrian texts in Middle Persian.
>
> Best wishes, Wilbur
>
> ________________________________
> From: Roger Pearse <roger.pea...@googlemail.com>
> ...
>
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